Roxette in Manchester


My, but we’re good at singing in Manchester! And by ‘we’ I don’t include myself, since I neither do voice or lyrics with any great success. But the rest of the thousands of people at the MEN last night knew their Roxette. I was both surprised and not surprised to hear this was Per Gessle’s and Marie Fredriksson’s first Manchester concert. Normally people don’t know who you mean if you mention Roxette, and they are probably less well known in the UK. But the crowd at the MEN knew the lyrics and – as I said – they sang well. Better than most audience participation I’ve come across.


They got us in a good mood starting with Dressed For Success, Sleeping In My Car and The Big L, and let’s face it; we had already been hanging around for an hour and a half by then. Mim Grey who had the thankless task of warming us up, was perfectly adequate, but it wasn’t her we’d come to hear. Her songs were fine and she’s got a good voice, as well as the courage to chat to thousands who have little interest in the first act.


Never having heard either Per or Marie speak English before, I was impressed. They sound good, and the Swedish-ism at the end might even have been intentional. ‘Our’ singing was encouraged by them, whether or not we knew the lyrics. But when they fell silent, the audience continued without faltering, and for some length of time. Well done, ‘us’!


Grateful I wasn’t down on the floor, as they all stood up from the word go, and it would have involved nearly two hours of non-stop standing, and possibly dancing. Some people came to the empty bit of floor at the back and did their own dance routines by themselves.


They promised us some new or recent material, but for the most part we got all the old songs. And to be honest; that’s what many of us came for. For a venue that doesn’t allow cameras there can’t have been more than a few hundred in constant use, looking like a friendly flotilla of little boats in the dark sea of the MEN.


The stage lighting was very well done, with attractive colours and not too much strobing at the audience. Per and one or two of the others did a lot of jumping up and down, but that could have been boyish exuberance at work. I wondered if we too had to stand up when they burst into a rocky God Save the Queen. Had this been the good old days we’d not only have had to stand, but that would have been the – premature – end.

Marie Fredriksson

They ‘finished’ with Joyride, but the lack of houselights suggested we’d get more, and there were two more, before I suspected they’d done a ‘Roger Whittaker’ and bunked off for their hotel. But no, they had not. They were back for a final Church Of Your Heart, and they took their time over it. Good to see Marie and Per courteously leaving last, and not running either, but stopping on the way out to bow from the corner.


Good stuff, from a neighbourhood close to my old one.



9 responses to “Roxette in Manchester

  1. Pingback: Adèle, Mary and Philip | Bookwitch

  2. Pingback: World Tour 2012: Manchester, UK – July 4 #117 « Roxette Blog

  3. Nice review. But what do you mean by Swedish-ism?

  4. If it had been a chat in Swedish they would have said ‘ta hand om varann’ and translated it word for word, which sounds un-English. But actually much more caring.

  5. I have done all three Roxette’s shows in the UK this week, and by far the Manchester show and crowd was the best (I am bias I live in Greater Manchester!), fantastic performances from Per, Marie and the band, it was Chris who played “God Save the Queen” and did, “Scotland the Brave” in Glasgow.

    I cannot sit down at a Roxette show, I was stood up (front row) as soon as the last track was played (the pre show music is picked by Gessle!), you get to know the routine of the show and what is happening, but I never get bored… this was my 9th Roxette show from this current tour which started in 2010. Marie has gone from strength to strength which each show she does, she was so fragile when she made her comeback in 2009 with Per in Amsterdam on his Party Crasher Tour, it is amazing to see her now on the stage!

    I am so glad they played in Manchester (finally!) and the security was great at the front, much better than Wembley last year!

  6. You English people are really loud! Not as much as in South America, but you did great! Nice review, by the way.

  7. Wow, Ally, that’s fantastic! I am clearly not applying myself enough. But read the sad story of the missed dress rehearsal for the tour here:

    I remember arriving in Sweden on the day ten years ago when Marie’s illness was made public, and reading the headlines outside every newsagents’. I’m glad she has done so well.

    Thank you, Mister M.

  8. I was lucky enough to be at their Manchester gig and wow what a night it was just amazing …. Thanks roxette x

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