FOLLOWING THE DEVASTATING attack on Ariana Grande’s Manchester Arena concert this Monday (May 22), which has so far killed 22 people, the music world has offered statements of sadness and solidarity to the city. Grande herself tweeted “broken. From the bottom of my heart, I am so so sorry. I don't have words.” The messages offered by musicians extend beyond mere condolences, as they urge the city to stand united. Peter Hook, former bassist of New Order and Joy Division, two of the city’s most famous bands, said on the Radio 4’s Today Programme that hearing the news was “the worst thing I’ve ever, ever felt.”
“The people of Manchester are very resilient. Nothing will keep them down.”
Hook’s teenage daughter Jessica was attending the concert, and describes “absolute carnage” as the bomb went off. The ex-Joy Division bassist, however, closed the interview with the empowering message; “the people of Manchester are very resilient, they go for it. Nothing will keep them down.”
Fellow Lancastrian Guy Garvey, of the band Elbow, told Radio 4 the attacks were “hugely disturbing”, before adding that “the people who will be most afraid of what (the attacker) did... will be real Muslims, members of the real faith who don’t believe in violence.”
These sentiments have been echoed across the music world. Liam Gallagher offered the city and everyone involved “Love and Light”, whilst The Charlatans’ Tim Burgess added “love can hopefully overcome”. Meanwhile, Johnny Marr tweeted “Manchester stands together” before joining the band Broken Social Scene onstage at their show at Manchester’s Royal Albert Hall.
More controversially, Marr’s former Smiths bandmate Morrissey took to Facebook to criticise politicians for a perceived reluctance to cite Islamic State or condemn Islamic extremism.
Of the artists due to play big concerts in the wake of the attack, Iron Maiden declared that shows at Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena (tonight, May 24) and London’s O2 Arena (may 27 and 28) would proceed as planned.
Blondie, conversely, cancelled their show yesterday at Hackney’s Round Chapel, “out of respect”, before promptly adding that the band would look to promptly reschedule the event.
MOJO extends its sympathies, sadness and love to everyone affected.