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Carling Academy Liverpool claimed to present "A taste of Eric's with a very special show featuring solo acoustic performances from legendary musicians Julian Cope and Pete Burns. A free after show party following the gig where we'll transport you back to the legendary 70s club with Clive Langer, Eric Shark and Enrico Cadillac Jnr (Deaf School) plus DJ Norman (The Cat), DJ Mink Draylon and very special guests The Loose Kites." 

Me and Vanessa being regular Eric's goer's from '77 - 79', had to be there to find out if they really could bring it back for one night. We travelled in the old style of '77 on the early train, sitting reminiscing about journeys taken before a long time ago, Interrupted just the once by a phone call from our very own Encoule, wishing us a good night in his usual Bonjour mes amis style !

We were unsure of what to expect really, we couldn't imagine how a club of the Academy's size and design could possibly be able to capture the atmosphere which launched music careers and style queens. We discussed how they might create little seating areas, and lower the ceiling to get that cellar effect, but then reality sunk in and ultimately we were right, nothing could create an Eric's night ever again. We arrived at the venue, not a huge crowd, the music was spot on, all the old punk favourites they played in Eric's from The Clash 'Complete Control'- 'Babylon's Burning' by The Ruts, the reggae version of 'Police & Thieves' by Junior Murvin, 'Bored Teenagers' The Adverts, Iggy Pop 'I Wanna Be Your Dog' . The audience were mostly over 40 some younger, I had the urge to go and ask people " did you go to Eric's", although I did interview a few people with my Dictaphone, which for some unknown reason lost some of the tracks en route home. The only sign of it being an 'Eric's night' was the pink banners at the side of the stage.

Why was no one dancing I wondered? Not much atmosphere, this wasn't Eric's. I searched for faces from the distant past, spotted Pete Burns, but wait no it was a lookalike. One guy not old enough to have been to Eric's, Brian told us Pete Wylie was rumoured to be appearing. Pete and I had messaged on MySpace to say he wasn't, so that rumour got squashed. Jayne Casey and Dave Balfe were apparently in da house as was Ian McNabb of the Icicle Works. I did see Clive Langer and Enrico Cadillac Jnr. alongside a guy from The Yachts.

So we waited and waited, did some word of mouth jiving about Mudkiss to various people we encountered. I bumped into a MySpace friend Hocky who shouted "Your the famous Soulkiss from MySpace" which made me laugh. Another excuse to get the trusty camera out for some shots. He came to see if he could find old friends, not in the main to see the bands. Most of the people we spoke to had only come for the atmosphere and the feeling of Eric's and not really to see the performances. I promoted the 'Eric's' musical which opens next Friday at the Everyman Theatre and many were uncertain of what to expect, one did show me his ticket he'd got for the opening night - so see you there!

The running order was Pete Burns followed by Julian Cope, they were running late. The crowd were getting a bit uneasy, hey but the music was great, close your eyes and you were back there 30 years younger. Pete Burns hit the stage quite later than expected, to some applause but also some heckling (Pete used to do that very same thing in Eric's). This was nothing like the Pete Burns we remembered from our day; almost unrecognisable, he obviously likes it that way. He wore a Spanish señorita themed outfit, he looked in great shape, tottering around in black shorts (glimpsing his butterfly tattoo on his leg) and see thru netted top, topped off with high heels and a huge bouquet of red roses on his Barnet...quite the glam puss...nails to match the ensemble. He kicked off singing to a backing track of 'Sex Drive' a little disco number, followed by another 2, speaking just a few times to tell us that 'Spin Me Round' got him out of Liverpool, and mentioned he felt like the homecoming queen. It also made him mainstream famous too! He left after a short but sweet set, received many calls often abusive. Three songs as support I thought was such a let down, hardly had time to get my camera out, let alone decide if I liked this new Pete Burns or not, almost vulnerable compared to the catty Pete we once knew.

Soon after we had the star of the show Julian Cope, he appeared calm, confident, and somewhat enigmatic, with his lime green guitar strapped to his chest. Looking the part of a rock ‘n’ rolling punk/folk star. Once again we knew Julian from the good ole days of Eric's he hadn't changed physically all that much. He was still tall, eccentric and wearing similar kind of German garb he wore in those olden days, except he's a bit of a Liverpool legend now, although not a scouser I might add! He welcomed us greatly into his fold, was warm and quite delightful, he thanked the men for bringing such lovely ladies to his show. Posed for photos on the climbing frame mike stand, missed some good shots of his 'angel' striking poses on the stand. I almost expected him to soar above the crowd like an eagle. He's quite the charmer, he sang about 'Christine', 'Sadam Hussain' and gave us a few Teardrop explode numbers, 'Treason' although it didn't have the same bite as Teardrops, he was joined by a number of musicians.

Julian's not just a writer, singer and musician he has written critically acclaimed books, he speaks out for justice and fairness for all people. He's a man of the people, and spokesman for the underdog. He has a new album out called 'Black Sheep'. I don't profess to be a huge Julian fan, or indeed know many of his tracks; I came for the nostalgia as quite a few others did. Towards the end of the evening, we grabbed a beer at the bar, at the back of the hall and several hecklers were calling out '"F*** off" to Julian, great way to treat a former Liverpool citizen! The Academy wasn't packed to the gills, it was a decent turn out though and the ability to get front stage is great for those who like to capture it on film, which many were doing.

Set list:

I'm Living In The Room They Found Saddam In
The Greatness & Perfection of Love
Double Vegetation
Soul Desert
Robert Mitchum
Come The Revolution*
All The Blowing-Themselves-Up Motherfuckers...*
Upwards at 45º
The Great Dominions
Julian H. Cope / Hanging Out & Hung Up On The Line
My Way
Sleeping Gas*

* Denotes songs played with the band: Acoustika (guitar), Mike O'Sullivan (guitar), Antrohny Ø (drums and percussion). All other songs performed by Julian H. Cope using a fine array of sometimes quite sparkly guitars! (Thanks to
Andrew Johnstone for the set list - - the unofficial Julian Cope website - he gives us a mention also - - great site for Julian Cope fans - Check it out !!

We moved into the after show party expecting to meet up with Julian and Pete and other old faces. I was told they had all left the building 45 mins ago. How disappointing, so what's the point of an after show party if the guys aren't gonna show? There had to be a good reason for staying and it appeared in the form of The Loose Kites and a short set from Deaf School with Enrico, Eric Shark and Clive Langer, singing the classic 'What A Way To End It All' and Capaldis Cafe' brilliant !! It rounded the night off to a capital T. Then it was time to go home, wait for our lift, who should we find outside but Julian. We strolled over and said hi. He was very accommodating and chatty, so I enquired about an interview, his reply was that he liked to remain mysterious, and didn't do interviews unless it was worth his while (not sure if he meant artistically or financially?) We concluded our chat with a little reminder of the time when we knew him in Eric's he said "I was cute then, but still am" ha ha, well said at least he's still got the human touch, albeit it slightly weird, it's quite daunting talking to a 6 ft plus bloke with huge dark glasses on and a German cap. The Mudkiss photo duly taken we jumped into my irritated partners awaiting car, only to have the tom tom thrown in my lap for getting him lost in Liverpool. Back to reality!

Review/photos by Mel

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