Contributed by LordTBT at 5:48AM GMT, 9 October 2016


Trekatape Liverpool, front

It's funny, every time I think a Brian Jacques item may be lost to history, it manages to make its way into the Redwall Wiki library.

I first discovered the existence of Trekatape Liverpool back in 2008. A participant on a Liverpool forum had posted about it, and his attempt to listen to it resulted in the cassette tape being permanently damaged.

This was the only acknowledgement of this tape I had ever seen - which is to be expected. Trekatape Liverpool was released in 1984 - this is once again one of those items that people just don't hang onto. How many even still have their CD collections from 15 years ago, much less a Liverpool cassette from over 30 years ago?

I figured encountering this tape would likely never happen. But then, lo and behold, I acquired it. Huzzah! And it seems to be in perfect condition. Indeed, the tape looks fairly new, but to avoid any chances of problems occurring, I recorded it to digital during the first playback. The audio quality came out perfect. Whew!

"Trekatape Liverpool: The Flavour of Liverpool in Words and Music" is an approximately 79 minute walking tour of the Liverpool City Centre narrated by Brian Jacques and punctuated with musical interludes featuring Brian, Liz Crampton (name mispelled in notes as Crompton), Tony Gibbons, and Greg Quirey. These brief sections tend to involve violins and/or guitar. Side One is around 45 minutes; Side Two covers the rest.

The tour begins on Lime Street in Liverpool, at St George's Hall. Brian reveals historical insights about various destinations throughout the city. It heads east, towards Liverpool Cathedral, and then tacks back west to the Pier Head near the River Mersey before circling back around, eventually finishing where the tour began, on Lime Street.

As someone who has been to Liverpool, I found the narration highly informative. In fact, I very much wish I had something like this when I was visiting the city! To keep track of the tour, I actually followed along on Google Maps, and used the Street View feature to see what I could. All of the older buildings are still there, of course, but Brian does make some references to restaurants that no longer exist, as well as businesses that have now relocated - which is bound to happen in three decades of time.

The full list of places that Brian discusses is on the Trekatape Liverpool page - they include the Philharmonic Pub, The Lyceum, and the Eleanor Rigby statue, just to name a few.

If someone knows how to configure everything into an actual mapped out tour graphic, please let me know!

Most of the musical interludes are less than a minute long, but Brian and Liz collaborated on "Maggie May," a classic Liverpudlian folk song, and I had to share it. It's the longest musical contribution on the tape, and quite a fun song. I'd like to make the entire cassette public, but copyrights make that difficult at this time.

Brian Jacques performs "Maggie May"

Brian Jacques performs "Maggie May"

And for a fun comparison, here's The Beatles performing the same song.

I've also included one of the musical interludes in that above clip, which occurs as the tour reaches Mathew Street, where the Beatles often performed. You'll note the homage in the music. It's performed by one of the other musical contributors.

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