By Daniel Kirby
When you hear that a band is going to perform a live show inside a real life wrestling ring, you’re left wondering two things: what kind of madness is this and where can I get a ticket?
Titled Snailmania 2, it’s not the first time Liverpool outfit Salt the Snail have held a wrestling-themed show. Although, we don’t believe Snailmania 1 involved an actual wrestling ring slap bang in the middle of the room.
Playing host to this crazy idea for a show was Future Yard, a 300-capacity community focussed venue on Argyle Street in Birkenhead. While sticking with the wrestling theme, there was even a pre-show taster session with local wrestling-inspired brewery Top Rope.
After sampling some of Top Rope’s finest offerings (their American Nightmare stout is highly recommended), it was time for the support act. A local four-piece, Mr Ted released their debut album ‘El Dirty Sexy’ back in late 2019.
Besides a bit of climbing up on the turnbuckles, their antics inside the ring were fairly subdued on the whole. Instead, they chose to focus on their heavy, grunge-inspired sound with each band member taking up a corner of the ring to themselves.
All dressed in orange NASA jump suits, it looked to be getting a little bit sweaty up there inside the ropes as they blasted out meaty riffs on tracks such as ‘Muscle Milk’ and ‘Shame’. A really solid performance with plenty of humour involved, lyrically and in between tracks.
After a short interval, it was time for the main event. Complete with a ring announcer, a referee and ring entrances for each of the five Salt the Snail band members, you could see right away that this was going to be like no other live show.
There was so much going on around the room at times that it was impossible to keep track of it all with just two eye balls. At times you just had to look at the person next to you and laugh total in disbelief at what you were witnessing.
There were homemade cardboard title belts hanging down from the ceiling all around the room. A ladder was provided for members of the audience to climb up in order to grab one, each containing the name of a song to be played next.
Some of the placards had you laughing out loud, with one reading “Birkenheadlock!” being a personal favourite. It was also great to see so many kids in attendance really enjoying themselves. One was even allowed in the ring to dance for the final song.
At one point someone claiming to be the former singer of the band climbed into the ring, got up on the current vocalist’s shoulders to become “the world’s tallest singer” and performed a song with the band before climbing down and disappearing into the sold-out crowd.
Towards the end of the show, a giant inflatable slice of pizza was brought out, on to which the vocalist dove on to and performed a song while surfing around the room. It ended in the biggest bump of the night being taken as he was dumped back into the ring with quite a thud.
Despite everything that was happening all around the room, the hilarious contributions of the commentary team of Bob Frost and Don Spleen in between songs almost stole the show, with highly entertaining quips and wrestling puns throughout the night.
While the band performed their songs superbly, it was almost more about the whole spectacle than it was about anything else. And what a spectacle it was. Future Yard has played host to some amazing shows since it opened its doors but it’s hard to imagine this one being topped any time soon.