Tea, pies, Darth Vader and Sumner: The Adidas Coronation Street party

How did I end up dancing at a bus stop on Britain's most famous street to New Order surrounded by stormtroopers?
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How did I end up dancing at a bus stop on Britain's most famous street to New Order surrounded by stormtroopers?

photos by twitter.com/deadbloke

I don't watch Coronation Street, or any soaps, or even much TV any more. The last time I sat down to watch the goings on in Weatherfield Stan and Hilda were in residence, that cat was still stuck on the roof and Brian Tilsley was getting stabbed outside a nightclub. The trauma was so much for his mum Ivy that she took solace in plastic surgery and singing karaoke on The Word

But such is the lure of TV’s, if not Britain’s, most famous street that when the invitation dropped on the Sabotage Times doormat to turn up there at 7pm on a Saturday for a mysterious ‘Adidas Street Party’ that I forwent another night in the pub and headed over the Pennines. Well, that and I am rather partial to the odd pair of Adidas trainers.

Finding the correct entrance at Granada proved something of an obstacle, negotiating the various photographers and small groups of young trendy people who were gravitating to the studios. Trendy these days seems to be a combination of Timmy Mallet, Huckelberry Finn and lots of tattoos. And the lads were dressed in a similar fashion. It comes as a relief that I am no longer trendy. Not that I ever was.

Entrance found and pass in hand it was off to swank it up in the VIP area, with still little idea when was actually going to happen and what I was doing there. After an amusing Alan Partridge style incident where one celebrity's Lynn equivalent jumped the backed up VIP queue to ask for his pass, we were free to enjoy the luxuries of free salad, cake and booze. Oddly enough not much meat or pie based snacks though.

They didn't let us down. Barney  and co ripped through the best Bad Lieutenant songs, and a smattering of New Order favourites, all accompanied by Barney's trademark inappropriate yelps.

With the mystery deepening as to what I and the various actors and musicians tucking into the salad that anyone who isn't me and watches telly and knows the charts would recognise were there to witness, we were finally led out.

What we were greeted by was rather impressive. Very impressive in fact. The whole of Coronation Street - the Coronation Street off the telly - decked in bunting, various Adidas memorabilia fixed to the walls and the best part of 400 of the young trendy types from outside sat on benches at tables stretching the length of the street tucking into all manner of foodstuff from strawberries to sausages and chocolate cake to pork pies. Pork pies! We didn't get them in the VIP room. Noticing that the young trendy types didn't seem to be particularly appreciative of pork pies, I leaned over and pilfered as many as I could. Not expecting much, I was pleasantly surprised to find them very agreeable. A good amount of jelly, succulent meat and crispy pastry. Though the top crust was slightly soggy if I'm nitpicking.

So, time for a stroll down the street. Past The Kabin, over to the Rovers Return - the most popular photo opportunity spot - and round the corner onto Rosamund Street where it was time to settle down at the bus stop opposite Barlow's Bookies, finish off the pork pies and wait and see what was going to happen next. What did happen next was a rather bizarre walking Adidas box which baffled me, and then the equally bizarre and unexpected procession of Darth Vader and a bunch of stormtroopers down the street, where they proceeded to guard the 'new Weatherfield Adidas Originals store' next to Roy's Rolls.

There followed an acoustic set, outside Roy's Rolls, by someone who I didn't catch the name of, as I kept having to move from my seat at the bus stop as lasses who watched the programme seemed excited to have their photos taken by it. The street party young trendy people then came through and the first band of the night came on - The Whip, introduced by Robot Wars' Craig Charles. Not a band I'd heard of, but their chunky rocking electro was pretty good, like early Chemical Brothers.

A big screen then showed a new Adidas advert based on the cantina scene from Star Wars, which I guess explains the presence of Darth and pals, something with Snoop Doggy Dogg going on about Manchester and Adidas and a little video of getting more svelte as he gets older whilst most blokes get fatter Ian Brown having a pint in the Rovers. Which also made me want a pint in the Rovers but when I tried the door was shut.

By this time, what had started off as a blazing sunny early evening, turned into a more typical Mancunian rain shower. This made it easy to spot the people who'd come on the coach from London. They were the ones who'd grabbed the free Adidas umbrellas. We don't mind getting wet in the North. After Badly Drawn Boy did a spot of busking outside Roy's Rolls - a popular spot for musos - it was made known that the headlining act on the stage by the side of The Rovers Return would be Bad Lieutenant, the band made up by New Order minus Peter Hook. I was now excited, having seen them a few months back in Manchester and being a big New Order fan.

the famous Coronation Street cobbles were ankle deep in discarded teapots, beer bottles and broken Adidas umbrellas

They didn't let us down. Barney  and co ripped through the best Bad Lieutenant songs, and a smattering of New Order favourites, all accompanied by Barney's trademark inappropriate yelps. It was a far better gig than when I last saw them, really tight and the sound was excellent given we were outside. The bus stop proved both an excellent viewpoint above the smattering of softies with umbrellas, and an ace impromptu dancefloor. The set was topped off with Love Will Tear Us Apart which got some of the younger lot dancing, when they'd previously looked on a bit baffled at middle aged lads and lasses leaping around to Temptation.  The set list from memory and not necessarily in the right order so you're welcome to correct me in the comments section below was:

Sink or Swim

Regret

Crystal

Shine Like The Sun

This is Home

Twist of Fate

Tighten Up

Losing Control

Temptation

Love Will Tear Us Apart

The band departed, the masses were feeling the effects of the free booze, the famous Coronation Street cobbles were ankle deep in discarded teapots, beer bottles and broken Adidas umbrellas. Like minded individuals who'd previously shunned the umbrellas were now scavenging for intact ones to flog on eBay as the security staff moved us back down to the top end of the street where Craig Charles was about to DJ with a selection of funk and soul. And on that note it was time for the trip back over the Pennines, with a few pork pies for the journey as I couldn't find an umbrella.

I might not have watched Coronation Street for 25 years, back when Adidas were still making the kind of trainers I like, Return of the Jedi had not long stopped playing in cinemas and New Order were in their prime, and I've no intention of watching it again but I fancy I might pick myself up another pair of trainers. Maybe even some Adidas ones.