After 3 weeks of being indoors post eye surgery for a detached retina (It happens with age “Cheers!”) I was getting a little stir-crazy. Ive been in contact with Alun from ‘Y Niwl’ after meeting them at their 6Music session. They play surf music so well, I thought they must be aficionados: “I’ve only got 2 Albums….” said Alun “..a Dick Dale one and The best of surf volume 2, I haven’t even got volume 1!” So I’ve acquainted him with The Treble Spankers, The Phantom Surfers and The Halibuts as well as some more recent Dick Dale..hoping of course, that it wont taint their style.
He kindly put me on the guest list ‘Plus 1’ for their Liverpool gig supporting and backing the Super Furry Animal that is Gruff Rhys. My Niece and Nephew Hannah and Tom both went to Uni in Liverpool and have stayed on there post degree. Hannah’s man Dave has been on the Liverpool music scene for a while and was in charge of looking after me til gig time. We went to the Cavern and walked around the Dock. Met up with Hannah and tried to get up to the top of the Anglican cathedral but we couldnt – the lift was out. Hannah headed for work and we had food gabbing about music all the time. His old band The Black Velvets supported Motley Crew on a Japanese tour “we were treated like royalty”. Fingers crossed for his new band Seville.
Next stop Parr Street Studios where Tom works producing bands. A sad state of affairs but they had to convert the downstairs into a bar to make it pay..a great bar with tonnes of atmosphere but when you see whats been recorded there (Bunnymen, Coldplay, Inspiral Carpets, Mighty Lemon Drops…etc.) it seems a shame. Tom was hard at work with an artist that was new to me but quite well know apparently. He invited us in and we got to see the piano used on Coldplays Scientist.
“They’re £40,000 a piece” says Tom of the speakers mounted in the wall. I was more impressed by the old tape decks “It looks like the start of Joe 90”.
Hannah arrived and we went off to the gig. I used to take her to the Leeds Festival (first time in 2000 when she was 13 at which by coincidence, we saw the Super Furry Animals!) until she got too old/cool to go with Uncle Bob. Tonight, I felt like a cool uncle again! The Kazimier is a fantastic venue and only about 3 mins walk from her city centre pad. As we entered they were playing the theme from ‘Joe 90‘ on the PA – wierd! We met Alun as we got in there but he was soon off to open up with Y Niwl.
What a band! I just love their sound. If you havent got their LP yet then do yourself a favour. Their set was over far too quickly, but as they were also Gruffs backing band, I guess they’d be pretty tired by the end of the night.
Gruff was in great form, a natural joker he just radiates good vibes. The crowd were all up for dancing and even had a Mexican wave going at one point. There was a surf board signed as he’d promised on his website and lifejackets were donned and emergency exits pointed too at the end.
Hes been involved with so much of the music Ive loved over the last 15 years (I don’t think my SFA‘s top ten would be the same on subsequent days) it felt so nice to be in an intimately small crowd of like-minded souls. His new stuff came across really well.
We had a quick look round at the venue before saying bye to Al as he was packing up. Top bloke. Top gig. Top venue. Top company. Wonderful evening!
Bob the Chiropodist