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.
Kula Shaker played to a great turnout at Liverpool’s O2 Academy on Wednesday night. After successfully negotiating with the club and Sky Sports to move the Arsenal game to the Tuesday I was privileged enough to attend. Rather than go back in time, Crispian Mills insisted we open some kind of tunnel to 1996 when their hugely successful K album was released, tonight was to be a celebration of that release and it was fitting for myself to witness it at what used to be the L2 nightclub where I would roam the dance floor to hits such as “Hey Dude” and “Hush” back in the day. The album was performed in full, interlaced with new tracks from the K2.0 album and from their second album Peasants, pigs and astronauts. Mills showed he is quite the talent with the guitar and the crowd lapped it up gleefully.
*With thanks to my friend Lisa Walters for the authentic set list you see at the end.*
Richard Ashcroft entertained an impressive number of people at Liverpool’s Echo Arena last night. Showing an energy undiminished by the years, Ashcroft performed for all bar one track of a two-hour set which was an instrumental rendition of history by the Heritage Orchestra who accompanied him throughout the show. Songs both old and new, his and his work with The Verve all featured and despite the usual lager louts being in attendance this was a show of undeniable class.
Primal Scream warmed the crowd up nicely last night at Liverpool’s Olympia theatre. Just like The Sisters of Mercy gig on the previous Friday the venue was cold but after a few numbers, opening with “Movin’ on up”, the audience soon forgot about the temperature. They played a nice mix of old favourites, including “Swastika Eyes” and “Loaded”, and tracks from the new “Chaosmosis” album such as “Trippin’ on your love”, “100% or nothing” and “Where the light gets in”. It was a show with a solid set and a great atmosphere.
The Sisters were back and played a blinding ninety minute set, including two encores, at Liverpool’s very cold Olympia theatre last night.
They did race through it but that kept the momentum going. Eldritch strutted around like a creepy uncle but actually seemed quite appreciative of performing to the crowd. His voice was a little patchy to begin with but fine after a couple of tracks. They opened with More and then Ribbons and closed with First and last and always, Temple of love and This corrosion.