DID Elvis Costello go to the Tranmere-Watford game? Probably not. Did he go to the Tranmere-Manchester United match? Probably.
Firebranding Merseysider and Tranmere Rovers fanatic Ian Prowse, who has just landed the support slot on Costello’s forthcoming UK-wide tour, was keen to keep his mate away from Prenton Park for the two FA cup clashes, which saw Premier League Watford defeated, before the Wirral side took a 6-0 hammering against the Mancs.
“He texted me to see if I could get him a ticket when we drew three-all at Watford and got the replay at Tranmere, but I told him to **** ***. He’s been to a couple of games with me and we’ve lost every time,” said Ian.
The Costello tour takes in Sheffield City Hall on March 7 and the Pele/Amsterdam frontman is delighted to have landed the support slot, which will coincide with the release of The Story of Ian Prowse best of.
“I have been friends with him for a long time but I have never asked him for any favours musically. I thought maybe he would let us open for him in Liverpool but his office phoned up and said he would love us to do the whole tour.
“I thought maybe I would never get to do a major UK tour again. I’ve done tours with Del Amitri, The Pogues and The Wonder Stuff, but this will be the biggest one I have ever done.
“Elvis Costello, with Paul Weller and The Clash were my great educators. I wouldn’t know who the Sandinistas were or Oliver’s Army without their songs.”
The tour and best of follow a successful 2019, which saw Ian, who grew up in Ellesmere Port, expand his fan base with Here I lie. “We had a great year last year with the release of the Here I Lie album and the tour. The gig at Greystones in Sheffield was one of the best on the tour. It’s particularly satisfying when people respond to your new songs as well as the more well-known ones like they did in Sheffield. It’s quite nerve-racking to put a whole lot of new songs out there,” he says.
Does a support slot differ though? “I’ve always loved them, They appeal to the competitive side of me. I will stand on that stage and some people will know me, some will have looked me up and some won’t know who the **** I am, and I’ve got 30-40 minutes to turn it on and I will give it everything I have got to see if they will get on board the good ship Prowsey.
“It’s one shot at the title and if you’ve done a good job, you go to the merch stand and make new friends, then you get to watch one of the greatest artists of all time and have a few drinks.”
The Story of Ian Prowse will feature all his best work alongside a new song called Only The Love. “There will be songs from Pele, Amsterdam and Ian Prowse. My most famous songs are either just me or Amsterdam, but I will always play the Pele songs. They are all part of me.”
To that end, we’re talking Raid The Palace, Fair Blows The Wind For France, Home, All The Royal Houses, The Journey and, of course, Does This Train Stop On Merseyside, a song that sits alongside Pete Wylie’s Heart As Big As Liverpool as one of the greatest songs ever written about the city. He’s proud of his songs and rightly so. “Songwriting is a way of me leaving something behind. When I have physically died, Does This Train Stop On Merseyside will be around long after I have gone. Bill Drummond (KLF frontman) gave a talk in town and said he had a theory that bands had all done their best work by the time they were 25 but he had come across the exception to the rule with Ian Prowse and Does This Train Stop On Merseyside. I’m proud of that.”
Prowse’s train is still very much on track. Don’t miss him!
* Ian Prowse will support Elvis Costello at Sheffield City Hall on Saturday March 7. Tickets are available via : https://amsterdam-music.com/live/