Justice Tonight: Mick Jones, Pete Wylie, The Farm & James Dean Bradfield - Cardiff University

I’ll never forget the horror of what unfurled in front of my eyes on 15th April 1989, nor will I forget the revulsion I felt when The Sun demonised and placed blame upon the Liverpool supporters for the tragic deaths of 96 fellow football supporters. The Sun’s lies may now have been disproven (http://www.contrast.org/hillsborough/index.shtml) but their legacy is still with us, and only this season I’ve had fellow Spurs supporters tell me that the root of the disaster lay in the behaviour of the Liverpool fans. Thank God, then, for the likes of Mick Jones, Pete Wylie and The Farm who have all given their time and talent to tour the UK and do their bit for Justice. Joining them tonight to add a touch of local flavour is Manic Street Preachers’ James Dean Bradfield, an appropriate addition to the bill given the band’s 'South Yorkshire Mass Murderer' commentary on the Hillsborough disaster.

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The show takes the form of an endearingly ramshackle, old school punk revue with The Farm adopting the role of resident house band; kicking off with a string of their baggy era hits before inviting the special guests to join them on the 'Groovy Train'. First aboard is Pete Wylie and he’s quickly joined by a spectacularly dapper and beaming Mick Jones to cavort joyfully through a deliciously inappropriate sing-along written as a party tune for the celebrations which will be held on the death of Margaret Thatcher. We’re then treated to a rousing version of ‘Story of The Blues’ before next special guest James Dean Bradfield erupts onstage to lead a spirited version of Wylie’s ‘Come Back’. Possibly the biggest reaction of the night comes when Wylie dedicates ‘Heart as Big as Liverpool’ to Gary Speed, triggering a wave of emotion and spontaneous chanting of ‘Speedo’ throughout the whole venue before Wylie pricks the bubble with a daft joke about swimming trunks.

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The band eventually troop offstage, leaving enough time for a quick trip to the bar before John Robb welcomes Mick Jones to the stage to lead us through a set of Clash classics. Mick leads the line for ‘Train in Vain’ then passes the ball neatly to Wylie who steps up and smashes an emotional ‘Stay Free’ into an empty net. An early substitution sees James Dean Bradfield orchestrate a catenaccio style ‘Clampdown’ which threatens to steal the show but, after a laid back rumble through ‘Armagideon Time’, Cardiff is united in a euphoric Peter Hooton led rendition of ‘White Man in Hammersmith Palais’. He does Joe proud. There’s a bit of showboating at the end with a gang-show rendition of ‘All Together Now’ but it’s a real crowd pleaser and by this stage I can safely say that tonight has been one of the most joyous events I’ve ever had the pleasure of attending. It’s not quite over though and a short blast of added time brings a ferocious rendition of ‘Janie Jones’ which inevitable finds John Robb thrashing about like a lunatic in the front row. We file out of the building with a deafening chant of ‘Justice for the 96’ ringing in our ears. It’s been a blast - and (still) don’t buy The Sun.

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The Tour continues…

Friday 2nd Manchester HMV Ritz 0844 248 5117
Saturday 3rd Sheffield Leadmill 0114 2212 828
Thursday 8th London Scala SOLD OUT
Friday 9th Liverpool University 0844 477 2000
Saturday 10th Glasgow O2 ABC 0844 499 9990

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