THE ferry 'cross the Mersey must have been packed bringing these legendary Liverpool bands over to the world-famous Birkenhead Park.

As part of the Borough of Culture weekend, which featured the Food and Drink Festival and a concert by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, a rock and pop concert sealed a successful celebration.

It is clear from the turn-out of people of all ages that this is something Wirral should build upon.

More home-grown Wirral talent would not go amiss.

For many of the acts appearing it was a rare visit to Wirral.

First on stage came China Crisis – currently on a 40th anniversary tour - with vocal frontmen guitarist Eddie Lundon and keyboard player Gary Daly.

They were 'warming up' the crowd, reminded Gary sporting a raincoat - no doubt in anticipation for an open-air downpour which happily never came.

They were as slick and musically-polished as ever with lush sounds from their greatest hits including Wishful Thinking and Black Man Ray.

Gary, preferring tambourine to piano on this occasion, praised fellow singer-songwriter Eddie and saluted their proud roots in Kirkby.

They were followed by The Christians with another golden hits selection including Harvest for the World and Forgotten Town (now there's an anthem for Birkenhead).

A highlight of their 45-minute set was a crisp tribute to George Harrison with Here Comes The Sun.

Laid-back charismatic singer Garry Christian did meander a bit with stage patter, but he was clearly enjoying himself and loved being part of it all with plenty of local references.

It was another accomplished concert in their 35-year career.

And finally Lightning Seeds gave a wide selection of their melodic and meaningful output from the past 30 years.

Band creator Ian Broudie in trademark shades took a little time to get started, but when he did there was no stopping him.

There was considerably less chat from Ian but that allowed for more songs notably classic renditions of such hits as Pure, Life of Riley and Lucky You.

Their rousing, join-in encore song was England's football anthem Three Lions and here dedicated to Tranmere Rovers.

There was one down side to the overall three and half hour gig and that was the time spent setting up in between acts.

Granted, there has to be instrument switch-overs, but the ticket-buying public deserve to be entertained throughout as part of the full package.

There is a very striking short council promotional clip but this would have been an ideal time to show longer videos of Wirral’s past and present achievements and future aspirations.

That said, it was a top-notch, varied selection of live

bands who brought the '80s and '90s back to life again.

All three bands are still going strong with their respective careers and own popular brand of rock and pop legacy.

On a breezy Autumn night Birkenhead Park was alive with the sound of music - now that really is a result worth savouring.

More please.

Four stars

Superb setting