Crabbies Grand National – How the time soon comes round, it is only Crabbies Grand National Weekend already. This means it is time for us to swing down to Central station and do a bit of live music for Mersey rail. This year Merseyrail are raising awareness for the homeless via a charity called White Chapel. It is a local charity believing that every individual should be given the opportunity to change their situation.
We rocked up just before 4pm for the first day of the Crabbies Grand National featuring Rag Tag Misfits entertaining at Central Station, (that’s a nice title) for Merseyrail. We always have a great time performing for the crowds as they arrive bak into Liverpool to carry on the night. This year saw record numbers of revellers coming out for the weekend and had been blessed with exceptionally sunny weather, you really couldn’t beat it.
Unfortunately this year for those travelling via train this month is seems strike actions had been on the cards and for good reason. It seemed there had been some issue with train guards being deployed and the decision to opt not to have guards on trains had been a cost cutting exercise for owners Circo, an unpopular decision had led to strike action on the busiest day of the year for Merseyrail, though the timing of such action was a conscious decision. Luckily for travellers coming into the city from the Grand National in Aintree, additional services had been implemented meaning that we would have someone to entertain. It did seem rather strange at times this year though as no other train services had been running and the station was deftly quiet until the hoards of people came back from Aintree.
Still we had a job to do and there had been enough people coming back into the city for us to entertain. By around 6pm we had been joined by a fair few voluntary charity collectors helping to raise funds for Whitechapel. So there we were entertaining away for the next few hours until around 9pm when the last dregs of race goers had finished coming through.
The next day was Ladies day and is always a popular day out, with competitions and big money for the best dressed lady, suffice to say there had been plenty of ladies coming back through from the Crabbies Grand National and Rag Tag Misfits had been entertaining everyone before going off to the many local bars in the city centre. Even the Liverpool Echo had turned up to witness the madness and caught a nice video of us entertaining the crowds in traditional Liverpudlian style. It was eerily quiet though just before the bulk of race goers had come back into the station, the strikes were underway and it seemed odd nobody else around in-between.
The next day was race day the main event was held back slightly and so we had been sitting around in an empty station for an hour and a half, with just the Mersey rail staff, charity collectors and us, not to mention a few lost people wondering how they are going to get home. By the time the race was over and the first trains starting pulling into the station from Aintree, it was clear the sunny weather, beer and enthusiasm had been preserved. We had hoards of people to entertain a good few thousand people walking by dancing to the music, at the height of the evening we had the station full and a massive crowd around us singing an Oasis song. It seems the Rag Tag Misfits were truly appreciated and a top night had be had by many. We kept the hiuge crowd round us for another song before being totally swamped in the best night we have had for a few years here at Central Station in Liverpool. It was such a shame that the many phones videoing us hadn’t surfaced anywhere online, so somewhere somebody has footage of the enormous crowd we had and has kept it to themselves it seems.