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Full Mathew Street line-up revealed

Merseybeat bands cranked up, plus Esco Williams and Ian McNabb

Published on August 6th 2012.

Full Mathew Street line-up revealed

GERRY and the Pacemakers, Beryl Marsden and The Undertakers will crank into life on “Merseybeat Monday”, the big event in this year’s Mathew Street Festival calendar. 

2012 is all about anniversaries: 50th anniversary of Pete Best getting kicked out of the Beatles; 20th anniversary of the August Bank Holiday bash which attracts thousands of drinkers and tribute bands to the city centre; bar tills chinging amid the singing. 

Ian McnabbIan McNabbIan McNabb will perform in a “Tribute to Eric’s” set, as will The Merseybeats, while MOBO UnSung prizewinner Esco Williams will wow his hometown crowds on the first day of the event. Almost half the 70 acts are from Merseyside. They will perform on five outdoor stages in around 80 hours of music over August 26 and 27. 

They will be joined by first timers from the US, Brazil, Canada, France and Mexico. All will be expected to incorporate a Beatles element in their sets as a nod to this “special year” which marks half a century of The Beatles – well, specifically Ringo joining John, Paul and George to make a traditional Fab Four. 

Liverpool City Council’s cabinet member for culture and tourism, Councillor Wendy Simon, said: “To attract bands from all over the world is a real testament to Mathew Street Music Festival, which is a much-loved event for the hundreds of thousands of music lovers who travel to Liverpool each year to enjoy this free, outdoor experience.” 

And on that subject, once again businesses have been asked to support the festival which can no longer be solely funded by the city council due to budget pressures. 

The 2011 event brought in crowds of 320,000 revellers to the city centre and contributed around £20 million to the local economy, according to council figures. Local bars, restaurants and shops coughed up £100k, but Mayor Joe Anderson says this time they need to dig deeper. 

“This is one of the most costly festivals we stage,” he said earlier in the year. “Over the next two years we’re facing further cuts of more than £50million, and tough decisions have to be made.

“Last year we addressed the issue by asking for sponsors to support the event and introducing wristbands, and although this did bring in £100,000 worth of valuable contributions, we need to do better.

Esco WilliamsEsco Williams

“We’re determined to make the 2012 festival one to remember as we pay homage to fifty years of one of Liverpool’s greatest exports. We realise it’s a tough economic climate for everyone, but the whole city reaps the benefits from this event and we would be delighted if businesses could get behind us and make a contribution – big or small.”

But is it time the city called time on the Mathew Street Festival – at least as far as its funding is concerned? 

Mathew St FestCritics denounce it as a moneymaking win-win for hospitality operators, many of whom have shareholders and HQs outside Liverpool. And if there is funding to be allocated to city culture, should such a large portion of it not, perhaps, be spent in a more meaningful way. 

For other people, the festival is a highlight of their social year – and we all remember the outcry, Peronigate and long knives that were drawn when the outdoor stages were cancelled, on safety grounds, in 2007. 

Love it, hate it or get too emotional to remember it? Do you eagerly anticipate it, or annually buy a plane ticket to get as far away as possible from it.

Where will you be when Mathew Street comes around? In the gutter or looking at the stars? Take our quiz here

The full line-up (noon to 6pm each day)


Derby Square Stage – Nineties

BlurasisBlurasisSouthmartins (The Beautiful South /The Housemartins)

Pearl Jam (Pearl Jam)

Blurasis (Blur / Oasis)

Robbie William Banned (Robbie Williams)

Hypermused (Muse)

Big Up The 90's (sic) (90s Tribute Band) 

Superlambanana Stage (Tithebarn Street) – Eighties

Ska-Wars (Ska)

Bon Jovi Experience (Bon Jovi)

Glory Days (Bruce Springsteen)

U2 Elevation (U2)

Purple Rain (Prince)

Rubix Cube (80s Tribute Band)

Amy HousewineAmy HousewineTunnel Stage – Chill Out

Price Tag (Jessie J)

Ri Ri (Rihanna)

The Bee Gees meet ABBA (The Bee Gees / Abba)

Lareena (Adele)

Amy Housewine (Amy Winehouse)

So Patrol (Snow Patrol)

Coldplace (Coldplay) 

Water Street stage – Seventies

Freakout Disco Band (70s Tribute Band)

The Merseybeasts (Tribute to Eric’s)

Ian McNabb (Tribute to Eric’s)

Kinisha & The Weekend Warriors (Tina Turner)

The Tearaways (The Ramones)

MerseybeatsMerseybeatsCounterfeit Quo (Status Quo) 

Williamson Square Stage – Made In Liverpool (unsigned)

Married To The Sea

Filter Distortion

All We Are

The Verdict

The Mono LPs

The Furious

Esco Williams


The Sums

Dirty Rivers 



Derby Square Stage – Merseybeat

Gerry MarsdenGerry MarsdenThe Shakers

Beryl Marsden

Sam Hardie


Karl Terry

The Undertakers featuring Jackie Lomax

Gerry and The Pacemakers

The Merseybeats

Mike Pender’s Searchers 

Superlambanana Stage – Early Beatles Albums

The Sutcliffes


The Rockits

After Beat


Them Beatles


Tunnel Stage – The Cavern, Yesterday and Today

Antarctic MonkeysAntarctic MonkeysAntarctic Monkeys (Arctic Monkeys)

The Kinx (The Kinks)

The Stones (The Rolling Stones)

Mercury (Queen)

The Overtures 

Water Street Stage – Guitar heroes 60s and 70s

Uncomfortably Numb (Pink Floyd)

Classic Clapton (Eric Clapton)

Are You Experienced (Jimi Hendrix)

Letz Zep (Led Zeppelin)

From Sabbath To Hell (Black Sabbath)

Viva Santana (Santana)

Williamson Square Stage – Later Beatles Albums

Classic ClaptonClassic ClaptonTripper and Revolver

Get Back Band

Clube Big Beatles

Help El Tributo

Hocus Pocus 

People are being asked to show their support for the festival by purchasing a special 50th anniversary of The Beatles souvenir wristband for just £2.  This can be bought from the Tourist Information Centre at the Albert Dock and St George’s Hall and at Liverpool ONE’s Information Centre

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