So Friday night and a night out at the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall. After a few pre show bevvies in The Roscoe Head we trooped up the hill to go and watch The Casa Solidarity Show. So this show was being put on by Daily Mirror columnist Brian Reade to raise money for The Casa. So what is The Casa some of you might say or indeed you might just think it’s just a boozer on Hope Street. Well The Casa is part of the Initiative Factory, a charitable trust set up by the sacked men of the dockers dispute to further the hopes and aspirations of the people and alleviate poverty in the city of Liverpool. http://www.initiativefactory.org It gives out advice on welfare (Lets face it thats much needed with this shower of shite in charge of the country) and also legal advice and many other things too long list on here. Anyway to cut a long story short it needed a few bob to keep going and this fundraising night was set up to help that cause.
So John Bishop was the compare and as ever was funny in his hosting of the night and what a meteoric rise that fella has had. I remember listening to his radio show on City Talk and then the next thing he is at the top table of comedy well in la. First up was Ricky Tomlinson who came on and told a few stories and gags and was impeccably dressed a million miles from his Jim Royle character but noted were his tales of Cilla Black. Ricky is man who’s union struggles are well documented. Next up was local comedian Chris Cairns who I had seen perform before at a sportsmans dinner at what was then called Shorfields school. Having gone to that school he knew some of the teachers at that school and had some fun at their expense and I was out with a few of them tonight. Chris carried on the laughter that had been going on from the start of the night which then led us into John Power coming on and doing a few songs. Sadly there were three women behind who were chatting constantly throughout the gig, so much that the people in front of me turned around a few times to give a few glares. I am far to polite (shithouse) to say anything so abandoned the end of the John Power set to get the bar early. The
highlight lowlight of the gig chattering was when a John Power song came on the woman said I love this one, then proceeded to chat all through the acoustic song then cheered at the end !! Anyway I wasn’t gonna let this ruin a good night for a good cause.
Post interval seen Neil Fitzmaurice come on and do a set and by this time the audience were well warmed up and laughter was heard for the entirety of his set. A honorary scouser for the night was on next Mr Mark Steel who has helped many times for causes linked to Liverpool. First time I have heard Mark Steel and again the laughter levels were high. Next up a few serious words from Brian Reade who organised the gig and a fella from The Casa who’s name escaped me. The night was rounded up with a small set from a band from my youth Liverpool’s very own The Farm. Always great to hear their songs. I had a tiny hope that Mick Jones from The Clash might pop up to due his previous support around the don’t buy The Sun and Justice Tonight band gigs but alas it did not happen though we were treated to a great version of “Bankrobber” So the night was ended with the whole of The Phil up on their feet singing The Farm’s anthem “All Together Now” and a great night finished for a great cause. The women behind me continued their chatting throughout all of the second half and were tucking into their smuggled in ale though I am sure they will be happy with the smuggle it in inside a tube of Pringles tip one of the comedians gave out.
So the main things is a decent amount of money was raised for the Casa and as Peter Hooton pointed out it’s a great place that gives out so much help and advice oh and the ale is slightly cheaper than anywhere else ! I will drink to that next time I am in there and if you see any fundraising activities please help. You never know when you might need the advice and help from The Casa. A few more post show beers on Hardman Street and the traditional scran from the Botan rounded off a great night. Thanks to all those who helped set up the show and to those who gave their time to perform. Together we can be strong.
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