Monday 5 June 2017 – One Love Manchester, funeral of Eilidh MacLeod & Manchester bombing updates & analysis

One Love Manchester was a huge success last night with thousands enjoying some wonderful performances and at the same time raising millions for the victims and families of last month’s Manchester Arena bombing.  The benefit concert was organised by the American singer Ariana Grande. It was her concert on 22 May in Manchester that was the target of the suicide bomber Salman Abedi. Twenty-two people died in the blast and more than 100 were injured. Many of the victims were children, fans of the singer, whose dream night of watching Ariana singing ended in death, injury or trauma.  It was principally in response to her own heartbreak at the tragedy that beset her young fans that Ariana decided to organise this concert.  To have not done anything, she said, would be something she could not live with.  In less than two weeks she and her team, including her manager Scooter Braun, were able to get together some of the biggest names in music to join her last night at the Old Trafford cricket ground for the three-hour concert.


The complete line-up, and the songs performed, are given below in the order they performed at One Love Manchester. You can watch the entire concert or selected performances on the BBC events page for the concert:


  • Marcus Mumford – ”Timshel”


  • Take That – ”Shine”, ”Giants”, ”Rule The World”


  • Robbie Williams – ”Strong”, ”Angels”


  • Pharrell Williams feat. Marcus Mumford – ”Get Lucky”


  • Pharrell Williams feat. Miley Cyrus – ”Happy”


  • Miley Cyrus – ”Inspired”


  • Niall Horan – ”Slow Hands”, ”This Town”


  • Ariana Grande – ”Be Alright”, ”Break Free”


  • Little Mix – ”Wings”


  • Ariana Grande and Victoria Monet – ”Better Days”


  • Black Eyed Peas feat. Ariana Grande – ”Where Is The Love”

katy perrylittle mixrobbie williams

Photos: Katy Perry, Little Mix and Robbie Williams

  • Imogen Heap – ”Hide And Seek”


  • Ariana Grande and Mac Miller – ”The Way”, ”Dang!”


  • Ariana Grande and Miley Cyrus – ”Don’t Dream It’s Over”


  • Ariana Grande – ”Side To Side”


  • Katy Perry – ”Part Of Me”, ”Roar”


  • Justin Bieber – ”Love Yourself”, ”Cold Water”


  • Ariana Grande – ”Love Me Harder”


  • Coldplay feat. Ariana Grande – ”Don’t Look Back In Anger”


  • Coldplay – ”Fix You”, ”Viva La Vida”, ”Something Just Like This”


  • Liam Gallagher – ”Rock And Roll Star”, ”Wall Of Glass”


  • Liam Gallagher feat. Chris Martin – ”Live Forever”


  • Ariana Grande – ”One Last Time”, ”Somewhere Over The Rainbow”

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Photos: Ariana Grande during “One Last Time,Black Eyed Peas with Ariana, and Ariana with Coldplay’s Chris Martin during “Don’t Look Back In Anger”


There was also a performance by The Parrs Wood School Choir who were joined on stage by Ariana to perform her own song  “My Everything.” At one point the soloist in the choir, 12-year-old Natasha Seth became overcome and was comforted by Ariana (below left).  The singer Usher (below right) was also supposed to be performing last night but he didn’t show, saying that he was spending the day with his diabetic son at the first day of his summer camp.  He posted a message on Instagram: “So happy to see that last nights concert in Manchester proved that love always prevails,” and recorded a video message which was broadcast during the concert. In that he said: “My heart is with you Manchester. I’m so sorry for all of your loss and the pain that you’ve gone through.”

parrs wood high school choirusher

Manchester-attack-benefit-concertThe Oasis singer Liam Gallagher (right) flew in specially for last night straight from a performance in Nuremberg, Germany.  When the line-up was leaked online and in the media ahead of the concert rumours spread that Noel Gallagher would also be there to create an Oasis reunion.  It wasn’t to be as Noel was a no-show.  This left his brother angry with his Noel for not appearing, and this morning he had a rant about it on Twitter. I have written a separate blog post on the Twitter outburst.  The post contains strong language which is why I have chosen not to include it in this post.


A minute silence was observed immaculately and was led by the Bishop of Manchester, the Right Reverend David Walker.  Emotions ran high throughout the concert, but the mood was one of jubilant defiance in the face of last month’s terror attack and last night’s at London Bridge and Borough Market – an attack which was referenced several time during the evening.  The crowd’s defiance shown through in moments such as during the performance of “Strong” by Robbie Williams, who adapted his lyrics and had the audience singing defiantly “Manchester we’re  strong. We’re still singing our songs.” A truly  impressive message of defiance in the face of terrorism.


Some comments from those who were there


Ciara Lynch, 15 from Wigan: “[It was] amazing [and] it was emotional at the same time. When she sang ‘One Last Time’, I cried then. But everyone was so close, even if they didn’t know each other. It was really good.”


mya and marie rushworth 22 mayMaria Rushworth, who was at both the MEN concert (pictured right) and One Love Manchester with her 11-year-old daughter Mya. She spoke to the BBC ahead of last night’s concert:  “I have very mixed emotions and fear at travelling to Manchester again after such a tragedy, but my daughter and I feel it is the right thing to do. We should be free to go where we want when we want and not live in fear of what might happen. It is for a good cause, the concert is showing respect to the people who lost their lives and the families that are suffering. I read some victim’s families aren’t happy with it – I can understand that – but I think everyone will be there for the right reason.”


Lauren Bromelow, 15 from Wigan said that it felt like everybody had “come together as a family.”


Sarah Stones, 25 from Salford said she was “very, very close to cancelling,”  but said she was reassured by the heavy police presence. Describing the mood of the night, she said: “This was all happiness. You’re all as one. You’re one team. Every single time an emotional song came on, it really hit us. I have no words for Manchester tonight.”


Jamal Iddi, 23 from Tameside: “Anyone who lives in Manchester feels the pain. And this was a very, very good way to remember and keep on remembering the people who have passed away.”

Screenshot_1ariana and miley cyrus

The headline for the show was of course Ariana Grande who organised the concert and was making an emotional return to Manchester less than two weeks after the bombing at her Manchester Arena concert.  Ariana was introduced by her manager Scooter Bruan and got a massive welcome from the audience. She was visibly emotional at several points during the evening.  She appeared on stage on several occasions, singing by herself and with other artists, including with Miley Cyrus (above right) with the song “Don’’t Dream It’s Over.” 


TELEMMGLPICT000130923489_1-xlarge_trans_NvBQzQNjv4Bq-jzTS4MjsgeRKuPRVWagX27C88XGK_dn-Onig9a28n4The concert was a triumph for Ariana Grande and her obvious compassion towards her fans and the victims of the Manchester Arena bombing has been remarkable and genuine.  She was regularly praised by other artists, such as by her good friend Miley Cyrus. Many people will be cynical that the concert and the exposure will boost her career – and it probably will, but mainly I believe because her genuine heartbreak and reaction to the bombing has shown to many that there is perhaps more to her than any image she might have had beforehand as a “pop kitten.”  Like all benefit concerts, the huge coverage they often get will do her album sales no harm either. But people aren’t going to buy her records just because she did this concert, they will have to appreciate her music.  She has also demonstrated her deep affection for her fans,`many of them teenage girls.  She visited the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital on Friday and mentioned Olivia Campbell-Hardy, who was one of the victims of the bombing.  Ariana met Oliva’s mother ahead of the concert and joked that Olivia’s mum said Olivia would want her to play the hits at One Love Manchester.  Ariana said of her conversation on stage last night: “She told me Olivia would have wanted to hear the hits. We had a totally different show planned and we had a rehearsal yesterday and we changed everything.”


Ariana has announced that she is re-releasing “One More Time” as a charity single for the Manchester Emergency Fund.  It will be added to the money already raised and the  £2 million thought to have been raised by One Love Manchester.  The night was certainly a huge success for Ariana and, as Ian Youngs for the BBC said today:


“Her performance throughout the night carried dignified emotion, and she showed grit and willpower by staging this show less than two weeks after those tragic events.


“After tonight, she is idolised a little bit more by her fans, is higher in the estimation of those who had thought of her as a pop kitten, and is admired by those who only heard her name for the first time 13 days ago.”


My favourite performances of the evening were Robbie Williams, Miley Cyrus (“Inspired”), Pharrell Williams with Miley Cyrus (“Happy”), Liam Gallagher and Katy Perry.  My favourite Ariana Grande performance, whom I’d never heard of before the Manchester Arena bombing, was “Somehwere Over The Rainbow,” which was an emotional finale to the evening.  My least favourite performances were Niall Horan (below right)  and Justin Bieber (below left) –  both bland and completely unforgettable performances.  Bieber’s performance was slightly redeemed in my eyes by his saying to the audience “what better way to fight evil than with love?” and getting them to chat the word “Love”. His praise of God did nothing for me either.

justin bieberniall horan 

During the world-wide live broadcast of One Love Manchester, during Justin Bieber’s performance, a camera cut to a brief shot of a policeman dancing outside the Old Trafford cricket ground with some members of the public.  The short clip has caught the imagination of the media world-wide and has given PC Paul Taylor a little more attention than he might have been anticipating last night.  He said his phone hasn’t stopped ringing.  The clip has gone viral and the 50-year-old father of two (below) has been taking a lot of ridicule from his colleagues.  He said that he had posed for a picture with some children who then asked him to dance with him:


“I wouldn’t describe myself as the best dancer in the world but I was more than happy to oblige.


“If it makes people feel happy and has put a smile on people’s faces that can only be a good thing, especially after what is going on in the last few weeks. I’m quite privileged to have been there.”

pc paul taylorScreenshot_2

The officer, who works for the Durham Constabulary in Darlington, was drafted to help with the policing for One Love Manchester. Speaking to The Guardian he said:


“It’s not something I thought about,” he said. “I was just there because I was asked to and I was happy to do it. It’s been amazing, to be honest. I’ve never experienced anything like this in my 20 years with the police.


“I’ve had a few phone calls, even a text off my son’s who is in Tenerife who said: ‘Is that you?’ I said: ‘It’s your dad dancing on the telly!’


“It shows that the police have a human side. I have two boys, albeit grown up. I’m a family man. Bearing in mind what’s gone on the last few weeks I’m quite proud of it now, to be honest.


“I’ve been told it’s gone viral, it’s gone all over the world. Again, it will show cops in a good light. We do care about what we do. We are happy to help people. That’s what we’re there for and I’m pleased I did it.”


He said that he had seen several emotional girls who had been at the MEN Arena concert and some of them approached him last night.  He said: “It was a case of reassuring them, saying we’re here to help them, here to protect them and hopefully it’s worked.”


Many will remember that moment as a stand-out moment summing up the spirit of Manchester in the wake of the terrorist attack but, for me, the stand-out moment is the simple fact that Ariana Grande managed to get Liam Gallagher and Coldplay’s Chris Martin to play together and hug each other! Liam Gallagher has been highly critical of Chris Martin in the past – to put it midly. You can read more on Gigwise.

The funeral of Manchester victim Eilidh MacLeod

eilidh macleod

Friends and family, along with some Scottish politicians, will be attending the funeral mass of Manchester bombing victim Eilidh MacLeod. The funeral will be held in Our Lady, Star of the Sea church in Castlebay on the Scottish island Barra.  Her body was flown back to Barra yesterday and upon arrival her coffin was blessed by Barra’s priest Father John Paul MacKinnon. The casket was then carried by six firefighters across the Traigh Mhor beach to the waiting hearse.  She was then driven to her home in Castlebay.  After the funeral mass her body will be taken to Vatersay, a small island connected to Barra by a causeway where Eilidh originally came from, for her burial.

laura macintyre and eilidh macleod

Eilidh had been at the Manchester concert with her friend Laura MacIntyre (above left with Eilidh) and members of their families. Laura was injured in the attack and is still in hospital.  Both girls attended the Castlebay Commuity School.  Barra’s community has been raising money which will be donated to Eilidh’s favourite charity Cobhair Bharraigh. The charity provides local  home-support service and a day care centre on Barra.  Eilidh’s parents last month released a statement and photographs of their daughter.  They described her as “beautiful, popular and talented” and said she was a “loving sister” who loved socialising with friends and had an “unprecedented” love of music.

traigh mhor beach barra

Eilidh’s parents continued:


“Eilidh and Laura were so excited about going to the concert together but what should have been the perfect ending to a fantastic trip ended so tragically.


“We continue to have Laura and her family in our thoughts and pray that she makes a full recovery.”

eilidh macleod2

Local businesses will close today on Barra as a mark of respect and people are expected to take part in the procession of her coffin to Vatersay.  Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon spoke of Eilidh and today’s funeral:


“I know that everyone in Scotland will join me in sending our heartfelt sympathy to Eilidh’s family and friends ahead of what will be the most difficult day imaginable.


“Everything that I’ve heard, seen or read about Eilidh shows that she was a vivacious, fun-loving young woman with a bright future ahead of her, and I know that the community on Barra will pay her a fitting tribute. Her family are in my thoughts.”


Ms Sturgeon’s deputy,  John Swinney, along with Scottish parliament MSP’s  Humza Yousaf  and Alasdair Allan are expected to attend the funeral mass for Eilidh. You can read more about Eilidh’s funeral after it had taken place in The Guardian. Today’s funeral for Eilidh was the first funeral of a victim of the Manchester bombing.

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