International dates for Anfield Wrap

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The Anfield Wrap

The Anfield Wrap team. Pic: Vegard Grott

The Anfield Wrap is set to take its award-winning podcast on the road to Ireland and America as members look to expand on their early success.

The popular weekly podcast, which started in 2011, reflects on the local football and music scene and now has more than 35,000 subscribers.

On Saturday 16 February they will be joined by Sky Sports’ Spanish football expert Guillem Balague and Tony Evans, Football Editor of The Times, for a special version of their show at the Royal Hotel and Merrill Leisure Club in Bray, Ireland with all profits from the evening going to the Hillsborough Justice Campaign.

Demand for the show was so high that they even offered people the chance to bid in an auction for two spaces on the guest list which one fan won with a bid of £600.

The sold-out show will also see a performance from Liverpool group The Tea Street Band and host Neil Atkinson is confident of a successful evening.

Speaking to JMU Journalism, he said: “We’re going to have a big laugh, have a big dance and raise some money for the HJC. I think success is that people walk out of the night and say to themselves ‘I’d do that again in 12 months. That was boss.’

“I don’t want it to be a copy of a podcast with a bit of a Q&A; people have bought into the fun we have on TAW as much as the football so we need to find ways to replicate that. I want good audience participation as well. It’s talking about football with your mates.”

But it doesn’t stop there. On 10 and 11 March Neil and regulars Rob Gutmann, Mike Girling, Mike Nevin and Andy Heaton will be recording a live podcast in New York as part of the annual Sound City expo which will also see artists such as The Enemy, Reverend and The Makers, Brodka and The Tea Street Band perform at the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn.

When asked about the magnitude of their success, Atkinson said: “I’m astounded really rather than just pleased. I think it’s fabulous that they’ve asked us.

“We’ve just got to work out how we’re going to fit in with what they want. What we’ve done is interesting in terms of through nowhere we’ve been able to build a sense of identity in an online community over the past 18-24 months. I think Sound City are trying to put that across with the use of digital media in building communities as part of what they’re looking to do both in Liverpool and New York.

“I hope they’re glad they’ve got us and we couldn’t be happier about being involved.”

About Joel Richards, JMU Journalism