Mark Radcliffe

One extra pub, just for the hell of it…

We went to the Greystones last night to see Mark Radcliffe. It seems like a great pub and a lovely small venue for gigs.

I can’t say we knew what we were letting ourselves in for. The last time Paul and I saw Mark Ratcliffe he was performing in the Shirehorses in Stoke-on-Trent.

I have loved him on the radio for years, ever since my Dad used to record Mark and Lard’s 10 o’clock radio show to listen to in the mornings on the way to Thomas Cook. That was my post university purchase ledger period. It wasn’t my forte. The journey there and back was the best bit.

Most people didn’t like their morning show. I did. Because in those days if I committed to an artist of any kind it was all or nothing for me. Just like I positively rated any Billy Bragg song regardless of whether it was up beat and angry, or falsetto (yes really). I suppose in retrospect Mark and Lard seemed a bit edited, and based on what he said last night their hearts weren’t really in it but I found it all hilarious at the time.

Since then I occasionally listen to him on Radio Two and one Six Music with Stuart Maconie. He makes me laugh more than any other DJ I listen to.

Anyway we didn’t know what to expect last night but what happened was fantastic. He told anecdotes and made off the cuff remarks that were very funny as well as introducing and singing self penned songs about drinking, Manchester, London and emotions among other things. I thought it would be extremely unlikely to find a gig that me, Paul, Mum and Dad equally enjoyed. But this was it. It finished with Martin Simpson joining them on stage. We weren’t expecting that at all.

I just wish I’d taken my book to ask him to sign. Oh well at least Paul asked Richard Hawley the way to the toilet. Our brushes with fame just keep get better and better.

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