Thomas Joseph and Murphy - photograph by Keith Jones PhotographyCelebrating Liverpool Life

The New Picket, Jordan Street
1st December 2007

Reviewed by Clare Doran

‘It’s simple – it feels a good place to be and I like the sense of solidarity. Liverpool people have long been associated with this – we help each other out; we stick together…’
Alun Parry (from the Nerve Interview with Sandra Gibson, December 2007)

The sense of community solidarity was clear at a charity band night that took place recently at the New Picket to raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis (CF) Trust. The packed venue followed the theme of ‘Celebrating Liverpool Life’, which included a range of band talent, opening with the Mono LPs, who create an original sound using the cello and sixties-influenced music that perfectly introduced a lively atmosphere for the event. It was a great start to a night that needed to capture a range of moods, as this was also a memorial night for two sisters from Liverpool - Claire and Karen Jones - who both passed away from Cystic Fibrosis in their early twenties. It was a sensitive cause and the bands pulled together a fantastic range of performances to ensure that it did earn its title.

The second to take to the stage were Thomas Joseph and Murphy, who offered a different sound, capturing the crowd with reflective and thoughtful lyrics, a nostalgic sense that didn’t darken the mood but gave the crowd a time to reflect. They have already stood out in recent Liverpool press, and for good reason, with words that put beautiful images in my mind, especially ‘Vine Fields’. ‘Our friendship was the sunshine, and our heartache was the rain’. The Pedantics then played a two man acoustic act, wanting to show their support although the full band were not able to play. They still displayed their catchy lyrics and laid back style, and minus the usual backing music and drums, the brilliant vocal talent became the focus.

The event culminated with an excellent performance from The Alun Parry Band, whose music captures Liverpool in all its essences, from commentary on issues like slavery and class to crowd rousing anthems like ‘You Are My Addiction’. The sing-along (and if you don’t know the words yet there is always The Ship Song with the chorus ‘Naa naa naa naa’ to fall back on) and dance-along nature of the music captured the right mood for the end. The lighthearted social rebellion of ‘Thursday Night Drinking Song’ went down particularly well, and Alun himself proved a skilled compere for the entire event, with a comfortable on-stage presence that put the audience (and the organisers) at ease too.

After some initial confusion between the old Picket and the new - despite best attempts to warn people of the new location - it was a busy night, with a reunion atmosphere even amongst the bands, some of whom had played together before. The sense of community and friendly atmosphere was noted by many, and a range of Liverpool businesses contributed to the event, with both city football clubs donating raffle prizes. And to make it an even better ending, although the money is still being collected in donations, over £3,000 should be made for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust in memory of the girls.

Cystic Fibrosis Trust:
The New Picket: and

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