The Mavericks at the Kings Dock, Liverpool
On July 7th 2003, my two favourite bands came together - So to speak! Instead of visiting all the Beatle sites in Liverpool, I travelled up to 'the pool' to see The Mavericks at the 2003 Summer Pops (And it was Ringo Starr's 63rd birthday!) . I very nearly didn't make it to the show, but I'm so glad I did! The event was staged in a huge marquee or 'big top' in The Kings Dock next to the famous Albert Dock. The doors opened at 7pm. There was a separate marquee where we waited and where you could also buy merchandise and food and drink. Eventually we were allowed into the main arena to take our seats.

The CD playing before the show got everyone in the mood as it included tracks by Roy Orbison and The Beatles! Dean Johnson was the support act and he played a selection of songs and a cover of 'Drift Away'. Dean and his band were on stage for around 20 minutes. After the interval it was then time for the main act! It was as if they had never been away! - Although, it was kind of strange to think I'd seen Robert and Paul a couple of weeks earlier at the 'cosy' Ceol Castle pub! - And here they were as The Mavericks again playing in front of thousands! It was also different not seeing Nick Kane and other 'regular' performers, such as Jaime Hanna with them for the first time. I've grown use to watching the old videos I guess!!

Even though the line up had changed, the music hadn't! It was great to experience The Mavericks sound live again! They played some old favourites and a taste of the new album. One in particular stood out for me - A song called, 'Would You Believe'. Really looking forward to hearing the new CD, which is scheduled for release in September!

Their new guitarist, Eddie Perez was also on top form (playing a beautiful Rickenbacker that I'd love to own!) as was the four piece horn section. I noticed Matt from The Havana Horns was the 'head' trumpeter! Like in previous Mavericks shows, Raul had a solo spot in the show. He sang, 'Dream River' and 'Since When' from his debut album, 'Today'.

As usual, the crowd was going mad at this point! In fact, everyone was up and dancing quite early on - Everyone was up by the first chords of 'Dance The Night Away' began! It was a very lively audience and you could tell the band was enjoying being back and performing for everyone. I missed Robert's chat in between songs having seen many Road Trippers shows over the past few years.

I think Robert should have his own solo spot in the show now too! - I love his new CD, 'Audrey In A Dream'. Favourites of the night included, 'Think of Me', 'Pretend', 'What a Crying Shame' and a 'Ska' style cover of the calypso classic, 'Mary Ann'. They closed the show with 'All You Ever Do Is Bring Me Down'. Their keyboardist played the accordion for this (Which looked uncannily like my own!) and Ethan Allen joined them on stage. I could hear the accordionist practicing this song while I was waiting for the show to start, so I was really looking forward to hearing it! It was all over too soon.

A splendid time was had by all and it was nice to be able to see some of my 'Mavericks friends' from all over the country. Hi to Michelle, Richard and Sarah and a special hello to Lois who I met for the first time - They were all just a few rows behind me!

After finishing a bag of chips, we drove past the beautifully lit Liver Building and The Mersey and made our way home after a brilliant night