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Francesco captured the heart and soul of the music and fashion scene during Liverpool’s most creative times in his photography. We had a personal invite from his Assistant Darren Ling to view his collection for the first time on display in The Conservation Centre, Liverpool.

We were greeted warmly by Francesco, a lovely down to earth guy; a few photos were taken with Nina Antonia and her partner Jerome from The Skuzzies (who’s in the firing line for a Mudkiss interview soon). Nina and Jerome were equally delightful and it was great to meet all these people finally after chatting to them online, it almost feels like you’ve known them forever when you get to meet them in the flesh as opposed to cyberspace.


Photo below: Left to Right Nina, Jerome, Mel and Francesco


Photo below: Paul Du Noyer

The evening kick started with Paul Du Noyer (renown journalist, founding editor of Mojo and associate editor for The Word) making a speech in praise of Francesco’s work and in doing so told us a few tales about his early life in Liverpool, interesting he saw his first porn film with Pete Burns in his flat. The Deputy Mayor and Mayoress of Halton were also present. Francesco has been given an ‘honoury scouser’ award recently.


We spent most of the night in the company of the wonderfully entertaining Mark Jordan, who’s no stranger to the media world, he has developed a fitting tribute to Liverpool Eric’s on his website Mark came with his glamorous mother who used to work in The Grapes pub and knows everyone from the scene; he introduced us to a variety of faces from way back in our golden youth. Paul Simpson from The Teardrop Explodes and The Wild Swans, two of Liverpool's legends Yorkie and the infamous Boxhead, who now works at The Carling Academy. Ken Testi the former manager of Deaf School and co founder of Eric’s was in attendance as was the infamous Doreen from the club. Andy McCluskey and Paul McCartney s brother were spotted having a chin wag.

Disappointing that some of the Eric’s regular faces didn’t show their support, such as Wylie, McCullough and Jayne Casey, if they were there we didn’t see them.

The wine was flowing nicely, the company was enchanting especially helped along with the nibbles and later even fish and chips.


Photo below: Boxhead and Mel

Photo below: The man himself - Francesco Mellina 


Photo below: Left to Right - Mark, Vanessa, Marks Mum, Daz


Photo below:  Andy McCluskey, Mike McCartney aka McGear


We had an interesting exchange with two faces I remembered from Wigan Pier alternative nights, Jon Genno and Mark Edmondson, and two of their friends. They had a large photo on display and I captured them sitting by the photo, some twenty odd years later, still looking good I might add.


Photo below: Past meets present, in Cagneys nightclub - Debbie, Peter,Jon and Edmo

We met Bombsite Fanzine’s Martin’s friend Mark (known as Algy) & his wife from Chester. Mark and Martin ran the fanzine together and were one of the first Eric’s club goers; in addition they had a band called Why Control. Martin couldn’t be there in person as he lives in Ohio USA. I think he’s now a bit home sick!!


Photo below: Mark (Algy) Mel, Darren Ling

We moved onto the gallery, some excellent photos on display including a screen slide show of images. All black and white photos, capturing the eccentricity of the city, when people made their own fashion statements, out and proud to be different.


We saw early photos of Pete Wylie, Ian McCullough, Julian Cope, Joe Strummer, Mick Jones, David Byrne, The Cramps and even one with Lux and Nina on the side show. Francesco captured it all not only the musicians of the day but the people who came and created visual delights.

Kenny, (everyone knew Kenny from Liverpool) pictured on a few photos, no one seems to know where he is anymore, I half expected him to spring up from nowhere in his trademark leather trousers, skinny frame, and sporting his bleached back combed to the hilt hair do.

Photo below: Norman Killen hits the decks once more


 Photo below: Inside Hard Days' Night Hotel


We headed to the after show party at the very posh Beatles themed Hotel ‘Hard Day’s Night’in Hari's Bar for a few drinks and mingled around, the music was blasting out old tunes from yester year by the DJ from Eric’s Norman.


Thank you Francesco and Daz for a wonderful evening.

Please visit the exhibition and be transported back to the great days.


Sound and Vision from May 1st – August 31st 2009

Music and fashion photographed by Francesco Mellina, Liverpool, 1978-82

Liverpool Museums website:


Francesco's MySpace:


Report & photo's by Mel (more photos in the album)

Special thanks to Francesco and Darren Ling.