As per the t-shirt motive on entering the O2 Apollo in Manchester, the phrase ‘loud and slow‘ stood out. After grabbing a £6.80 pint or some trendy looking Indian Pale Ale, I took my seat: MM16. An aisle seat 4 rows back from the stalls. The view was unobstructed and two seats to my left marked that Mum and Paul could sadly not make it. A few rows to the right many empty seats indicated the gig hadn’t sold out, which was a shame. Sigur Ros began their show by 9pm.
The seductive smooth dramatic and dreamy tunes smoothly slid from stage to ears, transporting the crowd of listeners to planets, spaces and dimensions. Through one number tragedy could be visited. Through another track, a guttural feeling of remembering someone lost. Yet more tracks provided exhilarating adventures. The band mixed some recent and catalogue tracks to a grateful audience.
Fast forward a few days and to the city of Leeds. My brother Shaun and I went to see the dramatic semifinal between New Zealand and Australia. The Kangaroos edged an enthralling encounter 16-14 over a super Kiwi squad. England lost to Samoa by one point the next day to set up a final at Old Trafford Swamp. The Rugby League World Cup 2021, played in 2022 has been fantastic for sport, but deserves a bigger crowd, even with 28,113 at Elland Road in Leeds.
The train journey and tram back to Newton Heath via Leeds and Rochdale was slow, to bring the exhilaration of a great noisy rugby experience back to earth. The train journey called via Mytholmroyd where The Iron Man has been illustrated bybstudents and placed along the platform. Good to see Ted Hughes being celebrated.