Saturday, 20 November 2010

Scaffold to China

You may have seen our new Prime Minister brown-nosing in China and so you must be wondering what - oh what - is Wirral doing to prop up Anglo-Chinese links?

I am happy to report that we have done our bit - we sent in The Scaffold.

No! Not this kind of scaffold, silly!

Nor the one on the right.

(I suspect the Chinese are quite capable of rustling up something like this themselves.)

No! I mean the popular beat combo from the 1960's - The Scaffold, who of course had a lot of Chinese influences...

Liverpool Lu

Gin Gan Gu Li

Lee Li the Pink

Fang Yu Very Much (for the Shanghai plastic)

Of the three members of the group, only Roger McGough has sodded off to London, and anyway he never lived in Wirral to my knowledge, but Mike McCartney (his kid brother was in another beat combo) and John Gorman both reside on the Wirral Peninsular, just across the River Mersey from Liverpool.

Do any of you remember them? I inherited most of their singles from the (much older *ahem*) daughter of some friends of my parents and was particularly delighted by a B side called 'I'd be the First'. It included lines like 'I'd be the first to climb Mount Eiger on a tiger' and suchlike, with the punchline 'But I'm 88, I'm 95 and I'm 103.' (I forget the exact ages, but you get the gist.)

There's more about Wirral Liverpool Day at Shanghai Expo here and there's a nice article in the Financial Times online (where else?) which describes the Scaffold as: "Three elderly men yoked together by happenstance, their home town and a rugby anthem."

It also has a couple of lovely quotes about what the Chinese response to Lily the Pink was, but my favourite was: "I liked those grandpas singing."

Click here for Thank U Very Much - The Very Best Of Scaffold

More pictures of scaffold in Shanghai here


  1. I really liked The Scaffold. In fact, in amongst my old Cream and Canned Heat records, you would have found a copy of 'Thank You Very Much'.

    Saw Paul McCartney at the Wembley Empire Pool in 1976. We were just in front of the stage and Mike McCartney was standing a couple of feet away, looking like a spare part. I wonder how they get on, as brothers?

  2. Liverpool Day in Shanghai--whatever next? Of course, The Scaffold was entirely unknown to me . . . but I am betting the mate knows all about them, and will be breaking into a chorus of Lily the Pink any minute now. Loved the Financial Times story.

  3. I've still got my Lily the Pink single. I'm waiting for it to become worth something.

  4. At risk of sounding like Simon Cowell, I thought it was one of the worst records ever made. And McCartney changed his name to McGear so noone would possibly suspect he was trading off his brother's name.

  5. Not quite the Scaffold, but I love the McGough and McGear album. Took me years to find it and finally got it on iTunes. Somewhere, Jimi Hendrix is on there too. Brilliant stuff.

  6. Martin - Aw bless, poor Mike. He's Wirral's 'Cultural Ambassador' you know - of which more later...

    Rainy - I was interested to know if overseas readers had heard of them - or younger ones remembered!

    Dave - Excellent! Don't give up on it just yet...

    Rog - I assume you mean 'Thank You Very Much'? I never much liked it - the B side is better. Oh, and Mike's changed his name back now - except on Facebook. I love his & Paul's 'The Man Who Found God on the Moon'

    Bill - I didn't know about that! Just listening to bits on Amazon... suitably bizarre! Thanks