Manchester attack: Charlatans takeover 'not about us anymore'

Tim Burgess
Image caption Tim Burgess, lead singer of the Charlatans, said the Oldham Street event was now a "chance to spend time together"

A takeover of one of Manchester's busiest streets by one its biggest musical exports became a celebration of live music in the wake of Monday's terror attack, the band said.

Since completing their 13th studio album, The Charlatans have been busy planning a transformation of Oldham Street with gigs, signings and photography exhibitions.

With its record stores, venues and pubs, the Northern Quarter street is already well-known to music lovers in the city.

Initially aiming to promote Different Days, lead singer Tim Burgess said the attack at the city's Arena meant the day was now "a chance to spend time together".

"It's not about us anymore," he said.

"It was meant to be a celebration of the album, but obviously it's now taken on a very different significance.

"I didn't know if there would be more or less people here, but [the turnout] is amazing."

Image caption Music fans queued for signings and gigs at various record shops and venues on Oldham Street

Fans of the band travelled from as far as Ireland and the south coast to be at the event, with many attendees wanting to "show what's important about Manchester".

Mandy Ashton, 35, from Middleton, said: "I wasn't going to come, but because of what happened you've got to be together and show solidarity.

"There will have been people at that gig who have been put off going to concerts forever, which is just tragic.

"It's heartbreaking as it should have been the best night of those young people's lives."

Image caption Mandy Ashton said she attended to help "show what's important about Manchester"

Russ Hope, 38, a DJ from Macclesfield, said he decided to attend to "be a part of some good vibes when we need some".

"We're all fans of music here, we should be able to enjoy the passion of music and that's why I've come down," he said.

"We still need to celebrate the stuff we love."

Across the road from a secret acoustic set by the Charlatans at a disused shoe store, a lengthy queue formed to get a tattoo of a Manchester bee, the city's emblem, at a studio.

Donations of £50 are being used to help support the families of those killed and injured after the Ariana Grande concert.

Image caption People queued outside Holier Than Thou in Oldham Street on Friday morning for Manchester bee tattoos

John Newton, who travelled up from Lewes in East Sussex, said: "After the tragic events in the city, we wanted to come up to Manchester for the first time.

"The event has a different feel to it, as it's all still very visible with the police presence and the flowers.

"It's all about Manchester and music bringing people together."

Image caption John Newton was visiting Manchester for the first time

The city's busy schedule of live music events rolls on, with Dot to Dot Festival filling venues across Manchester and the Courteeners playing at Old Trafford cricket ground on Saturday.

Mr Hope added: "I think the DJ Dave Haslam summed it up when he said, 'you've got the wrong city if you think hate will tear us apart'."

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