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MATHEW STREET FESTIVAL, Liverpool
29-30 August 2010
refer to free festivals, Isle of Wight always comes to mind. They seem
like a distant age when hair was straggly, ‘merch' was an ice cream man
and security was the farmer's sheepdog. Yet they do still exist and by
the evidence of the Mathew Street Festival in Liverpool the tradition
continues albeit with yellow jackets and minus the option to pitch your
tepee on demand.
The Mathew Street started life in the 80's. Once the city council
finally woke up to the fact that four lads did actually make a huge
impact on the planet and could stimulate tourism, the stage was finally
Inevitably the line up was Beatles oriented. Why shouldn't it be? People
from a large variety of age groups sang along through a variety of
albums by the Fab Four from Revolver to Sgt Peppers. Unfortunately I
missed the latter but did manage to catch Dundee based band, Revolver
running through what for most is the ultimate Beatles album. John, my
companion was a Beatle fan so gave the thumbs up on these guys. And Neil
Tudor's uncanny resemblance to McCartney extended also to his Macca
Band's ability to nail those seminal songs from Wings, Beatles and
solo era with aplomb.
As rockers, we could be all sniffy and ignore what The Beatles did for
us. Rather like the Monty Python sketch let's dismiss harmonies,
musicianship, at least five classic albums, a string of no. 1 singles,
complete mastery of studio techniques and ultimately the craft of song
writing as a passing phase.
Yet ask any
rock star from Gillan to Gallagher and he will tell you that The Beatles
was a major reason for getting up there. 30,000 people came to play
homage to those guys and I am not about to argue with that.
Nods were paid also to other musical maestros and ones whose place at
the rock n' roll hall of fame is more tenuous. The cursory glance to the
stage of the Lily Allen act was little to do with the undoubted talent
on board than the need to do a tribute to a media darling who only
launched in 2006. I also missed the Amy Housewine set. Do I sound
Elsewhere other tributes like The Small Fakes, The excellent Hendrix
Experience, Guns 2 Roses and The Kinks rubbed shoulders with original
artists like Connie Lush and The Boomtown Rats (without Sir Bob).My son
caught the Rats but texted his brief review which opined that The Rats
without Sir Bob is like Everton without Arteta. We had to think about
that analogy for a while before finally agreeing that it was more like
Palace without Coppell. Mark hate mail for the attention of ‘scouser at
One nagging thought was underlined by a conversation I had with a guy,
Peet Walsh from called Sir John Mandeville who I found propping up the
bar at famous The Philharmonic pub. I'd played some Mandeville in my
Rockwaves show a couple of Sundays ago as it fitted with the "dawn of
classic rock" theme I did that week. He wasn't complaining and declared
his like for Beatles music, but these lads should be up there selling
their wares on big occasions like this.
Apart from the non-existent litter control which LCC should investigate
for next time, I would like to see a stage with genuine original talent
from Liverpool and beyond.
bands should be balanced with the original bands, I totally "get" the PR
element of Mathew Street Festival but surely this would be enhanced with
a nod to those who are, in the face of enormous competition, trying to
make their own waves in this era.
this, The Beatles will form the inspiration for a Rockwaves in a few
Sundays time. It's customary to moan at councils and I am more than
happy to praise this one for its efforts.
'Rockwaves' on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio every Sunday at 21:00
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