Olympians join Kraftwerk at Velodrome show
Beijing heroes accompany techno-pioneers
Well, if you’re a band obsessed with cycling and you’re playing a gig in a velodrome, it figures that you should throw in a few cyclists as ‘scenery’.
Which is exactly what German techno-pioneers Kraftwerk did at their show in the Manchester Velodrome to open the Manchester International Festival.
And not just any old cyclists, too. Gold medal winners Ed Clancy, Jason Kenny, Jamie Staff and Geraint Thomas rode round the Velodrome in a wave formation as Kraftwerk played ‘Tour De France’.
According to those who were there, the cyclists' names were announced from the stage in a heavy German accent a couple of minutes into the song, much to the delight of the crowd.
The wave formation was then mirrored by elaborate visual effects on screens behind the stage.
Most of the audience agreed the appearance was the highlight of the show. "I think I died and went to heaven when the cyclists came out for Tour De France. That's the best track and action I've ever seen working together - it's my gig of the year," said one fan.
Another added: "It was absolutely fantastic, seeing the Olympic team cycle round the track was amazing and it gave the music so much energy."
The Manchester show also saw them perform their best-known songs including Trans Europe Express, Man Machine, Computer Love and Autobahn.
During the second half of the show, the band emerged in luminous green outfits from behind a light show, with 3D visuals that required fans to wear special glasses.
The lyrics of tracks including Radioactivity and Computer World were then thrown out at the Velodrome in 3D.