During the spring of 2021, an idea evolved within the Friends of Williamson’s Tunnels to produce a series of music videos which would all be recorded within various areas of the tunnels. Brian Gibson, a good friend of ours, was a very close friend of Steve Moran, one of our founder members, who always wanted the tunnels to be used for making music. When we approached Brian, he liked the idea and put us in touch with sound engineer Kevin McCann, and through him, video engineer Charlie Green. We invited them to visit us, and after we gave them the tour of the tunnels and discussed the idea, they were very keen to be involved in a musical project in this rather unusual venue, with the prospect of some really exciting sounds in our wonderful underground spaces. A number of talented musicians spanning a wide variety of music genres were approached, and all of them were keen to take part in the project. Kevin and Charlie worked incredibly hard over three long sessions, in difficult conditions, with all the musicians in turn.
The finished project consists of ten videos which were all recorded in a variety of different areas within our Paddington cellars and the Banqueting Hall below Williamson’s house site. The Friends of Williamson’s Tunnels would like to thank Kevin and Charlie for all their hard work in the recording and production of these videos, and all the musicians who helped to make this project a success.
We hope that all those who participated and gave their time freely, enjoyed the experience of making subterranean music as much as we did, and we hope you will enjoy the results.
These videos are dedicated to the memory of our friend Steve Moran, and they can now be found on our YouTube channel under the playlist “FoWT Tunnel Music Project”. There will also be a DVD to follow.
Track No 1
Alex Smith and Robbie Blackmore (Pipe Major), members of the Liverpool Clan Wallace Pipe Band performing “Highland Cathedral” on Scottish Highland Pipes in The Lomax Chamber on Level 3 at Paddington.
Track No 2
Brian Gibson performing the song “Novus” with Mike Smith on soprano saxophone and Kevin McCann on guitar in the Banqueting Hall below Joseph Williamson’s house site.
Track No 3
Tony Peers performs his own composition “Tony’s Tunnel Tones” on trumpet while looking down into the Boote Chamber on Level 3 at Paddington.
Track No 4
Mike Smith playing soprano saxophone and Kevin McCann playing guitar perform “One Ying for every Yang” in the Banqueting Hall below Williamson’s house site.
Track No 5
The Shanty Kings are a Liverpool shanty group. Here they are performing the very well known Liverpool song, “In my Liverpool Home” on Level 2 at Paddington. The song has been adapted many times over the years since it was written in the 1960s. The Shanty Kings have added many verses of their own.
Track No 6
Philip Windever playing his piece “Djembe Solo” on the Djembe Drums which originate in West Africa. Philip is playing this solo in The Banqueting Hall which lies deep below the site of Williamson’s house.
Track No 7
Zuzu is a very talented up-and-coming local singer/songwriter. She first approached us about using the tunnels for a photo shoot for a promotional magazine article. She was blown away by the tunnels on that occasion, and she later came back to ask if she could film the video for her next music single with us. We were delighted to help, of course. Zuzu’s song, “Timing”, is more of a story than a simple song, which she wrote and story-boarded for the video herself. The tunnels made a stunning backdrop for the video, which we think is superb. When we later asked Zuzu if she’d like to join this project, she was happy to play a part in it and performed “Timing” acoustically on Level 2 at Paddington.
Track No 8
Here we have our superb audio engineer, Kevin McCann who recorded and mixed all the audio tracks on this collection for us, and is also a brilliant guitarist. Here Kevin is performing the Jeff Beck piece, “Where Were You” in the Lomax Chamber on Level 3 at Paddington.
Track No 9
Here we have Ellen McGovern playing two Irish tunes, Wards Jig, followed by Helvic Head on the Uillean Pipes. She is performing right down in the lowest chamber, sixty feet below ground on Level Four at Paddington. This huge cathedral-like chamber produces a wonderful sound which brings out the very best in the pipes.
Track No 10
Track No.10 Last but not least we have Jess Holding performing the tune “Ashkohan Farewell” on the fiddle. Jess has also chosen to play and be recorded in our magnificent Level Four chamber at Paddington where the wonderful acoustics bring out the best in the instrument.
Don’t forget that you can visit our YouTube Channel to view these and a wide range of other videos