The Anchoress Supporting Manic Street Preachers – Bristol Sounds, 2017

This really was quite an unexpected treat. Catherine was very generously giving away a few tickets last week on her Facebook page. Before I commited to putting my hat in the ring, I made sure I could get there. I wasn’t going to waste her time by putting my hand up for tickets if I then couldn’t make it. 
I looked at the cost of getting to Bristol – quite cheap if I get myself to London first and get a National Express coach there and back. I checked with Yvonne that she would be okay with having me stay for the night, and as a way of doing so, she’d be my “plus one” and come along to the gig with me. 
That sorted, I put my name in for the chance. Wonderfully, my name was picked and so on Thursday morning, off I went to Bristol again.

Delays from hideous traffic around London meant I didn’t get to Bristol until about 4.20pm. I took the wrong route down to the Harbourside and Birdy actually beat me down there (and she was at work until 5pm).

(Couldn’t help but give the pic of Birdy and I a subtle “improvement”. Lol)
We had a while to wait to get in. We got talking to another ticket recipient, Shaun, and his wife Dawn. A wonderful couple and lovely people. We could hear Catherine going through soundcheck as we were waiting to get in. We were champing at the bit! Catherine was sounding amazing!
We were let through just MINUTES before she appeared onstage. And WOW! It was great to hear stuff that got a rest during the acoustic sets with Simple Minds. I got to hear Popular and Chip On Your Shoulder – the first time since last December, but the surprise was One For Sorrow! She hadn’t performed it last December, and not on the acoustic tour, so it was a first for me to hear it live…and wonderful! 
She was fabulous…but of course it SSOOO made me wish that I was able to see her in Chester the next day, but finances just could not stretch. I was hoping they would. I had purchased a ticket in the hope I would make it, but it would have been more expensive for me to get there and back and stay overnight. Funds had been severely depleated after all the touring around for SM.
I am forever thankful for the tickets from Catherine, without which Bristol would not have been doable either. 
I had not eaten since arriving in London at midday (a doughnut), so we headed off to the stalls for a bite to eat and a drink. We sat on a side wall and had our food and drink, and took in the sounds of British Sea Power from a distance. They seemed pretty good and were going down well with the crowd. 

(Temptation was put in front of me…but I resisted! One doughnut was enough for one day. Lol)
The Manics appeared around 9pm and started with Motorcycle Emptiness. Quite a crowd-pleaser. I am not super aware of the Manics’ canon of songs. I really like them, but have (like I was with SM for many a year) not explored their back catalogue extensively and only know bits and pieces. The first song they performed I recognised was You Stole The Sun From My Heart. Others I could just about sing along to were Ocean Spray (one Manics single I actually bought! And I did have a copy of This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours too, back in the day), If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next, Tsunami and, the rousing finale of Design For Life. I think they performed a couple of other songs from “This Is My Truth” I should have recognised, but it had been SSOO long since I’d heard the album, they weren’t as familiar to me. 
They were…AMAZING! Just wow! JDB and Nicky were on top form. They knocked it out of the park. I’d love to see them again, and get myself familiar with their music once more…and actually explore it more extensively this time. Amazing guys!
There was a little time to explore Bristol the following day…and…the wallet got stretched YET AGAIN, as there was a record shop a little Birdy had told me about called Rise, and well, they had THIS!

I had never seen it before, and the cover art obviously caught my eye. So very in the theme of Hokusai. I will definitely give it a spin very soon! 
One final thank you to Catherine for the tickets and the opportunity to see such a wonderful gig. You are just such an amazing lady! I love to bits! I hope to see you again very soon…with new material! It’s going to be so exciting!
(No pics of the acts themselves, but I took a bit of live footage I shared on my Facebook page.)

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