New talent bringing live music back to the childhood home of Mike and Paul McCartney

Press release
The winners outside 20 Forthlin Road Liverpool
Published : 16 Jun 2022

The National Trust has selected four unique acts to perform at the “The Forthlin Sessions” in the childhood home of Mike and Paul McCartney on the eve of Paul’s 80th birthday, getting music back there for the first time in nearly sixty years.

Today (17th June) the National Trust’s “The Forthlin Sessions” will get music back to the birthplace of the Beatles (20 Forthlin Road), in a performance by four unsigned acts that will be streamed on the charity’s social media channels on Paul McCartney’s 80th birthday.

After nearly sixty years, live music will once again be heard at the childhood home of Mike and Paul McCartney.  The National Trust, which cares for 20 Forthlin Road and wants the house’s story to continue to inspire new generations of creativity, launched “The Forthlin Sessions” in April to offer a once in a lifetime opportunity for four acts to visit, write and then perform there on the eve of Paul’s 80th birthday.  

Serena Ittoo (from Enfield), Humm (Bath), Emily Theodora (Richmond) and Dullan (Wrexham) will perform their newly-written songs, inspired by a previous visit to the house, where around 30 of the world’s most famous songs, including ‘Love Me Do’, ‘I Saw Her Standing There’, ‘Hold Me Tight’, ‘I’ll Follow The Sun’ and ‘When I’m 64’ were written and rehearsed. They will be joined by ex LIPA student Jan Holberg, who will perform a cover of one of Paul’s songs ‘My Valentine’, having been given personal permission to do so by Paul himself. The song ‘My Valentine’ was written by Paul for his wife Nancy during a rainy Valentine's Day holiday in Morocco. The public will be able to watch these historic performances when they are streamed on the National Trust’s YouTube channel on Paul’s 80th Birthday (18th June).

The National Trust’s Celia Richardson was part of the judging panel for “The Forthlin Sessions” alongside Mike McCartney and music writer, DJ and founder of Needle Mythology Records Pete Paphides. She says, “The creativity that came out of 20 Forthlin Road has made such a huge impact on people’s lives over the years.  Bringing music back to Forthlin Road, through The Forthlin Sessions shows how the stories of the places we care for can keep inspiring creativity among new generations.  We can’t wait to see how these new talented acts get on”.

The McCartney family moved from Speke to 20 Forthlin Road, a post-war terraced council house, in 1955. Devastatingly, within a year Mary McCartney died, leaving husband Jim to raise 14-year-old Paul and 12-year-old Mike alone. Jim brought music to the house to help the boys through their grief, with first a trumpet, then a guitar and then drums that in Mike’s words “fell off the back of a lorry”. In 1957, Paul McCartney was introduced to John Lennon at the St Peter’s Church fete in Woolton, halfway between their two homes. The chums rehearsed and wrote at 20 Forthlin Road, writing lyrics to songs like ‘I Saw Her Standing There’ in school books on the front room floor.

Mike McCartney, says: “I’m delighted that the home our kid and I grew up in is still – sixty years on - able to inspire a new generation of musicians through the Forthlin Sessions. It’s been fantastic hearing live music once again coming from our childhood home.  Sixty years ago, I was here capturing the Beatles as they started on their journey to success and today, I am here to witness the start of some great new artists’ journeys.  It was clear from the entries to The Forthlin Sessions that we have such a wide breadth of untapped talent here in the UK and I hope that this story - from an ordinary house in an ordinary street, amazing things happened – inspires more people to express themselves creatively.  We want our little house to keep inspiring people for generations to come.”

To choose the artists who will perform at ‘The Forthlin Sessions’, the National Trust worked with Mike McCartney and music expert Pete Paphides and consulted with the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts (LIPA). The opportunity was open to any unsigned, UK-based music artist aged over 18. ‘The Forthlin Sessions’ will be recorded today and publicised on 18th June, offering vital opportunities for each act to raise their profile.

“The Forthlin Sessions” will be recorded on 17th June and broadcast via the National Trust’s social media channels on 18 June. To find out more, please visit nationaltrust.org.uk/the-forthlin-sessions