For those unacquainted with the wild world of Tailenders, it’s a show that boasts a star-studded lineup featuring cricket legend James Anderson, the charismatic Greg James from Radio 1, the talented Felix White of The Maccabees, and the outrageously funny Matt ‘Mattchin’ Horan.
The show, which took flight in 2017, has gathered a devoted following of diehard cricket fans and even those who’ve never so much as held a cricket bat in their lives.
It’s a beautiful fusion of music, laughter, chaos, and the occasional cricket reference so obscure that only the true cricket badgers can decipher.
The stage was set with wooden benches instead of the sofas, facing an imaginary cricket wicket created by placing stumps at opposite ends of the stage.
A live band, guided by Felix White’s impressive guitar skills, was positioned in the corner, popping up throughout the evening for some epic singalongs.
But the true show-stealer of the night was the irrepressible ‘Mattchin’.
His Freudian Slips quizzes and stand-up segment had the audience in fits of laughter.
He entertained us with tales of being a ‘hot influencer’ and pondered the age-old question of whether one can ‘holiday too hard.’
And who could forget that hysterical video of him water skiing, ending in a hamstring disaster, followed by a screen projection that I can only describe as an anatomical revelation.
The Lancashire legend, James Anderson, had a different role for the night, playing the part of a makeshift ‘doctor’ while enjoying a Peroni.
Probably to wash down the taste of his Wellman pills.
He also introduced us to his alter ego, Timmy Banderson, a fast bowler from the American-Australian US Major League Cricket who claimed not to have heard of Golden Age cricketers like Anderson himself.
One of the highlights of the night was Jimmy getting hilariously roasted by his daughter, a moment that had the crowd in stitches.
Greg James effortlessly guided the show alongside Felix White, showcasing his talent for hosting.
It’s clear that he’s the glue that holds the show together, delivering 90 minutes to two hours of pure silliness, banter, and music with the finesse we’ve come to expect from him on the radio.
Felix White, with his roots in The Maccabees, led the audience in energetic singalongs, including multiple renditions of The Proclaimers’ “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles),” with the chorus replaced by raucous shouts of ‘Tailenders.’
It was a testament to his musical prowess and the infectious spirit of the evening.
England legend Sophie Ecclestone made a surprise appearance, sharing her insights on topics like The Hundred, test cricket, and memorable cricket moments, adding a great twist to the show and sharing some insight into her career.
Leaving the O2 Apollo that night, it was impossible not to have a smile plastered on your face.
The show was a heartwarming celebration of cricket and a unique opportunity for podcast fans to savour the magic of a live performance.
Watching a cricket legend like Jimmy up close in his hometown of Manchester was a dream come true for any cricket enthusiast.
So whether you’re a cricket badger, know someone who is, or simply seek a night filled with laughter and fantastic live music, I wholeheartedly recommend snagging a ticket to the next Tailenders show.
If you’re the scholarly type who’d rather read Wisden in silence and score the test match, well, this might not be your cup of tea.
It’s definitely for more of a Red Bull-drinking, Hundred-watching, bucket hat-wearing type.
Tailenders are more 4 pm in the Hollies stand than the reverie of the Lord’s Long Room.
But that’s okay, too.
But rest assured, you’ll have an enjoyable evening, and who knows, you might just learn a thing or two about cricket while you’re at it.
It’s well worth the price of admission and guarantees an evening of entertainment, camaraderie, and laughter.
Catch them if you can!