It’s not often you see a full time legend play live as the self-professed singer calls himself. But last night I was lucky enough to see Pete Wylie perform in a small dark venue in his beloved Liverpool. The weather was trying it’s hardest to put a dampener on our night out at the Zanzibar but we were all to buoyed up to be put off. Support tonight came in the shape of Tom Carroll and his daughter Mersey Wylie, who prior performed her first solo gig. Note she’s got a powerful voice too.
The acoustic set started with a real blast in the shape of ‘Come Back‘ and as promised from the onset the man was true to form giving plenty of banter in between songs. Sometimes you fail realise what a strong back catalogue he has which he delved in throughout the night. He’s never far from being overtly political and you can’t fault his commitment in what he believes in. Hearing him sing ‘The Day Margaret Thatcher Dies‘ with such angst and that he only really excels when the Tories are in power. In equal measure the ‘Justice For The 96’ campaign was given ample time to loud applause. The audience sang word perfect ‘Can’t Put Your Arms Around A Memory‘.
He hasn’t lost any quality in his voice which was exemplified when he sang ‘Sinful‘, ‘FourElevenFortyFour‘ and ‘Heart As Big As Liverpool‘ and the sold out crowd sung in unison. For me the defining moments were hearing ‘Better Scream‘ still as fresh thirty-four years on and a brand new songs like ‘Free Falling‘ and ‘We’re All In It Together‘. Travelling up from Northamptonshire with some friends they were only really familiar with ‘The Story Of The Blues‘. Pete didn’t let them down and gave us all a rousing rendition. It was a bonus to hearing ‘Part 2 Talkin Blues‘ which he slightly updated, mentioning the Internet, as the fitting conclusion to proceedings in Liverpool 1.
There was a buzz in the room even before Pete had appeared on the stage and by the time he’d vacated it the place was electrified. Some may say it was the water dripping in from the ceiling at the back of the room but I’d like to think it was all the smiling faces departing back out into the rain filled skies over Liverpool. I will see many concerts during the rest of the year but I doubt I will see as many with the same intense passion that oozed from him and filtered into our hearts and ears. A full time musical living legend undoubtedly he his. Also I must mention the sound man at Zanzibar who got the sound spot on all night long.
Thanks to Ste Walker for posting the videos