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Sunday, 19 May 2013

Real Radio Brings Blue to Manchester's Hard Rock Cafe: Guest Blogger Parties Like it's 2002

Anyone who reads all this nonsense on a regular basis will have a fairly shrewd idea of my age: born in the 70s, a child in the 80s, a leggings-wearing moody teenager in the's fairly easy to chart my progress through life purely from the scattered references to unwise clothing choices and generally indie-based musical proclivities. By the time we entered the new millennium, I was already over a hundred years old, and fit for nothing but a little light gardening: that's why, when pretty popsters Blue arrived at Manchester's Hard Rock Cafe last Wednesday for an intimate concert hosted by Real Radio, I knew the very person to wield the metaphorical pen and tell us all about it. You've met her before: please welcome back the lovely Olivia, who has - I think - just about calmed down now from Wednesday's excitement...

At 28, I’m no spring chicken. So, when I was offered the chance to go and see a band that would make me feel 10 years younger I OBViously jumped at the chance *throws hands in the air at the prospect of being an 18 year old student again, “woop, woop, can I get a rewind?”*

Coming from a diverse music background and being brought up to dance and play a little guitar and piano, it’s not surprising that I love a broad range of music. One of the best things about Hard Rock is that, believe it or not, they do showcase a number of different styles of music. Finally, a place where there’s something for everyone *hurrah*. Rock, Indie and Pop are just a few of the things I’ve heard here recently, and for that reason Real Radio couldn’t have picked a better venue to hold one of a number of small, intimate and exclusive gigs...

It’s a Wednesday night, I’m tired and I’ve come straight from a day's worth of lectures. How on earth was I going to step into my 18 year old youthful glamorous self? Well, thanks to Hard Rock Manchester, I have to admit that it wasn’t that hard. Ok, maybe I wasn’t that glamorous on a school night but I definitely felt youthful! *cue rendition of ‘Teenage Kicks’*

As I arrived and stood in the queue with all the excited Real Radio competition winners, most of whom were old faithful fans of the band, I felt a buzz in the air that proved that there really is an inner teenager in all of us *gets out pen and paper, starts to write “Olivia loves...” (I’ll let you fill in as appropriate)*

Blue performed a number of their hits, including All Rise, Fly By II, Back in My Life, U Make Me Wanna and One Love. They also treated the audience to two of the songs from their new album, Roulette: Break my Heart and their new single Hurt Lovers *pretends at least one of these was performed and sung directly at me* #teenagedreams. The boys proved that they’ve definitely not lost it and why they still deserve to be in the music industry, they’ve still got the moves and they can sing live (an unusual skill these days).

After a few G&Ts during the show I, of course, couldn’t leave this place without trying a few cocktails while we waited for our transport home (any excuse). The lovely talented bartender Nathan (mentioned in previous posts as the creator of the lovely Gini Hendricks cocktail) looked after us and proved that the cocktails at Hard Rock are ever consistent in their production and taste.

Hard Rock Manchester hosts a number of live events, such as the world famous Battle of the Bands competition, Friday Night Live and a number of gigs where they hold performances from many different bands (The Fun Lovin’ Criminals being just one example) and a number of exclusive concerts in conjunction with Real Radio. As the venue is small and intimate, but holds enough people to create a great atmosphere, it is perfect for watching live bands as it really feels like you’re up close and personal. As even some of the smaller music venues in Manchester find it hard to achieve this, I’ll definitely be returning to watch some live acts here in the future.

- Manchester's Hard Rock Cafe can be found at Exchange Square, Manchester M4 2BS; tel. 0161 831 6700.

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