Sound & Vision: Francesco Mellina at the Conservation Centre

I was on the lig the other day at the Conservation Centre’s Sound & Vision exhibition of Francesco Mellina’s pictures of Liverpool during the birth of punk, new wave and new romanticism.

Francesco Mellina was Dead or Alive’s manager – a dubious honour, I’d’ve thought – and once asked a cricketer friend of mine to play bass for the band. Wisely, I think, he declined.

Mellina’s role in the scene at Eric’s and other bars with fantastically- ridiculous names between 1978–1982 was outlined by the always-entertaining Paul du Noyer.

The exhibition is a genuine visual record of the music scene at the time, with an impressively wide range of images – both in terms of their style and content.

The film grain that dates these kind of pictures lends a stylised filter to images like Mellina’s, as does the low-light high-contrast black and white tone.

Like the difference between vinyl and digital, they are technically inferior but have much more character.