Holding back the years

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young man by large bins in a back alley

Something got Mick started... A young Mick Hucknall outside Pickwick's club. Copyright Francesco Mellina

With the Summer Pops in full swing a huge variety of international musicians have descended on Liverpool. The festival always attracts a lot of new big names to the city but also features many familiar faces and bands who started in the area many years ago. It was interesting to read an interview with Mick Hucknall in the Daily Post in which he reminisced about rehearsing in Liverpool in the late 1970s and early 1980s. His first band The Frantic Elevators, which he played in for seven years before forming Simply Red, was managed by Roger Eagle, one of the co-owners of the legendary Eric's club.

Inevitably another familiar figure on the Liverpool music scene at the time, the photographer Francesco Mellina, met and photographed Mick Hucknall many times during that early part of his career. Here's one of Francesco's photographs taken in a back street behind Pickwick's club. It's just one of the fascinating glimpses of bands before they were famous that you can see in the Sound and Vision exhibition at the National Conservation Centre - which also includes U2 back in 1980 when they were the opening band for Wah! Heat and Pink Military.