LARKS IN THE PARK Liverpool, Sefton Park
EVERYBODY, it seemed, came to Sefton Park, Liverpoool’s green and pleasant heart, over the bank holiday weekend; punks, scallieu; the hip, the not so hip, mums and dads with the kids, and one or two hippies pretending that the park was something like the mud at Reading.
They were all here to watch an entirely praiseworthy event rejoicing under the name of Larks In The Park, now in its third year. Organised by half a dozen local luminaries, the whole party is free and aims to present the best in local music live from the splendour of the ornate Victorian bandstand. It’s all financed through grants, sponsorship and collections on the site.
As a special treat the BBC used the same site to film Echo And The Bunnymen on Thursday and Bow Wow Wow who stole the show on the Friday, with Annabella teasing the camera-struck youngsters who jumped into the stagnant moat to show their excitement (or was it to cool their ardour?)
The big crowds came on the Saturday and Sunday afternoons to soak up the sun on the grassy slopes, consuming wine, ice cream, and ganja in equal proportions.
The music wasn’t too bad either, though quality was sacrificed to that great god Variety. Delado, a group made up of about 30 of Toxteth’s African community, were Saturday’s High-spot, creating an amazingly dense noise with their rhythmic drumming and chants.
Toxteth again provided the stars on Sunday with reggae band Crossection, whose hard rhythms and lilting vocals were perfect for a lazy sunny afternoon. Monday, the most promising day musically, was wet and windy but a thousand or so hardy souls braved the elements and we went ahead with our picnic.
Hambi And The Dance’s classy pop shone through the murk, and made it all worthwhile, as did Franke Goes To Hollywood, who are THE name to drop right now and what a name. With their showbizzy act, all steamy leather-clad sex and tongue-in-cheek sleaze, goes a truly funky sound —
The organisation was flexible enough to allow unusual (and unbilled) acts like Dave The Fire-eater (I always thought fire-eaters were called Wallendi or something) to perform alongside the 16 local groups on show, which made for a whole weekend of fun, and showed that there’s still life left in this decaying city.