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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 first time.

"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 to show.

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 "Excusez-moi?".

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 monkey.

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.

Phil Smith