THE CORRS @ MCR ARENA – 24/01/16

Last night, the Arena welcomed The Corrs’ White Light tour to Manchester. The Irish band, who have been inactive for almost 10 years in order to raise families and pursue solo careers, announced their come back early last year, and in November released their sixth studio album and first for a decade, ‘White Light’. The Corrs brought with them country duo ‘The Shires’.

Singer-songwriters Ben Earle and Crissie Rhodes greeted the filling arena before descending into a distinctly country sound. The English pair, formed in 2013, instantly had the crowd clapping along to their upbeat opening record ‘All Over Again’.  The deceivingly English name contrasts their American musical influence, with lyrics describing “Nashville skies”, wishfully transporting the venue to a sunny Tennessee. Rhodes introduced the title track of their debut album ‘Brave’, the first ever from a UK country act to achieve top ten in the UK Album Chart. The band, who take inspiration from American group Lady Antebellum, continued to rock the arena with songs ‘Friday Night’ and ‘Jekyll and Hyde’, before performing a slowed down version of Dolly Parton and Kenny Rodgers’ ‘Islands in the stream’, during which they encouraged the audience to use their phones to light up the night. The set finished with ‘Tonight’ and cheers from the audience, who would surely be listening to them again.

At 8.30, the arena was enveloped in a powerful drum solo before the curtain dropped to reveal The Corrs siblings Andrea, Sharon, Caroline and Jim. The band opened with the first single from their new album, ‘I Do What I Like’, before dancing into ‘Give me a reason’, which was released back in 2000. An array of light bulbs hung from the stage creating a magical effect of lanterns, before Andrea took out her tin whistle to perform ‘Forgiven Not Forgotten’ and ‘Bring on the night’.

“Manchester, let’s have a brilliant night!”

Both lifelong and new fans of the talented musicians were treated to both past and present material, as the band continued their set with crowd favourites ‘What Can I Do’ and ‘Radio’, both released in the late 90s. Andrea highlighted the band’s loyal worldwide support by welcoming those who had travelled from Australia, Italy and Mexico, before returning back to their roots with a performance of ‘Lough Erin Shore’, which saw Caroline take to the bodhran, a traditional Celtic drum.

The band contrasted their energetic performance of ‘Runaway’ with the emotional ‘With Me Stay’, written about the death of their mother, before accepting a gift from an eager fan, a cushion in the shape of a heart, which remained with Andrea for the rest of the set. ‘Ellis Island’ highlighted the band’s thought about emigration, before they resumed their nod towards their Celtic heritage by singing in Irish. Andrea and co radiated youthful energy, as the lead vocalist bounced around the stage through the remainder of the set, with the crowd on their feet for ‘Queen of Hollywood’ , the much loved Fleetwood Mac cover of ‘Dreams’ and finishing with the hit ‘So Young’, off their second album ‘Talk On Corners’, released in 1998.

The band were greeted by cheers and applause as they entered the stage to complete their encore. The first few notes of ‘Breathless’ were enough to get the crowd back on their feet, before they played Manchester out with a cover of the traditional folk song ‘Toss the feathers’ from across the Irish Sea.

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