Henry Priestman live on the Mersey

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 )

Peace

Fay x x x x

John Fay 12.02.45 to 19.09.12

So haven’t had the time to blog as the big push to move into our new house was well and truly on. I was hoping my first blog back would be a triumphant account of how we turned an old decrepit three bedroom terraced house into a modern four bedroom terraced house. Well maybe I will bore you with that tale another time. Well we moved in as planned on Friday 14th September. On the Thursday before we received the news that my dad had gone into hospital with breathing problems. No alarm bells were ringing as my dad has been in a few times over the years as to cut a very long story short he has had his lung out in 2001 and a brain tumour in 2007 both of which he had  defied the odds and overcome but being with one lung and back on the old cigarettes he wasn’t running any marathons anymore. As the weekend passed he deteriorated and it soon became apparent that there was a significant chance that he wouldn’t make it out this time. With him living up in Clitheroe he was in Blackburn hospital and with it now a matter of playing the waiting game for the inevitable moment it was like being back in 2006 when my mum was in a hospice in Blackburn and the daily trek up there began. No offence Blackburn but I really do hate you.The odd footy match apart the only reasons to visit have been hospital , hospice or to register a death. Will still have to visit bastard Blackburn again one last time to register my dads death. So with it being the 18th September I decided to have a day of from visiting as it was my birthday and I had the best birthday possible in the circumstances. Every time my phone rang or received a text my heart was in my mouth. From a truly selfish perspective I did not want my dad to die on my birthday. Anyways we made it to yesterday (19th) and I was planning to go up around 12 when my sister received a call from my dad who could barely speak or breath but the phone went dead and she rushed up to the hospital. She got there and my dad was struggling to tell her something. Just like in a film on his deathbed he was trying to get words out to her. She finally deciphered what he said and it was that he had stashed money in the “puffy” foot rest he used !!! From that moment on my sister said he just relaxed and just over an hour later he passed away very peacefully. I was on my way up and missed the moment by just five mins but I was happy with that as just as with my mum I didn’t want to be there for the moment and also was not interested in seeing him at rest. So we headed back to his house to clear of any valuables and of course check in the “puffy” where there was indeed a stash of money !! Enough to keep me in sausage rolls and beers for a few weeks. We had also found out that at some point the cancer he had and had been clear off for a good few years had come back but he had decided not to tell me and my sister to protect us. I can’t explain what a brave decision that was deciding to deal with that all on his own. In truth my dad was never the same man after my mum died, never have I ever seen anybody so heartbroken by the death of a partner. Once my mum died we enjoyed just 8 months free of cancer before my dad developed his brain tumour but that was treated successfully although with regular fits due to the tumour he was never the same again . So in one way I am feeling a sense of relief this morning as the battles with illness from 1996 to date with both parents are finally gone and both are at peace. Of course on the other hand I am truly gutted my dad had died.

I am just happy that he unlike my mum got to see all three of my daughters though strangely gutted that he never got to see our new house done up. The house where 50 years earlier he would have knocked for my mum to take her out on a date. The eldest daughter (8) was a bit upset that “gaga” had died. Holly at coming up to 6 months was more interested in her new-found food she has started and Charlotte (5) just asked me this morning “When is gaga’s christening” ha ha.

So some tough times ahead but you have really got to try to get on with things as best as you can especially when you have family around you. I am indeed now King Neil Fay the first and Elizabeth becomes first in line to the throne. Might have to have a coronation party in Damon’s diner at some point. So its goodbye to a great father , great grandfather and possibly the most devoted husband to somebody there has ever been. I will miss you dad x x x.

Peace

Fay x x x x

Just one last thing folks you know them warnings on adverts and cigarettes about smoking killing. It really fucking does !!!!