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Martin Carthy St.Bride's Church Liverpool

By Peter Doherty

You want culture well St.Bride's Church had it in full. Offered a spare ticket to see one of the legends of British Folk & with a spare Saturday due to getting snotted by Texas 'Oldham in the last round of the cup I couldn't resist. Firstly though I had to navigate from Walton to Percy St on the edge of Liverpool City Centre. As a non-imbiber these days I notice pissheads more than ever & Jesus wept Liddypool is packed full of the fuckers at 7.30 on a Saturday night. It reminded me of the part in the Fear & Loathing movie where everyone becomes flesh-eating lizards. Ugly vibes abounded.Capital of Culture my corns its the Capital of Bargain Booze.

Anyway the gig was being staged in St.Bride's Church on Percy St as The FAmily Folk Up by a group called the Random Family, The building resembles a mini-Parthenon & is a functioning church so the seats were pews. It had a real comfortable "vibe" around the whole offering. As there was no bar it was a bring your own booze occassion so folks tucked into their own carafe's of wine & Lowenbrau,with cakes provided by the group.How cool is that,don't get anything like that in these dance, fucking emporiums. Joe Keelan, from the Random Family, introduced the evening telling the sold out crowd that the evening was part of a monthly project the band do to bring Folk & Roots music to Liverpool.


First act was Jeff Jepson. Nope never heard of him either but an angelic voice wasn't in it. Reminiscent to these ears of Goodbye & Hello/Happy Sad Tim Buckley. He has one of those MySpace things so give it a look & a website which shows he has 4 albums out.If Saturday was anything to go by they could be worth a gander for the more pastoral Swinesters. A great start. Next up were the Random Family. Jesus these kids had more virtuosos than The Band. Flute,Clarinet,Ukelele ,Mandolin,Acoustic Guitar,stand up Bass & the noise that comes out is gorgeous. To think Joe,from the band, sat opening letters where I used to work for months is fucking bizarre. Great vocals across the band & beautiful brass interludes in a couple of songs. They deserve a fucking massive pat on the back for trying to get someting different off the ground in the land of bad bars & knob-shines in trackies.


Anyway next up was Mr.Carthy. Its humbling to see someone as talented with the ability to play music 150 years old & make it sound fresh set up his own gear but that's what Martin did.He provided a great cross section of the disappearing art of the British song.From the Fens to the Scottish mines everywhere was covered & even a pop at the twat Thatcher so a great show. I can't believe I was lucky enough to see someone as cool as Martin Carthy in a Liverpool Church. Surely something like that deserves more publicity than dragging Ringo back to sing with 1980's never wears in the Daily Post big top. Anyhow I still had the assault course back to Central Station to contend with & Jesus were the animals out & about.


I should have dressed up like Steve Irwin to deal with the amount of reptiles & buffalo women I encountered on my way back. Make no mistake kids Liverpool at 11.30 on a Saturday is like living in a Hieronymous Bosch painting.Half the people seem to have had knee reversals coz their legs definitely don't function in any known medical fashion & most of the women look like that litte Inuit woman out of Northern Exposure but in sausage skin clothing.Like the Cellulite Olympics it was.Of course its 08 so I should sing the Scouse-tastic praises. Sorry as RAOM said Fuck you I won't do what you tell me. In the end though it was a great night thanks to the oasis of  reason The Family Folk Up provided. Thanks to Dave &  Katya for accompanying me as well.
Liverpool Folk Off.




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