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Black Sabbath (live at the Manchester Arena)

18 December 2013

Pantomime season is once more upon us, and the heaviest and most bludgeoning pantomime of all is rolling into town. My first ever concert was Black Sabbath – a scary 38 years ago, and so when a friend who couldn’t make this week’s reunion tour offered me his ticket at a Christmas party last weekend, I was sufficiently inebriated to be unable to refuse.

Arriving at the vast and horribly-named Phones 4U Arena (the largest venue in the EU apparently) in the sober twilight of early evening, I was having serious reservations. I generally avoid venues which are big enough to not be on first name terms with the audience. On top of that, Bill Ward won’t be present and Ozzy‘s lifestyle hasn’t been kind to his voice – oh dear. On the other hand, I felt similarly sceptical about this year’s 13 album, which turned out

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