Liverpool International Music Festival, 2014

In which our writer, who can barely hear at the moment, goes to a Record Fair and a Music Festival.LIMF01

Confession time, I haven’t been feeling very well for well over two months now. Meaning that some of the larger events from this summer in Liverpool have gone entirely unobserved by this blog. I just about made Africa Oyé, though I didn’t really see all that much of it. And I missed the Giants altogether, though I might have missed them anyway as some things are always likely to fall into the category of ‘Couldn’t be arsed’.

But music, as I’m sure you will have gathered, means a great deal to me. So this morning I doughtily set off to do my best.

And the trouble? Well, annoying rather than ‘anything for you to worry about’. A stubborn chest infection, moving through to a rather vicious throat infection, followed by clogging sinus congestion and now, joy of joys, a middle ear infection which even my doctor winced and called ‘Nasty!’ when she looked down my ear and diagnosed it. All the same infection? How would I know? All I do know is, despite a few runs and some  work, I’ve been feeling well under the weather, fairly depressed and recently and increasingly, barely able to hear. My left ear, the infected one, is playing me only the tinnitus symphony of my rushing pulse. And the other one, still sinus impaired, is hardly the finely tuned hi-fi instrument I usually so delight in.

Ideal person to go out and do two musical things then? Well I’m the only writer ‘a sense of place’ has and anyway, being English, I firmly believe that ‘getting on with things’ will somehow be good for me. Let’s go.

Late morning in Sefton Park, everything set for a Festival Day.

Late morning in Sefton Park, everything set for a Festival Day.

In fact this second annual running of the Liverpool International Music Festival is already well underway. There was an opening Classical evening with the Liverpool Phil and the Lightning Seeds and then a full day’s programme yesterday. And I wasn’t well enough for either – though to be honest on last year’s underwhelming (from my point of view) evidence, the Phil evening would have fallen into that ‘Couldn’t be arsed’ category anyway.

But today I'm here, and glad to see there will be 'Family Fun' later on.

But today I’m here, and glad to see there will be ‘Family Fun’ later on.

People are arriving on their City Bikes.

People are arriving on their City Bikes.

All over inner Liverpool now and a great success.

All over inner Liverpool now and a great success.

But before the Festival gets going, I’m off down Lark Lane for something else.

Oh yes.

Oh yes.

Held every two months in the Old Police Station community centre. Liverpool's best Record Fair?

Held every two months in the Old Police Station community centre. Liverpool’s best Record Fair?

50p on entry and we're in.

50p on entry and we’re inside.

There are books, CDs and Films on offer, I believe. I've never looked at them.

There are books, CDs and Films on offer, I believe. I’ve never looked at them.

Despite Adrian, my most frequent supplier being missing today (even record dealers are allowed holidays) I spend a happy hour flicking through every LP in the place to select my vinyl haul for the day. These are mostly old vinyl so I already know what everything I’m buying sounds like. Just as well given the hearing situation. The vinyl all looks ok anyway.

Back over in the park a goodly proportion of the population of Liverpool seems to be arriving.

Back over in the park a goodly proportion of the population of Liverpool seems to be arriving.

Though as I walk round the stages I always seem to have just missed someone playing.

Though as I walk round the stages I always seem to have just missed someone playing.

There are food and beer stalls at all the stages this year. It all looks very well organised.

There are food and beer stalls at all the stages this year. It all looks very well organised.

As if many of the inhabitants of the Park could care either way.

As if many of the inhabitants of the Park could care either way.

It's such a big park...

It’s such a big park…

There's enough room for us all.

There’s enough room for us all.

At last, a stage with someone on it. Can't hear much from round here at the back though.

At last, a stage with someone on it. Can’t hear much from round here at the back though.

In any case, it's peaceful, and I'm 'making the best of things'

In any case, it’s peaceful, and I’m ‘making the best of things’

Noticing what I can see, rather than what I can't hear. The sprinkling water from the Eros Foutain.

Noticing what I can see, rather than what I can’t hear. The sprinkling water from the Eros Foutain.

There's giant sand pit for the little children.

There’s a giant sand pit for the little children.

And the rides aren't full yet...

And the rides aren’t full yet…

But I think they will be.

But I think they will be.

I'm expecting to see Goldie on the main stage around now.

I’m expecting to see Goldie on the main stage around now.

But there's just someone playing records.

But there’s just someone playing records.

No wait, it is Goldie, in the red hat there.

No wait, it is Goldie, in the red hat there.

But he's got someone else making his announcements for him.

But he’s got someone else making his announcements for him.

Like “Goldie was just saying to me…” Why couldn’t Goldie say it to us himself? Well, here I am with a middle-ear infection, maybe Goldie’s got laryngitis and we’re both here making the best of things?

Looking round the sky seems dramatically threatening.

Looking round the sky seems dramatically threatening.

In fact it doesn't rain.

In fact it doesn’t rain.

Where I'd probably eat if my sense of taste hadn't, for the moment, deserted me.

Where I’d probably eat if my sense of taste hadn’t, for the moment, deserted me.

Yes, it's not a festival without a Ferris Wheel.

Yes, it’s not a festival without a Ferris Wheel.

And what's this? A live band, dancing ,singing and playing?

And what’s this? A live band, dancing , singing and playing?

This is ‘Yabba Funk’ – Africa Oyé’s contribution to today.

Down at the front of the stage, usually a bit loud for me, today...

Down at the front of the stage, usually a bit loud for me, today…no problem.

And here are the 'Security'

And here are the ‘Security’

G4S, followed everywhere by people handing out leaflets righteously protesting about what their company are up to in the Occupied Territories of Palestine. Though all of these, of course, are friendly enough Liverpool people taken on for the weekend.

The place is now filling up with Liverpool people. Eating, drinking and enjoying themselves.

The place is now filling up with Liverpool people. Eating, drinking and enjoying themselves.

Just a few of them in fancy dress.

Just a few of them in fancy dress.

The park doesn't mind it all. It dreams on, timelessly.

The park doesn’t mind it all. It dreams on, timelessly.

As do some of the people.

As do some of the people.

While others, fortunately as it's a Festival, prefer to dance.

While others, fortunately as it’s a Festival, prefer to dance.

But for me, for now, I'm out of energy and off home.

But for me, for now, I’m out of energy and off home.

Very glad to see the Park so happy and very glad to see things going so seemingly well for the Liverpool International Music Festival. I loved it last year and am only sorry I couldn’t get more fully into it this time round.

But now it's off along Greenbank Drive for a cup of tea on my way home at Sarah's Allotment.

But now it’s off along Greenbank Drive for a cup of tea on my way home at Sarah’s Allotment.

Where I find Sarah and our friend Bren engaged, as ever, in Plot 44 Cordon Bleu activities.

Where I find Sarah and our friend Bren engaged, as ever, in Plot 44 Cordon Bleu activities.

Watched over by the Allotments permanent inhabitants.

Watched over by the Allotment’s permanent inhabitants.

Then I come home for a look at my new LPs.

This contains her love song about life and housing that can make me cry - 'The folks who live on the hill'

This contains her love song about life and housing that can make me cry – ‘The folks who live on the hill’

And this, from 1959? Well I've been looking for this since the day the record player arrived.

And this, from 1959? Well I’ve been looking for this since the day the record player arrived.

And soon, I hope, I’ll be able to listen to them.

Off now then, to put the kettle on, get the Olbas Oil, and see what another steaming might do for my long suffering sinuses.

The Liverpool International Music Festival is still on tomorrow, Bank Holiday Monday. And at other venues for the rest of August. See what’s on here.

7 thoughts on “Liverpool International Music Festival, 2014

  1. Gerry

    Sorry to learn about your ear infection, Ronnie. I hope it clears up soon; it’s a bugger when these things linger on. Still, a couple of great albums to look forward to there.

    Reply
  2. Sally Hirst

    I didn’t think I’d worry about a bloke from Liverpool that I’ve never met. But I do enjoy the blog and feel as if I, sort of, know you as a result. So, I’m glad it’s nothing to worry about. Take care Ronnie.

    Reply
  3. Ronnie Hughes Post author

    Thank you Sally, I’m much encouraged by knowing you’re enjoying the things I write. And I’m taking care to take everything easy enough to recover. Yesterday was good, but I’m glad I came home as soon as I did.
    Very good to hear from you.

    Reply
  4. Helen Devries

    What a rotten run oif illnesses…espcially sinus and a middle ear infection.
    Still, you did get out for a really good day…i’ve very much enjoyed seeing through your eyes.

    Reply
  5. Bex

    What a fun trip to the park and festival! Thank you! I can see one reason you might love Peggy Lee — she is almost a double look-alike to your lovely Sarah! They could be sisters. I also really like the City Bikes. I do hope people don’t abuse them and return them intact. Around here, in our city of Salem, Massachusetts, anything like that would disappear the instant they were put out! It’s a shame but I love it for Liverpool.

    Now I have a record player in my living room that I use occasionally, and I happen to have an old album that I acquired not long go called “Tina Turns the Country On” – Tina Turner… hard to find but I found it. I love her version of “Long Long Time” especially.

    I also suffer from that nasty tinnitus and I’ve learned to ignore it for the most part by now but it’s always there!!! Rrrrrrringing away!!!

    Reply
    1. Ronnie Hughes Post author

      Yes, I can see the resemblance to Peggy Lee now you mention it. As for the City Bikes, I don’t know for sure, but they seem to be much cherished by everyone and carefully cared for. A truly fantastic idea and a wise piece of local government.

      And sorry about your tinnitus. I’m glad to say mine’s gone now and the hearing in my left ear does seem to be slowly returning – though for now it’s just as well a couple of our Peggy Lee albums are mono!

      Reply

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