Liquorice Allstars ride again


In just a couple of days time – Saturday 6 April to be precise – I will once more be going out into the world (well, as far as the White Lion) to perform as/with Liquorice Allstars. That’s to say, if none of my musically-gifted friends turn up to jam, I will perform as Liquorice Allstars; if one or more turn up to play, I’ll perform with Liquorice Allstars. Confused?

Hmm… Liquorice Allstars… good name for a band or not? You know, it’s a tricky business, this picking a band name – I wonder if everyone else goes through the same doubts and fears? If you think about it, there are very few good band names. I’ll name a few of my favourite bands, just off the top of my head: Biffy Clyro. Foo Fighters. Coldplay (you know, when my friend Mark Adams (from Electronic Dance Music duo beatifiq) first started talking about Coldplay and their new album Parachutes, I thought he meant 80s dance outfit Coldcut, so I ignored him completely). Pink Floyd. Kings of Leon. U2. I mean, who’s Biffy Clyro? What is a Foo Fighter? Which one’s Pink?

Not great names though, are they? If I told you that the name of my band was Biffy Floyd or Foo Kings you’d probably tell me what a rubbish idea that was. Though I quite like Foo Kings

I guess if I had been given an interesting Christian name, instead of Gary Stewart Smith, I could have used that. Or maybe I should have adopted a stage name earlier in life – though I wouldn’t have picked something naff like Bono. Did Paul Hewson, upon joining fledgling Irish rock band U2, name himself after Sonny Bono, that fella with the ‘tache that used to sing with Cher in the 60s? I remember we use to give our dog Sindy these dog biscuits called Bonio – did Paul name himself after a doggy treat? Either option is pretty naff…

So the name Liquorice Allstars… obviously, it’s a play on Liquorice Allsorts, the famous liquorice-based confectionery assortment from Bassett & Co. Seeing as how I never seem to play with the same band line-up twice in a row, alluding to a mixed bag of sweets seemed quite appropriate: you buy a bag of Allsorts, you never know what you’re gonna get. And with the mixture of songs we play, you’ll always have your favourites, and the odd one you don’t particularly like. And though we’re really sweet, too much of us might make you sick…

8 thoughts on “Liquorice Allstars ride again

  1. I hated Liquorice Allsorts when I was a kid and still avoid them to this day. In fact, I hate Liquorice, full stop. Harks bag to the days of being about 5 or 6 and my Mum would take me into the chemist on the Crescent in West Kirby and ply me with a stick of Liquorice & a stick of Cinnamon from the jars behind the counter as some sort of ‘treat’. She meant well, but even in the early 70’s a child expected more than wartime fayre could offer. If it didn’t have ‘Cadbury’ on the packet, I didn’t want to know.

    Anyway, at least I don’t have to taste the band/collective name.

    • Once we’ve got enough songs recorded, we’ll have to get a beatifiq website going. I’ll get onto it this week, hopefully. Got an photos of yourself looking cool? It’s a big ask, I know!

  2. You’re lucky, I just got a stick!

    Gary you really do Ramble!

    The term “pink floyd”, as I’m sure you know, has it’s roots in drug processing.

  3. Like you say Gary, there’s a time and place, wonderful how words evoke such memories!
    One of my favorite games as a kid was playing British Bulldog. It involved holding hands with your partner, breaking through a line (of other kids) and getting safely to the other side of the patch of green, together without being knocked out. Great fun when you win. I like the idea that there could be a song in there somewhere.

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