Forgotten 80s Liverpool Tweetup, Saturday 18th June
Forgotten 80s Liverpool Tweetup, Saturday 18th June
So the baton was passed to me and Graham, and the Liverpool Forgotten 80s Tweetup came to pass. Having read Cat’s hilarious accounts of previous tweetups, I decided that she’d have wanted someone to continue the tradition of recording the events for posterity. I can’t possibly hope to live up to her brilliantly-written accounts, but I’ll have a go. Cat’s absence was obviously at the forefront of everyone’s minds, and we all wanted to enjoy the day in her memory.
This latest tweetup turned out to be the largest one yet, with about 20 of us meeting at the iconic Liverpool pub The Philharmonic Dining Rooms. There might’ve been even more, if it wasn’t for train ticket problems (@glavlar), post-op recuperation (@mrssleaze), and family get-togethers (@ricardoautobahn). Maybe next time we’ll get to meet Ricardo, Ian & Claire!
Sarah and Jamie were first to arrive, and were sat outside The Phil enjoying a(no, really!) and taking in the sights and sounds of Hope Street when I got there. As everyone else started to arrive, we ran out of space outside the pub, so we dodged past the queues of Japanese tourists, and headed upstairs to the room I’d booked. Bryony and Alison set up the ‘crafting table’, and put the finishing touches to a lovely book full of 80s memorabilia and tweetup-related things, with the intention to send it to Cat’s family.
Those who were attending an F80s tweetup for the first time (Jonny, Helen, Carol, Nathan, Graham, Claire) were quickly welcomed into the tweetup family and were (hopefully!) reassured that we were not murderers and/or weirdos, as is always the worry when you meet someone off ‘the Twitter’!
There was much mingling, chatting & drinking going on, only interrupted by me organising food ordering, and Bryony proposing a toast to the fact that twitter pressure had finally resulted in Matthew Rudd playing Bardo, a great Twitterati campaign! There was even time for a bit of Skypeing with @4ever_eighties (Großbritannien84), who appeared to be in work, poor soul!
The F80s badges I’d had made went down well, and along with the sign I’d put together, I realised, too late, that I’d become involved in ‘crafting’.
Cat would’ve been delighted and greatly amused, I think.
My other half, Sally-Anne, popped in to meet everyone, so she could put faces to the names that she hears when there’s a Twitter shout-out during the show. She’s not a fully-fledged F80s obsessive yet, but after meeting the Twitterati, you never know!
Carol’s daughter Rosie was another attendee. Obviously, she’s too young to remember (or have forgotten) the 80s, but her Mum’s music taste must have rubbed off on her a bit, as it turns out she’s mad on Duran Duran and A-Ha! She fitted in nicely! 😉
After we’d eaten, accompanied by the sounds of YMO’s ‘Firecracker’ track, (thanks to Sarah who had it on her ‘phone, and has obviously been touched by my intense campaign to get Matthew to play it), we got ready to leave the Philharmonic for our next destination.
I went on ahead to scout out venues, decided on The Shipping Forecast on Slater Street, and Graham put on his Liverpool Tour Guide hat and led the throng down from Hope Street pointing out notable places along the way!
Sat around the big table in The Shipping Forecast, Stephen hit us with the now-traditional F80s pop lyric quiz. He’d put it together with input from Alan, and it was a monster! It was made even harder by the music playing over the PA in the bar, so even when you vaguely recognised a lyric, it was difficult to identify the tune in your head. This was everyone’s excuse, not just mine! We said farewell to Fran at this point, only to be surprised 30 seconds later as she reappeared after taking a wrong turn in the bar!
Back up the hill to Hardman Street, and the Fly In The Loaf next, where we secured a nice little alcove and started on their extensiveMenu. The football was on the big screens, and the whole pub celebrated madly when ‘hair-gel and fancy loafers’ Ronaldo missed a penalty. He’s not popular in Liverpool, or anywhere else!
After a stop at the famous city-centre fast-food outlet Nabzy’s, where the chips are coated in a mysterious red salt, Graham took us to a cracking little bar just off Bold Street. The Newington Temple had a great jukebox, and the bar prices seemed very cheap. It was here that Jonny seemed to tire a little, and had a power-nap leaning up against the wall. I’m pretty sure no-one noticed, I think you just about got away with it Jonny!
At this point Helen realised her and Jonny had missed the last train home……… Oh well, never mind, have another drink!
Bryony had received a message from Martyn, Cat’s husband, and Alasdair read it out to us. It was lovely, but heartbreakingly sad. We toasted Cat’s memory, and all wished she was still with us, sat in the bar having a laugh, getting ready for a dance/fall over, and anticipating some amusing/random episode that’d make her account of the evening such enjoyable reading.
It was time to move on. We’d said goodbye to Claire, Fran, Stephen, Chris, Carol, Nathan, and Alan by this point, so it was the ‘bitter-enders’ who left the Newington Temple and headed to the final destination of the night, Motel Bar on Fleet Street, for their ‘Mirror Moves’ club night.
I’d had a text from my friend Colin, who was already at Motel, along the lines of ‘..the music here is fucking brilliant, you’d love it..’! But first we had to take a ‘walk on the wild side’, and pick our way through the carnage that is ‘Saturday night Liverpool-Concert Square’, where the Stag and Hen parties, tourists, scallies, and local drunks collide in late-night glorious drunken technicolour. It was eye-opening!
Our intrepid party arrived at Motel Bar, safe and sound, and we could hear the music from outside. It was Dead Kennedys, ‘California Uber Alles’. People were milling about outside smoking, leaning on parked cars and chatting. Even before we walked in it felt like we’d been whisked back 35 years, to the alternative 80s. Alison stayed for a couple of songs, but she had an early start the next morning, so headed back to her hotel.
The F80s bitter-enders hit the crowded dance-floor, Jonny in his 80s pop-star Ray Bans, and the Mirror Moves DJs played a set firmly anchored in late-70s, early-80s alternative, post-punk, goth, and electronic fabulousness.
The music, the dive-club vibe, and the lashings of dry-ice smoke reminded me so much of the clubs I used to frequent as a ‘futurist teenager’, and I’m guessing quite a few of the F80s Twitterati were feeling the same way. Almost every song was greeted like a ‘Nobody’s Diary// ’ F80s favourite by the Twitterati – yet it was also amazing how some of the youngsters in the club knew and obviously loved these songs, mostly released before they were born.
The club had a great atmosphere, a good mix of punters, no idiots or scallies, everyone just enjoying the great music. At one point, one of the bar-staff climbed onto the bar and started pouring shots of Jagermeister directly from the bottle into punter’s mouths….. think I saw Graham taking a gob-full. I’m pretty sure THAT kind of thing never happened in the clubs I used to attend!
The fun had to end sometime, the F80s Twitterati had partied like it was 1979/80, and maybe 81/82/83/84, we’d been dancing, laughing, drinking, and loving it, but we’d been at it since 12pm, and we all needed our beds. We said our goodnights, and Graham sorted everyone out for chips and taxis. The F80s Liverpool Tweetup had been a success, and I’m pretty sure Cat would’ve loved every minute of it. 😎