Well it’s been quite a day (Friday evening as I write this) and I’m sure those who saw the concert at The Scala in London last night are still pinching themselves over what they saw and heard. Indeed more than a dozen Clash songs were played and sung live by a variety of vocalists with Paul Simonon joining the Mick Jones/Pete Wylie led crew for the last few numbers. Unreal of course, overdue perhaps but momentous most certainly. I’ve started writing a bit more about the tour in general and Hillsborough specifically and found my thoughts running into overdrive so I’ll break that up over three posts most likely starting tomorrow. We’ve got hundreds of amazing photographs from Pete in London to work through in addition to a stack of videos to share but I’ll ask for your patience as we get those compiled because as they say the show must go on and tonight it made it’s way all the way up to Liverpool for another night that exceeded expectations. Martin, our intrepid reporter from last night in London managed to make the journey up to Liverpool today and see the gig. He’s also up there to see his beloved QPR take on Liverpool (come on you hoops) tomorrow afternoon. Like a dedicated war correspondent he managed to file a report from the front line in Liverpool which featured another round of guests including one of my favourite people ever Billy Bragg. Let’s hand it over to Martin then….but first a quick photo:
Justice Tonight – Liverpool University – 9 Dec 2011
The home town Friday night gig for the bulk of the artistes on the Justice Tonight tour and the special guests were out in force again. This time it was Cast who opened the evening’s proceedings at 8.25 with a 4 song set that included ‘Timebomb’ and their new single ‘See that girl’.
At 9.10 Liverpool comedian John Bishop took the stage and he treated everyone to the first of two Monkees songs that we were to hear tonight – this time it was “Daydream Believer”. John would be the first to admit that he is no singer but he IS very funny and he then introduced the next group of hometown boys – The Farm. I thought they were stronger and more confident tonight with the same set as they performed in London – Groovy Train, Steppin’ Stone, Love See no Colour and All Together Now, for which they were joined onstage by Mick Jones and Pete Wylie. The band then went straight into the set of Wylie’s songs starting with Come Back, You better scream, The Day that Margaret Thatcher Dies (complete with a crowd chant at the end of ‘Maggie, Maggie, Maggie! Die! Die! Die!), The Story of the Blues, Heart as Big as Liverpool, Johnny Thunders’ You can’t put your arms around a memory and then closing with Sinful.
And then at 10.20pm it was into the Clash songs, commencing again with Train in vain. The beam on Mick Jones’ face as he performs these songs is incredible – he’s clearly loving every single second! Stay Free was next, sung by Pete Wylie and then John Power joined for what was my highlight of the night – a tremendous version of Bankrobber.
We were then treated to Clampdown with Wylie singing, White Man (in Hammersmith Palais) with Peter Hooton doing the honours on vocals.The band then took a short break to catch their breath with Mick saying “We’re 2 goals up at half time” as he left the stage.
The next special guest was the ‘One Man Clash’ himself – Hammers fan Billy Bragg to sing (very appropriately) Scousers never buy The Sun, dedicated to the late great John Peel. The band then returned to the stage with Pete Wylie grinning from ear to ear saying “I just met Jimmy Case!”. Billy Bragg sang Jail Guitar Doors and then we were treated to a great version of Armagideon Time. A young guy whose name I think was Jay from a new local band called the Ladykillers then came on stage to play guitar on Should I say or should I go. The set finished with London Calling and the evening closed out with a finale of All Together Now and thanks were made to the 3 backing singers, who included Pete Wylie’s daughter Mersey..
All in all yet another tremendous night on what’s becoming the tour of the year, but it will be very tough to top the London gig!
Brilliant stuff Martin. Thank you so much for taking the time to share that with us, can I talk you into flying up to Glasgow after the final whistle at Anfield? Please join me in thanking him for more great coverage of the tour. The first photo tonight I just had to borrow from Pete was of course from 24 hours prior but needs to be shown! The second was taken by Martin in Liverpool. Too much to cover, please be patient with me.
I really need to say that without you – without Martin and Pete these last few nights and Charlotte in Cardiff, Barry in Manchester – the blog would just be my views from far across the ocean. It’s your efforts and participation that make us feel like we’re at the concerts and sharing in what’s been an amazing week. So please let me thank you again. It’s the best community around a band ever, I think we know that. Clash City Rockers keep on keeping on.
All the best, Tim.