The mould has been broken, the dominant aspect of Country music in its own backyard taken apart, its historical birthplace, has been, if not smashed, then certainly demolished brick by brick, blade of grass by white picket fence and tales of the homely and beautiful swept aside. It is the mould set out by the American Country genre to which The Shires, Chrissie Rhodes and Ben Earle, have become quite rightly known as the band in which sit up, take notice of and toast as the modern day British saviours of a genre that was wobbling under its own weight across the pond.
One of the honours of packing up your bags for a while, forgetting the steamy hot sweat of the city where no one has anything on their mind with perhaps the exception of the oncoming football season or the complexities of the latest England cricket score, is arguably heading off to the other capital of culture in the U.K. and immersing yourself completely in the Edinburgh Fringe. It is at the Fringe where some of Liverpool’s much loved actors and performers find themselves and test out new material for the first time, where they experience every crush, every agonising line of perplexed worry on the face of the audience and the thrill of delight that sits in the deepest heart when the play, the song or the joke is appreciated fully and with respect.
The concourse at Lime Street Station on a Friday afternoon always seems to be incredibly congested, the heaving sense of humanity on the move as they find their way to different pastures for the weekend in search of fun or the locked doors of their own palaces and castles, is at times a wonder to behold. Ant like but striding with purpose, the evening concert in the city bringing people in, the thought of a late summer’s drink at the local spurring them on to catch the stopper between Liverpool and that other bended finger of North West music appreciation, you cannot help but be entranced by this weekly dance.
Denis Parkinson’s name has been quite rightly become part of the ever-growing mass of talented musicians plying their guitar strung wares round the city of Liverpool. Whether to be found in the demanding social scene of the open-mic nights or playing with the cerebral boon associated with the Liverpool Acoustic brethren, Denis Parkinson has the eye and ear for an observing lyric and a strength of conviction to follow through the process, even after many years away from the natural home for his talent.
Liverpool and the outlaying areas of Merseyside have, like its music, more than its fair share of top quality comedy writers. They range in national stature from the likes of Morecombe and Wise’s third man Eddie Braben and the creator of Bread, Butterflies and The Liver Birds, the sensational Carla Lane to the local and the as of yet undiscovered by the rest of the country but who make the evenings at the theatre a pleasure to be at.
The long July Sunday afternoon has stretched open with the sense of the familiar, the dog days of August are beginning to bark and whine with canine excitement in the distance and the taste of the future prosperity of the city has become visible as Fredrick’s on Hope Street opens up its doors and the pavement area of Hope Street becomes the playground for the weary and the traffic dodgers.
There are some performers who come into your life that no matter how dispassionate and impartial you try to be about them, you cannot help but wish them so much success in their chosen career.
For Wrexham’s Luke Gallagher, any chance to see him play should be grabbed and held for all it’s worth, for this a young man whose quiet and polite demeanour holds deep fascination, the unflustered heart of a young man with the spirit of a total professional and one who sings with maturity beyond his years, is a talent of wealth and experience and the soft lilt of the North Welsh border town strides like a giant across the mountains of music history.
If there is one musician to capture the ear of anyone fortunate enough to find themselves at the International Pop Overthrow, then arguably Canterbury resident Alison Green is that performer. The sound of honesty, the smoke filled aroma of something tangible and laden with meaning stands out as being on the side of majestic, pleasing on the ear and yet filled with a charm that is both seemingly shy and powerful enough to break down imposed barriers.
There is no doubting the sheer immensity that runs through the heart of one of Glasgow’s finest 21st Century bands, The Fast Camels.
A popular favourite of many who come to Liverpool during the month of May for the International Pop Overthrow, The Fast Camels have endeared themselves and seared their music into the hearts and minds of many who find their way to the Cavern Pub and Cavern to enjoy a relentless blast of the pop groove and psychedelic affair that the band offer.
It takes two to truly make a conversation, to sit and chat without the meaning being lost and the understanding being stilted and diluted, watered down and the froth of life being spluttered upon and half drawn conclusions met.
Meeting up with Jennifer Bea ahead of her performance in the Jim Cartwright play Two, you cannot help but be struck by the fire that dances in the eyes, of the absolute determination to bring a character to life. Even if you have had the honour of knowing Ms. Bea for a while, that fire catches you out and you cannot help but be drawn to it, like a moth serenading a flame, you know that time is short but you revel upon every word.