Girls Aloud’s Triumphant Return to Manchester
by Northern Life
The much-anticipated return of iconic girl group Girls Aloud is set to take centre stage at Manchester’s AO Arena in May of this year.
Although there were initially two shows announced, on the 23rd and 24th, an extra date was added to the mix due to the overwhelming demand for tickets. The Girls Aloud Show will be the first time that the group has performed together in over 10 years, and the enthusiasm among fans is palpable.
Girls Aloud’s Legacy and Impact
Formed on ‘Popstars: The Rivals’, the reality TV show back in 2002, Girls Aloud shot to fame almost overnight with their debut single “Sound of the Underground”. The members of the group charmed audiences with their unique style that blended pop and dance music, culminating in both tour and award success.
After a sustained period of success with best-selling albums like ‘Out Of Control,’ Girls Aloud announced a hiatus in 2013 so that the members could pursue individual projects. During this time, they each took a different path. Cheryl became a beloved X Factor judge, Nicola released solo music, and Sarah took part in Celebrity Big Brother. Nadine launched her own bar and restaurant business, and Kimberley dabbled in acting and writing children’s books.
In what has been over two decades since Girls Aloud first burst onto the scene, the legacy they have left is clear. They’ve inspired subsequent girl groups and other artists to embrace their unique sound, and many fans credit them for shaping their adolescence with songs that spoke to their experiences.
The AO Arena and Its Significance
Since it opened in 1995 under a different name, Manchester’s AO Arena quickly became one of the UK’s busiest indoor arenas. Throughout the history of the venue, some of the biggest names in music have graced its stage. From Madonna to Oasis and from Beyonce to Coldplay, they’ve all left their mark on this incredible venue.
For Girls Aloud themselves, the venue has been a mainstay, featuring in almost all of their concert tours in the past. In fact, they performed three shows at the arena just a couple of weeks prior to going on hiatus. The upcoming Girls Aloud Show is sure to bring back some memories for the group, particularly considering that this time they will be performing without Sarah, who tragically passed away after a battle with breast cancer in 2021.
Exploring Manchester Before the Concert
One of the benefits of the AO Arena being in such a prime location is that it’s really easy to find other activities to do nearby. Once you travel to Manchester Victoria Station, you’ll be right next to the venue and only a six-minute walk away from Town Hall and its clock tower, which is one of the best places to see great views of the city. Given the location and the ease of getting around, those travelling to see Girls Aloud will be able to easily master Manchester in a day, before taking in the concert at night.
One interesting way to spend some time during the day is at the People’s History Museum. This is a museum dedicated to the lives, stories, and struggles of working people throughout the ages. It has compelling exhibits and is sure to provoke some thinking in you about the changes and movements that the UK has seen throughout history.
Another good way to take in some Mancunian culture before the concert is to wander around the Northern Quarter. This is where you’ll find quirky coffee shops, independent boutique stores, and plenty of street art. While you’re in this area, consider stopping by the Port Street Beer House. The Beer House is renowned for its extensive selection of craft beers and ales from all over the world and is the perfect place to have a couple of drinks before the night begins.
With even more time to kill, both the John Rylands Library and the Manchester Cathedral are worth a look. The former is a book lover’s dream with many rare books and manuscripts, while the latter provides a glimpse into the city’s mediaeval history.
For those lucky enough to make it to AO Arena in May, The Girls Aloud Show is sure to be an incredible night that sparks all kinds of nostalgia. Make the most of your time in Manchester beforehand, and then soak up every moment of what will potentially be your last chance to see this iconic girl group perform.