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Matthew Jacobson, “On The Streets I Ran“

In my series “On the Streets I Ran” and during interviews, I ask artists and creatives to name 3 Liverpool Streets that mean the most to them? And here is a selection of their answers:

Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark – Paul Humphreys & Andy McCluskey

PH: Mathew Street – It has to be because of Eric’s!.

AM: Button Street – because it’s where we made our first albums.

Lime Street – because I have some lovely memories of playing great gigs at the Empire!

Janice Long – Radio DJ & Presenter

Mathew Street – for Eric’s

13 Fleet Street – The Warehouse

Bold Street

Pete Best – Beatles Drummer

Pete Best Drive – for obvious reasons !

Kasbah Close – for the Kasbah which is in the same complex, just around the corner.

Haymans Green – for similar reasons, those three places mean the most to me.

Louis Berry – Singer-Songwriter

Langton Road – it was part of my growing up, and means a lot to me ….

West Derby Road – I use it every day!

County Road – especially the top of it, I have played a few gigs there and have a new song named after it! 

Billy Butler – Radio DJ Presenter

Grey Rock Street – Where I lived as a young boy

Boundary Lane – Where I went to school ….

Mathew Street – Its legendary, always loved it, always will

Kevin Mcmanus – BME Curator and Head of music at Unesco

Mathew StreetHas to be one. Obviously it is one of the most famous music streets in the whole world because of the Beatles and the Cavern Club. What an asset for the city. It is the gift that keeps on giving, attracting visitors from all over the world and creating jobs for local people and bringing in vital tourism income. It is good news that the Council has recently appointed a team to produce a landmark vision and investment strategy for the area which can build on the work of the like of Cavern City Tours and the Hard Days Night Hotel.

But for me it is important for another more personal reason. From when I was around 14 – 18 this was the most important place on earth. Punk had exploded and Mathew Street was the centre of my punk world. I bought my records at Probe – a pretty intimidating place for a shy lad from Bootle but a fascinating one as well.  Punk with its DIY ethos ushered in thousands of indie record labels and Probe was one of the few places you could get hold of these treasures. But first you had to survive the people behind the counter who masqueraded as “staff” but in reality where there to either ignore you or attempt to humiliate you over your choice of record. But once you got confident enough to hang out there (obviously lurking in the background so you wouldn’t be a target for abuse) you got to listen to the brilliant records played by the creatures who ‘worked’ there and were able to witness the weird and wonderful people who were the mainstays of the scene at that time.

A couple of years later I was writing for NME and did an article on Probe and the label Probe Plus (which brought us Half Man Half Biscuit amongst many others) and there’s a lovely photo taken to accompany the article with the Probe Family standing on the steps leading up to the shop.

Just around the corner was Eric’s club and I’ve already talked about how special that was. The Armadillo Tea rooms was the first ‘cool’ place me and my mates got to hang out in. Although I was shocked to learn that salad on its own constituted a meal- that wasn’t the way I was brought up.

Captains Lane – I haven’t actually lived in that many different places and even though I have lived in the same street in Walton for almost 30 years I’d have to say Captains Lane is the most important street in my life.

I was born in a road off Marsh Lane in Bootle but our street was knocked down to build the New Strand centre so we moved to Captains Lane which is also in Bootle. It is significant to me because it is basically where I spent most of the first quarter of my life and continued to visit until only a few years ago, as my mum and dad still lived there until they passed away.

It was a four bedroom council house, which we needed because I was one of seven kids, and generally a nice place to grow up in. That house, my mum and dad, and the rest of my family, and my friends from back then undoubtedly shaped me and my whole life and that is why it is special to me. Both my infant school and senior school where within walking distance from the house so my world was a pretty confined one.

My mum and dad came over from Ireland in the 50s to get work and with 7 kids to feed, we never had any money. But I feel really lucky to have been brought up in such a loving, supportive environment. Even though they had both left school in Ireland at 14 they always encouraged me and the rest of the family to take our studies seriously and were supportive of everything we did. They didn’t even mind when I became a punk with my spiky hair, stupid clothes and rowdy records. I’m still really close to the rest of my family and I think they all feel the same about Captains Lane.

I think my love of music came about from hanging out with mates who had older brothers and we played their records. At home the only music I heard as a kid were Irish rebel songs.

I’m not even sure why I became a Liverpool fan. None of my family were interested in footy and it was before Liverpool’s glory days. I think I was a fan from when I was about 5 and my sister’s friend took me to my first game (on the old Kop) when I was about 6 or 7. A neighbour started taking me to all the home games a year or two later and then I started going with my mates when I was around 11.

Jamaica Street – I chose this because I love the way the Baltic has transformed over the last 7 or 8 years. My own involvement was in setting up Baltic Creative CIC back in the days when I worked at ACME, a creative industries support agency. The usual thing of small creative businesses being forced out of areas that they had made popular was happening again in Liverpool around the Rope Walks area.

Jayne Casey has done some great work in the Baltic as part of the fringe around one of the early Biennials and she convinced me that the area could develop as a real creative cluster. It took about 3 or 4 years to go through all the processes  and to justify a different model where the creative sector actually owned the  property itself  to break the cycle of developers increasing rents and forcing creatives out. We had to set up the CIC, and get the funding to buy the properties and refurb them. It was definitely wort al that time over around 4 years as it undoubtedly played a key part in the regeneration of an area that only a decade ago was pretty much abandoned and unloved.

Because I was involved from the start it has been great to see how it has changed year on year and is now regularly being cited as a must visit part of the city in travel guides. Mark Lawler, who runs Baltic Creative, has done an amazing job, as have his board members who include Jayne Casey and Chair Erica Ruston. They have shown real ambition and vision.

There have been other key drivers in the area too including the likes of Tim and Paul Speed (Elevator and Camp and Furnace) and Nick and Becky at Constellations and Hinterlands.

There are a load of great music businesses and venues in the Baltic and the challenge now is to support what is there and make sure that growth and continued innovation is encouraged while ensuring that venues don’t suffer because of the continued regeneration of the area.

Nick Ellis – Singer/Songwriter

Priory Road – because it’s stuck in 1986.

Bold Street – because it’s fast.

Sheil Road – because it’s dangerous.

Red Rum Club – Fran Doran

Parr Street – For one, It’s like our home Its where we recorded our first album and where will we record our next album -its Red Rum HQ

Doran’s Lane – Just for the name Doran!

Seel Street – its where we all grew up going out on Seel St, its where you are let off the leash , and it’s the road next to Parr Street so it’s not that far ! 

Eimear Kavanagh – Liverpool based artist

Aigburth Drive – Is an enchanting pathway circling Sefton Park, under the shadows of the trees. I used to do this walk at least once a week in all weathers with a friend who eventually moved back to Australia. We went through a lot of spiritual growth together and this path reminds me of great friendship and of the conversations we used to have. Distance holds no boundaries, we are still very much in each other’s lives.

Northumberland Avenue – Everton – I only lived there for six months, in the grounds of the marvellous iron church, St Georges. I was there in the winter and the views down to the Mersey and across to Wales were so good; I would just sit there gazing for hours. The house was surrounded by ancient gravestones it was spooky and atmospheric. We had a good downpour of snow that year too and the house felt so wind-battered being on the edge of the hill. The icy colours in the sky in January were just beautiful. The people in the neighbourhood were comical and wonderful too. We had kids knocking on the door selling goods from ‘the back of a lorry’, and members of the community looking for advice on all sorts of things from finding birth certificates to needing financial help. It did actually cross my mind how humbling it would be to live my life as a vicar. I wanted to invite them in and make a pot of tea.

Waterloo Road/Regent Road All that land which stretches far down the north docks leading into Seaforth. Absolutely amazing there is such a feeling of ancient times there, docks and wasteland and industry, wind turbines and all the roads which lead into the back streets of Bootle, a cyclist’s utopia. A photographer’s feast. A film makers dream. A gangster’s paradise.

Dave McTague – Founder Owner of Mellowtone Records

Bold Street – I just love the buzz of it, and the community feel of that street.

Falkner Square – OK, technically it’s four streets, but it’s so beautiful.

Devonshire Road / Sunnyside – It’s where I live and I think some magic may live in this little L8 oasis too.

Emilio Pinch – Liverpool based singer/songwriter

Jamaica Street – and the surrounding area. Just seeing how it’s evolved over the last six years I guess.

Pilgrim Street – Just because some of my favourite memories happened on that street – including most of ‘White Wine Water Bottle’ from the EP.

Bold Street – and because it never really changes despite everything always changing.

Paul Duhaney – Artistic Director, Africa Oye

Earle Road – I’ve lived most of my 20 years in Liverpool around that vicinity.

Aigburth Drive – it’s where the festival takes place!

Lark Lane – it’s near the festival site and I even lived a few years there as well. I have to give an honorable mention to Bold Street as it’s such a hub of activity and you’ll always bump into someone you know walking down there.

Kaya Herstad-Carney – Artistic Director, Threshold Festival

Bold Street – I love how you always run into people you know and I also lived on this street for 5 years!                                                                                                                                                     

Jamaica Street – I have to pick a Baltic street, and this one is the buzzing

Corner of Pilgrim Street and Mount Street – My first meeting with Liverpool was LIPA and this area, and I love looking down towards town during a sunset with shadows playing on the cobbled street

Ronny Goodlass – Health Through Sport

Canton Street This street played a massive part of my life, I grew up there. It was off Everton Road so there was only one team I was going to play for or support. Around 100-150 yards from where I lived is St Rupert’s Tower, I would travel past it and I would glance up and wonder if I would ever wear that crest on my chest. Thankfully I did!

In that street, there were mainly blues, but also some reds, but all through my career, that community wanted me to do well, which is special. What a lovely community that was. I love the rivalry as long as its banter, but I don’t ever want it to cross the line. A community should stick together and that community really did. A lovely community.

Gwladys StreetAgain, this is massive for me, just the name brings the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. Everyone knows about it. When you were a kid, it’s the place you want to watch the game. When you finally make the game as a kid and stand in the Gwladys Street, you feel like you have arrived! The only better place after that is on the pitch!

However, I had my first season ticket in the Bullens Road with my Dad and Grandad. But Gwladys Street is the one, Gwladys Street is Everton Football Club. And you don’t get a better tribute to Howard Kendall, when you see it named the Howard Kendall Gwladys Street End – which is lovely for Howard, his family and the club. Joe Royle is a mad blue and when you mention Gwladys Street, he has a smile on his face, it really is Everton.

My Dads ashes are in that end. And when I hear the siren, I always think of my Dad and at the end of the game, I give a little nod to him. On match day, I am there and my Dad is there. The club laid wreaths there for him, for us, but that is Everton, it is a special and wonderful club.   

Seel StreetWe did have a second life! .After the game we would go the clubs down there. It was the place to be! And when the bouncers let you in without queuing and straight into booths, you felt you had made it! The clubs down there were great, it was a great life. 

Overall, when I think back Matt – it was a special time, it really was…..


READ MORE: Mathew Street welcomes the return of King John

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