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Not Strictly Confidential - 01/8/08

Stuff and nonsense bobbing about in the Pool of Life. This time: Mathew Street's back, plus how the police park, the real Chas & Dave and more...

Published on August 1st 2008.

Not Strictly Confidential - 01/8/08

AFTER a lamented absence of 23 months, it's back! It's bigger! It's better than ever!

Yes, it's that Mathew Street Festival and, following 2007's bit of bother, we can now look forward to musical riches like never witnessed on the streets before.

“Every festival needs to develop and stay fresh,” the governor, Warren Bradley, assures us in a city council handout, adding, “this year’s Mathew Street Music Festival is no exception”.

This means, as usual, tribute acts from all over the globe here to play Beatles and other covers that we all know and love, and a battle of the bands. But what else?

Bill Heckle, one of the directors of Mathew Street Festival Ltd, reveals that they have “listened to the public, the bands and the venues...for a fantastic music festival that celebrates Liverpool and music in all forms.”

Indeed: “One of the main reasons for Mathew Street Music Festival was to showcase new Merseyside talent and I’m delighted we’ve been able to go back to those roots in our European Capital of Culture year.’’

So which of our talented Liverpool music fraternity will be headlining on the main stage, then?

The Coral? Shack? Candie Payne? The Zutons?

Actually, “cult heroes. 'Chas & Dave'” (reads the blurb).

Naturally. And what better excuse to break out the jellied eels, dress up as pearly kings and all join in with a rousing chorus of "Tottenham, Tottenham" while doing that funny elbow dance?

When they booked the duo, hard-of-hearing organisers are thought to have confused the phrase “sleazy cock-up” with “cockney knees up”. But they were probably still thinking of last year.


CALM down. Perhaps we've got it wrong. Could it be that the Chas & Dave booked are local after all, and are actually none other than Summer Pops' Chas Cole, the brains behind Beatles Day, and “Dave” McElhinney, big cheese of Liverpool Direct Ltd who council tenants must ring up when the boiler goes on the blink?

The one time New York marathon running mates are certainly not East End barrow boys. After all, the former knows a thing about big stages, and the latter enjoys belting out a song or two. Even if it is only in the privacy of his own, purpose built office shower.


LAST year's MSF was essentially cancelled because of roadworks, and what a lot of water has passed under the bridge since. Sandhills station has been closed and reopened, but even that has not been without mirth.

Passengers on the Northern Line will be familiar with announcements from their favourite guard on “utterly wretched, miserable and disgusting”, mornings, and advised on where to change trains if they wish to travel to Old Roan et al, “for whatever strange, bitter and twisted reason”.

And this week was no exception: “Good morning to Merseyrail Passengers. It's

the grumpy old man again. I'm sure you'll be delighted to discover that Sandhills has now reopened for those of you brave enough, or foolhardy enough, to want to travel to places like Ormskirk or Kirkby.

“But passengers are advised that the place is still a building site because they haven't yet bought enough Lego to finish it off. So those of you with pushchairs and the like will still have to change at Moorfields. Thank you”

We think the natural successor to Terry Wogan on Eurovision exists, right here on the 8.20 from Bootle Oriel Road. Or perhaps they might wish to apply for the post of Liverpool council's new head of meeja, being advertised very shortly. Such frankness and humour would surely have the city blushing - and for all the right reasons.


UNLIKE Mathew Street, health and safety is no barrier to some. Take this week's winner of Confidential's “Do As We Say, Not As We Do” award - Merseyside Police - for this interesting piece of unattended parking across a pedestrian crossing outside B&Q in Aintree.

As the Merseyside Road Safety Campaign insists: No Excuses (and, presumably, in this case, NO £60 fine and NO three points either).


SPEAKING of No Excuses, the publicly funded road safety campaign that can't seem to get its vocabulary or spelling right, there are, alas, still no tick marks with regard to their latest offering.

Very loyal Confidential readers will remember this from our opening week back in November 2006, which reminded the errant driver: “Loose your licence, loose your job.”

This week, young motorists tempted to speed, are being warned off with the following legend on buses and billboards across Merseyside:

Any Time!
Any Place!
Any Where!

Now, apart from the last couple of words, which should be one, and make no sense at all, the inherent message here is borrowed from a 1970s Martini ad. Quite how this will resonate with anyone under the age of 40, “the light ones, the bright ones” who are said to do speeding best, we do not know.

Perhaps someone should start putting their foot down.


*Solicitor E Sexie Makin coming out of an office block moments away from the Ann Summers shop in Whitechapel.

*Several cheap designer-clone shops in Church Street where, until just recently, resided long-time high street names.

*Hillary Clinton throwing chopsticks at hapless waiters in the China Garden near Walton Hospital.

One or possibly two of these is true, but we have no idea which.

Got a story that won't see the light of day anywhere else? Give Liverpool Confidential a call on 0151 708 0948.

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23 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

DespairingAugust 1st 2008.

The "ranter" who complained of bad grammar is right on the ball.Is there something about education in the city or is it now nationwide, that far too many make the most appallingly ignorant errors and if a comment is offered all one receives in reply is generally offensive and illiterate?

Only in LiverpoolAugust 1st 2008.

Chas and Dave. You couldn't make it up could you? Who booked them? The American? Not that I've got anything against a good knees up mother brown type thing, and I'm sure they'll be ok, but Why? Why? Why?

professor ChucklebuttyAugust 1st 2008.

Dig, funniest thing I have read is the comment from my cousin Flo Clucas-Nest about rail chaos for Mathew Street. It's a disgrace she says, they have had 5 years to plan for this..Ha ha By Jove she's a card and a master of irony.Don't want to spoil the surprise but I have heard that for compere, the Custard Company have booked Jim Davidson. Up the Sultan's Elephant and Round the Casa. Now if we can just get Joe Brown and the Bruvvers and Tommy Steele then instead last years cock up we can have a knees-up innit. Wotcha CoC!

Wobbly BobAugust 1st 2008.

On the plus side, people who actually want fun over the bank holiday weekend can nip across to the Dark Side (though not through the Brokenhead Tunnel which the CoC dolts will be closing) and visit the Food and Drink festival at Claremont Farm with its many stalls, top chefs giving demonstrations and its capacious beer tents!

AnonymousAugust 1st 2008.

I reckon its the Cavern who have got their hand in booking Chas and Dave, the amount of times they have performed there, they reckon its about time someone else should pay for the southerners!

Professor ChucklebuttyAugust 1st 2008.

I shall be on stage with Chas & Dave and Cilla, performing a re-myxomatosis of "Rabbit" with Echo and the Bugs Bunnymen.

DigAugust 1st 2008.

I'll be celebrating all things Scouse when I go to see Paul George John Ringo Weller at the Echo Arena in November. I hear there's going to be a big banner on The Arena that night that says 'WE DID IT!' and Mike Storey is going to be jumping up and down on the roof. Jumping on Ringo I hope if he hasn't escaped by then. We should put Ringo in Walton nick. It would be cheaper for the taxpayer rather than keeping him alive with sustinance from The Echo Arena while he's handcuffed to The Arena roof.

DigAugust 1st 2008.

I'm sure the organisers have a surprise or 2 up their sleeve. I just hope that the surprise isn't that no major Liverpool act will make a surprise appearance.

Onion BargeeAugust 1st 2008.

Have no fear, the crowds will get here on the new canal link at the Pier head. That's if the crazy Manx ram-raiders haven't destroyed it.

DigAugust 1st 2008.

Hahaha funniest thing I've read in ages that Prof. I love it. I've read it a few times and each times it makes me chuckle. What do I owe you for that hilarity?

London RoadAugust 1st 2008.

If it is, it's scarier than Jaws could ever be!

Sir Howard WayAugust 1st 2008.

Ha! An impostor! 'Phiul Mitchell' indeed! In real cocker-nee ‘jellied eels’ is pronounced “Jellid iwoowwhz”. Take off that mask, you potato-faced pearly knave!

Phil MitchellAugust 1st 2008.

Ha ha! No one leaves. You will sing Gertcha! You will eat jellied eels. This is my manor now

Barbara WindsorAugust 1st 2008.

I don't understand why we're getting Chas and bloody Dave! Is it because they are cheap and we haven't got the money because we've paid McCartney 20 mil to do a show costing £75 a ticket? Anyways, I for one wasn't complaining when Mathew Street wasn't on last year. All those chavs vomiting in the streets by 4pm. Now they are acting as if that's never happened before and getting plastic glasses ordered. Won't make any difference. There will still be rivers of sick running past The Grapes come teatime, Alan Williams standing among the babel telling everyone to feck off.Ah, Liverpool! Chas n Dave will be ****ting themselves.

AnonymousAugust 1st 2008.

I onced booked Chas and Dave for a corporate show in Southend, £20k they cost and they were rubbish.

DigAugust 1st 2008.

I reckon we should meet in the middle and have Liverpools best bands performing Chas and Daves greatest hits. I would love to see Cilla performing 'Rabbit' and The Zutons performing 'Snooker Loopy'.

Jim McCabeAugust 1st 2008.

As other posters have remarked, only in Liverpool could a Cockney novelty act & a one-hit wonder outfit (Right Said Fred) be the headliners of a festival ostensibly meant to celebrate the Beatles' legacy.To cut a lengthy rant short, the organisers had the ideal opportunity this year to do something different (less "tribute" bands, more original local acts), but they blew it. Well done, guys.Avoid Liverpool city centre over the Bank Holiday weekend, or you might just lose the will to live.

Rusty SpikeAugust 1st 2008.

So, the Cheery Cockney Chavs are to headline the Mathew Street bash...what a coup! Chalk up yet another blinding idea to celebrate Liverpool culture and music. Let's hope Chas n' Dave are hauling along some of those Pearly Kings and Queens to do a spot of Morris Dancing while errant Scousers throw pies at em. Of course, aka errant Scousers, one was cheered to read in the local rags that publicans and restaurant owners (!!) are being begged to try and and prevent mobs of marauding, drunken thugs rampaging around the Mathew Street jamboree - and the business leaders et al reckon this can best be handled by selling drinks in plastic glasses. Sure enough, that'll do it. 'Ang on, la, I can't batter yer frigging ead in 'cause I'm swigging me Chateauneuf de Pape outa a plastic mug. Sorry, la.'And one was further heartened at the way the young citizens of Liverpool have embraced Capital of Culture year down at the spanking new Arena. Seems the cops and other sundry officials are a bit miffed that drunken hooligans are brawling and behaving rather improperly. Why, it seems bunches of feisty lads (and no doubt lasses, knowing the Scouse gals as we do) fired up by booze and, ahem, we can imagine other substances, have been losing a bit of control and hammering the wee ****e out of each other, with fights erupting even in the seated area, no doubt scattering the more genteel. And it seems some blokes, clearly caught short as they say, have been urinating in the wash bowls in the toilets at the Arena. Tsk, tsk. Well, I ask you: Was Rome built in a day?Let us just pray that gaggles of wired arty farty folk don't suddenly go beserk at the Klimt exhibition or launch a minor riot in the Walker art gallery, hop-scotching through the corridors or talking loudly.Roll up, roll up, see the monkeys do their tricks. Of course Chas n' Dave could be wheeled in to sing Roll Out the Barrel and it could be played over loudspeakers as a kind of soothing backdrop to the howling mobs mewling, spewing and scrapping in our streets and concert halls...And at this stage I won't comment on Mr Larry Neild's recent discourse about the bloody Beatles.

John Lennon AirportAugust 1st 2008.

I agree. It's a load of bollocks. How many people come from London to Mathew Street Festival anyway? Apart from Chas and Dave, obviously. Is Quick-Quick Flo worried that they'll miss their train from Euston? Is that what all this is about? Will they be sitting on one of those railway see-saws coming up the west-coast line like St Trinians girls with Arfur Daly in tow. Wotcha Coc indeed!

POLOAugust 1st 2008.

Is that Sam Dingle in Macca's Shower????

Angry of AllertonAugust 1st 2008.

I like (not) that picture of the police car. Cheeky little blighters. I am on nine points now, for **** all. Going over a flyover and into a radar gun at 44mph, going through an orange light two years ago and hitting the off switch on my mobile phone, which was going off in the passenger seat, while I was at lights. Except a police van was behind and they hauled me out and did me for "texting" while driving. I'm getting really ****ed off now, thinking about it.

Manesty S. LaneAugust 1st 2008.

They're a pair of cults all right...

“Only in Liverpool…”August 1st 2008.

as the popular saying goes.

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