However, the greatest myth in Mersey music history is that everything began and ended with the Beatles. This expertly researched and compiled film busts this myth and fuels some more giving deserved credence to the less-heralded and forgotten acts and characters that exist in the shadows of the mop-topped behemoths.
Carl Jung called it ‘The Pool of Life’ and Liverpool’s geographical gateway (from the port to its proximity to US bases) made it ideally placed to act as a barometer/weather vane for incoming ‘cultural heritance and baggage’. The city’s venues refracted this melting-pot magnetism by acting as the nexus and hubs for the scenes and happenings to take off, from The Cavern to Eric’s to Probe Records to uber-super-club Cream, all psychogeographical sites of creativity and idiosyncrasy.
From the ’50s to the present day one of the biggest things that has always created and sustained any scene has been local promoters (e.g. Bob Wooler, Roger Eagle, James Barton), from the jazz age to ‘Scouse House’ any space appropriated for shows: synagogues, church halls, swimming baths, ice rinks, cinemas, the ’60s especially: ‘all over the Merseyside area was just a blaze of music, 7 nights a week’ (not 8 days?).
There is a prevailing spirit that courses through: contrarianism, forthrightness and absolute individuality, the fear of being like anyone else enough to continually seek and forge new horizons. From the Ankrahs to The Zutons this film captures the vast array of rich, irreverent hotchpotch of sounds and styles to have emanated within/without the bowels of the city, forever changing the global music-scape.
This highly informative documentary is comprised of archive footage and numerous talking heads from the players to the soothsayers, the dream-makers to the scream-takers.
In total it all soundtracks the effervescent carpe diem of ‘Liverpool people living like it’s their last day on Earth’. Liverpool: city of sound, sound city.
One caveat: sadly no mention of Probe Records stalwarts and folklorists par excellence Half Man Half Biscuit. ‘Irk the purists …’
‘Get Back: The real story of Liverpool Music’ is out now and can be bought from: