British 'blues boom' satire: the Liverpool Scene on John Peel's Top Gear', July 1969

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Colin H, Sep 12, 2019.

  1. Colin H

    Colin H Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I doubt if many Americans have heard of the Liverpool Scene - a distinctly British poetry/satire/jazz/rock ensemble from the late 60s fronted by poet/painter Adrian Henri with other members including Mike Hart, guitar wiz/songwriter Andy Roberts, bassist Percy Jones, etc. They toured the US once, with Led Zeppelin, but it was a dispiriting affair - seemingly, US audiences didn't understand them.

    Still, this first track from a 1969 BBC session is easy to enjoy if you're at all familiar with the then-burgeoning British 'blues boom': 'I've Got the Chicken Shack Fleetwood Mac John Mayall Can't Fail Blues'.

    ash1 and All Down The Line like this.
  2. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Forum Resident

    Appreciate the satire, maybe before their time to be appreciated in some parts?
  3. Colin H

    Colin H Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Actually, I think they were distinctly *of* their time, certainly in some of their repertoire. The intermission item from the LZ concert (in the audio clip above) is a good example - satirical adverts based on Cold War concerns but clearly also referencing topical/well-known adverts of the time, which are now obscure to the modern listener. The laughs heard confirm that these references were understood and appreciated at the time. Some other Liverpool Scene tracks contain of-the-time/place references that would now be impenetrable - though mostly the poetry and songs transcend time and place. The 'blues boom' satire in the clip is a rare example of a time-specific number remaining understandable (at least on a forum like this!) because the references are generally subjects still known - Jethro Tull, Fleetwood Mac, et al. The reference to 'the man from Blue Horizon Records' is one for the cognoscenti. As a piece of primary history, it allows us to appreciate that not everyone in British music at the time was enamoured of the obsession with the blues. See also the Beatles' 'Yer Blues' - at least in part, a parody.

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