LIVERPOOL 08 EUROPEAN CAPITAL OF CULTURE

No 1's - Wayne Shorter - Soweto Gospel Choir - John Tavener's Requiem

Devon Sproule - Ben Johnson - The Bluecoat - Buddy Holly Tribute

Fort Perch Rock - US Iraq War Poet - Alabama Blind Boys

Mike Westbrook - Yoko Ono - Liverpool Samba Party

La Machine - The International Guitar Festival

A wonderful family affair! Eddie Yates talks to the people and the

Mayor waves while Ringo perches in his box on top of St Georges Hall.

The celebrations have begun!

The Opening 11/01/08

St Georges Plateau

 

This was a fantastic evening of light and sound enjoyed

by the people of Liverpool who assembled on

St Georges Plateau.

The most impressive moments for me was being amongst the crowd and feeling the warmth and generosity of the people, listenin to their true 'Scouse' humour and observations. The young brother and sister to my right who begged me to keep their place against the barrier so that they could go to Lime Street Station to phone their mum to tell her they might be on the 'telly'. To my surprise they returned proclaimin 'hey mister we're back'.  'Do you know any of the Beatles?' they asked sayin 'My Nan does!'

To my left whilst waitin for the show to start I discussed the merits of the 'Coal not Dole' protests with an ex miner from Nottingham. He was surrounded by an extended Liverpool family who immediately dispatched in no uncertain terms a

'smelly scally' who had crushed their youngsters

against the barriers!

The highlight for most people was the appearance of

Ringo Star in a box on top of St Georges Hall.

I believe he performed so high up so as to get closer

to John & George?

What is it about drummers that sing?  I w'ont go into that

other than to say 'It must be somethin in the air' and that it

made you realise why McCartney didn't make an appearance

and why Ringo was the drummer

and not the singer. Nuff Said!


 

The Liverpool Echo Arena No 1's Concert 19/01/08

 

The Arena lived up to it's reputation as the 'Echo' Arena

AL bowin out while Gerry

'Never Walks Alone'

The Scaffold leads the Congregation

through the Pink

 

The highlights for me of this much daunted show were: Paul Kappa on slide acoustic guitar bluesin it through Lady Madonna

Jack Roberts gravelin and shavin through Eight Days a Week and Connie Lush soulin through Frankie's Power of Love.

These solo voice and acoustic guitar numbers not forgettin Nouveau Django sounded far better than the rockin electric bands

because their performances were not distorted by the 'waffle-board' bass sound and echoing stadium.

Although it was well worth the 22.50 donated to charity and a chance to experience Liverpool's new venue

it would have to be somethin special to get me back to the aptly named 'Echo' Arena.


Wayne Shorter & the Liverpool Philharmonic 05/01/08

The Liverpool Philharmonic Hall still remains my favourite venue from where I and my son

Eddie enjoyed the un-interrupted inspirational music of

Wayne Shorter and The Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.

Wayne Shorter leaves the stage to rapturous encores.

The wonderful acoustics and Art Deco splendour of this hall make this an oustandin venue for the more

discernin public and fellow artists and musicians.

The last time I saw Wayne Shorter was when he was workin with Miles Davis in Antibe in France in 1969.

Soaring fluidity and dexterity are his trademark and his playin remains undiminished when you consider he is now an

elder statesman of the tenor saxophone. Throughout his career it is interestin to see how he combines with the varied musical combinations of his choice and tonight it was The Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. They complemented each other in this fine virtuoso performance.

It was good to see Pete Wylie and his daughter Mersey in attendance.

 


The Soweto Gospel Choir 03/02/08

Liverpool Philharmonic

 

Exhileratin to say the least

The boys play the spoons

Well deserved encores

 

This music was so infectious that everyone within this hallowed hall could not help but get to their feet and move and groove to their

incessant heart-felt  beat, even the loyal Philharmonic staff.

Amazin Grace was a highlight with so many gorgeous voices risin to the heavens - what a treat!

The Soweto Gospel Choir formed their charitable foundation Vukani in 2004 and have raised thousands of pounds to help care for the children of South Africa orphaned by aids and aids related illnesses.  This alone deserves a standin ovation!

 


Devon Sproule 12/02/08

The Pacific Birkenhead

Devon Sproule (solo)

Devon & Paul (husband & wife duet)

Blind AL, Devon & AL (first time at the Pacific)

 

The first time that I saw Devon Sproule was as a support for Richie Havens and was very impressed by her noteworthy guitar playin especially on

My Baby Just Cares for Me and her soulful vocal sensibility. Some people may class her music as folk-pop but I think it goes deeper to

those country roots. Her vocal tenderness and lyrically beauty is somethin to cherish and after her recent performance on the Jool's Holland Show

I think that it will be the last time we will have such an intimate performance for those fortunate people upstairs at the Pacific.

I told her she would get the best view of the famous Liverpool Waterfront from this side of the river, I hope she took my advice before she returned home to the Twin Oaks Community, USA.

 

 


John Tavener's Requiem 28/03/08 

World Premier at the Metropolitan Cathedral

Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral

A view to the Heaven's

The audience waits in anticipation

The Philharmonic Orchestra is ready

Josephine Knight (cello) arrives her podium

 Vasily Petrenko (conductor) walks on

Elin Manahan Thomas (soprano) & Andrew Kennedy (tenor) make their way to the front to repeated encores.

Vasily Petrenko receives encore after encore for a stunningly, intensive performance.

The Liverpool Philharmonic stand to receive recognition of a truly spiritually engagin, upliftin performance.

 

Rachmaninov's All-Night Vigil opened the programme with a spine tinglin chord from the resplendent unaccompanied one hundred and fifty plus  voices of the Liverpool Philharmonic Choir that made the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end their resonant power was awesome!

This was a tremendous experience that I will never forget. It reminded me of the power and the glory of great choral works of the Requiem.

John Tavener's Requiem with it's searin intensity of awesome apocalyptic terror and grandeur constrastin with sublime and deepest sincerity.

Tavener's Reqiuem covers many forms of religious texts from the Roman Catholic Mass, with references to the Qur'an, Suffi and Hindu texts

inclusive of Sanskrit, Hebrew, Greek and Arabic.

Although I'm not a devoutly religious person I have a very spiritual awareness that puts humanity into perspective with its minute comparison to the vastness of the universe and whatever lies beyond.  But God Dam (no offence meant) religion inspires some wonderful artistic and musical creations.

It is a work that was meant to be performed in the vast crucifix type of space and the Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral provided the ideal crucible. 

This was very special to me and I wish to thank John Tavener and all those whose performance created such an ecstatic experience for one so humble.  Thank you again and I wish you a successful recovery from your recent illness.

This performance was recorded for BBC Radio 3.

Oh! for a ticket to hear Britten's War Reqiuem at the Liverpool Anglican Cathedral on the 28th June 2008.

At least it's bein recorded  for EMI Records.

 


 

Ben Johnson - The Liverpool Cityscape

The Walker Art Gallery

Ben 'air-brushin'  assisted by his wife

The Artist

Choosin the coded colour

 

It was another excellent idea to see the Contemporary Landscape Artist Ben Johnson as an 'Artist in Residence'.

This landscape uses thousands of photographs generated through computer technology into a stencil format by two computer technicians so that the artist can painstakingly position and spray each individual piece with utmost precision. Each building is dissected into differing areas of colour, light and shade, with each colour bein expertly mixed and coded to that of the photograph by another two assistants  .

At the point that I took these photographs this work had taken over 11,000 hours to produce and is staggering in its concept and probably not to everyone's taste but havin served my time as a Photo Litho Retoucher in Paton Calverts of L:iverpool and then Graphic Studios in Speke I can fully appreciate the skills required especially in the attention to detail, colour co-ordination and concentrated endeavour.

An outstandin piece of work that puts Tracey Emin's bed into perspective!


Justin Adams & Juldeh Camara  

The Blues Meets a Fulani Griot @ The Bluecoat 19/03/08

The Bluecoat

Justin Adams

Justin Adams, Juldeh Camara & Salah Dawson Miller

Juldeh Camara

Thanks to Bryan Biggs the Bluecoat's head honcho I was able to attend this invigoratin performance by a master Gambian musician Juldeh joinin forces with the co-writer of Robert Plant's Mighty Rearranger album Justin plus seasoned percussionist Salah.

I've never heard the Hoochie Coochie Man riff accompanied by a ritti (one stringed fiddle) before and what this man can do with a one string instrument is a pleasure in itself. With everyone bein encouraged to 'move & groove' to their incessant infectious beat there was no room for seatin at this newly re-vamped venue, an ideal venue for these more contemporary gigs.

It is a great pity that all the tickets have been sold for the return of Yoko Ono's Performance Art on April 4th.

Her last performance was here in 1967 and can be seen on video in the exhibition area.

 


The Buddy Holly Liverpool Tribute Show

The Liverpool Philharmonic Hall 20/03/08

 

The Reverb Brothers Tribute to Buddy

Made the BBC TV News

Tommy Allsup The Star of the Show

Buddy Holly's Guitarist

Jack Roberts & Andy Steele

Waitin Backstage at the Phil

 

Phil & Pete catch the rest of the show from

the Philharmonic Pub

Johnny Rodgers as Buddy Holly

Wah! Liverpool's Wild Child

Photo by Colin Heron

 

Terry & Val the hub of Blues Shouter

Signed Poster

Dave Crosby the Main Man

 

 

The Third Man plays the Phil

Congratulations must go to Dave Crosby for organisin such a wonderful show. A show that brought together musicians from various musical backgrounds to perform the music of Buddy Holly and as Tommy Allsup said 'Buddy would have been proud of y'all'.

The change over between the acts was professionally compared by Frankie Connor makin the evenin run very smoothly and a credit to all concerned, so well executed in fact that it was no surprise that Johnny Hamp had been brought on board.

Unfortunately I was not allowed to photograph the acts on the main stage but managed to catch them later backstage.

 The Reverb Brothers playin in the bar area added an authentic approach and introduction to the nights performance

that was all in aid of Cancer Research UK.

For me the guitar work of Tommy Allsup was the highlight of the show and talkin to him later was not surprised that

his biggest influence was the Texan blues guitarist T Bone Walker who I had seen at the Philharmonic in the 1960's.

A question to Dave Crosby is how do you follow that?  Think It Over? - Oh Boy!

I did just that and caught up with Tommy and Johnny at Fort Perch Rock New Brighton The Mersey Beat Story.


The Mersey Beat Story

Fort Perch Rock New Brighton 23/03/08

Fort Perch Rock New Brighton

 

Johnny 'Buddy' Rodgers Gets Down

 

Brian Jones blows with The Rock-A-Teers

 

The Mersey Beat Cat Approves

Tommy Allsup Stars Again

Johnny, AL & Tommy enjoy a Cup of Tea

 

This is a wonderful little Merseybeat Club/Museum run by the Merseybeat Cats that features many superb guests on the third Sunday of every month and March saw the German band the Rock-A- Teers give a Rock n Roll Party to a packed house (about the size of a large livin room) with special guest straight from the success of the Liverpool Philharmonic, Tommy Allsup & Johnny Rodgers and Brian Jones on Tenor Sax.

It was good to see them play a longer Buddy Holly tribute set and to find out that they played last Wednesday at Huyton Social Club right on my Mam's doorstep and I didn't even get to know about it, just goes to shows how secretive Huyton Rock n Roll Society is!

What a fantastic way to spend an Easter Sunday at this alternative alter to Rock n Roll.

Rock n Roll away that Stone I say!

A special thanks to Jonesey for blowin some 'Curtis Cool' and sharin a cup of tea.

Elvis workin the door and

keepin an eye on the place


Brian Turner US Iraq War Poet

Bluecoat 27/03/08

Brian signin my book

The Book - Here, Bullet

Courtesy of Bloodaxe Books

An extremely emotive performance

This was a realistic chance to hear the unbiased truth about what is goin on in Iraq as seen through the eyes of US ex-infantry sergeant

Brian Turner and what a movin account from a man who has been involved on the front line.  Here is a man who is not afraid to tell it like it is

through poetry in his book Here, Bullet. This is a perfect example of the duty of poets, musicians and artists to question the morality of world egotists

and the outcome of their actions, darin to go where few media corporations dare venture. Brian's performance of his work obviously has a carthatic effect on him as he relives and questions his experiences 'doin his duty' in Iraq.  He is obviously traumatised by what he has witnessed.

One of many examples that he re-lived was of a co-sergeant demonstratin the awesome accuracy of his rifle droppin a heron from its perch and watch

it fall amidst flutterin feathers and thinkin 'Welcome to Iraq'. Also relatin to our way of greetin strangers with the word 'hello' especially when dealin with the foreign mind with the first four letters spellin 'HELL'.  Another devastatin recollection was to see his fellow infrantyman one minute blowin bubbles out of the armoured vehicle window watchin them float upwards like fish bubbles and the next minute seein bloodied stumps where his hands used to be!  This is the stark reality of military conflict not a video game played between the cross-hairs, not the propaganda of war, of gleamin medals and freshly pressed fatigues. Brian Turner is first and foremost a poet who followed a family tradition by joinin the US Infantry, one of the few who have bothered to study and respect the traditions and culture of the land he was about to invade.  

This book has earned Turner nine major literary awardsincludin a Lannan Literary Fellowship and a 2007 NEA Literature Fellowship Poetry.

Havin followed and protested about the invasion of Iraq from the first Gulf War in 1991 the descriptive imagery portrayed in the first few poems

A Soldier's Arabic, The Baghdad Zoo and Hwy 1 (Highway One)  means that I'm in for a totally absorbin but somewhat depressin read.

I still visualise that iconic photo of an Iraqi Infantryman burnt to a cinder in his vehicle on the 'Highway of Death' and as Brian told me afterwards no one has yet discovered or accounted for the remains of the hundreds of Iraqi conscripts that were buried alive in their trenches by a US tank regiment.

All you warmongers out there should read Here, Bullet especially Bliar, Brown and Bush and learn.

It was a relief after such an emotionally powerful performance about this catastrophic invasion of Iraq, the 'Birthplace of Civilisation' that will undoubtedly haunt us for generations to come to move on up the hill to the Philharmonic to see those Alabama Blind Boys in action.

Thank you Brian Turner and to Bryan Biggs for makin it possible.

 


The Blind Boys of Alabama

Philharmonic Hall 27/03/08

The Philharmonic Hall, The Art Deco Acoustic Dream

The Blind Boys 1994 at the Everyman

The Blind Boys Take a Bow

Note Dave Crosby's nephew far right  who played keyboards

with the Blind Boys

Drum n Bass meet Blind AL

The Philharmonic staff kindly allowed AL and myself

 to meet the 'Boys'

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jimmy Carter & Blind AL

AL tells Jimmy the fact that on their appearance in Liverpool 1994

 was the day that he was told he was goin blind!

My friend Blind AL had anticipated this night for so long he could hardly hide his excitement to the point that a few people in the foyer commented on his glowin countenance especially the beautiful Roxana and he was not dis-appointed when The Blind Boys of Alabama took to the stage.

Led by one of the originals Jimmy Carter who although sufferin from laryngitis gave a performance that defied his age.

Throughout this electrifyin performance Jimmy referred to their most recent CD release Down in New Orleans encouragin everyone there to make a purchase.  Besides the Blind Boys Jimmy Carter, Eric 'Ricky' McKinnie, Joey Williams, Caleb 'Bobby' Butler, Tracey Pierce, Billy Bowers &

Ben Moore this CD features Allen Toussaint, The Preservation Hall Jazz Band, The Hot 8 Jazz Band, Benne Pete and Carl LeBlanc.

One of the highlights was their version of Amazin' Grace performed to the melody of House of the Risin' Sun - truly apt and amazin.

Jimmy Carter ended the performance walkin amongst his congregation givin his all - what a showman especially when takin into account

his sore throat, his advancin years and physical impairment - an inspiration!

Thank you The Philharmonic Staff especially Simon for makin it possible for Blind AL to meet another of his heroes.

 


Mike Westbrook & The Village Band

The Bluecoat 29/03/08

Kate & Mike Westbrook

Sam Smith & Gary Bayley

Stan Willis & Mike Brewer

This was quintessentially an English affair from a Waxwork Show to the Internet from French whimsical origins to a Finale of Trifle.

The first half was billed as the 'Waxeywork Show' and the second half 'The Battle of the Classic Trifle' with  texts by Kate Westwood and music by  Mike Westwood and was as eccentric as you'd come to expect from the titles if you can imagine Gill Evans meets Kurt Weill but in a very English traditional brass band settin enhanced with jazz tinged solos and Kate's dynamic vocals flittin in and out of these very distinctive arrangements. Presented in association with Lost Voices this unique billing of their latest compositions appealed to me because of

my early association with Prescot Parish Brass Band.  I love the sound of brass especially when it is played with such flair and sensitivity.

After rapturous applause their encore ended with a Bessie Smith blues dedicated to this once thrivin seaport of Liverpool.

  The Village Band's

  debut album 'Waxeywork Show'

  produced by Jon Hiseman,

  sponsored by Airshaft Trust

  and out now on  Jazzprint

  JPVP 140CD

  More Trifle Please!

 


Yoko Ono

The Bluecoat 04/04/08

Give Peace A Chance

Sold Out @ The Bluecoat

 

Yoko 1967

Photo Sheridon Davies

Adrian Henri Bandages Yoko

Photo Sheridon Davies

My Main Wish

 

Yoko Ono & The Peace Tree 2008

 

Hundreds of Wishes

 

Yoko's Buzzy Fly Art

Courtesy of the Bluecoat

Yoko 1967

Courtesy of the BBC

More of Yoko's Buzzy Fly Art

Courtesy of the Bluecoat

Yoko's Mirror

Yoko Streamed Live to the Bluecoat Hub 2008

Checkin the Wishes

 

The Unravellin of Yoko Ono

Unfortunately I did not manage to get a ticket for Yoko's return to the Bluecoat but thanks to the new technology I was able to view her return

after 41 years from the screen situated in The Hub. The diminutive artist swept swiftly into the Bluecoat dwarfed by staff and minders.

Yoko started her performance with a reference to those heady days of the 1960's by  appearin seated loosely swathed in bandages with members of the audience invited to unravel them thus bringin her original performance up to-date - right here right now!

It was interestin to note that tutors from Liverpool Art College were one again in attendance with the late great Adrian Henri replaced by Colin Fallows.

Yoko then posed in various positions with a chair as a focal point with some of these performances requirin a supple body that belies someone in her seventies.  The outcome bein that the best position for a chair is exactly what it was designed for!

A quick juxtaposition with a cheval mirror without glass (as seen in her exhibition) moved swiftly onto the next performance that saw quite an emotional Yoko seated, quietly knittin beneath the video clips of her and John Lennon durin their protests against the Vietnam War. A particularly poignant shot of the Mai Lai Massacre, the murdered villagers with the grotesquely twisted upturned bodies of women and children shows the true debacle of war, a visceral reminder of what is goin on today in Iraq with particular reference to Fallujah and Haditha.

John stated in one interview "I think that our society is run by insane people for insane objectives"

So there's no change there when you look at Bliar and Bush the maniacal ego brothers standin 'arsehole to arsehole'

and that other egotistical warmonger Thatcher - "there's no such thing as society?"

Movin on to projected performances from around the world with her 'I Love You' torch messages flashed from person to person coast to coast

Yoko continued with her 'Peace & Love ' message loud and clear with an updated 'break beat' version of 'Give Peace A Chance' invitin everyone in the audience to come on stage and dance. That they did to end this captivatin performance.

Yoko's main message is to spread Peace & Love not War & Hate but do the maniacs listen?

 

Yoko's Peace Message of Love to All Around You - Torches of Love

i = I

ii = love

iii = you

One Flash

Two Flashes

Three Flashes

 

Another bonus for me especially as I did not get a ticket was that she signed my John Lennon 'Imagine' poster

'This is for AL....Love.....Yoko....April 2008'

Once again a special thanks must go to Bryan Biggs and all at The Bluecoat for a very special night, a very special performance!

Check out Yoko's Art at The Bluecoat 's Now Then Exhibition and attach your personal wish to Yoko's Peace Tree in the revamped garden.

 


Liverpool's Samba School Street Party

Ready to Roll in Myrtle Street

Beauty & the Beast

Ariane

The Samba begins

Carnival Exotic

Sirley

  Colourful Vibrant

Samba Men

Samba Girls

John Imagines

The Scream Lives On

Shakin a Tail Feather

Swan Like

Golden Wings

South American Cousin

Simone Reeves

Beauty of Brazil

Rhythmic Sway

Mother & Daughter

Blue Bayou

 Lovely Lena

Roger 'Samba' Morris

Wicker Man

Entry of Christ into Chinatown

Before The Samba Picket Party

 

What A Night to Remember!

Congratulations must go to Roger  and Maeve Morris for their hard work, enthusiasm and dedication to the Samba

and especially all the performers from South America, Holland, Ireland, Germany, Spain and Manchester who made it such a memorable night.

This was truly a spectacular occasion one of the highlights of the year for me personally. 

It takes me to a place in time when I wrote South American Cousin for the Lawnmower album The Cat in 1985.

I've always had a penchant for the exotic, pulsatin rhythms of our 'Latin Cousins' and assisted in their political endeavours whenever possible.

Unfortunately and probably for my health and safety it was not possible for me to attend the continuin celebrations of the Picket Samba Street Party

with a recordin session on the Sunday but I assume that if the Liverpool Samba School Street Party was anythin to go by it must have been truly ecstatic (and that is without the use of stimulants!) at the Picket and there could be no more suitable a venue.

Special praise must go to all the hard work put into the costumes and floats but above all the music and the vibrant musicians that gave us

the incessant Samba beat enhanced by the exotic dancers must take bow! Thank You!

I apologise in advance for not takin many pictures of the Liverpool contingent but unfortunately my camera batteries had run out!

PS Roger please let me know well in advance re next years 2009 Samba Celebrations so that I can keep the followin day free.

 

If anyone would like any of these images or would like names put to these images

please contact me on groovin.records@phonecoop.coop

 

Maria De Ceu

'Maria of the Sky'

To hear South American Cousin

Please click on Ceu's Image

Email from Simone

"Hi there Maria,
Im the samba dancer in the red costume (what u can see of it..hahaha) on your picture,
the one u named "South America Cousin", which by the way i dont mind,
Every now and then I google on the internet to see if I find any new photos or reviews about the carnival,

thats how today i found your post.
I might not have met u yet, but would love to, you would definately be welcome to join us on the next carnival..

If u want any names for the photos..I know a few,and will send the link to some of them whom I have the e-mail..
The one named "beauty and the beast" is Ariane my Brazilian friend from manchester,
the "carnival exotic" is my Brazilian friend Sirley, queen of the Mangueira samba School from Rio,
the lovelies in bright green..i teached them to dance...but cant recall their names..they r mum and daughter..unbelievable.. im just listening to your music now..lovely....
if u have facebook, look 4 me there..
kisses"
 

SIMONE REEVES

Dear Simone

 Sorry for the delay in gettin back to you but unfortunately my mother has just been

rushed to hospital.

 I'm Maria's musician friend who took the photos of the Samba Carnival in Liverpool

and wrote and played the trumpet on South American Cousin.

 I would very much like to put names to as many photos as possible ...when I find the time

and I'll pass your regards on to Ceu.

I thought you and all the other girls and boys were marvellous ...a pleasure to behold to say

the least addin a touch of vibrant exotic glamour to the streets of Liverpool.

 

Kind Regards

Amour y Paz

Love & Peace

AL


LIVERPOOL SAMBA PARTY 2015


La Machine 5-7/09/08

La Princesse came, we saw, she conquered!

Hangin around Centrepoint

The Lime Street Web

The Liver Birds take Flight

Spannin the Streets of Liverpool

The Engineers that made it possible

Into the Mersey Tunnel

 La Princesse Casts her Web on the People of Liverpool

Many people thought that the cost of such an event at around a million pounds was excessive to say the least but havin witnessed the bewilderment and awe on peoples faces especially the kids as La Princesse made its way through the streets of Liverpool, this a very special occasion.

The hauntin music that accompanied her jaunty stride made her appearance even more majestic.

The people of Liverpool embraced this French masterpiece of hydraulic creativity without a hint of animosity that beleaguers the British media.

The cost of this joyous occasion and celebration of our combined culture pales into insignificance when compared to our weapons of mass destruction, the redundant nuclear warheads foisted upon us by our so called allies and their strategic web of deceit.

Vive La France!


I have enjoyed  the followin and will report on these events in due course.

 Mavis Staples and Jhelisa Anderson Philharmonic 11/04/08 (Wonderful)

Ciocarlia's Gypsy Queens and Kings Philharmonic 27/04/08 (Exhilaratin)

Buena Vista Social Club Philharmonic 30/04/08 (Breathtakin)

Age of Steam Walker Art Gallery to August 10th (Always wanted to be an engine driver)

Eric Bibb Philharmonic Philharmonic 26/05/08 (Didn't get the support)

Christine Tobin Bluecoat 10/05/08 (Expressive Jazz Folk & Blues singer)

McCoy Tyner with Joe Lovano Philharmonic 27/05/08 (With my son Eddie - special)

Honey Boy Edwards Pacific 02/06/08 (This man played with Robert Johnson)

Buddy Guy Philharmonic 29/06/08 (What a showman)

Reem Kelani Bluecoat 23/07/08 (Palestinian singer - what a range - fabulous)

John Lennon Songbook Philharmonic 18/07/08 (Excellent performance)

War Reqiem Benjamen Britten Liverpool Cathedral 28/06/08 (A very movin experience)

Riot at the Unity 19/07/08 (Peter Mortimer's play about Yemeni immigration in Newcastle with a brilliant cast)

Liverpool/Rio Samba Street Party 02/08/08 (Exotic, Rhythmic Samba dance - exhileratin)

Gustav Klimt Tate Liverpool 08/08/08 (The Birth of Art Deco - brilliant)

Eric's at the Everyman Theatre 19/09/08(Crucial Threeatrics)

What a wonderful Liverpool 2008 I'm experiencin so far!!!


The International Guitar Festival

Birkenhead Wirral Merseyside  4 - 28th November 2008

Charlie Musselwhite

Laid Back  Mississippian Blues

Pacific Road Arts Centre 11/11/08

Valina Gale was here?

Woody Mann

Sophisticated New York Blues

Birkenhead Town Hall 15/11/08

James Burton

Elvis's Louisiana Chicken Pickin' Good

Pacific Road 02/11/08

Lucky Ranku

South African Township Sunshine

Pacific Road 23/11/08

Guitar Workshop

Brendan McCormack's 'Nuts & Bolts'

Williamson Art Gallery 15/11/08

The 20th International Guitar Festival of Britain

Although Birkenhead may be overshadowed by big sister Liverpool's European Capital of Culture year the sun shone through with a truly awesome

array of guitarists from around the world.  This festival now in it's 20th year showcased the tremendous virtuosity of the exponents of the guitar.

A special thanks must go to those who helped make this years festival a pleasure to behold from the hub of the

Pacific Road Arts Centre, Williamson Art Gallery, Birkenhead Town Hall and the Priory.

The brainchild of Brendan McCormack a local guitar virtuoso in his own right that over the years has brought together such outstanding

masters of the instrument a few of which I managed to see and thoroughly enjoyed, some of whom are featured above.

A special thanks must go to all the staff that helped make it such an enjoyable event, Dave, Tim, Adrian, Sue etc, etc at Pacific Road

and Dougie & Sasha of Fort Perch Rock for James Burton and Leigh and Craig of the Wirral Globe.

I look forward to next years feast of guitar talent from around the globe.

For more information contact the Pacific Road Arts Centre 0151 647 0752

e: pacificroad@wirral.gov.uk


                

                    Brendan and his beloved Guitar

Brendan Mc Cormack

It is with great sadness to hear that Brendan is no longer with us. I met him whilst workin with various bands on

so many occasions throughout his career,

at weddings, corporate functions, art previews etc, and

obviously the International Guitar Festival

He was a consummate performer and teacher who could

play any style of music with so much ease and panache.

Brendan will be greatly missed by all those who knew

and worked with him especially his family and friends.

As Brendan said

" THERE IS NO ESCAPE

for error free practice

Play slowly enough

to link intention

with result."


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