Manchester is a great city; and it has always been kind to me, since the beginning. And the sight of almost 2,000 filling the fabulous Bridgewater Hall was one to savour.
We were more relaxed on stage than in Symphony Hall a year and a bit ago. We’d done it before, so the crazy pressure was relieved somewhat. I sang for my life and can’t honestly remember a performance that brought me more satisfaction in the 40+ year career (so far!).
The on-stage sound was fabulous. Mighty orchestral sweeps and stabs behind me and all around, and Steve Norman blowing his own storm to my side. The harmonica and sax together feel good up there, I can tell you.
There are only three more to come in the UK, but next year we might be staging the show in a few European cities. I’d love to stage it at the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, and in Frankfurt or Cologne, Germany. Maybe Oslo, too. But it’s an expensive project and I will be depending on local promoters to bring suggestions to the table. And why not Scotland? Glasgow Royal Concert Hall or Usher Hall, Edinburgh, would be perfect. My agent knows my feelings, so we’ll see.
We’ll have something of a band reunion at the Royal Albert Hall in June. Both Stuart Elliott and Jim Cregan will join us for a small segment – probably just for Make Me Smile at the end, but who knows? Perhaps South Africa-based Duncan Mackay might be in Blighty at that very same time? Unlikely, I know.
I am working on a plan to bring the complete “The Best Years Of Our Lives” to the stage, too. But playing “Make Me Smile” so early in the evening…? Maybe I’ll perform the original version, slow and bluesy, and save the real thing for the end of the night. What B-sides are there from that period? We can add those. And the second set will comprise hits and others. We could get a Poll going on the website, like Ray Smith has done in the past. A Fan-led set-list! Whatever next?
I send my gratitude to Leo in Belgium for once again egging us all on to “Vote For Steve”!! What a kind man…and you got “Sebastian” into the Top 20 OF ALL TIME! Imagine how proud I am. Thanks to all who voted, and dank u wel, Leo.
written by Stella Day , May 08, 2014
Best Years was the first album I had (for my 14th birthday). I'd love a new Best Years Of Our Lives Tour which has to have Make Me Smile's B-side Another Journey played at some point.
In the meantime looking forward to the Royal Albert Hall. My sister Clare will see you at the Sage......we're all fans!!
written by mOOn , May 08, 2014
My husband is a HUGE fan of yours!
We were supposed to fly to Manchester (all the way FROM SINGAPORE) for your performance but unfortunately have to cancelled due to work commitment.
Immediately, he booked tickets for your London performance at Royal Albert Hall on 28th June 2014. Again, we are to fly 6000+ miles just to see your live performance (despite the poor seat we have got due to last min change).
Can you try to say hi to him on stage? His full name is Michael Anthony Noel Meade. If you can do, please delete this from the comment page as this will be a great surprise for him.
written by Darren Westmore , May 09, 2014
The lighthous will be mega, all the strings in it
written by jo humphries , May 11, 2014
Hello there ........ Thanks for the diary.......
The Harmonica and Sax certainly looked good and sounded soooo so good.
Amsterdam , yes. Now thats a ticket for the drawer to be had.
written by Stuart Benson , May 16, 2014
Steve. Thank you so much for a fabulous concert at the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester.
My wife was reflecting on it this morning – it really was the pinnacle – it ranks from the first time I saw you and the band in January 1976 on your opening Tour night at the Glasgow Apollo (Timeless Flight tour) and you and the band were rising and rocked the place with a magnificent concert. Manchester was the culmination and The Best.
She (the wife!) is - was not a fan as such but after seeing you about 5 times now with me, the soulfulness has slowly grown. She loved Manchester (also her home town).
Thanks also for playing “Big Big Deal” in Manchester. I requested it on the Forum and you listen to your fans – it was a Big Big Thrill! Thank you.
Lastly, my wife (again this morning, after breakfast) asked me what the lyrics were to Tumbling Down – I went through every line (from the top of the greying head) and it became very moving - the lyrics, when spoken without the music, given we’ve all sang them so many times, really caught us and she just watched with eyes welling and when I added the chords on the guitar, that captured a very special moment.
It is Poetry Steve and it comes from deep within you – significant words – “See the Titanic Sail into Brighton” (significant to you) – and you give that beauty to us.
So as someone who stood high up in the Usher Hall in May of 1976, scarf in hand – waving it – and you acknowledged it back then as well – thank you for all you do. Roll On!