Cammell Laird and ‘The Phil’ record new version of Ferry Cross the Mersey

Recording has been made to celebrate Wirral becoming the 2019 Borough of Culture for Liverpool City Region and will be premiered at a special concert in Birkenhead Park this September

Mersey Ferry Snowdrop
Mersey Ferries are world famous thanks to the Gerry and the Pacemakers song

 

A new version of the Gerry and the Pacemakers classic Ferry Cross the Mersey has been recorded in a collaboration between shipbuilder Cammell Laird and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra (RLPO).

The recording, made to celebrate Wirral becoming the 2019 Borough of Culture for Liverpool City Region, will be premiered at a special concert in Birkenhead Park this September where the the RLPO will give its only outdoor performance of 2019.

Worldwide fame

Written by Gerry Marsden and originally recorded in 1964, Ferry Cross the Mersey brought the Mersey Ferries worldwide fame. The song not only became an instant hit, it has retained a special place in Mersey culture.

The idea to record a special version was sparked by a meeting during this year’s Animated Square light show at Birkenhead Town Hall between Tony Graham, chief operating officer of Cammell Laird which is based in Birkenhead, and Andrew Cornall, artistic director at the RLPO.

Musicians of the RLPO, led by their chief conductor Vasily Petrenko, gathered for the recording at Liverpool Philharmonic Hall in May and the new arrangement was the work of Tim Jackson, Principal Horn. The recording is due to receive a radio premiere over the summer.

Vasily Petrenko
Vasily Petrenko, chief conductor of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. Picture by Mark McNulty

 

Cultural events

Tony Graham said: “What a fantastic way to celebrate both Cammell Laird’s longstanding links with the Mersey Ferries and the exciting programme of cultural events taking place in Wirral throughout 2019.

“Tim Jackson has produced a beautiful arrangement and the RLPO has created a fitting new chapter in the life of this iconic piece of music. We have a superb line-up of events to look forward to over the coming months as the Borough of Culture celebrations continue, and I cannot wait to see this new version of Ferry Cross the Mersey premiere in front of a live audience in September.”

The RLPO will take to the stage in Birkenhead Park at 7.30pm on Saturday, September 7. Tickets are available now at liverpoolphil.com priced at £15/ £12.50 (concessions) with up to two children free per adult ticket, a small charge applies for additional children.

Andrew Cornall added: “The orchestra and Vasily Petrenko were delighted to come together for this recording, which celebrates an iconic song and an iconic feature of our region.”

As well as premiering their new version of Ferry Cross the Mersey, the orchestra will perform a programme of popular classics, show tunes and exciting film standards, under the baton of conductor, Richard Balcombe.

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