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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 214

Date:- 14 August 2005

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Is this the way to ... Mathew Street!

TONY Christie is to star at Europe's biggest free city centre music festival. The Yorkshire-born, evergreen pop legend will top the bill on the Sunday of Liverpool's 3-day Mathew Street Music Festival. Tony, who was catapulted back into the limelight thanks to comedian Peter Kay, will follow bands such as The Stranglers and Buzzcocks at the Pier Head.

His signing comes less than 24 hours after the culture company's partner Radio City 96.7 announced 8,000 tickets for its free live show on Mathew Street Monday, featuring McFly, were snapped up within 3 hours.

The 63 year-old crooner, who once spent no less than 41 weeks out of 52 in the British charts with international hits with such as 'Las Vegas', 'I did what I did for Maria', 'Don't go down to Reno' and 'Is this the way to Amarillo', is scheduled to take to the stage at 3.45pm.

Tony, whose versatile career began in 1966 and has spanned many genres from Evita to a top 10 hit in 1999 with Pulp's Jarvis Cocker, has just competed a huge 30-date tour of the UK following the release of his "Definitive Collection" album. He has currently released a new single entitled 'Avenues and Alleyways' and the energetic performer is to embark on a second UK tour in November.

His signing is one of the highlights of a varied and star studded line-up for Mathew Street Sunday on the Pier Head Stage (North), with one big name to come. The line up to date is as follows:

5:00 Artistes TBC
7:00 NEVILLE SKELLY and his Jazz Swing Orchestra

Councillor Warren Bradley, Liverpool City Council's executive member for culture, said:- ''Tony Christie is one of the country's most gifted singers and successful entertainers. He'll be a huge crowd puller for the festival which is shaping up to the best ever. Sunday's line-up is looking fantastic - there's pop, rock, punk, jazz and soul and we have the perfect blend of major stars and Liverpool acts. To have Tony Christie appear on the same bill as Buzzcocks and The Stranglers speaks volumes for how the Mathew Street Music Festival is growing. Alongside the Radio City Live show on Mathew Street Monday it is establishing itself as one of the best in Europe at catering for all tastes and ages.''

The festival, organised by the Liverpool Culture Company, attracts more than 300,000 people each year.

Organisers have also signed critically-acclaimed Liverpool band Amsterdam to perform their only festival date this summer on the Bank Holiday Monday, on the Pier Head new bands (South) stage.

The Liverpool Culture Company has sought to revolutionise the festival, which now showcases music from Abba to Zappa and Blues to Jazz, by signing named bands for the first time in the events 13-year history.

The aim is to reflect the fact that Mathew Street did not just create the Merseybeat sound via The Cavern in the 60s but was hugely influential in the 70s, 80s and 90s. The street's other superclub, Eric's, nurtured Liverpool bands such as Echo and The Bunnymen, Wah! Heat, Big in Japan, OMD, The Teardrop Explodes and hosted seminal gigs from The Clash to Kraftwerk.

That period attracted musicians from Courtney Love and the founders of The KLF to the city's third superclub, Cream, and so influencing and shaping today's music scene. The 2005 Festival will also be the biggest yet, with an extra two new outdoor stages. The Pier Head, which will host live music on all three days, gains the new bands stage.

Bank Holiday Monday, August 29, will see the addition of a 6th stage in Birkenhead as Wirral joins the festival for the very first time. The makeover is part of plans to develop the FREE festival into a major highlight for 2008, when the city stages European Capital of Culture. More household names are to be announced by the Liverpool Culture Company in the coming weeks.

And, as part of the festival's biggest ever shake-up, the Culture Company will be introducing a host of new cover bands as part of a mammoth live music celebration featuring150 tribute bands from 20 countries, from afar as Brazil and Japan. They will all be performing live on the 6 outdoor stages and at more than 40 indoor venues including the world famous Cavern.


ARENA art gallery is ringing the changes next week with a new exhibition on mobile phone technology. 11 artists are encouraging viewers to take a closer look at mobile phones. From lo-fi to cutting-edge, the work explores not only the technology, but the personal, social, and political effects of a device now found in over 50% of people's pockets.

Curator of the exhibition, Sean Hawkridge, said:- "The show includes artist-made wallpapers downloadable in the gallery, re-arranged classic ring tones and the opportunity to chat via text with an artist in a hut in Sweden."

Work in the exhibition explores the mobile as a camera, giving audience members the chance to add to the images on show; other artists explore their handsets as personal treasures, lifelines and albums, and some find humour in our phones, with takes on past communication inventions and our paranoia about how it all works.

Chairman of the Liverpool Culture Company board Professor Drummond Bone said:- "Mobile communications is almost like an epidemic which has gripped our lives, so sometimes it's good to take a step back and view it from a different angle."

The exhibition is running from Saturday 13 August until Saturday 3 September, with the gallery open from Wednesday to Saturday 12-5pm at 82-84 Duke Street in Liverpool. Arena Gallery is part of Arena Art and Design Association, which has been based in Arena House for over twenty years and is home to over 40 artists, designers and craftspeople.

Letters to Editor:- "Matthew Street Festival"

"I know that your not organizers of the Matthew Street Festival, but being with you being in the media side of things I would like to put my point across of how disheartened, Angry and totally amazed I am that Liverpool's finest rock band 'Reece' are not on the list of performers for the festival.

Not only have Reece picked up the title of battle of the bands 2003.They are the resident band at the cavern at the moment, (which may i add is packed out to the brim every time) They have backing from city fm and radio Merseyside, who have requested that they perform, and only last week in a live radio interview, the guy who's responsible for booking the bands was asked "whether popular local bands such as Reece" would be playing........The guy responded .....'Things are different this year any local bands who are popular or are good enough will be playing'...... So why haven't Reece been booked?????

Not only do they have fans traveling from the USA, Manchester, Hertfordshire, Birmingham, Essex and London to see them perform, they represented Liverpool in Africa for charity, received letters of thanks from the African and English government saying they were a credit to Liverpool and this is the thanks they get!!!

It's an absolute Bloody disgrace!!! Why the hell haven't they been Booked?? I can personally can say that I will not be attending the festival, if they haven't booked Reece who are just The best band to come out of Liverpool since the Beatles, they are absolutely amazing!!! If they can turn down a band with as much talent as they've got, I'd hate to see who they have booked.

I travel along with about 6 or 7 of my friends once if not twice a month to see Reece perform and would of gladly traveled up from Essex to see them perform at the festival. But now they've got no chance!! You letting not only Liverpool down but the UK too.

I think it would be in Liverpool city councils best interest to have Reece play, They would easily do Liverpool proud!! Reece are going to be the band of the future, they will be rocking all over the world, And if the organizers of this event don't buck their ideas up and get sign this band,...

When their time comes city council are gonna be the laughing stock of the UK.
Because I certainly won't let them forget the big cock up they made, as I'm sure as hell the band won't either!!

I know I'm not the only one who feels like this, they have so much support out there, don't let your city down. Support Reece for the Matthew street festival.

Yours sincerely, A Very Angry Miss Kelly Thompson from Chelmsford Essex"

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