Ian Prowse gets by at The Wedge with a little help from his friends

Ian Prowse pictured outside the Cavern Club in Liverpool. Picture by Gareth Jones
Ian Prowse pictured outside the Cavern Club in Liverpool. Picture by Gareth Jones
Victor Ariat

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Albums of cover versions are nothing new, but on his latest release, cult singer-songwriter Ian Prowse aims to breathe life back into some forgotten gems.

‘We started working on another solo album,’ explains Ian, ‘and our producer, Tony Kiley, had got a new bit of equipment. He said ‘‘I want to test it out, throw a song at me.’’

‘I didn’t really have anything finished, so I played him Johnny and Marie. And he goes ‘‘what’s that?’’ I said ‘‘oh it’s just an old Liverpool song. I know hundreds of songs I’ve picked up down the years.’’

‘He just got me to perform a couple of songs and he mixed them with this new stuff. He called me up and said ‘‘these songs are brilliant, maybe we should do a release of them.’’’

The project grew from there to a full-blown album which got the former Pele frontman delving into the depths of his record collection.

‘Tony suggested ‘‘let’s just do an album of songs that have been forgotten about’’. I thought that was a great idea and these songs deserve another crack at being listened to.

It’s been loved by everyone who’s heard it, from top to bottom, and that’s nothing to do with me because I didn’t write them. They’re all beautiful songs

Ian Prowse

‘It’s been loved by everyone who’s heard it, from top to bottom, and that’s nothing to do with me because I didn’t write them. They’re all beautiful songs.

Damien Dempsey, whose St Patrick’s Brave Brigade is on the album, is by far the best-known artist covered – many of the others are incredibly obscure.

‘There’s a song on there called Conscience by a band called The Montellas, and I hadn’t even thought about them for years. That one was from an EP my mum brought home, it was by the son of a fellow factory worker who had made a record – it’s really rare, you know?

‘There’s not many people who know all of the songs on the record.’

And the album has been called Compañeros as the Merseysider has a personal connection with all of the artists on the album.

‘People always respond to tunes, and that was kind of the idea. Damien Dempsey is massive in Ireland, but most of the others have fallen by the wayside. Some of them have either gone through the mill, others are doing something completely different to music, but we’ve contacted them all and everyone has been made up by what we’ve done.

‘It’s been a lovely experience.’

The Wedgewood Rooms, Southsea

Saturday, July 2

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