P.J. Proby, Gig Review. Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool.

Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * * *

Such is the hypocrisy embedded in the national psyche that it allowed the dichotomy of the 60s to be one where the flowering of the nation started to really take great strides forward in terms of art and enjoyment but it allowed the self appointed harbingers of supposed moral supremacy to flourish unchecked and take down those they found to be objectionable; it is always a pleasure therefore surely to watch a singer who upset the blue rinse guardian Mary Whitehouse.

Whatever the disguise you wear to keep the neighbours, perhaps even family, happy, to see an artist banished because of hearsay and illogical thought is to be reminded that the 60s were not always about liberation, that freedom was only truly allowed if people like Mrs. Whitehouse deemed it fit to be seen and the crime that P.J. Proby, the friend of Eddie Cochran, the American vocalist who set hearts a flutter and the desperate minds of the unwarranted elite ablaze, committed was to have his trousers tear and the mind of a poor innocent soul forever allegedly corrupted.

As P.J. Proby sang to his heart’s content on stage, the spectre of the social opposition to social liberalism may have been turning somewhere and as each song was played out, it was impossible to ignore the smiles that littered the Philharmonic Hall audience, whether out of reverence to a great performer or in protest to the damnation of those who believe they are somehow protecting others when all they are doing is hiding behind outdated Victorian values.

The heartfelt deep regret that P.J. Proby showed on stage as he sang the great Eddie Cochran’s Three Steps To Heaven was arguably the most heartbreaking moment in a set that contained incredible hits. The sheer depth of feeling he had for his friend was touching and poignant, the memories even now of those taken far young playing in the national psyche as the crowd remembered, a city that is very much in touch with its natural human emotion of compassion.

Resisting perhaps reluctantly to pull the singer off the stage and give him a Liverpool hug, the fans in the Philharmonic Hall satisfied themselves with the best applause deserved for P. J. Proby on a night where he was unbeatable and beautiful to listen to. Any person who can suffer the wrath of the self appointed righteous brigade is always welcome in a city that transcends such actions and for P.J. Proby that will arguably resonate forever in him.

Ian D. Hall