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The Phenomenon Of The Pies
Richard Foster , February 23rd, 2016 16:25

Are The Pies ready to record their debut record some 30 years after forming? Probably not.

Ah, The Pies. A legendary Liverpool band, so legendary, that like The Crucial Three, they seem to have barely existed, let alone leave any musical trace. And, like The Crucial Three, every Cat talks about them regardless. When I used to drive into Liverpool to my terrible “executive” job on the Harrington Dock in the late 1990s, the only thing that would get me out of my pre-work despond was wondering who the bloody hell The Pies were. Whatever route I’d take (whether up the M6, on Junction 18 near Holmes Chapel, or down the M57 driving into Liverpool, or, for that matter one that I think was near the end of the M62 just before the Edge Lane junction) you’d see a bridge with huge Pies graffiti daubed on it.

The M6 one is still there, seemingly immune to any nimby council who’d want to come to clean it up. Just think; nigh on three decades of Pies graffiti. Preserved and repainted in the dead of night, like the outlines of the Cerne Abbas Giant. Resolute, ever-refreshed, a paean to a mystery band named after the popular pastry snack.

Who were, or are The Pies?

I don’t know. I know their “legendary frontman” [sic] is called Ashley Martin. They apparently played a few gigs, had a load of line-up changes (in true Liverpool fashion) and released a single called 'This Is Your Time' that I’ve not heard. Even my über-über-Scouse mates don’t have it. For those in thrall to the come-hither teptations of the Interweb, any attempt to find their music online (let alone in any physical form) is bound to fail. Probably.

The Pies, man. The band displays that peculiar Northwestern “can’t be arsed” bravado that leads many in the County Palatinate to indulge in extreme forms of dream-like activity which may, or may not see the light of day at some point. When these dreams do take shape they take extreme forms. We can point to Bill Drummond sending the Bunnymen to Iceland and the Teardrops to Australasia, just so that he could hold the statue of Jung in Matthew Street (whilst both bands were, in theory, playing in different time zones, on one ley line) and attain true genius. We can talk of the enlightened madness of the C19th tunnelling projects under Liverpool. In his survey of the ceremonial county, “Lancashire, Where Women Die of Love”*, Fleet Street journalist Charles Nevin told the story of Georgian philanthropist Gabriel Williamson, who decided that Liverpool needed an extensive network of tunnels digging in the 1830s, and funded the work from his own pocket. Williamson also liked to collect wheelbarrows and store them in his bedroom.

Legendary stuff indeed; boss, too. And apparently The Pies are about to (finally, again) record and release their debut. This news isn’t exactly new, though. It’s been whispered about on message board threads, and features for the Brave, Braying Young Metropolitan Elite and local press wind-ups for quite a while.

It can only point to one thing. Nothing at all. Not yet, anyway.

*They don’t. Believe me.

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