15th November 2002

By Peter Grant of the Liverpool Echo

PAUL McCartney rates one of their songs as an all-time favourite love ballad.

They still have a world-wide fan base – and a recent one-off reunion concert in their home town was such a success they are now busier than ever.
Meanwhile, it’s full steam ahead with a ‘Best Of’ album which is now a major success.

Seventies band Liverpool Express are working together again – and pencilling in a concert at The Cavern for 2003.
More than 20 years since they split, it seems Liverpool Express are as popular as ever.

And fans who have been asking ‘Why can’t we get your music on CD?’ now have their answer -because there’s one just out.

Billy Kinsley, lead singer, says: “It wasn’t just in Liverpool where we were asked about it – but also during recent treks abroad with The Merseybeats.” (That’s another of Bill’s bands.)

Liverpool Express originally made their debut at Huyton Labour club after meeting during a five-a- side football match.
Manager Hal Carter saw their potential and they went on to play on Top Of The Pops and to support Rod Stewart across Europe.

The band were even household names in Rio, Brazil, with two No. 1 singles.

The Best Of album can be ordered on their website – devised by Mancunian fan Michael Wilde.

And it features all the ’70s originals.

Says Billy: “Looking back on the Liverpool Express career was a great experience for all of us – me, Roger Craig, Tony Coates and Derek Cashin – because it meant re-listening to the songs.

“Paul McCartney has put on record that You Are My Love is one of his favourites.

“There were plenty of memories in the process of putting the original songs together on one collection and we are very proud of the end product.” The band have been on a promotional tour for the CD with publicity manager Kathy McCabe, revisiting old haunts.

“It showed us that we still have a lot of fans out there and that many wanted us to play live again,” says Billy.

The band ended with a stunning, one-off ’70s Tribute gig at New Brighton’s Floral Pavilion.

The Best Of album – while featuring their original recording – also has a new tribute to the Fab Four with an inventive song called John, George, Ringo and Paul.

Says Billy: “We couldn’t get anything to rhyme with Ringo – except Bingo.”

Liverpool based Billy and Roger Craig – who now lives in California – have been sending each other old tapes via the latest high-tech computer equipment.

And Billy says it’s been a time to reflect on the past.

“The Merseybeats played at The George Harrison tribute concert and then we had the death of Bob Wooler. Tony Crane and I played at his funeral. It was very emotional singing Bob’s favourite songs.”

Liverpool Express changed their name to LEX and managed a further string of hits.

Says Billy: “We were very, very big in Brazil. At one stage we were playing to 250,000 on a 16-date tour. But there was a problem. We were just too nice.

“When we first went to Brazil there was a massive crowd at the airport – we thought they were there for somebody else.

“The promoters over there said they wanted us to hit the headlines with some bad behaviour. But we were just Liverpool lads who didn’t do that type of thing.

“We did trash a hotel room but – typical of us – we took the telly plug out of the wall before we threw it out of the window.”

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