Liverpool Icons: How Jamie Webster went from singing in pubs to selling out stadiums
11 months ago
It may be only two years since the release of his first album, We Get By, but since then Jamie Webster has managed to weave his music into the very fabric of our city.
With toe-tapping tunes and memorable melodies, Jamie Webster, the former electrician, has certainly helped put the spark back into the Liverpool music scene.
As he continues his tour of the UK & Ireland, we take a look at the continuing rise of The People’s Poet.
Like many musicians, Jamie started out performing cover songs around the pubs and clubs of Liverpool. Looking to earn a bit of extra cash, his repertoire included people-pleasing tunes from the archives of his idols; John Lennon, Liam Gallagher, Bob Dylan and local lads, The Coral.
But it was a combination of music and footy that put Jamie on the path to stardom.
Speaking to The Guide Liverpool in 2019, he explained:
“Some lads found out I play a few tunes and I started doing gigs at the end of games. No one had any idea it was going to take off. We were doing it because we love football and music and wanted to bring it together.”
Gigs after games led to a longtime link with BOSS Night, an LFC-inspired event for fans to get together in the aftermath of a match to celebrate or commiserate with cheap lager and singalongs.
It was during the 2013/14 season when Jamie’s BOSS Night performances started to get noticed. Brendan Rodgers was leading Liverpool to an unlikely title charge and Liverpudlians were piling into BOSS night venues to toast their team.
The Reds would ultimately end up being pipped to the post by Manchester City but the wheels were set in motion for a music/footy fusion that would conquer all of Europe a few years later.
Allez, Allez, Allez
Reinvented under Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool went on a rampaging run in the 2017/2018 Champions League. Jamie Webster and his mate were amongst the travelling support for the first leg of a last-sixteen tie against Porto. It was here that they heard the now infamous tune Allez, Allez, Allez, being sung around the concourse. Realising the impact the song could have on Liverpool’s fortune in the competition, Jamie went home and “gave it a bit of life” on his guitar.
And boy, did it work. The song would go on to be the team’s unofficial anthem, reverberating around stadiums across Europe as The Reds marched on to meet Real Madrid in the Final. Klopp’s men suffered a 3-1 defeat in the Kyiv showpiece however neither the song, nor Webster was finished there.
Remarkably, Liverpool would again make the competition final the very next season. This gave the song a new lease of life and Jamie, the club’s semi-official singer, the chance to perform it live in front of 50,000 Reds in the Champions League Final. This time, Liverpool would bring home their favourite trophy and Jamie’s pre-match performance was a viral sensation on social media.
He’d go on to perform the song alongside Jurgen Klopp when the boss unexpectedly turned up to a pre-season supporters club meeting in Michigan later that year.
His place in Liverpool FC folklore secured the singer recorded ‘BOSS’, a live album of footy-only tunes.
From footy to fame
Despite becoming inextricably linked with LFC, over the next couple of years Jamie would cement much wider appeal across the city and beyond.
His debut album ‘We Get By’ – released in August 2020 – is a tour-de-force of lyrical insight about working-class life in the UK.
Filled with scathing jibes about the state of politics in the UK, “All these burning politicians with their burning hearts of coal”, the album would resonate with young and left-leaning people up and down the country.
With his most cutting words reserved for the Tory party, Webster was now firmly on the map and rapidly becoming a voice for a new generation.
The album reached an impressive number six in the UK Official Album charts and became the inaugural number one in the UK Official Folk Album Charts in October 2022.
The album’s standout track is, of course, ‘This Place’. An ode to his home town, the feel-good Liverpool anthem has an incredible 6.3million plays on Spotify.
Not only a song for the city, This Place is about never forgetting where you come from, no matter where it may be.
At the beginning of 2022, Webster released the follow-up album ‘Moments’.
Charting at no.3, the album continues in the same vein as We Get By; with an astute look at modern-day life. Bigger and bolder than its predecessor, Moments is insanely listenable, with catchy tunes packed out with first-class arrangements.
The album captures perfectly the zeitgeist of post-Brexit Britain. His critique of the justice system in ‘Davey Kane’ is inspired; whilst tracks such ‘Knock At My Door’ and ‘Going Out’ show that he continues to be all about representing roots.
Jamie also made his debut appearance on King Tut’s stage at Glastonbury earlier this year, inspiring none other than LFC legend Jamie Carragher to a gold old-fashioned Scouse singalong.
So raise a glass to Jamie Webster. Working-class hero and modern-day Liverpool icon.