REVIEW: Scaffold, Heswall Arts Festival, 12 Oct 2013

Now in its third year the Heswall Arts Festival came to a successful finish with a performance by the legendary Scaffold. Heswall Hall witnessed another master class performance by Messrs Mike McCartney, John Gorman, Keith Wilson and co, packed with mirth, music and lyrical finery. Shaun McCoy reviews…

The band has a great rapport with the audience who are very knowledgeable with the band’s songs and lyrics as the endearing classic Two Days Monday is performed. Mike McCartney tells the story of how the song was voted a ‘miss’ on Jukebox Jury, which was attended by Jane Asher and Spike Milligan, the latter saying: ‘If there was a comedy chart it would be No.1.’

The band performed a rousing cover of Bernard Wrigley’s Fosdykes Arise! A blistering song taken from the Fosdyke Saga play’s musical soundtrack. The Scaffold can also turn their hand to love songs like Do You Remember (said to be Twiggy’s favourite song), which has an early 20th Century feel to it – piano driven and smooth harmonies.

As well as singing and playing guitar Keith Wilson does a solo spot by regaling the audience with his own unique brand of poetry from his acclaimed book Irritable Vowel Syndrome. A book that is packed with poems littered with killer punch lines such as: ‘Like cutting carrots with the Grim Reaper’ and ‘it’s called PMT because Mad Cow disease was already taken’ (both lines from the poem – Moonlight).

Keith Wilson also gave an aesthetically charged rendition of Lilac Tree, a love song inspired by an Austin Princess car. Keith is joined on stage by Rachel Nicholas who creates the romantic backdrop with her beautiful played viola.

After performing another successful song Do the Albert, John Gorman tells the hilariously amusing story of someone who had written a snotty letter of complaint, taking offence to the song. So the band got their own back by sending the recipient’s address to the International Times, saying that back packers from around the world were welcome there.
The bigger hits were equally performed with joyful vigour as the audience sung along with great enthusiasm to Thank U very Much (Mike said the U was there before ‘text speak’).

Liverpool Lou had the audience singing and swaying from side to side before the piece de resistance – the rousingly charged Lily the Pink, a No.1 single for the Scaffold in 1968.

A brilliant end to this year’s Heswall Festival.


WORDS BY: Shaun McCoy

PHOTO BY: Eric The Fish


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