Day two of the Wirral Live festival at Prenton Park was all about rock and roll with a bit of politics added in thanks to a very special surprise guest.
Reverend and the Makers’ front man John McClure took to the stage dressed as an old skool car salesman in a camel coat and proceeded to take a selfie “to show the crowd to his mum”. We were asked if there were any real Scoucers in the audience, (sizeable cheer) any Wirral people (less sizeable cheer) and then anyone not from here (huge cheers). Oh yes, he then proceeded to sell us a few catchy tunes along the way.
A surprise live party political broadcast by Jeremy Corbyn followed in which he repeated the words working class, football, music several times and received tumultuous applause and chants of ‘Oh Jeremy Corbyn’ to the tune of White Stripes, ‘Seven Nation Army’
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Political interlude over, local lads The Coral kicked off their festival season with the advantage of playing on home turf or more aptly mud. Two tracks from their 2016 , post hiatus album, ‘Distance In between’ were played, but not introduced and an opportunity to promote the fact they are still actively recording was lost.
A slow but steady build up to the expected big sing along tunes ensued. ‘Jacqueline’ and ‘Pass it on’ and ’In the morning’ followed in quick succession to get the party going and resulted in some fearless people vaulting onto each other’s shoulders.
Final song, ‘Dreaming of you’ drew the loudest audience participation of the set amidst thunderous applause. The Wirral boys had done good and got their packed festival schedule off to a flying start.
As the light started to fade, ‘Power to the people’ played the Libertines onstage. Pete Doherty certainly looked in fine fettle and was given a hero’s welcome almost as huge as the one given to Jeremy Corbyn earlier.
Within minutes of going onstage, the crowd went wild. People were acting like ‘Barbarians’ long before the song even made an appearance. It all went off big time; dubious projectiles, billowing blue and red smoke bombs, more and more people elevated onto the shoulders of others, more drinking, more security staff dashing to the front barriers as a steady succession of people were hauled out over the audience to safety.
There were some novel interludes too throughout the set. The introduction to ‘Gunga Din’ cleverly incorporated the “Jeremy Corbyn” anthem introduced earlier in the day and the audience joined in once again. Pete led an impromptu burst of the Justice anthem “Altogether now” leading into ‘What Katy did’. Carl Barat gave us a quick burst of ‘The House of the Rising Sun’ on the piano, preceding ‘You are my Waterloo’.
At one point, a hat was thrown onstage with the message “Your elbow loves to see you” written inside which left Pete dumbfounded. Throwing on a hat is pure class and should be encouraged instead of throwing around glasses of questionable liquids. There should be more hat wearing and throwing; it would make for a better world.
The hits continued coming at us in riotous succession like missiles, finishing off a truly memorable day in the history of Tranmere Rovers’ football club; the day a gatecrashing politician got a bigger crowd than a typical match day!