Monday, August 11, 2008

Pete Burns: The homecoming:

Pete Burns is going to Liverpool - the first time since 1992 - at the request of Julian Cope. He's going to play a night celebrating Erics, but he stresses that he wouldn't normally do this sort of thing:

“It seems I’m part of the Liverpool scene after all these years. It was a shame that wasn’t the case when I was there.” Pete pauses for a second, and reflects a little sadly. “I suppose things are always different in hindsight.

“It’s difficult for me to feel anything about it. It’s all so long ago.

“I don’t sit glued to the internet looking back at the old days. That’s not my thing.

“I’m looking forward to doing the gig. I’m probably either going to do a dance set or an acoustic set. Three or four songs.”

Why choose now to come back?

“Julian asked me to do it,” he shrugs. “I’ve always liked him. Out of them all, he treated me well. He always thought about things. He had something going on underneath the surface. I think that’s why we were friends.

“I haven’t spoken to him in a long time, so I’m looking forward to seeing him.”

Burns is amused at having been recast as a favourite son:
“I’ve always felt on the margins. I’ve never been part of anything. I’m not particularly social. I don’t seek people out.

“So it makes me laugh that all these years on I’m being included in this rewritten history of Liverpool. I wasn’t included at the time.

“I was told the other day that I’m in this play about Eric’s. I don’t know what that’s about.

“My ex-wife Lynne and I were the social outcasts of the city. We were ostracised by everyone. We didn’t fit in. Well, it was us and (Frankie Goes to Hollywood keyboard player) Paul Rutherford. The three of us stuck together because no-one else would speak to us.”

One of the amusing things about the Capital Of Culture year is the way the official history has started to absorb the city's counter-culture, blithely unaware that the Erics and Planet X scenes were a reaction to, not a product of, the city they called home. It's true that Burns wouldn't have been Pete Burns without something to react against, but stimulating creativity through rejection is hardly a trait to celebrate.