Saturday, 29 August 2009

Mathew Street update

Europe's biggest FREE annual music festival is set to be the best yet - thanks to a new sponsorship deal with some of the world's biggest companies associated with The Beatles.

And as a result of the deal, supporters of this weekend's Mathew Street Musical Festival (August 30-31) will have a chance to win some amazing fab prizes when they answer questions posted on the official festival website which also gives full listings for the main festival and the fringe venues.

They prizes are:

A VIP trip for two to see The Beatles "Love" in Las Vegas.

A guided tour of Abbey Road Studios.

A chance to be the first in the UK to perform a Beatles: Rock Band track to thousands of people.

This fabulous celebration of the music of The Beatles, in advance of the upcoming release on 09.09.09 of The Beatles Remasters and The Beatles: Rock Band, is the result of a major sponsorship deal announced between festival organisers, Liverpool City Council, and Harmonix/MTV Games/EA, EMI Music and Cirque du Soleil.

The unique package was facilitated by Bill Heckle, a Director of Mathew Street Festival Ltd and co-founder of the annual festival which is now in its 17th year attracting up to 250,000 people to the city.

The prizes in detail are:

A VIP trip for two to see The Beatles LOVE at The Mirage in Las Vegas, including:

Flights for two to Las Vegas (capped at £1,700)
Four night hotel stay at The Mirage
Dinner for two at The Mirage
Spa treatment for two at The Mirage
Two VIP tickets to The Beatles LOVE by Cirque du Soleil
A VIP Gift from LOVE

The Beatles LOVE by Cirque du Soleil is excited to be a part of this year's festivities, in the city where all the music that inspired the magical Las Vegas production first began. "Love" has been thrilling audiences since it opened in June 2006 at The Mirage hotel, with its exuberant young cast and glorious musical soundscape, created from The Beatles' original masters by Sir George and Giles Martin.

Five pairs of tickets to a special guided tour of Abbey Road Studios

EMI Music is delighted to be supporting the Mathew Street Music Festival and celebrating the release of The Beatles Remasters in the band's home town.

"We know the fans have been waiting a long time," said EMI's Guy Hayden, "but it's been worth the wait. The music sounds better than ever and the Mini Documentaries on each album are like eavesdropping on the band in the studio. The new packaging has a wealth of marvellous rare photographs and the newly written liner notes will be fascinating for new fans and aficionados alike.''

Winners of both competitions will be announced on the Tunnel Stage, Monday 31st August, and on the festival website. Closing date for entries: Midnight on Sunday 30th August.

EMI Music have also arranged for fans attending the Beatles Week Convention at the Adelphi Hotel to get an exclusive preview of The Beatles Remasters, with playback sessions running from 11.00 a.m. to 3.00 p.m. on Sunday 30th August.
Play The Beatles: Rock Band on stage at the Mathew Street Music Festival

Harmonix/MTV Games, EA and The Beatles: Rock Band are happy to be a part of this year's festival, and look forward to taking Liverpool by storm with the most innovative Rock Band game yet. Festival goers will be the first in the UK to have a chance to play the game, with a demo version available only at HMV in the Liverpool One shopping centre on Sunday and Monday, ten days ahead of the game's release on 09.09.09. Wanna-be Beatles can try their hand at playing Paul McCartney's bass, Ringo's drums and John and George's signature guitars, not to mention the three part vocal harmonies - a first for Rock Band and an integral part of The Beatles' much-loved sound.

Visitors to HMV will also have a chance to catch a glimpse of the stunning game animation, with its faithfully recreated locations and colourful, psychedelic dreamscapes. "For the first time fans can experience the Beatles' music from the inside - as part of the band," said MTV Games Music Division SVP Paul De Gooyer. "You can experience their legendary story in an entirely new way".

The best performing band on Sunday and Monday at HMV (which can be one person to six people) will have the opportunity to reprise their winning Rock Band song live on the Derby Square stage that day, after 4pm.

Councillor Warren Bradley, Leader of Liverpool City Council, said: "We are constantly looking at ways to add to the festival's appeal, and it's fantastic to have the support of such illustrious partners as EMI Music, Cirque du Soleil and Harmonix/MTV Games/EA. Their involvement cements my belief that this is our best festival yet."

To enter the competition you need to go the the Mathew Street festival website which is

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Off license deadline

And while I am talking about dates.. a reminder that the deadline for anyone wanting to comment about the application for the off license on Garston Old Road is this Friday (28th). I can pass things on if you e mail me at but please make sure your name and address are on the message.

Garston waste plant update

That provisional date of 15th September for the committee is looking a lot more solid. I should know for sure next week and so will post again to confirm.

Read this book!

I love reading and so it's great when I discover a new author (well new to me) and realise he or she has written a few already.

Browsing among the crime novels, I have just discovered Stephen Booth - whose two main protagonists are police officers in the Peak District. Read the first one, loved it, and so am now on another - Blind to the Bones.

If you like crime novels I can really recommend this author.

I'll be giving him a big mention when I do the Radio Merseyside book review this weekend.

Monday, 24 August 2009

CRB problems

Jenny Willot has been drawing attention to the increasing delays in getting, and costs of getting, CRB checks. It seems that not only is the system proving rather expensive for organisations and/or job applicants, the delays are actually causing people to lose job offers.

Obviously we all know we need some form of checking. But I do wonder whether the CRB system as it stands needs an overhaul. Because of the work I do, and the other things I am involved in, I have had to fill in quite a few forms for checks. At one time three organisations were involved. As my check had come back from the first form I assumed it would be OK to just show that form to the other organisations. But no. Each check had to be done separately. Now as it happened this cost me nothing as the organisations were paying. But given that these included voluntary organisations who were not that heavy on the cash, it seems bizarre that a certificate (particularly if it for the enhanced CRB) just can't be used over and over again in the time frame it covers. Now I realise that it is of course possible that I could have, since getting the first check, gone off on a mad crime spree. But how likely is that?

I also know of people who have come perilously close to not taking up jobs they had wanted, interviewed for and been offered, because of the delays in the system. Not everyone is in the happy position of being able to wait for an income to start.

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Garston waste plant update

The closing date for objections (the original date was extended because of the second letter with new information) is tomorrow (13th August). However the planning department will consider objections arriving late as long as they arrive before the material is sent to the planning committee. I have been doing some checking about when the planning committee may consider this. The likely date at the moment is 15th September. This is very provisional at the moment though so my advice to anyone wanting to come to the committee is to mark this date (morning) in their diaries for now and as soon as we have hard and fast information I will post it here.

All three of the Cressington Councillors have sent in objections to the scheme and we are working with residents and residents groups to oppose the plan.

Friends of Garston Park meeting

A quick note to say that the next meeting is on Friday 18th September at 6 30pm at Long Lane Church. I will post again nearer the time with any other details. Meanwhile there is a website for the Friends which is

Garston Old Road Licensing Application update

The deadline for people commenting on this off license application has been extended. The law says that the details have to be displayed on a pale blue sheet for a given time. Because the sign went missing, the deadline has been extended to late August to give people a proper chance. I've blogged about this previously so please scroll down to see the information.