‘Do Something Different’ is Phil Redmond’s motto for 2008. Quite right too, people should make the most of this year, there’ll be so many once-in-a-lifetime events and ‘I was there’ moments. I’m doing my bit, attending things I wouldn’t normally bother with such as the Liverpool Nativity, ice skating in St George’s Hall, seeing in the new year on the steps of Liverpool Cathedral and now I’ve just returned from the opening of the Liverpool Echo Arena.
It’ll take me a while to get used to the fact that we finally have a proper large venue for top shows and conferences, not only in Liverpool but within walking distance of my home!
Having said that there’s not a single show in the listings so far that I really fancy, Redmond joked that people need to hurry if they want tickets for the National Association of Headteachers Conference, but I’m sure there will be and its still very good for the city.
The first real big event here is, of course, Liverpool The Musical next Saturday, January 12 2008. Tonight’s event was for Liverpool Ambassadors and volunteers.
There were performances from some of the singers involved in Streetwaves, a set from Major Major, speeches from Phil Redmond, Warren Bradley, Bob Pratty of the Arena, Jayne Casey and Nigel Jamieson. Radio City’s Pete Price was ok but I wish he wouldn’t sing.
Phil R & Pete P did a good comedy routine and got the crowd of about 8,000 to do the first ‘Mexican Wave’ in the new Arena. Then Phil got all arty and insisted we create a sort-of fan shaped wave starting with the middle section then fanning out around the sides. It actually worked brilliantly and was a good laugh.
The evening ended with a surprise guest appearance by The Farm who despite only got together again a few weeks ago performed excellently, a short set including Groovy Train and a rousing finale with the whole crowd standing and waving along to ‘All Together Now’