Con­cert will be a tribute to vic­tims

Middleton Guardian - - WHAT’S ON WITH ALL ACROSS THE ARTS - STEVE COOKE NOR­MAN WAR­WICK

DED­I­CATED to the vic­tims of the Manch­ester Arena bomb, A Con­cert for Manch­ester will be held in St Ann’s Church in St Ann’s Square, the fo­cus of the very mov­ing ini­tial flo­ral tribute.

The con­cert will in­clude reg­gae artist Mar­lon, Euro­pean cham­pi­ons War­dle Academy Brass Band and Rochdale Re­tire­ment Choir. Mu­si­cal duo Brian and Michael will per­form the UK num­ber one, Match­stalk Men and Match­stalk Cats and Dogs, and there will also be po­etry read­ings by Charles Foster and Rod Barry.

These per­form­ers, drawn from across Greater Manch­ester, are all giv­ing their time free.

The con­cert will fea­ture the first pub­lic per­for­mance of One Love Manch­ester, mu­sic by Gra­ham Mar­shall and lyrics by Rod Barry, per­formed by the Rochdale Re­tire­ment Choir.

This song will be of­fered free of charge to the Love Manch­ester Emer­gency Fund as a down­load­able on­go­ing fundraiser.

Rod Barry has a spe­cial link to the Manch­ester Arena. He said: “Who knows where fate will place us at any given time. How lucky are we, fa­mous or anony­mous, to live out our lives in rel­a­tive peace.

“Sun­day, De­cem­ber 14, 1997, just short of 3pm the phone rang, ‘Rod, it’s Tony Stephens (David Beck­ham’s then agent), you may be able to help me. David and Vic­to­ria want to go to the El­ton John con­cert at the Nynex (Manch­ester) Arena tonight and they need to be in a pri­vate fa­cil­ity for ob­vi­ous rea­sons, can you help?’.

“At that time, as now, David and Vic­to­ria Beck­ham were of huge in­ter­est to the me­dia.

“I was then pro­mo­tions man­ager for Nynex, who were spon­sors of the Manch­ester Arena. I set about mak­ing the ar­range­ments, which I suc­cess­fully achieved, while the cou­ple flew into Manch­ester Air­port.

“Fast for­ward to that dread­ful day, May 22, 2017, when an act of pure mal­ice wiped out the lives of 22 peo­ple at the Manch­ester Arena, in­jur­ing and trau­ma­tis­ing so many more.

“This evil act was com­mit­ted in the area where the Beck­ham’s were greeted, then led to the Nynex hos­pi­tal­ity suite to en­joy the El­ton John con­cert. My heart is bro­ken. There but for the grace of God.”

A Con­cert for Manch­ester will start at 7.30pm on Thurs­day, Novem­ber 9. Tick­ets cost £5 each, avail­able from the Royal Ex­change Theatre box of­fice.

All pro­ceeds will go di­rectly to the Love Manch­ester Emer­gency Fund. For fur­ther in­for­ma­tion, con­tact Rod Barry on 07500452522 or rod.barry@hot­mail.co.uk

A Con­cert for Manch­ester or­gan­is­ers Ian Jenk­ins, Gra­ham Mar­shall and Rod Barry.

The Will­shire Duo

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