If you date back to 1190 – originally, Liverpool was known as ‘Liuerpul,’ but other names may have been suggested beforehand in response to the origins of the name. Liverpool has expanded gigantically through trade, as once being a small borough –
It expanded to do trade with the West Indies and Africa. It had a flush of immigrants in the 19th century and even had the nickname: “The NYC of Europe.” But the focus of this film/documentary is the music that generated like the birth of fans igniting the joys and marketability of football. It was a firework display for those who were apart of it.
Liverpool most definitely went through a jazz era; and the scene predominately had this clean cut image and purist identity that came along with it. Get back let’s us know of: the ‘Mardi Gras,’ the ‘Downbeat Club’ and “The Cavern.” These clubs regularly turned out a bill of jazz artists and bands that similar stuck to the mold of what was playing during: 1957-1959.
The Skiffle craze had guest speakers like Colin and Rod from ‘The Quarrymen’ talking of the formation of the band; the skiffle group competitions, bands performing the same songs in the skiffle era- and John and Paul (from the Beatles) adding sophistication and ambition to ‘The Quarrymen” performances when they were apart of it. ‘The Swining Blue Jeans” and other bands learned that to play you simply needed a few chords, and went on to make music by realizing this. The approach to rock n roll was similar, and again, the dying out of skiffle was brought about by the sexier and edgier display of rock n roll and it’s easy chords.
The influences of the Liverpolian spirit back then went from: Lonnie Doneegan to Billy Harley, Elvis, Lil Richard, Chuck Berry, and Billy Fury who was their equivalent to Elvis. I sensed a great deal of mirroring within each band, and that the American influence of music reached Liverpool through their American visitors who came over by sea; bringing with them records and new material.
Get Back definitely shows a timeless attitude of the Liverpool growth in music. The Merseyside era sprouted out bands like, Billy Kramer, The MerseyBeats, Dominoes, Remo Four, and even the Beatles. Promoters helped run the show, with Dave Forshow re-telling that booking these bands meant a good performance at the time. He even suggested that the Beatles formed here; and they took off to superstardom not soon after their performance at ‘The Cavern.’ The Mersey beat paper was suggested as the first of it’s kind (1961 – July 6th first edition) and the 7days a week of music/dancing was a regular occurrence.
We learn of the Armadillo tearooms, Probe Records, Jayne Casey being followed often for her eccentric and out there look, Eric’s was like a sobriety with names being dropped and Echo and the Bunny Men and ‘Orchestral Maneuver’s in the dark’ having something of a future flair to their music and sound. ‘Frankie goes to Hollywood’ was a band that couldn’t be signed for acres because of the flamboyant and un-marketable sights that record companies had towards the band – but the State Ballroom was the place to be.
The LA’s formed when Liverpool was undertaking a huge change and created an album which will not be forgotten, ‘The LA’s.” The farm was also an outcaste of a band but eventually came out with a successful single funded through a known associate, as nobody would sign them because of their working class appearance.
The Coral and The Wombats are also mentioned nearer to the end of the film/documentary and I felt like a whole array of music history before my eyes had appeared without me even knowing. The Beatles overshadowed a lot of the Liverpool bands and many still have to deal with that as a fact. The doc manages to shine a light on bands and genres of music that no doubt are something of the past when you think of it. There are many pictures, photographs, and historical documents of venues, guest appearances, and solid locations of where old venues and clubs used to be. From start to finish I enjoyed the rich content displayed before my eyes and I wasn’t bored for a second. The pride that these artists carried for their music and history is amazing and you can truly see that Liverpool most definitely rivalled the London scene in many ways. For an aspiring music journalist like myself this DVD is a certified gem, and hopefully for other music buffs and individuals with a keen interest in music will pick this up and find it thoroughly enjoyable to.
Dir: Roger Appleton
Prd: Gary Popper
Feat: Part 1- 1953-1970- Steve Aldo, Eddie Amoo, Joe Ankrah, Pete Best, Billy Butler, Phil Brady, Mike Byrne, Beryl & Tony Davis, Paul Du Noyer, Ray Ennis, Dave Forshaw, Bill Harry, Billy Hatton, Kenny Johnson, Dave Jones, Mike Kinney, Billy Kinsley, Beryl Marsden, Mike McCcartney, Paul McCartney, John McCormick, Geoff Nugent. Earl Preston, Colin Hanton, Rod Davis, Owen Clayton, Len Garry, Jo Duffy Lowe, Faron Ruffley, Cy Tucker, Hank Walters,
Part Two – 1970 -2012 – James Barton, Enrico Cadilliac Jnr, Jayne Casey, Garry Christian, Denny Dowd, Dan Haggis, Carl Hunter, Kerry Katona, KOF, Andy McCluskey, Ian McCulloch, Brian ‘Nasher’ Nash, Dave Pichilingi, Ian Prowse, John Power, Will Sergeant, Seymour Stein, Ken Testi, Alan Willis, Pete Wylie,
Prd: John Adams, Billy Harry, Dave Pichillingi
Music: ‘I Saw Her Standing There’ ‘There She Goes’ ‘Timeless Melody’ ‘Rock n Roll Music’ ‘She Loves You’ ‘Twist And Shout’ ‘If I Could Write A Book’ ‘Seven Seas’ ‘Relax’ ‘Hippy Hippy Shake’ ‘Do You Love Me’ ‘Bad Penny Blues’ ‘Midnight Specials’ ‘Lost John’ ‘Rock Island Line’ ‘More To See’ ‘Maybe Tomorrow’ ‘I Will’ ‘Once In Awhile’ ‘Brand New Cadillac’ ‘Country Boy’ ‘Good Golly Miss Molly’ ‘Duke OF Earl’ ‘Some Other Guy’ ‘I know (You Don’t Love Me No More)’ ‘Hey Good Lookin’ ‘A Shot Of Rhythm And Blues’ ‘Let It Be’ ‘Lend Me Your Comb’ ‘Merseybeat – Rise & Fall’ ‘British Refugee’ ‘You To Me Are Everything’ ‘Born Again’ ‘What A Way To End It All’ ‘Thorn Of Crowns’ ‘Enola Gay’ ‘Liverpool Girl’ ‘Is There Anybody Out There’ ‘Groovy Train’ ‘Bad Waters’ ‘Does This Train Stop On Merseyside’ ‘Dreaming Of You’ ‘Moving To New York’ ‘Valerie’ ‘Home’
Runtime: 98 mins
Get Back: Liverpool bigger than The Beatles is out on Digital and DVD now.