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The Libertines at Wirral Live review

We witnessed live performances from the Likely Lads, The Coral, Reverend and The Makers and a surprise guest in the form of Jeremy Corbyn.

Skiddle Staff

Date published: 23rd May 2017

With a weekend line up consisting of Madness, Little Mix, The Libertines, The Coral and more, you'd be mistaken to think that the billing was that of a big-player festival, but in fact it was the headline-worthy talent on offer at Prenton Park in Birkenhead.

Wirral Live brought huge names to play in an area that might not normally get such a good musical offering, it was a chance for people in the North West to start their festival season early with a string of open air gigs. We'd eyed up the Saturday installment above the rest, with The Libs headlining. 

The football stadium, which is home to Tranmere Rovers, was surrounded by live music lovers of all ages come 5pm, queuing up to get into the gates, riled up with the anticipation of seeing one of the biggest indie bands of this century, with rumours also circulating on social media before our arrival of a certain special guest with the initials JC set to make an appearance. 

With an abundance of porter loos in place and a good few decent size bars, queues were short and time spent away from the music was surprisingly limited. Reverend and The Makers were up first, it was a blast from the past and good warm up as front man Jon McClure swaggered on stage, effortlessly working up those in the park.

Belting out some old songs and new, they finished off with their defining 'Heavyweight Champion Of The World' as the park continued to fill up. Before they exited, they welcomed on stage the special guest that a lot had been holding out for, Jeremy Corbyn. 

Appearing on stage with a confidence and self belief which would contradict any bad-mouthing media report, Corbyn spoke about the need for grassroots football and music for the masses. His speech, which focused on getting young people involved with the arts and sports, went down well with practically everyone in attendance, with hoards shouting "Oh Jeremy Corbyn" to the tune of White Stripes 'Seven Nation Army'. 

Mercury Music Prize nominated band The Coral were up next. The lads from Hoylake on the Wirral blasted through some feel-good rock tracks as the sun finally came out properly above the park following an afternoon of rain, before treating the crowd to some of their biggest tracks including 'Thinking Of You' and 'In The Morning'. 

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The headline act came on as the sun was setting, with the crooked Libertines logo hanging from the back of the stage with the band's signature red colour reflected onto it. It was a pleasure to see Pete and Carl back on stage together, singing into the mic in unison in same goose bump-provoking way we'd seen back in Leeds 2010 as they reformed.

It was a slightly self indulgent set with a majority of lesser known songs making up most of it, waiting until the final half before playing some of the biggest tracks like 'Death On The Stairs' and 'Don't Look Back Into The Sun', but what a reception it was when they did.

Well run and professional executed, Wirral Live is a sterling addition to the North West's music calendar. With three days that catered to three different genre tastes and demographics, there was practically something everyone could enjoy if they wanted a live music fix not too far from home.