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They're not the Beatles, but the Anfield Wrap features four guys from Liverpool and a pretty popular live show about Liverpool FC.David Rawcliffe/Handout

Four guys from Liverpool selling out a Toronto venue and regaling fans about affairs of the heart sounds like a familiar refrain.

Except this performance possessed something of a twist on that formula … and maybe even a shout or two.

After all, it’s one of the things that soccer fans are best known for, besides the unadulterated passion they have for their teams, even if that means getting up at the crack of dawn on the weekends.

“You might say ‘I love ice cream.’ But you don’t really love ice cream,” joked one of the four, Neil Atkinson, in his opening dialogue. “You don’t for instance get up at 6:30 in the morning to see how Ben and Jerry’s are getting on. You don’t go to Haagen-Dazs away.

“You don’t love ice cream. But all of you, you do love Liverpool.”

It was that love that brought out 200 or so members of the Official Liverpool FC Supporters Club on Wednesday evening to fill Toronto’s very own Cavern Club, which also doubles as the basement of the Loose Moose bar and grill the other 364 days of the year.

The star turn on this evening was the Anfield Wrap, a subscription-based media company from Merseyside that produces 14 podcasts and 10 videos every week, focused almost entirely on the 19-time English champions, Liverpool Football Club. Twice voted podcast of the year by the English Football Supporters Federation, the company has recently branched out into making documentaries, and for the past 10 years or so, travelling the world to perform live shows.

Having previously been to Australia, Hong Kong, Sweden, Denmark, Norway and the United States, among other countries, the Anfield Wrap was to make its Canadian debut three years ago. But the pandemic threw a wrench into those plans.

“Just today one of the supporters club people was talking about the fact that she felt we helped lead them through COVID-19, which was a really nice thing for her to have said,” said Atkinson, who doubles as chief executive and lead presenter.

With a Twitter following of more than 550,000 followers – for reference, that’s more than the following of a few NHL teams south of the border – North America is an important market for the Anfield Wrap, with the company estimating that 10 per cent of its subscriber base is from here.

“Part of what we come here and do and part of what this is tonight is giving them some degree of Liverpool culture,” Atkinson said. “Liverpool jokes, Liverpool references and putting it in front of them for them to get on board with.”

After kicking things off in Toronto, the foursome – who have “quasi-indie-bandish stylings,” Atkinson said – were moving on to Detroit, Boston, New York and Philadelphia, before ending in Washington on March 27.

Despite Liverpool’s recent struggles, with the team enduring one of its worst campaigns in the past half-decade, eliminated from the Champions League and FA Cup and sixth in the Premier League, support remains strong within the OLSC Toronto. That support was one of the things that persuaded the Anfield Wrap to venture north of the border for the first time in its sixth trip across the Atlantic Ocean.

“Supporters clubs are great for us,” said John Gibbons (not the former Blue Jays manager), one of the Anfield Wrap’s regular panelists. “They’re an active audience of Liverpool fans who you know are passionate because they’ve joined a supporters club.

“But Toronto are another level in terms of how they do it and their professionalism and everything they do and because they’ve been good to us and because they’ve always supported us we wanted to support them so that’s why we started in Toronto.”

With around 600 members this season – down from 800 last year when the team came within two wins of winning an unprecedented quadruple of trophies – the OLSC Toronto gathers regularly at the Elephant & Castle in downtown Toronto to watch games.

As for why fans would pay $30 a head to watch a live show featuring four men talking about a team that plays its games multiple time zones and thousands of kilometres away? Part of the answer can likely be found in the behemoth that is the English Premier League, which boasts an annual TV audience of 4.7 billion, with matches being viewed in 643 million homes around the world.

“I don’t think it’s surprising because the Premier League if anything has become more of a prevalent force across the world, but especially in North America,” said Yvi Laramee, the club secretary for the OLSC Toronto. “Liverpool has always had a very strong baseline here anyway in Toronto.”

Touring podcasts have become something of a flourishing market over the past 10 years, with popular soccer-related ones such as the Guardian Football Weekly regularly undertaking trips around Britain. In North America, Men In Blazers, a New York-based English duo who produce podcasts and a TV show for NBCSN, have been at the forefront of that movement, recently completing a 10-stop tour across the United States to coincide with last winter’s World Cup.

But Gibbons see a marked difference between the Men In Blazers and the Anfield Wrap, which produces two different shows after Liverpool home games, all taking place within spitting distance of Anfield Stadium in Liverpool.

“What we try and do is take people with us,” he said. “You mentioned Men in Blazers there and I really like them, I think they’re good guys. We’ve done little bits with them and you know, for Evertonians they’re not too bad at all.

“But they’re trying to do informative, almost educational, entertaining podcasts with people whereas what we’re trying to do is take people who can’t be there into the heart of it.”