Wednesday, 4 April 2012
The Swinging Apple - Topflight do a tribute show to the Apple!
The Swinging Apple.
Wood street Liverpool circa 1976- to around 1980 (?)
Topflight FMSinte rnet radio show pays tribute.
1977-ish I was just leaving school and had discovered punk and gigging and drinking in town, aged 15-16. I started by going to Eric’s matinee’s on Saturday afternoons , and then me and me mate , mick hanwratty figured out a way to get past the bouncers to get into the evening’s proper gigs..we would get to eric’s on Saturday fternoon, around 12, wait for whichever band was headlining to arrive and without being asked, we would help them carry their gear into the club..do a bit of suck holing and 9 times out of 10 they would get us on the guest list and let us go in with them. We met some great people. Among those most memorable for being nice guys were The damned, Gang of Four, the angelic upstarts, the ruts, heaven 17, the B52’s..Funnilly enough the Liverpool bands never gave us the time of day. But anyways..i got a taste for loud angry music, and alcohol. Around that time I started hearing about this sinister nightclub called The swinging apple…allegedly more hardcore than Eric’s, with a more skinhead clientele than punk, that played great music and came with tales of full on riotousness . One myth was that new punters had to “do the walk” …which involved walking through 2 lines of skinheads and taking whatever kicks and punches landed. Soon after I was coming out of the Liverpool Empire having just watched the Buzzcocks and the word went out, “all the skins are here from The ‘apple! , they’re just twatting anyone coming out the gig”! I hung around, to see what ensued. Sure enough a gang of about 20-25 skins were storming around throwing indiscriminate punches…I was asked at least 3 times where I was from, and told “we’re looking for mancs!”..i decided I needed to go.
I asked some friends and a week or so we went….there was no walking through lines of skinheads..though there were more skinheads in there than I knew existed in Liverpool. The atmosphere was tense, and we were viewed with suspicion all night (complete contrast to Eric’s) ..but after a few whiskeys, we got over the menacing stares of the skinheads and the music took hold… ….New Rose by the Damned, Borstal breakout by Sham 69, something better change, by the Stranglers, California Uber alles by the Dead kenedeys….and most of all I am the fly, by Wire! It was the first time I’d been to a “nightclub”…I’d only ever really been to Eric’s, and had only “danced” when the bands were actually on..but here I was sharing a dance floor, making a holy tit of myself with skins and punks..it was an eye opener for me. There were no fights, no threats (not that night anyway) just drunken madness with the best soundtrack I’d heard. Despite how brilliant the night was I only really went back 2-3 more times before I reverted back to choosing the live bands on view at Erics. I’ll always remember the Apple though and to this day, when I hear those songs I’m whisked right back to the Apple. So you can imagine how exited I was to hear that Topflight FMS were doing their own swinging apple tribute show. As I type this, I haven’t yet heard the show..i wanted to get this written and have a crafty few cold beers in preparation/ anticipation.
For all of you who frequented the place I recommend you visit the link ;-http://topflightmfs.blogspot.co.uk/ and have a listen to show 119, even those who didn’t go..if you like yer punk and yer reggae, go and listen , you will also have the pleasure of hearing an ex pat scouser trying to explain to his yank buddy what the apple was all about (far more
eloquently and funnier than this infrequent visitor could ever do. …I’ll lay odds it’s a great show, give it a go.