So Friday night and the first of a few gigs coming up before chrimbo for me. Tonight it was going to be Henry Priestman (Ex Yachts, It’s Immaterial and the Christians) But it was a gig with a twist and on board a Mersey ferry. So why on a ferry you ask well it was the Riverboat Shuffle Music Festival is being held to mark the 50th anniversary of The Beatles last performance on the Royal Iris. The festival is part of the city-wide celebrations to mark the 50th anniversary of The Beatles. This was an opportunity to witness some of the city’s most celebrated musicians and authors in a unique and intimate setting – on board the iconic Mersey Ferries – as part of a special two-hour cruise along the River Mersey.’ At the bargain price of just a tenner it was a no brainer to go to this gig. So a quick trip down memory lane and it would be over 10 years since I was last on a Mersey ferry. The hazy memory of that ferry brings me not to a tourist trip looking at a beautiful waterfront but indeed it was a Garlands club ferry on a Sunday night. What goes on in the Garlands ferry stays on the Garlands ferry so I can’t post anymore on here ha ha. Big choon at the time was Moloko’s “Sing it back” which then months later hits the charts and ruined it for all us clubbers with the final nail in the coffin when one of your fave dance tracks is used as background music when the BBC continuity announcer is saying whats on this Saturday night on BBC 1 !!! Re-winding back even further I recall lovely memories of going on The Royal Iris as a child on afternoons during the summer holidays as the local SARA play-scheme would take us to the disco on board. Big choon at the time then was Russ Abbot “Atmosphere”. To be fair to Russ I do still love a party (gig) with a happy atmosphere. So with large gaps between my Ferry memories I can only assume that my next trip on a Ferry will be in my 50’s and no doubt I will super size the ferry and there will be a mention of Saga cruises !!! Lets get me 40’s out of the way first indeed my final year of my 30’s before I hurtle on the downwards path of life, although I am looking forward to my 60’s and getting pissed down Slater Street on cheap booze with my bus pass in hand ha ha.
So back to the gig eh. First up were the support and a band called Shamona. Playing a few Beatles covers to get us in the mood and other tracks the three lads were indeed a decent tight three man band. Must have been great for the young lads to be playing in front of a packed sold out boat. Next up was Henry Priestman (Web site here) and back with his old partner in crime Pete Riley on guitar and backing vocals (Web site here) Henry seems so at ease on stage and has a laugh as well coming across as without a care in the world for any think that might go wrong. Playing some new tracks as well as tracks from his debut album “Chronicles of a modern life” which I am sure Henry would love me to say has just been released as a limited edition vinyl (ask your dad kids) Normally “Greys the new blonde” is my highlight track from Henry but tonight it was the track “Old” with the killer line that got me first time I heard it “I’m the same age that my father was when I first thought he was old” which I indeed was when I first heard the lyric. Queue a wave of emotion (see last blog) after my dad died last week. Managed to pull myself together and the rest of the gig was great. At one point Henry and Peter were performing and through the window behind them perfectly framed was the Liverpool skyline all lit up in the background, could there be a better backdrop to performing? As a big fan of the Christians we were treated to a little mega mix and later on a full version of “Forgotten Town” Before we knew it it was time to dock at the Pier Head. Joined for the last few songs by the young lads from support act Shamona for great versions of “Don’t you love me no more” and “The Coolest Dance (Irish Jig)” or I think it was that but the £3.50 a can of Carlsberg beer were kicking in (Only beer, steep price, had to get a moan in) rounded off a great gig. A quick dash up to The White Star on Mathew Street for a last few scoops it was time to head home and this time unlike Sunday after the Man Utd game I remembered that I had moved house from by the Matchworks and the taxi got me home to Aigburth Vale ha ha.
So a great night and Henry Priestman despite not being a scouser has been involved in a lot to come out of the Liverpool music scene. Had the pleasure of meeting him a couple of times and finally got to see him to a headline gig last night (wont mention the tickets I gave back to him to watch a champions league semi final ) The ferry made for a great cosy venue and some cracking views from the boat (Below is looking towards the coast were the Britannia pub is )
Fay x x x x