Mega Rare Beatles Demo Turns Up!

20160321_142342-1 (1)Finally, I can reveal the most exciting thing we’ve come across for the Beatles Shop Auction in my entire working life. Yup – even better than the time we sold John Lennon’s toilet!

And I also get a chance to relate the story before it gets twisted around the press and turned into something completely different.

A few weeks ago I got into work to discover we had taken in a bunch a Cilla Black acetates in for our annual auction. We were curious as to what they sounded like so we took them home to give them a spin. When we got to a disc labelled as a demo for It’s For You we discovered that it wasn’t Cilla singing on the disc at all. It was Paul McCartney and it was a rough demo of the song he had written especially for her! A brief internet search then confirmed that this demo had been lost for decades.

According to Cilla’s autobiography the demo was sent to her while she was doing a season of shows at the London Palladium in 1964.

Once the chills had stopped it was clear that we needed confirmation that it was Paul. A recording of it was played for a couple of experts and they were in no doubt about what had been found. This is going to be a big deal!

The vendor had no idea. The sleeve it was housed in listed it as a Cilla demo and the label just lists the song title without an artist.

I feel very privileged to be involved in the rediscovery of this lost gem. It’s been amazing to hear something that was thought gone forever. I hope that it is truly appreciated by the eventual buyer.

Just to pre-empt questions. I am not allowed to provide anything other the 20 second snippet made available for publicity purposes which you can find on the official auction blog post by clicking here. And no, I am not handling the acetate with bare hands in the picture.

I’ll post the results of the sale as soon I know them on the day.

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Let’s Rock London – Clapham Common 16th July 2016 (Photos)

After lots of rainy days, we were blessed with the sunshine for this musical trip back to the 80s.
It was a brilliant day. Personal highlights were Nik Kershaw (who paid tribute to David Bowie with a cover of Ashes to Ashes – see video at the end of this post), Then Jerico and ABC.
The heat took its toll a little bit and with a touch of sunburn we skipped out on the final two acts in favour of heading back to the hotel to cool off.

I did manage to forget the memory card for my good camera, so the pictures aren’t great.

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Clare Grogan sounded brilliant. A couple of Altered Images fans behind us were very pleased to hear a few favourites.


Living In A Box blew the house down (see what I did there?)

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I’d forgotten how many Then Jerico hits I knew. Loved this set from Mark Shaw. And he squeezed in a bit of Purple Rain to pay tribute to Prince.

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Belinda Carlisle and Jimmy Somerville both had the crowd up dancing.

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Not only did Nik pay tribute to Bowie but he also treated us to a version The One and Only along with plenty of other hits. We were up and dancing for the whole set! (After all, that is what we came for!)

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Pat Sharp and Dave Benson Phillips entertained the crowd with music and singalongs between the sets. Alexander O’Neal also paid tribute to Prince with a medley.

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Midge Ure was great, opening with Hymn and including Fade To Grey in his set.
I loved the ABC set too, Martin Fry had the crowd eating out of his hand.

A few technical issues led to delays but other than that it was a great day. (And it really is just a little niggle as outdoor gigs aren’t the best soundwise) It was worth paying the little bit extra for access to the posh loos and big up to the organisers for making sure there was access to water in the heat!

And now, with apologies for it not being very good visually (the backup camera wasn’t really up to the job of filming anything) here’s Nik’s tribute to David Bowie.

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Elvis Costello – Liverpool Philharmonic Hall 11th July 2016

WeElvis Costello think that this concert broke me into double digits as far as Elvis Costello gigs go, and not a one of them has been like the other.

Monday night was different again. The band delivered the songs in a searing, swaggering fashion with Costello, at times, almost daring the audience to find time to applaud before launching into the next song. There was very little on stage chat, certainly during the first hour or so.  Punctuated by a brief leaving of the stage around midway, the evening heralded around 30 songs. Several of these segued into each other, the songs morphing into something else for a while then returning to where they started. For example, we got a cover of Wild Honey wrapped around The Other Side of Summer. Polythene Pam put in an appearance too.
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The whole thing was brilliantly balanced. It had album tracks, less heard hits, newer stuff, old classics, new arrangements -the whole shebang. Something for everyone.  A highlight for me getting to hear stuff from the Wise Up Ghost album including Walk Us Uptown. It certainly sent me scuttling off to my album lists to scroll through and revisit tunes I was less familiar Elvis Costellowith.

The “encore” (which really was more like a second half, just without the 20-minute interval) felt a bit looser. It was like there was a bunch of songs they were going to do but order depended on how they felt. In fact I’m certain there was a song towards the end that Costello said he just felt like doing.

The show started at a little after 8pm and finished around 10.30pm (half an hour later than the venue announced before the show). I really do think he was having too good a time to cut it short.

Elvis CostelloSo, ten shows on and I am still entertained. Here’s to number eleven!


You can see more photos here.



This isn’t from Liverpool, it’s from London a few days earlier, but I do love this song.

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Watch B-Leaguers debut video!

B-Leaguers have released their debut video. It’s of Rock And Roller Toons from their album Death of Western Heart (see my review here – with links to purchase the disc)

The video was shot around Liverpool while the band was in the city for International Pop Overthrow. I love it, but I’m biased as if you’re quick you can spot me make a brief appearance about 45 seconds in! And the Beeb (from the Minty and The Beeb Go Gigging blog) puts in an appearance on stage with the band too!

Enjoy! And check out B-Leaguers on facebook!

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CD Review – Good Times by The Monkees

IMG_20160604_111719Oh my!  This is a real treat. I’d heard She Makes Me Laugh via youtube and my initial reaction was that it was a Davy song and it made me a little bit sad that Micky was singing it, but it piqued my interest. You Bring The Summer was a jolly second release from the album but it was when I heard Me And Magdalena that I popped off to preorder the CD. (Obviously I’m a sucker for a gentle Nez vocal!)

So what of the first Monkees release of original since Justus in 1996. I’m still getting over the fact it’s been nearly 20 years since then. It’s simply quite lovely. Most of the songs are instantly singalongable.  The singles are certainly the most catchy tunes.

She Makes Me Laugh and Our Own World make me miss Davy as they seem (to me) to be suitable for his vocals. Don’t get me wrong, Micky sound bloody marvellous, but in my head they are Davy songs. Davy does get a lead vocal on the track Love To Love. A version of this appeared on the Missing Links releases but here they have taken his vocal and overdubbed modern instrumentation and backing vocals.

The album flows reasonably well, I confess I struggle with Little Girl, it will probably grow on me but on initial listens it seems to not quite fit. But there’s no doubting this is a Monkees album and it reflects each member really well.

As if Nez’s gorgeous vocal coupled with Micky’s harmonies on Me And Magdalena aren’t enough to keep me happy, their combined efforts on Birth of An Accidental Hipster blew my mind. I really wasn’t expecting to like the track but it is a mini masterpiece that would be right at home on a late sixties psych album.

I think this album will be getting a fair bit of play from me for some time.

And a vinyl edition is due for UK release in August too.

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International Pop Overthrow Liverpool – Round Up Post

So International Pop Overthrow is over for another year and everyone has gone home (or onwards to Stockholm).

Not sure how effective the live-ish blogging was but it was fun to do and I liked having things up right away (well almost, wifi permitting)

IPO really is a very special event for me. I look forward to it all year.

I’d like to thank David and Rina for bringing the event back year after year. The event has brought me some amazing friends over the years including David and Rina themselves.

I’d also like to thank Jean Catherall for getting the event over here all those years ago. Again I am eternally grateful for all the stuff it has made happen.

Big, big love to my IPO friends old and new! It will always be a pleasure!

Special thanks to Dave Jones at Cavern City Tours this year too.

So…below is a master-list of my not-so-finely-crafted live”ish” blogging from the event. Remember for more eloquently worded and researched insight visit Minty And The Beeb Go Gigging as they will be adding reports of each day to their blog. (Keep checking, they are busy with Brian Wilson at the moment, but the updates will happen)

2am Turnaround
The Corridors
Mike Badger
Harvest Moon
Fun Of The Pier
Lloyd and Daly
Micah Gilbert
The Armoires
Honeybug (and again)
Las Annettes
Hailee Rose
The 286
Dave Rave
Don Fardon
Dave Rave and Hailee Rose


Or you can see all the posts in the IPO Liverpool category by clicking here.

And here’s a collection of photos from the event. (Hover over the picture and click the arrows to go through the images. Or just click here to go to the flickr album)
IPO Photos 2016

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