Featuring The Dominoes, Beryl Marsden, The Undertakers & The Hideaways
by Billy J. Shears
We never need an excuse to visit Liverpool but it helps when an afternoon of Merseybeat at the Green Room and an evening with Karl Terry & the Cruisers at the ‘Big House’ Vines pub on Lime Street is on offer on Sunday
The Green Room is a cabaret club in the heart on Liverpool city centre, one of its co-owners is Ricky Tomlinson known for is portrayal of Jim Royle in the BBC’s The Royle Family.
The club features a host of top notch acts including comedians, top tribute acts and local Merseybeat bands from the 60’s. On this Sunday afternoon Liverpool Rocks features The Dominoes, Beryl Marsden, The Undertakers & The Hideaways who played the Cavern Club more times than the Beatles.
Opening band The Dominoes features Sam Hardie on keyboards who’s an original ‘Domino’ and has been merseybeatin’ since 1957. He leads the band through a series of rock’n’roll and Merseybeat standards from Bill Haley to Cliff Richard.
Sam’s driving keyboards are ably back by guitarist George Eccles and the remainder of the band.
Beryl Marsden started her singing career by appearing at the Cavern Club being a guest of the Undertakers. Ask anybody in Liverpool and they’ll tell you that Beryl never had the breaks that Cilla Black had but is the better singer. Whatever your view (I happen to think that both are great singers) Beryl is a brilliant performer while her set mixes the older material with the new.
Her band today comprises of the Hideaways less Frankie Connor. I Know, Every Body Loves A Lover, an updated version of Baby It’s You and a rousing version of Boys provide the backbone of an entertaining and energetic set from Beryl.
What can be said of the Undertakers?
As soon as original member Geoff Nugent screams out his trademark, ‘Too old to rock, to young to die’ the Undertakers perform a blistering set of material from their last album plus a splattering of new ‘old’ material thrown in for good measure. Of the new material, ‘Annie’ a brand new composition by another original member Brian ‘saxaphone’ Jones is a heart wrenching instrumental superbly performed by Brian and the band dedicated and inspired by the death of his 12 year old grand daughter.
Shame Shame Shame is another cracker that appears on Geoff's new country album 'The Country Side of Me' while an instrumental version of Spanish Harlem again featuring Brian on sax is excellent.
The Undertakers are one of the best Merseybeat bands still playing today but they've been elevated to another level with the addition of a keyboard player.
Top of the bill today is the Hideaways who played the Cavern Club more times than the Beatles. The band includes local radio personality Frankie Conner, Dave Goldberg and the incredible falsetto vocals of Ozzie Yue. The tour de force is his fantastic version of The Velvelettes classic 'Needle in a Haystack'.
This was the fifth Liverpool Rocks and every show has been a sell out.
Karl Terry & the Cruisers - Photo: Eddie M
The Vines known locally as the 'Big House' on Lime Street hosts Merseybeat and on Sunday afternoon/night with regular gigs by Cy Tucker and Karl Terry & the Cruisers.
We arrive in time to catch the last set by King Karl, the 'Sheikh of Shake' as he was christened by Bob Wooler. He still puts on an incredible show and performs the best in rock 'n' roll and Merseybeat. Talkin' Bout You, I Can Tell and the self penned Cigarettes, Cold Beer, Sexy Ladies all get a regular outing.
If you haven't seen Karl Terry & the Cruisers get yourself along to the Vines and see a Merseybeat original, you won't be disappointed and no excuse needed!