Ref NoBSUCA/ASR/1/1
CollectionAndrew Sherlock Radio Collection
TitleInterviews (Micky Finn, Stevie Faye and Jackie Hamilton)
Name of creatorSherlock, Andrew
Date1996
Duration1 hr. 15 min. 0 sec.
Extent1 sound cassette (90 min)
2 audio files Broadcast WAVE Format (BWF)
DescriptionInterviews conducted by Andrew Sherlock for 'Best of Order', a programme which looked at the history and influence of Working Men's Clubs in Merseyside. This sound cassette contains interviews with Micky Finn, Stevie Faye and Jackie Hamilton.
Side A [45 min. 0 sec.]: Sound checking of the tape [0.20] AS explains to the interviewees about the programme he is creating, about variety performances in Merseyside and how they have changed through the years and what people think of it today and that he would like to know about their experiences and memories and tells them how the interview shall go. [02.24] Micky Finn introduces himself, 26 years on the circuit, influenced by people like Jackie Hamilton and Stevie Faye amd Eddie Flanagan and Georgie Thornton [03.00] Stevie Faye introduces himself, been in the game 35 years. He started in the Tunnel hotel in the south of Liverpool, from there he went with Ernie Mac, Billy 'Uke' Scott and to the Broadway club. Clubs like this have gone now and they have to rely on pubs and ordinary social clubs. [03.56] Micky Finn talks about the Wooky Hollow Club and all acts meeting there. He then goes on to talk about other clubs [05.01] SF talks about the Temple Club in Liverpool and its hecklers. This is where acts would learn their trade. [05.32] MF talks about hecklers and how they have changed. He says that hecklers should be prepared for the response they get back. [06.34] AS asks about responses to hecklers [06.41] SF says the last heckler he had he said 'have you been to a warm climate recently, because your tongue must be sunburnt' [07.04] MF says the popular lines are 'I was like that after my first pint too' or 'You shouldn't have gone out on an empty head', but its seems now the hecklers can't take responses like this. He continues to explain how current variety acts are treated: if they are on TV they are very well respected but if they are just in the clubs there is no respect there. [07.58] SF talks about 'new' acts who try to rehearse adlibs. And he shares his opinion that acts should not pick on audience members unless the audience member has heckled them. [09.16] MF talks about entertaining the audience no matter the size because they have paid to see you [10.34] SF talks about playing the Boston in Lincolnshire and playing to one audience member. [10.54] Jackie Hamilton introduces himself, being in the game for 30 years. He is prompted by MF to talk about the current state of the variety scene in Liverpool. He says that he used to be able to get a whole weeks' worth of shows and now is lucky to get even 2 a week. [12.23] MF talks about how the structure of the clubs has also changed. Now, no entertainment will start until after 9, whereas before if you went into the venue at 8 there would be an organ playing and bingo cards to buy. [13.14] SF says that now bands are being replaced by recorded music and the atmosphere in the clubs is worse because of it. [14.40] JH-says that with musicians, there is no incentive to be good because there is 'no future in it' [15.32] SF makes a joke about fortune tellers quitting for the same reason [15.48] JH talks about clubs having such a pull that people would queue to get in [17.00] MF & JH talk about there being an increasing number of charity shows & share memories of these shows [21.15] AS asks if they have memories of their first gigs [21.22] MF says his first gig was in a pub called the cottage ,he was dared by his friends to tell jokes on stage. He was encouraged to come back the next night where he was paid, because he was out of work he carried [22.09] SF says he was working on the trains and went into the Tunnel club where there was an opera singer who was not getting a good reception. He was asked to get up and agreed to doing 15 minutes for £5, he worked for £11 a week so he was very impressed with this. The next he tried a club in St Helens, where he was the only act that turned up. He got such a good reception and £8. Within 6 weeks of doing a show With Ernie Mac he was on Opportunity Knocks. [25.09] JH says that he started in the Central Ward social club, St Anne's street. He started as a singer with funny songs, he entered a competition and came second to an elderly lady. He then went with a trio VIC (vocal, instrumental and comic) [27.38] MF talks about performing in the Atlantic is like turning back time [28.54] AS asks about the sketches they used to do [29.00] JH says they would often use props like horses and coffins [29.47] JH talks about once marrying a couple in a wine lodge who had just met and genuinely thought they were married after that night [32.13] SF talks about the worst heckler he ever had [35.01] MF talks about the lack of exposure for young acts [35.25] AS asks about the height of the variety scene and the venues they used to play [35.35] JH talks about the run of venues they were able to play a this time: Alison's, the Wooky, Hamilton, Manchester Clubs, some in North Wales [36.05] SF talks about some of the clubs that he used to work in that are now closed down [38.01] MF talks about the difference nowadays, with venues like Wembley where you are so far away from the acts and they are like a dot on stage. [39.44] JH says he thinks this kind of entertainment will make a comeback because people aren't being entertained [40.56] All three men reminisce about novelty acts that were on the circuit like Tony Bruce's who would be able to lift two men and Roy Rivers who would come on with a big bike to the stage & the ventriloquist Penny Paige [43.40] AS thanks the men and the interview ends.
Side B [29 min. 59 sec.] Micky Finn & Stevie Faye & Jackie Hamilton. [00.08] AS asks how & why the variety scene has changed and how material they produced has changed [00.51] SF says that the work situation was a big impact. At the time, everyone had jobs and so could afford the night out. It also used to be a family affair where lots of people went out but with the price of beer rising, this again becomes more difficult. [02.46] JH says that before, industry firms had their own clubs where the drinks were subsidised and would put on entertainment. Now people have to travel further, drink is expensive and so are taxis. [04.29] SF talks about the effect on TV, and while that may have given people opportunities in the past, he thinks people would want to go out more because the TV no longer provides good entertainment. [06.08] MF says that these days, audiences will often only be interested if they already know the acts from TV or other [07.11] JH talks about 'Star night's' once a month that are very popular. [08.25] MF says that its very different between audiences that get it for free and when they have to pay- they want more for their money [08.52] AS asks about their attitudes towards alternative comedy [08.59] SF says he does not find alternative comedians very funny, he thinks they rely too much on bad language and suggestion. [09.58] MF talks about comedians using swearing all the time, whereas variety comics tend to use it more as a punchline and goes on to talk say there is room for everyone on the scene. [14.24] the three men talk about variety acts that are singers telling gags when their songs don't get a good reception and the effect this has on comedians. MF talks about how comedians aren't protected enough. All three talk about the respect given to comedians on line-ups. [18.43] AS asks all three men to give a sample of their acts [19.11] SF says he'll play venues where people will come up and offer him funny stories. He says that his act is made from the fact that he is living the stories he tells. [22.10] MF says he was always influenced by SF and JH but also Eddie Flanagan, Burt Cook, Jackie Owens [22.45] JH says that he enjoys to bounce off other comics in 'Comedians' shows. No one is trying to top one another. [24.36] MF talks about 'topical comedians' and how they don't really exist if they are only doing 3 minutes of topical material, 45 minutes of this would be too much. [26.31] JH says that they do topical material but only if its natural, they don't write any of this down, such as Football - they all then make Football jokes. [29.20] MF ends the interview saying that old clubs should return and wishes everyone on the circuit good luck. [29.50] AS thanks the men for the interview and the recording ends.
NotesLPCM wave 24 bit 48kHz. Cassette digitised using Denon Cassette Deck DN-790R, Roland Edirol UA-55, and Adobe Audition CC 2014 (2015-11-30)
CategoryAudio recordings
Access conditionsAvailable for consultation at the University of Kent's Special Collections & Archives reading room, Templeman Library, University of Kent, Canterbury, CT2 7NU. Access is available via digital listening copies. The University of Kent acknowledges the intellectual property rights of those named as contributors in this recording and the rights of those not identified.
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