The Rhythm and The Tide
(Liverpool The La’s and Ever After)
Liverpool in the 1980s. With prospects for the city’s youth bleak, an ill-fated scheme for unemployed musicians commenced, inadvertently shaping the future for members of Space, Cast and The Lightning Seeds, thus giving fresh impetus to the idea of song as a saviour for the city.
Spearheading this was The La’s, first they conquered their home town, and then on the brink of hitting the big time
(and eventually inspiring what would become Britpop) Badger quit to form Americana pioneers The Onset and find international recognition as a sculptor, before eventually co-founding Liverpool’s Viper record label (which has recently released its 100th album).
As well as featuring a host of Mersey Musicians and characters there are chance meetings with Captain Beefheart, Jonathan Richman, Adrian Henri and Frank Sidebottom to name a few but above all new insights are revealed into the great lost Liverpool band The La’s.
From the emergence of Punk and New-Wave in the 1970’s and on through to the acknowledgment of Liverpool as Cult
ural Capital some thirty years on. The Rhythm and the Tide is Mike Badger’s personal story as a restlessly creative individual, and a reflection on the ebb and flow of the music scene in the city that he loves.
‘We wanted to finish what the La’s started’. Noel Gallagher (Oasis)
Had the La’s been able to accommodate Badger and Mavers, could world domination have been far away? MOJO Magazine
The Onset: The most arresting group in captivity! Pete Frame (Rock Family Trees)
Badger makes sculpture from a hybrid collection of exotic tins and cheese graters, convincing as a collection of su
rvivalist junkyard fetishism. The Guardian
‘Amazon Customer Review’
Written in an honest, open and appealing style that makes it feel like Mike Badger is having a chat with you over a couple of beers, this is a quietly captivating tale of hopes, dreams, hard graft and artistic endeavour and a life lived in and bound to Liverpool.
Mike Badger grew up in 70’s Merseyside with its rich cultural heritage and grinding social poverty. This tells of his journey to find expression of his own artistic vocation, as a musician, song writer, sculptor and latterly, record producer and the twisting, often funny, sometimes mournful, ups and downs on the way.
It’s not a Rick-Stars puff-piece with name dropping and grubby anecdotes. It’s much better and more than that. Sure there are funny stories and musicians you’ll know, but at heart, it’s an honest trip alongside a real artist, looking to find his voice and express himself in the real world and not go either nuts or bankrupt along the way.
I’m glad that he has succeeded, in all three of his artistic careers. Due, it seems to me, to his dogged persistence and irrepressible optimism, the support of a good woman and some enthusiastic and talented friends and maybe from the buoying inspiration of his home city and it’s eager, creative vibe.