By Jonathan Brown & Craig Jones
Chart-topping band La Roux surprised Manchester by playing a secret gig in Piccadilly Gardens on Friday evening.
The Mercury Prize nominated band wowed the crowd, playing hit singles like ‘In For The Kill’ and ‘Bulletproof’.
Over 2,500 people braved the weather to attend the free gig which took place from a box-shaped billboard that was transformed into a stage for the show.
The billboard, advertising the launch of the new Nissan Juke, was placed in the gardens on Monday and mysteriously read ‘be here at 8pm Friday’.
The event was hosted by Nissan and their spokesman heralded the night as a great success and a fantastic way to launch their new car.
He said: “It was great to see so many people turn up to help celebrate the launch of the Nissan Juke. Their energy really added to the occasion.”
Throughout the week radio station Key 103 encouraged listeners to guess ‘what’s in the box’, by gradually revealing cryptic clues with one lucky entrant winning a £1,000 prize.
Clues included ‘it’s very stylish and also a little bit French’ and ‘there is no chance of stage fright on the night for this red haired wonder’.
Lead singer, Elly Jackson, had a great relationship with the crowd throughout the gig and even sheepishly told fans about her latest mishap.
The red haired diva recently injured her ankle and was told by doctors not to dance during the show although that didn’t stop her dropping a few moves.
Jackson has certainly been in the wars this year, with La Roux having to cancel part of their American tour after she struggled with bronchitis and a throat infection.
The Nissan spokesman praised the energetic electro-pop princess. He said: “Elly was great, despite damaging her ligaments before the gig, she had a wonderful rapport with the audience.
“Judging by the smiles on everyone’s faces, everybody seemed to enjoy the show.”
Prior to the show DJ Rebekah warmed-up the growing crowd playing an electro-dance set from some huge speakers in the boot of a Nissan Juke on stage.
La Roux fanatic, Dean McDonagh, was overjoyed to find the group playing. He said: “I’ve had an amazing night.
“It’s really made my day just walking through town and stumbling across La Roux playing, especially as the gig was free too.”
To celebrate the launch of the Juke, Nissan are planning a roadshow that will be travelling to London, Leeds and Liverpool. Nissan are currently in the process of approaching artists to perform at the events.
For more information about the Nissan Juke and related upcoming events visit www.nissanjuke.co.uk or follow them at www.twitter.com/get_juked.