Coming full circle: MM’s top five Manchester homecoming gigs

By Matthew Ord

Manchester indie rockers The Courteeners played the Phones4U Arena on Friday December 13 in a homecoming gig that completed a year in which they had penetrated the Official Album Chart Top 10 for the third time with smash hit Anna.

In celebration of the foursome returning to their home turf MM decided to take a look  back at other Manchester homecoming gigs.

5. The Courteeners @ Phones4U Arena – Friday December 13 2013

The gig that inspired the list makes the list. The four members have known each other since they were ten years old and played their first gig together a number of years later in 2006.

This homecoming gig has been on the cards for a long time and it didn’t disappoint. Front man Liam Fray said he ‘didn’t want it to end’ and neither did the audience, as the band justified playing such a huge concert by putting on an incredible performance.

4. Oasis @ Heaton Park – June 6, 2009

Following the release of Dig Out Your Soul, widely considered their best release for a long, long time, Oasis set out on a series of outdoor shows across Europe.

The first three were at Heaton Park, but the first night was a bit of a disaster with the band being made to leave the stage twice following technical difficulties.

The second night however was a triumph, with the band rattling off hit after hit with not a technical hitch in sight.

Oasis split two months later, making this their penultimate Manchester show.

3. Elbow @ M.E.N Arena – September 18, 2009

When Elbow announced plans for a homecoming gig at the then M.E.N Arena, lead singer Guy Garvey said: “It’ll be the biggest show we’ve done.”

He was right. The show topped off a whirlwind 18 months for the band, who achieved commercial and critical acclaim with The Seldom Seen Kid – an album that also won the Mercury Music Prize.

The show highlighted exactly why the band had achieved such dizzy heights as they held the arena crowd in the palm of their hand for the whole night.

2. Oasis @ Maine Road – April 27, 1996

Yes, they’re on the list twice… but they had to be. On April 27 1996 Liam and Noel Gallagher lived out a dream they’d had since they were children – playing Manchester City’s Maine Road.

This was a time when Oasis were the most unpredictable band going and showcasing the genius that had graced their first two albums, Oasis cemented their position as the greatest Brit Pop band of their time.

1. Stone Roses @ Heaton Park –  June 29, 2012

Undoubtedly the greatest homecoming that, not only Manchester has ever seen, but perhaps the entire country.

The legendary Stone Roses, who had not performed together with the original lineup since 1995, reunited for two shows at Heaton Park, with a third night being added due to phenomenal demand.

The group played a handful of warm-up shows around Europe it set them up perfectly to blow away everyone who was lucky enough to witness their reunion.

The moment the bass line of I Wanna Be Adored kicked in, it was destined to be a special night and it certainly was.

Do you agree with MM’s list? Or do you think someone else should have made the top spot? Have your say below.

Picture courtesy of NRK P3, via Flickr, with thanks.

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