50th anniversary of Beatles on Royal Iris

Ian McNabb, Henry Priestman and more lined up for music fest on Mersey

Written by  The Confidentials | Follow @ | Wednesday, 19 September 2012 13:39

WHAT? A Yacht aboard a ferry

AS tenuous anniversaries go, the 50th anniversary of The Beatles last performance on board the Royal Iris has got to be up there.

It could have been more so: Ian McNabb last played it 27 years ago with his then band, The Icicle Works, and Henry Priestman, once of The Yachts and later The Christians, is notching up 33 years since he sailed the Mersey wave.

Yet both they and Ian Prowse will be caught up in this momentous Beatles half-century for the Iris, in a quaint sounding week of music called The Riverboat Shuffle.

Of course, it's not on the actual Royal Iris that they and The Beatles played previously. No,that's still languishing in a watery grave somewhere.

Instead the quality of Mersey is to be found on a newer boat of the same name, the venue for the music fest which opens this Saturday, September 22 and runs to September 28, also featuring a live onboard performance from The Hummingbirds.

Henry, who plays on 28 September, the 50th anniversary to the day of you know what, will be marking the occasion with the official release of the vinyl version of his debut solo album The Chronicles of Modern Life.

In addition, a jazz night featuring The Speakeasy Blues Band will acknowledge the rich history of jazz music on the ferries. Each evening performance on the famous Mersey Ferry casts off from Liverpool Pier Head terminal at 7.30pm. Fortunately there is a bar.

Throughout the festival there will also be a series of free performances on board the daily River Explorer cruises and buskers will entertain passengers at the Pier Head Ferry Terminal. Click here for £10 tickets and full info of who, what, when.

Councillor Liam Robinson, chair of Merseytravel, which owns and operates the Mersey Ferries, said: “We couldn’t let this anniversary pass.”

Meanwhile, discover Henry's top five biscuits here.