Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 8.5/10
It was perhaps not the party or the celebration that Tranmere Rovers would have liked to have imagined taking place on their pitch as their incredible season just fell short of a successful return to the Football League. However, to hold a series of nights of great quality music inside Prenton Park would surely add to the thought that the area was on the up, that there is absolute optimism for the following season and in an opening night which consisted of The Farm and Madness, there really was nothing else that could detract from two of the most admired bands the country has produced.
The Farm, as to be expected, were blistering, the sense of history that has always come hand in hand with their music, always in evidence, and for a single night on the Tranmere Football Club ground, the audience, the huge crowd in pith helmets and various coloured fezs took in the bands words of solidarity and commitment. The audience may have come for Madness but they left loving The Farm.
You can always tell the quality and the sheer class of the band by how it deals with adversity; for many out there the moment something goes wrong with a piece of equipment you can see the blood boil, rage and perhaps spill over, the temperament losing some of its cool and refinement and they take it out on the fans. Not for The Farm, the style never wavered, the set may have been exposed to the forces of machinery for a short while but never once did they make their fans or the crowd at Prenton Park feel anything but happy and feeling the groove; a sense of fez’s off and full admiration to them.
With songs such as Sweet Inspiration, Bank Robber, Mind, Stepping Stone, the irresistible Groovy Train and the dramatic and much loved All Together Now all filling the set list with inevitable Liverpool charm, the night at Prenton Park was kick started by one of the greats with sincerity, poise and a smile that could spark life into the floodlights of Tranmere’s ground for a whole season.
The vast majority who stood on the pitch at Prenton Park may have come for the Night Boat to Cairo, they may have gone One Step Beyond but in the end this was a night also for local heroes to be lauded and as the air grew cold and the neon lights of Liverpool shone in resplendence as the city put on its annual light night, The Farm were saluted for their stature, their honesty and their groove; a seriously great set by one of Liverpool’s finest.
Ian D. Hall