Yes, indeedy, we managed to see Faithless live not just once, courtesy of a lovely lady (B, you know who you are, thank you!!!) who works for the Manchester Evening News Arena, but actually twice. A friend was able to get tickets for the Cardiff gig on Wednesday, so we went there first.
We arrived slightly late on Wednesday, due to having been at work and then needing to get food - and not realising what time the main act would come on - so we missed the support (Example), but arrived just as Maxi Jazz and co were on their opening number. 2 hours later, a few beers and lots of dancing, and we walked back to the bargain Travelodge which was our abode for the night. If any of you follow me on Facebook, you'll see from the numerous posts I put that I enjoyed the night!!! Greg wasn't all that impressed at walking back to the hotel... it was only just over a mile, but bitterly cold. J and I kept thinking our hotel was around the next corner, so turned down the taxi that Greg managed to hail! Oops.
So yesterday (saturday) was the Manchester event, and we decided to arrive early so that we could get some of the Christmas shopping done beforehand. Mistake. Big mistake. Huge. (well, it wasn't that bad, but it sounded good!)
We found the Travelodge (so we thought) but couldn't check in because we were too early. Or, that should be we COULD check in, but it would cost £10 more. What a rip off. If the room is ready, its ready. If it isn't, it isn't. Obviously some rooms are ready, so they think they can charge extra! We declined and went straight into the city centre instead. Found all day/evening parkng for £6 right opposite the venue and walking distance from the city, so was very happy with that. It was raining slightly and we both have colds, but we could cope with hat. What we couldn't cope with was (a) MASSES of people everywhere - we hadn't really een thinking about this being a saturday before Christmas, on a week when many people had been housebound due to the weather; and (b) THE SHOPS ARE ALL THE SAME AS ANYWHERE ELSE!!! So uninspiring. Even Selfridges didn't offer anything suitable for my friends or family. So we bought exactly nought. Well, a drink in a pub , a hot chocolate in Starbucks and a meal in Tampopo was as far as our spending went.
On to the gig, and we arrived in plenty of time to see both support acts. "Union" were a DJ set who seemed to think holding your deck and laptop behind your head while you pressed buttons was the equivalent of holding your guitar behind you back. Errr, no.
Example is more well known, and I was reasonably open-minded. If you like his music, you'd have love his set. The sound quality on the first song was a bit rubbish - I always theorise that the sound is set up for the main act, so the support always has a rum deal. But it seemed to get better, so maybe they adjusted some settings. But apart from "Kickstarts", we just aren't all that taken with his music. One of the songs just seems to repeat the line "We came, we saw, we killed the crowd" over and over again. Rubbish.
The Faithless set was totally amazing, as we knew already. This time we were 100% sober and in a seated area, which isn't ideal if you want to dance, but we managed! And we were very grateful for being pretty near the front too. The chap to Greg's left was a a little lairy, but in a happy, chatty way, not threatening. Greg reckons he and his mate has a certain type of 'bracelet' on that required them to be home by 10pm... and they did disappear early (but I thought it was because he pulled!).
The girl to my right was fine - except that she kept going "Whoop, whoop" right in my ear and was singing the wrong words/at the wrong moment all through!
The set balances old songs and new, and some serious upbeat tracks with some of the slower instrumentals, to give both us and Maxi Jazz a bit of a break. He talked to the crowd a lot more than in Cardiff, but it was a much bigger crowd and this one was being recorded and sold after the event. Amazing stuff. You don't need to have beer to enjoy this stuff. Faithless never put a foot wrong.
This one summarises it all for me (and please note, I would like it as my funeral song!!)
Seriously, it is worth a click!