On the bus from the centre of town then, back to where we left off at Wally’s Steps for the second section of our walk from here to there along the whole of the Leeds Liverpool Canal. 127 miles to Leeds with 119 to go. Today we’ll cover the 8 miles from Aintree to Downholland Cross.Quality graffiti here. So today will we be Riders on the Storm who will Break on Through to the Other Side? Well.
Sarah has a new jacket.
It’s a ‘paramo’ thing and apparently ‘jacket’ is hardly the word for something that will prove to keep her warm, keep her dry, keep her cool, keep her ventilated and be her best friend when other humans, me, aren’t quite up to the mark. It’s a miracle. And you can keep canal maps in the front. Continue reading →
Feeling mildly down for no particualr reason, perhaps the darkening of the year or perhaps not, I decided to take a day completely off from working. It’s a privilege of being self-employed. The work will still get done, just not today. Today I walked around Liverpool. For the comfort and joy that always gives me, and for the beauty of the leaves.
I began by walking through The Mystery.Then across Smithdown where the Ullet Roadworks are still going. Continue reading →
I miss Ian Dury like something I don’t have a clever similie for. Never mind a rhyme, which he would have done.
I often stand in front of a problem or a situation and think ‘What would Ian think?’ Not that I’m like him. But I am. Not that I ever met him. But I did. Sort of, twice. Meaning I saw him sing. Which was a much more powerful thing than your average ‘going to a concert’. I mean, this is not the kind of average thing you get to hear is it?
“Summer, Buddy Holly, the working folly
Good golly, Miss Molly and boats
Hammersmith Palais, the Bolshoi Ballet
Jump back in the alley and nanny goats
18 wheeler Scammels, dominica camels
All other mammals plus equal votes
Last week I went to the Liverpool X conference here in, well, Liverpool. And enjoyed myself. As I would, taking the luxury of a day to think and talk about Liverpool and its possible futures. Other than a few Tweets I didn’t write about it though, as I had nothing in particular to say. But I do now.
And that’s because yesterday The Double Negative published their review of Liverpool X, written by fellow attendee Jon Davies, and which I largely agreed with. The day was interesting though not very representative and it was hard to see where the ideas people were having were going to go. Nevertheless, a good thing on the whole and something to build on.
My problem was with the sub-editing of the review, the first of 3 bold headlines within the review being this:
“Architect Stephen Bayley claimed that Liverpool was the first city in the UK to have died. Continue reading →
At the Liverpool International Music Festival this week I saw an astonishing performance from one of the best bands I’ve ever seen in my life, Deaf School. And was surprised to realise I’ve been going to see Deaf School, with many a long gap, for the best part of 40 years.
The first time we saw them there were loads of them, a dozen or more. Including one who sat there all the way through the performance reading a newspaper and elegantly smoking. They were art students doing a ‘concept’ and they looked like it. We were intrigued.
Because looking like art students was more than OK with us lot at the time. It was what we looked like, though we weren’t studying art as such. Satin, velvet, Biba, charity shop finds and bippity-boppity hats, verging into Oxford bags and Jonathan Silver suits.
This was, from memory, 1974 sometime, and we knew the future of music was somewhere along the path being laid out by some mixture of all that was flowing from the works of the Velvet Underground, David Bowie and Roxy Music. We loved them all and would go and see Bowie, Lou Reed and Roxy devotedly whenever they came to Liverpool. But we were sad Liverpool itself didn’t seem to be contributing towards this future. Until the night we first saw Deaf School. Continue reading →
Sixties school fellow and contributor to the popular ‘Foods and sweets’ series, Barry Ward, leads on this one, with occasional additional comments from me, about us discovering music growing up together in suburban North Liverpool.
The first music I remember would have been from the radio, nursery rhymes on ‘Listen With Mother’. We didn’t have a record player until 1963 and so the radio always seemed to be on in our house. I recall programmes such as ‘Children’s Favourites’ on Saturday mornings, and ‘Two Way Family Favourites.’ From these I would have heard songs such as The Teddy Bear’s Picnic, The Runaway Train, Nellie The Elephant, The Laughing Policeman, How Much Is That Doggie In The Window, The Big Rock Candy Mountain, and the was it sinister or did it pre-date Kraftwerk and ELO, ‘Sparky’s Magic Piano’? (Go to 3m 20s here.)
The late 50’s wave of (mainly) American Rock & Roll artists such as Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly and Little Richard passed me by at the time though. Continue reading →