And here they always play my songs...

“The show in Liverpool is still the most memorable of my life “ – Arthur Lee

In May 1992, Arthur Lee of Love played with Shack as his backing band (line-up: Mick, John, Iain & Martyn Campbell) at the Academy in Liverpool. Live and raw, Arthur and Shack managed to capture the spirit of a Love performance in the 60’s and was captured on an official bootleg of the gig released by The Viper Label in 2000.

Dear Friends,

To start with I would like to thank Mark Lynn and Stephane Bismuth. Mark arranged the gig in Liverpool and Stephane introduced me to Michael and John Head or “Shack”.  We met in Paris and musically it was “LOVE”!!. Stephane owned a concert hall there, where we rehearsed and I was amazed at how well they knew my songs. When we arrived in Liverpool, the band took me for a walk and showed me where the Beatles first played. The picture of them, from their Sergeant Pepper album, still hung outside the club. Soon we came to the club where I was to play and as we grew closer, I could see a poster that looked like a huge dollar on the front. The picture on the dollar, to my surprise, was a picture of me. When the concert started, I was glad to see young and old enjoying the show. When I wrote “Forever Changes”, I didn’t think about a time period, only about what I saw happening around and it seems those things still are. The show in Liverpool is still the most memorable in my life. The warmth and love of the people there is something I will never forget. Not only did they know all my songs they also sang them aloud as I played. I think they knew them better than I did!! They really made me feel welcome, I was so well liked there. It did not stop at the concert either, when I left the club they followed me!! I slipped into a restaurant and thought I had lost them and began to relax. The people in the restaurant then began to sing what I thought was for someones birthday but as I listened the songs became familiar. They were the songs I had written for my group LOVE. I could not believe it!! It blew me away!! I didnt know what to do, it was better than any birthday party that I had ever had. I would like to thank the people of Liverpool for their warmth and their love. I would also like to thank God for allowing me to share such a wonderful experience.

– Arthur Lee, May 2000


Photograph of Arthur & Mick (The Sorcerer and his Apprentice) backstage in Liverpool by Natalie Gledhill

1 comment to And here they always play my songs…

  • als_vocation

    I was there the night Arthur met Shack in Paris. I was in the support band for the gig the next night. There was a sound check (to this day I swear they played Butterfly, years before I heard it again) and the rest of my band had slopped off to practise their mumbling and aloofness. I remember the sound man had something to do with the Stone Roses and had got riled when I asked what they were up to. I’d got talking to the shy John and wigged out Michael by saying how much I loved the Pale Fountains then Shack, telling them about gigs at the International 2 and Green Room in Manchester. I was telling their much more accessible manager Andrew (?) the same. Then Arthur arrived.
    He’d been listening to the drummer (I’m realising that I’m useless with names, but think he was a little fella called Johnnie, played on Waterpistol, and top notch)and walked up to then onto the stage to show him what the song should sound like. He could play as well. And it was my drum kit.
    Then he swapped to guitar and suggested a song, asking if they knew it. Mick and John started playing it. Mr Lee couldn’t stop grinning. It was fantastic. They knew more songs than Arthur had remembered. I got to sit in an near empty art deco theatre in the centre of Paris shouting out my favourite Love songs and they got played. Whenever Arthur didn’t like something he picked up the instrument and played the part how it should be. Guitar, bass or drums. This went on until they got told to turn the volume down as the police had been round after noise complaints.
    They simply moved to acoustics and carried on. Name a Love song and they played it. Signed DC was chilling, You Set the Scene and Orange Skies were note perfect. This went on for a good couple of hours to an audience of 4. The guy who I’ve just read on the forum owned the theatre, l’internationale, a girl called Hilda, one of her friends and me. They’d immediately bonded on the stage and the gig the next night was stunning.
    I was so captivated that the next week when they played the Garage in London I ended up selling t shirts, just to feel a part of it.
    It’s my best memory of being in a band, and the only part I ever recount. Whenever anyone mentions Love or Arthure Lee I can stun them into silence by saying ‘I’ve met him’.

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