As Love Revisited are joined by Johnny Echols to play Leaf, Getintothis‘ Cath Bore takes in a night of Liverpool Love.
Manchester’s Proto Idiot kick off the night. Garage rock with a bold streak of British punk pumping through, the album For Dummies released in May. Tonight the trio, led by The Hipshakes’ Andrew Anderson, are a beautiful shock. Anderson is a front man with attitude. And he does the splits onstage. If more popstars did that, the world would be a much happier place. In less than half an hour, Proto Idiot rescue the night from being a full-on nostalgic affair. Songs like If At First You Don’t Succeed Try Failing blow the dust off. Next on our list is to catch a full length set, and soon.
Liverpool favourite Edgar “Summertyme” Jones is up next. The Stairs singer and songwriter pledges no blues shouter roars tonight, and true enough, he is mellow, kind of, as much as Jones can be. Oh Sarah He Doesn’t Even Like You is a witty snippet of Liverpool life, inspired by a gaggle of girls shooting the breeze on Bold Street one afternoon, and his cover of Cole Porter’s Anything Goes is a delight. Quality.
We get talking to some Love fans. One has been up since four o’clock this morning. Too excited to sleep, he says. That’s it, in a nutshell. To the mature lads of Liverpool, Arthur Lee and Love are gods, the Forever Changes album an aural Bible. Proof is that Liverpool’s is the only UK show to be sold out so far, Love’s influence on 1980s and 1990s artists from the city well marked. It’s ten years since Arthur Lee’s death but Leaf this evening is all about celebration by Love Revisited, aka Baby Lemonade, the longest standing line up of Love’s members. The addition of Johnny Echols, Love’s original lead guitar player and founding member, part of the line-up that recorded Forever Changes, is an additional thrill for the audience.
Shack’s Mick Head joining Love Revisited for some songs is the worst kept secret of the year. Head declares tonight a great night for Liverpool, with Love back in town, and his rendition of A House Not a Motel brings forth a lunge of men in paisley and washed out tour t-shirts, mobile phones filming every precious second.
When Edgar Jones gets up for his slot with Love Revisited, a lad in the audience throws up a request, “Weed Bus!” Wrong band, mate. Another time, maybe. Jones lifts the set with his performance of Stephanie Knows Who and Andmoreagain, and inhabits Love’s songs keenly. We’d have liked for him to do more.
With Love Revisited and Johnny Echol’s main set we get the expected, Alone Again Or, My Little Red Book, Can’t Explain, Old Man, but despite the local treats, it feels a little ‘Arthur couldn’t make it tonight, so…’. The fans bloody love each second though, and singer Rusty Squeezebox is met by a mighty cheer each time he declares Forever Changes “the greatest album ever made”.
It’s notable that the mobile phone lurch forward happens again at the end when Echols takes the lead, his vocals on Revelation and Signed DC are filthy and bluesy as hell, chilling in parts. For us, the best and most magical moments of the entire set.
Pictures by Getintothis’ John Johnson.