Every year, Manchester’s favourite radio station Key 103 hosts two evenings of live music. The first of these evenings is their Summer Live show which usually takes place in July, while the second is their Christmas Live show which rolls around in December. Out of the two, the Christmas Live show is the superior. It is hard to get tickets for the event since everyone in and around the city seems to agree that it’s one of the best nights of the whole year, but CelebMix was able to score some tickets and we were definitely not disappointed with what we experienced!
After an introduction to the show from Key 103‘s own Mike Toolan and Emmerdale beauty Gemma Atkinson, the first act took to the stage. It was the Indie-pop band Blossoms from Stockport and they served as the perfect show openers. Although we had previously heard them play on Radio 1 when they came fourth on the list of BBC’s, “Sound Of,” for new music, not everyone got the memo and sadly for the band there were a few people playing on their phones during their set. But we feel that this was purely down to how new they were and the fact that most of the people seated in our block were either pre-teens or their parents who were unlikely to listen to such Indie bands. Nobody can deny that this five-piece are super talented and that they have a lot of potential to go far in the music industry though, and we really hope they do because their song, “Blown Rose,” was such a tune!
Louisa Johnson was the next act to grace the stage. The former winner of the UK version of The X Factor delivered some serious vocals when she sang her hits, “So Good,” and, “Tears,” minus Clean Bandit. The first of her two songs was a slow-burner but the second got the majority of the arena up onto their feet as they screamed the catchy chorus back to the young singer who seemed to feed off of the crowd’s energy brilliantly. Now we remember why she won the aforementioned talent show.
Next up, it was Busted or our childhood as they are otherwise known. It was amazing to see the big smiles on everyone’s faces as soon as they literally jumped on to the stage with their guitars in their hands. The merging of old fans who remember the pop-rock band from the early noughties and new fans who were introduced to the trio after their latest single was released just a few months ago was wonderful to see. We’re very happy that we are a part of the old fans club though, because it meant that we got to go absolutely crazy when they played, “Year 3000,” but then sing our hearts out when they transitioned into, “Sleeping With The Light On,” like nobody else was around. They finished off their set with their newest single, “On What You’re On,” which we think that it sounded much better live than it did in studio. The funk from the guitars was so good that it was impossible to stay seated and it reminded us of Daft Punk which is never a bad thing.
English DJ Jonas Blue was the next performer to take to the stage and he bought the house- sorry, arena, down with awesome remixes of all of our favourite songs. His set was amazing from start to finish and it had everyone up on their feet and dancing around like they were at some sort of rave. It was a flawless set from start to finish, ending sweetly on, “Perfect Strangers,” featuring JP Cooper.
Following his collaboration with Jonas Blue, JP Cooper then returned to the stage to bless us with a few songs of his own and we have to confess that we fell madly in love with the beautiful tone of his voice and his incredible hair. He is definitely an artist to watch out for.
After a short break to refresh ourselves we were treated to the legend that is Robbie Williams and we have to admit that despite amazing performances from everyone we had seen so far, his was the best and we knew it from the very moment he bounced onto the stage. He engaged with the crowd unlike anyone before, making fans swoon at his unmistakable Stoke accent. We almost felt sorry for the young girls who were sat in front of us who couldn’t have been older than ten because as soon as we heard the beginning of, “Let Me Entertain You,” we were on our feet and screaming the words at the top of our lungs. He added a few newer songs to his five-song set including one dedicated to his children but it ended with the classic, “Angels,” and even now we don’t know how we managed to hold back our tears!
Sigma took to the huge stage next and the DJ-ing duo pulled out all of the stops to ensure that their audience had a brilliant night at the Christmas Live show. They performed five of their most adored hits and at this point, we figured that we should just stay on our feet because there was absolutely zero point in us sitting back down when the acts were this good and all we wanted to do was crazy dance to their music. Waving our arms around and dancing should have been classed as a whole-body workout.
The Vamps were another stand-out act for us and they bought all of their good looks, boyish charm, and undeniable talent to the stage on 9th December. They absolutely killed their set in the best way possible and we genuinely felt sad once they left the stage because we wanted them to play more songs and turn us into even bigger puddles of mush. They sang their newest song first called, “All Night,” and then they moved on to some of their more recognisable hits including, “Wake Up,” and, “Can We Dance,” which left us feeling all sorts of ways. They looked amazing too, rocking cool tees and laid-back plaid shirts which looked effortlessly awesome as they jumped around with so much enthusiasm as though it was the first show they had ever played. But it wasn’t. They have played a thousand concerts up to this point and with bucket loads of talent and catchy songs like theirs, they will probably get to play a thousand more.
Mike Toolan then returned to the stage to announce that the next act would be the last and we heard a collective sigh from everyone around us. The young children who had recently gotten their second wind let their shoulders drop as they realised that they would be heading home soon while their tired parents glanced at their watches or phones to check how late it was. But then the lights on the stage turned on and Sigala appeared. It’s amazing how you can still dance while you have a drink in one hand, a handbag slung over one shoulder and only one sleeve of your jacket hanging from the other shoulder yet we did it. One by one, people started to trickle out of the arena trying to beat the rush at the end of the show but those who stayed to enjoy Sigala’s set were treated to one of the best final performances we have ever witnessed. It was impossible not to want to bop along to their music and by the time they remixed the classic Robin S hit, “Show Me Love,” our tired arms were ready to drop off. They were the perfect end to the perfect show. We will definitely be attending the show again!
If you want to re-live the night or if you just want to feel like you were there, we have put together a playlist of every song that was performed in order. Check it out on Spotify here:
Did you attend the concert? Let us know on Twitter, at @CelebMix.