I love liverpool. I haven’t always loved liverpool. When i was a kid, i fell prey to all the stupid stereotypes about the place but when i grew up i realised that these stereotypes were invented by people who were jealous of the city and the people of Liverpool.
I first got to know liverpool in the early 80’s when my big brother, Chris went to study Physics at the University. He lived in Toxteth at the Height of Thatchers reign and we all know how much she hated the working class and anyone without snow white skin. It was tough, but i grew up in Moss Side, Rusholme, Hulme and Fallowfield so i recognised and felt comfortable around Liverpool 8. I used to go to the State and the Cassa at the height of New Romanticism. Later, i’d travel to Aigburth and Allerton to see friends who studied there.
I saw liverpool blow the title there to Arsenal on May 26th 1989 and i saw liverpool win the champions league v ac Milan on May 25th 2005. I wanted them to lose to arsenal and AC MILAN but at half time v AC Milan, 3-0 down i changed my mind and i wanted Liverpool to win – it’s the kinda guy i am, a sucker for the under dog. I also travelled to Anfield and Paid my respects to the 96 who died at Hilsborough and weep regularly about the loss and the way those families were treated.
I grew up with liverpool playing a massive part of my creative life. I watched and loved Bleasdales’ Blackstuff, Skully, One Summer and Our Day Out. I loved the Bunny Men, The La’s, Shack, The Pale Fountains not to mention those other lads who truly crafted their art in Germany. I watched plays and Listened to poets at the Everyman and the Merseybeat poets were very influential on what i was writing at the time.
I recently had the honour of playing the liverpool philharmonic hall with John Cooper Clarke. It was a sell out – packed to the rafters. I think i sold more books there and received some of the kindest compliment in liverpool than i did at any other gig i played on the 40 date tour.
I was incredibly nervous at the Phil, i was scared that the scousers would think “whose this manc coming here and boasting about his city” so i decided to write a preamble, that opened my set and that said a massive “Thank You” to the city for making me who i am and what I’m into.
I love it when United Play Liverpool – the games are always so exciting but like the Manchester Derby, I hate the hatred. For God sake, let’s be careful and grown up about what we say and i know it’s football and we are allowed to be a bit of a dickhead, but let’s not hate – Life’s too short – Here’s my poem
I know and I Love these Mersey streets
Cos I’ve raced and chased around here since 1973
From trips to Ireland
8 of crammed into a mark one escort
I’ve played football here and I’ve been through the courts
I lived in the last house on upper parliament street
Just before Smithdown Road
And I dance in the state before Frankie Relaxed
But the Casablanca was my Home
And I danced with Red Stripe to the jukebox late into the night
Never a cross word spoken never a single fight
I’ve bantered over football music film theatre and art
And I’ve drank with striking Dockers seen the passion in their hearts
And I’ve scored in the darkest alleyways of Liverpool 8
Never had a problem there
I was always treated ace
Aigburth Allerton Kensington Penny lane wine bar
Lark Lane Canning street
I’ve slept in Sefton Park
I’ve worked in schools in West Kirkby Anfield and Tuebrook
And through the art of poetry I’ve taught young kids to look
Deep into the soul of these magnificent places
Where the history of this city is carved into the people’s faces
And I travelled to Anfield a few days after Hillsborough
And place a single rose on the pitch and I said a prayer for the children
And the more I see
the more I hear
it’s led me to the conclusion
This city and its people remind me of Mancunians
The industry the Energy & the really good-looking lads
The way we don’t take ourselves too seriously
The way we love a laugh
And the second-generation Irish thing
The Asian Caribbean mix
And the way governments for centuries
Have treated our people like shit
It baffles me, confuses me how any scousers could hate me
When blood runs thicker than the Mersey down the 62 or the A580
See I believe we’re first cousins who secretly admire each other
So let me take you on a trip round our way
Tell me if it’s familiar
In Gorton the Girls they know all the words to songs by Chakka Kahn