Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Eric's - October 1976

Friday 24th September               Deaf School
Eric's Club opened, taking over the Revolution Club at 9 Mathew St, Liverpool 2.  The Revolution Club wasn't ready yet so the opening night was upstairs at Gatsby's. Liverpool's best band of the time, Deaf School, played. 

Friday 1st October                    The Stranglers
                                                        + The Brownies

Friday 8th October                    Runaways
                                                        + 29th & Dearborn

The Runaways Glasgow gig a few days earlier had ended in a riot and a slew of headlines.
What better publicity can you get for a gig?  The queue snaked round the block.
It looks all a bit Yewtree now I'm afraid.

Friday 15th October                  Sex Pistols
                                                        + Albert Dock

On the What's On slot of Granada Reports,
 6 o'clock on a Thursday evening in 1976. 
Despite the galvanising effect that the Pistols' gigs in Manchester had earlier in 1976, Liverpool wasn't impressed by Johnny and the boys.  I've seen it said there were 30, 50, 70 or a hundred people there.  One that was there wrote:  Roddie Gilliard i went to that erics gig, not too many people there, mostly curious long hairs. they were awful, broke a bass string trying to tune up. i'd read about the singer having an answer for any heckler, but all he managed was "if you don't like it you know where the exit is" - it was nothing to write home about.

Another comment from someone who was there: 

I was at the Pistol's gig, having not long returned from a "far out" Israel, with hair down me back! I saw some of the kerfuffle they were making, and having seen the queue for the Runaways, thought there was something unusual going on, and decided to go see them!
It was a fairly lower key affair, with most, just standing back, waiting, but for the only punk like figure, Pete Burns! Spoke to Tony Wilson, in the bogs, who asked me what I thought of the band, and even Bob Wooler, had come to check them out! I was ambivalent, still wrestling with the B.O.F. tag I'd been given!!

Albert Dock became The Yachts and later signed to Stiff

Friday 22nd October                 The Count Bishops

A pint of your finest Pubrock, please

Friday 29th October                  Racing Cars

 Kick out the jams, motherfolkers

I just finished reading Bill Sykes book about Roger Eagle Sit Down - Listen to This.  Its a good read and is a great example of how One Man Can Really Make A Difference.  Eagle was one of the partners in Eric's Club along with Pete Fulwell and Ken Testi.  He was the public face of Eric's, a Liverpool club which lasted less than four years but has become something of a legend.

How successful was it?  With the benefit of hindsight you might say it galvanised a city. Much of the best of '80s music music was forged in that sweaty, smelly basement - from the Teardrop Explodes, Echo and the Bunnymen, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (who all played their debut gigs there) and Wah! Heat to the KLF, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Lightning Seeds, Dead or Alive, Wild Swans, Pale Fountains, Shack, The Christians, Its Immaterial, The Alarm, Sisters of Mercy, The Mission, Black and Space.  For starters.

It was also a dive.  Some nights there were barely a dozen people in.  I remember a Cabaret Voltaire gig where there were maybe two dozen.  During their first song I spent the time pondering the fact that although their sound was cutting edge and far out man (I knew this because NME told me so) you could sing any Buddy Holly song over the top and it would fit. At the end of this first song there was complete silence.  Not a single person clapped or spoke.  I spent the second song thinking about this and decided something should be done. At the end of the second song I whooped and cheered and clapped as though I'd just heard the future of rock 'n' roll.   And everybody else followed suit.   I went home and wrote a song called Pavlov's Dog, so missing the second band of the evening, Joy Division.

There's a lot of people who owe a debt to Roger Eagle. I'm one of them. There should be a statue of Roger somewhere.  This is my tribute.

Over the next couple of months there will be posts detailing each month of Eric's gigs.  Information comes from Eric's handbills and members notices plus information scavenged from around the internet and books like

  • Liverpool Eric's - All the best clubs are downstairs by Paul Whelan and Jaki Florek
  • Bombed Out by Peter Alan Lloyd
  • Wondrous Place and Deaf School  by Paul du Noyer
  • Head On by Julian Cope
  • Sit Down, Listen to This by Bill Sykes

The handbills have been gathered from all over. I've been collecting them online for a while and I didn't keep track.  A few of them are in my loft but others have come from Bombed OutBombsiteLiverpool Band Posters facebook page.  The rest are from searching Google images.

There's a few missing - January and February 1977 for starters - but it's pretty complete for the rest of the time.  If anyone wants to fill in any details please do.  The flyers weren't always accurate but the picture they give is sound.  One thing they don't do is tell you who was on at the Thursday Bop or audition nights so if anyone can help let me know.

The first version of this was a straightforward list of gigs but this time round there's a bit more detail. Enjoy.

As time goes by I'd like to flesh out each entry so if you were there . . . post a comment

Eric's - November 1976

Friday 5th November      Roogalator
                                            (nb, Roogalator came on late because the'd gone to Sefton Park to watch the fireworks)

Friday 12th November    Flamin' Groovies

Friday 19th November    Albert Dock

early flyer, courtesy of Doreen Allen and Marc Jones

Friday 26th November    Damned

Damned Peel session recorded four days later, 30th November 1976

Eric's - December 1976

Liverpool Eric's flyer, December 1976
Friday 3rd December      Split Enz (didn't play)

Friday 10th December    Slaughter & the Dogs 
                                       + Berlin

Friday 17th December    Flamin' Groovies

Friday 24th December    Deaf School 
                                       + Albert Dock 
                                       + O'Boogie Brothers

Deaf School poster courtesy of Alexander Reynolds

Ambrose Reynolds began making music as a chorister at Liverpool Cathedral at the age of 7. A few years later, teaming up with David Knopov in a street busking band called The O'Boogie Brothers. The O'Boogie Brothers expanded its membership to include an Ian Broudie (Lightning Seeds) on Guitar and Nathan McGough (later to manage the Happy Mondays). With a new 6 piece line up they became a proper band after supporting legendary Liverpool band Deaf School on Christmas Eve 1976 at Erics Club, Mathew St, Liverpool. The O'Boogie Brothers eventually split (as bands do) in 1977. 

Friday 31st December    The Brownies

On Saturday 11th December Roger Eagle was promoting the Sex Pistols Anarchy tour at Liverpool Stadium.

poster copyright www.sex-pistols.net

The Liverpool Echo reported the gig was cancelled but the band planned to play a city centre club, the Cavern.   That didn't happen either.

copyright www.sex-pistols.net

Eric's - January 1977

from Philip Rees Roberts

Friday 7th January

Friday 14th January           The O'Boogie Brothers

Saturday 15th January       The Anti Disco Disco

Friday 21st January

Saturday 22nd January       Roogalator

Friday 28th January             Johnny Thunders & the Heartbreakers
                                             Generation X

unknown date            The Damned
(according to Julian Cope in  Head On but not according to http://www.whiterabbitskgs.co.uk/ which seems to know what it is talking about.  But any excuse to play The Damned is good with me.)

Just to put things in context, here's the Top of the Pops, Supersonic and Old Grey Whistle Test line ups for January 1977.  Don't forget this was all the pop and rock music you could see on tv back then. Look out for Deaf School on Supersonic.

Thursday 6th January 1977
Top of the Pops (BBC1)
Host: David Jensen
Sheer Elegance                Dance the night away
10cc                                 The things we do for love (promo)
Tina Charles                    Dr Love
Smokie                            Living next door to Alice
Gladys Night & the Pips Nobody but you
Jethro Tull                       Ring out those Solstice bells
David Soul                      Don't give up on us (Legs & Co)
Drifters                           You're more than a number in my little red book (promo)
Clodagh Rogers              Save me
Boney M                         Daddy Cool
Donna Summer               - chat with host -
Johnny Mathis                When a child  is born
Abba                                Money, money, money (play out record)

Saturday 8th January 1977
Supersonic (LWT)
The Hollies           Daddy don't mind
The Hollies           Dragging my heels
Mud                      Somebody
Phoenix                Easy
Andy Fairweather Low  Bebop and holler
Brotherhood of Man

an aside
Sunday 9th January
Liverpool Empire    Genesis
In April 1975 I'd been to my first gig - Genesis with Peter Gabriel at the Empire. It was excellent.  So when tickets for the first post-Gabriel Genesis tour went on sale roundabout October 1976 me & My Mate Dave got tickets for the Liverpool show the following January. 

Punk happened pretty quickly. NME and Sounds might have articles about Punk but there were no records, there were hardly any Peel sessions.  Hard to be a punk in a provincial town when you'd never heard a punk band.  But then in October the Pistols signed with EMI and at the end of the month Neat, Neat, Neat by the Damned was released.  Stuff started happening. The Sex Pistols went on Bill Grundy's show on 1st December and the rest is history.  

Consequently by January 9th me & My Mate Dave were not all that interested in seeing Genesis - but we went anyway.  Phil Collins had started doing the singing so they had the great Chester Thompson in on drums. He was the drummer on Frank Zappa's Roxy & Elsewhere which was pretty cool.  We were loitering in Lime St on that Sunday afternoon and saw this bunch of guys walking towards us.  Obviously we recognised them, and being 15 year old scouse kids, totally ignored Messsrs Collins, Rutherford, Banks and Hackett. Instead we bounded over (well, maybe not bounded) and said to Chester Thompson "hey mister, didn't you useta be in Frank Zappa's band?

Tuesday 11th January 1977
Old Grey Whistle Test (BBC2)
Ace        Rock & Roll Singer
Ace       You're all that I needed
Daryl Hall & John Oates    Back Together Again
Daryl Hall & John Oates    Rich Girl
Roy Carr        interview
Free      The Stealer  (promo)
Graham Parker & the Rumour  That's what they all say (promo)
Boston      Rock & Roll Band (promo)
Thin Lizzy       Rocky (The Odeon, Hammersmith)

Thursday 13th January 1977
Top of the Pops (BBC1)
Host:  David Hamilton
Gallagher & Lyle       Every little teardrop
Barry Biggs                Sideshow
Rose Royce                Car Wash (Legs & Co)
David Parton              Isn't she lovely
Julie Covington          Don't cry for me Argentina (stills of Eva Peron)
Status Quo                  Wild side of life (promo)
Liverpool Express      Every man must have a dream
Pussycat                     Smile
David Soul                 Don't give up on us (promo)
Stevie Wonder           I wish (play out)

Saturday 15th January 1977
Supersonic (LWT)
Gary Glitter
Deaf School          Taxi
Deaf School          What a way to end it all
Jessie Green          Flip
Jessie Green          Nice & Slow
John Miles            Manhattan Skyline
John Miles            Music Man

Tuesday 18th January 1977

Old Grey Whistle Test (BBC2)

Larry Coryell's The Eleventh House in concert

Thursday 20th January 1977

Top of the Pops (BBC2)

Host: Noel Edmonds

Slade                        Gypsy Road Hog

Donna Summer        Winter Melody (promo)
10c                            The things we do for love
Jesse Green               Flip
Elvis Presley             Suspicion (Legs & Co)
Drifters                     You're more than a number (promo)
Leo Sayer                  When I need you
Thin Lizzy                Don't believe a word
Gary Glitter              It takes all night long
Silver Convention    Everybody's talking about love
David Soul               Don't give up on us (promo)
Boney M                  Daddy Cool (play out)

Saturday 22nd January 1977
Supersonic (LWT)
Ace     How Long
Ace     You're all that I need
Dodgers    Don't it always get you down
Eddie & the Hot Rods      All I need is money
Eddie & the Hot Rods      Teenage Depression
Liverpool Express      Every man must have a dream
Slik        Don't take your love away

Tuesday 25th January 1977
Old Grey Whistle Test (BBC2)
Leon Redbone    Mr Jellyroll Baker
Leon Redbone    I Ain't got nobody
SAHB without Alex    Pick it up & kick it
SAHB without Alex    Smouldering
Dory Previn        Brando (promo)
Emmylou Harris       Pancho & Lefty (Townes van Zandt cover)
Rick Wakeman         White Rock (film clip)

Thursday 27th January 1977
Top of the Pops (BBC1)
Host: Tony Blackburn
The Brothers                   Sing Me
David Parton                   Isn't she lovely
Eagles                              New kid in town (Leggs & Co)
Barry Briggs                    Sideshow
Status Quo                       Wild Side of Life
Mr Big                             Romeo
Julie Covington               Don't cry for me Argentina
Andy Fairweather Low   BeBop & Holler
Moments                         Jack in a Box (promo)
New Seekers                   I want to go back
David Soul                      Don't give up on us (promo)
Rose Royce                     Car Wash (play out)

the unwitting cause of punk rock

Saturday 29th January 1977
Supersonic (LWT)
Mr Big     Romeo
Andy Fairweather Low       Be Bop & Holler
Real Thing      You'll never know what you're missing
Real Thing   Hallelujah Man
Leo Sayer       When I need you
Leo Sayer    You make me feel like dancing
Scrounger    Our love

info from http://www.tvpopdiaries.co.uk/1977.html
go visit!

Eric's - February 1977

Saturday 5th February  Plummet Airlines

Friday 11th February    Little Bob Story

NME , 11 days later, 22 February 1977

Friday 18th February       Alberto Y Los Trios Paranoias

Saturday 19th February   Cherry Vanilla & her Staten Island Band

Friday 25th February       John Martyn

Saturday 26th February       Stranglers

New Old Gig Review – Eric’s Liverpool 1977

Folk’s answer to Ted Nugent?
John Martyn: If he’s too loud then you’re too old!

FOR THOSE of you who do not know, let me merely say this: John Martyn is Britain’s number one singer/songwriter. Absolutely.
Without doubt. His fine, unique vocals excellently complement his subtle blend of guitar pyrotechnics. You heard correctly – pyrotechnics! (And if any of you Ted Nugent/Buck Dharma/Ace Frehley fans wanna argue, come right up!).

After a plea for ‘a bit more juice in the monitors’ (which is only significant in the fact that it commenced a running verbal battle which the guy at the mixing desk which lasted for all of Martyn’s one-and-a-half hour long set) and a final drink out of his ubiquitous bottle of beer, Martyn went straight into an incredible version of ‘One Day Without You.’ Just check out those vocals. Perfection. Next came the highlight (for me, any way) of Martyn’s set, ‘Outside In.’ During this, he brought to the fore his whole battalion of effects – wahwahs, boosters, fuzztones, copycat, in fact, you name it, and Martyn’s got his foot on it. The way this song progresses is just amazing. It seems to possess a magical inherent non-verbal imagery, providing excellent fodder for all us would be amateur escapists.

After this song, Martyn Went about developing his rapport with the highly appreciative Eric’s audience before treating us to an ‘acoustic guitar solo’, and following that with a ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Suicide Ballad (Traditional).’ How can I, a mere mortal, ever hope to convey the many facets of loveliness songs like ‘Over The Hill’ or ‘Make No Mistake’ or for that matter ‘Bless The Weather’ possess?

If your answer to the question, ‘Have you heard John Martyn?’ is in the negative, God help your souls. But it’s not too late. Quick! There’s still time if you hurry.

Eric's, Liverpool,  25 February 1977
Ralph Whaley,  Sounds,  19 March 1977

What else went on in February 1977 at Eric's?
If you know, let me know

Eric's - March 1977

back of a Deaf School programme from March 11 1977

Friday March 4th

Plummet Airlines 

Saturday March 5th

Anti Disco Disco

Monday March 7th            Warm  [Warm Gun?]

Thursday March 10th           The Heartbreakers
                                                       + Cherry Vanilla
                                                       + The Police

Above: Cherry Vanilla's song about Liverpool inspired by this gig at Eric's. 

I made the mistake of saying that The Police acted as Cherry Vanilla's backing band.  I was  put in my place by Zecca Esquibol, Cherry Vanilla's keyboard player. 

Zecca says: 

No, No and NO! How many times must I correct this? Sting and Stewart joined me and guitarist Louie Lepore to be Cherry's backing band, NOT the entire Police. Please read Sting's book for details. Below is a pic of me and Sting on stage in Newcastle with Louie's guitar neck and hand between us. Also, note the references to me and Louie in verse 1 of "Liverpool".

Well, there's no chance I'm going to read Sting's book but I'm sure Gordon backs up Zecca's story.  There's a bit more detail in this very entertaining piece from www.punk77.co.uk  read it here 

Note the references to 
Louie: Louie left his shoes at the Lion Hotel 
(Lion Hotel in Warrington, where Cherry Vanilla played the previous evening)
Zecca Zecca getting cruised every night
Stewart (Copeland): Stewart said this is where the Beatles had played 
and Sting Sting was eating lunch from a box

Friday 11th March            Darts

Saturday 12th March              Rockpile

Friday 18th March             Buzzcocks or Bert Jansch
                                              the poster says Bert Jansch, Bill Sykes book says it was Buzzcocks.
                                              have both
                                              Roger Eagle would have played them back to back

Saturday 19th March            Frankie Miller

This is Jackie Leven covering a Frankie Miller song
Jackie did play Eric's twice with his band Doll by Doll
but this is just because I love this song and I love Jackie's version of it

Friday 25th March               Silly Wizard

Saturday 26th March           Wayne County

Eric's - April 1977

Friday 1st April              Generation X

Saturday 2nd April         Plummet Airlines

Monday 4th April           The Western Kirby Cowboy

Tuesday 5th April           The Western Kirby Cowboy

Wednesday 6th April      The Western Kirby Cowboy
During the Everyman Theatre's 13th season the rebuilding project forced the company out and into a year of touring, playing school gymnasiums, pubs and working men's clubs throughout Merseyside.  one of the most popular shows was The Western Kirby Cowboy starring Bob Mason (a Mersyside version of Shane Connaughton's Weston Coyney Cowboy).  The play opened in Eric's before touring around Merseyside.  Shane Connaughton was an Irish actor and writer who played Gipsy John Smith in Coronation St (1970) and co-wrote the Oscar nominated screenplay for My Left Foot (1989).
Friday 8th April                Roogalator

Saturday 9th April              Tyla Gang

Wednesday 13th April          Jazz Night with
                                                   Chris McGregor's Blue Notes
                                                   + Kenny Shaw
                                                   + Will Gaines

Friday 15th April                  Wayne County
                                                    + The Destroyers

Ian Barry from the Destroyers writes:

Hi Phil.  in a nutshell, on an afternoon in late March early April 77 Roger held a battle of the bands. there was us, the spitfire boys and half a dozen others. Roger told the spitfire boys they were history and we opened that night for Wayne County.  From then on we played pretty much every thursday, friday, twice on saturdays and many sundays until around October 78, by which time we had outgrown the place.  We played Erics well over a hundred times.
 I will get you the first date as the wayne county bill is on your blogspot.  for some reason BMG are blocking the youtube links to our records on the detour label, in the UK.  It's not like they'll retire on the publishing rights haha.  We did appear on some posters as headliners at Erics but we were mostly billed as "plus support".
 When we got concurrent residencies at the swingin apple and (much to our shame) Thursdays at the Wispa in Litherland Roger was a bit pissed at us. But as he'd never paid us more than 4 bottles of beer each he'd had his money's worth out of us.  Unfortunately we were young and nieve.  we didn't pose for photos or give interviews. That wasn't punk.  The Echo did a full 2 page centre spread about us in early 1978 and none of us kept a copy.  I will give you more concrete dates. Ian
The Destroyers

Submitted by Ian Barry for Eric's - all the best clubs are downstairs
March 77, Gibbo and I had been refused entry to a club off Dale street as I didn’t look old enough (I wasn’t), but Gibbo who was 6’4” had heard of a rock club” The Revolution” where they weren’t so choosy” “You wont like it in here lads its punk night” the bouncer said, but we blagged entry anyway. The stage was in complete darkness except for John Foxx 12 string in hand singing “I want to be a machine” It is still difficult to express the emotions that ran through me that night, stunned senseless yet alive and tingling in a way I imagined only a tab of acid could make you and all this on brown bitter! Next week we were there in ripped shirts 2nd hand shoes and of course safety pins, our memberships for Erics said “does not guarantee entrance to “The Revolution” we were of the first and we knew it. 

Doreens lasagne Coming from Kirkby and before that Everton, having never been abroad and my mum working in the Birds Eye, our diet at home was somewhat restricted to fish fingers, pies and “boil in the bag beef”, so Doreens Lasagne was the first real foreign food I had tasted. It was fantastic, about 4 inches thick and gave your stomach a really good lining god bless you Doreen wherever you are! 
Lads would dance on their own, Julian Cope in Nylon boiler suit and altogether too much blonde hair looking slightly deranged, Holly Johnson too in overcoat and red shoes although he wouldn’t be alone for long as Wylie wouldn’t be far behind he was at the uni but desperate that no one knew he was from Norris Green! Pete Burns was a really scary looking bloke him and lynn (which was which?) all in black, but he was a really nice and genuine bloke if you plucked up the courage to speak to him (books, covers) 
By August we had formed “The Destroyers”, Roger liked us we played a Saturday afternoon and then stayed over to support Wayne County & the Electric Chairs, now that was odd! Roger saw something in us we didn’t, to us it was just a laugh (and we had no talent) he put us supporting some of the best, Clash, Black Slate, Ultravox The Slits, and tried to give us advice which we never took. He would introduce us to people randomly, one night at the bar he brings up this tall skinny Irish bloke, who looked and smelled like a pikey,”you two should talk he said” would you loike a derink the pikey says “fuckoff nobhead Gibbo says” (people usually did what he said) years later the pikey earned a few quid for charity with a shit xmas song and some open-air gigs! 
We never got paid, he would give us a mixed crate, lager (our kid got these he was older) brown (gibbo got these he was bigger) Pale Ale (fred got these he was faster) and I got the cider I’ve never been able to drink it since! Roger lent us “Trout Mask Replica” and told us this was our future we gave it back the next week we liked “falling ditch” but the rest was shit to our young ears, god bless the Captain. We would walk to the front of the long queues in Mathew street and never paid to get in we were “The Destroyers” from Kirkby we thought we were fucking ace! I could go on but you’re probably asleep.

it was me (Ian Barry), our mark, tony Gibbo gibson on mouth noises and Fred Palethorpe on drums.  yeah resident band in the Swinging Apple at the same time as the resident band in Erics. made for some late nights in the apple as we played there after erics. after we opened for the clash they walked over to the apple with us to watch us again.

Saturday 16th April                 Gorillas (aka Hammersmith Gorillas)
                                                    ?did they even turn up?

Wednesday 20th April             Jazz Night [possibly with Henry Cow]

Thursday 21st April                 John Cale
                                                       + Count Bishops [no show]
                                                       + The Boys

Friday 22nd April                Little Bob Storey

Saturday 23rd April             The Pirates

Tuesday 26th April           Deaf School


                                          graffiti appears to read:  (Deaf) School  Eric's   Tues 26th April 7

other graffiti: Ultravox! played Eric's September 23rd 1977 
The Crabs - Great Yarmouth band, played Eric's 14 October '77
 Skunks - also played Eric's 29th October '77
Also Wirral's own Radio Blank (Dave Balfe, Alan Gill) played Eric's 5 times during 1977, before splitting late '77
 and Liverpool band 051 (Dave Jackson, Paul Hornby) summer '77 to Oct '78 

Wednesday 27th April         Jazz Night

Friday 29th April                  Plummet Airlines

Saturday 30th April              The Jam