Mersey News Live magazine 1:2 October 13 2021

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Powered by LJMU journalists

October 13 2021





> For better or verse: talking poetry at News from Nowhere , p12-13





Bringing Black history to life Ensuring mental health for all Consumers count the cost 10

14 & 15

Life & Arts 10 11 12&13 15

Why we should Dance for Plants

12 & 13

Go nuts for donuts Reasons for rhyme Razzmatazz interview & review


’m pleased to welcome you to this week’s issue of Mersey News Live. It is jam-packed with news and events from across the region! We’ll kick off this week with the beginning of our coverage of Black History Month, speaking to Mandela8 about how schools can incorporate more black history into their curriculum. To commemorate World Mental Health Day, we caught up with the founder of the Sanctuary family

You heard it here first! support group and the organiser of Health Watch to talk about their recent event in Liverpool ONE. Our reporter Jack will talk you through the current situation at the docks, involving rising freight costs and how these will affect you and the price you pay for certain goods. Get the down-low on exciting events happening this week, including a dance party in the Baltic Triangle that you do not want to miss,


and an event around National Poetry Day that will leave you rhyming for the rest of the day. Find out how a former business student has started his own trendy donut shop on Smithdown, and rounding things off we have an exclusive interview with Wirral band Razzmatazz. With new editions every Wednesday, Mersey News Live is here to keep you up to date. Enjoy! Luke Pollitt, Lifestyle Reporter




Activist Angela’s legacy lives W

hile education is often seen as a neutral ground for facilitating growth, development and learning, concerns about the lack of teaching of Black history continue to be raised. In 2021, should we be more pro-active in teaching the next generations about our nation’s past?

By Sophie Moore


e can not keep dismissing black history - it’s been going on for too long now and there needs to be a change sooner rather than later.” That’s the view of a Liverpool charity which has taken it up upon itself to help educate the younger generation about black history. As it stands, it’s not compulsorily for Black History to be taught in Britain’s schools. Black history can be taught as part of the English and history curriculum in secondary schools, but whether it gets taught it up to the teachers and schools themselves. That’s why Mandela8 has launched a book loan scheme to increase understanding of diversity within schools, and ‘empower, encourage and educate’ all children

about diversity and inclusion. Ally Goodwin, a spokesperson, for Mandela8, told Mersey News Live: “Teaching young children about black history is so important. “It teaches children about equality and inclusivity from an early age, so they can go into life with a greater understanding on these topics. “We have all heard too many stories of children made to feel ashamed of their skin colour, heritage, natural hair and their identity as a whole. Through exposure to the books identified for this scheme, young Black children will be allowed to explore positive representations of Blackness and feel proud of their identity, away from all the negative noise online and across social media.” Mandela8 were gifted a collection of books by a relative of the late Angela Holligan, an activist

Books donated by Angela Holigan’s family to local schools. who was born in Liverpool 8. The collection will be loaned to local schools as part of a scheme stretching across the Liverpool City Region in her memory, launching as a part of Black History Month. Ally added: “We would also like children in schools to know who Angela was so they understand why the books were gifted in her name; this could be a discussion point in classes or be part of workshops and book reading sessions or reading support sessions with mentors. “Each book will come with stickers and an information sheet about Angela’s life and work.” She said: “The current curriculum desperately needs to change.” Neil Verdin, headteacher at Pleasant Street Primary School, Liverpool, said: “This scheme is a

valuable way to support our family of schools; celebrating the cultural diversity of our local community and beyond. “Quality texts depicting the lives of diverse role-models can serve as inspiration to children from all backgrounds. “We aim to help educate our children about their backgrounds and history from a young age, so by doing so, the children will have a strong sense of identity.” Mandela8’s initial vision is to see a permanent artwork that functions as an unique performance, conversation and contemplation space established at a Toxteth Liverpool 8 heritage site, to celebrate, commemorate and pursue the legacy of Nelson Mandela’s outstanding achievement for humanity.

We have all heard too many stories of children made to feel ashamed of their skin colour, and their identity as a whole





on through book loan scheme

We can not keep dismissing black history, there needs to be a change, sooner rather than later

Nelson Mandela’s importance to Liverpool is well documented, and in Toxteth - the area known as Liverpool 8 - Mandela was, and remains, a highly significant role model. From 2022, Wales will be introducing mandatory teaching of Black, Asian and minority ethnic histories in the new Welsh Curriculum. England, Scotland and Northern Ireland have not changed their curriculums.


ampaigners in 2020 collected signatures for an open letter to be sent to the then education secretary Gavin Williamson calling on him to make the teaching of Black history compulsory in primary and secondary school across a range of different subjects. The book scheme will initially be

Activist Angela Holligan

rolled out to 18 local schools in the DGT cluster (Dingle, Granby and Toxteth), with more to be added as Mandela8 build their collection, with plans for the scheme to cover the entire Liverpool City Region over the next two years. In the UK, critics claim the current education system remains dominated by a White Euro-centric curriculum which has all too often dismissed Black history. The appetite for an improved education system, stems from the potential for an anti-racist education to truly reflect our multi-cultural society through diverse and inclusive learning. The government argues that: “It’s for schools and teachers themselves to determine which examples, topics and resources to use to stimulate and challenge pupils and reflect key points in history”.

Books donated by Angela Holigan’s family to local schools.





Mental health in

A marketplace of mental health services set up in Liverpool earlier this week showcased the services on offer to the community. AMNA AKRAM reports


ealth Watch is a UK charity which promotes science, integrity and most importantly gives a voice to the people. Their aim is to understand the needs and concerns of users who use health and social care services, to help provide a better experience for the future. They organised the event in the heart of Liverpool One to coincide with World Mental Health Day. It was an opportunity for several mental health and wellbeing services to come together and demonstrate what they can provide for people if they ever need to reach out for help or someone to talk to. Activities such as yoga, tai chi and fusion Bollywood dancing occurred throughout the day to demonstrate to people some of the stuff they can do to help maintain their wellbeing and feel good about themselves. Steph Gregory, the organiser of Health Watch Liverpool, emphasised on how the event was a great occasion to communicate with others: “A lot of the services have

had to dramatically change the way that they’ve operated throughout the pandemic, so it’s been a great opportunity for those services to come together to swap contact details and look at pooling resources. For many of the organisations today it’s been the first time since last February that they’ve done an event and spoke to the public face to face.’’ She went on to say some of the issues that arose in the pandemic which need to be addressed: “We have seen a dramatic rise in young people around eating disorders and we’ve heard from people who were already receiving mental health treatment because they haven’t been able to access those services as they would normally have accessed them as a lot of stuff went online, it’s meant that they have moved backwards rather than forwards in their recovery or their ability to manage their condition.” One of the feelings that people around the world have experienced the most during the pandemic is loneliness.

In efforts of many to keep the public safe and get back to life before Covid, has meant a lot of individuals have not been able to see loved ones and friends for long periods of time putting life on a pause which has resulted into isolation anxiety for many. Sanctuary Family Support was one of the organisations to promote their services on Monday. They deal with understanding issues facing substance misusers and their families and how to tackle them.


addy Vaz, founder of Sanctuary family support, talked about some of the experiences people faced in lockdown: “We have had a lot of people who have got alcohol and drug problems but it has been more about their mental health during the lockdown worrying about what’s going to happen with this pandemic and if they are ever going to come out of this place.” She went onto say that support is now available more than ever with


their free confidential service: “We are giving information out to people on the dangers of alcohol and drugs and the effect it has on mental wellbeing and saying exactly what we do in our service and telling people if they really want help, we are here to offer one to one counselling sessions.” World Mental Health Day takes place each year on October 10 to raise awareness of mental health issues across the globe. As the COVID-19 pandemic has spread rapidly, it has had a long-lasting impact on everyone’s mental health in different ways that couldn’t have been predicted since the early stages of lockdown. The theme for this year’s event is ‘mental health in an unequal world’ announced by the World Federation for Mental Health. Discussions on mental health and inequality have been consistent in the past few months as access to mental health services remain unequal between the wealthy and poor, whilst also taking into consideration factors such as




an unequal world

Male suicide rate has increased by 40% in the UK

gender, race, sexuality, age, poor housing, and lack of employment opportunities. The Health Foundation’s analysis identifies the correlation between unemployment and poor mental health. In January 2021, 43% of unemployed people were at risk of having poor mental health, compared to 27% of people in employment. NHS figures show that black people are more than four times as likely as White people to be detained under the Mental Health Act. This racial disparity brings upon a question of its own: why are these health inequalities there in the first place? Thoughtful conversations are now taking place on how mental health services can become more accessible to ethnic minorities in the UK. Now that we are slowly easing back into normality within society it has meant people of all backgrounds and ages can receive the mental health support, they require face to face. It’s also true that not one size fits all when approaching an individual’s mental health or well-being.

Health Watch workers setting up their stall in the marketplace in Liverpool ONE





‘The people will ult suffer as freight co Freight interest rates have exploded by up to six times, and companies are turning to freight to transport goods amid border check crisis as JACK MCGAHAN explains


t is crunch time for imports of food, and other perishable items, which are now arriving via Liverpool’s docks rather than through the traditional land borders of Dover, Folkstone and Hull. Already, freight interest costs have sky-rocketed because of the switch and have led to higher prices and gaps on supermarket shelves. But now border checks - which were supposed to have been introduced in March 2021 but were pushed back for six months - are due to be implemented. As a result, the government has a very big dilemma on their hands. Do they delay the formal border checks further or introduce them now? If they implement the checks now, as planned, it could send the UK’s goods

“Interest rates are up 600%”

industry into further chaos. After COVID and the ramifications of Brexit, the UK border checks has taken an enormous shock to the system and simply cannot cope. It’s simply saturated beyond all measure, which results in the fuel crisis and food shortages which are being experienced now. An associate of CLdN Cobelfret, a leading company in bulk shipping, has confirmed that the freight rate has gone up 600% over the past year. He explains: “The reasons are plain to see, especially for perishable goods. Amid all the chaos at the land border checks, companies simply cannot afford to allow produce to rot because of the delays, and by delays I mean days if not weeks.” He adds: “Go back eight to ten

years, take a company like Morrison’s, for example. The ordering department would know exactly when to order a new batch of tomatoes, when the batch would be shipped and when it would arrive. This is no longer the case, because timings are all out of sync with set-backs and have become completely unpredictable. As a result, the freight trade for perishable goods has soared.” So how exactly does the freight movement of goods now operate? The associate explains: “It starts by getting a truck delivering a load to Lisbon or Santander where it is then put on a ship, the ship is now going to the Seaforth docks where it’s unloaded and arranged to collect by a given company.” For the time being, this is a viable option as companies can take advantage of the UK government delaying the introduction of formal border checks on goods entering the UK. The checks were supposed to be

Freight ship in transit carrying containers

introduced in March 2021 but were pushed back for six months. The government have a dilemma on their hands now. Do they delay the formal border checks further or introduce them now? If they implement the checks now, as planned, it could send the UK’s goods industry into further chaos. What then does the massive spike in freight prices mean for the average person living in Britain? It’s quite a straight-forward process in fact. If the freight costs have gone up by such a degree, the goods companies like supermarkets will ultimately have to increase the sale price. Just as people are struggling to cope with the spike in fuel prices, the British public will at some stage be given the double blow by a spike in certain products. Fuel prices in the North West spiked to around £1.40 per litre. The same thing will happen with perishable goods imported to the UK.





timately osts sky-rocket’ This week has already seen the price of coffee and baked beans increase. On top of that, the world is crawling out of a global pandemic, other nations however, are not experiencing the exodus from the European Union. In terms of the average British person though, who has not seen a wage increase and perhaps been on furlough during the COVID lockdown, how will they be reasonably expected to afford the impending goods spikes?

‘A global pandemic is is ideal to keep the people distracted from the governments failings with Brexit’ The people of Liverpool explained their views on the developments. University student, Paul Keating, 22 explained: “I wouldn’t pay those prices, it is as simple as that. If the price of Spanish tomatoes suddenly spike, well I won’t be eating Spanish tomatoes. It’ll be something else, something I can afford.” Wavertree resident John McGee, 56 added: “I remember a similar thing happening in the 1970s, when the

price of a Yorkie bar would go up 20% year on year because of inflation. The bottom line is, we didn’t eat Yorkie bars.” Baltic Triangle gym-owner David Ledder, 37 said: “It doesn’t surprise me one bit. In fact, I’m convinced the government were over the moon when COVID came along. A global pandemic is ideal to keep the people distracted from their failures with Brexit. I fully expect the country to slide.” On the other hand, the Merseyside docks have seen an increase in traffic, which can only benefit the area.The local economy has taken a shot in the arm, considering the city has now lost all of the EU funding it received before Brexit. Although it may be short-lived, it certainly will give a much-needed boost in optimism in these difficult times. Here in lies another problem. Food waste. If people decide that these types of perishable goods are out of their price range and refuse to buy them, what then happens? We are already living in a society where food waste is a serious concern, particularly considering the amount of people going hungry, both in Britain and worldwide. Ultimately, it appears that the government is stumbling from one disaster to another without any guide or strategy and this approach does not seem to be changing soon.


Shipping containers (above) Seaforth Docks, Liverpool (below)





Why having a boogie could save the planet BY ELLIE ROCHELL


J Duo ‘Dance for Plants’ is holding a dance party at Checkpoint Charlie in the Baltic Triangle this Saturday. With a devotion to music and eco-friendly events, the two told Mersey News Live: “Since our first party in February 2020 things have really grown in a big way, much more so than either of us had anticipated!” Dance for plants was set up by Sam Forryan, 28, from Watford and Emily Shinagawa, 25, from Japan but brought up in Sussex in February 2020, just before the Covid-19 pandemic took over. Their passions lay within music and environmental causes, and they just so happened to find the perfect way to combine the two. Their tagline is: ‘Global Grooves for Plants and People’, six simple words which truly encompass what they’re all about. Having met in Manchester as students, Sam and Emily started DJ’ing for fun. They moved to Liverpool together, just six months prior to Covid-19, Sam said: “Working with local businesses has made us feel really welcome and part of the community.” The pair hold dance parties featuring their favourite tracks from all over the world, including Japanese acid jazz, Colombian psych-rock, Afro-Cuban fusion and Pakistani disco re-works. Not only this, for every ticket they sell a tree gets planted in Scotland and the remaining funds get donated to other organisations. Although not long after they began their environmental journey, the Coronavirus pandemic halted all the work they had planned to take place. So, throughout the past year and a half, they have taken part in litter picking events and even more to continue their work to better the planet. Not only this, but the pair have also been creating podcast episodes and new tracks since the outbreak of Covid-19. Sam told MNL: “We talked about and played the music we were loving at the time and also environmental issues that we thought were interesting, such as rewilding and plastic in the ocean.” Throughout the pandemic, Sam spoke of how he, amongst many other people, felt disappointed by the government. But he believes “The answer is not to be idle and complain but to do something about it! If through our small actions,

and through working with local businesses and charities, can encourage people to collaborate and make positive changes, then over time this can have a ripple effect that can lead to real change.” Their ultimate goal is to host and run sustainable parties while also aiding environmental charities to plant trees and to remove CO2 at scale from the atmosphere. They are partnered up with the long running charity, World Land Trust, who have been protecting our planet since 1989. Their work is well known, one of their patrons being Sir David Attenborough. Working alongside companies just like Dance for Plants, World Land Trust has raised over £25 million towards protecting almost one million acres of threatened habitats. They also work with ‘The Future Forest Company’, an organisation committed to re-forestation and researching Biochar and Enhanced Weathering. They aim to plant 50 million trees in the UK alone by 2025. With four forests in Scotland already, they are well on the way to reaching their goal.

emphasis on being so aggressively cool - a safe space where there’s room to dance, room to chill, and where you could hear all kinds of music that you might not hear anywhere else!” The two remain in full-time employment but continue their pioneering work into the future of dance parties. Their event at the Baltic is on Saturday 16 October from 4pm-12am. A Slower Space will also have a stall selling a variety of houseplants at the event, Dance for Plants said: “It’s really exciting to have such a well-loved independent business working with us and we’re looking forward to seeing what they’ll bring on Saturday, we’ll certainly be taking home a plant or two with us!” Tickets available through the ‘Resident Advisor’ site.


s well as sporting an environmental passion, Dance for Plants also frequently works close at hand with many Liverpool independent brands, organisations and charities. Some examples include RASA Merseyside (a counselling charity for rape and sexual assault victims), Planet Patrol (a non-profit organisation that have picked up litter all over the globe) and A Slower Space (an independent lifestyle store based in Penny Lane). The brand has also started selling t-shirts with their graphic designs on in support of Medical Aid for Palestinians, they created them with ‘Space to Escape’ a Liverpool-independent printing company. When asked about their continual work with local independent businesses, Sam said: “Supporting and working with local businesses is absolutely vital to what we do.” Although their priorities lay within the charitable donations from their work, Sam and Emily are also truly in this for the music. Their events are known for featuring an eclectic range of music, Sam told MNL: “I think that the dance music scene is so heavily commercialised, we want our parties to be a step back from that, with less


Above: Emily and Sam Below: Sam visiting one of the trees they planted in Scotland.




Bake it till you make it!

Always fresh and always fried - the pandemic left everyone in a time of uncertainty, so that’s when Anthony Polanowksi put his a-glaze-ing talent to work … baking up treats for the sweet tooths of Liverpool. SOPHIA SMITH reports


fter being furloughed while working part time at John Lewis, Anthony took up baking and now owns a tasty business on Smithdown Road in Liverpool. The business management student managed to launch ‘Decent Donuts’ from scratch during free time in lockdown. Anthony said: “I’d never made a cake in my life before lockdown. One thing led to another and I started making donuts at home and my family and friends said I should start selling them because they were so good. It boomed overnight.

It was a massive risk and investment

Loaded Jammie Dodger Donut

Decent Donuts Owner Anthony Polanowksi

“I was sick of going into places and receiving rubbish service or not the best food. At cafe chains, you pay a premium price but you don’t always get that back in the service or products. I wanted to break that stigma.” Anthony runs the business with his partner Adam, mum and brother and used savings to make his dream a reality, with no financial help except a student loan. “It was a massive risk and investment on my part taking on the shop premises and especially going into an industry I haven’t been in before.” Back in March, Anthony decided to give back to the community where he donated boxes full of donut treats

to Aintree hospital as a gesture of appreciation for the hard work and support of the NHS. How w‘hole’some! The business also participated in a Macmillan Coffee Morning on the 24th September where all profits were donated to Macmillan, a charity close to Anthony’s heart, customers were asked for a none-compulsory £1 donation. Keep baking the world a better place! Each donut is freshly made every morning and take a 3-4 hour process! Every donut is also individually cut by hand…so much time is spent into a delicious masterpiece that will be scoffed in two bites!

Free donuts for Aintree Hospital NHS workers

Donut worry! Donuts are not the only mouth watering delicacies served, Anthony offers a variety of flavours to tickle everyone’s taste buds. From triple chocolate red velvet cookies, white chocolate rocky road, to pumpkin spice lattes! Perfect for the beginning of autumn alongside the Halloween treats Anthony is preparing for the spooky season.. If these offerings can’t get you

Anything Kinder Bueno related, people love!

excited to embrace the holiday spirit and indulge in some new donuts, nothing can. But make sure to grab these treats soon- but dough not worry if you miss them, Anthony and the gang will be up at dawn for the fresh set tomorrow. Grab a donut (or a dozen) next time you get a sweet craving at 232 Smithdown Road, L15 5AH, open 12pm to 5pm, Tuesday to Sunday.


Red Velvet Magic Star Cookie

Percy Pig Donut

Double-choc Nutella topped Blondies




You're a poet - and you don't know it and The Jacaranda provide an opportunity for participants to enhance and express their passion towards poetry. With the profound success of poets such as Maya Angelou, literature has taken a mainstream stance on political and cultural issues. To investigate, I visited the notfor-profit radical and community bookshop “News from Nowhere”. A unique aesthetic and peculiar name has always given me an interest in the Bold Street store. To satisfy my curiosity, I chatted to Cate Simmons, a bookseller at News from Nowhere. She explained that the bookshop initially opened in 1974 on Manchester Street before relocating and has a ‘no boss, no owner’ attitude. “We're run collectively by a workers' co-operative and are committed to social justice - we hope that the literature we stock empowers and inspires people to make positive changes in the world - from challenging the power of corporate capitalism to breaking down prejudiced attitudes to others and ourselves.”



o you ever catch yourself unintentionally rhyming during a conversation? Congratulations, you’re a poet! In one form or the other, poetry has been around for thousands of years. Despite the language used nowadays being slightly different to what any old Tom, Dick or Harry wrote back in the 14th century, the meaning, style, and passion within the poems are still found today. To coincide with National Poetry Day, I set off to explore the literature Liverpool has to offer - as well as dipping into some poetry for pleasure for the first time. October 7 was official National Poetry Day, and with that began my journey of learning about the literary magic and beauty that is poetry. Liverpool City Centre is filled with cultural and literary gems that host a variety of events and workshops. Venues such as Everyman Theatre

Inspired by the title of an 1890 William Morris utopian socialist novel, the bookshop has been a member of the Alliance of Radical Booksellers since 2011, along with 40 other bookshops. During my trip to the bookshop, I explored various genres and came across a wide range of poetic and literary publications. However, the shop was not able to host an event for National Poetry Day, as Cate explained: “Sadly, we didn't do anything specific for National Poetry Day this year, as we've been a bit too stretched and short staffed to organise anything. But we always have a fantastic selection of new and recommended poetry listed on our website, and a good range on display in the shop. “We have both anthologies and poetry books by individual poets we stock books from poets from all around the world, and plenty of local

writers, too.” Finally, to bring my exploration to a close, I had a go at reading a couple of poems myself. My choices were based on the works of poets around the Merseyside area. In my research, I found that Liverpudlian influence was prevalent during the 1960s. Roger McGough and Adrian Henri are amongst the poets of Liverpool whose work had been described as ‘characterised by its directness of expression, simplicity of language, suitability for live performance and concern for contemporary subjects and references.’ So, if you are a stranger to poetry or not one for literature, have a browse to see what’s out there. Better still, have a go at writing one yourself. You never know, you might become the next Edgar Allan Poe - or close enough.


bo News from Nowhere

Poetry and Literature section at News from Nowhere





Meet the city’s poetic trio Brian Patten Age: 75 Edited and produced the Underdog magazine at just 16

Adrian Henri 1932-2000 Founder of poetry-rock group The Liverpool Scene 'Sometimes it happens' by Brian Patten 'Love is’' by Adrian Henri

And sometimes it happens that you are friends and then You are not friends, And friendship has passed. And whole days are lost and among them A fountain empties itself.

Love is you and love is me Love is a prison and love is free Love’s what’s there when you’re away from me Love is…

'Mrs Moon' by Roger McGough Mrs Moon sitting up in the sky little old lady rock-a-bye with a ball of fading light and silvery needles knitting the night

Brian Patten

© Chris Gleave

Adrian Henri

Roger McGough

© My Poetic Side

Roger McGough Age: 83 Author of over a 100 books of poetry for adults and children

© Nick Wright Photography



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New Brighton boys reviving the blues

By LUKE POLLITT he blues never really died. They just moved over the water. Jiving their way over the River Mersey, Wirral band Razzmatazz are crashing onto the rich scene that is the Liverpool music scene. And they are not going unnoticed. Having recently signed with Merseyside based record label Evol, the group of lads are gaining traction and it is no secret as to why. You don’t have to look much farther than the frontman, Will Robinson. The New Brighton native brings buckets full of energy onto the stage with him. A perfect blend of Presley and Morrison, Robbo captivates the crowd with moves that wouldn’t look out of place if he was next up on the Ed Sullivan show. Armed with his maraca, Will forcibly shakes the groove into all those who dare listen, strong vocals lend themselves perfectly to the old-style rock and roll that the band blesses everybody with. Whilst catching up with Will, he told MNL about what it’s like to finally getting stuck in with gigs: “Since we started really getting tunes together, I was so desperate to get out on stage. For me personally I don’t feel like I’d be able to show people what the music is really like. Don’t get me wrong though, being in the studio, recording tunes is always an experience, but nothing is like being on stage and putting on a performance.” And put on a performance they do. For lead

Kynaston, known as ‘Kyno’. After listening to him jam for less than a minute it’s clear to see he is something special. Since a very young age Kyno has been extraordinarily gifted on his guitar, he told MNL: “I’ve always loved it, but I really feel the last couple of years have brought me to a peak. I’ve been much more focused on finding the sound I want to play. People like Clapton properly inspired my direction. But nothing comes close to the blues. Hands the genre I draw on the most.” It’s the way Ben manages to merge the traditional emotions of blues into a raw rock and roll blend. It is such an exciting listen. During their support slot in Jimmy’s, Bold Street, last week the revellers were treated to a barrage of authentic rock and roll, with a dab of funk for good measure, right from the off. From the moment Will bounced on stage, arms raised in a “lets ‘av’ it” attitude everyone knew

they were in for a performance. The rumble of the bass guitar opened the first score. Despite being my first time hearing it, the song felt almost instantly recognisable. The bluesy riff and cut-throat lyrics injected energy into the intimate crowd in the underground venue. Will’s personality added to the electric feeling in the crowd, dancing round the stage with a Bez like attitude and joking with the crowd. What struck me most however was the way the band interacted with each other. It wasn’t entirely obvious at first, but you could see the band glance at on and other with the largest of smiles. You just knew the lads were having the time of their lives.

Facts of the Razz

This taste of performing has got me hooked

Will and the boys between songs at Jimmy’s last week

Since debuting at the Future Yard festival earlier this summer, the group have been performing regularly around New Brighton’s recently renovated Victorian Quarter, in and around Victoria Road. This includes a weekly residency at bar and record shop, Rockpoint Records. Earlier this month the band performed at the opening of The Anti-Super-Supermarket, also on Victoria Road. This venue, previously a home to Budgens supermarket, has been revamped into a niche market and gig area. If you haven’t already checked out the Victorian Quarter in New Brighton, I cannot recommend it enough. The same goes for Future Yard in Birkenhead. As their saying goes, the fututre IS Birkenhead. Look out for Razzmatazz in the future. Take it from me, you will be entertained.

Ben Kynaston taking the roof off Jimmy’s last week

1. Formed in the auntmn of 2020, Razzmamatazz started out of a basement in Kensington 2. The proudly Wirral bred band perform weekly in Rockpoint Records, New Brighton 3. Both Will and Ben went to the same school together and have been friends for what they say is “far too long already” 4. Alongside the band, Will is also doing a degree at LJMU.

Photos © Luke Pollitt 15

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