By Desh Kapur, Rock At Night Manchester Correspondent
WIRRAL LIVE, FRIDAY AND SATURDAY 19TH AND 20TH MAY, PRENTON PARK, THE WIRRAL
FRIDAY – MADNESS AND THE FARM
So it was off to The Wirral on Friday eve for the beginning of the 2nd Wirral Live, a 3 day festival and tonight was special, a band that was part of the soundtrack of my youth were headlining, the mighty mighty Madness, i couldn’t wait for this one. But before that were The Farm, lads from just down the round, the city of Liverpool, so almost a home town crowd for them. Even though there stage time was cut very short due to technical problems the band still managed to smile on through it and so did the crowd, they played there classic hits, the cover “Steppin Stone” “Groovy Train” “All Together Now” and the amazing “Bank Robber” originally written and performed by The Clash, and even though the set was cut short, The Farm brought the level up and was the perfect warm up to Fridays main act Madness
What can you say about Madness that hasn’t been said before, a band that can play for over an hour with every song being a classic hit, that in its self is mighty impressive, and the hits came one after another, “My Girl” “Shut Up” One Step Beyond” “Grey Day” “House Of Fun” “The Prince” “Baggy Trousers” and the list goes on and on, these days rather than being the nutty boys i would personally call them London Gents, dressed in there spectacularly tailored suits and trilby hats, this band showed why they are still playing sold out venues all over the world, unbelievably tight and completely relaxed at all times, comfortable banter with the audience, everything from politics to One Direction, this band is a national treasure and i for one hope they play for ever.
SATURDAY – THE HUMMINGBIRDS – REVEREND AND THE MAKERS – THE LIBERTINES
Saturday night kicked of with Reverend And The Makers, a band from Sheffield Yorkshire, bringing there spin on Indie Rock, and they had the crowd going as John McClure stalked the stage from one side to the other, getting the crowd involved and amping them up, they played there big songs and a new one or two, but the biggest cheers of the night was saved for the great “Heavy Weight Champion Of The world” and then they were gone and on strode Labor Leader Jeremy Corbyn, who talked about Grassroots football and Music and whipped the crowd up into a football crowd style frenzy then leaving the stage to chants of “Corbyn” “Corbyn” now with the party political broadcast over, it was back to the reason we were here MUSIC.
And on strolled true local boys and Mercury Prize winners The Coral, lead singer James Skelly remarking he knew half the people there, and the crowd loved them as did i, here is another band just like Madness the previous who’s band catalogue was hit after hit, the sun was out and gently setting and they fitted the mood perfectly, they threw in a few new songs and as would be expected the crowd being unfamiliar with them, they were appreciated, but the big noise and singing along was saved for the classic hits “Thinking Of You” ‘in The Morning” “Pass It On”
Here they were, The Libertines. I love watching the Libertines, the way the swagger around the stage, the way they just dont seem to give a f%^k even though we know they do, they way they are loose in an unbelievably tight way, the back and forth vocal between Carl Barat and Pete Doherty, but that would all be nothing if they didn’t have the songs to back it up and boy do they, innately British there song reflect a true moment in time if you were living in Camden London, they played some new stuff but it was the big guns that we were waiting for and they came, “Up The Bracket” “Don’t Look Back At The Sun” “Cant stand Me Now” and the crowed loved them, they sang, danced, laughed and some just stood there smiling, and then it was over, i didn’t cover the Sunday Night of Little Mix, but before i finish i need to do a shout out to to the organizers of Wirral Live and what and amazing job they did, a weekend of music that was well thought out, providing night for 3 different demographics, plenty of bars, loads of toilets, more than enough places to grab something to eat even a clothing stall, the staff were polite and well organized, i saw no trouble and it was just a pleasure to be there, WELL DONE WIRRAL LIVE!!!