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Here we are, just a collection of leftovers for the Hark Matilda site. What you'll find down below are photographs and tales - some old and some new - of places and things which by now, have either been redeveloped or plain just knocked down - Hark Matilda takes no responsibility for the final outcomes of these places. Perhaps they'll stir up some of the hazy memories of the 1970's.
Sounds Mad! Yep, exactly that, as the picture shows what finally turned out to be the Hark Matilda p.a system speakers. The groovy Sounds Mad Disco, featuring on verbals, voices, turntables and deep eyes, the magnificent Phil Oldham. We used to gig along at the start with Sounds Mad, but when the arse fell out of the disco business they sold us their speakers. Having the WEM p.a. columns really did make us look quite impressive, all this to go with our WEM echo chamber, did give the impression that we were rather well equipped - more that I can say for the band! Eventually, they got pinched from a room above The Captains Cabin - well know Corpy boozer - after Gaz was practicing there with another band following the break up of Hark Matilda.
Mars Bars and Practice. The corner of Greenbank Road and Smithdown Road, showing the block of shops - as they are today. In the 1970's the Hornby sweet Shop wss in the middle of the block, and the basement practice area to the front of the building. The watering hole - The Brooke House - is just around the corner where we spent may fine years refining tha art of swilling as much ale down your neck as you can get.
The Halls of Residence. Certainly seen as a young man's dream location. Think about it, a charming, handsome pop group of studs - that's us by the way, and avenue filled to the brim with gorgeous female students. What more did we want...well it just so happens....! More importantly in the 1970's it had a late night bar. Nearby, is the Carnatic Halls of Residence, where Gaz, Dave, myself and a few others had a raucus night with John Peel and a load of Icelandic students. Nice guy JP - he actually dedicated a song on his radio show to Hark Matilda the following week. If I recall it right he muttered about having a good time in Liverpool (he was going to see Liverpool .v. Burnley the next day at Turf Moor) - and said, 'here's a song for Hark Matlida, whatever that is!' We were on the radio at last!!!
The hippest place to be...O'Connor's Tavern was without doubt the hippest place to play. This was the gathering place for all the heads inLiverpool, a chance to be sold a quids worth of concrete from dealers telling you this was 'good shit.' Upstairs at O'Connors was where The Liverpool Scene had excelled with their residency - now it was our chance. Get ready and prepare hippies, Hark Matilda is on its way! Since those days it's been through some changes of ownership and its outside is actually a quite luridlilac/purple colour today. It was recently a fun bar, though it didn't look like it was a place here much fun happened these days.
Not quite The Adelphi...absolutely, not quite The Adelphi (which is a major hotel in Liverpool), in fact, it was the Adelphi Banqueting Suite we played for one night, just across the road and opposite Lewis's store. It hasn't really changed that much from the outside appearence - but I don't know about inside - but the one good thing about thisi particular gig, it did have a good late bar. Whenever I pass the place today, I can almost still hear the dulcet, poetic tones of International Wanderin' Minstrel, Anthony Aaardvaark still echoing around Lime Street - is there anybody out there?
Flattened to the ground...By now The Dale in Wallasey is certainly just a passing memory, the bulldozers have moved in and with mechanical grace and charm smashed their way through the bricks and mortar. As you can see from the picture of The Dale just a few weeks ago, it looks as if somebody had told George Bush that it contained Weapons of Mass Destruction, so it was a legitimate target for the US Forces - BANG!!!
The Albert....Down into the middle of Lark Lane is The Albert public house, close to the once magnificent Sefton Park. It was considered the place to hang out, where most poets and weekend hippies would fill their stomachs, when not poncing around in haunts in town. The practice room - courtesy of Dave Jones work connection -was on first floor to the side of the building - why were they always up steep flights of stairs? - and from first sight it doesn't really look like much has changed in the passing years.
Shadow of the Kop...The Sandon pub really is just a stones throw - well, perhaps a toilet roll or a well aimed 50p piece away from the ground of Liverpool F C and the world famous Kop - a venue used to full houses. The Sandon never enjoyed this when we played! Not much has altered in the look of the place,still retaining its cream styled coloured tiles on the outside. We used to load up the eqiupment around the back of the pub which was a Godsend on a hot night. Still have a tape of Hark Matilda playing live at one of the gigs.