Mark Cunliffe 🌹 Vote Labour 🌹’s review published on Letterboxd:
We Stand Together.
I must admit, being 37 and therefore hardly her target demographic, I hadn't even heard of Ariana Grande before the horrific attack in Manchester on 22nd May. But last night, like an estimated 14 million others, I sat and watched the concert she put together as a benefit for the families of the victims and the survivors of that terrorist attack and discovered an appreciation of a slight and slender 23 year old girl who arguably will carry the weight of that incident for some time but can take heart at what she achieved in response. I can't say I'm ever really going to be a fan of her music, but she's more than alright by me. I fully support the petition that has started today calling for her to be given the freedom of Manchester, and I think you should sign it too.
Sticking with age though, it has to be said that you know you're getting on when you can't recognise the majority of tunes or performers. Even the performers I knew from notoriety terms (hello Miley Cyrus) I had never consciously heard anything of theirs. Wave after wave appeared to a nonplussed me whose only reaction to their performances were an appreciation of taking the time out to stand together with Manchester. I could only really identify Take That, Robbie Williams (though I wish I couldn't identify these - and give it up Robbie, you can't sing) Pharrel Williams, Black Eyed Peas, Imogen Heap, Katy Perry....and then the two that meant the most to me.
I perked up for Coldplay.
But I went supersonic for Liam.
It seems churlish to pick holes with something that came from such a strong and loving place but I do wish the BBC would have put some talent together and shown some respect for their broadcast of this concert. As a presenter/commentator, Sara Cox was passable enough, but Ore Oduba was utterly woeful and talking over the words of Muhammed Ali before Liam's set (losing all sense of what was being said simply for him to tell us it was Muhammed Ali speaking!) was unforgiveable. So you won Strictly Come Dancing? Big deal! Clearly someone who is a little bit too in love with the sound of his own voice, forgetting what everyone was united together for. Amateur hour, BBC. Amateur hour.