Manchester is the worst place to hold an open air festival. Whether it is at Old Trafford or Heaton Park it’s always raining even on what is supposed to be summer. It is with great effect that it emptied down at the Hungry Pigeon Festival's main show in Piccadilly Gardens slap bang in the city centre.

It was with great relief that the music was great and Athlete were on form as usual. Even the failure of Joel Pott's guitar midway through the show failed to dampen spirits. Starting with 'El Salvador', this is what everyone was waiting for patiently.

Playing tracks mainly from recent album 'Black Swan' and 2005's excellent Tourist, this band are tighter than ever and the banter between the audience and group was immense fun. It was great to see how their song writing style of play has come into its own.

'Black Swan', written in tribute lead singer Joel Pott’s grandfather Major John Pott, who led a party of paratroopers into the battle of Arnhem in September 1944, leaves the audience awe-struck and is perhaps the most fitting war memorial since Flanders Field. Not enough can be written about this song and criss-cross vocals from Carey Willetts really adds toits dimensions.

With the impending World Cup, Athlete dedicated the title track on 'Tourist' to anyone English living/surviving in the US to some amusement.

The band ended the show with crowd sing-along 'Wires'. Yes, it was raining and it was also uncomfortably humid, but we were entertained. What other festival have you ever been to where there is a Starbucks and Wetherspoon’s a stone's throw away from the stage? Nice.

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Commenting On: Piccadilly Gardens, Manchester, 29/5/2010 - Athlete

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