A Bombed Out Book Tour of Liverpool City Centre: The Site of the Armadillo Tea Rooms.
Above Photo: the enormous 1830s fruit and vegetable warehouse on Mathew Street which used to house the Armadillo Tea Rooms (now Flanagan’s Apple).
A friend and reader of Bombed Out!, my Punk and New Wave band memoir, recently asked to be taken on a tour of Liverpool city centre locations which I mention in the book. This was one of the stops…
The Armadillo Tea Rooms was a trendy and band-frequented Arty hangout café on Mathew Street back in the late ’70s – and early ’80s.
I mention it a number of times in the book, but when I was in the bands I rarely, if ever, ate in there as I was so broke. But I did use it for long-nursed teas and coffees.
Situated equidistantly from Probe Records in Button Street and Eric’s on Mathew Street, and almost opposite the Grapes, the Armadillo can quite properly claim its place at the epicenter of Liverpool’s Punk and New Wave scene.
It was located in a magnificent and enormous fruit and vegetable warehouse built in the 1830s, which is now the site of Flanagans Apple, an Irish-themed bar on Mathew Street.
“But hang on…What’s this?” I asked my bemused mate, having filled him in on the building’s noble Liverpool band history.
In a recess in the wall of the Armadillo/Flanagans building, there used to be a statue of the philosopher Carl Jung, which hung out, thrusting itself into the lives of passers-by on Mathew Street.
I vividly remember this great statue, especially at night as I walked home from the club. There was something personal, friendly and very interactive about that whimsical piece of art.
It was originally erected to commemorate a dream Carl Jung once had, about being in Liverpool. He said:
“But I had a vision of unearthly beauty, and that is why I was able to live at all. Liverpool is the “pool of life.” The “liver,” according to an old view, is the seat of life, that which makes to live.”
Now, however, I noticed the old statue had disappeared and had been replaced by a far more boring, recessed bust.
I made some enquiries and was told by the co-founder of the original Liverpool School of Language, Music, Dream and Pun, Larry Sidorczuk, that the original bust was unveiled by Jung’s grandson on 6th June 1976. It was vandalised and also fell victim to the elements, and its whereabouts are now unknown.
“However, a replacement was made by me in 1985. Unfortunately, that got vandalised and had to be brought inside, where it was up behind the downstairs bar of Flanagans for several years. I think it’s still there up on the third floor now.
The present one is the third Jung bust and is made of bronze so should pass the test of time and inebriated Mathew Street revellers.”
Buy a signed copy of Bombed Out! here: http://www.bombedoutpunk.com/buybook.php