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STACKRIDGE Liverpool, Cavern Club, 5 July 2008

The Cavern is world-famous for effectively being the birthplace of The Most Famous Band In The World. Stackridge are far from being the latter and the original Cavern is no more but Saturday saw the band that, in common with so many other musicians, knows something about The Beatles, playing at the rebuilt Cavern for the first time.

The numbers gathered within were most appreciative of the fine fare that was served up. The gig began with Dora, and swiftly proceeded through The Last Plimsoll, Happy In The Lord, Grooving Along and The Volunteer. Mutter was in fine form throughout and, in a startling change of sartorial choice, wore a pork pie hat and hooped polo shirt.

Despite the limited space on stage, the band kept the show moving along at a fair lick, albeit with perhaps a slightly slower tempo to many of the songs than usual. The Volunteer, economically introduced by Andy as “this is a song about The Crimean War” saw some serious tambo action from Sarah and Mutter messing up the words.

The great Syracuse came next before a cry of “Come on, Warren” enticed James to finally find his place and lead the band back into the final sections of the song. Dangerous Bacon had the customary false starts, confusion about the count-in and James pointing out there were a lot of words for him to remember.

Friendliness, A Wonderful Day and God Speed The Plough kept up the pleasure quota and continued the fine musicianship. . Fundamentally Yours had Codge standing up, hitting Mutter’s tambourine with his drumstick. The first half concluded with Dancing On Air and Fish In A Glass. James pointed out the latter had a “five minute intro” to which Mutter sardonically added “unfortunately, then Andrew sings”. Ah well, into every life, a little rain must fall”.

A shorter-than-usual interval saw Everybody's Got To Learn Sometime followed by Steam Radio Song and Lummy Days, before Mr Warren switched to acoustic guitar for and Davis showpiece, The Road To Venezuela.

Teatime saw the string section working overtime, with Sarah swaying and almost sinking to her knees, before it was straight into Fascinating World.

Despite the humidity, every one of the band as giving it his or her all and the superb guitar playing of Andy needs no further praise. Glenn “whipped it out” for Save A Red Face and the twin joys and wonders that are Purple Spaceships Over Yatton and Can Inspiration Save The Nation? ensued.

Appropriately, Something About The Beatles came next. Then came Boots N’ Shoes before the band drove straight into a typically blistering version of this number. Cooking? The band ‘oven’ must have well-nigh exploded!

The Galloping Gaucho was next, before Slark ended the set proper: the entire band was grooving – even on a Saturday night – and all was well with the world. The sole encore was Do The Stanley and Mutter as ever managed to get the audience to roar parts of the song in the appropriate places.

Review by Ade Macrow

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