It was left to James to bring the day to a close and try to salvage some final pleasure from the chaos. A band that carry the song “Getting Away With It (All Messed Up) as a theme, opened with that very track as if to reference what had gone before. Despite being clearly frustrated with the whole event, Tim Booth and company strived to put on a good show. Saul complained they’d had to drop songs from the set list and had to be calmed down by the band’s lead man. They still smiled all through the show and the sense of relief they actually got on stage was obvious within the James faithful. Tim got close to the crowd on numerous occasions but there was to be no crowd surfing despite the inclusion of Curse Curse in the set. They made the best of, you can rely on them for that. Tim was due to return for the Sunday evening with Hacienda Classical but the cancellation of the festival for the day put a halt to that.
As I write this piece The Hope And Glory Twitter account is in meltdown as the aftermath of yesterday’s calamitous events and the subsequent cancelling of its second day today continued to rankle with its attendees. People are understandably unhappy at being turned away or suffering overcrowding within the venue. Acts were running a good two hours behind schedule on the main stage which meant that Charlotte Church was axed from the line up and other acts had their set time drastically cut. I was lucky enough to fully enjoy the day, not being a drinker anymore I had no queues to contend with for my tea and doughnuts. Still, the music that was on offer was of the highest quality both from well established acts and some more less known artists. The acts I caught below were Badly Drawn Boy, AbiChan, Embrace, , Chris Helme, Lucy Spraggan and Razorlight.
As a prelude to what was to become a doomed first Hope & Glory festival in Liverpool’s city centre, a special event was held at St George’s Hall. Featuring new local acts and sets from Black Grape and Liverpool’s own Cast, this show was probably the high point of the whole weekend, such as it was. Shaun Ryder was on good form ribbing his fellow front man, Kermit, and Cast certainly put all their energy into their set. Both acts presented classic tracks and new tracks alike.