Son of Liverpool: Gerry Potter

Monday 8th May 
Written by Emma Hulme 

‘Gravels like a death rattle, arrogantly assuming resurrection.’
When it comes to scouse identity nothing packs a stronger punch than listening to the iconic Gerry Potter recite ‘My Scouse Voice’. Gerry often describes this poem as the first one he ever wrote for himself after writing as Chloe Poems so successfully for years. The poem is good on the page but performed live, well, it’s just something else.

I first encountered Gerry when I was working with Liverpool Pride and he finished our What’s Your Pride Story book launch, he was charming, captivating and quintessentially Scouse. This year we see him as part of the WoW festival performing his spoken word show ‘Son of Liverpool’. ‘Perhaps cities themselves are our extended families. I believe Liverpool is my real mum and dad’ says Gerry. The whole show explores what that may mean and to share his experiences growing up on Scotty Road so, The Casa as a venue seemed like a match made in heaven.

I often find myself switching off half way through poetry nights, reaching for my phone (or my purse for a drink!) but the show was over before I realised and I could have listened for hours. Watching Gerry read Tiffany Bling about ‘dead hard, scally girls’ who often saved him from a beating is heart breaking and ‘I never went to Eric’s’ highlights how, although we may never have visited places in the city, we still identify with them and their history. But my favourite poem of the night was ‘Brian’ about Potter’s friend who died fifteen years ago to AIDS.
‘I’d like to think it’s not, and never been, goodbye.’

I left the event not only feeling I knew Gerry better but my city too. That somehow this city I am proud to call my home has raised me, versed me well in the local lingo and given me an identity to be proud of. But, of course, Gerry performs this better than I can ever write about it, if you get the chance to see it ‘Son of Liverpool’ is a must.