In December, my best friend and I booked tickets to see our favourite band, Bastille! This would be the 5th time we were seeing them live. The only difference was, they didn’t have a tour date in Leeds. We both live in small Yorkshire villages so usually, Leeds is the nearest city to us when it comes to seeing them live on tour!
But this time, it wasn’t an ordinary Bastille gig, it was a ReOrchestrated tour. They had a choir and an orchestra and it was a simply startling performance.
But first things first, because we were venturing out of Leeds all the way to Manchester, we decided to make a day out of it. I’ve visited Manchester a couple of times to visit friends but I’ve always visited the same places… The shopping centres mainly! My Mum is a Mancunian so her side of the family still live there, in Altrincham so it’s not like I’ve never visited Manchester before!
Whenever Ella and I meet up, food always comes first. The conversation usually goes something like this…
“Right, PLEASE can we eat first?”
“Oh my god yes, I’m staaaarving!”
“Same, I’m so glad we’re on the same page.”
So, after seeing photos on Instagram and a recommendation from my Mum and Dad, we decided to head to Mackie Mayor on Eagle Street. This restaurant is in a breathtaking grade II listed building and as soon as you walk in, you immediately go wide-eyed. It was refurbished towards the end of 2017 and it’s now absolutely stunning! It’s similar to The Corn Exchange in Leeds, a bit of a hive for food and drink businesses. There is a lower and upper ground with plenty of seating! It has a semi-industrial look and feel to it and the food and drink is a bonus! Whether you fancy a stone-baked pizza or rotisserie chicken, you’re spoilt for choice! I would highly recommend even if you just want a glass of wine in a pretty venue.
Next, we wanted to see the street art! Living in a small village, you don’t see any impressive street art around – you sometimes come across the occasional graffiti tag but nothing worth taking a photo of!
When I visited London a couple of weeks ago, I was blown away by the colourful walls and the talented street artist in Camden!
I knew about one of the wall murals in Manchester and that was The 22 Bees. This mural is a tribute to the lives that were tragically lost at the Manchester Arena attacks last year.
“The bee was adopted as a motif for Manchester during the industrial revolution but has now been seized on as an image of solidarity following the horrific events at Manchester Arena.”
Granted, it took us a while to find it as we’re both terrible with directions but after the help of my brother who lives in Manchester and our good old friend google maps, we found it! It’s an amazing tribute.
Ella had spotted a lovely bee mural on Instagram and we were determined to find it! After walking around in circles for a while, we finally found it hidden away on Houldsworth Street!
It was definitely worth the walking around to spot it because the detail on the bee was just stunning! I envy the artist for being so talented.
The majority of the street art is in and around the Northern Quarter so that’s where you should head towards if you want to see it all!
I’m not going to lie, we walked around a lot. We walked around a lot of the same streets because neither of us know Manchester well at all! My heels already had blisters on from stupidly wearing my wellies without socks the day before so my feet were in agony!
So what do you do in this situation? Get a drink of course! We wanted to visit Allotment after a recommendation from a friend but we came across Ply Bar and decided to go in there instead. It was really funky and the staff were super friendly! It was a very relaxed atmosphere and I could have stayed in there a lot longer! We both had a cocktail and oh myyyy, they were delicious! If you decide to go, I can certainly recommend the “Pantone Two Eleven” and the “First Day Of Summer” – thank me later!
It was getting closer and closer to 7pm and we were getting so excited about seeing Bastille again! We decided to walk to the O2 Apollo from the Northern Quarter, it took about 20 minutes but it was nice to just have a chat while we walked!
It was such a strange feeling walking into a room full of theatre chairs. I honestly felt like I was about to watch a musical or a pantomime rather than my favourite band! The support acts were great, there was Charlie Barnes who tours with Bastille anyway and he was wonderful followed by To Kill A King, who were bloody brilliant! I haven’t stopped listening to them all day. They even brought Bastille onto the stage 40 minutes before their set so that was exciting! Ralph Pelleymounter, the lead singer has a great voice. During the Bastille set, Dan announced that they were releasing an album together after performing one of their songs and I must say, I can’t wait!
I can’t even put into words how much I loved the gig last night. Seeing Bastille perform their songs in a totally different style made me so emotional! I think this is because I’ve followed them from the beginning, with tickets costing just £10 the first time we saw them! My favourite song in the world is “Flaws” and admittedly, I bawled all the way through. The choir added a beautiful touch and a lot of old memories came flooding back and I felt overwhelmed (but in a good way)!
The entire set was fantastic and it was actually quite nice how we could sit down between songs and just embrace the music rather than getting barged around and trying to push through a crowd of sweaty people to get the best possible view of Dan!
They announced they were releasing a new album *VERY* soon and I can’t control my excitement! Seeing your favourite band live is a feeling like no other and I always feel on top of the world after seeing them.
After a hilarious train journey home sat by some drunken men who had been at the football, we eventually arrived home (thanks to my boyfriend for picking us up at 1am!) I was absolutely exhausted when I woke up for work but it was all worth it! We had such a fun day and it’s definitely made me want to visit more cities throughout the year!
I’ll leave you with these photos of my bestie and I posing by the street art! Hope you enjoyed reading about my little trip!