Friday, 16 July 2010


The other week i stepped off the chuffa train at Liverpool Lime Street and stepped out into the sunshine of our fair city. The roads were full of cars,taxi's, busses and trucks chugging n' honking; Then there was those brave bold and by neccessity slightly insane pedestrians trying to get past the traffic to delve into the shopping area in and around St Johns precinct opposite. All together people and engines make an impressive noise. But the air was filled with not so much a 'white noise', more of a 'white boom'....Puzzled as i was i made my way into the centre and realised what it was.

In the old days of my youth, there was the odd acoustic guitarist occassionally with a full quota of strings; Some old tramp with a tin whistle, or occassionally the odd accordian. But now!...There was whole bands; Carribean steel bands with about twenty drums ,and to make it worse ,the public were allowed to have a go; There were guys who'd set up electric keyboards and synthesisers; Electric guitarists with stacked amps ,that were once ditched by The WHO, or LED ZEPPELLIN at one time; There was a guy battering the hell out of a full drum kit in the middle of a side street; But the worst of all according to theLOVELY LYNNE was the group playing the bag-pipes; On top off all this a marching band came through town to add to the cacopheny of sound .And as well as that you've the drivers who want us all to share their 'BOOM, BOOM,BASS' horror, as they cruise by with all their windows open. The thing that struck me is how the electric musicians are flooding the streets .Where do they get their power from. No crocodile clips and car batteries for them. I just wondered if the shops that they're playing outside of have noticed an extra plug in their multi-socket plug point, and a lead going out the door ,or into the staff toilet and out the window.

As you wend your way through these purveyors of noise.You have to be very light on your feet. Theres now dancers ,even plays and traditional entertainers juggling away, etc . To escape the street chaos we would hide away, as ever in various back street boozers. We would purchase our 'refreshments' and then discover we weren't to be spared the horrors of noise. Our hopes of talking and being heard where about to be destroyed by the worst most awful form of noise there is....Karioke....The x-factor auditions all rolled into one and sung for your own personel pleasure as you choke on your drink. The LIVERPOOL BLITZ was a lot more tuneful and pleasurable to listen to, definitly not as loud....Aaah, i'm starting to sound like the miserable old fart i ,at last am, eh?


caricature lafontaine said...

Salut mon ami Tim,
You have not to forget, dear friend, that you have just turn 50 (bonne fête by the way)and your reaction is a normal behavior for elderly people.
I'm sure that if you were still 49 you would have joined the band and play the trumpet while offering caricatures to Liverpool citizens that would perform Karaoke in front of you.
Mon pauvre ami, I suggest you come in Québec and pay a visit to Chibougameau which is a small village 14 hours drive north of everything. It's fantastic, the only sound is 'Le chant des mosquitos'. I'll go with you, and I assure no one will disturb the quietness of the place. I forgot to say that I had a contract for 2 caricaturists over if you ever change your mind and want to see what a quiet place for elderly people looks like, just call me and I will contact Chibougameau's city hall to say that you are coming.
All the best mon ami

Tim Leatherbarrow said...

Thats very kind of you ,mon ami. Its good to see that the aged and infirm in the community havent been forgotten, just live in a village up north eating fried mosquitoes, listening to the silence, convincing themselves they've gone deaf as well as stupid.
I'm not sure i'll be able to come across for the caricature festival in September, mainly due to financial hiccups, but let me know what the situation is (again) and i'll give you a definate answer as soon as i can. Hope all is well your side of the pond and the snow isnt too cold and the grizzly bears are friendly...Can't you tell i've never been to Canada.
Anyhow i've ,at last come to terms with my advancing years and have improved going from positvely suicidal to severly depressed which i assume is an improvement.
Anyhow take care of your self and keep in touch ,ya bum!
votre ami (not bad, eh?

Tim Leatherbarrow said...

By the way, thank you ,Robert for telling me how to spell KARAOKE.
Merci, mon ami, its always good being able to spell something you hate.

Thud said...

Don't forget Bazz hughes playing (sort of) his trumpet in Bold street tunelessly for over 20 years now.Singlehandedly destroying Liverpool's musicla reputation come rain or shine....a true son of Liverpool.