So the final day of the first Liverpool International Music Festival at Sefton Park and the sun was cracking the flags, The Desperado’s and Magners were in the cool bag and off we headed to the It’s Liverpool Legend’s stage and first up we caught The Merseybeat legends doing rock and roll how it used to be in the old days. Next up was John O’Connell and by this time I was thankful for the odd rouge cloud to keep the sun at bay for a bit. I had heard a lot about John O’Connell and have most probably seen his old band Groundpig back in the 90’s at one of Liverpool Irish bars. I was very impressed with his set and enjoyed the banjo making an appearance. Up next was something completely different and Malik and the OG’s a mixture of a poetry and music and some mention of revolution. Staying at the same stage and up next was the Liverpool blues legend that is female vocalist Connie Lush. Complete with broken leg causing her to perform on a Solomon Burke style throne. Ms Lush has some amazing vocals and each member of her band is a great musician but unfortunately I had to cut her set short to get over to the main stage to see one of my favourite band play The Christians. Now with the sun out I was expecting the main field to be busy and it sure was with many thousands (I reckon at least 25,000) on the field chilling and ready to see one of Liverpool’s finest bands. I managed to get near the front where there was some decent space as the field was busy with it being so big there was plenty of room. Now having bought the first Christians single at the age of 13 on the recommendation of my music teacher (Who is a brother of lead singer Garry) I was looking forward to seeing them for who knows what number time and they are the band I have seen the most in my life (Deacon Blue second) How great it was a lovely late summers day and the band were playing in my local park for free. With it being such a short set it was bang and the big hits were all played. Poignant hearing “Greenbank Drive” played just a few hundred yards away from the real Greenbank Drive and in my youth I think I might have thought of having the road sign off to put next to my Christians posters but alas it was one of those heavy very old style Liverpool signs and apart from my cunning plan being theft it was never gonna stay up on my bedroom wall without planning permission from my neighbours !! Garry’s voice really suits The Beatles “Here Comes The Sun” and right on time the sun came back out during that song. No encores and the crowd happy to lap more up their time was over. I will never ever tire of listening to the songs of The Christians from which I can map my life from 1987 to 1993. For those part time fans they have a new single out next month “Inner City Blues” which is a 2013 remix from their album track of the same name a cover from the fabulous Marvin Gaye’s “Whats going on” album. Video below.
So quickly over to the It’s Liverpool Legends stage to catch Deaf School. Again a band I had heard so much about but never listened to. Around in the 70’s in Liverpool as I was being born and I have read stuff about them performing at Eric’s I was expecting some full on punk performed by some elderly people. Well i got the elderly people correct (Sorry Deaf School) but it was not the raucous punk rock I was expecting but more of an eclectic music performance ranging from cabaret at times to hints of punk. I was reliably informed by my mate I was with more than a hint of an art college music about them well he should know he was around at the time. Anyway I quite enjoyed them and will be borrowing the best of from my mate who is to cool to admit he likes them but did have a white handkerchief to wave about during a few songs along with many other members of the crowd and the handkerchief was complete with Deaf School sown into the corner . He did not really but that will be an urban myth which will grow over the years which brings me onto the final performance of the weekend.
Back to the main stage and back in 1989/90 I was well-known to be sporting a Soul II Soul t-shirt and as I have grown older the urban myth has spread that I also wore a pouch. As the years have gone by this pouch then developed an Africa badge on it and finally the red, yellow and green of the rasta’s. The t-shirt bit was true. At last after 24 years I could finally see Soul II Soul live and again like The Christians only at my bloody local park for free. Soon Jazzie B was on stage with Caron Wheeler and with no messing about the beat of “Keep on movin” was booming out over Sefton Park, 25,000 people plus cheered and there’s no weather that suits Soul II Soul than sunshine and there it was a musical moment in my life which I will remember forever and even when typing about now even brings a smile to my face. All the big hits were there and I impressed my mate with a word for word rendition of Jazzie B’s rap in “Get A Life” even after nearly 24 years and of course there was only one way to round it off with Back To Life. As great as I expected Soul II Soul to be sadly the end to the first Liverpool International Music festival in Sefton Park was upon us. In what was a pilgrimage on the way home through the park I pointed out the very tree by the Fairy Glen that in the summer of 1990 I bloody ripped one of my Soul II Soul t-shirts (Any chance of another one if your reading this Soul II Soul ha ha)
So what a great festival in Sefton Park and much better than what The Mathew Street festival had become. Hopefully the same next year and a real pleasure to be there for all four days. Musical highlights were The Tea Street Band, Clang Boom Steam, Stony Browder Jnr, The Christians and of course Soul II Soul. I never seen one spot of trouble over the entire fours days I was there. Everything was helped of course by the weather holding up then turning nice. A mention for the nice friendly stewards who can at times at various events be a pain in the arse. The only moan was £4 for a pint and £5 for sausage and chips. Thankfully with some local knowledge of Lark Lane that £9 was turned into Sausage and chips and 6 cans of Budweiser. Only one way to end this blog.
A happy face, a thumpin bass for a lovin race.
Fay x x x x x
Oh and my boss picture from Friday night (click for larger version)