I was about to go to bed when I heard it. A breaking news report on ‘Radio Manchester’ about an explosion just up the road at the Arena. I live just 3 miles away and could hear sirens and feel the sudden shift in the weight of the atmosphere. Like a great many others, I stayed up that night, offering our spare room as a refuge and awaiting any takers. Nobody contacted me, so I got a couple of hours broken sleep and then awoke to a new day.
The air was still thick and the sirens still sounded, but the enduring memory I will have is that of the vigil held less than 24 hours after the events in Albert Square. I was at the back, so heard little of what was being said up front, however the shear togetherness and love that was on show from everybody there was unbelievably powerful. People of all faiths and nationalities gathered together without fear for what was a show of the strength and togetherness we have here in our fine, multicultural city.
People clapped and chanted together ‘Manchester, la la la’, which echoed around the square and seemed to fill everybody with a sense of hope. I have never felt so proud to be a Mancunian in my life, or to be a human for that matter. We are made all the richer by the fact that people can come here from anywhere in the world and build a life for themselves and call this city their home.
My heart goes out to anybody who has senselessly lost their life or a loved one in any attack of this nature anywhere in the world and as we move on through these frightening times, I think we can at least take solace in the fact that our spirit remains intact if not stronger. I feel honoured to have our track featured amongst so many amazing artists who call this city home.