LIVE: Neck Deep at The O2 Apollo, Manchester

Neck Deep live at the O2 Apollo Manchester | Read our report as Neck Deep bring The Peace and The Panic tour to Manchester | GigList live
Posted: 17 October 2017 Words: Kerri Wynter

On the final day of the UK leg, Neck Deep bring The Peace and The Panic tour to Manchester.

A sense of care and community occupies the room. Throughout the night, the idea that those suffering from mental illness are "not alone" is shared. The organisation, Hope For the Day, present a few powerful words after Linkin Park is played through the venue's speakers. And as Neck Deep make their way to the stage, the audience is reminded that they are no different from them. A police-siren-like display of blue and red lights flash before the intro to Happy Judgement Day rings out. And as the curtain drops, screams greet Neck Deep. Now able to afford real fire as opposed to the fake flames that featured at their first ever gig; Neck Deep have also managed to carry the support ofย  "one of the five" attendees through to today's show. The welsh pop-punkers draw an interesting crowd; with generations, old and young, relating to the band's songs that deal with love, heartbreak, and death. No matter if it is fire-fuelled or acoustic, Neck Deep offers a show for all. Wearing a Manchester United football shirt, Ben Barlow (vocals) states that the city "feels like home." Continuing to build a connection with the audience, the vocalist shares that his late father was from the Capital of the North. With music being the "best therapy," Barlow and bassist Fil Thorpe-Evans (whom also recently suffered the loss of his father) go onto to perform the most heart-touching song of the night, Wish You Were Here. It is clear that headlining Manchester's O2 Apollo holds meaning to each band member. Guitarist Matt West shares that he was here, sat "5 rows back" watching My Chemical Romance perform years ago. But humbleness still lies at the centre of their act, as Barlow reminds the audience: "...if you want to be up on this stage, doing what we're doing - you can." You would think the cannons of confetti covering the crowd mark the end of the show. However, No Limit by 2 Unlimited pumps through the airways - it is unclear whether this is a nod to the 'Madchester' scene or just an assured way of going out with a bang. But either way, it works. Before they embark on the EU leg of the tour, the band have taken to Twitter to share that the night was "a literal dream come true..."

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