'We came back stronger': Busker sings songs of defiance after Manchester terror attack

Telegraph Reporters
The busker, Sam Fairbrother, said he had given up his usual plan of playing for money elsewhere in the city - Arj Singh/PA

Manchester's Piccadilly Gardens was packed with workers on their lunch break listening to a busker singing songs of defiance after Monday night's terror attack.

Hundreds of Mancunians sat in the sun-drenched central square eating lunch and listening to the musician, who sang songs such as All You Need Is Love by the Beatles.

The singer even adapted the lyrics of Bob Marley's Everything's Gonna Be Alright to include a reference to the 1996 IRA bomb that struck the city.

"We were all right in the 90s and came back stronger," he sang.

As music venues announced their plans to host Tuesday night gigs as planned, citizens left impromptu tributes on paper placed on a table outside Cass Art, on Oldham Street in the Northern Quarter.

Messages included "stay strong" and "hope not fear" as life in the northern part of the city centre appeared to return to relative normality after the attack, which killed 22 people, including children, after US pop star Ariana Grande finished her performance at Manchester Arena.

The busker, 30-year-old Sam Fairbrother from Sale, said he had given up his usual plan of playing for money elsewhere in the city.

"I woke up at 5am and heard the news and I was just crying," he said.

"I just thought I had to do something so I've come down here to play three songs on a loop all day and I'm not asking for money, it's not about that."

Key articles | Manchester Arena explosion

In a Facebook post he called on "musicians and lovers alike" to gather in Piccadilly Gardens to sing All We Need Is Love.

"Let's gather in music and strength to again confirm we stand as one," he added.

Elsewhere, well-wishers left floral tributes outside St Ann's Church in the city centre.

A woman leaves flowers outside St Ann's Church in Manchester Credit: Ben Birchall/PA

Among the messages was one on the front of a pink envelope which read: "Stay Strong The People Of Manchester. You'll Never Walk Alone."

Another read: "Bless You All To The People of Manchester. My Heart Goes Out To You All. Love Will Always Come Through In The End."

A makeshift poster read: "Manchester City. We Stand United. 22 Lost Souls Will Be Remembered Forever Always.

"Never Forget. Never Forgotten 22/5/17".

Suicide bomber targets Ariana Grande concert in Manchester

Another card said:"We Will Not Give In. We Will Not Give Up. We Will Not Fail. We Will Survive."

On the pavement in Albert Square, someone had written in chalk: "We are grieving today but we are strong" alongside an emergency number and the number for the anti-terror hotline.

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