Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Save The Casa

On april 4th there's a celebration gig to raise funds to save one of the most historic pubs in Liverpool. Before it was bought by the Dockers twenty years ago, I remember going there when it was a brilliant (illegal) late night drinking Den ran by a Jamaican firm from Liverpool 8. Back then it was called The Casablanca. 50p would get you in after 11pm (when all the bars closed) and you could be there, literally all night.

As the article below (Written by Brian Reade for the Daily Mirror- ) tells you much more eloquently than I could, the building was purchased by the Liverpool dockers twenty years ago. I drank there regularly on Fridays ever since (until i started working away from the city). I have never once seen a fight in there or even a serious altercation (well maybe a bit of a one at The End Book Launch 2 years back) I have promoted gigs there, put gigs on and referred 100's of people to the advice centre upstairs (where my friend Anthony Thompson has worked voluntarily in the advice centre, along with many other dedicated and loyal staff since its inception).
Unfortunately, It seems that the Casa has now lost its funding and could close down, we can't let that happen! 

The Casa Soildarity Show aims to raise funds and awareness to keep this Liverpool Treasure alive - Be warned there are VERY FEW TICKETS LEFT so you better get yer arse in gear if you want to see an amazing show and help save one of the finest establishments in Liverpool.

Visit here for details of the show and to buy tickets and read the article below from the Daily Mirror to find out more about the history of The Casa

20 years ago 500 Liverpool dockers were sacked for refusing to cross a picket line. Now their spirit is remembered in a gig with the likes of Ricky Tomlinson and John Bishop

MichaelCooper /AllsportRobbie Fowler of Liverpool shows his support for the dockers strikes
Robbie Fowler of Liverpool shows his support for the dockers strikes
For those who fear communal solidarity no longer exists here’s a tale to lift the spirits.
When five men were sacked in an overtime row 20 years ago, 500 Liverpool dockers refused to cross a picket line. Despite being described by Lloyds List as “the most productive workforce in Europe” they too were sacked.
Their 850-day dispute became one of the longest in British labour history. With the men risking everything to uphold the most sacred of trade union principles, it was also seen across the world as one of the most noble.
On day one American longshoremen on both coasts and Australian wharfies brought their countries’ ports to a standstill.
On other days every Japanese docker stopped working and in South Africa all ports were closed down “in solidarity with the Liverpool dockers who stood by us during apartheid”.
Colin LaneRicky Tomlinson pictured at Liverpool Town Hall
Ricky Tomlinson pictured at Liverpool Town Hall
At home acts like Jo Brand and Noel Gallagher did fundraisers, footballer Robbie Fowler was fined by Uefa for unveiling a dockers’ T-shirt and support groups the length of Britain swung behind the sacked men.
But with the TGWU neutered by Thatcher’s anti-union laws the dockers eventually lost. One legacy of that defeat is those zero-hours contracts that blight so many lives today.
Yet the solidarity never waned. Under the tutelage of Jimmy McGovern some of the dockers wrote a drama about the dispute for Channel 4, using the £130,000 fee to buy a building in the aptly-named Hope Street. They turned it into a communal hub. A not-for-profit bar, function room and advice centre. An open house for anyone in need of help or radical stimulation. A lasting memorial to the spirit of solidarity shown in their dispute.
Downstairs it hosts everything from Greek theatre and salsa to pensioners’ meetings and political forums. There’s an exhibition about the Spanish Civil War. I even had my wedding do there.
John Bishop
Upstairs they give free expert advice on benefits, employment, asylum, debt and welfare to anyone who walks in off the street. Over the past 15 years it’s estimated more than £10million-worth of advice has been given to people in desperate need.
But due to loss of funding and rent, The Casa faces an uncertain future. They could keep the bar open but unless the rest of the building is used to fight for social justice they feel they’d be betraying their founding principles.
So they won’t do it.
Mark Steel
Mark Steel
Before Christmas it looked like The Casa had only months left, until solidarity came to the fore once more.
Phone calls to comedians John Bishop, Ricky Tomlinson, Neil Fitzmaurice and Mark Steel and to musicians The Farm and John Power gave us a line-up. Another call to the 1,600-seater ­Philharmonic Hall gave us a venue.
PAJohn Power, lead singer of Cast
John Power, lead singer of Cast
All of them agreed, in a ­heartbeat, to do their bit.
And so we have The Casa ­Solidarity Show on Friday April 17, the tickets for which go on sale today at the Liverpool ­Philharmonic website.
Colin LaneLiverpool actor Neil Fitzmaurice
Liverpool actor Neil Fitzmaurice
Buy one and not only are you guaranteed to have a cracking night, you’ll keep a treasured ­institution built on rare principles going for another few years.
More than that, you’ll keep alive a truth which says no matter what you throw at working people, no matter what you try to take from them, when they stick together they won’t be beaten.
WikicommonThe Farm at Guilfest
The Farm

2 of The End Writers  (Phil Jones and Tony McClelland)  outside The Casa at THE END book launch December 2012

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Christmas 2014 (mini) Ins & Outs . Happy Chrstmas droogies!


Ironical mentors

Still not being able to build a joint

bevvieing solo

Giving tourist wrong information

Still bunking the bus

Dreaming in the chippie

Knowing fuck all about Phones

Boring the arse off yourself

Waving to geese

Clocking lead on random roofs

Living in the Pasty

Swimming in coffee

Being Toothless (as in having no teeth)

Ravishing yer bird

Following pop stars into the bogs (they love it).

Faking an organism

Having a ginger, tory, man utd supporting friend.

Saying, “I say, I say, I say”

Flicking yer bream

Lumberjack Shits

Crawfish flavoured socks

Violently assaulting your sink with a bottle of hai karate aftershave.        Discussing the molecular formula of sputnik when stoned

Elmer fudd type headwear.

Saying "its to cold to snow".

Having a villainous  chin.

walking like James Cagney.

Bohemian blow jobs.

brad Jones doing his best Kes impression against Man united.

Developing a psychosexual relationship with Offal.

Transient pricks.

looking for Flemings jeans online.

Eyebrow licking

Pigs in blankets

Wrapping hot bacon around you cock

Snideing off to meet yer real mates when you on the works night out


Talking fondly about borstal

Planning tatoos

Having loads of facebook buddies

Agreeing with hard cases

Ordering obscure drinks

Being indifferent

Painting paint

Playing conkers with sprouts

Knocking at mine when I’m having my Christmas lunch…look just fuck off will yer!

Cum bubbles

Christmas eve kick offs

Asking for Bubble

Holiday homes in Skem

Still being a Scall in yer 50’s

Randomly being in Sunderland and waiting to order at the bar when a firm of Man City scalls piley in.

Being the narky parent

Being toothless (metaphorically)

Cool MP’s.


Banjo string related japes

Not getting the deliberate spelling mistakes

Jayda Fransens 

Disproportionate forehead.

Hideous Xmas jumpers.

Joe Andersons plenteous chins.

Smokie MOs ghastly clientele

Sustainable cocaine hard ons.

Saying "you got no farns ".

Bob Geldof's turgescent eyes

James fuckin Corden

Monday, 24 November 2014

Mick Potters Groundpig Memories

Mick Potter's Groundpig memories

Some time ago we published The End staff's collective memories of those crazy 80's and 90's nights when, by pure word of mouth the cities youth clambered and fought (literally) to see Liverpool's folky hippy good time band Groundpig (you can read that here  if you haven't already done so). At the time Mr Potter refused to add his account and demanded we either set him up on a date with Viv Albertine or pay him in buckets of bourbon.  We did both and we can now release Micks Groundpig memories in all their glory................

Mr Johnnie O'Connell's well deserved nationwide theatre "Simply Dylan" tour got me thinking ( admittedly months after master Jones asked me to do "something,anything about Groundpig ) Playing the ultimate snob i can do better than that ,yes I can pre-date Groundpig . If Mr O'Connell doesn't mind I can go back even further into the mists of time ,a bit like that drunken loon Alan Williams ex Beatles manager used to do in the Post Office friday afternoons.....that, as I often say, is another story.

The venue, The Throstles Nest, Scotland Road, Liverpool. The exact date I,am unsure of. (maybe 79 XTC,S making plans for Nigel?  a subliminal crystal ball homage to Birkonian rock gods Half Man Half Biscuit perhaps ? ) My top tune on the Throstles Juke box at the time, pop pickers.! Well I think so.... (the mind can play tricks when you try to recollect, dear ENDLINGS)  Yep XTC, back to back with one hit wonders Thunderclap Newmans Something In The Air Dylans Lay Lady Lay and bizarrely The Worzels I,ve Got A Brand New Combine Harvester a truly ecletric mix,and I have'nt even started on the punters yet ! 

Trading under the banner of "Riley", Johnnie and a collection of free spirited musical hobos from the Great Homer Street /Soho Street diaspora nervously shuffled onto the cramped stage.The crampness of said stage was,not helped by the fact Riley seemed to possess more musicians than your average symphony orchestra (perhaps encourged by eccentric Licencee, the fearsome Joe O Driscolls act of folly in promising all the band free ale) 

Johnnie remembers the Throstles in true understated Johnnie fashion as a bit rough.

In truth i feel this does the ol' place a great disservice. The cavenous back (back) room with stage and obligatory pool table was a wacky hub of Cammel Laird ship workers, pick pockets, merchant sea men, Tate and Lyle glamorous gals and an Errol Flynn lookalike glass collector called Charlie who was one of the brainest fellas I've ever met in my life. A hapless alcoholic, he would embroil you in some conversation about the Cuban missile crisis or  the artificial price of South African diamonds  (obviously while you got him a drink ) only to then walk away loudly ridiculing you much to the amusement of fellow victims...I loved him! I always came back for more .

The Riley set, I'm sure, included The Devil went down to Gorgia with its insane Hemanesque violin played with perfection by the multi talented Graeme, sadly no longer with us. Duelling Banjos from the film Deliverence an everyday song about folks from the Wirral. A couple of Genesis (,remember them numbers?)  and of course tunes by Robert Zimmerman. Fog On The Tyne by Lindersfarne may well have got a blast but the plumes of purple haze drifting over the band had nothing to do with any Mersey inclement weather and more to, it seemed, the  compulsory smoking of illegal..stuff. I remember an old ex docker (Frank) who wouldn't have looked out of place on Sinatras infamous mob snap, joint in hand grinning away as Johnnie and the boys strutted their stuff. Mein host Mr O Driscoll tolerated the Lebanese  (I'm no  historian but red Leb sounds about right...... or was it Kyber pass black ?)   on his premises simply because i think he wasn't quite sure what the fuck it was. He was an old school publican who would mutter profanities to himself if a lone black sailor, on his way to nearby Great Homer Street market, strayed in looking for " C : EAD MILE FAILTE, forgetting perhaps that he was an immigrant himself. Riley went down a treat! Those grinning youthful faces have stayed with me. I still watch Johnnie play now whenever I get the chance,. Sometimes I think he's  saying to himsef  "jesus Mick are you stalking me ?" But then I look around and I'm reminded of the classic line outside the headmasters office in KES.....Same ol faces same ol faces !  C EAD  MILE FAILTE ? A HUNDRED THOUSAND WELCOMES . In true End fashion  I aint checked it for grammatical or spelling errors.  Fuck it... J. KEROUAC.

Photo from John O'Connell's FB page

Friday, 14 November 2014

Ins & Outs November 2014

Normal service is resumed;

  • Investing in vests
  • Snipers
  • Understanding underwear
  • nicking Knickers
  • socking it to a sock
  • (to be read in a Toyah-like lisp/lithp) Singing to a thong
  • Calling people Sausage
  • Finding a sprout in your ear
  • Knee length gonads
  • Granddads in skinny jeans
  • Borrowing yer mates ma’s tights
  • Jenny Agutter
  • Closets
  • Corsets
  • Spicy sausage in yer arse pocket
  • High pitched farts
  • Emma Peels camel toe
  • Spotting Stevie Highways muzzie in yer nans retirement home
  • Camping in your attic
  • All mankind (St. Johns market)
  • Twatting a twat
  • Making Bono History
  • Hairy nipples
  • Genesis corner
  • Metal Guru’s
  • Jayne Caseys Eyes
  • Mumfords Mad Cousins
  • Stray 5 inch chest hairs in your book
  • Broadway Danny Rose
  • Flowery Twats
  • craving for bare tit
  • Finding an mackeral in your sock.
  • Asking for a J Arthur in a gingerly manner.
  • Sounding like Joe Pasquale when drunk.
  • Transgender boxing promoters. 
  • Seagulls busking in town/asking you for your odds.
  • wet
  • Thinking your Kurdish.
  • Englebert Humperdink
  • getting erections in the company of Turkish waiters
  • Jamie’s Tea
  • Mel’s Bee
  • A scotty road troubadour getting caught singing Sheena             Easton’s 9 to 5        
  • Coaxing a banana
  • Decorating your quilt
  • A plumbers plums
  • Libby’s knickers all over facebook
  • Bourbon benders
  • Sharing your fingernails with the French
  • Purple akie’s disposition
  • Spring heeled Jack’s penchant for uncle Joes mintballs
  • Pj harvey’s magnificent nose
  • Farting in the stationary cupboard
  • Flange fixations
  • Chatting shit
  • Finding a quart of rocky in an old tub of hot chocolate
  • Finding Derek Nimo
  • Freezing your mail
  • Shitty hands
  • Tales of the banjo string
  • Placing 300 dried peas in the hood of the person sitting in front of you on the bus
  • Deep fried orange juice
  • 6 doughnuts on yer dick
  • Dreaming about Her Majesty doing the reverse cowboy on you
  • Breaking into the chippy and changing the fat
  • French letters
  • Remembering the Bootle south youth club

  • Talking loudly about guns outside the alehouse
  • Having fainted in the paddock
  • Joe Anderson
  • Retro skinhead style “sidies”
  • Shitehawks
  • Blue balls
  • Flatulent mothers
  • Library closures
  • Glassy testicles
  • Going ballistic in a ball pool
  • Forcing anything
  • Remembering razorlight
  • reto beards and muzzies
  • Those vile tops LFC adverise in the Echo
  • Abandoned cock rings in your cornflake box
  • Snapping yer banjo
  • Gold cords
  • Saying “deal with that”
  • Bitter muso’s
  • Tiny pip heads
  • Blue velvet jackets
  • Tattoo snobs
  • Rock N Roll MP’s
  • Bulging
  • Geek Chic
  • Raising a herd of wild buffalo in Joe Andersons Undies
  • Teabagging yer grandad
  • Gobshites of the highest order
  • Believing in mince meat
  • Making pans For Nigel
  • U2 invading you phone
  • U2
  • BP
  • BNP
  • BUNP2
  • Titty nudges off yer granddad
  • Clingon’s
  • When youre stealing clothes from Marks & Sparks
  • Pulling a long sloppy one
  • Getting blotchy when you’re stressed
  • Tamie J
  • Catty’s
  • Pricks singing "lets all go to Gaza" at a demo.
  • Suarez"s teeth
  • Thinking your Joe Pesci after a line of coke
  • Teenagers sporting Mungo Jerry type siddies.
  • Being intimate with Falafel. 
  • Saying "Bobby brown shoes".
  • The school of science being back (what the fuck does that mean anyway?)
  • Farages irksome smile.
  • Remembering the fung Loy.
  • Forgetting who you are.
  • Thinking your a peaky Blinder.
  • Gaining insight into ones Chakra.
  • Sitting on the bus, grinning like a mad bastard
  • Snorting Tahini.
  • Saying "Wow"
  • Gentrifying
  • TK Maxx benders.
  • Conspiring against conspiracy theorists.
  • Rejecting your own independence
  • Pets with personality disorders.
  • Avoiding people for no apparent reason.
  • Worshiping inanimate objects.
  • Resembling the characteristics of a Sloth.
  • skinny jeans on forty somethings.
  • Remembering the scotty club