The Florrie filled up at the weekend for the launch party of The La’s – 1987 – an exhibition of rare and unseen photographs documenting this iconic band’s first tour – presented by RedHouse Originals Gallery and The Viper Label.
This was an important year in the band’s history. It was in 1987, after two years of building a fierce reputation in Liverpool, that the La’s classics There She Goes, Timeless Melody & Way Out were written and that the band secured a major record deal.
Thirty years on from this pivotal year for the iconic band sees the release of a rarities album of the same name featuring recordings from The Picket, outtakes from rehearsals in their practice room- an old Stables next to Strawberry Fields, and recordings made in Echo & the Bunnymen’s studio.
A DJ set from Edgar Jones, appearances from original band members John ‘Timmo’ Timson and Paul Hemmings and gatherings of family friends and musos made for an electric atmosphere at the venue. Entirely self-funded and working between the darkroom and live shows, photographer and friend of the band Jake Summerton documented the tour’s incredible success, both on and off stage, developing a considerable archive.
Guitarist Paul Hemmings said: “Jake Summerton was one of the first people to take photos of The La’s. I remember him being a ball of energy. He knew he was capturing a magical time and had the eye to do it. I’m extremely pleased he is now getting the credit he so rightly deserves.”
Due to personnel changes within the band’s line up, the pictures were never used and disaster struck when a rainstorm damaged the roof of Summerton’s darkroom and the majority of the archive was lost. All that remained were the negatives from the fabled 1987 tour, which is what makes these images so special.
In addition to these remarkable photographs, the exhibition boasts gig posters, set lists, handwritten lyrics belonging to Lee Mavers and the band’s schedule for the summer of ’87, taking us back to a time of immense creativity for the Liverpool legends. The exhibition runs until 7th October and is a must see for any La’s fan.
The exhibition will also visit the RedHouse Originals Gallery in Harrogate from 14th – 28th October.
The Florrie, 377 Mill St, Liverpool L8 4RF