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The Liverpool Scene

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The Liverpool Scene was a poetry band, which included Adrian Henri, Andy Roberts, Mike Evans, Mike Hart, Percy Jones and Brian Dodson. It grew out of the success of The Incredible New Liverpool Scene, a CBS LP featuring Henri and Roger McGough reading their work, with accompaniment by the guitarist Roberts. Liverpool DJ John Peel, who was then working on the pirate radio station Radio London, picked up on the LP and featured it on his influential late-night Perfumed Garden show. After Radio London closed down, Peel visited Liverpool and met the band; as a consequence, they were featured in session on his BBC Top Gear and Night Ride shows, and in 1968 he produced their first LP. Four LPs were issued with Henri’s poetry heavily featured.

Despite Peel’s support the albums achieved little success, although the band did become popular on the UK university and college circuit. Their public performances included a 1969 tour when they opened for Led Zeppelin; they also toured the USA but did not attract much acclaim from US critics and audiences. Henri was described in performance as “bouncing thunderously and at risk to audience and fellow performers, the stage vibrating out of rhythm beneath him”.

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