Mathew Street Ragtime Band
L to R Linton Ali, Peter Campbell, Cliff Barker,
Bart Poole, Phil Yates, Hugh Gerrard.
The Mathew St. Ragtime Jazzband was founded in 1985 by banjoist Cliff Barker, who had been running weekly jam sessions at Trader Jack's pub in Liverpool. As a regular line-up gradually evolved, the band was offered a residency at Flanagan's Apple in Mathew St. and it is from here that the band took its name. They played at Flanagans until 1988 when they moved to the Marlborough Hotel in Slater St. where they played every Wednesday evening. The success of this venue is due to several factors:-a core of loyal supporters; a lot of "passing trade" who stop by for a drink, hear the music and stay until closing time-and last but not least, the cheapest pint in Liverpool which made it a popular student haunt.
Over its 14 year history, the M.S.R.J.B. appeared on B.B.C. Radio Merseyside, the Wirral and Llangollen Festivals and accompanied Monty Sunshine and Kenny Ball. They had a new monthly residency at the Little Brighton pub in Rowson St. New Brighton on the 1st Sunday of the month.
The M.S.R.J.B. were hoping to produce their first C.D. which was to be available in 1999 but I'm not sure it ever happened.
The personnel of the band which only had one change of member between 1987 and 1999 consisted of :- Cliff Barker (banjo/leader), Hugh Gerard (trumpet), Bart Poole (trombone), Peter Campbell (bass), Linton Ali (drums), Phil Yates (clarinet),. (All members were featured vocalists!)