Saturday, 12 May 2012

Well the singer's frowning...

Miles Hunt & Erica Nockalls at St Helens Citadel Saturday 12th May 2012.

The first time in the 25 years Miles Hunt has been touring that he's played in St Helens. He may not be back again after an incident with the sound. Luckily it was towards the end of the show which had up to that point been brilliant.

As with the previous gig they worked their way through the Never Loved Elvis track list swerving Sleep Alone and Size of a Cow. I'd be willing to bet my house (if i had one) that they've never had to play the Cow song on this tour - everyone is going to cheer for Golden Green given the option which I'm sure they know already. I'd also be willing to bet my life savings that if they did somehow have to play the cow song they'd still probably play Golden Green anyway because it's one of those songs that just has to be played!

During the show Miles talked about their old local pub where there was no mobile phone reception. People go there to be together not sit together communicating with the rest of the world... while I was sat up in the balcony on facebook...

For a very good reason - I was having a facebook conversation with Henry Priestman (ex Christians, writer of "Ideal World", solo artist and all round Legend) because we are doing an event together tomorrow to celebrate Adult Learners' Week in Merseyside and because he was asking me to pass on a message to Miles.

I'm contracted by the national charity NIACE to coordinate Adult Learners Week on Merseyside. This is an annual, national celebration of adult learning, the achievements learners have made and to demonstrate the impact learning has on people's lives and try to encourage more adults to get involved with learning opportunities. NIACE do a lot of work all year round to ensure that adult education stays on the government's agenda and continues to be funded at a local level.

So Sunday 13th May sees us holding a lecture at the Museum of Liverpool delivered by Henry Priestman about the music industry and an insight into songwriting and all that kinda stuff. It's going to be amazing!

14 months ago I was planning an event for the 20th Adult Learners Week and NIACE wanted us to make it BIG. Try and get some celebrities, they said... getting celebrities isn't easy. I know they're sort of ten a penny these days thanks to Big Brother and so called reality TV, but would we really want any of those types of celebrities endorsing adult learning when all most of them can do is get boob jobs and walk around town with curlers in their hair?

Then one day Miles Hunt posted a link on Facebook to Henry Priestman's album on spotify saying he was going to see him that night and 2 things occurred to me 1) The Chronicles of Modern life had been played constantly for about 6 months in our house and 2) a friend of ours had messaged Henry through Facebook and got him to play at his community centre. So inspired, I sent Henry a message and a few weeks later Henry Priestman opened the launch event for us in St George's Hall.

So naturally I asked him back again this year. Although it's slightly daunting working with someone you're a fan of, Henry is a lot of fun to be around and makes it easy to forget that you're working with someone you happen to have a signed picture of on your wall at home.

So I'm sat in the Citadel cyber-chatting to Henry about whether we've got enough XLR leads and such like and he admits he's working on his lecture notes. I told him I was dealing with my nerves by coming to see Miles and Erica in St Helens and he said "Oh if you see them afterwards please send my apologies for not making it and tell them I will definitely catch them next time they're playing locally"

Now of course you may recall from my last post about the Wonder Stuff that I believe there's a sizeable  chance that speaking to Miles Hunt will unleash my 14 year old self and result in me skipping on the spot excitedly and no self respecting 34 year old wants that. So I decided that it would be for the best if I got straight in the car after the show, came home and blogged about it!

Anyway it wasn't far into the set before I switched off the phone and enjoyed the show. If you haven't had the chance to catch Miles & Erica I would certainly recommend it, I really enjoyed seeing them on a larger stage than the one in Liverpool where they had more space to move around. I also must confess that I really liked seeing Erica in sensible shoes... I don't know how she stays upright in those sparkly high heeled boots! Really enjoyed hearing Save it For Later too. We are off to see the Beat next month also at the Citadel - which is where I saw them for the first time and fell in love with them...Let's hope the sound holds up!

Incidentally there's a few places left for Henry's lecture - it's called "Long Player...surviving 33 1/3 years in the Music Biz" if you're in the area and want to come, please pop in.

There's also loads of other stuff happening across Merseyside for Adult Learners Week - visit for more info.