Part of Writing On The Wall (WOW) Festival
The Casa, Liverpool
8th May 2017
Reviewed by Colin Serjent
Gerry Potter is described in some local circles as a ‘Liverpool legend’ but to be honest I had never previously heard of him.
Nevertheless I was highly impressed by his solo performance at the Casa where he recited, without any written material to hand, ten of his idiosyncratic and heartfelt poems, which enthralled and amused the audience.
He began with ‘My Scouse Voice’. Having been brought up and raised in Scotty (Scotland) Road, it included the line ‘I have a scouse voice and am still working class after all these years’.
He also referred to the early series of Doctor Who, which had an influence on him, notably in relation to the Tardis!
He followed with ‘Battered Blue’, which referred to the way he was treated in his early years.
‘The Buried Catholic’ was in reference to the time when he was an altar boy at the local catholic church.
‘I still have that sense of magic of being a catholic’, he remarked.
Scotty Road has always had a macho image, but he said some girls years ago could fight just as hard as the blokes. ‘Tiffany Bling’ was in some ways a tribute to the women who could look after themselves.
‘I never went to Eric’s’ was a celebration of Liverpool city centre life at the end of the 1970s. Within the poem he made references to Probe Records, Siouxsie Sue (one of my musical heroines), Holly Johnson, who worked at Eric’s as a cloakroom attendant, and The Teardrop Explodes.
Potter then paid homage to Hope Street, where he trained at the Everyman Theatre, as part of the youth theatre there, under the guidance of Roger Hill.
A tribute was then delivered to his dear departed friend Brian King in ‘Brian’. One poignant comment he made was ‘death does not hang around’. How true. Ultimately he just wanted the two of them just to grow old together.
His next poem was related to his mum. It was titled ‘The Sons Of May Butler’, the connection being the John Wayne film ‘The Sons Of Katie Elder’!
Towards the end of his performance he made the remark, which had the audience in stitches, ‘Scotty Road is the greatest story never told’.
A fitting way to conclude an hour’s worth of sheer delight.