The Power of Frankie and Going to Liverpool

Over the past year or so I have been working on a book about Frankie fans and Frankie Goes To Hollywood – see Frankie Fans Say. Due to this I went back to Liverpool last week to re-visit the Frankie exhibition at the British Music Experience and hear a special performance by Nasher.

The event was timed to coincide with the time of year when Frankie’s “The Power of Love” was Number 1 in the UK charts back in 1984. As the BME site noted,

By Christmas 1984, Frankie Goes to Hollywood were unstoppable.  With two massive No.1s already under their belt, their now iconic Christmas hit The Power of Love went to No.1 on December 8th. This was the first time a band had notched up three No.1s with their first three debut single releases since fellow scousers Gerry and the Pacemakers.

“We’d had sex and war, so religion was obviously the next stop on the controversy train” Nasher

It was a great event. It started off with local music-writer Paul Fitzgerald interviewing Nasher and Doreen Allen (who used to run the Frankie fan club) and whom I managed to have an interesting chat with before the event started.

The interview was very entertaining and it turned out that as well as running the fan club, Holly and Paul had also lived in Doreen’s place (with Paul paying rent with his smile & jokes, it seems). Much of the discussion revolved around the Frankie tour of USA in autumn 1984, the non-involvement in Band Aid, and Frankie’s Christmas Liverpool concerts.

After an interval, Nasher played a set of four songs. I tried to video all of these, but I had some technical hitches.

The first song was a version of “England in the Rain” which Nasher did as part of LOW (with Josh Bolt) – with the lyrics of this particular song having been written with Peter Gill and Mark O’Toole (also both of Frankie, like Nasher). My video includes a skip as it stopped recording after 5 minutes, but luckily I managed to restart it before missing too much.

Next up was “Yesterday’s News” from Nasher’s album “432-1 Open The Vein“. As I noted in my review post, once you really listen to the lyrics and understand what the song is about, you cannot help but by moved by it… but Nasher includes a comment about this before the song too as many may understand what it’s really about and where he’s coming from.

Next up was, what I suspect, was the main event for some – Nasher performing “The Power of Love”. Although Nasher had to clear his throat soon after he started singing (which I have largely edited out of the video), it was a great rendition of the song, showing what an amazing guitar player and vocalist Nasher is.

Nasher wasn’t done yet. The final song, “Don’t Go Yet”, further reinforced what an incredible lyricist Nasher is. As yet this track has never been released. I hope it will be one day as it really touched the hearts of so many in the audience. Unfortunately my phone wasn’t working properly, so I only managed to record the last part of the song – I hope there will be a chance to hear it live again one day and also on CD.

After the event, many of us went on to a pub, where there were further discussions with Nasher, his wife, relations, friends, and Frankie fans. It was a fabulous evening and really helped me with my book about Frankie fans – including the love for Japanese versions of Frankie releases!

The next day, I did some further work on the book. This started off with a walk through Liverpool to close to Anfield so that I could see an interesting bit of graffiti related to Frankie (and Liverpool F.C.) that I had seen on Twitter.

The walk also provided a great view across Liverpool and must have been from a point very close to when I visited Liverpool back in the 1980s and I remember talking to someone about Frankie, as I discuss in the book.

I then returned to the BME to take some further photographs of the Frankie exhibition – including these two.

After that, it was time for lunch and so I went to Lucy In The Sky – where I had been with Nasher in August – for some Scouse (which I hadn’t even known was a food until my previous visit).

Next, I went to the Bridewell…

Now a pub, back in the day this was where Frankie – and many other local musicians – practised. Much of “Welcome to the Pleasuredome” was written here. It was appropriate, then, to spend some time here working on my book – and particularly a section of the book related to the title track of that album.

Although the journey back to Cardiff took longer than it should have done, it was a very successful and enjoyable trip.

I am continuing to work on Frankie Fans Say – but, for one reason or another – I have not been able to complete it by when I had been hoping to. All being well, it will be completed in early 2022.

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