Tuesday, 8 November 2011

A Hard Days Night

You guessed it, Liverpool. Thursday was Grateful Fred’s in Formby, Liverpool, just a bit north of the city center. Fred’s is an acoustic music club, quite usual in this part of the world, and a good one. Last night was their first night in a new venue which was the Formby British Legion Hall.  Complete with velvet curtains, embossed velvet chairs, and Vegas carpet Grateful Fred’s was cool as sh*#.

First, we should start with the night before in Dublin. If you’re in Dublin anytime soon, by all means, avoid the Citi Hostel.  It’s sketchy, it sounds like gunshots next door, there’s a cagey French lady (I think she lives there), and they don’t have a boiling pot for tea or coffee in the room. Also, you may want to avoid the ferry to Holyhead, Whales. When I informed Colin, the founder of Grateful Fred’s, that I’d be taking the ferry he sounded a bit pensive….now I know why. As we were leaving they said they were deploying the stabilizers to make for a more comfortable voyage. I didn’t know what they meant until we were in a 3-meter sea and I was wishing they hadn’t lied about putting out aforementioned stabilizers.  This made it obvious why there were folks at the bar, on the ferry, at 9 a.m., drinking….a lot. We then were fortunate enough to ride one of Mr. Richard Branson’s Virgin trains to Chester. It was fully stocked with about 25% percent more people than should have been on the train,  including a stubborn Welsh women obviously and outwardly annoyed with the lack of chivalry and common courtesy left in today’s youth, plus a bathroom door that wouldn’t close properly (directly leading to our amusement for the duration of the ride….you see, we were sitting on our suitcases in the hallway connecting the train cars due to the  over selling of the train)…we headed to Liverpool.
Once in Liverpool we made our way to Colin’s house which was an early 19th century English home not far from the Legion. He set us up with a room, we had a quick bite (Colin didn’t, he headed back to get things set for the show…good man),and then went to the show. First up Colin and his band played a few great tunes to warm everyone up and handed things off to the Good Intentions. There was a a bit of trouble with the sound, but since Phil had just finished doing sound for Bob Dylan and Mark Knopfler over the weekend I assumed things would be just fine. The Good Intentions did play an unexpected acoustic set but did it fantastically and sounded killer. By the time it came up to me, the sound was running and the crowd was great. Can’t wait to be back at Grateful Fred’s.  
the Good Intentions

photos by Ron Davies

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