Scouse Pop - Paul Skillen

Scouse Pop - Paul Skillen

The Audience Respond

Scouse Pop - Paul Skillen

Paul Skillen [+-]
University of Chester
Paul Skillen works as Programme Leader in Education Studies at University of Chester. He has recently published a chapter in Social Theory and Educational Research (Routledge, April 2013). Alongside working in Education, Paul has also maintained a passion for Liverpool music. In the late seventies and early eighties Paul wrote articles for the fanzine Merseysound edited by Radio Merseyside’s Roger Hill. He reviewed and interviewed many local bands. Paul developed an in-depth knowledge of the local music scene during this time and saw the rise of many of the local bands to national and international success. The knowledge came to good use when in 1985 he travelled to Frankfurt to help Klaus Schwartze compile the legendary two-volume ‘Scouse Phenomenon’ a book of family trees which outlined the incestuous web of musicians who were the Liverpool music scene of the time and archived their reviews and releases. Paul was also involved in his own recording career with his band This Final Frame, releasing records in UK and Europe as well as achieving great popularity in the Philippines where This Final Frame still release albums on Universal Records. This Final Frame receives national and international radio play and have made television appearances.


Alongside the importance of the city, the personalities, the music and the industry, another core reason why Scouse pop was so successful was the record-buying public themselves. Many of the bands proved to be extremely popular even at any early stage; for example the album Working with fire and steel by China Crisis sold 2 and a half million copies in 1983 (this was before the ambiguous benefits of online downloading). The bands’ popularity has also endured, not just with those who grew up with the bands but also with new generations of fans who hear in the likes of Echo and the Bunnymen a musical attitude that, while different from the norm, is still comfortably close enough to it. The bands’ enduring popularity has also meant that the likes of Black have influenced more recent bands such as Coldplay. And there was certainly some truth in the famous quote from Tony Wilson that OMD were ‘the future of pop music’. Their legacy therefore lives on in the influence on other musicians and also in the everyday lives of fans that still go to their gigs, buy their music and watch their videos on You Tube. It is important, then, to document the impact of Scouse pop on those who loved their music in the first place. In order to do this, the authors of Scouse pop are in the process of establishing a website and using it as a vehicle to gather the opinions and attitudes of the fans towards their favourite Liverpool musicians. Via the use of Facebook, Twitter, other social media platforms and also marketing via local and national DJs, fans will be encouraged to detail their memories of seeing and hearing the bands for the first time, and also what these musical auteurs meant to them growing up. The website will also include details of the book, while also providing pictorial representations of the bands in their prime. An important feature of the website will be the use of short digital audio recordings of the interviews with band members (with appropriate permissions), so that visitors to the website can get a true flavour of the band members and their understandings of the era. The recordings will also highlight the humour and entrepreneurial spirit at the heart of so many of these Scouse auteurs.

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Skillen, Paul. The Audience Respond. Scouse Pop. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 150-169 Oct 2018. ISBN 9781781798935. Date accessed: 07 Dec 2021 doi: 10.1558/equinox.24087. Oct 2018

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