Full Scouse: Liverpool’s finest musical icons, from The Beatles to Mel C
As the Eurovision Song Contest final draws ever closer, the world’s media and music fans from across Europe have descended upon Liverpool for an unforgettable weekend.
The UK - who came in second place during 2022’s competition - is staging Eurovision on behalf of last year’s winners Ukraine. Though seven cities bid to host, including Glasgow, Manchester and Birmingham, it was Liverpool that emerged victorious, and now it’s preparing for a party like no other. The grand final is set to take place on May 13.
While the contest features tracks from all over the continent going head-to-head, this year’s host city is enshrined in history as a vital cultural hub, producing some of music’s greatest acts.
From beyond-legendary band The Beatles to Mel C - who took girl power around the world as Spice Girls’ Sporty Spice - the region has produced countless gems, proving that the Merseyside holds a huge amount of musical influence.
As the party is set to begin in the land of the liver bird, here’s a look at some of the best acts the area has produced, in no particular order.
The band that needs no introduction, The Beatles are an integral part of music history: not just in Liverpool, but worldwide. Their influence is undeniable, with the four-piece group changing the face of the industry as we know it. Formed in 1960, John, Paul, Ringo and George are among the most famous Scousers the city has ever produced - and are responsible for a ridiculous number of hits, from Hey Jude and Let it Be to Yesterday and Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds. Accordingly, The Fab Four have now been immortalised in Liverpool, and a statue of the group donated by the famous Cavern Club venue sits proudly on the city’s waterfront.
Having met in back in 2013 at flagship Scouse festival Liverpool Sound City, Circa Waves quickly became one of the UK’s most popular indie rock bands. Establishing themselves with their debut album Young Chasers - which includes their now signature hit T-Shirt Weather - the band have continued to reach great heights since. They now have a string of critically acclaimed albums to their name, including this year’s recent record Never Going Under.
Headed up by core duo Lee Mavers and the late Cast vocalist John Power, The La’s are one of Liverpool’s most iconic bands, best known for their critically acclaimed self-titled 1990 debut album, and its now-classic track There She Goes. Though their debut would ultimately be their one and only album, it’s still met with affection to this day, particularly in the Merseyside city, and went on to inspire the sound of many artists to follow, including Oasis, The Stone Roses, The Courteeners, The Charlatans, and The Libertines.
Indie-poppers The Wombats formed in 2003, meeting while studying at Liverpool’s Institute of Performing Arts. Since then, the band have amassed a sizeable following with noughties staples like Moving to New York and Let’s Dance To Joy Division. Since then, the band have experienced a resurgence, playing Wembley Arena in 2019, and producing two hit albums, 2018’s Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life, which reached UK top five, and their latest release Fix Yourself, Not the World, which came out last year. The latter became the band’s first UK number one album.
Liverpool duo CamelPhat have quickly become one of the UK’s staple tech-house titans with their breakthrough track Cola reaching the top 20 in the UK charts, as well as bagging number one on the US Billboard Dance Club Song charts. The track has since been certified 2x platinum in the UK and secured the duo a Grammy nomination for Best Dance Recording. Since then, the group have become in-demand DJs, recently playing the closing weekend of beloved London venue Printworks closing weekend.
Dead or Alive
Headed up by the late Port Sunlight-born frontman Pete Burns, Dead or Alive became memorable in the consciousness of UK music scene following their their 1985 hit You Spin Me Round (Like a Record, Baby), which reached number one in the UK and number eleven in the US. The band originally formed in 1980 in Liverpool.
Singer-songwriter Jamie Webster first started out performing covers in pubs across Liverpool before a video of him performing Allez Allez Allez - a reworked version of Righeira’s L’estate sta finendo - went viral in 2018, and soundtracked the success of Liverpool’s Champions League win the following year. His breakthrough arrived in 2020, with his debut album We Get By reaching the top 10 of the UK Albums Chart.
The Cheap Thrills
First forming in 2010, Liverpool band The Cheap Thrills have been making waves since their appearance at Liverpool Sound City two years later. The band went on to win the Liverpool Band of the Year Award last year, presented by Sound Music Group. The quartet recently released their newest single Reborn, which was featured in the Evening Standard’s what to listen to column.
Echo and The Bunnymen
Echo and The Bunnymen formed in 1978, making their breakthrough with their 1980 debut album Crocodiles. Over the course of the Eighties, they collected up a number of UK top ten singles including The Cutter and The Killing Moon. Though the band formed in Liverpool over four decades ago, their vast influence and enduring popularity isn’t going anywhere, with tour dates this year including shows at Liverpool’s M&S Bank Arena and London’s Royal Albert Hall.
Also known as Sporty Spice, Melanie C made a name for herself as part of girl group Spice Girls. Though the historic girl group, who have sold more than 100 million records worldwide, were formed in London, Mel C has always put her Merseyside roots front and centre. Born in Cheshire, the singer grew up in Widnes, near the city. Though she’ll forever be associated with Sporty Spice, she’s also forged a successful career in her own right, with solo bangers like I Turn To You and Never Be The Same Again. Further showing her dedication to the city, she also sported a Liverpool F.C shirt at a Spice Girls reunion gig in 2019, off the back of the team’s Champion’s League win.