Manchester has had its fair share of tragedy as a consequence of cowardly acts and with the 2 year anniversary of the arena bombing this week, my thoughts have been with those who suffered loss. As the rain began to fall in London, I bade farewell to our new favourite hotel, The Beaumont, and headed downstairs (after Eggs Benedict) to meet the boys for our final run to Farnborough on this leg of the tour. None of us can quite believe where the time has gone, today is our 23rd show. We wondered what the weather would be like in Manchester. You guessed it. 

Average rainfall in Manchester is 929mm. Not an encouraging statistic for the Spice Girls, who seem to be following us this week. First Dublin and tonight Manchester where they perform outdoors at the Etihad stadium. I hope they brought in more PA for the rain-soaked fans who in Dublin were the victims of what sounded like a poor production from the 250 crew. I was reminded that they had a room booked next door to us at Music Bank in London when we were in rehearsals, which was filled with shoes. Fitting session. The girls manage an amazing 24 costume changes during their set, contrastingly, I sometimes remove my jacket in the third song. We arrived at Manchester airport and picked up local drivers who reminded us just how good our team of German drivers are. It’s what we call ‘wah wah’, unsubtle application of accelerator and brake leading to passenger discomfort and in extreme cases, stress. Then the two vans promptly got lost. Really. To Manchester Arena. As we always say, if you’re going to do a job, do it well.

Now, Mark’s friend and Manchester’s own, Peter Kay visited tonight and spent some time with Mark in catering before the show. It soon became apparent that due to traffic, rain and the Spice element, we would be holding our show for 30 minutes. Peter decided a PA announcement would help. Our boys got him a microphone and apparently, Peter announced to the audience that our show would be delayed by 30 minutes as Mark was at the Spice Girls gig and didn’t want to leave until Justin Bieber showed up. It was lovely to see Peter as we all know he’s been unwell lately, having to cancel a tour. Such a naturally funny, lovely man, he happily posed for a pic with our Peter.

Crazy as it sounds, we had yet another wonderful time up on stage. It’s always mildly relieving to get the London shows done and dusted. We left the venue and headed for the delightful Townhouse hotel bar and had a nightcap or two. The program which the whole band signed is on its way to 10 year old Hannah (who lost her program at the O2) sent me this note today. –

To Guy, Mark and the band . This is Hannah and I am here to say thank you for the programme when it arrives. Daddy showed me the photo you sent. It was an amazing night at the O2 on Tuesday and you played my favourite songs Corned Beef city, my bacon roll, on every street and speedway at Nazareth. 
My dad has MS and is in a wheelchair so when it is us on our own we look after each other. It was really special 
Love from Hannah🎸🎺🎷🎤🥁