Welcome to The Liverpool Beat website, chronicling the history of UK Rock music from the golden era of Merseyside music of the 50s and 60s to the present day. Some say the roots of Rock 'n ' Roll lie purely in the deep south of the USA. That maybe true, but Liverpool in the 50s/60s was the centre of the new wave of music which formed the basis of "garage" and even heavy metal. Liverpool Beat takes you on a journey from those heady days of The Beatles into the 21st century with news, reviews and exclusive articles from the real world of rock music.
Great to see the original line-up of Ian & The Rebels together on stage, for the first time since 1964, at Ormskirk Golf Club on Saturday 15th June 2013. The performance was made extra special as it was the first time Chris Kenny had played with the band since 1964 beating out a superb rendition of "Whole lot of shaking". Chris hasn't been well lately and so it was a special performance and the audience, friends and family loved every minute!
Richard Barton offers his take on the Mersey musical phenomenon of the 50s – 60s.
A time when a noisy revolution occurred because “the powers that be” thought we shouldn’t have any fun 10:30pm.
Since the early 60s, because of the Beatles and the Mersey Sound, people have tended to forget that Liverpool has always been a city of music, for hundreds of years, not just the last fifty. In its fantastic position as a major port through the centuries, open to so many, it is not surprising that she has been influenced by those who came to her shores, from the early Europeans in the 1800s, who stopped here on the way to the new world and decided to stay, to slaves and their descendents from the Caribbean a hundred or more years later and the Irish they and many others all brought something to the mix in those early days.
We learned to sing from all of them and we never forgot. How I can remember in the 40s the early 50s walking home from the dance if it was after ten-thirty you were walking as the trams would have stopped running singing the latest songs and hearing others doing the same thing.
The Swinley Beat Klub in Wigan presents a grand charity concert in air of Dr Naqvi Heart Fund on Thursday 27th June 2013. Doors open at 7pm and admission is just £2. There'll also be raffles and prizes on the night.
The evening will feature a rock n roll extravaganza including Thunderfoot, The Bluenotes, Just Vintage, Rattled and Phase 2.
Jimmy O'Brien has been around the Liverpool music scene for many years and is regarded as one of the best drummers ever by musos who have played with him. For many years now, Jimmy has been driving the beat behind the Fabulous Undertakers. Recently Jimmy was attacked by dogs and was seriously injured. He is making a recovery, but we hear today he has to have another operation on his damaged arm as the scars are healing too tight and affecting the nerves. I had the pleasure of interviewing Jimmy a couple of years ago just before an Undertakers gig in New Brighton. So this for you Jimmy, to remind you that we are thinking of you. Get well soon.
The murder of Francesca Bimpson occurred on 2 December 2008 in the Everton district of Liverpool. Shortly after midnight, the Bimpson family's home was set on fire in what investigators determined to be arson. Francesca's mother, father, brother, and two sisters were able to escape from the burning home, but three-year-old Francesca was trapped in a bedroom and later rescued by firefighters. She died in a hospital on 23 December.
Authorities later arrested Graham Heaps in conjunction with the arson, alleging that the arson was an act of retaliation against the family after Francesca's aunt ended a romantic relationship with him weeks earlier. On 7 December 2009 Heaps was convicted of Francesca Bimpson's murder and sentenced to life imprisonment. He will be eligible for parole after serving 28 years. In 2012 a foundation was established as a support and resources centre for all victims of serious crimes.
After the news came out last year that there had been a huge cover up by the Police and Government concerning the Hillsborough Disaster enquiry, I got real angry and sat down and wrote a song dedicated to those who lost their lives. I recorded it in the bedroom with just old keyboard and to say it was rough is a bit of an under statement. So last week I had an opportunity to record it properly at Derek Cleary's studio in Liverpool. The proceeds, after we've covered the costs of producing it, will go to the Hillsborough Appeal. We will be launching the song possibly with a few other tracks on a special CD later in the year. If you would like to buy the track as a download, click the PayPal button below. Here is a link to Low-Fi version on Soundcloud. Hope you enjoy it.
You can buy the Hi-Fi version of the track now via digital download for £1.99. Once your payment is processed you will receive an email with the digital download as an attachment to the email. Right click on the MP3 file and save as (designating the directory on your computer where you wish to save the file). For Itunes users, use the add to file function by clicking the File topic in Itunes, select the directory where you saved the download and the track will be added to your Itunes library.
I caught up with original Cryin' Shame Derek Cleary at his Marbella style mansion on the outskirts of Liverpool this week. Derek is an incredible talent, as is his family. Sheila his wife and daughter Karen have fabulous voices and they all feature on Derek's new CD "Extra-Ordinary Joe"- A tribute to Joe Meek.
Derek replaced George Robinson in the Cryin Shames just after the group had a top twenty hit record with "Please Stay" in 1966 and later did some studio work with Joe.
Lynny and I popped down to the Liverpool Rock n Roll Society. Very friendly bunch of people, nice atmosphere. There was a real feeling of folks recreating the era of rock n roll, you won't feel out of place in smart/casual wear. However, there were a significant number of the audience who'd taken trouble to dress as they would in the 50s/60s - which simply added to the atmosphere. The club isn't huge, but there's still plenty of room for both the band and the audience, there's a decent sized dancefloor - which attracted plenty of rock n rollers. It was great to see to see some of the guys in toned down teddy boy wear and one lady looked wonderful in her 50s petticoats & seamed stockings.
The Liverpool Rock n Roll Society like to dance! There was hardly a number where your feet weren't tapping and the music is to a high quality, the bands play to give others pleasure and entertainment and the audience appreciate that fact and keep the floor jumping throughout the evening. I noticed plenty of ladies dancing with each other, as well as couples. You saw lots of people dancing with other people, so it looks as if folks mix - which is nice to see. And if you can't jive - don't be put off either - not everyone was "jiving" by any means with a few doing conventional disco moves. I certainly got the impression that if you went down with a friend and got to know people, you'd soon settle in and really enjoy yourself.
The audience were a wide range of ages, younger people interested in genuine rock n roll certainly wouldn't feel they'd turned up at a pensioner's party ! Definately, somewhere to visit if you love live music, dancing & rock n roll." If you would like to visit, check out our detailed page under Vintage Scene
It All Came Tumbling Down is a “lost” book about lost Liverpool. Originally published in 1986, it’s been out of print for twenty years and almost impossible to find. Now finally available again in a new edition, it’s a remarkable photographic record of the many Liverpool buildings that disappeared between the Sixties and Eighties.
There have been numerous books about Liverpool’s architecture but, as Freddy O’Connor points out in It All Came Tumbling Down, these have usually been abut the grand city centre buildings which reflect Liverpool’s past as the world’s greatest port. He adds, “This book is about the humbler, vastly more numerous but equally important building that were the dwellings and places of recreation for ordinary people. It is an attempt to record what has happened to the places where real Scousers lived – the working class people whose labour went to produce the wealth that made 19th century Liverpool one of the richest cities in the world.”
If you were fortunate to live in Liverpool in the early sixties and you wanted to buy a guitar, as likely as not you would pop into an Aladdin's cave of a shop just round the corner from the Cavern called Hessy's. Any day of the week you would be likely to brush shoulders with John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Gerry Marsden and many of the stars of the Merseybeat. I spent a lot of time in the shop myself and now, Tony Bolland who worked as a manager in the store has written a Fab book about the historic business which like many landmarks in Liverpool is no longer there. Tony called round recently to talk to me about his new book and we have produced two videos of a fascinating interview recounting the history of the shop and all the excitement of the 60s, 70s and 80s.
A big part of the shop's success was the manager Jim Gretty who has become something of a folk hero in Liverpool. Jim was a larger than life character in every sense. George Harrison said it was Jim who showed him all the funny (Jazz) chords which he would use to great effect in his hit songs. We published an article on Jim some time ago which you can view here. Part 1 of video interview is published below. Part 2 which is mainly about Jim Gretty will follow shortly.You can buy the book directly from Tony.
His website is http://pluginnbook.co.uk/
Liverpool Beat Giving Your Promotion a Good Old Kick!
Publicity & promotion are critical to the life of any band. Social networks like Facebook are often used to "promote" forthcoming events, sadly, gig details get lost faster than a Gregs pasty in a deluge of spam. Most bands give up, it's just too hard to keep up with the technology and the spam. That's not to mention the effort and costs of marketing a band effectively.
Liverpool Beat attracts more than 26,000 unique visitors a month
However, there's a bright spot on the horizon. Our Free Band Directory is designed to help spread the word. Whether you choose to just add a band profile, or to sign up as an editor - it's up to you (Editors can add events, news articles, web pages and more)
Don't forget - The best bit is - it's free.