THIS week’s gig of the week is actually a tour, or, as Pete Wylie is calling it, “the only tour that matters”.
The ‘Justice Tonight’ tour comes off the back of a very successful one-off gig at the Olympia which jointly benefitted the Hillsborough Justice Campaign and the Fazakerley 9 charity set up in memory of James McVey.
There are of course many reasons why this tour is worthy of your support. Firstly all proceeds raised will go to the Hillsborough Justice Campaign and their ongoing fight for justice for those they have lost, and the full truth of what happened on that day to be disclosed. The tour also gives those of us not as directly affected by the disaster a chance to show our continued support towards the families and the campaign. All Liverpool fans are humbled by the remarkable strength shown by those who lost a family member at Hillsborough and their continued dignity and relentlessness in their fight for justice. Spokespeople for the support groups have often commented on how support from the city as a whole and beyond has helped give them the strength to continue to fight for justice 22 years on, and so it’s imperative people who back the campaign are as visible and vocal in their backing as possible.
It is also probably fair to say that there are individuals and organisations that would prefer that the Justice Campaign went away, demonstrated by Judge Oliver Popplewell’s recent comments in the media. High profile events such as this are a demonstration that people won’t just disappear over time, and if anything the demand for justice and truth is greater than ever. A sell-out tour therefore not only gives much needed financial and emotional support to the campaign, but reminds the powers that be that people will not be silenced, fatigued or deterred in fighting for those who went to a game of football and didn’t come back.
But whilst all of the above means that the tour should have your attention, the line up should get you rushing out to buy a ticket.
The main draw is obviously Mick Jones touring Clash songs for the first time since 1982. We’ve unfortunately lost the chance of a Clash reunion ever taking place, so this feels like the next best thing. Mick Jones, who as far as I know has no connection with the city nor Liverpool Football Club, should be commended for his commitment to the Justice Tonight tour. In fact the story goes that it was Mick Jones who first suggested taking the show on the road late into the Olympia Show after party. Now we’ve all made rash commitments at a party before, but very few are to the scale of a nationwide tour, so credit to Mick Jones for being as good as his word! Mick will be backed by an All-Star band including Peter Hooton, Pete Wylie, and no doubt whoever else is about on the night who wants to tell the story about the time they played ‘White Man in Hammersmith Palais’ with Mick Jones (the band grew so big at the Olympia that they struggled to fit on stage)
Peter Hooton will also be performing with The Farm who sounded fantastic at The Olympia concert in September. I’ll be honest and say I wasn’t expecting much more than a drunken sing-along, but when the intro to Groovy Train hits you like, well, a Groovy Train, you’ll realise they are not messing about. But then as far as drunken sing-along’s go All Together Now is a great one anyway. Pete Wylie and his band will also be performing separately, with his politically charged rock written over a now 35 year career not just more relevant on a tour like this, but also hugely relevant in the current political climate (it seems apt somehow that this tour starts the day after a planned nationwide strike). Also performing every night are renowned and hugely influential DJ’s Don Letts and Terry Farley.
On top of all that there are special guests on at each leg of the tour including James Walsh from Starsailor (Manchester), James Dean Bradfield from the Manic Street Preachers (Cardiff), James Allan from Glasvegas (Glasgow), Richard Hawley (Sheffield) and members of Primal Scream (London). Tom Watson MP, who seems to be on an endless crusade of Good vs. Evil at the moment, and who gave a hugely passionate and powerful speech at the original Liverpool show, will also appear at several nights. There will also be a few more special guests and surprises that are yet to be announced (with the hush over the Liverpool show particularly intriguing).
The full dates and venues for the tour are:
Thursday 1st December Cardiff Uni Solus
Friday 2nd December Manchester HMV Ritz
Saturday 3rd December Sheffield Leadmill
Thursday 8th December London Scala
Friday 9th December Liverpool University
Saturday 10th December Glasgow O2 ABC
Tickets are available at all the usual ticketing websites (although London is currently Sold Out) and priced at £17.50. I positively insist that you to go to your nearest show for what will be a fantastic night of music for a great cause.