Top 10 tracks for Labour Party conference in Liverpool
Top 10 tracks for Labour Party conference in Liverpool

The Labour Party conference begins Saturday 24th September – Liverpool is the host city.

As such Labour Party member Andy Furlong has put together a Liverpool Top 20 songs… of course these things are controversial… comments please!10

Top 10 tracks for Labour Party conference in Liverpool
Top 10 tracks for Labour Party conference in Liverpool

Comments /suggestions please!

Here’s the list – in no particular order:

Big in Japan – Big in Japan

Echo & the Bunnymen – Villiers Terrace

Dalek I Love You – Holiday in Disneyland

The Teardrop Explodes – Books

Wah – Better Scream

Wild Swans – The Revolutionary Spirit

Care – Flaming Sword

Dead or Alive – Misty Circles

Half Man Half Biscuit – The Trumpton Riots

The LA’s – Looking Glass

CAST – Fine Time

The Farm – Groovy Train

The Yachts – Suffice to Say

OMD – Almost (Electricity ‘B’ side)

Frankie Goes to Holllywood – Two Tribes (was tempted to offer up something by the Spitfire Boys but they were crap!)

China Crisis – African and White

Shack – Natalie’s Party

Pale Fountains – There’s Always Something on my Mind (An earlier incarnation of the legendary Mick Head)

The Lotus Eaters – First Picture of You

Apollo 440 – Stop the Rock

Dead 60’s – Riot Radio

And despite my strict adherence to the “No Elvis, Beatles or the Rolling Stones in 1977” school of punk purism, I guess I should acknowledge that the Beatles did start something. So I’ll include Revolution.

Finally, I recall that Declan McManus grew up on Murkeyside and cut his musical teeth there, so this list would not be complete without:

Elvis Costello – Tramp the Dirt Down (I certainly will!)

That’s twenty three tracks and it needs some thinning out.

Discuss comrades… Discuss!

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  1. I’d consider a wider selection of Pete Wylie… ‘Come Back’ by PW & The Oedipus Wrecks, ‘Story of the Blues’ by JF Wah, ‘Come Back’ by The Mighty Wah.

    Deaf School must be in there – ‘What A Way To End It All’ or ‘Where’s The Weekend’.

    Alternative Dalek I Love You say ‘Freedom Fighters’?

    Mick Head/Paleys/Strands *must* be represented.

    Personally if I was choosing 10 bands I’d go with…

    Beatles, Shack, Bunnymen, Wah, Deaf School, Lightning Seeds, Dead or Alive, Frankie, The La’s, & Gerry and the Pacemakers

  2. Does Birkenhead count as Liverpool then? If so, then I would like to nominate a far better and possibly more appropriate Half Man Half Biscuit song to that listed: “Turned Up, Clocked On, Laid Off”, which uses their trademark tragicomedy to great effect to describe what is likely to happen to a hell of a lot of us under the coalition government…

  3. Unf*ckinbelievable no-one has suggested The Real Thing ‘Children of the Ghetto’.

    How can you overlook the Real Thing. Their 1977 album ‘4 From 8’ is amazing. Shame on you all!!!!

    Liverpool is alright but it ain’t all-white.

    • The Real Thing?! Of course. Never heard the Children of the Ghetto album though have read about how good it is on a few occasions. I’ll make a point of hearing it straight away. I’ve always had a massive soft spot for The Real Thing’s ‘You To Me Are Everything’. With that in mind here’s my revised list of 10 bands I\’d go with…

      Beatles, Shack, Bunnymen, Wah, Deaf School, Lightning Seeds, The Real Thing, Frankie, The La\’s, & Gerry and the Pacemakers

      (Sorry Pete Burns)

  4. PS. Best CURRENT Liverpool band in my opinion:


    Instrumental, admittedly, but I reckon a bit of sweeping Mogwai-esque drama would be a fine accompaniment to someone taking to the conference podium for a defining speech…

    • Oh Barry, you need to know more about the Real Thing if you think that. Eddy Ammo wrote an amazing song about race ‘Man Without a Face’ in 1967. Spike Lee put one of their songs into one of their movies. Their ‘4 From 8’ album is a great social document; originally was to be called ‘Liverpool 8’. It’s from 1977; check it out. I interviewed him a few years ago, he reckons Liverpool is “institutionally racist”. The way his band have been marginalised is a reflection of that, perhaps?

  5. The more I think about it, the more I reckon ‘Come Back’ has to be in there. That’s a request for the return of the original values of the Labour Party to come back. Ed Milibands’s declaration to the TUC yesterday that he won’t be supporting strike action left me scratching my head at exactly how Labour meaningfully differentiates itself from the other two main parties. ‘Blue Labour’ won’t win back voters. The Labour Party should stand for ordinary workers and oppose globalised capitalism. All this post-Blair pro-market stuff sticks in my throat. England has a rich tradition of attempting to hold those with greater economic power to account. Labour was, and should be again, part of that tradition. Miliband appears to have forgotten that. Never were the lyrics more apposite….”As some are striving to survive, the others thrive, Reaching the realm of no return I don’t want charity, just half a chance and it’s all up to you, yes it’s all up to you”. Come Back!

  6. So many tracks to chose from, many having already been suggested – restricting myself to just 10 I would go for;

    Echo & The Bunnymen \’The Cutter\’ – Sheer pop brilliance, unsurpassed in the following 28yrs

    The Mel-O-Tones \’I Walked With A Bugs Bunny Bendy Toy\’ – Schizoid lunacy committed to vinyl

    Pink Industry \’Enjoy The Pain\’ – Hauntingly beautiful music from the best bits of Big In Japan

    Hambi & The Dance \’To Late To Fly The Flag\’ – More pop brilliance, a signpost for how Wah would eventually sound.

    El Toro! \’The Boss Sound\’ – The sound of Liverpool now.

    The Chuddy Nuddies \’Do The Chud\’ – The Yachts in disguise, bit of a guilty pleasure this one

    Pink Military \’Did You See Her\’ – Between Big In Japan and Pink Industry was Pink Military

    Those Naughty Lumps \’Iggy Pops Jacket\’ – With a title like that, how could you go wrong?

    Ladytron \’Destroy Everything You Touch\’ – Because we want Korova to return, where else would we get to hear the Top 10

    Nightmares In Wax \’Black Leather\’ – Pre Dead Or Alive, living circus Pete Burns was a force to be reckoned with.

  7. I guess it’s time I joined the debate… Crowd-sourcing from my Labour colleagues, I found a disconcerting level of enthusiasm for ‘Fine Time’ by Cast, a sprinkling of Elvis Costello songs, ‘You Spin Me Right Round’, ‘There She Goes’ and, er, ‘Lily the Pink’ by Scaffold (thanks for that, Jamie). And Badfinger (half Welsh, half Scouse). At which point I decided that it was probably better to leave the list-making to Andy. Oh, and someone else – not an MP – suggested Carcass.

    The overwhelming winner from MPs however was ‘Altogether Now’ by the Farm, nominated by Tom Watson amongst others, and probably the least cringeworthy song played in the Labour conference hall in recent years… And then the Farm themselves joined in the debate on Twitter, and suggested Shack ‘Pull Together’.

    As for me, I reckon seeing as this is a party conference, ‘Story of the Blues’ from the Wah! archive and ‘The Cutter’ from Echo + the Bunnymen. ‘Show of Strength’ is probably my favourite Bunnymen track (“your golden smile, would shame a politician…”) but we have a hypothetical audience to please here, so ‘The Cutter’ it is.

    Always had a soft spot for ‘Thank You’ by the Pale Fountains. It reminds me of ‘Lovers Concerto’ by the Toys. Sickly sweet, but joyous.

    ‘Justified and Ancient’ could be played in tribute to those senior politicians who have retired from the frontline in the past year (Alistair Darling, Jack Straw, Alan Johnson, and of course Gordon) I assume we’re allowed Bill Drummond as an honorary Scouser, and Jimmy Cauty as a proper one, aren’t we?

    Yes to ‘Trumpton Riots’ though we’ll probably get accused of making light of the riots… (The Mail on Sunday has already been in touch with me on a tip off that we’re all going to be dancing to ‘Tramp the Dirt Down’, thanks to Andy’s list). I’m tempted to tell them that we’re kicking off the Women’s Conference on Saturday by playing Big in Japan’s ‘SCUM’.

    This mash up of Fad Gadget with Dalek I Love You’s “Heaven was Bought for Me” is great…


    Given Labour’s sentimental streak, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if this year the singing of the Red Flag and Jerusalem at the end of Conference wasn’t supplemented by ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’… though Andy Burnham has threatened to stage a walk-out if it is. He’s an Everton fan.

  8. good suggestions here, particularly The Mighty Wah! – ‘Come Back’…

    how about this from new Liverpool band Killaflaw?


    or a bit too ‘old Labour’?


  9. I love the way people always have to infer that missing out a ‘black record’ in a list of records is somehow racist. Maybe the compiler of this list preferred the other 20 records and is not a member of the BNP? maybe they felt comfortable enough with themselves to actually put down their favourite songs without feeling the need to be tokenistic?

    Is the big Real Thing fan the same Dave Haslam who came to half fame by doing the very white student disco night at the Hacienda, pushing out the far superior champion of black music Greg Wilson out and writing out the most important DJ of the period Mike Pickering from the narrative.

    Pickering played acid house whilst Haslam played the Pastels…that’s the Real Thing!


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