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Simple Minds Take The stage In Manchester

(VIP-NEWS) — Bands and fans have returned to Manchester`s music venues, a day after the attack on Manchester Arena – led by Simple Minds, who said cancelling their show would have felt "cowardly".

Many of their fans agreed, saying they would not let the bomb stop them.

But hundreds stayed away from the gig because it was "too soon" after 22 people died at an Ariana Grande show.

Simple Minds singer Jim Kerr told the Bridgewater Hall crowd: "We would have felt cowardly just leaving town."

Their concert was the biggest gig in the city on Tuesday, and Kerr began by delivering a speech about the dilemma they faced in light of the previous night`s events.

"This morning when we woke there was a decision to be made – do we play or do we cancel and leave town?" he said.

"I`m sure if we had done that, everybody would have understood. But we would have felt cowardly."

With the rest of the band lined up on stage, he added: "When we went through the band and spoke to the crew, everybody wanted to play. There was no doubt about that."

Before launching into the gig, he asked the audience to "take one minute to meditate and we`ll play a bit of music and think of the victims of last night and their families".

The crowd spontaneously rose to their feet and stood in silence as reflective pre-recorded music was played.

There were empty seats, though. The show had been sold out, but when the gig started, on my level, around 80% of ticketholders had turned up.

The venue`s capacity is 2,300 – meaning several hundred decided to stay away.

Many ticket-holders had earlier said they didn`t agree with the decision to go ahead.