My cousin sent me a message yesterday. It had been 32 years to the day since we saw Melle Mel and the Furious Five at Liverpool’s Royal Court.
About that time we saw quite a few bands together – including Melle Mel on two occasions – at this venerable Liverpool venue.
I particularly remember us drinking bottles of Newcastle Brown while watching PIL who were in their weirdest phase of all at the time. Not weird in terms of playing atonal, off-kilter, bass heavy new wave. But weird in terms of having what looked like `rock’ musicians from central casting in the band.
And why as teenagers we were drinking Newcastle Brown I’ll never know.
The Royal Court was virtually a second home for about five years.I’ll be surprised if I didn’t go almost once a week to see someone – anyone!
Not that MMATFF were just anyone. We were huge fans of the nascent hip-hop and rap movement and more than 30 years on, Melle Mel’s rapping on The Message and White Lines remains as familiar now as it was then.
My ticket collection is also packed full of Royal Court concerts from similar times to yours, and I’d miss it too. Like an old music hall but with a dusty, dirty rock n’ roll atmosphere. Much less austere than its neighbor the Liverpool Empire. Like you I saw bags more shows at the Court than the other place.
I saw Kraftwerk, Tin Machine, U2, Bunnymen, Bauhaus, Siouxsie, The Cure, Squeeze, loads more.
I visited it a few years back now with a good mate from Crosby. It was all tables and chairs, with discreet lighting and comedy acts. Not that there’s owt wrong with that, it’s just that as a venue it’s supposed to rock like a mutha, and not chuckle like a grandmother.
PS: Envious of you seeing PiL, although not necessarily that incarnation. I’ve never seen John, and I’m pretty sure that the only live Sex Pistol I’ve ever seen was Steve Jones playing guitar in a big hat for Iggy Pop at a venue un that other fine Northern city….
Big Audio Dynamite were a favourite in there. Place absolutely shook when they were on.
I envy you seeing them, in their day in much the same way as you might envy me one of the acts I saw, and I’ll bet it was seismic in there. I truly miss the likes of B.A.D. around these days. They were so very ahead of their time with the dialogue sampling – like Colourbox too – and they had great tunes.