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A Sense of Place

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1. Title Title of document A Sense of Place - Scouse Pop
2. Creator Author's name, affiliation, country Paul Skillen; University of Chester; United Kingdom
3. Subject Discipline(s) Musicology
4. Subject Keyword(s) Liverpool music scene; scouse pop; art pop
6. Description Abstract The purpose of this chapter is to document the influence of the city on its bands. Liverpool in the 1970s was a city in decline, industries such as international trade, shipbuilding and manufacturing hit heavily by successive recessions in the 1970s. The context was not helped by the rise of Thatcherism in the same period, an ideological revolution that placed austerity, privatisation and tough love at the centre of public policy, policy that petered down to the local communities that shaped the ambitions and dreams of teenagers. As Gary from China Crisis indicates, ‘Kirkby was like a social experiment’, a social experiment that followed on from the recent social experiment of slum clearances.

In this sense Liverpool was no different from other port cities on the Irish Sea – places such as Dublin and Glasgow suffering similar effects to varying degrees. It may also be the case that Liverpool shares with these cities a sense of detachment and uniqueness from their surroundings, while also encouraging romantic notions of self- connected to an outward looking sense of otherness. It has been well documented that Liverpudlians have a strong sense of place, a sense of place that often gets mistaken for arrogance and conceit. But this sense of uniqueness can make for great art, art that, when combined with ambition, could lead to commercially successful enterprises.

The interviews with the bands document in various ways how the city and its troubles influenced their ambitions, careers and even their sound. This chapter describes this influence, putting the narrative of the band members at the heart of the story. Included in the stories are how the city impacted on the bands via factors such as:

• Immigration

• Internationalisation

• A culture of self-sufficiency and do-it-yourself

• A large unemployed and underemployed teenage suburban population

• A relatively small and self-sustained music community that developed in isolation from other cities

While the meeting of musical art and commerce was a process repeated across Northern cities - The Smiths and New Order in Manchester, the Human League and Heaven 17 in Sheffield, Postcard in Glasgow - it was particularly noticeable in the City of Liverpool, a city living in the shadow of the Beatles, and arguably worst-hit by economic mismanagement and the soon-to-come Thatcherite revolution. The chapter should shed some light on the ways in which the city shaped and ultimately formed its set of musical auteurs.
7. Publisher Organizing agency, location Equinox Publishing Ltd
8. Contributor Sponsor(s)
9. Date (YYYY-MM-DD) 29-Oct-2018
10. Type Status & genre Peer-reviewed Article
11. Type Type
12. Format File format PDF
13. Identifier Uniform Resource Identifier
14. Identifier Digital Object Identifier 10.1558/equinox.24083
15. Source Journal/conference title; vol., no. (year) Equinox eBooks Publishing; Scouse Pop
16. Language English=en en
18. Coverage Geo-spatial location, chronological period, research sample (gender, age, etc.) Liverpool,
19. Rights Copyright and permissions Copyright 2014 Equinox Publishing Ltd