The Smiths ‘Ask’
It feels like only weeks ago I was tip-toeing around a difficult subject matter, trying to find the right words to acknowledge a terrorist attack in the country. Sadly I am in the same position today, in the aftermath of a bombing at Manchester Arena during an Ariana Grande concert. I don’t feel I can add very much to the dialogue – most news and social media channels are completely saturated with speculation, but maybe by offering one more compassionate view on last nights events, I can tip the scale away from those who would use this as an excuse to spew hatred. Hatred is exactly what the person or people behind this want. Hatred is what drove him to walk into a crowd of children and teenagers, full of joy and excitement at seeing their favourite singer perform, to see those children and teenagers chatting, happy, and to detonate a bomb full of nails. Last night, Mancunians were quick to offer help to those affected, whether it came in the form of open houses, free taxi rides, hotel stays, first aid, or in the incredible work of the emergency services, who no doubt saved lives last night. News outlets quite rightly praised the people of Manchester for their selflessness, but I don’t think anyone should be surprised. I truly believe that deep down, most people are intrinsically good, and we’ve seen these quiet heroes in their hundreds the world over, in response to tragedy and natural disaster. Last nights events feel all the more raw for those of us who live and work in the music industry, for any attack on live music seems like an attack on our way of life, our very reason for getting up in the morning – which is why we absolutely cannot stop supporting live music in the wake of these events. We need to be resilient, as well as kind and compassionate, and to protect our country’s proud tradition of brilliant live music. Manchester in particular has a longstanding reputation for birthing musical greats; from Oasis to The Chemical Brothers. For that reason, today’s Track Of The Day comes from my favourite Manchester band, The Smiths, with what is possibly their most uplifting song. Enjoy.