Thursday, December 24, 2009


Day three starts off late, making it out onto the streets about noon. A quick "breakfast" is followed by an afternoon touring both the Walker Art Museum and the World Museum of Liverpool, both only a few blocks from the hotel. Dinner at another Italian restaurant that late afternoon, an excellently prepared piece of Scottish salmon, also within a few blocks of the hotel.

Back at the hotel room I once again prepared for the up coming show. The bottle of tequila is now empty, the remaining contents placed in a collapsible canteen that I bring into the show. A light drizzle eventually turns into a rain, forcing me to have my cigar on the steps of St. Georges Hall beneath a covered entryway. I arrive at the concert hall shortly before 7 PM, getting in line with the two dozen others who have already gathered. I take my place before the stage in virtually the same place as the night before. The same warm up band (name forgotten) that performed last night takes the stage again. Four sixteen year olds with a lead singer who’s voice is smooth as silk. A promising start to their career.

The Bunnymen took their time coming on stage during this final performance of the year, appearing before another wildly enthusiastic audience sometime after 9:30 PM. Another great performance by the band, the audience singing along the whole time. On the recording one often hears the audience better than Ian. More dancing, whooping and hollering. As during all three nights, members of the audience call out for them to play Over The Wall, and on this night they willingly perform it near the end of the show. More pushing and shoving too, but the main offender behind me suddenly left, probably in search of a restroom. To avoid the same, I made sure to stop drinking liquids beginning in the early afternoon. So what I did take in by show time was straight tequila.

Party like a rock star
Lets music invade his head
A body worn down

Hourglass once full
Events flowing like dry sand
Time is running out

The sleet comes in waves
Falling from the wet, gray clouds
Shoppers walk faster

Strong wind from the north
Whitecaps dance on the river
Its cold brown water

Glance through their window
Christmas tree in room's warm light
The train races by

Thirty thousand feet
Cross the wild and rocky coast
Lost in clouds below

Time has come and gone
Passion's dream is over
Distant memory

Snow on the tundra
Beneath the rippled cloudscape
Drifting far below

After the show I hung out at the main building exit to watch the departing band members. I met Will’s nephew who was also waiting for his uncle along with the other fans. I was given the drummers set list from off the stage by Brian who I met again this evening.

I was told that the after show party would be held at Stage 2 on what I heard as "Paul" Street. Since I did not know where this was, I asked hotel staff . I was not encouraged by the response. Paul Street? Maybe Pall or Parr Streets? A request for a telephone directory instead got me directions from a hotel staffer who thought he knew where it was. I go and find out he was wrong. The correct directions are received by a street clown in the club district I was incorrectly sent to.

Drinking and dancing at Stage 2. Will DJ'ed. In attendance were Stephen, Gordy and Nick. I got to speak briefly with each of them. Will was unapproachable, but only because of my own fear due to his status within the band. A thoroughly enjoyable evening. Rumor has it they will resume their North American tour this coming March or April, possibly presenting me with another opportunity to see the band perform.

I left Stage 2 sometime after 3 AM, wandering the emptying streets. I had a cigar with a group of guys who were acting as security at what I assumed was a strip club based on the posters outside. They let me enter for the sole purpose of satisfying my curiosity. I was disappointed that it was virtually empty, music still blaring, providing the beat to which I could dance to as I virtually skipped through the place. Back to the fish and chips shop for a late night snack. Its fun watching the dynamics between the restaurant operators and customers at such an early hour.

The recording of the show started off fine, however, during Bedbugs and Bally Hoo I began adjusting the mic input levels, not realizing that I acidentally paused the recording. It looked like it was recording, but it was not. Of the songs played this evening I only managed to record the first eight:

Show of Strength
Villiers Terrace
Stormy Weather
Think I Need It Too
Seven Seas
Dancing Horses
Bedbugs and Bally Hoo (partial)

Download it here:

Splicing the three pieces of each show provided in this blog makes for a single representative Liverpool show. Enjoy.

Sunday was cold and wet, waves of sleet passing across the city. I checked out of the hotel and had a good breakfast in a restaurant on Bold Street. I walked to the River Mersy where I had a last cigar near the ferry terminal building, watching the dramatic play of light and shadow as clouds moved in off the sea. Back to Lime Street Station where caught the train to London, taking the underground to Paddington Station where I found a cheap hotel, a tiny unheated room on the fourth floor. A seafood dinner followed by a walk through a dark Hyde Park. In the distance I could see the lights of a ferris wheel. Drawn to the light, I spent the next hour at a Christmas carnival that runs through the early part of January. The lights, live music, the people. Walked back to the hotel and was in bed sometime after midnight. Took the Heathrow Express to the airport the following morning, catching my 9 hour flight back to Denver where I arrived to a pleasant afternoon. And just like that it was all over. Back to reality.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


I woke up shortly before the noon hour and had a quick lunch at Burger King. With map in hand, today’s destination was a walk through central Liverpool to the River Mersey. The day was cold but the sun was shining, providing little warmth. The nearby pedestrian shopping district was very busy with people trying to prepare for the Christmas holiday, everyone with one or more bags in hand.

Monuments to time
Praise heroic bravery
Don't bring back the dead

Cirrus cloud streaked sky
Low sun casts its feeble light
Black water sparkles

Northern latitude
Black water reflects its light
Sun low in the sky

I booked a ride on the ferry across the Mersey. You could have bought four or five different CDs by Gerry & the Pacemakers in the ferry terminal gift shop. I had an hour to kill waiting for the ferry’s return so I lit up a cigar and sat on a nearby bench, enjoying the view of the stately buildings along Canada Boulevard and the river which sparkled in the suns light. The ferry made two stops on the opposite bank and then cruised upstream more for sightseeing purposes. I got off at Woodside where I spent an hour at the U-boat museum, returning to the ferry to complete the trip. By this time the tide was falling, the river flowing swiftly.

Back in Liverpool I walked across town to the Liverpool Cathedral. This building dominates the skyline south of the city, particularly from the river, thereby drawing me to it. A very large cathedral made of red sandstone, (similar to what underlies the city, based on the outcrops visible along the tracks approaching the Lime Street Station). It cast a reddish orange color in the setting suns light. The inside was even more impressive, with its high arched ceiling, all decorated for the Christmas holiday.

Dinner a small Italian restaurant, choosing a well prepared sea bass entree, while at the same time I enjoyed the view of the people going about their business just outside the window.

Back to the hotel to prepare for tonight’s show. Smoked a cigar at the monument commemorating the battle at Waterloo just outside the Walker Art Museum. Shortly after 7 PM I made my way to the O2 Academy where I checked my coat and then made my way to the stage.

Ian’s performance this evening was a bit better than yesterdays. The concert hall, however, was packed with a very enthusiastic crowd that sang along with virtually every song, whistling, hooting and hollering in appreciation for their Liverpool Bunnymen. Ian made no effort to quiet the rowdy crowd because he probably realized it was a hopeless cause. Some people were pushing very hard to get up front, and had I not held onto the hand rail I would have easily been swept aside. Much of the evening was spent resisting this advancing tide of people. At the end of the show I snagged Ian’s set list from off the stage.

Flew up to the sun
Drawn to emotions bright light
Can't seem to come down

Living in a dream
Catches sight of the cold moon
Wakes, then falls asleep

I had learned from the Bunnymen Underground member "King of Kings" that he got his copy of The Fountain signed the night before through Brian who has contacts back stage, also of the Villiers Terrace site. Immediately after the show I ran into Brian and passed my Ocean Rain tour book signed by Will, Pete and Less back in 1984 to him and he gave it to someone else backstage. It was returned to me while waiting outside where the band members exited one by one. This really made the night an unbelievable experience.

Just one pound apiece
Entry to a fantasy
Dreams for pocket change

Trapped in its whirlpool
Spiriling into the heart
Limp with its desire

The after show party was held at the Korova bar off of Hope Street. Will was DJ’ing the music for the club, "spinning" tunes primarily from the 60’s and 70’s. Shots of tequila were only a pound apiece. Line’em up, I’ve got a pocket full of change! Much of the evening was spent dancing with the many attractive women in attendance, still pumped up from the show and having gotten my long desired autograph. My head was spinning from having so much fun.

I got back to the hotel some time after 3 AM. I had a late night snack of fish and chips in a shop opposite the hotel. There were a bunch of others seated at the tables doing the same thing. I enjoyed the late night people watching.

The last seven songs played during this show were:

My Kingdom
The Back of Love
The Killing Moon
The Cutter
Nothing Lasts Forever
Do It Clean
Lips Like Sugar

Download them here: