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Scouse Pop researches the context and the motivations of the successful pioneering Merseyside pop groups from the 1980s. It explores youth culture and creativity in Liverpool during an austere period and how all the bands were deliberately designed to be different from one another. This Arts-based research provides unique insights into creativity and resilience which can inform the learning process. The research is in the form of a book, TV series, radio documentaries, live shows and a film taster.

Summary of impact

The impact Scouse Pop has promoted the research into creativity to permeate mainstream media and culture to become accessible to a wider audience. It has promoted useful knowledge to musicians, producers, students, urban planners and the general public on how the creative process works in unconventional ways and its effect on localised culture.

Audiences at the live shows participate in question and answer sessions and live performances by the artistes reveal aspects of creativity demonstrated in their music.

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Scouse Pop has promoted the research into creativity - interview by Paul Skillen
Paul Skillen interviewing Henry Priestman of 'The Christians'

Country/countries where the impact occurred

  • U.K. through lectures, TV broadcasts, radio documentaries, live shows, consultation meetings, newspaper column.
  • Worldwide publication of Hardback and Paperback versions of Scouse pop on Equinox Publishing
  • UK broadcasts of Scouse Pop Tv shows with playback on YouTube for international viewers

Underpinning research

The research was undertaken over a 5-year period (2013-2018) by Paul Skillen. It includes interviews with individuals connected to the music scene in Liverpool, academic publication research, radio interviews, live performances. Key research insights into creativity and resilience.

References to the Research

Ten Books about Liverpool every Scouser Needs in their lives:

Greatest Hits Radio (documentary) Cities of Sound 5th August 2020 (first broadcast):

Liverpool Echo Newspaper 22nd January 2019 page 2: A truly inspiring Music City

Live events: Scouse pop live Tommy Scott and Henry Priestman 5th September 2019:

BBC Radio Merseyside 'Tony Snell Morning Merseyside'

13th December 2018 7.45am

BBC Radio Merseyside ‘On the Beat’

23 February 2019 7pm Discussion and music

Scouse Pop Book Launch

13th December 2018 7.30pm, The British Music Experience (Cunard Buildings Liverpool)

​​​​​​Research Outcomes

Scouse Pop - Bay TV Production:

Scouse Pop - Episode 1

Scouse Pop - Episode 2

Scouse Pop - Episode 3

Scouse Pop - Episode 4

Scouse Pop - Episode 5

Scouse Pop - Episode 6

Scouse Pop - Episode 7

Scouse Pop - Episode 8

Scouse Pop - Episode 9

Scouse Pop - Episode 10

Scouse Pop - Episode 11


Skillen, P. (2018) Scouse Pop. Sheffield, UK; Bristol, CT: Equinox Publishing Ltd. Hardback

Skillen, P. (2019) Scouse Pop. Sheffield, UK; Bristol, CT: Equinox Publishing Ltd. Paperback


Reading Scouse Pop is like finding the missing piece of Liverpool’s 1980s Jigsaw. I now have the full picture.’ - Tony Snell BBC Radio Merseyside Presenter

Years of painstaking research have produced an informative labour of love from Dr Skillen.  Excellent stuff. As well as the usual suspects, nice that some of the less trumpeted artists/characters are included; Testi, Davies, Mellina, Lotus Eaters, Black, even a band called Yachts get a look in, making it a fully rounded picture of what was happening in the city, musically.’ - Henry Priestman, The Christians

The more that Liverpool was written off, whether for being too stuck in Fab Four nostalgia or too bolshie to accommodate the new economic order, the more its young musicians responded with songs of emotional generosity and visionary breadth.  I am pleased that Skillen has documented what they did, in such eloquent detail.’ - Paul Du Noyer, author of Conversations with McCartney and Liverpool: Wondrous Place


University of Chester QR funding

Currently funding a taster film with Brightmoon Media based on the book Scouse Pop. It is available to watch here:

Please follow the link below to read an essay on creativity by Scouse Pop author, Paul Skillen, as well as a PDF version of the 2nd chapter from the book.