The Mill, Fulton Street (7th-12th July 2008)
Do I really fancy a rainy Wednesday night out in Kirkdale? I couldn’t
resist! This was a cabaret organized by Collective Encounters, at the
old Mill on Fulton Street, and a good mix of people sat down to a real
treat. We joined in with their songs, laughed at the gags, listened to
their lyrical meanderings and enjoyed the view. The whole experience lifted
an appreciative audience to the roof.
The venue itself was from another time, and according to the doorman,
no one had sat foot in it for thirty odd years. Situated just off the
dock road, the wooden beams, steel pillars and intimate lighting took
us back to the turn of the last century. The show began with a message
from Liverpool’s 700th birthday celebrations – this is ‘A
city of hope and possibility’.
We were then treated to a thought-provoking journey through the trials
and tribulations, hopes and dreams and the social consciousness of some
cracking Liverpool characters, past and present. Here was a ‘spirit
of the age’ rarely seen or heard, let alone celebrated.
The music was spot on and complemented great performances, projections
and set. In the music hall tradition there was a sense of spectacle, humour
and passion running through it that had most of us in bits. Our hearts
went out when John ‘the spoons’ did his thing. The joy of
watching him caress those spoons as they rac’aca’d on his
thigh, and listening to him sing of the times when he was a lad, received
a standing ovation.
We also heard from Leticia the Liverbird, the ‘Doyens of bandstand
and bench’, Madame Majike and many others, who rekindled my faith
in the city’s social heritage. A big thanks to everyone involved.