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Last Updated: Sunday, 23 January, 2005, 08:35 GMT
Diary of the tsunami aid concert
Nick Dermody
Nick Dermody
BBC Wales news website

Craig David

Eric Clapton, Keane, Snow Patrol, Lulu, Embrace, Feeder, Aled Jones and the Manic Street Preachers were among the stars who graced the stage at Saturday's Tsunami Relief Cardiff concert.

It was one of the UK's biggest charity gigs since Live Aid, with 61,000 tickets sold and live screenings on the web.

Here is the diary of the day - and evening - from the heart of the Millennium Stadium.

STADIUM WEBLOG
Job well done
posted at 2310GMT

Midge Ure and DJ Edith Bowman
Live Aid co-creator Midge Ure was a surprise guest at the gig
Organiser Paul Sergeant, still wearing that lucky jumper, said the crowd had been "phenomenal". Wales has proved it could stage the event, and within just three weeks. Jools Holland and Eric Clapton appear off stage from their encore but do not stop to speak to reporters. And the crowds start their journeys home after one of Cardiff's most memorable days.

1m raised
posted at 2130GMT

It was left to Lulu to tell the Millennium Stadium crowd that the magic figure of 1m had been reached for the tsunami victims. "Do you wanna know how much you've raised?" she asked them. "1,028,409 - that makes me wanna shout!" she added before launching into the hit which she had as a teenager.

Live Aid creator
posted at 2115GMT

Live Aid co-creator Midge Ure was not expected to make it and was a surprise guest. He said Eric Clapton was his idol and he was looking forward to seeing him later on. He said he orginally expected Live Aid to take him and Bob Geldof six months to oversee and here he is 20 years later still working with it. "I've realised it is a job for life". He called on the public to lend them their "help, money, opinion and strength and character" for the task of seeing through the work ot tsunami relief.

Local talent
posted at 2045GMT

James Dean Bradfield
'We all know why we're here," said the Manics' lead singer
There was a 10-minute gap before some more local talent stormed the stage - the Manic Street Preachers. James Dean Bradfield opened the set by saying; "We all know why we're here just we're going to **** go for it". Their first number was "Motorcycle emptiness". It blasted out across the stadium to prove that the manics really are a stadium band. The next two numbers were "You stole the sun from my heart" then "Empty souls". Their fourth one was "If you tolerate this your children will be next", and again drew a sea of red lights. His fellow band member Nicky Wire said it was easy to choose the running order: "You just pick the biggest hits, that's what people want to hear on a night like this".

Flying visit
posted at 2000GMT

Kelly Jones of the Stereophonics was billed as a "local lad" for his 15-minute set. The audience was told he had just flown in from France this afternoon. He looked a little pale and admitted to being "nervous". He thanked the audience for their fundraising efforts and, speaking about the countries hit by the tsunami, he said "We have got to try and get them back on track". His first number "Local boy in the photograph" saw people across the stadium rise up in a standing ovation with people near the stage being the most animated they've been all day so far. The crowd was just as responsive for the second number "Just lookin". After that he said:"I'm just on a flying visit. I hope you have a really great day. There are lots of great bands to come". And he particularly praised Goldie Lookin' Chain. His set finished with "Maybe tomorrow" to an ecstatic crowd.

Aled on GLC
posted at 1843 GMT

Aled Jones
A duet with rappers GLC could be on the cards
Off-stage Aled Jones said: "It went really well. It was the most serious thing I have ever done." He also said he was interested in working with GLC, saying he had a lot of respect for them. "It's a mutual love thing - we will see what happens". But he admitted that he was worried they were going to charge on the stage while he was on but "thankfully they were well behaved".

Aled Jones
posted at 1843 GMT

GLC's P Zain who was wearing a "Rugby for Life' t-shirt said that he preferred football or snooker to rugby and that "they would love to work with Aled Jones"

'Wicked' and 'safe'
posted at 1823 GMT

Newport's ironic rapping sensation Goldie Lookin' Chain take to the stage and prove the best so far at working the crowd. They said "you made this happen" and told them they were "wicked" and "safe" for turning out to the event. They played three numbers including "Half Man Half Machine" as nine of them took it in turns to sing and dance across the stage. They left the stage to the greatest cheers so far.

Goldie Lookin' Chain
Rappers Goldie Lookin' Chain really got the crowd going

Moments after the UK's Chancellor Gordon Brown came to the stage by video promising a new deal for countries affected by the tsunami. He told the crowd that today's concert was a "global demonstration of compassion" and said the UK Government would do its best to ease "poverty, disease and illiteracy". Latest running total was revealed as 715,190.

Beautiful thing
posted at 1803 GMT

Immediately after Rhodri Morgan Southampton-born R&B vocalist Craig David took the stage." It shows the unity, not just in the UK but in the world, at times of tragedy. It's a beautiful thing," he told me when he came off stage. Rock band Snow Patrol performed their set next and really got the 61,000 in the crowd warmed up and rocking.

Minister's message
posted at 1714 GMT

Welsh First Minister Rhodri Morgan's video message was played to the crowds. He thanked them in English and Welsh and said by coming to "Wales's very own magnfiicent Millennium Stadium" they were making it possible to raise the 1m for tsunami relief. Moments after the first minister gave his video speech DJs Alex Zane and Edith Bowman introduced the first figure for the collection so far - 606,290.

Cold snap
posted at 1635 GMT

The arena is full. Home girl Charlotte Church is singing Over the Rainbow. The first to wow the crowd was Katherine Jenkins. Many people in the crowd are pleased that the event is being held in Cardiff rather than London or Birmingham.

Mark Baker at the Tsunami Relief Souvenir Shop said merchandise was selling very well.
Mark Baker at the charity shop
Mark Baker says fleeces are selling well
"The fleeces are selling very well because of the cold," said Mark. That's easy to understand. The arena with 50,000 people in it or thereabouts is not too bad temperature wise but step out into the corridors on the way to the toilets or for something to eat or drink, and the cold blast from the stadium gates remind you that it's still cold and wet outside.

Show begins
posted at 1530 GMT

Prince Charles address is given by video message, describing the tsunami as "an awful disaster". TV presenter Edith Bowman takes to the stage, and introduces Welsh singer Katherine Jenkins.

Lights, Camera, Action
posted at 1506 GMT

The lights go up, a cheer erupts and out come the LED torches, which are being sold in place of lighters for people to hold up in tribute to the lives lost in the tsunami. The first band are Camera, from Wrexham, north Wales. The organisers sought out a new band to open the event - Camera are the band they chose.

Four men from Blackwood who have each raised 200 to wear their costumes
Jonathan, Lee, Paul and Chris from Blackwood who have each raised 200 to wear their costumes

Filling the corridors
posted at 1450 GMT

The place is beginning to fill up quickly. Corridors are now heaving with people. Groups furiously studying their tickets trying to work out where they want to go.

Video stars
posted at 1430 GMT

It's amazing what taxi drivers know. The one who brought me to the stadium told me the day will include a series of video clips from famous names and faces supporting today's event. It seems an earlier passenger was a video technician armed with messages from people including Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and Prince Charles.

But bear in mind today's concert is in Wales, and other contributors will include former rugby star Neil Jenkins, ex-Wales football manager Mark Hughes and one of Wales' current Hollywood star Catherine Zeta Jones, who is expected to appear by phone link from Mexico.



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