At seven years of age, I was well use to the Beatles, as I ran to primary school passing the photographers of the day outside Ringo’s terrace house and sat in a classroom he would have sat in at school.
At eleven years of age I sat in Paul McCartney’s desk at the Institute and was taught for two years by John Lennon’s uncle. Over those years a certain amount of Beatlania came my way via aunty who lived next door to Ringo.
Years later the Institute changed to LIPA and Paul, a LIOBIAN like myself reflected in conversation, upon days gone by during the opening night, not that I was his generation but the figures of the past and stories of school days long gone remain the same in every Institute boy.
Years later my girlfriend was organising an event for a celebrity in Notting Hill and I was thrown into contact with Paul again along with Brian Ferry, Stella and a host of others too numerous to remember.
So, with that little history aside, it is this annual celebration of the music of the Beatles in Liverpool that has always been an interest to me and it returns, with performances, screenings, exhibitions and more.
There will be bands from over 20 countries on the bill and so much to do and see.
Organised by Liverpool’s leading tour operator Cavern City Tours, the annual International Beatlesweek Festival celebrates the music of the most famous pop group the world has ever known.
As well as the live gig’s there are exhibitions, memorabilia sales, guest speaker’s, video shows, sightseeing tours and a Convention.
Festival venues include, the Cavern Club and Cavern Pub in Mathew street, the Adelphi Hotel, Liverpool Cathedral and the Philharmonic Hall.
As usual the promoters will answer all your queries and direct you to the functions and events during the weekend if you give them a call (0151 233 2008) or just checkout the Liverpool Beatle Week Festival.
Personally, I would just visit all the above venues and see what’s doing in my own time on Saturday afternoon.
You never know….might get lucky!
The Danish Broadcasting Company (DR) arrived in Liverpool this weekend with their mission- to produce a television-series around Europe, visiting each member state and discovering the views of the people on the EU.
Along with the flm crew, two members of the European Parliamant, Dan Jorgensen and Morten Messerschmidt joined the team to pose those indepth, searching questions.
Dan was a pro-EU and Morten an EU-pessimist.
Their objective on Saturday morning when I met them, was to look at opposition against the EU and they wanted to see the Polish community in Liverpool. They particularly wanted to discover how the Polish people were actually contributing to society.
We felt that a visit to the Liverpool Polish Saturday School in Old Swan would be very interesting and positive. It would be a story that would show the Polish community’s awareness and feelings of responsibility to intergrate youngsters in the British society, while keeping a cultural heritage in mind.
Well, we were right!
On Saturday morning, I had a particular class of 13yr-14yr olds, that I teach PSHE to. Thats Personal, Social, and Health Education. We discuss all things political, topical, historical and geographical for 30mins, as a warm up before their actual formal curriculum lessons. On this occasion, they had the best lesson ever. The film crew entered the classroom, very informally, along with the producer and MEP’s who made themselves at home with their jokes. They sat on the “little” chairs infront of my group, who were all seated on the carpet and then, bombarded the children with a torrent of questions which they superbly answered.
I was delighted with the childrens responses to questions about the EU and how they, and Britain, might fair when entry controls are lifted at the end of the year, especially when Bulgarian and Romanian immigrants arrive.
What do you think about voices that fear for more immigrants in the UK?…. seemed to be the one question pressed more often to the children.
Questions about their likes and dislikes in a foreign country, what they miss most?, Is it easy to get new friends?….. what they feel they will contribute to the society here?….searching questions…about what challenged them upon arrival?…but they all had an answer and didn’t shy away from any. The crew delighted in the filming of a traditional Polish dance in full costume, courtesy of the after school Cultural dance club.
Their visit took them to experience the delights of a Polish shop and the taste of Polish meats and confectionery.
In all, they truly gained an “experience” and had their questions answered in full, both from the staff, parents and children who were all interviewed on the day.
I would like to thank Dorthe Gad Thuemoes and her team who certainly gave us an “experience” in Pan European relations.
The morning was an unforgettable experience for both children and staff.
WHAM BAM THANK YOU GLAM! Glam! The Performance of Style Tate Liverpool: Exhibition 8 February – 12 May 2013
Being a 70s kid my burgeoning and non hairy toes took their first dip into the world of culture right smack bang in the middle of what could arguably be termed the most flamboyant and colourful scene of the last century.GLAM. Whether born out of the Hippie movement ,Psychedelia, The Sexual Revolution or politically motivated, it had invited itself to the party and even if it’s name wasn’t on the list it was still coming in.
In the same vein the Tate Liverpool has thrown itself a party which in its own words attempts to ‘visually demonstrate the development of glam and it’s various manifestations in the UK and USA through cultural material from the period’
This was an exhibition I was really looking forward to and I have to admit I had certain expectations relating to my definition of Glam. A bit of Ziggy, Bolan, Ferry and anyone else on the bill at Top of the Pops during the early 70s. This was satisfied immediately upon entering the exhibit and viewing the Album cover mural displaying albums such as Diamond Dogs (Bowie), In the Court of the Krimson King (King Krimson), Stranded(Roxy Music), They only come out at night (Edgar Winters group) as well as many others.They were just the ones I recognised from my own collection. Apart from the few jackets on display alongside (in particular a leather Cherry & Ladybird Jacket from Alkasura, on the Kings Road,Chelsea.one of Marc Bolans favoured outlets at the time) there was a notable absence of Glam attire on display. I suspect this may well be felt by a lot of those who visit the exhibition only because I’m sure for a lot of us our experience of Glam were the clothes as well as the Music .I can still recall my then cultural mentor , my uncle Tom, a cool teenager with en vogue ginger shoulder length hair and an undying love for David Bowie tutoring me in the ways of musical righteousness. As our babysitter he introduced us to Space Oddity and not without egging me , my brother and my sisters to come up with a routine to perform alongside it.
But to refer to it as I did earlier, the exhibition demonstrated glam as a scene and there is no scene without it’s people. Bearing this in mind the Performance of Style exhibition demonstrated not just that but excelled in it using popular Cultural Icons as its introduction before it identified themes and factions within in it .Themes which unapologetically address androgyny both pretentiously and without pretense. Works by David Hockney, Cindy Sherman, Andy Warhol, Allen Jones and Richard Hamilton exemplified this and a particular highlight was a painting by Franz Gertsch titled ‘At Luciano’s House’. I had to inspect it closely to believe it was a painting. Unfortunately due to not wanting to infringe on any copyright issues you will have to see the painting for yourself but by way of trying to make up for this I have devised a small collection from my own personal glam gallery and although I didn’t share the same flamboyant and slightly hedonistic message to the world I was a part of, I did do a fair bit of styling and profiling.
Whether you’re a music enthusiast or share an interest in examining the components that make up a popular cultural movement or like myself have part of your heart firmly stuck in the 70s theres every chance (like me again) you’ll leave the Tate Liverpool with a hankering for a 7 minute album track carrying a party Seven under your arm whistling the theme tune to ‘Man about the house.’
The exhibition continues until 12th May 2013.
For more info click http://www.tate.org.uk/visit/tate-liverpool