So it’s that time again when we all head off to Liverpool for Dan Lynch’s Rathole Radio, as usual Matthew Copperwaite travelled up from the small village of London to Castle Cannon in the West Midlands and arrived while I was watching Mel Gibson leaving no one behind in ‘When we were soldiers’. Full of excitement I opened the front door to be greeted by Matt clutching a pathetic bouquet of flowers! “These are for you.” he said “you’re always moaning that I never bring you flowers.” Bastard, he knows full well I like lilies! After spending some time recovering from his journey Matt and I set off for Liverpool, I always like to take Matt on a little bit of a detour rather than taking the shortest route to the M6 so that he can sample the delights of the West Midlands the first 20 minutes or so of our journey was pretty uneventful however when we hit the M6 OMG! The traffic was horrendous, every 5 to 10 minutes it was stop start stop start and this was in the fast lane, it has to have been one of the worst journeys up Matt and I have done in fact on one occasion we nearly died when I took my eye off the car in front for literally a split second.
Now I was determined on this occasion that we would not get lost I had downloaded the directions from Google maps even though this is the third time I have done the journey, it clearly states on the directions to get off at junction 21a and follow the M62 to the 5080 now this is where we got lost before so we start to follow the directions and yes you guessed it we was on the wrong road “Fook this” I said “I’m going back to the 62.” So we headed back to the 62 and followed it down into Liverpool which miraculously turns into the 5080 how stupid is that? On the outskirts of Liverpool we could clearly see Ubuntu’s new venture, they are going into house refuse collection as there was a sea of purple wheelie beans everywhere presumably these are collected by the Ubuntu-cart. We headed on down into the city centre totally ignoring the directions we had with me repeatedly saying “we just need to head for the sea.” Yeah that worked really well didn’t it? So having gone round the block we decided to follow a bus which clearly had better directional sense than we did. Now I should say here that we was looking for the Q car park Liverpool 1 I had looked on Google maps, street view, and could see how you got out of the car park but could not for the life of me find the way in. The Strand is a very busy road with three lanes of course we was in the left-hand lane and needed to be in the right-hand lane I tried looking like a lost tourist at the cop car next to us in the hope that they would let us cross in front of them but we obviously didn’t look criminal enough as they just drove off.
Having managed to cross the three lanes into the right-hand lane we travelled a little further on and Matt spotted a ramp in the middle of the road going down into the bowels of the earth “aha, this must be the entrance?” As we descended down we drove across the worst rumble strips I have ever driven over in my life I don’t know about slowing us down but it certainly nearly made me shit myself. I have to say I have never parked in such a posh car park, blue mood lighting adorned the subterranean cavern and this car park was huge. We found a space and retrieved our bags from the boot and set off looking for the exit, on our way we accosted an unfortunate local woman “excuse me can you tell us how we get out of here?” The poor woman led us to the lifts “you don’t happen to know where the travel Lodge Strand Hotel is do you?” The woman led us outside and directed us in the general location of the hotel, Matt and I set off in the lovely weather we was having on that day, it was pissing down. As the bedraggled pair shuffled along the Strand heads sunk into our shoulders for protection we tried to find the hotel “I’m sure it’s on the docks” I said then suddenly out of the corner of my eye there in 20ft letters was the Strand, unusually reception is on the first floor and as we came out of the lift we was greeted by a party of hen nighters trying to book in. Matt, ever the geek, used the booking in console and had his door key straight away I of course was determined to hand over my scrap of paper confirming my booking to a human being, yeah I’m old school, bite me.
“What shall I do give you knock in about an hour?” Said Matt, “Na, I’ve changed my mind I’m not going to have a shower now I’m just going to have a shave and change. Just come in about 20 minutes, don’t panic I won’t be naked.” twenty minutes later there was a knock at the door and I opened it naked from the waist up clutching a towel to my face trying to staunch the blood!
“You bastard, you promised you wouldn’t be naked!” said Matt, never mind the fact that the lovely white towel was covered in blood and looked like some heinous murder had been committed all he was worried about was seeing my hairy chest. Having managed to stem the flow I dressed and we set off to retrieve my phone which I had accidentally left in the car this meant traipsing all the way back to the car park which by now we had a good idea how to get to, having retrieved the phone we got back into the lift and arriving at the shopping level the lift announced “shopping and shop mobility.” which was hysterical given there was still a flight of stairs to be negotiated, how on earth is a wheelchair bound person going to get up those stairs?
We set off for Wetherspoon’s which is where some of us met up last year, as we walked through the city centre a voice called out “Hello” scared that we was going to be asked if we could loan the owner of the voice 24p we picked up the pace, “It’s Dick Turpin in’t it?” I was cornered I had no choice but to own up. There in front of us was Matt Molyneaux, maybe he had been there all day waiting to ambush us? Moggers needed to go back to the hotel so we told him where we would be and carried on I thought it would be a good idea to announce on G+ where we was meeting so, wait for it, I typed ‘witherspoons’ Matt said “what the hell is witherspoons? It’s Wetherspoon’s how can you get that wrong? It’s the biggest national pub chain in the UK!” He’s horrible to me you know. What always makes me smile in this pub is all the girls with rollers in their hair who are having a pre-night out drink I think I’ve only ever seen this in Liverpool? After a short while Matt’s mate texted him that he was in another pub, The Pilgrim on Pilgrim Street. Now given I’d announced we was in Wetherspoon’s we buggered off to the Pilgrim like the complete gits we are.
It’s become a bit of a tradition to eat in The China Palace given it was one of those “Eat all you can for £6.00” establishments, now Michael (heeed) Rimicans had said earlier in the week that their website was down but we never listen to anything he has to say anyway. My phone rang and it was Michael “The Chinese is closed!” now I thought he meant closed as in not open but after much gnashing of teeth he managed to communicate that like the African blue parrot (Monty Python) “It had ceased to be.” and was closed down so we decided to head for the LEAF as they did food there, the venue is actually really nice and I thought the staff was pretty friendly too. We could hear Dan warming up and could take no more and crept upstairs.
First up was Tom Morecroft I would have said he was a folk singer, we all loved his opening song and his band featured a guy who played a box. Yep he sat on a box and banged it! But it was very good. 🙂
I’m afraid the next few songs seemed a bit same old same old with a bit too much “Ooh Ooh aah aah” melodies for my liking Tom did say Holly(?) had a beautiful voice, if only she had sung words more. The songs in the middle of his set was a bit depressing for me but even so we all enjoyed it, sing some happy songs next time mate.
Next up was ‘our mate Dan’ with his band 20lb sounds I am so glad he’s smartened himself up a bit, gone are those crappy red shorts and in was a pretty slick black pair of strides and a black shirt. Of course being a scouse git he still had to wear some multi coloured trainers didn’t he!
Getting a bit too carried away with himself Dan managed to break a string during the second song “It’s OK I only need five strings anyway.” said Mr show off. I’m not sure if it was the next song or the one after Dan realised that he did need that string after all when he hit his guitar solo which now consisted of ‘one note’ played relentlessly. The highlight for me was not only when he announced “The next song is Jimmy Carter” but that it was for me \o/ I love this song, mainly because it’s the only one of Dan’s I know the words to but also Dan really belts it out. I was a bit worried about him during the mouth organ solo I was scared we’d have to scoop his lung up as he bent over blowing his guts out with a contorted face “You’ll do yourself a mischief mate.”
Next up was P’Chenga this guy is mental! Matt said he was kinda Ska/Punk with almost a bit of Reggae thrown in. This loon threw himself round the stage like a demented gibbon while pulling facial contortions HE WAS BRILLIANT true we couldn’t really understand half the words but who cares he made up for it in energy.
We did feel that his set went on a touch too long there’s only so much excitement a man can take so was kind of glad we could get our breath back when he finished by now I had consumed seven Ginger Beers and was glad of the toilet break to be honest.
The final act was The Corinthians I would have said they was a Rap band, I’ll be honest they was not really my cup of tea although my foot was tapping a couple of times. Matt and I noticed that the guy on the Laptop and I suspect sound board was brilliant! He really seemed to be enjoying himself as well as the guy in the white tee-shirt (This works really well if you wasn’t there as you have no idea who I’m talking about.) my main complaint was they must have said “Corinthians” 30 times during every song! Mind you Matt was right as it clearly worked, their name is now imprinted on my brain.
They’re clearly popular as they brought along their own fan base with an average age of twelve by the look of some of them however at least they had the balls to stand in front of the stage and dance (If you can call it that) which made a few others get up and jiggle about a bit.
One of the strangest moments of the night was when Mr Tinfoil walked past! I have no idea what he was smoking and his excuse of “I was at a fancy dress party.” seemed ‘thin’ very thin in my opinion but hey this is Liverpool and nothing should surprise you of a night time round there.
It was getting near the end of the night certainly for us some of our friends had already headed off and Matt and I decided to wander off back to the hotel. We had a brilliant night Rathole Radio is not just about the music for us it’s about a social event with our friends and one we look forward to every year. If you’ve never been come along next year and we’ll look after you.
The pictures in the post are reproduced by kind permission of another baldy Pete Stean who scared the living daylights out of me by leaving his hugely expensive camera lying around, I’ve lost five years off my life coz of you you bastard! Cheers for letting me use your photos mate and the ones you took of Matt and me.
Pete Stean is available for weddings, christenings and Bar Mitzvah’s and the odd risqué photo shoot. All that’s left to say is “Thanks Dan see you in 2013”
Oh and one final thing, Matt and I was very impressed with the vending machine in the Strand Travelodge that dispensed paracetamol!