1st February, 1999. Manchester Evening New Arena, Manchester
Dateline: Sometime in 1995/96.
Dateline: Sometime in 1998. My step-dad tells me he has bought The Corrs'
new album, Talk on Corners. I idly acknowledge him.
Dateline: Later in 1998. I accidentally see (and video) a bit of the St
Patrick's Day concert repeated on BBC2 one Saturday afternoon. WOW! What
have I been missing for the last three years! I quickly purchase Talk on
Corners and play the CD until it is worn out. Days later, I get hold of
Forgiven Not Forgotten and am chuffed to mintballs to see that my favourite
Toss the Feathers on it!! Further purchases include Talk on Corners Special
Edition, the full 17 March video and my much treasured Corrs calendar. Most
importantly, I get some concert tickets!
Dateline: 1 February 1999
After weeks of counting down to the concert, it finally arrives.
Feeling like I did as a child on my birthday, I take my seat at the
impressive MEN Arena. My mum and step-dad are awestruck with the venue. Just
wait 'til the music starts! I think on the quiet they are as excited as me.
Picture House are quite good, but I'm not tapping my feet to their music.
I'm excited by the prospect of seeing The Corrs live! The interval as the
stage crew set up seems excruciatingly long!
The lights go down and the show (eventually) begins. "He's uncool......"
booms through the amplifiers. The hairs stand up on the back of my neck. A
couple of numbers seem to fly by and Andrea speaks to the crowd for the
"HELLO MANCHESTER!" She is greeted by a MASSIVE cheer, and gets the
audience going even more by telling them what a great night we'll all have.
I feel that the band are really trying to cross the divide between them and
their fans in the audience. We are all going to have a fantastic night, the
Corr family and their friends.
Numbers whistle by one after another. I feel strangely worried that the
evening will be over too quickly and start mentally ticking off the album
tracks that are performed. There aren't many that don't get aired.
A few great moments stand out. Caroline and Sharon prepare to perform
together and some bloke (I mean bloke!) shouts out "I love you Caroline".
She giggles and replies "I love you too". It is the performances of Caroline
and Sharon on vocals, Caroline on the piano and then Jim also playing the
piano that make you realise how downright musically talented this group is.
There is depth in what they can do, which only a concert really allows them
Andrea is also the subject of allsorts of raving from the crowd when she
tries to tell the stories of how The Corrs supported Celine Dion at
Manchester's Arena a couple of years earlier, and how they came to cover
Dreams. Marriage proposals and so forth. She deals with one caveman-type
"ug-uging" from the back of the arena with a beautifully innocent
The girls go wild when Jim plays his piano-solo and has a chat with the
audience, mentioning how his hotel is only just down the road. Cheeky
The numbers that receive a noticeably enhanced reception are perhaps
predictable and include Dreams and the utterly marvellous Haste to the
Wedding. I begin to realise the show is taking a similar pattern to the St
Patrick's Day show and feel a bit sad when the band strike up I Never Loved
You Anyway-the end is near.
However, perhaps the best is saved until last, because the encore hits new
heights. "WE ARE SO YOUNG" cries Andrea, as the band come back on stage and
start the finale. By this time, I don't think anyone is sat down anymore.
Everyone has been stood for ages! When Toss the Feathers starts up, I swear
the roof lifted. The audience roars applause for what sees an age when the
number is finished and everyone can be heard remarking to each other how
their hands are stinging from clapping!
As the audience mills away into the night, there are many excited
conversations going on." Wasn't
Caroline good on piano?" and "they can all sing can't they?" to name but a
few. My mum and step-dad can't speak. Literally!!
What a night. The Corrs are such strong performers in some many areas. Long
may they continue to make what is quite simply real music.