Simple Minds insisted it would be ''cowardly'' to have cancelled their gig in Manchester on Tuesday (23.05.17).

The 'Alive and Kicking' hitmakers took to the stage at the city's Bridgwater Hall less than 24 hours after Ariana Grande's concert at the Manchester Arena was hit by an alleged terrorist attack and admitted the tragedy had made them question whether or not they should go ahead with the gig.

Frontman Jim Kerr told the audience: ''This morning we woke, there was a decision to be made - do we play or do we cancel and leave town?

''I'm sure if we have done that everyone would have understood, it would have been a disappointment, but we would have felt cowardly just leaving town - especially Manchester, a place that's been great to Simple Minds since the earliest days.''

The 57-year-old singer then asked the crowd to take a minute to ''meditate'' and think of those killed or injured in the attack, as well as their families.

He added: ''Thanks very much for coming to see us but prior to starting, of course we just want to take one minute, meditate, play a bit of music and think of the victims of last night and their family.''

The band had earlier posted a message in Facebook admitting they had deliberated whether or not to go ahead with the gig but ultimately felt the tragedy had made them want to perform ''more than ever''.

They wrote: ''12 hours after the initial news came through from Manchester last night, the shock and numbness of it all is still as strong. Perhaps even more so this morning.

''Our profound sympathy goes out to all touched by this horrific event.

''In situations like this it is more than difficult to find appropriate words and actions.

''It all comes down to a feeling.

''And speaking as we did this morning, to all involved with Simple Minds. Including band, crew, management etc. the feeling in our group was entirely unanimous.

'''More than ever, we all want to go out tonight and play our music.'