Rock The ARK

We want to capture Knowsley's music memories - and you can help!

Rock The ARK is one of Knowsley Archive's community projects funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. We want to find out what music is important to people living and working in Knowsley, Merseyside, UK (or who lived and worked here in the past). We want to share people's experiences of great music they've heard, seen, or produced themselves. If you have a connection to Knowsley and want to share something about your experiences of music, we'd love to hear from you! Classical, pop, rock, jazz, soul, folk, disco, blues, gospel, techno, house, hip-hop - whatever music has been a part of your life, we want to know about it! You can share stories, photographs, tickets, flyers, etc on our Facebook or Twitter pages and then look out here to see if they get added to our growing timeline!;xNLx;;xNLx;Facebook: search 'Knowsley Archives';xNLx;Twitter: @knowsleyarchive

Tim Lever joins Dead or Alive

Keyboardist and sax player Tim Lever (1961 - ), who had lived in Huyton, joined Dead or Alive in 1983 and remained with them until 1989. The band had been formed by Pete Burns in Liverpool in 1979 as Nightmares in Wax, before becoming Dead or Alive the following year. Lever was a member during their most commercially successful period, when their biggest hits were produced by the powerhouse production trio Mike Stock, Matt Aitken and Pete Waterman (better known as Stock Aitken Waterman or SAW).

The Beatles release their first single

Although, like all of the Beatles, Paul McCartney (1942 - ) is remembered for growing up in Liverpool, it is not so well-known that he spent part of his childhood living on Roach Avenue, part of the Maypole Estate on the outskirts of Knowsley Village.

Paul Simpson's musical career begins

Born in Huyton, Paul Simpson is a musician and writer whose musical career began during the late 1970s, one of the Liverpool region's most musically creative and fertile periods. He worked alongside many of Liverpool's other celebrated artists of the period, such as Ian McCulloch, Will Sergeant, Julian Cope and Ian Broudie. Simpson left an early version of the Teardrop Explodes in 1979 to form The Wild Swans. While not a huge commercial success at the time, the band have gone on to achieve a kind of cult legend status, with many people suggesting they were one of the finest bands to emerge from Liverpool in the 1980s. As well as the Wild Swans, Simpson has released music under other guises, including Care, with Ian Broudie (1983-1985). Simpson continues to make music across a range of genres and is crowdfunding his memoir, 'Incandescent.'

Howie Casey forms the Seniors

Huyton-born Howie Casey (1937 - ) is a celebrated saxophonist. He formed his own band, the Seniors, in 1959, later adding singer Derry Wilkie and becoming Derry and the Seniors. The band were regulars in the Hamburg music clubs that would also feature the Beatles. The group later featured fellow Huytonian Freddie Fowell (better known as Freddie Starr) on vocals. As Howie Casey and the Seniors, they became the first beat group from Liverpool to release an LP: 'Twist at the Top' in February 1962. Later in his career, Casey would become a highly successful session musician, including for Paul McCartney on a number of Wings' biggest successes.

Rain release their first single

Formed at the Merseyside Trade Union Community and Unemployed Resource Centre in Huyton in 1988, Rain were signed by Columbia Records in 1989, but would not release their first single, 'Lemonstone Desired', until 1991.

Natalie McCool releases her first single

Acclaimed singer, songwriter and guitarist Natalie McCool (1988 - ), from Whiston, released her debut album in 2013 and her second, The Great Unknown, in 2016.

Freddie Starr releases first single with the Midnighters

Later to become better known as a comedian, Huyton-born Freddie Starr was the frontman for the Midnighters when they released their first single, 'Who Told You,' in May 1963. Starr's 1960s music failed to find much of an audience, but he released some more successful records after achieving celebrity as a comedian, including 'It's You,' which reached no. 9 in the UK charts in 1974.

Swindlefolk play their first gigs and release their debut LP

Formed in Ruffwood Comprehensive School, Kirkby, Swindlefolk were an acclaimed folk group made up of pupils and music teacher, Dy Swindlehurst. The group would go on to play shows around the country, including the prestigious Sidmouth Folk Festival in 1970 and in Germany. They released three albums between 1968 and 1970.

Paul Lewis born in Huyton

Pianist Paul Lewis was brought up in Huyton. He is now internationally regarded as one of the greatest musicians of his generation and has performed as a soloist alongside the world's finest orchestras. He has won many awards throughout his career and holds honorary degrees from Liverpool, Edge Hill and Southampton Universities. He was appointed a CBE in the 2016 Queen's Birthday Honours.

The Farm release their first single

The Farm were a band famously named after the Cantril Farm estate (now Stockbridge Village). Founder member and lead singer Peter Hooton lived on the estate during his childhood and was also a youth worker there in the early 1980s. The band have had a number of hit singles, including 'Groovy Train' and 'Altogether Now' (both 1990) and a version of 'Altogether Now' in 1995 to support Everton F.C. in the 1995 FA Cup Final (despite most of the members of the band being Liverpool F.C. fans).

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