Issue 105 / November 2019




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ISSUE <strong>105</strong> / NOVEMBER <strong>2019</strong><br />





Thur 24th Oct<br />

Jake Clemons<br />

+ Ben McKelvey<br />

Fri 25th Oct<br />

Keywest<br />

+ Keir Gibson<br />

Fri 25th Oct • 7.30pm<br />

Hang Massive<br />

Wed 30th Oct<br />

MoStack<br />

Sat 2nd Nov<br />

Mountford Hall,<br />

Liverpool Guild of Students<br />

Rival Sons<br />

+ The Record Company<br />

Sat 2nd Nov<br />

The Cheap Thrills<br />

Sat 2nd Nov • 9pm<br />

Jo Whiley’s<br />

90s Anthems<br />

Sun 3rd Nov<br />

Loyle Carner<br />

Fri 8th Nov<br />

MONKS<br />

Fri 8th Nov<br />

Bear’s Den<br />

Sat 9th Nov<br />

She Drew The Gun<br />

+ Peaness + Mamatung<br />

Sat 9th Nov<br />

Mountford Hall,<br />

Liverpool Guild of Students<br />

Greta Van Fleet<br />

+ Yola<br />

Sat 9th Nov<br />

Antarctic Monkeys<br />

+ The Alleys + The Patriots<br />

Fri 15th Nov<br />

Boston Manor<br />

+ Modern Error<br />

Sat 16th Nov<br />

The Macc Lads<br />

+ Dirt Box Disco<br />

Sat 16th Nov<br />

UK Foo Fighters<br />

(Tribute)<br />

Wed 20th Nov<br />

Fontaines D.C.<br />

Fri 22nd Nov<br />

Airbourne<br />

+ Tyler Bryant & The<br />

Shakedown<br />

Fri 22nd Nov<br />

Absolute Bowie -<br />

Legacy Tour<br />

Sat 23rd Nov<br />

Life At The Arcade<br />

Sat 23rd Nov<br />

Mountford Hall,<br />

Liverpool Guild of Students<br />

Sam Fender<br />

Sat 23rd Nov<br />

The Steve Hillage<br />

Band<br />

+ Gong<br />

Sun 24th Nov<br />

Primal Scream<br />

Fri 29th Nov<br />

The Doors Alive<br />

Sat 30th Nov • 6pm<br />

The Wonder Stuff<br />

performing ‘The Eight<br />

Legged Groove Machine’<br />

& ‘HUP’<br />

+ Jim Bob from Carter USM<br />

Sat 30th Nov<br />

Pearl Jam UK<br />

Thur 5th Dec<br />

Shed Seven<br />

+ The Twang<br />

Fri 6th Dec<br />

Mountford Hall,<br />

Liverpool Guild of Students<br />

Happy Mondays<br />

+ Jon Dasilva<br />

Fri 6th Dec<br />

SPINN<br />

Fri 6th Dec • 7.30pm<br />

Conleth McGeary<br />

Sat 7th Dec<br />

Prince Tribute -<br />

Endorphinmachine<br />

Tue 10th Dec<br />

Mountford Hall,<br />

Liverpool Guild of Students<br />

Razorlight<br />

Wed 11th Dec<br />

D Block Europe<br />

Thur 12th Dec<br />

Mountford Hall,<br />

Liverpool Guild of Students<br />

Daniel Sloss: X<br />

Fri 13th Dec<br />

Mountford Hall,<br />

Liverpool Guild of Students<br />

Dermot Kennedy<br />

Fri 13th Dec<br />

The Lancashire<br />

Hotpots<br />

Fri 13th Dec<br />

Scouting for Girls<br />

Sat 14th Dec<br />

The Smyths<br />

… The Smiths 35<br />

Sat 14th Dec<br />

Ian Prowse &<br />

Amsterdam<br />

+ The Supernaturals<br />

+ Steve Pilgrim<br />

facebook.com/o2academyliverpool<br />

twitter.com/o2academylpool<br />

instagram.com/o2academyliverpool<br />

youtube.com/o2academytv<br />

Wed 18th Dec<br />

The Darkness<br />

+ Rews<br />

Thur 19th Dec<br />

Cast... All Change<br />

Album<br />

Fri 20th Dec<br />

Cast... Mother Nature<br />

Calls Album<br />

Sat 21st Dec<br />

Cast... Magic Hour<br />

Album<br />

Sat 21st Dec<br />

Limehouse Lizzy:<br />

The Greatest Hits of<br />

Phil Lynott & Thin Lizzy<br />

Wed 29th Jan 2020<br />

The Interrupters<br />

+ Buster Shuffle<br />

Tue 4th Feb 2020<br />

Mabel<br />

Mon 3rd Feb 2020<br />

Kano<br />

Tue 25th Feb 2020<br />

The Murder Capital<br />

Thur 27th Feb 2020<br />

Kiefer Sutherland<br />

Thur 5th Mar 2020<br />

Gabrielle Aplin<br />

Thur 12th Mar 2020<br />

Tragedy: All Metal<br />

Tribute to the Bee<br />

Gees & Beyond<br />

+ Attic Theory<br />

Sat 28th Mar 2020<br />

Becky Hill<br />

Sun 29th Mar 2020<br />

Cigarettes After Sex<br />

Sat 4th Apr 2020<br />

808 State Live<br />

Sat 2nd May 2020<br />

The Southmartins<br />

(Tribute To The Beautiful<br />

South & The Housemartins)<br />

Sat 9th May 2020<br />

Fell Out Boy & The<br />

Black Charade<br />

+ We Aren’t Paramore<br />

Sat 16th May 2020<br />

Nirvana UK (Tribute)<br />

Sat 23rd May 2020<br />

The Bon Jovi<br />

Experience<br />

Fri 11th Dec 2020<br />

Heaven 17<br />

THUR 24TH OCT 7PM<br />


FRI 25TH OCT 7PM<br />


+ RATS + SEPRONA<br />



+ APRE<br />

SUN 27TH OCT 7PM<br />


FRI 1ST NOV 7PM<br />


FRI 1ST NOV 7PM<br />


SAT 2ND NOV 7PM<br />



TUE 12TH NOV 7PM<br />



WED 13TH NOV 7PM<br />



+ PISS KITTI<br />


THUR 14TH NOV 7PM<br />



FRI 15TH NOV 7PM<br />

KNE<br />

SAT 16TH NOV 7PM<br />



FRI 22ND NOV 7PM<br />




FRI 22ND NOV 7PM<br />

SLADE<br />

FRI 29TH NOV 7PM<br />


SAT 30TH NOV 6.30PM<br />


SAT 30TH NOV 7PM<br />


WED 4TH DEC 7PM<br />


THUR 5TH DEC 7PM<br />

BEAK><br />

FRI 6TH DEC 7PM<br />


& WILD FRONT<br />

SAT 7TH DEC 7PM<br />

IAN MCNABB &<br />


TUE 10TH DEC 7PM<br />


WED 11TH DEC 7PM<br />


BACK”<br />

THUR 12TH DEC 7PM<br />



SAT 14TH DEC 7PM<br />


MON 27TH DEC 7PM<br />


FRI 7TH FEB 2020 7.30PM SOLD OUT<br />


FRI 21TH FEB 2020 7PM<br />


SUN 23RD FEB 2020 7PM<br />


SAT 7TH MAR 2020 7PM<br />

PINS<br />

SUN 29TH MAR 2020 7PM<br />





90<br />


EVOL presents<br />

plus support from<br />

ticketmaster.co.uk<br />

11-13 Hotham Street, Liverpool L3 5UF<br />

Doors 7pm unless stated<br />

Venue box office opening hours:<br />

Mon - Sat 10.30am - 5.30pm<br />

SATURDAY 09 NOVEMBER <strong>2019</strong><br />


11-13 Hotham Street, L3 5UF<br />


o2academyliverpool.co.uk<br />

@CLUBEVOL @SheDrewTheGun


14 JUN – 10 NOV <strong>2019</strong><br />

Supported by<br />

Media partner<br />

The Keith Haring Exhibition Supporters Group<br />

Tate Members<br />

Keith Haring Untitled 1983<br />

© Keith Haring Foundation<br />

Photo © Annik Wetter

What’s On<br />

<strong>November</strong> –<br />

December<br />

Sunday 17 <strong>November</strong> 7pm<br />

Film<br />

Merry Christmas<br />

Mr Lawrence (cert 15)<br />

Tuesday 19 <strong>November</strong> 7.30pm<br />

Calexico and Iron and Wine<br />

Wednesday 20 <strong>November</strong> 8pm<br />

Music Room<br />

AKA Trio<br />

Saturday 23 <strong>November</strong> 7.30pm<br />

Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra<br />

Elton John –<br />

50 Years of Your Song<br />

Tuesday 10 December 7.30pm<br />

Film<br />

Elf (cert PG)<br />

Monday 16 December 8pm<br />

Music Room<br />

Awake, Arise – A Christmas<br />

Show For Our Times<br />

Saturday 28 December 7.30pm<br />

Sunday 29 December 7.30pm<br />

Ghostbusters: Film with<br />

Live Orchestra (cert PG)<br />

Box Office<br />

0151 709 3789<br />

liverpoolphil.com<br />

LiverpoolPhilharmonic<br />

liverpoolphil<br />



KAZIMIER STOCKROOM 13 NOV & 4 DEC <strong>2019</strong><br />


KAZIMIER STOCKROOM 8 DEC <strong>2019</strong><br />


M&S BANK ARENA LIVERPOOL 17 NOV <strong>2019</strong><br />


THE CHRISTMAS SPIEGELTENT 8 DEC <strong>2019</strong><br />


THE EPSTEIN THEATRE 20 NOV <strong>2019</strong><br />


PHASE ONE 20 DEC <strong>2019</strong><br />


M&S BANK ARENA LIVERPOOL 21 NOV <strong>2019</strong><br />


KAZIMIER STOCKROOM 20 DEC <strong>2019</strong><br />


STUDIO 2 23 NOV <strong>2019</strong><br />


CONSTELLATIONS 31 DEC <strong>2019</strong><br />


THE CHRISTMAS SPIEGELTENT 28 NOV <strong>2019</strong><br />

SOUND CITY 2020<br />

BALTIC TRIANGLE 1 - 3 May 2020<br />


GARDEN OF MADNESS CENTRAL DOCKS 7 DEC <strong>2019</strong><br />

CREAMFIELDS 2020<br />


Henri Matisse, L’Escargot (The Snail), 1952-53. Lithographic reproduction (1958), 46.7 x 57.7cm. © Succession H. Matisse/ DACS <strong>2019</strong><br />

Matisse<br />

Drawing with Scissors<br />

25 October <strong>2019</strong> to<br />

15 March 2020<br />


Armistead Maupin<br />

11 <strong>November</strong><br />

Nadiya Hussain<br />

13 <strong>November</strong><br />

Mark Grist: Mark Can’t Rap<br />

15 <strong>November</strong><br />

James Rowland: Revelations<br />

16 <strong>November</strong><br />

HoneyBee<br />

18 <strong>November</strong><br />

Benjamin Zephaniah<br />

23 <strong>November</strong><br />

Luke Wright: Poet Laureate<br />

28 <strong>November</strong><br />

Festival Finale Poetry Party<br />

30 <strong>November</strong><br />

plus many more!<br />

find out more at storyhouse.com











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has chartered our city’s vibrant, do-it-together ethos for over 100 issues. You can join this dedicated<br />

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Bag with your first magazine, at the end of the year you’ll get the premium Bido Lito! Journal and you’ll<br />

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New Music + Creative Culture<br />

Liverpool<br />

<strong>Issue</strong> <strong>105</strong> / <strong>November</strong> <strong>2019</strong><br />

bidolito.co.uk<br />

Second Floor<br />

The Merchant<br />

40-42 Slater Street<br />

Liverpool L1 4BX<br />

Founding Editor<br />

Craig G Pennington - info@bidolito.co.uk<br />

Publisher<br />

Christopher Torpey - chris@bidolito.co.uk<br />

Editor<br />

Elliot Ryder - elliot@bidolito.co.uk<br />

Digital Media Manager<br />

Brit Williams – brit@bidolito.co.uk<br />

Design<br />

Mark McKellier - mark@andmark.co.uk<br />

Branding<br />

Thom Isom - hello@thomisom.com<br />

Proofreader<br />

Nathaniel Cramp<br />

Cover Photography<br />

John Johnson<br />

Words<br />

Elliot Ryder, Sophie Shields, Jordan Ryder, Scott<br />

Charlesworth, Christopher Torpey, David Weir, Brit<br />

Williams, Ambre Levy, Jennie Macaulay, Craig G<br />

Pennington, Sam Turner, Rhys Buchannan, Scott<br />

Burgess, Nina Franklin, Lewis Dohren, Jack Turner,<br />

Dr Ariel Edesess, Daniel Blunt.<br />

Photography, Illustration and Layout<br />

Mark McKellier, John Johnson, Michael Kirkham, Keith<br />

Ainsworth, Scott Charlesworth, Carin Verbruggen,<br />

Shea McChrystal, Sally Pilkington, Yana Yatsuk, Fin<br />

Reed, Glyn Akroyd, Stu Moulding, Robin Clewley,<br />

Lewis Dohren.<br />


The longer nights were always going to be the home<br />

for this new nadir of uncertainty. Turn the clocks back<br />

three years, not just the customary hour, and you’d be<br />

forgiven for thinking the minute and hour hands have<br />

frozen and reality ceased.<br />

Everyday absurdities rendered<br />

meaningless. Career-ending soundbites<br />

now campaigning rhetoric. Every day,<br />

the same excruciating arguments evenly<br />

squared off by the BBC, Question Time<br />

now being an exercise in self-harm. The<br />

vernacular of logic has been crowded out<br />

in favour of blind-hope terrace chants.<br />

Consequence has been removed from<br />

the vocabulary of those at the wheel of<br />

political madness.<br />

With Bido Lito! being a collection<br />

of voices, stories and song, it’s perhaps<br />

most disheartening to witness this<br />

growing desecration of language. What<br />

should remain a medium free from<br />

fearmongering, division and deceit has<br />

been weaponised in the most odious<br />

manner – all in an attempt to win the<br />

stalemate with little regard for the irreparable chasm it carves<br />

between us all. It wasn’t so long ago that discourse rewarded<br />

those who had a way with words. Now, discourse is a battlefield<br />

for those who want their own way with the help of words.<br />

This being my first editorial as Editor, it feels somewhat<br />

hollowing to know it’s delivered with a tone of anxiety. But it’s<br />

important to acknowledge that the arts and music can’t reside<br />

offshore from these bizarre goings on. This is not to say all art<br />


“There remains a<br />

strong appetite for<br />

visual language<br />

that takes on the<br />

biggest issues<br />

in society with<br />

positivity and hope”<br />

should aim to reflect, respond and protest these times ahead;<br />

to do so would be limiting and unfair. In return, artists must<br />

be granted space. However, it’s clear that those at the levers<br />

of power are drawing an ever-tightening perimeter around<br />

free spaces of thought and ideas,<br />

movements and cultures. Art should<br />

allow for the momentary escape free<br />

from ideological borders, many of which<br />

are currently under threat from a barrage<br />

of isolationist rhetoric.<br />

Looking to our cover feature, The<br />

Mysterines break with the haze of<br />

shadow-encrusted language and tell<br />

us how it is. They let their music do<br />

the talking and, surprisingly, leave little<br />

else to mystery. We also come to see<br />

the effervescent hip hop trio Nutribe<br />

as an antidote all should endeavour<br />

to experience. As they put it across<br />

themselves: “Everyone likes to hear<br />

positivity. Why wouldn’t they? People<br />

like to see three MCs having a good<br />

time, chatting goodness.” This direct,<br />

positive language is not solely reserved<br />

for lyricism in this issue. As we see in Jordan Ryder’s assessment<br />

of Keith Haring’s work, there remains a strong appetite for<br />

visual language that takes on the biggest issues in society with<br />

positivity and hope. It is perhaps the visual artist’s energy and<br />

belief we should look to when the longest nights roll in.<br />

Elliot Ryder / @elliot_ryder<br />

Editor<br />

Photo by Robin Clewley<br />

Distribution<br />

Our magazine is distributed as far as possible through<br />

pedal power, courtesy of our Bido Bikes. If you would<br />

like to find out more, please email chris@bidolito.co.uk.<br />

Advertise<br />

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out about how we can work together, please email<br />

sales@bidolito.co.uk.<br />

Bido Lito! is a living wage employer. All our staff are<br />

paid at least the living wage.<br />

All contributions to Bido Lito! come from our city’s<br />

amazing creative community. If you would like to join<br />

the fold visit bidolito.co.uk/contribute.<br />

We are contributing one per cent of our advertising<br />

revenue to WeForest.org to fund afforestation<br />

projects around the world. This more than offsets our<br />

carbon footprint and ensures there is less CO2 in the<br />

atmosphere as a result of our existence.<br />


Take a deep breath and hang on tight as the ascendant trio wind<br />

up to release the full force of their hair-raising repertoire.<br />

18 / NUTRIBE<br />

Fresh from renowned Future Bubblers programme, the<br />

effervescent hip hop trio bring us up to speed on the<br />

interplanetary aura that unifies their artistry and being.<br />



As the hugely successful Keith Haring exhibition moves into<br />

its final month, Jordan Ryder ponders whether there is a battle<br />

to sustain the artist’s campaigning sentiment in the face of its<br />

aesthetic appeal.<br />


Oliver Taylor walks us through Trudy’s pillow-headed paradise<br />

and towards a new musical world yet to be shaped.<br />

24 / THE DIRT I’M MADE OF<br />

Writer and photographer Scott Charlesworth locates the<br />

homebound escapism of the River Mersey.<br />


“The power of a word or a melody can be quite profound: it can<br />

change the way in which people perceive things”<br />

31 / BLACK LIPS<br />

“I grew up in a church that was way more wild than any rock ’n’<br />

roll show”<br />

The views expressed in Bido Lito! are those of the<br />

respective contributors and do not necessarily<br />

reflect the opinions of the magazine, its staff or the<br />

publishers. All rights reserved.<br />


12 / NEWS<br />

26 / SPOTLIGHT<br />

32 / PREVIEWS<br />

34 / REVIEWS<br />



NEWS<br />

Mellowtone @ 15<br />

Mellowtone<br />

From a leap of faith back at the The View Two Gallery in<br />

2004 all the way to the here and now, MELLOWTONE are<br />

celebrating 15 years of gigs, parties and quietly creating<br />

a stir. To mark the occasion, the promotions companycum-record<br />

label are hosting an exhibition at Buyers<br />

Club featuring 15 original screenprints. The show opens<br />

on 6th <strong>November</strong>, where the specially commissioned<br />

illustrations and posters will sit alongside historic flyers,<br />

prints and ephemera from the Mellowtone archives. There<br />

is also a programme of free entry shows in collaboration<br />

with Handyman Brewery, with the Smithdown Road<br />

establishment brewing a special beer for the occasion. A<br />

host of Mellowtone favourites and regulars from down<br />

the years will be turning out, including SEAFOAM GREEN<br />

(Wednesday 20th <strong>November</strong>), ANWAR ALI AND DAVE<br />

OWEN (21st <strong>November</strong>), EDGAR JONES (23rd) and NICK<br />

ELLIS (24th).<br />

Dig At The Dock<br />

The Royal Albert Dock’s independent spirit is soon to<br />

be bolstered by the arrival of Bold Street favourites Dig<br />

Vinyl. Far from just a tired replication of the popular city<br />

centre vinyl emporium, DIG AT THE DOCK will be offering<br />

memorabilia, books, art prints and merchandise related<br />

to music and Liverpool, alongside a mixture of new and<br />

vintage vinyl stock. Due to open in <strong>November</strong>, the pop-up<br />

will bring the local scene to the Dock, as the Diggers look to<br />

work with other independent Liverpool businesses that fit<br />

alongside their vision. We can soon look forward to music<br />

having a firm presence within one of the city’s biggest<br />

tourist destinations, in line with the docks being Liverpool’s<br />

access not only to trade, but also to music from across the<br />

globe.<br />

Dig At The Dock<br />

Laces Out, Dan!<br />

Laces Out!<br />

LACES OUT! trainer festival celebrates its fifth birthday on 16th <strong>November</strong>, by returning to Camp<br />

and Furnace for its biggest event yet. There have been 11 Laces Out! festivals since it began back<br />

in 2014, and with its return to the venue where it all began for AW19, there’s a lot in store for<br />

sneakerheads. The usual array of rare footwear, deadstock and streetwear will be on hand from the<br />

dozens of independent retailers, offering unique deals and services to sneaker enthusiasts. Even if you<br />

don’t consider yourself a trainer expert, there’s still a great selection of artwork and apparel for the<br />

discerning sports casual. Key industry figures will be on hand to share their wisdom and experience<br />

during a number of panel discussions, with guest DJs on hand throughout to make sure it’s as smooth<br />

as your Air Jordans. lacesout.co.uk<br />

Louder Than Words<br />

A Year In Liverpool Music<br />

A famous comment (erroneously attributed to Elvis Costello) suggested<br />

that writing about music is like “dancing about architecture”; in other words,<br />

a tricky, abstract thing to even attempt. However, many careers have<br />

been forged by those interested in working across the worlds of music<br />

and writing, and that is what one panel at the LOUDER THAN WORDS<br />

festival will attempt to unpick. The panel features our own publisher<br />

Christopher Torpey, who joins a discussion with a number of storied writers<br />

and journalists: Professor Martin James, Dr Lucy O’Brien and Dr Simon<br />

A. Morrison. The whole festival, which takes place between 8th and 10th<br />

<strong>November</strong> at the Principal Hotel in Manchester, will bring together a host of<br />

intriguing panels, interviews and workshops, with Edwyn Collins opening<br />

the event. Full details can be found at louderthanwordsfest.com<br />

The <strong>2019</strong> edition of the Bido Lito! Journal is now available to pre-order!<br />

Collating and celebrating 12 months in Liverpool’s creative and cultural<br />

endeavours, the Bido Lito! Journal will bring together the story of <strong>2019</strong><br />

in a supreme, glossy format. Printed in a limited edition run, the Journal<br />

will feature a selection of the best photography and commissions from<br />

artists we’ve covered throughout the year. It’s our way of reflecting on<br />

another amazing year in Merseyside for new music and creative culture,<br />

and to showcase the talent that makes this city such a vibrant place to<br />

live, work and create in. It’ll arrive in time for Christmas, too, so it’s the<br />

perfect gift for yourself or for the music and culture-loving pal in your<br />

life. Head to bidolito.co.uk to find out how to pre-order a copy.<br />

River Of Light<br />

River Of Light<br />

The River Mersey is the stage once more for the RIVER OF LIGHT celebrations.<br />

The annual spectacular returns as a nine-day festival of light and colour, with<br />

the huge fireworks spectacle on Sunday 3rd <strong>November</strong> as its centrepiece.<br />

Titanium Fireworks – one of the world’s leading pyrotechnic companies – will<br />

lead simultaneous displays on both sides of the Mersey from 6.30pm, with a<br />

firework show soundtracked by artists who have been popular in the region during<br />

<strong>2019</strong>. Around this, Liverpool’s waterfront will be transformed with a number of<br />

spectacular light commissions between 1st and 9th <strong>November</strong>, featuring some of<br />

the most exciting visual artists in Europe. The Royal Albert Dock will be the canvas<br />

for two light installations, with the Liver Building, Wapping Dock, Liverpool Parish<br />

Church and Mann Island also being illuminated. visitliverpool.com/riveroflight<br />



The Zanzibar Club’s Scott Burgess<br />

picks out a selection of songs that<br />

have been on constant rotation on his<br />

virtual jukebox of late.<br />

Sam Cooke<br />

A Change is<br />

Gonna Come<br />

RCA Victor<br />

Winter Arts Market<br />

Open Culture’s WINTER ARTS MARKET will set up<br />

home again in the Anglican Cathedral on 7th December,<br />

the festive sibling of the sunnier Summer Arts<br />

Market. The independent shopping experience brings<br />

together over 200 artists, designers and makers under<br />

one magnificent roof for what is always a heartwarming<br />

day out in the festive hustle and bustle. Whether you’re<br />

looking for screen prints, photography, paintings or<br />

homewares for yourself or for that hard-to-buy-for<br />

family member, it’s likely you’ll find something that fits<br />

the bill here. In addition to the main market, there’ll be<br />

craft opportunities for little ones in the Kids Craft Lab,<br />

and a pop-up vintage and clothing fair in the cathedral’s<br />

Concert Room. You may even find some music, too,<br />

if you go exploring the cathedral’s many nooks and<br />

crannies.<br />

2020 And Beyond<br />

Winter Arts Market<br />

Playing Fast And Loose<br />

The Merseyside Guitar Show, which takes place<br />

at Aintree Racecourse on 24th <strong>November</strong>, is the<br />

setting for the launch of a new line of instruments<br />

by Cumbria-based guitar builders LUCEM GUITARS.<br />

Having made guitars for ex-Verve guitarist Nick<br />

McCabe, Slowdive’s Neil Halstead and Greg Dulli<br />

from the Afghan Whigs, Lucem have a cult following<br />

in the high-end custom built market – and their new<br />

Silver Series is a more affordable line. The logo on this<br />

series has been designed by Brian Cannon at Microdot<br />

Creative, who was the man behind many iconic album<br />

sleeve designs from the 90s (Oasis, The Verve). The<br />

new guitars will available at the Merseyside Guitar<br />

Show to view and demo in a private booth, and guitar<br />

maker and designer Graham Skimming will be present<br />

– along with a special guest – to take questions.<br />

This song always has a place<br />

in my heart. My mum was<br />

a massive Motown and disco freak, and this massively<br />

influenced my musical likes and dislikes when I was<br />

growing up. Music transcends time and this song takes me<br />

back to sitting in my mum’s car, listening to the CDs belting<br />

out tracks.<br />

Run The Jewels<br />

Lie, Cheat, Steal<br />

Mass Appeal<br />

These guys are focusing<br />

on real issues across the<br />

world, from poverty to gun<br />

crime. They do this in a really<br />

comical way with beats which deserve the best bass face.<br />

If you’re already a fan of RTJ, I recommend watching Killer<br />

Mike’s docu-series Trigger Warning. Lie, Cheat, Steal is<br />

basically about how everyone is doing everything in their<br />

power to rise to the top, regardless of the consequences.<br />

This song is the revolution.<br />

National Museums Liverpool has announced a run of outstanding exhibitions and new permanent<br />

displays for 2020, with a focus on art, photography, technology and revolution. Opening on 25th<br />

April, the LINDA MCCARTNEY RETROSPECTIVE at Walker Art Gallery will feature some iconic<br />

photography taken by McCartney during the 1960s, some of which have never been on public<br />

display before. Alongside depictions of luminaries of the 60s music scene, a number of her private<br />

shots of family life with Paul will also be on show. The major piece for summer 2020 comes at<br />

the World Museum, as AI: MORE THAN HUMAN arrives after an acclaimed run at the Barbican.<br />

Running from 10th July to 1st <strong>November</strong>, it will give visitors a thrilling glimpse of the future through<br />

interactive and immersive artworks. Find more at liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/nml2020.<br />

Imtiaz Dharker<br />

A Literal Feast<br />

Chester Literature Festival is one of the UK’s oldest. This year it celebrates<br />

its 30th anniversary, with 128 events taking place at Storyhouse between<br />

9th and 30th <strong>November</strong>. Major authors ARMISTEAD MAUPIN and MICHAEL<br />

MORPURGO will take part in evening discussions about their work and life, with<br />

writers and broadcasters NADIYA HUSSAIN and JOHN OSBORNE also stopping<br />

by. The festival is a great chance to engage in discussion and find inspiration<br />

for new work, with the words of poet IMTIAZ DHARKER joining those of Lemn<br />

Sissay and Hollie McNish on the walls of Storyhouse’s vibrant library, cinema<br />

and theatre spaces. Dharker has even penned a special poem for Storyhouse,<br />

which can be heard when she is joined by friends CAROL ANN DUFFY and<br />

KEITH HUTSON for a special event on 22nd <strong>November</strong>. storyhouse.com<br />

Red Rum Club<br />

Would You Rather<br />

Be Lonely?<br />

Modern Sky UK<br />

I first heard these guys way<br />

back when I was a bartender<br />

working in Some Place and<br />

I heard them soundchecking downstairs in The Zanzibar.<br />

I had to pop my head in when I heard the brass come<br />

steaming in. From then I was hooked. We have a few of<br />

their songs on the playlist in Some Place and, no matter<br />

what time this song comes on, the feels are there. When<br />

half the bar are singing along to an awesome homegrown<br />

band and an equally awesome song, how could this not be<br />

on the list?<br />

Cymande<br />

Cymande<br />

Janus Records<br />

Sweet Release(s)<br />

We’ve been lucky enough to hear tonnes of great new music<br />

again this month, far too much for us to fit in a single issue.<br />

It would be remiss not to mention some of the finer releases,<br />

however, such as the fabulous new effort from ambient wizard<br />

LO FIVE. The producer’s new LP, Geography Of The Abyss, is a<br />

masterpiece of downbeat techno that’s full of sumptuous synth<br />

work, and is a late contender for your favourite record of the year.<br />

Songsmith EMILIO PINCHI is back with a six-track mini-album<br />

on 15th <strong>November</strong>, and new electro noir trio RISE ATHENA have<br />

made some waves with their first track, Jericho. Any new music<br />

from the world of idiosyncratic songwriter and producer News<br />

From Neptune is something to enjoy, and the new EP – Fields Of<br />

Industry, credited to NEWS FROM NEPTUNE FEATURING THE<br />

SINCLAIR C5 – is a beguiling brew of twinkling guitartronica.<br />

Lo Five - Geography Of The Abyss<br />

I recently discovered this<br />

album while deep in the rabbit<br />

hole of YouTube. They are a<br />

British funk band who were<br />

active in 70s, and they reunited recently. They’re also<br />

massively overlooked considering their unbelievable talent.<br />

Cymande is derived from the calypso word for ‘dove’,<br />

symbolising love and peace. This album is pure escapism:<br />

sit back, close your eyes and feel the Calypso funk.<br />

thezanzibarclub.com<br />

Head to bidolito.co.uk now for an extended list of song<br />

choices on Scott’s Dansette.<br />


Blink and you’ll have missed The<br />

Mysterines’ rise from smoking area<br />

adulation to the name on the lips of the<br />

country’s biggest taste-makers. This<br />

is merely the start. Take a deep breath<br />

and hang on tight as they wind up to<br />

release the full force of their hair-raising<br />

repertoire.<br />


Over the last 18 months, you might have noticed posters surfacing around the city’s<br />

streets crying out ‘Who are The Mysterines?’ Those early few who knew, knew. But,<br />

beyond the striking shredded typeface, there was no explanation. Who, what or were<br />

THE MYSTERINES? Overheard whispers in the smoking areas of venues gave the odd<br />

hushed clue. But, even if you didn’t know, it felt like you should care.<br />

Until now the band have had little internet presence and only a handful of songs to go with<br />

their poster campaign. Yet, even with a relatively low profile over the last year, the trio have been<br />

able to build a fair amount of excitement, just in time for the release of their statement EP, Take<br />

Control.<br />

People love a mystery. Everyone strives to be the first person on the pulse of a new band, to<br />

be the first person to bring them up in conversation. However, after supporting Miles Kane on his<br />

UK tour and with fans in Steve Lamacq and Huw Stephens, the aforementioned heavyweights<br />

have beat many to it. The Mysterines are fast becoming less mysterious to discerning rock fans in<br />

Liverpool and further afield. Word is spreading.<br />

So, here I am on a Saturday night at the O2 Academy, preparing myself for my first full<br />

experience of their much-touted live show, one that so many have attested to in Liverpool since<br />

the arrival of those posters. It’s a sell-out in the main room for tonight’s headliners Red Rum Club,<br />

so it’s fair to assume most up-and-coming bands would feel a hint of pressure in the situation. Not<br />

quite. Rather than smile and be thankful for the opportunity, the trio offer a direct lesson in the<br />

need to turn up for support acts.<br />

No frills, no fuss, no hype. Just grungy guitars, dirty bass riffs, pounding drums and rough<br />

vocals that sound like a combination of PJ Harvey, Courtney Love and Dua Lipa. The show pretty<br />

much carries on in this vein for the rest of their set, with a distinct absence of unnecessary chatter<br />

from the lead singer, or anyone for that matter. The band don’t need it. The crowd don’t need it.<br />

The music speaks for itself.<br />

Take the eponymous EP opener. There’s no revving up of the engine or false start. It’s a<br />

juggernaut already in monition, like a brick laid on a muscle car accelerator pedal. The soaring<br />

vocals that career alongside give off the cool of a Ray-Ban clad James Dean. Hormone is pumped<br />

full of wiry attitude, a song that begs to played with the windows fully rolled down with little care<br />


“There’s a lot you can<br />

take from being at this<br />

stage so young, but<br />

there is also a lot that<br />

can fuck you up”<br />

RINES<br />

for the decibel level. Gasoline and Bet Your Pretty Face are as unsparing as they are anthemic; they<br />

could happily draw the curtain on a sunburst backdrop as you speed off in the distance. The EP as a<br />

whole sounds like it was recorded with a white-hot intent; it’s clear no single thread of energy was<br />

spared in its assembly.<br />

Seeing all of this live forces home the feeling. Their lack of online presence means their whole<br />

persona, style and stage presence is a surprise until curtain call. It harks back to the good old days of<br />

not knowing what to expect from a show. When you couldn’t pre-watch glimpses of sets on YouTube<br />

seemingly recorded by a potato. When setlists were still something to be anticipated. The Mysterines<br />

are bringing back that first time excitement of going to gigs.<br />

Behind the posters and lashings of overdrive, The Mysterines are a three-piece band from Wirral.<br />

Lia Metcalfe provides their fierce vocals and guitar, George Favager adds gritty bass and Chrissy<br />

Moore relentlessly bangs the drums.<br />

Yet, mysterious by name and mysterious by nature. When I meet up with Lia a few days after the<br />

show, even though I had seen her on stage a few days prior, I have no idea who I’m looking out for.<br />

I try to make myself look obvious in the bar we are meeting in; laptop and notebook poised,<br />

pen in hand, anxious knee tapping. After a number of bodies and faces come through the door, she<br />

eventually arrives. It’s clear who she is. Lia oozes a sense of nonchalant coolness, one I’d never be<br />

able to achieve in a million years. Much more sedate in nature now, but with a lot more to say than the<br />

weekend’s stage presence. She’s only 18 years of age. Suddenly, I feel old.<br />

In between their Red Rum Club gig and pending support slots with Seagirls and The Amazons<br />

we sit down to address the posters and finally answer the elusive, A2 sized question: ‘Who are<br />

The Mysterines?’ We start at the very beginning, with a good old blast to the past. Well, one not so<br />

distant; Lia and George are 18, and Chrissy is only 23, after all.<br />

“My dad was a singer-songwriter in a band,” Lia starts, when asked how she got the impetus<br />

to explore the world of music and eventually form her own band. “He taught me my first two chords<br />

when I was nine and I just wrote songs off the back of that.” She recalls this while shrugging her<br />

shoulders as though learning how to play guitar at nine is commonplace. “I didn’t want to learn guitar.<br />

Weirdly, I just wanted to learn tunes, so I sort of skipped learning to play theoretically. It’s only the<br />

past few years I’ve been like, ‘Shit, I really need to learn some stuff’.”<br />



16<br />

“Sometimes you<br />

need to take the<br />

artist for what they<br />

are; music first”

Having known Chrissy pretty much since birth (“his parents<br />

used to babysit mine!”), Lia had a readymade drummer at her<br />

fingertips when needed. George’s acquisition can be as much<br />

owed to his aesthetic as his ability with a bass. “When I met him<br />

I just thought he looked quite cool,” she confesses, before adding,<br />

“I assumed he played an instrument, just from the way he was<br />

dressed.” A little further social media detective work and the<br />

band’s fixtures were in place: “I stalked his Facebook until I found<br />

him and sent a really long message like, ‘I’m not a weirdo, I’m just<br />

looking for band members’.” It paid off, and the band have carried<br />

on an upward trajectory since, sharing a journey from practices<br />

in the front room, a first gig at 14, right up to the release of their<br />

debut EP in August and selling out a December headline show at<br />

Jimmy’s – almost three months in advance. It’s been a progression<br />

they’ve undertaken together, as Lia explains: “It’s the first band<br />

I’ve ever been in, so we’ve all grown up together with it.”<br />

Despite starting so young, the three of them have grown into<br />

the musicians they are under the watchful eye of James Skelly of<br />

The Coral and Skeleton Key Records, who is also credited with<br />

shaping the world of The Mysterines. “As we were so young<br />

when we first started, Jay said to keep everything condensed,<br />

music-wise. I suppose the mystery thing was an unintentional<br />

way to protect our personalities because we were so young. But<br />

then people caught on and we just blagged that we came up<br />

with the idea. We’re sort of mysterious, but not to ourselves.”<br />

The question on everyone’s lips then: why the name? Lia<br />

starts: “I think we wanted something that was quite 80s, a Lost<br />

Boys sort of thing,” she explains. “Jay was saying The Coral<br />

got their name from a mouthwash in the 90s called Oracle or<br />

something, so we were joking about saying Listerine and then Jay<br />

said ‘Mysterine’. We were like, ‘Yeh, let’s just use it!’”<br />

With Take Control now out in the open, the ‘Who Are The<br />

Mysterines’ mantra less prevalent than regular mainstream radio<br />

plays, it leads to the question of whether the band are now<br />

looking to take control of their identity. Will they opt to sculpt<br />

more shadows or present an open book to go with their hairraising<br />

rock ’n’ roll? “I think it will be a good idea to keep [the<br />

mystery surrounding the band] because we are still so young and<br />

have opinions that probably shouldn’t be let out into the world<br />

yet,” Lia adds with humour, casting light on the fact that the band<br />

are still likely to be asked for ID upon entry to most venues they<br />

play. “It’s like a cautious thing. I don’t really like sharing too much<br />

as more music gets released either. I think, sometimes, you can<br />

attach the artist to the person a little too much. For certain artists<br />

that can work, but sometimes you need to take the artist for what<br />

they are; music first.”<br />

Lia’s maturity is palpable. Mainstream media tends to create a<br />

preconception that young people in the music industry aren’t able<br />

to handle the pressure. In this instance, writing music and gigging<br />

from the age of 14 has sped up the steps towards gaining<br />

confidence in ability, especially when it becomes your livelihood.<br />

“There’s a lot you can take from it going in so young, but there<br />

is also a lot that can fuck you up because you’re so young,” Lia<br />

muses. “You don’t really understand how people work yet. When<br />

we first started we just got thrown into the deep end. We were<br />

just saying yesterday, it’s mad to think that we haven’t been to<br />

that many gigs as spectators. Instead we’ve played hundreds.”<br />

Playing such a large number of gigs is no easy feat, especially<br />

when you’re trying to juggle school, the added pressure of<br />

fronting the band and essentially being the spokesperson for<br />

the group. It’s a role that Lia is happy to be taking on, but not<br />

without its caveats of expectations for musical progression and<br />

development. Lia shrugs off the standardised thought of these<br />

expectations. “You get compared to people who have been in<br />

the industry for years, like grown women and men. I haven’t<br />

even finished puberty yet, you know,” she jokes. And it’s not<br />

only confined to the stage and recording studio. While the<br />

efforts are paying off, taking the reins of The Mysterines is an<br />

all-encompassing endeavour. “It can get stressful because I write<br />

everything. I do everything; social media and stuff, too. It’s all<br />

from me, really.”<br />

However, Lia is quick to outline that it is far from a selfreflective<br />

endeavour. The Mysterines are a band that are toploaded<br />

by the lead singer-songwriter and guitarist, but only with<br />

all the other parts pulling in tandem do they become a force to<br />

be reckoned with. “When I bring the songs to the boys they turn<br />

it around in a different way. It’s like putting bread in the toaster,<br />

the toast is the final product,” Lia explains. I like the analogy.<br />

Bread is always better after a quick run in with the toaster; gives<br />

it an edge. “There is definitely an energy there that needs to be<br />

communicated when we play live.”<br />

Beyond strong influences from Bob Dylan, Aretha Franklin, PJ<br />

Harvey and Patti Smith, I’m intrigued to find out where she gets<br />

her songwriting inspiration from. If I think back to when I was in<br />

my early teens I wouldn’t know where to start with writing my<br />

own music, yet Lia has managed to turn those turbulent times<br />

into clever lyrics and angsty songs. “I think it’s changed over<br />

time,” she muses. “Initially, when I was younger. it was from<br />

my perspective on feelings, which it still is to a certain point.<br />

Sometimes I’ll write something and I still don’t realise what it’s<br />

about until I’ve got over the issue. I’ll look back at the song like,<br />

‘Oh shit, that’s what that was about’. I think now, because I’m<br />

a bit older, I like to get points across in songs, especially from<br />

a female perspective. But love is probably the main thing, it’s<br />

probably the main thing everyone writes about, really.”<br />

Touching on the female perspective she mentions can often<br />

be a subject lingered on when speaking to female musicians.<br />

But when you’re fronting a heavy rock band in a city that lacks<br />

this sort of genre, more so with the recent end of Queen Zee,<br />

I want to find out how she feels being in this position as a<br />

young woman. Does society load it with a greater responsibility,<br />

expectation and rules, and does she even notice the pressure<br />

at the age of 18? “I feel like a lot of people get those questions<br />

and they are quick to jump to the answer of, ‘Being a girl in the<br />

industry is no different to being a boy’, but it really is. There<br />

is a major difference,” she says passionately. “The way you’re<br />

perceived and treated is sometimes even more positive than<br />

boys, but then sometimes it’s really degrading,” she adds,<br />

with an expression that lightly leans on the experiences she<br />

is mentally recalling. “The lads have gone through it with me<br />

as well. Their perspective on feminism has changed over time<br />

because they have watched me deal with it. Two years ago, if<br />

you had asked them if sexism exists in the music industry they<br />

probably wouldn’t be so certain, but now they would say, ‘Yes’.<br />

It’s not in the way that girls are better than boys or boys are<br />

better than girls. I think it’s more the fact you become a gimmick<br />

in some ways. It’s mad, sometimes people shock you and treat<br />

you normally, it’s good when that happens because you feel a lot<br />

more comfortable.”<br />

The Mysterines are certainly no gimmick. They’re in good<br />

company, slowly on their way to sharing a platform with some<br />

of the biggest female voices the band take their cues from. The<br />

Mysterines are leading a charge. They’re leading it with a power<br />

and maturity the music industry needs. They are only just getting<br />

started with an exciting future built from the humble beginnings,<br />

one where the alluring charm of mystery has paved the way to<br />

near ubiquity within the Liverpool scene.<br />

“It’s hard to see far ahead,” Lia says, as we wind down our<br />

conversation. “We’re just taking it as it comes and not getting<br />

ahead of ourselves because the pressure kicks in then. I’m just<br />

letting myself grow into a style as a writer. Hopefully we’ll still be<br />

doing this in five years, because if not I’d have to get a job,” she<br />

laughs. As far as I can see, the only job now for The Mysterines is<br />

to keep the music coming and the posters at eye level. Finishing<br />

with a sigh and a smile she ends with a grounding comment, “It’s<br />

been a long road and there’s probably more shit to come, but it’s<br />

been great. It’s all worth it.” !<br />

Words: Sophie Shields / @sshields43<br />

Photography: John Johnson / johnjohnson-photography.com<br />

soundcloud.com/themysterines<br />

Take Control is out now via Pretty Face Recordings. The<br />

Mysterines play Jimmy’s on 7th December.<br />

Thanks to Vessel Liverpool Studios – and keep your eyes open<br />

for behind the scenes content from this photoshoot on Bido<br />

channels.<br />




Fresh from the renowned Future Bubblers programme, the effervescent hip hop trio bring us up to speed on<br />

the interplanetary aura that unifies their artistry and being. Time to understand the ‘ness’ of Nutribe.<br />

It’s difficult to imagine NUTRIBE ever sitting still. As they<br />

lock into pose to have their picture taken, the lens has barely<br />

snapped shut before they’ve contorted into another elastic<br />

shape. And even when their bodies hold still just for a<br />

second, there’s a constant harmony of staccato noises emitting<br />

from their formation; you can almost see the rapids of thought<br />

and ideas rushing between their heads as their bodies feel the<br />

suppress of static. Their unified presence is a life force of its own.<br />

That’s even before you add their music into the equation. When<br />

they pull together into frame, they become a North Face, fur hat<br />

and beret-clad megazord; a three-headed hip hop hydra sporting<br />

razor sharp rhymes instead of deadly teeth.<br />

For a number of years, the trio of Stickydub, Yloh and<br />

Doopsman have been injecting a dose of classic hip hop and<br />

boom bap into Liverpool’s rap scene. But they’re by no means<br />

heritage-facing revivalists. They sound like a trio from the<br />

year 3,000 who’ve dug up dusty artefacts left behind by De<br />

La Soul, Slum Village and The Roots, inspired to put their own<br />

raps to record. The product is music centred on feeling and<br />

bodily movement – the latter often choreographing the vocal<br />

accompaniment. It’s an energetic blend that has led to support<br />

slots with the GZA and taking to the main stage at Africa Oyé.<br />

But, more recently, they’ve caught the attentions of Gilles<br />

Peterson’s Brownswood Music, featuring in the third cohort of<br />

the Future Bubblers artist development programme.<br />

Now back in their home city, Elliot Ryder sits down with the trio<br />

get the inside track on transcending the energy of the Nutribe ‘ness’.<br />

You’ve been releasing tracks for a few years now, with a recent<br />

inclusion on Future Bubblers 3.0. When did the world of<br />

Nutribe start coming together?<br />

Doopsman: When I was born.<br />

So, friends first and the music came after?<br />

Yloh: Yeh, the music came last though. We went through a lot of<br />

things first before we got to music.<br />

D: We all studied dance at arts college in Liverpool. We all parted<br />

ways for a year; Sticky went to London, I went to Leeds and Yloh<br />

stayed here. Then we met back up a year later in London.<br />

Y: The London era was like a level up for the music, we<br />

concentrated on it a lot more when we got there. As for when<br />

all this started, you could say from the first time we met; that<br />

first time we all jumped on Virtual DJ. From there we just started<br />

writing raps and bars.<br />

D: One of the turning points was a<br />

night out we went on in London. We<br />

were on our way to an event and we<br />

came across some turntables just left<br />

in the street. We were like, ‘Ah, should<br />

we take these back?’ but we were<br />

going out, so hid them and planned to<br />

get them on the way back. Anyway,<br />

at this event, the DJ failed to show,<br />

so we ended up filling in and DJing.<br />

When we went back, the turntables<br />

just happened to be there, which in<br />

any other circumstance in London,<br />

they would not have. So we took<br />

them home – now we make music…<br />

So it seemed like it all started pretty<br />

casually. Is it still quite laid back, or was there a moment you<br />

thought, ‘We should try at this with a certain intent’?<br />

Stickydub: There was one moment when we were having a jam<br />

with our friends in London, and I remember listening back to the<br />

voice memos and I was like, ‘Oh, shit, we can do stuff you know’.<br />

Then we started hitting up open mic nights, practising.<br />

D: We started with Butcha B, our big brother – man’s got pure<br />

flavour. I remember on my 21st birthday in Leeds. We were in a<br />

circle, spitting, singing and just chatting shit. There was, like, 20<br />

people around us and we were just in this zone of making noises<br />

together. It was a pretty pivotal moment.<br />

Y: It’s pretty mad how people get the expression of what we give<br />

off, like the warmth. When it resonates, it resonates. It’s genuine.<br />

“It’s not how you<br />

dress, it’s how you<br />

think – your way of<br />

being. Anyone can be<br />

a part of Nutribe”<br />

You started out as part of the Collecta Family, a<br />

multidisciplinary art collective. Are you still part of this scene?<br />

D: It’s still got the family umbrella, but without the name. It’s just<br />

Nutribe. That’s the family, that’s the thing.<br />

Would you say you’re a reflection of a changing community,<br />

or one that was developed in your<br />

youth?<br />

S: I’d say it’s hard not to be a reflection<br />

of the community we were brought<br />

up in. A reflection doesn’t necessarily<br />

mean the same, though, but you can’t<br />

escape that similarity. We’re part of so<br />

many communities; we’re of complex<br />

culture. Lots of our families are<br />

mixed, we’ve lived in different cities,<br />

our identities are complex. We’re a<br />

reflection of many, not just one. That’s<br />

what Nutribe is.<br />

There’s quite a democratic style in<br />

the way that you perform in that<br />

there’s a collage of voices often<br />

present at one time. How did this develop?<br />

D: I think it’s just how we are with each other. We have a respect.<br />

We strive on communication so much. That makes everything so<br />

much easier. So, if Yloh was like, ‘I wanna spit there’, we’d be like,<br />

‘Spit there, go for it’. Standard. Cool, let’s hear it.<br />

Y: It’s one of those where if Doops says he’s coming in, I know<br />

he’s going to come in with something that I’m going to be gassed<br />

with. We have that mutual artistry that is one collective voice. It’s<br />

just different voices in the one voice.<br />

S: We just know our ‘ness’, n e double-s. We just know what<br />

our ness is. Our ness, our vibe. We’re just lacing our words with<br />

the same vibe, you get me? I just trust them. I don’t care how<br />

much that I say. I’m norrarsed. It doesn’t matter. I’m still there, my<br />

energy is being represented, pushed out.<br />

D: We have a track without Yloh on, and obviously it’s not the<br />

same exact flavour, but it’s still got the same ingredient.<br />


So, Nutribe is a feeling?<br />

D: It’s a way, it’s a ness.<br />

Y: I can make a track by myself, that’s Nutribe. I could make<br />

pottery, that’s Nutribe. Doesn’t matter what the instrument is, it’s<br />

the expression that’s within in it.<br />

Are each of you bringing a certain style, or have a certain<br />

musical responsibility? Is it very much a socialist sort of make<br />

up to the group?<br />

Y: We all have unique tools, but we’re all happy to give opinions<br />

on each of them.<br />

S: It all comes together in the expression.<br />

D: I view it as a kitchen. If we were<br />

all head chefs on day one, it wouldn’t<br />

work. You need the Sous-Chef, the<br />

porter. We switch roles. And whoever<br />

is more active on a certain topic, we<br />

just roll with it.<br />

Listening to the likes of the Wu-<br />

Tang Clan, there’s a strong feeling<br />

that every member is jostling for the<br />

mic, wanting their moment. Were<br />

these influences prevalent in your<br />

early days, and how did you break<br />

from the more self-promotional<br />

display?<br />

Y: We do have tunes where each<br />

of us have our time to shine. But,<br />

you know, it’s not like one of us would be like, ‘Yo, it’s my time’.<br />

Rather, one of us would be like, ‘Yo, it’s your time, we want you to<br />

take the lead’. As much as we all shine together, there’s a certain<br />

time when one of us has got something special, and we want to<br />

highlight that.<br />

D: Our music isn’t something we’re specifically trying to get out,<br />

it’s just what we do, how we step. We don’t bring each other<br />

down on that; we big each other up all the time. It’s not fake.<br />

What would be the point? I know mans is going to spit fire bars,<br />

why would I dash the mic from him?<br />

S: Even back in the day when that competitiveness was there, I<br />

still believe in the Wu-Tang’s language, it’s like a sparring match.<br />

It’s not a bad thing.<br />

Would you say your style derives from freestyle?<br />

S: Most of our songs are written verses, but we write in very<br />

“We’re part of so many<br />

communities, our<br />

identities are complex.<br />

We’re a reflection of<br />

many, not just one”<br />

different ways. We incorporate that into our shows a lot. Usually<br />

we have a whole track that is just freestyle. We do write though,<br />

whether it be through voice notes, or notebook and pen.<br />

D: Because we all project the same thing, we don’t need to be<br />

in the same place to write. Even without a topic, we can gel our<br />

words together.<br />

So it’s almost like a subconscious being; one of you could write<br />

a few lines, and the other will naturally have the hook, or the<br />

harmony<br />

D: It’s the ness. Once again, it’s the ness!<br />

S: We know the lifestyle innit, and we live the lifestyle of Nutribe.<br />

We’re in that; it’s not a choice. What<br />

we talk about, it’s all within that. The<br />

cohesiveness is embedded in that.<br />

Was there a moment where you all<br />

collectively understood the ness?<br />

S: Before we made music, we were<br />

already creating together, dancing<br />

together. I think the ness was<br />

something that was visible to others<br />

before it was visible to us. Other<br />

people could pick up on the energy<br />

between us.<br />

Can other artists be part of the<br />

ness?<br />

Y: Yeh. But other people think that<br />

they can’t be part of the ness as much as they actually could<br />

be. They might see an aesthetic, and not feel a part of it, but<br />

we understand it in a different way. It’s not how you dress, it’s<br />

how you think, your way of being. Anyone can be a part of it; it’s<br />

open.<br />

S: I think just being around the ness, you become subject to the<br />

aura of the ness. If we’re here just nessin, then ness with us.<br />

Y: It’s not exclusive.<br />

A lot of your raps have a distinct colloquialness. Do you think<br />

you benefit from having the Scouse accent in a rap game<br />

dominated by southern accents?<br />

D: Yeh, 100 per cent.<br />

Y: It’s very stylised, unique in its own way.<br />

D: Even without music, Scouse captivates an audience, just<br />

talking. It’s a recipe isn’t it?<br />

Lately, so much of language seems bound up in charged<br />

rhetoric for negative purposes. Do you think it’s important to<br />

use language in a celebratory way?<br />

Y: I think it’s important to be honest. You can write, see negativity<br />

and reflect on that. Everything you create, you can reflect on and<br />

learn more about yourself. As an outsource, everyone likes to<br />

hear positivity. Why wouldn’t they? People like to see three MCs<br />

having a good time, chatting goodness. Not your typical moody<br />

language.<br />

S: I wouldn’t say that it’s necessary to emit positivity for an artist.<br />

I’d agree it’s all about being honest. You shouldn’t be trying to<br />

control your expression. I don’t think people should try to be<br />

positive, I think we just are that way. I wouldn’t write something<br />

and think, ‘Oh, that’s not positive enough’. It’s where we are at.<br />

Does the mix of music, writing and dance help sculpt your<br />

style?<br />

S: Out of all of those there, the one that we’re doing is movement.<br />

The broader term. This is all movement. It’s the first thing you do<br />

in your life. Without movement, there can’t be language.<br />

Y: Everything is intersectional. Everything affects the other, you<br />

know, connecting those dots within yourself. You see that in<br />

yourself. There are times where I’ve written a verse, dancing<br />

around at the same time; I can see the similarities in the way the<br />

words and my body move.<br />

So, do you have to see Nutribe to get Nutribe, to understand<br />

the ness?<br />

Y: Best way is to be around it. The more you get, the more you<br />

get.<br />

S: It’s just a higher dosage.<br />

Y: Some people are fluent in music and get the whole picture<br />

from just listening to it.<br />

S: It can depend on the person, though. But sometimes you can<br />

bump into people and…<br />

Y: …and they just get it!<br />

S: They just get it. !<br />

Words: Elliot Ryder / @elliot_ryder<br />

Photos: Michael Kirkham / @Mrkirks<br />

Sittin On The Step by Nutribe features on Future Bubblers 3.0<br />

compilation, which is now available on Brownswood Music.<br />



COMING<br />

OUT<br />


THE<br />

GIFT<br />

SHOP<br />

20<br />

As the hugely successful Keith Haring<br />

exhibition at Tate Liverpool moves into<br />

its final month, Jordan Ryder ponders<br />

whether there is a battle to sustain<br />

the artist’s campaigning sentiment<br />

in the face of its aesthetic appeal.<br />

I<br />

recently got my nose pierced. Yes, that<br />

darkening shape you can see on the horizon is<br />

my 30th birthday. Maybe I can blame that. Or<br />

I can blame my boyfriend for catching me at a<br />

weak moment and making a long held (but crucially<br />

hypothetical) desire happen. Regardless, the weight<br />

of my already sizeable head has increased marginally<br />

and I travel everywhere with a bottle of saline. Both<br />

my mother and a number of my male friends have<br />

remarked that they like it, it suits me, and “it makes me<br />

look more gay”. Brilliant. But, I suppose that was part of<br />

the point, when I think about it. This fairly unexceptional<br />

act of identity assertion happened aged 29. American<br />

artist KEITH HARING died in 1990, aged 31, of AIDSrelated<br />

complications.<br />

Over the course of his career he challenged the<br />

American government’s ignorance of the AIDS crisis,<br />

promoted safe sex and addressed the crack epidemic<br />

in 1980s New York, as well as highlighting the dangers<br />

of nuclear power. In conflating these two I do not seek<br />

to elevate my choice of metallic facial furniture to that of<br />

confrontational activist art, but rather highlight just how<br />

young Haring was to be one of the visual voices of socially<br />

conscious art during the Reagan era, and how an earlier<br />

knowledge and understanding of his work may have eased my<br />

own reconciliation with my homosexuality.<br />

Had I been exposed to his art beyond the T-shirts of<br />

my more fashion conscious friends, would I have felt more<br />

comfortable in myself? I’d like to believe this is the case. Equally,<br />

for any persons unsure of their gender, sexuality or even morality<br />

that visits, or has visited, the exhibition. Subtracted from this line of<br />

questioning, however, the exhibition is a huge success. Not just for<br />

the Tate, but for Liverpool in general.<br />

Returning to my point: if you expand this further, can art, in any<br />

format, provide a focal point for solidarity and identification in the<br />

same way music can, or is the message of an image or object more<br />

firmly rooted in the time and place of production? Does radical art<br />

only remain radical for so long, its didactic power only temporal and<br />

therefore limited?<br />

Essentially, can an exhibition of political art ever avoid the castration<br />

of that art’s political message? Indeed, can a work of art retain its political<br />

undertone without being part of a biographical retrospective?<br />

Take Haring’s Silence Equals Death (1989), for example. Building on<br />

the campaign of the same name by the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power<br />

(ACT UP), Haring’s image recreates the infamous pink triangle on a stark<br />

black background. The reclaimed triangle, initially used as a marker of<br />

homosexuality in Nazi concentration camps, is plain and flat in the ACT UP<br />

poster, but in Haring’s work is overlain with figures representing the ‘see no<br />

evil, hear no evil, speak no evil’ maxim. The overall effect is striking in a very<br />

different way to the ACT UP poster. The tumble of human figures inevitably<br />

connote a pyramid of bodies, Haring certainly conflating the AIDS pandemic<br />

with the Holocaust, presenting both as a systematic eradication of a group<br />

maligned and ignored by the ruling class, the wilful ignorance and inaction of the<br />

Reagan administration set alongside the ideological antisemitism of the Nazis.<br />

As a 29-year-old gay man in <strong>2019</strong> this work of art represents not just a<br />

period in time and a particular aesthetic style, but a pivotal moment in the history<br />

of people like me, one that has shaped not only my perception of what it is to<br />

be gay, but also why it matters to not simply accept the superficial equality that<br />

is framed as progress. But I wonder whether that is the same for younger gay<br />

people, less politically aware gay people, or people who are not part of the LGBTQ+

“The exhibition preserves and<br />

promotes an undeniably brilliant<br />

and important artist. Maybe<br />

an aesthetic appreciation will<br />

lead to a greater engagement,<br />

therefore provoking a discovery<br />

of the radical activism”<br />

Tseng Kwong Chi - Keith Haring in subway car, (New York), circa 1983. Photo © Muna Tseng Dance Projects, Inc. Art © Keith Haring Foundation<br />

community. Do they enter the final room of the Haring exhibition – where much of the work he<br />

produced around the AIDS crisis and his own AIDS diagnosis is situated – and leave with the same<br />

hollowed out, ‘there but for the grace of God’ feeling that I did? Or, despite the obvious trauma<br />

of those images, are they more preoccupied with Haring’s “attractive and lovely and wearable”<br />

designs? And if they are, is that a bad thing?<br />

Exhibitions and Displays Curator at Tate Liverpool Darren Pih endorses the view that Haring<br />

created “images that communicated in the moment” and “reflect the paradoxes of American<br />

culture”. In a way this supports the idea that the true fire of Haring’s activism is lost in the exhibition<br />

of his work, in that it implies that Haring’s work is unextractable from the time and means of<br />

production, that his work is both a product of and “symptomatic of the possibility of the 1980s”.<br />

The work then becomes historically categorised, situated alongside Bonfire Of The Vanities, Angels<br />

In America, American Psycho, and Wall Street as artefacts and touchstones of a time and place,<br />

historically important and certainly contemporarily relevant, but reduced in their potency, lessened<br />

in their impact. Have they been superseded, are they victims of culture’s desire to historicise and<br />

periodise, the easy categorisation much more tempting than asserting their continued relevance?<br />

This question, and others, I ponder as I make my way through the Tate Liverpool retrospective<br />

of Haring’s work. The 1980s are not so long ago to feel so distant to teenagers in <strong>2019</strong>. I wonder<br />

whether the queer and questioning young people who see Haring’s work (maybe for the first<br />

time) will allow it to validate their feelings and support their sense of self, or whether, encased in<br />

the riverside gallery with Kandinsky, Dalí and Warhol, Haring’s work has been institutionalised,<br />

neutered, made part of the static aesthetics of the artistic canon. That is not to denigrate the Tate<br />

Liverpool exhibition in any way. It is a brilliantly conceived space that presents Haring’s work in a<br />

way that is accessible to strangers and illuminating for acquaintances. The exhibition leaflet is a<br />

necessary partner, providing vital details about the consistent motifs that percolate Haring’s work,<br />

not simply an illustrative map or reproduction of the text found in the exhibition. Further note must<br />

also be given to the exhibition’s wider programme which coalesces around the world of Keith<br />

Haring to provide advanced context. Be that in the form of his city’s music, captured on Soul Jazz<br />

Records’ carefully curated compilation, fashion displays and talks about LGBTQ+ art and its activist<br />

sentiment. But one does wonder whether this exhibition can fully retain the activism and social<br />

consciousness of Haring’s work, the radicalism that spurred the production removed so that it is<br />

only the aesthetic visual that remains. Pih, believes that one of the values of Haring’s work is that it<br />

was “not constrained by the studio”, produced (as much of it was) on walls and in subway stations.<br />

If Haring’s work is to have continued significance beyond the aesthetic, if it is to retain its social and<br />

political relevance, one assumes that it cannot be constrained by the exhibition.<br />

Cultural leader and collaborator Amy Lamé, who will speak at Tate Liverpool in <strong>November</strong><br />

about Haring, LGBTQ+ activism and art, believes that Haring’s political consciousness is<br />

“inextricably linked” to his art work and that the two are “almost impossible to separate”. But, I<br />

wonder if I disagree. Because Haring’s work is “so accessible [...so] commodifiable because it’s pop<br />

art”, I wonder if it suffers from an inevitable dilution. It looks so natural on T-shirts, shoes, as easily<br />

bought wall art. Did the teenage boys that my friends once were realise they were clothed in the<br />

socially conscious work of an AIDS campaigner who was heavily influenced by indigenous art and<br />

semiotics? As Lamé acknowledges, Haring “was able to use his art to get across really difficult<br />

messages in a deceptively playful way that didn’t seem threatening, because it looks like cartoons”.<br />

But, for me, this creates a problem. The messages are muddled (or entirely ignored) in favour of<br />

the aesthetics. Banksy in many ways suffers from the same fate, existing in reproductions and tea<br />

towels, commodifiable to the point that even a self-destructive piece is extortionately valuable and<br />

the take home point is sorely glazed over. But where would Haring’s art reside if it not were for<br />

the curatorial ownership of his activism taken upon by Tate Liverpool? Faded away on the subway<br />

station walls? Hidden in personal collections? While the messaging can be seen to be diluted in its<br />

impact and ubiquity, it still has the power to convince when grouped together to be viewed as a<br />

time-stamped artefact of his fight. Ultimately, it’s needed. Otherwise it could disappear altogether.<br />

All art is a social commentary in some way, at the very least a visual time-capsule for the<br />

means of production of the artist. But for those artists who seek to use their art to convey a political<br />

message, I feel that their political reach only extends as far as their life does. Banksy can, in his/<br />

her/their own anonymous way, clarify and reclassify the meaning and message of the work they<br />

produce. Haring is denied this opportunity and so his work is free to be marketed, commented on and<br />

scrutinised with no reply from the most authoritative voice of its existence. While this isn’t entirely<br />

perfect, I realise that the exhibition preserves and promotes, and allows those sections of the public to<br />

access the work of an undeniably brilliant and important artist. And maybe an aesthetic appreciation<br />

will lead to a greater engagement, and therefore will provoke a discovery of the radical activism of the<br />

producer of these jelly baby figures, these flat monochromatic images filled with life.<br />

For all my concerns about the constraining and neutralising power of the exhibition hall, I was<br />

able to wander around with my mother, avoid her in the more risqué moments, and watch the<br />

tears swell as the true fear and horror of the 1980s manifested itself in Haring’s later work. Art and<br />

artists are conduits for understanding society, for making sense in a (normally) single space of our<br />

multifarious world. As we left the exhibition together, Keith himself watching the exit door, there<br />

was understanding where once there may have been unease between our relationship, and maybe<br />

that is enough. !<br />

Words: Jordan Ryder<br />

Images: All Haring Works © Keith Haring Foundation/Collection Noirmontartproduction, Paris<br />

Keith Haring at Tate Liverpool runs until 10th <strong>November</strong>.<br />

Amy Lamé, A Conversation on LGBTQ+ Activism And Art From The 1980s - Today takes place at<br />

Tate Liverpool on 4th <strong>November</strong>. Tickets for the exhibition and talk can be purchased online from<br />

tate.org.uk.<br />





Following on from the band’s debut album, Sandman, released earlier<br />

in this year, Oliver Taylor walks us through the record’s pillow-headed<br />

paradise and towards a new musical world yet to be shaped.<br />

“When you record<br />

anything with music,<br />

it becomes real in a<br />

sense. It becomes<br />

more powerful. You<br />

can become anything<br />

when you put it down<br />

on to record”<br />


Wake early enough and you’ll find a circuit of<br />

joggers making their way around the Sefton<br />

Park perimeter. The daily ritual is as much about<br />

fitness as it is about an understanding of self. Not<br />

all make their way around at the same speed. It’s sometimes the<br />

slowest that return with the greatest discovery on that given day.<br />

At least this is the case for Oliver Taylor, a sort of stray amongst<br />

the pack.<br />

Wake earlier than most and you might come across him<br />

drawing his own circuit of the wooded area. It’s a personal<br />

(albeit quite recent) ritual no less integral to self-understanding,<br />

inspiration and capability, even if its undertaken at a walking<br />

pace. Rather than keep an eye on time, the TRUDY AND THE<br />

ROMANCE frontman is there to relieve a sense of restriction.<br />

A place where new songwriting ideas are being finely tuned<br />

internally while all others are tuning all things cardiovascular.<br />

New songs, he says, that lend inspiration from the singersongwriter<br />

greats – Bruce Springsteen, Joni Mitchell and Kate<br />

Bush. “Something you could maybe tell around the fire,” he notes.<br />

“Cosy little stories, perhaps a little bit deeper. Somewhere beyond<br />

the fantasy.” Maybe somewhere beyond from the celestial doowop<br />

stylings the band had come to perfect.<br />

Foregoing a punctual agreement with the sunrise, it’s closer<br />

to midday by the time we meet beside the park and amble<br />

around its paths and discuss the fantasy of his band’s debut<br />

album, Sandman, released in May. The current backdrop might<br />

not reflect the rhythmic lineage of inner-city doo-wop; a genre<br />

that would be at home tapping its foot around the craning streets<br />

of 1950s New York. But the band’s depiction of the genre is as<br />

much space-age as it is heritage filled. There’s a clear escapist<br />

sentiment to Trudy’s music.<br />

In the collage of croons, harmonies and train-track rattle of<br />

guitar, it feels like the music has been trapped in an old transistor<br />

radio where it stewed, warped and mutated for decades, before<br />

being released from its dust encrusted capture with a zest for<br />

contemporary life. The album was a present force, but seemingly<br />

elsewhere in its pining and desire. Looking at the 12 tracks<br />

through the prism of Taylor’s newfound meandering, the pensive<br />

space of the park provides a warming fit for the seemingly upbeat<br />

songwriting.<br />

Turn the clock back three years and Trudy arrived in Liverpool<br />

via Leeds. It took Olly, Brad and Lew less than a year to carve out<br />

their own scene, alongside Her’s and Pink Kink. It owed much to<br />

their boyish knack for tunes hardwired with moonlit melodies and<br />

delivered with a Brylcreem slickness. The combination marked<br />

them out as an intriguing oddball, but one with a distinct talent.<br />

They were the slicked-back slackers, howling under a neon light<br />

wired into their amplifiers. A slew of singles and an EP in 2017,<br />

Junkyard Jazz, helped retain their presence, before the release of<br />

the anticipated full-length record.<br />

“We started writing the album quite a long time ago,”<br />

Taylor tells me from within his flat, just a short walk from the<br />

park. We’re perched at a table by the living room window, each<br />

adorning socks of the jazzier variety. Although my cautious grey<br />

with stripe is easily trumped by his patchwork ensemble of red,<br />

yellow and blue, picked up in Hamburg on tour only a few days<br />

earlier. “We’d been sitting on some songs for a long time, so we<br />

decided that Sandman was going to be a concept record,” he<br />

informs. “The early singles – My Baby’s Gone Away and Sandman<br />

– they sort of told their own stories. They were quite theatrical. I<br />

thought they could be amid other songs similarly theatrical and<br />

that carried an emotion through the storyline.”<br />

The concept saw the record spread across a double-sided<br />

narrative. Side A introduces the listener to the character of the<br />

Sandman, a sort of keeper of people’s dreams. Or the “bad guy<br />

of love”, as Taylor puts it. “The idea was to have side B slip into<br />

dreams, which I think happened quite naturally where the songs<br />

turn a little bit more psychedelic.” Aiming for a concept album<br />

is an ambitious step for a debut record. However, in doing so, it<br />

opened up for exploration of a theme that had been brewing in<br />

well-worn songs.<br />

“It added a greater theatre to it,” he agrees. “Therefore, it<br />

was consciously quite cartoon. It gave us the space to get away<br />

with more, to create more. You could sing in certain ways, say<br />

anything really in terms of lyrics. We aimed to push the barriers<br />

of the narrative, without being too cheesy.”<br />

The cartoon, doo-wop pastiche typifies much of the band’s<br />

music. Even the fantasia smattering of colours on his socks seem<br />

to take cues from the music’s visual palette. Through this you can<br />

see the connectors to the 1950s aren’t solely in the barbershop<br />

refrains, the baited melodic hooks led with such endearing charm<br />

that even the most timid voices would struggle not be pulled<br />

into harmony. Sandman draws in all of the throbbing colours of<br />

post-war US advertising. Its soundtrack has the smoky charm<br />

of a teenager trying their luck in a suit three sizes too big.<br />

The hopeless intent eventually bowls you over with its sweet<br />

bubblegum pop. “It’s sort of autobiographical,” Taylor underlines.<br />

“It was meant to be a bit of a break-up album,” he adds, musing<br />

on the authenticity of the record’s fictional narrative. “The themes<br />

and memories weren’t all so recent. It had to be stretched out a<br />

bit. There was a tongue in cheek element to it, harking back to an<br />

age that shaped your future. I wanted it be sort of like the Ziggy<br />

Stardust approach, pretending to be famous before you were.”<br />

You can detect that the record’s atmosphere stems from a<br />

rekindling of youthful ambition, a belief blinded by the alluring the<br />

haze of cartoon innocence. “For us it was like amplifying all of our<br />

experiences to appear as though we’ve lost ourselves in this new<br />

world. When you record anything with music, any sort of lyric,<br />

it becomes real in a sense. It becomes more powerful. You really<br />

can become anything when you put it down on to record, even if<br />

you don’t feel like you’re worthy of saying it.”<br />

Generating a hospitable world for the music required adding<br />

new layers of atmosphere. Moving away from the DIY, lo-fi<br />

aesthetic of Junkyard Jazz and the releases that proceeded it,<br />

the record builds around luscious arrangement with the added<br />

reverberations of a session choir. The finished product was to be<br />

something much more cinematic than previously produced. At<br />

very least a feature length cartoon. Taylor notes the addition of<br />

Alex Stephens (Strawberry Guy) – who played keys on the record<br />

– as a catalyst for the music’s dreamier, pillow-headed aesthetic.<br />

“It naturally softened everything up,” Taylor attests. “We wanted<br />

to instil an attitude that was inspired by Pet Sounds and take a<br />

calm approach. Instead of struggling through it, we wanted to be<br />

a bit more in control. I’d like to think you can listen to it a lot more.<br />

It’s not quite so intrusive. It’s just more in charge of itself, with the<br />

hope of being a little bit more timeless.”<br />

Much of Sandman was recorded in 2018. Come its release,<br />

the make up of the band had shifted from its original line-up of<br />

Brad on drums, Lew on bass, and, more recently, Alex on keys.<br />

All three are no longer part of the set-up. Now, the band takes<br />

the form of a touring five-piece. At the centre remains Taylor. The<br />

great singer-songwriters he mentioned earlier are strewn across<br />

the walls of his flat and serve as the ideal company for a new solo<br />

written endeavour.<br />

“Me, Brad and Lew had played together for five years, so it<br />

was really important for the album to be our album,” he starts,<br />

assuring how Sandman will always be a reflection of the earlier<br />

incarnation of the band. “For the record we took on the form of<br />

fictional band The Original Doo-Wop Spacemen. From them we’d<br />

move on to something else.”<br />

Similar to the runners that pass him most mornings, the<br />

musical set-up hinges on control. Being the sole architect of a<br />

fantasy landscape may, in turn, lead to urges of being the sole<br />

engineer implementing design. “Having that control is quite a<br />

sad thing, because you want to have that approach and turn up<br />

and doing everything together, but it’s realising how you do it.<br />

And I think I’ve realised how I want to do it.” Taylor’s expression<br />

is one of self-understanding. It is clearly a painful acceptance<br />

to relinquish the world of the original doo-wop spacemen, but<br />

seemingly the only viable route. “I would really like to be open<br />

with songwriting. I will be. You want to respect people and their<br />

instruments and what they’ve got to give. But it’s important<br />

not to confuse things and promise things that you cannot give<br />

away. They had their own projects [Brad Stank, Terry Venomous,<br />

Strawberry Guy] that were quite different, and I don’t think I<br />

was really quite understanding of that. I had this kind of Beatles<br />

outlook where somewhere down the line we’d all write a song<br />

each on the album. But it wasn’t there straight away. I think they<br />

were smart about that, so would write for themselves.”<br />

Now in a more defined position of writing for himself, Trudy<br />

is in a new phase. “It’s a bit like take two now,” as he puts it.<br />

Taylor will remain the frontiersman, striding away into new lands<br />

with an equally cinematic score. The effort to sculpt music with<br />

its own atmosphere, aura and colour palette will remain. It’s just<br />

perhaps the hues might not be as bright and luminous as before.<br />

And much of this, as he admits, is the departure from innocence,<br />

or “growing up and taking responsibility for who you are”. The<br />

departure of the bright-eyed fascination and boyish swagger that<br />

carried Trudy towards the album. Now he’s going someplace else,<br />

somewhere new. “Maybe somewhere where I can understand<br />

myself a little bit better.” !<br />

Words: Elliot Ryder<br />

Photography: Keith Ainsworth / arkimages.co.uk<br />

trudymylove.com<br />

Sandman is available now on B3SCI Records.<br />



In his works The Dirt I’m Made Of, displayed as<br />

part of his first solo exhibition at Output Gallery<br />

in September, writer and photographer SCOTT<br />

CHARLESWORTH locates the homebound<br />

escapism of the corridors that stretch over<br />

the idling sweeps in the River Mersey. The<br />

collection of photographs and poems capture<br />

his personal reflections of a landscape subtly in<br />

transit, momentarily freed from its foundations<br />

by the lives that pass over its contours.<br />

A<br />

s strange as it seems to use a symbol of the motorway in my exhibition,<br />

the work itself was birthed from the act of travelling up and down constant<br />

motorways within my life. Firstly, as a child and as a spectator, where<br />

everything seemed possible. Secondly, as a young adult and looking out<br />

through the window with a more cynical view of the world, repenting the past in hope of<br />

pastures greener. Then thirdly, as who I am now and whatever that may be; humbled by<br />

the place that I simultaneously owe nothing and everything to. There was one evening<br />

that I drove past The Sporting Ford pub, the one featured in this series. It was always an<br />

establishment that I’d been wary of, mainly because I had never seen its curtains drawn.<br />

On that one evening, despite having been set alight the night before, The Sporting Ford<br />

revealed more of its battered and boarded up self than it had ever done in my lifetime<br />

of passing it by. It was as a result of this that I felt compelled to look at old settings<br />

with the eyes given to me through these three stages of my life, catalysing the heavily<br />

romanticised and nostalgically intertwined photograph that I felt compelled to take.<br />

Words and Photography: Scott Charlesworh / @Scottcharley<br />

scottcharlesworthphotography.com<br />

THE DIRT I’<br />

The Dirt I’m Made Of<br />

White lines on blue signs lead<br />

me back to friends of old.<br />

Perennial youth, once made of<br />

stone, succumbed to attrition.<br />

Their faces disfigured and weathered;<br />

their hands ground to bone.<br />

The cracks in familiar pavement<br />

have pulled further apart;<br />

now pits upon the floor.<br />

The meandering workers’ misery<br />

march, still out in full force.<br />

The same eight grey towers pollute innocent skies<br />

in the only way that they have ever known.<br />

Once thought invincible Northern grit<br />

now washed upon the Western bank;<br />

yet steel structures still stand strong.<br />


M MADE OF<br />

Concrete Cord<br />

Their demise was once thought a given.<br />

No hope or nearby neighbour to call to arms.<br />

Two towns, written off to<br />

the outer world<br />

that had<br />

stripped them<br />

of all their possessions,<br />

united by industrious pillars.<br />

Now joined by<br />

concrete cord<br />

and never to be without each other again.<br />

Through Soot-Stained Eyes<br />

Cooling towers and steel scarecrows<br />

stand tall in the polluted wind;<br />

pointing the way back home<br />

to the children of one club towns.<br />

We feel it,<br />

in heart and lungs alike,<br />

yesterday’s golden embers.<br />

Beacons of old still remain,<br />

cemented deeply,<br />

within their unshakeable<br />

concrete roots.<br />

The romanticised dream,<br />

and their simpler times<br />

get barked back<br />

at setting sons,<br />

in the same seats<br />

their fathers took.<br />

The furnace may have cooled,<br />

or been made redundant altogether<br />

but through the most gentle of reminders,<br />

the once smoldering flame<br />

returns for one last fight.<br />




“It’s almost<br />

therapeutic to spill<br />

everything onto a<br />

page. People can<br />

always draw from<br />

your emotions”<br />

LYDIAH<br />

This attentive singer-songwriter<br />

pores over tales that provide a<br />

stark reflection of their teller.<br />

If you had to describe your style in a sentence, what would<br />

you say?<br />

I’d describe my music as alternative folk. It’s very emotionally<br />

strung with vividly poetic lyrics.<br />

Have you always wanted to create music?<br />

I’ve always loved music, but didn’t really delve into it too much<br />

until I was around 14. I had sung for years and used to write<br />

poetry. I wanted to be able to add that to an instrument, so I<br />

made it my mission to learn the guitar. I played day in, day out<br />

for hours on end and, once I was able to form a few chords,<br />

I was able to write my own songs and it blossomed from<br />

there. I entered a competition with my first ever song – Peter<br />

Pan – and ended up winning which gave me a huge boost of<br />

confidence to really delve into music as a career.<br />

Can you pinpoint a live gig or a piece of music that initially<br />

inspired you?<br />

Joni Mitchell is someone who I take a huge amount of inspiration<br />

from; Both Sides Now is a classic. I listened to her earlier version<br />

of the song then later found she’d re-done it in her later life.<br />

It was even more emotional than the first time I heard it – like<br />

her career had come full circle and the song had even more<br />

depth and meaning. The lyrics really spoke to me and there was<br />

something about the tone of her voice that made me want to cry.<br />

Do you have a favourite song or piece of music to perform?<br />

What does it say about you?<br />

One of the first pieces of music that really resonated with me is<br />

Landslide by Stevie Nicks. I can remember listening to it when I<br />

was 13 and being blown away. It’s just always resonated with<br />

me personally and still does now, so I always slip it into a set. No<br />

matter how many times I play it, I still get the same feeling as<br />

when I first heard the song.<br />

What do you think is the overriding influence on your<br />

songwriting: other art, emotions, current affairs – or a mixture<br />

of all of these?<br />

It’s definitely a mix. I tend to write foremost from personal<br />

experiences and emotions, though. It’s just natural for me to do<br />

it that way. I feel that everyone pulls from personal experience,<br />

even if it’s not a conscious decision, although mine definitely is. I<br />

get to be completely vulnerable this way; it’s almost therapeutic to<br />

spill everything onto a page. It’s raw and honest and I find there’s<br />

not enough of that, lyrically, these days. People can always draw<br />

from your emotions. If you’re connecting with a song that you’ve<br />

poured your heart into, then the people listening to it will too.<br />

If you could support any artist in the future, who would it be?<br />

It’s always been a dream to support Damien Rice. I think my<br />

life would be complete if I accomplished that. There’s another<br />

artist not too dissimilar called David Keenan who I think is just<br />

an incredible folk influenced singer/songwriter. He’s grown really<br />

organically in the music scene and I admire that. More recently I’d<br />

say Sam Fender. His lyrics are so hard-hitting – really depressing,<br />

but relevant and raw. I admire him so much for writing around<br />

these subjects since I write around very similar topics.<br />

Do you have a favourite venue you’ve performed in?<br />

My favourite venue to perform in is 81 Renshaw. It was the first<br />

venue I had a real gig in, so it’s always going to be special. The<br />

whole atmosphere is just so welcoming , not only the musicians,<br />

but the audience are so respectful and genuinely interested in<br />

what you’re performing.<br />

Why is music important to you?<br />

Music has helped me massively. My entire life revolves around it.<br />

It has such great power to move people. If I can help someone out<br />

with what I write I think that would be an incredible feeling. You<br />

can write a song and sing it to a room full of people and they’ll all<br />

connect with it in different ways. I think it’s incredible.<br />

Photography: Robin Clewley / robinclewley.co.uk<br />

soundcloud.com/lydiah_official<br />


LITTLE<br />

GRACE<br />

Callum Horridge introduces us to<br />

the trio’s luscious pop stylings,<br />

which are pulled together with a<br />

collage-esque freedom.<br />

“Music is like a<br />

photo album for us”<br />

If you had to describe your music in a sentence, what would<br />

you say?<br />

I guess we’d define it as DIY pop, there is certainly a strong<br />

element of RnB in there though.<br />

How did you get into music?<br />

It was a pretty spontaneous decision. We all went to college to<br />

enrol on courses that we weren’t ‘qualified enough’ to be on. We<br />

all enjoyed playing music and decided that this sounded like a<br />

good idea. I don’t think, at the age of 16, any of us were really<br />

thinking about the future of this decision.<br />

Can you pinpoint a live gig or a piece of music that initially<br />

inspired you?<br />

My mum has always been into Motown/soul, but my dad played<br />

me a cassette of him and his friend when I was younger. I had<br />

this strange feeling, which you might say is ‘cringe’, but I think<br />

something really resonated with me back then. I felt like it was<br />

a definitive moment and I thought, ‘I could do this; I could be a<br />

singer or a musician’.<br />

Do you have a favourite song or piece of music to perform?<br />

Perhaps Silence, our latest release. We’ve never actually<br />

performed it at a show, but we have done a live video with some<br />

amazing musicians, vocals and synths. We got our friend Tee<br />

involved with that, which was an honour. He put a verse over it<br />

and it’s just the heaviest.<br />

Why is music important to you?<br />

It’s a huge therapeutic measure. Some things we write in our<br />

songs we could maybe never imagine saying them to the person<br />

who it’s directed at, so being able to put that in a line and letting<br />

it be said, that can heal a person. Also, there’s a documenting<br />

side of it; we often reflect on songs that we’ve written and who<br />

was involved in our lives at that moment in time. It’s like a photo<br />

album for us.<br />

Do you have a favourite venue you’ve performed in? If so, what<br />

makes it special?<br />

Churches. The live video I mentioned earlier, that was shot in the<br />

Church of St Matthew and St James in Mossley Hill. The way the<br />

sound travelled in the room was haunting. We also played in a<br />

church in Leicester with Sofar Sounds. It hadn’t been used for 30<br />

years prior and it had no heating, in the middle of February, so it<br />

was a cold set. They passed around those foil safety blankets it<br />

was that cold.<br />

What do you think is the overriding influence on your<br />

songwriting: other art, emotions, current affairs – or a mixture<br />

of all of these?<br />

I’d be lying if I said we stick to one thing when writing, but we<br />

do focus closely on mental health. If there’s something that we<br />

can’t really voice in general conversation, it’s most likely in a tune<br />

somewhere. We’ve also been known to lend from other artists,<br />

such as Tracey Emin on our track My Bed.<br />

Photography: Shea McChrystal<br />

littlegrace.org<br />

Silence is out now, as well as a new version featuring a verse by<br />

Tee.<br />

NIKKI & THE<br />

WAVES<br />

Drift away on the cloud-lined melodies of<br />

this Amsterdam infused outfit who are<br />

sweeping through the local scene.<br />

“It wasn’t until I<br />

moved to Liverpool<br />

and met other<br />

musicians that<br />

something clicked<br />

with regards to<br />

music making”<br />

If you had to describe your style in a sentence, what would you<br />

say?<br />

Breezy, dream-laced pop, surf and new wave elements.<br />

Have you always wanted to create music?<br />

Nikki: I started playing piano at age 12 but never practised very<br />

seriously. I tried writing some songs in my room when I was<br />

a moody teenager, but the grassroots scene in Amsterdam,<br />

where I am originally from, is basically non-existent. It wasn’t<br />

until I moved to Liverpool and met lots of other musicians that<br />

something clicked in my head with regards to music making.<br />

Can you pinpoint a live gig or a piece of music that initially<br />

inspired you?<br />

Tom W: When my dad played me Black Magic Woman by<br />

Fleetwood Mac for the first time on tape as we were driving<br />

through France looking for somewhere to pitch our tent. It made<br />

me love Peter Green as a songwriter, and the early Fleetwood<br />

Mac allowed Mick Fleetwood to definitely influence my drumming<br />

style.<br />

Do you have a favourite song or piece of music to perform?<br />

N: I really love playing our new song Romance At The Sha-La-La.<br />

It’s one of the few songs that I don’t play keys on, so I get to walk<br />

around on stage a bit more. Our new single Welsh Mountains is<br />

always really nice to play as well because it starts off so softly<br />

but builds to something more cinematic.<br />

Jake: About You because I dig the way it starts with a Crumbstyle<br />

riff and then progresses to a heavy, Tame Impala-esque riff,<br />

which shows off our versatility.<br />

What do you think is the overriding influence on your<br />

songwriting: other art, emotions, current affairs – or a mixture<br />

of all of these?<br />

N: My own emotions and memories as well as observations I<br />

have of the people around me. I’m also inspired by other artists<br />

and bands and films that portray a mood or atmosphere that I<br />

tried to recreate through music.<br />

Why is music important to you?<br />

N: I guess music has and will always be a way for me to relate to my<br />

emotions and feel less alone. It’s not just writing music that makes<br />

me feel like I can express myself – even just listening to something I<br />

really love, or that speaks to me at that time, can do that.<br />

Tom S: It’s everything.<br />

Do you have a favourite venue you’ve performed in?<br />

N: I think we all agree that it’s probably the Palm House in Sefton<br />

Park. We played there in March for Fiesta Bombarda. It was such<br />

a surreal and beautiful setting to play in; glass, plants and palms<br />

all around us. Totally different from the usual dark and moody<br />

basements.<br />

If you could support any artist in the future, who would it be?<br />

N: We each have our own idols and dream artists that we would<br />

love to support. As a band we would love to play with Whitney,<br />

TOPS, No Vacation or Metronomy. Though I would be lying if<br />

I didn’t mention Arctic Monkeys, even if we don’t fit that well<br />

musically.<br />

Photography: Carin Verbruggen<br />

facebook.com/nikkiandthewaves<br />

Welsh Mountains is out now.<br />



lonely up here in Middle England,” laments<br />

RICHARD DAWSON on Jogging, the first single<br />

lifted from his latest solo album 2020. It would<br />

“It’s<br />

appear Northumberland’s finest harbinger of doom<br />

has bid farewell to the sixth-century kingdom of Bryneich that<br />

provided the grizzled backdrop to his last record Peasant, turning<br />

in favour of an all too familiar contemporary scene.<br />

Whether detected in the nervous sideways glance of the<br />

jogger, in the pained expression of the Civil Servant severing<br />

another Disability Living Allowance, or stood quivering in the<br />

piss-specked shoes of the fulfilment centre employee peeing in<br />

a bottle to save missing their quarters, it’s easy to make out the<br />

emerging figure of a conflicted 21st-century Britain in Dawson’s<br />

tales.<br />

Yet, despite the bleakness, 2020 still triumphs through<br />

instances of courageousness, black comedy and real lingering<br />

beauty. Tasked with decoding his aching accounts, David Weir<br />

caught up with the Hen Ogledd main-man to discuss UFOs,<br />

time perception and the ins-and-outs of writing a minor-key<br />

masterpiece.<br />

There’s definitely a stronger pop feel on 2020 compared to your<br />

past records. What triggered the move away from acoustic and<br />

brass in favour of synths and vocoders?<br />

Well, I think a big factor is Sally’s [Pilkington] influence. She’s<br />

been introducing me to a lot of classic pop that I’ve never really<br />

explored. Artists like Kate Bush, Erasure and Prince. This record<br />

needed to be really direct or ‘direct sounding’. So, I wanted to use<br />

the language of rock music to create these big, anthemic choruses,<br />

but then the words would be in opposition to that. I hope it makes<br />

for a really awkward feeling, but you might not even really pick up<br />

on why. Musically, it should almost sound ubiquitous. Peasant had<br />

a very distinct sound design. For instance Angharad Davies’ violin,<br />

I saw this almost as if it were a weather event, like frost.<br />

This record needed to use this ‘common language’ of electric<br />

guitar and drums. It feels more familiar, like the estate where you<br />

grew up. These blocks of sound, all semi-detached houses. Then<br />

hopefully, the melodies and the words are the lifeforms that aren’t<br />

quite fitting in to that blander picture. It’s a strange aim to make a<br />

record that’s bland sounding!<br />

Peasant and The Glass Trunk required a lot of archival research,<br />

whereas 2020 is obviously more concerned with current affairs.<br />

Against the constant flood of news and media content, how did<br />

you manage to narrow down the individual accounts in these<br />

songs?<br />

Well, I’m quite lucky in a way, people will just open up to us about<br />

things. This time around it was more through my own experiences,<br />

talking to friends, family and to a lot of people at gigs. I’m not one<br />

of those vulture kind of writers, always on the hunt for lyrics. But<br />

repeatedly people would mention the same kind of issues they<br />

were going through. It just felt like this was worth writing about.<br />

When I’m working on a piece – I’ve had this sense more and more<br />

recently – of the people being real and alive. I recognise it could<br />

be a symptom of my mental health situation, but I’m convinced<br />

that it’s possible to be in touch with people in different ways and<br />

different times. You know our perception of time is that it goes in a<br />

line. Well, that’s our experience of it, for the sake of our bodies to<br />

manoeuvre them safely through space. But actually, I find time… it<br />

doesn’t work like that.<br />

I’ve been singing this song about a mother in 15th-century<br />

Hexham and I really like this person, she’s alive! It’s not an act of<br />

imagination, it’s just a different way of life. When you’re working<br />

on these songs and these people make themselves known –<br />

whether or not this is all bollocks, and it’s just my imagination<br />

and I’m disguising that, the fact remains that you have to be<br />

honourable to these people and treat them with respect. It was<br />

just a case of trying to do right by them.<br />

Certain tracks remind me of David Foster Wallace’s short stories<br />

Brief Interviews With Hideous Men. Wallace was interested in<br />

our approach to ‘dreary, seemingly meaningless routines’. He<br />

spoke about the kind of freedom that’s truly important is the<br />

one we rarely hear about in the ‘great outside world of wanting<br />

and achieving’. I was wondering if you feel that crops up in the<br />

narrative at all?<br />

I guess it’s more about what’s the stuff of life? In the space of all<br />

of this, how do you keep your eyes and heart open? How can we<br />

really express something about what it is to be alive? Because<br />

these things like having to brush your teeth, wipe your arse, put<br />

on clothes in the right manner, it’s so basic yet it amounts to so<br />

much time. It has a massive effect on our day, though, and it’s not<br />

separate from a big life event.<br />

If you don’t feel comfortable in your clothes, you’re going to feel<br />

awkward and anxious in public. Even just walking past people in<br />

the street, everyone you pass you’re going through an internal<br />

dialogue in your head at a hundred miles per hour. I don’t see<br />

separation between this and maybe more dramatic events. It’s<br />

amazing to think about brushing your teeth, all those little germs<br />

and microbes that you’re dislodging. If you could zoom in and see<br />

all the living things that are in between your gums. There’s drama<br />

at every level.<br />

People in these songs are often simply just trying to catch their<br />

breath or start their day on the right side of the bed…<br />

Yeh, for sure. We wake up and we just get stuff hurled at us in a<br />

way that has never been part of the human make-up ever before.<br />

GIG<br />



Parr Street Studio 2 – 23/11<br />

The North Eastern bard casts his gaze towards 2020 and locates an<br />

endearing magic found in the most common sets of eyes.<br />

Just the sheer amount of information we’re processing and the<br />

different ways we’re engaging with faces and people, all the<br />

streams we’re looking at. It’s so brand new. We haven’t adapted. I<br />

think it’s a really crazy time to be a human.<br />

We wonder why we’re kind of confused and a bit lost, but the<br />

landscape has just changed so dramatically that it’s no wonder. It<br />

would be more of a wonder if we weren’t anxious or depressed.<br />

It’s more of a physical reaction to being surrounded by stress,<br />

information and fast change.<br />

Black Triangle is a standout for<br />

me. It begins with a UFO sighting.<br />

Do you feel these kinds of reports<br />

are founded in escapism or<br />

something else?<br />

From my experience with these<br />

kind of things, no. I’m sure that’s<br />

an element to it, you see all these<br />

conspiracies on YouTube. But this<br />

song is not about that for me. None<br />

of the album is autobiographical,<br />

but the first half of this song<br />

is drawn from something that<br />

happened to me and my pal Neil.<br />

We did see this incredible black<br />

craft come over my parents’ house<br />

and it wasn’t a commercial aircraft<br />

either. The government released<br />

papers on this phenomenon, as it’s the most widely spotted<br />

UFO. It was so crazy the explanation they gave, they said it<br />

was a “triangular illusion” created by plasma. I can tell you with<br />

certainty, this isn’t what we saw. This was a solid thing and it<br />

moved incredibly fast and silent. So, it’s either a secret aircraft or<br />

it’s extra-terrestrials. I don’t see that there’s any other explanation.<br />

It’s a hopeful song in some ways. He goes out to the country with<br />

his daughter and they share in watching the stars together. I can’t<br />

think of a happier moment than that, really. There’s a lot of hope<br />

on the album, even if it is predominantly sad.<br />

It can regularly feel as humans we’re chasing some form of<br />

magic or mystery. How do you feel that plays into you work as<br />

a songwriter?<br />

I believe in magic. I’ve talked in a few other interviews about Alan<br />

Moore and an interview he gave where he speaks about the role<br />

of the bard. In the past, the role of the bard was doubly important<br />

“The power of a word or<br />

a melody can be quite<br />

profound: it can change<br />

minds, it can change<br />

the way in which people<br />

perceive things”<br />

because not everyone had access to the written word. So, to cast<br />

a spell was simply to ‘spell’ – this is Moore talking, not me. I’ve<br />

thought about this a lot since, what the role of a musician is.<br />

The power of a word or a melody combined is something I think<br />

can be quite profound: it can change minds, it can change the way<br />

in which people perceive things, it can change the way people act.<br />

So, it’s absolutely the highest honour and of grave importance to<br />

try connect with people. Without wanting to be self-righteous, you<br />

feel that you’re maybe fighting the good fight. It’s probably a losing<br />

battle but those are the only battles worth fighting anyhow.<br />

So, is that how you keep faith,<br />

then? Does sharing it within<br />

a musical community help<br />

strengthen that feeling, maybe<br />

making it more impactful?<br />

You don’t have a choice whether<br />

you do it or not, really; you just do<br />

it. People have always made stuff<br />

regardless of the scene or what the<br />

wider picture is. Even just playing<br />

music at home, you’re communing<br />

with something off in some far<br />

place. Music is alive and that’s<br />

enough. But, if you share it with<br />

other musicians and audiences,<br />

you can really change things. We’re<br />

all making an impact. Hence why<br />

you’ve got to be careful with your time and be considerate of how<br />

you live. It all has an effect. Whether you’re doing something public<br />

and outgoing or something quiet and private. I think that as much<br />

as I treasure the role of the bardic tradition and my place in that,<br />

I see that it’s not brain surgery. It’s not being a nurse, fireman or<br />

teacher. I’d be very remiss to place it in any hierarchy, because how<br />

can you say anything is more life-changing than those jobs. !<br />

Words: David Weir / @betweenseeds<br />

Photography: Sally Pilkington<br />

richarddawson.net<br />

Richard Dawson plays Parr Street Studio 2 on Saturday 23rd<br />

<strong>November</strong>. 2020 is out now via Weird World.<br />



SAE<br />


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In anticipation of their Liverpool gig, Brit Williams spoke to<br />

bassist Jared Swilley about the band’s new album, growing<br />

up in a religious family, and what’s help keep the Black Lips<br />

alive for two decades.<br />


Black Lips have a little bit of a connection with Liverpool. You<br />

guys have worked with Sean Lennon before. How did that<br />

happen?<br />

We have actually known him for a while. Three albums ago<br />

we were recording with Mark Ronson and we needed a guitar<br />

player, and it happened to be Sean who came in. We kind of<br />

just stayed friends after that and we all had mutual friends. We<br />

also played SXSW with Sean’s band and with Fat White Family,<br />

so we both discovered them at the same time. Sean ended up<br />

recording the Fat Whites and they invited Cole [Alexander] to do<br />

guitar. We didn’t really have a label at the time and didn’t have<br />

many resources. Cole was up there in New York and Sean just<br />

said, ‘Come record here’. So we moved in with him.<br />

I heard you locked yourself in his recording studio for two<br />

months. Do you normally go into the studio like that, with<br />

nothing written?<br />

That one took a little longer than usual because we didn’t have<br />

a lot written, and we didn’t have a drummer. We also just had<br />

the luxury of being on this magical mountain in the middle of<br />

nowhere, so it was easy to kind of just turn off and tune out.<br />

Both aspects have their ups and downs. I mean, I prefer to have<br />

at least something done. That one was probably my favourite<br />

recording experience we’ve ever had, just because we were in a<br />

point of transition and it was such a magical place.<br />

Do you feel like, as you get older, you are writing about more<br />

mature topics, or are you just trying to stay as authentic as you<br />

know to be?<br />

Oh yeh, I don’t really try to set out to write about anything. I<br />

mostly write about stories. Everyone has their own different<br />

writing style. I never really wrote love songs. I mean, the last<br />

sort of love song I wrote was a couple getting separated on<br />

Kristallnacht in Berlin. I was trying to think of one of the most<br />

devastating ways to split a pair up.<br />

We hear you might be playing some new music on tour?<br />

Yeh, our album’s done. It’s been done for a while. By the time<br />

we get to Liverpool we’ll have some of those singles out and<br />

already be playing a lot of those songs. We like country music<br />

and always flirted with that kind of style. It’s not a purist country<br />

record by any means, but we just felt like had to go back to our<br />

roots and do country music. That’s where we’re from.<br />

Can you tell us what it’s called?<br />

Oh yeh, I don’t see why not. It’s called, The Black Lips Sing In A<br />

World That’s Falling Apart.<br />

Love that. What inspired the name?<br />

My family are all preachers and they put out a lot of gospel<br />

records from the 50s to the 80s, and they had an album called<br />

The Swilley Family Sings, and then we had a lyric on our album<br />

“in a world that’s falling apart”, so I wanted it to sound like an old<br />

gospel record title.<br />

Coming from such a religious background, at what point did<br />

you pick up a guitar and get into music?<br />

Before I can remember. I grew up on the stage. I’ve seen<br />

performances of me on stage that I don’t even remember doing,<br />

so basically my whole life. It’s like the family business, kinda.<br />

So what does your family think of you being in the Black Lips?<br />

They’ve always been a very accepting, liberal theology. My dad’s<br />

a homosexual; he came out a few<br />

years ago. He lost his main church,<br />

but he still has his church. They<br />

mostly preach love and acceptance<br />

and all that. There was never a<br />

conflict at all. I got most of my<br />

inspiration from the church, ’cos I<br />

grew up in one of those churches<br />

where they’re screaming and the<br />

music’s wild and they’re speaking<br />

tongues. It was way more wild<br />

than any rock ’n’ roll show I’ve ever<br />

been to.<br />

That must be where some of the<br />

outrageous onstage antics come<br />

from?<br />

Totally. I always thought that if I<br />

could get just a [bit of their vibe],<br />

’cos those people are doing that on<br />

a Sunday morning with no alcohol<br />

and they’re going wild. And they’re<br />

singing about something that they think is eternity and is way<br />

more powerful. We sing about, I dunno, dumb stuff. Well, not<br />

dumb, but if we could get even a fraction of this energy into our<br />

shows, I’d be happy.<br />

Do you think there will still be garage rock bands in the digital<br />

age?<br />

I think there will be a few, but I don’t really think you’ll see any<br />

GIG<br />

“I grew up in one of<br />

those churches where<br />

they’re screaming<br />

and the music’s wild<br />

and they’re speaking<br />

in tongues. It was<br />

way more wild than<br />

any rock ’n’ roll<br />

show I’ve been to”<br />


Arts Club – 13/11<br />

Garage outfit BLACK LIPS have resided in an all-encompassing<br />

rock ’n’ roll lifestyle for the better part of two decades. Their story is<br />

one that has grown from the suburbs of Atlanta into countless nights<br />

on tour, audience-led stage invasions and work alongside some of<br />

music’s biggest names, including Mark Ronson, The Black Keys and<br />

Beatle-descendent Sean Lennon.<br />

bands doing what we did. It took us seven years in a van, eating<br />

shit. I mean, that was self-imposed. We were middle-class kids,<br />

we didn’t have to; it was self-imposed poverty. I don’t really<br />

think there’s a formula any more. I could be wrong. But now it’s<br />

so easy to connect with everyone. When we started, no one<br />

had cell phones, and it was a very<br />

different thing. We never used the<br />

internet and we still are luddites<br />

about all that stuff. Even ’til this day,<br />

I can barely use the internet. I can<br />

email, but I don’t even know where<br />

to look for stuff.<br />

Yeh, there’s almost too many<br />

resources these days. It’s kind of<br />

exhausting.<br />

I only had a few sources when I was<br />

younger. Mail order catalogs and<br />

Maximum Rock ’n’ Roll and that was<br />

it, but those were physical copies.<br />

I’m glad that there’s people like ya’ll<br />

still having stuff in print. I like stuff I<br />

can pick up.<br />

What do you want the crowd to<br />

get out of your performance?<br />

I want people to get their damn<br />

money’s worth because it’s not cheap to go out. It’s kind of like<br />

an escape ’cos the world can be rough and you need to just go<br />

out and let loose. We just want people to have a good time and<br />

meet each other. One of the best compliments is that we’ve had<br />

a few Black Lips babies, from people who have met at our shows<br />

and got married. That makes it all worth it. I love seeing Black<br />

Lips tattoos, too. If you have one of those you get into all of our<br />

shows free for life.<br />

What have you been listening to lately?<br />

As far as new stuff goes, I am totally out of the loop. I was just<br />

in Croatia to go and check it out. I actually got my tooth busted<br />

out a while back, so I heard they do cheap general surgery<br />

over there, and I was just cruisin’ around the mountains in the<br />

most beautiful place I’ve ever been and I think I listened to The<br />

13th Floor Elevators all together for 22 hours straight. Last<br />

night when I was up in Malibu I was listening to Loretta Lynn<br />

and Tammy Wynette. I found the music I like a long time ago.<br />

In my record collection at home I’ve got about 300, I don’t buy<br />

any new records. Mostly just 45s now. I just listen to a lot of<br />

country music and gospel, soul and R&B. It got a bad rap, the<br />

South. It’s not really what most people think it is. It’s real dear<br />

to me. I don’t mean to toot my own horn, but I think most forms<br />

of popular music came from the South East. It was the first time<br />

you had all of these different types of people thrown together,<br />

living in poverty. You had poor Irish, mixing with slaves and<br />

Native Americans and it was such a weird mix of stuff where<br />

everyone shared their ideas and came up with some really cool<br />

styles.<br />

What do you think has kept Black Lips alive for 20 years?<br />

This is what we do. This is what me and Cole set out to do<br />

when we were kids, and we don’t really have that many other<br />

skills. If we hadn’t gotten into music it would have been prison<br />

or the military. That’s what a lot of the kids I went to high<br />

school with ending up doing, so it kinda saved our lives. !<br />

Words: Brit Williams @therealbritjean<br />

Photography: Yana Yatsuk<br />

black-lips.com<br />

Black Lips play Arts Club on Wednesday 13th <strong>November</strong>.<br />




Warm Worlds And Otherwise (Anna Bunting-Branch)<br />



FACT – 01/11-23/02<br />

The rigid power structures that govern our world have profound impacts on our<br />

everyday experiences, such as the way we relate to technology, politics and each<br />

other. FACT’s new exhibition seeks to challenge the traditional ideas around those<br />

who hold this power by compelling us to question who ultimately benefits from it.<br />

Presented by FACT curator-in-residence Helen Starr, you feel me_ will transform FACT’s<br />

galleries into alternative worlds. Interactive artworks will suspend in the air, float in a hazy<br />

mist and explode onto walls. The immersive exhibition includes a range of different artworks<br />

that reaches beyond FACT’s usual digital remit: there will be ceramics, virtual reality, artificial<br />

intelligence and game design in play. The result is the creation of a mystical space, free from<br />

division and bias and a sanctuary for healing.<br />

ANNA BUNTING-BRANCH’s Warm Worlds And Otherwise contains a mix of artworks,<br />

centred upon the piece META, which uses experimental animation and digital technology to<br />

transport viewers between environments, including unknown planets and a restaurant orbiting<br />

in space. MEGAN BROADMEADOW’s Why Can’t We Do This IRL? is a virtual reality experience<br />

that is based on the video game Red Dead Redemption 2. The two-part artwork will challenge<br />

a viral video from the game in which a player uses his in-game avatar to kill a suffragette.<br />

Blending the boundaries between the game world and the ‘real’ world, the work exists as an<br />

act of justice. The video game character is placed on trial to be judged ‘in real life’, with the<br />

‘verdict’ set for December when the artwork will be installed in FACT’s galleries in its final form.<br />

When looked at through the prism of restorative justice, it is hoped that you feel me_ will<br />

make it easier for the viewer to imagine a world without division. By challenging the systems of<br />

power that are all around us, and allowing otherwise marginalised voices to flourish, maybe we<br />

can disrupt the world in a way that creates a fairer system for all.<br />

fact.co.uk<br />



SHOTS?<br />

Museum of Liverpool and The Bluecoat – 30/11<br />

Theatre maker and associate director for Graeae Theatre Company, NICKIE MILES-<br />

WILDIN, is the keynote speaker and host of the annual Edward Rushton Lecture,<br />

which takes place at the Museum of Liverpool at the end of the month. Titled<br />

Disabled Women In Arts And Culture: Who’s Calling The Shots?, Miles-Wildin’s<br />

address looks at the representation of disabled women in the arts sector – and is part of a<br />

two-pronged event from DaDaFest as part of RISE Liverpool, a season of exhibitions, events<br />

and happenings featuring extraordinary female artists, thinkers and leaders in Liverpool.<br />

This annual free event is inspired by the strength and revolutionary ideology of human rights<br />

campaigner Edward Rushton, who was born in <strong>November</strong> over 260 years ago. Following the<br />

lecture that bears his name, a lively panel discussion will interrogate the theme further. Chaired<br />

by DR ERIN PRITCHARD, lecturer at Liverpool Hope University in the Department of Disability<br />

and Education, the panel of artists – JACKIE HAGAN, CHERYL MARTIN and TAMMY REYNOLDS<br />

– will look at how stereotypical portrayals of disabled women affect our perception of disabled<br />

women in reality.<br />

The second part of the day’s activity sees the action move over to The Bluecoat for Raw.,<br />

where attendees are invited to “dress to impress… yourself”. A wild night of raucous, irreverent<br />

and inclusive cabaret centred on disabled women’s voices in the North West, Raw. is hosted by<br />

Liverpool legend MIDGITTE BARDOT, and boasts an incredible line-up of performers, including:<br />


Both events are part of DaDaFest’s ongoing programme of activity that uses the arts to<br />

educate, challenge attitudes and remove the barriers that restrict life choices for disabled and d/<br />

Deaf people to live independently and equally in society. Head to dadafest.co.uk to book tickets<br />

for both events, which have limited capacities.<br />

DaDaFest<br />


ticketquarter.co.uk<br />


GIG<br />

Mac Demarco<br />

Bramley Moore Dock – 28/11<br />

Mac Demarco<br />

MAC DEMARCO’s magnetic charm has seen his star rise from lo-fi slacker to full<br />

blown superstar of the indie scene. But he’s far from a one trick pony. While his<br />

earlier records drifted by with a soft summer breeze, his two most recent efforts -<br />

This Old Dog and Here Comes The Cowboy - see the laid back crooner display a<br />

slower, more introspective side to his songwriting. Rather than swerve between<br />

sweet reverb washed licks, he’s embraced more acoustic guitar, hardwiring<br />

personal narratives into the music to complete an intriguing transformation to<br />

campfire storyteller with hints of expansive country. But where his music has<br />

grown softer curves, his live show still appears to flex every musical muscle of his<br />

discography. Setting up at the sizable Bramley Moore Dock, this stop on his UK<br />

will serve as an opportunity to refamiliarise yourself with Mac the showman.<br />


Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein<br />

The Playhouse – 11/11-16/11<br />

Mary Shelly’s Gothic masterpiece has become a totem of the horror genre, with its<br />

DNA embedded in our modern day fascination with the shadowy dungeons of the<br />

human condition. Much has been made of the teenage Shelley’s formative travels<br />

across Germany and Switzerland in the early part of the 19th Century, but what of<br />

Shelley’s own place as a young woman in this tale? This adaptation of the revered<br />

story of Frankenstein’s monster, by the award-winning writer Rona Munro, places<br />

Mary Shelley in the drama as a character. As the action rages around her, the<br />

writer is forced – in an eerie mirroring of the travails of Frankenstein himself – to<br />

wrestle with her creation, and also with the stark realities facing revolutionary<br />

young women, then and now. Tickets available at ticketquarter.co.uk.<br />

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein<br />

GIG<br />

Declan Welsh & The Decadent West<br />

Phase One – 09/11<br />

This has been a busy year for DECLAN WELSH. Along with his band, the Glaswegian<br />

songwriter and poet has been touring his taut indie rock across sold-out shows in the<br />

UK, topped off with an electrifying, Billy Bragg-approved appearance at Glastonbury. By<br />

way of introducing their new album, Cheaply Bought, Expensively Sold, to the world, THE<br />

DECADENT WEST are stopping by Phase One for a show with Edge Hill University and<br />

their label, Modern Sky UK. Supporting Welsh and co are THE INDICA GALLERY, whose<br />

psych-inflected indie surrealism will be the perfect foil to Welsh’s unapologetic, direct<br />

swagger. Experimental Welsh artist ANI GLASS is charged with adding an air of mystique<br />

to proceedings, and we recommend you don’t miss her synth wizardry.<br />

GIG<br />

Têtes De Pois<br />

The Jacaranda – 19/11<br />

ParrJazz’s regular dose of telescopic sounds welcomes the much-touted Leeds<br />

ensemble TÊTES DE POIS for a good old knees up in the Jacaranda basement.<br />

Meeting as students of Leeds College of Music and forming the band in 2016,<br />

the seven-piece have been quick to win plaudits for their intra-band fluidity; each<br />

member happily carries leads and can navigate the group through switches of jazz,<br />

neo soul, Afrobeat and hip hop – all of which is executed with an enviable harmony<br />

and flair. You might even say they play with the snugness of seven jazzy peas in a<br />

pod. Head on down and watch their instruments unify to take on the role of a deep<br />

digging DJ. Head to TicketQuarter.co.uk now to pick up your tickets for this show.<br />

GIG<br />

Rhiannon Giddens with Francesco Turrisi<br />

Grand Central – 28/11<br />

Rhiannon Giddens with Francesco Turrisi<br />

The combination of Italian jazz multi-instrumentalist FRANCESCO TURRISI and singer-songwriter RHIANNON GIDDENS<br />

produced one of the most awe-inspiring albums of <strong>2019</strong>. There Is No Other was heralded for its daring fusion of genres that<br />

sees the two strike up a partnership that covers Mediterranean, African and Arabian influences. The pairing’s mastery is the<br />

glue that holds it all together. The album’s alluring folk compositions will be on display in an equally baroque setting when the<br />

two import their music into the confines of the Dome in Grand Central. Perhaps one of the more thought-provoking shows<br />

throughout the month, the exhibition of genre fusion will leave little to the imagination once their set has completed its sonic<br />

travels.<br />

GIG<br />

Calexico and Iron & Wine<br />

Philharmonic Hall – 19/11<br />

Emerging from the ‘desert noir’ outer edges of the Californian border, long-standing indie<br />

Americana duo CALEXICO head Liverpool way for a journey to the atmospheric, Latin-infused<br />

landscapes encapsulated in their sound. First playing together in the early 90s, the band have spent<br />

the best part of the last three decades crafting soundtracks pulled from sunburst sunsets and the<br />

open landscape hugging the Mexican ridge. One of their most memorable records, 2005 EP In<br />

The Reins, was a collaboration with indie folk singer-songwriter IRON & WINE, who is also set to<br />

appear on the bill for the show at the Philharmonic. The EP is lauded in the Americana world for<br />

its ingenuity and groundbreaking soundscapes, with their combination live on stage as stirring as<br />

it is uncompromising. Expect to hear further cuts from their new collaborative effort Years To Burn,<br />

released in June.<br />

Calexico and Iron & Wine<br />




“Baltic Weekender is<br />

vital to the existence<br />

and quality of<br />

Liverpool’s electronic<br />

music scene”<br />

My Nu Leng (Fin Reed / @finlayreed)<br />

Baltic Weekender<br />

Baltic Triangle – 27/09-28/09<br />

September has always been a standout month. It signals<br />

a particular new starting point. More so than January. At least<br />

a more realistic one. This starting point is not static, but very<br />

much in motion, bridging two seasons and taking place at<br />

certain crossroads in people’s lives. Be it the beginning of a new<br />

academic year, a new work environment or simply a revitalised<br />

perspective after glorious summer holidays, September is<br />

a month of promise, anticipation and excitement. It seems<br />

only right that the organisers of BALTIC WEEKENDER have<br />

chosen this period to take the next step forward in the festival’s<br />

development.<br />

Baltic Weekender is a two-day, multi-venue event which,<br />

until now, has taken over the whole of the Baltic Triangle<br />

during the last weekend of May, or the first weekend of June.<br />

Upon launching in 2017, it instantly became one of the most<br />

important dates in Liverpool’s electronic events calendar. The<br />

musical talent collated by Andrew Hill of Abandon Silence and<br />

24 Kitchen Street’s Ioan Roberts is vital to the existence and<br />

quality of Liverpool’s electronic scene. Baltic Weekender is a<br />

celebration of the musical flavours that have graced the Baltic<br />

Triangle throughout the academic year, bringing many genres of<br />

electronic music to the fold including house, techno, disco, grime,<br />

bass music and more. Showcasing renowned pros of the game<br />

as well as the new generation breaking in, Baltic Weekender<br />

September Edition displays a renewed awareness and thirst to<br />

place Liverpool on the electronic map.<br />

To start off, we head straight to Constellations. The garden<br />

is beautifully lit, refreshingly vacant and extends a mellow<br />

vibe. There is a modest gathering around the far left corner<br />

where good friends GIOVANNA and SOFIE K are going b2b.<br />

Both having a penchant for cosmic sounds; the DJs flood<br />

Constellations with tumbling melodies, harmonising their mix<br />

with the setting in which they are playing. But this is a short-term<br />

harmony. A rapid yet seamless switch-up takes the crowd by<br />

surprise as some infectious UKG filters its way into the speakers.<br />

Shortly, a mixture of Italo and Balearic house flows in, syncopated<br />

by powering basslines. I turn my attention to the two selectors as<br />

my view of them begins to be obstructed by committed dancers.<br />

Whether it’s an approving smile at the other’s drop, animated talk<br />

concerning the queued track or cheerful and carefree dancing,<br />

Giovanna and Sofie K are in constant interaction with each<br />

other which helps establish the general atmosphere as intimate,<br />

unentitled and groovy.<br />

I leave the warm revels of Constellations Garden to check out<br />

how different the atmosphere is at Hangar 34, where bassline<br />

dons MY NU LENG are in the process of obliterating the crowd<br />

with their infamous wobblers. Queuing for entry, I wonder how<br />

many people bought their tickets just to see My Nu Leng. Once<br />

I’m in, I realise probably quite a few. Hangar is rammed with<br />

people dishing out gun-fingers to every wob they hear.<br />

Returning to Constellations Garden, I’m greeted with a crowd<br />

dancing to a twinkling 4/4 beat on top of the venue’s chairs and<br />

tables. It’s not even 12 yet, so we’re all good here. As I head in<br />

to get my spot for the upcoming boogie marathon courtesy of<br />

DAN SHAKE, I catch the end of ANDY GARVEY’s set. Playing<br />

to a gaggle of about 15 dancers, the Australian producer and<br />

label boss of Pure Space instils an extra-terrestrial soundscape<br />

composed of leftfield techno, breaks and acid rips, all lending<br />

from the darker spectrum of musical tones. The change that<br />

takes over as Dan Shake steps up to the decks is mind-blowing.<br />

The dancefloor is packed and sizzling within mere minutes of<br />

his mixing. The crowd is electrified with funky disco and jackin’<br />

house overlaid with blaring trumpet solos and roaring vocals.<br />

The groove is infectious. Dan Shake knows it. As he alternates<br />

between galvanising acid house, rolling percussions, disco<br />

classics with euphoric screeching vocals and more, he does<br />

justice to the latter part of his name. It’s 30 minutes before<br />

the end of his set when he delivers his biggest weapon: The<br />

Chemical Brothers’ Mah. I see Dan Shake turn the volume up<br />

to its fullest with a grin as the build-up progresses towards<br />

its pinnacle. The track’s infamous swirling acid rips zero in on<br />

us through the speakers – we are all floored. I look around in<br />

disbelief asking my friends, “Did he actually just do that?” It’s no<br />

surprise that people are still present when the lights come up at<br />

4am. We leave Constellations reeling.<br />

Stretching into day two and I’m drenched. Aside from being<br />

cold, the main nuisance caused by the unrelenting rain are the<br />

venue changes. KORNEL KOVACS is on duty at Blundell Street,<br />

superimposing his trademark tropical house with some farreaching<br />

trance, but is shortly moved inside as a result of the<br />

weather. A chaotic rush ensues as everyone attempts to secure<br />

their spot in the venue. I make it about three metres in before I’m<br />

pushed out. I check the set-times and head to District to get a<br />

healthy dose of jungle and DnB instead, courtesy of NICANDER<br />


Conscious of time, I make my way over to Kitchen Street in<br />

order to guarantee a spot for HELENA HAUFF. Apart from the<br />

Kitchen Street sign that is lit up in ruby red, all the lights are out.<br />

The queen of electro appears behind the decks seemingly out<br />

of nowhere. She is ruthless in her takeover. She unleashes unto<br />

the under-prepared crowd overwhelming pieces of dark electro<br />

punctuated by rugged industrial clanging. Thrown into the mix<br />

is barbed acidic techno and apocalyptic breakbeats which engulf<br />

the room in a paradoxical sense of exhilaration. Paradoxical<br />

because the particular thrilling sense of release experienced<br />

during her set is achieved through exposure to fierce intensity.<br />

For some, this is too much. I notice people are restless when a<br />

man shifts his attention to the giant disco ball which hangs over<br />

the centre of Kitchen Street and begins to swing it. Others join in<br />

and it becomes clear to me that this is an attempt to distract and<br />

regain control of themselves, finding the absorption into Hauff’s<br />

nebulous world too extreme.<br />

It’s 2am and I’m enveloped in Hauff’s murky mystique,<br />

unsure of where to go next. I set my sights on Constellations<br />

where L U C Y is set to take us through to the end of the night<br />

with dashes of footwork. The room is just under half full, with<br />

the lights erratically projecting colours across the room. As<br />

I make my way to the front I stop short and stare at the DJ.<br />

Her face is hidden by a surgical mask – an accessory that she<br />

always wears when mixing – upon which is drawn a disfigured<br />

nose and mouth, with a bright red tongue dangling out of it.<br />

Amid the multi-genre 160-190 bpm chaos she’s playing which<br />

encompasses bass, breakbeat, grime, dubstep, happy hardcore,<br />

and genres I’m pretty sure only exist in a post-apocalyptic world,<br />

I’m taken by her contrasting tranquil composure. Despite her<br />

lashing out disorientating bass, L U C Y seems introspective<br />

as she slowly sways to the insane voltage she’s mixing. She<br />

throws quick glances to the crowd as she unfurls a universe of<br />

sounds accompanied by jagged and pitched-up one-word vocals,<br />

distorted sirens and old school arcade sound effects. By the end<br />

of the set, the expression drawn on her mask is the expression I<br />

found on every face in the dance – including my own.<br />

Returning to new beginnings of projects already in motion,<br />

Baltic Weekender September Edition marks a turning point for<br />

the series in terms of musical tone, diversity and crowd. What I<br />

experience is not the summer social event that everyone goes to<br />

once exams have finished; instead, Baltic Weekender hosts an<br />

event wherein burgeoning lovers of electronic music ae given a<br />

chance to get what they really want: the discovery of new sounds<br />

and new perspectives on those that are familiar. These dual toned<br />

editions are the best way forward for the future development of<br />

Liverpool’s electronic scene, alternately offering visibility on the<br />

one hand and an indulgence in intricate musical curiosity on the<br />

other. Baltic Weekender is the tangible proof of Liverpool’s power<br />

of community; the city’s ambition and its ever-growing passion<br />

for dance music – whatever the season. !<br />

Ambre Levy<br />

No Fakin (Fin Reed / @finlayreed)<br />


Ibibio Sound Machine<br />

I Love Live Events @ Invisible Wind Factory<br />

10/10<br />

The couple of hundred people who are at tonight’s show are<br />

the lucky few. Inside it’s a different world from the dreary October<br />

night of the real world and it’s a shame more people don’t get to<br />

see the spectacle.<br />

Without exaggeration, IBIBIO SOUND MACHINE produce<br />

one of the most entertaining and engaging gigs that Liverpool’s<br />

seen for a while. From the moment Eno Williams stalks on to<br />

the stage and launches in to I Need You To Be Sweet Like Sugar<br />

(from this year’s album, Doko Mien), to the last note of Basquiat,<br />

it’s a night that’s full of pure joy, happiness and dancing. So.<br />

Much. Dancing.<br />

Without exception, the eight-piece group is made up of<br />

incredible musicians (more of whom later) but the focus inevitably<br />

falls on to Williams whose stage presence, movement and voice<br />

are incredible. She commands attention and mesmerises the<br />

audience. Singing in a combination of English and Ibibio, her<br />

voice is powerful but maintains its clarity, and her chat between<br />

songs charismatic and so lovely. She makes it look easy – dancing<br />

round exuberantly with a charming smile, keeping time and note<br />

perfect, all in treacherously high heels.<br />

Her energy is contagious: with each song the mood lifts<br />

further, building to a euphoria by the end of the night. It’s a<br />

furious riot of sound – the riffs of the guitars and percussion<br />

work with the three-man brass section to build a multi-layered<br />

sound. It’s a wonderful atmosphere that fills the cathedral-like<br />

dimensions of the IWF with ebullience and joy.<br />

It’s not an overstatement to say that Williams’ voice is close<br />

to perfection: it’s a well-judged mix of raw power, control and<br />

warmth. When she’s not singing, she dances with the band<br />

during their solos and positions the microphone just so it’s<br />

in the right position to capture the sound of the trombone or<br />

saxophone.<br />

The brass section lifts the sound and adds a playful punch.<br />

It’s reminiscent of the 70s and 80s and the links to disco and funk<br />

jump out, but it’s anything but backward looking as the electronic<br />

sound, courtesy of the keyboards, brings a contemporary element<br />

and adds layers. The styles could clash in a cacophony but it’s<br />

amazing, vital and a wonderful combination – the genres blend<br />

together to create something new that defies easy definition.<br />

It’s a multi-layered sound from talented musicians that<br />

looks forward and which has an energy and creativity bubbling<br />

underneath. Alfred Kari Bannerman is the coolest looking lead<br />

guitarist in any band. The pace is furious and is maintained<br />

throughout with the exception of one track (I Know That You’re<br />

Thinking About Me) which gives everyone a chance to catch their<br />

breath.<br />

There are not many gigs where the majority of the audience<br />

are dancing – and I mean properly giving it some – from the<br />

first note. There’s a vibrancy and urgency that makes dancing<br />

inevitable: coats are discarded and everyone’s moving as the heat<br />

builds. The atmosphere is lovely and the crowd is a really friendly<br />

bunch. There’s no demarcation between audience and band by<br />

the end, just a group of people having a party.<br />

It’s a raucous sweaty affair that makes you feel the world<br />

would be a better place if Ibibio Sound Machine gig tickets were<br />

available on the NHS. When they tour next, be kind to yourself<br />

and go.<br />

Jennie Macaulay<br />

Ibibio Sound Machine (Glyn Akroyd / @glynakroyd)<br />

Ibibio Sound Machine (Glyn Akroyd / @glynakroyd)<br />

PuzzleCreature<br />

LEAP @ Invisible Wind Factory – 7/10<br />

“We have decided not to die,” announces the voice of artist<br />

Madeline Gins. The opening statement projecting from the eight<br />

speakers hung around the inflatable venue we find ourselves in.<br />

As the show begins, three dancers have recently entered via the<br />

zip-up door, quickly, so as not to deflate the translucent structure.<br />

Those dancers stare down audience members and inspect the<br />

mesh plaster casts of different parts of the body which are<br />

suspended from the ceiling. We’re collectively trying to solve<br />


Gins’ words are part of her and partner Arakawa’s philosophy<br />

of Reversible Destiny. The artist-philosopher-architects worked<br />

with theories of architectural bodies – the human body’s<br />

interaction and blending with its surroundings and, more famously,<br />

worked on designs which looked to achieve immortality in their<br />

inhabitants. It’s ambitious stuff.<br />

The eight speakers now deliver Sebastian Reynolds’ specially<br />

commissioned soundtrack for the piece. It’s warm inside the plastic<br />

walls, yet the bassy drones, which ebb and flow in intensity, put<br />

the audience on edge. The three dancers contort into impossible<br />

shapes. They reflect and react to the white floating casts, copying<br />

the poses and inserting their own forms inside.<br />

Through projects like The Reversible Destiny Lofts and<br />

Bioscleave House, Arakawa and Gins sought to solve the issue<br />

of mortality by designing liveable environments which constantly<br />

questioned and challenged the way we live. In a statement after<br />

Arakawa passed away in 2010 Gins said “this mortality thing is<br />

bad news”. It is difficult to know how serious or sincere the artists<br />

were in their mission but they were consistent throughout a<br />

number of projects over several decades.<br />

The dancers lean on the soft walls of our temporary venue,<br />

climb over audience members and gyrate into the middle of the<br />

room. Audience members suppress smiles as they are pulled<br />

into the performance. The music gathers momentum and the<br />

dancers merge together before splitting off and exiting the<br />

inflatable arena. No one’s sure whether this signals the end of the<br />

performance and the questioning is palpable.<br />

We are then invited to leave the tent as quickly as possible<br />

and await the second half. In the exposed environs of the<br />

Invisible Wind Factory’s main room we experience a chill as we<br />

see the tent we called home now partially deflated.<br />

Across the undulating landscape the dancers tentatively<br />

begin again to engage with their expressive movements and<br />

each other. Atop the structure they are never still, slowly walking<br />

towards the audience, bending in and out of one-another. It’s<br />

difficult to look away. The scene is reminiscent of a sci-fi movie as<br />

one dancer is cocooned in the tent while the others move around<br />

them.<br />

Arakawa and Gin’s Reversible Destiny Lofts were all<br />

about defying conventional living by design. In prompting the<br />

inhabitants of the loft to constantly question and analyse their<br />

own processes of domestic routine the artist believe they could<br />

stave off the inevitable.<br />

By the end of the performance the inflatable stage is all but<br />

flat with some internal air still animating it. The dancers are all<br />

smiles after an hour of provocative or inscrutable expression.<br />

It’s the end of the performance and, while the inspirations<br />

of this piece Gins and Arakawa have since left this mortal stage,<br />

their ideas and challenges are a puzzle that won’t be solved and<br />

therefore live on.<br />

Sam Turner / @samturner1984<br />



Modern Nature (Stuart Moulding / @Oohshootstu)<br />

Modern Nature<br />

Harvest Sun @ Shipping Forecast – 18/9<br />

In a time when it’s growing increasingly harder to connect<br />

with the natural world, MODERN NATURE’s music provides a<br />

fitting soundtrack for such escapism with their debut long player,<br />

How To Live. The band’s identity is very much a sum of its parts,<br />

featuring names from Ultimate Painting, Beak and Woods. As<br />

you might expect, the resulting sound is cosmic, reclined and<br />

altogether warming.<br />

They take to the stage without drawing too much attention<br />

to themselves The modestly decent turnout quickly edge forward<br />

to fill any unused space and what follows is an explorative and<br />

soul-soothing affair. Opener Bloom is an elegant introduction,<br />

commencing the set with an atmospheric and solitary saxophone.<br />

It’s clear from the off that these musicians are meant to be<br />

together; they simply glue so well.<br />

Jack Cooper’s voice has been key to the success of his many<br />

past projects and things aren’t much different this time around.<br />

There’s such an effortlessness behind the quartet as they<br />

continue to dispatch How To Live in its entirety. Evidently the<br />

record was built to flow, but also to retain a sense of freshness<br />

and surprise. There’s a light and shade throughout the night, as<br />

the band lull the crowd into their meandering jams before quickly<br />

bringing the tempo up into new territory.<br />

Theon Cross<br />

Stepping Tiger @ Storyhouse – 06/10<br />

Entering Chester’s Storyhouse to the unmistakable Nigerian<br />

electro-funk of William Onyeabor, it’s clear Stepping Tiger have<br />

something wilder in store than your average Sunday night at<br />

the theatre. Bordered by bookcases with pink ambient lighting<br />

riding the walls, the venue’s open-plan spread does have an air<br />

of sophistication about it. Just over the shoulder of a guy carefully<br />

buttering scones we spy Ben ‘Roman’ Haslett DJing, the man<br />

bringing THEON CROSS and so much more to our walled city.<br />

Incredibly tight from the off, REMY JUDE ENSEMBLE open<br />

up and ease us in with a deep four-part harmony. Mellowing into<br />

a blend of alt.jazz and hip hop, there’s shades of Tom Misch and<br />

Loyle Carner in their sound. Occasionally they shift feel and a little<br />

funk slips in, vocalist Amber Kuti and keys player Max O’Hara<br />

being Galactic Funk Militia ex-recruits, after all.<br />

The fluid interplay between Jude and Kuti on hook-heavy<br />

standout Band Bak 2Geva quickly wins attendees over. Coming<br />

Home then segues into Yes Music, where a smooth-tongued<br />

Remy urges us to “thrust those shoulder blades when you hear<br />

those stabs”. Dropping down to a Cinematic Orchestra-esque<br />

bridge, Kuti’s melismatic scat inflections weave their way around<br />

a tasteful lead guitar and Jude’s fired-up MCing.<br />

Having made his name as one of the breakout talents of the<br />

UK jazz scene, Theon Cross is known for bringing the almighty<br />

There’s not much room for any dialogue between songs.<br />

They take a breather halfway through the set which opens the<br />

door for some discussion. “So we’re halfway through the album<br />

now and this is the part where you flip it over,” says Jack Cooper,<br />

jokingly. They continue into the track Nightmares, a track puts the<br />

listener into a weird dream state if anything. It begins to verge on<br />

peculiar just how calming and absorbing this experience begins<br />

to become; there are big saxophone solos, wandering guitars and<br />

hushed vocals that seem to soak into the crowd.<br />

This band don’t look like they have joined forces with a<br />

mission to flip the music world on its head. Instead, you get the<br />

feeling that this is a more informal project constructed to satisfy<br />

their own creativity. Despite exploring a vast landscape of psych<br />

on the record and in the live environment, it’s hard to see this<br />

project doing anything radical in the near future. Perhaps that<br />

could eventually be seen as a limitation, but none of that really<br />

matters tonight. This is a bunch of accomplished musicians who<br />

are clearly comfortable in their own skin.<br />

What we see tonight is a band confident enough to tackle<br />

their ideas; they’ve got the history and experience to back up<br />

their humble ambitions. As long as this group keep their hunger<br />

to create then it looks like we’ll be gifted with some great material<br />

in the coming years. And while it’s early doors for this particular<br />

project, it already feels like Modern Nature are well on their way<br />

to becoming a finished package.<br />

Rhys Buchanan / @rhysbuchanan<br />

bottom-end with Sons Of Kemet and guesting with Steam<br />

Down. As soon as Cross and touring line-up Chelsea Carmichael<br />

(saxophone), Patrick Boyle (drums) and Nikos Ziarkas (guitar)<br />

take the stage, the audience shift forward, filing up the stairs and<br />

mezzanine.<br />

Veering wildly between improvised solo bursts and dub<br />

bass lines, the versatility of the tuba in Cross’ hands is quite<br />

astounding. You’ll normally see a tuba played sat down in an<br />

orchestra; Cross performs spinning on a heel, teasing it from<br />

gurgled drawl to blaring sustain. Coasting the outer fringes of<br />

jazz, at times the songs appear formless, yet the quartet remain<br />

violently in sync.<br />

After a euphoric The Comet Is Coming-styled excursion, they<br />

slip into a sleazy Latin/bossa swing, almost verging on spiritual<br />

jazz climbs before settling into an afrobeat groove. Then after<br />

goading Carmichael and Boyle into a lengthy improv spin-out,<br />

Cross takes the mic and talks humbly about the importance of<br />

self-belief when writing music, before powering through CIYA<br />

and two encores.<br />

Granted there will have been sweatier stops on the tour,<br />

but for a damp Sunday evening in Chester tonight’s scenes are<br />

simply unprecedented. Cross is undoubtedly at forefront of a<br />

movement that’s no longer confined to London.<br />

David Weir / @betweenseeds<br />

The Good Life Experience<br />

Hawarden Estate, Wales – 12/09-15/09<br />

We live in unprecedented times. Politically, socially,<br />

technologically, environmentally. However you skin your daily<br />

existence, you face a cocktail of decisions, challenges and<br />

dilemmas, the like of which our species has not seen before.<br />

Faced with this cacophony of noise, two concepts become more<br />

important than ever; escapism and the quest for new ideas.<br />

And it figures that the two are closely related. In order to<br />

shape new ideas, we first need to sidestep the daily treadmill, the<br />

24-hour battle for our attention, the glare of those omnipresent<br />

screens. We need to create environments for open minds,<br />

expansive conversation and spaces to challenge our digital-norms.<br />

We need to reset. God, we need to breathe.<br />

With this in mind, THE GOOD LIFE EXPERIENCE embraces<br />

both and it seems is expertly tuned to our times. A well whittled,<br />

wonky, welly-clad, weird weekend of perpetual wellness that<br />

implores its guests to slow down, take stock, learn crafts, cook,<br />

care and commune.<br />

I succumbed to the temptation to take to the open water at an<br />

artist-led swimming session, followed by freeform poetry writing<br />

around an open fire. In the wrong hands this could all be very<br />

Nathan Barley, although under the tutelage of Vivienne Rickman-<br />

Poole the reality is anything but. It is hugely uplifting, invigorating,<br />

elating. I dive back in.<br />

Once suitably de-compressed and unplugged, the festival’s<br />

pinpoint curation manages to envelop its audience with wide<br />

ranging and outlook-shaping conversations led by truly inspirational<br />

subjects. Set within Hawarden Castle’s reading room, ANDREW<br />

EVANS speaks with astonishing openness and humility about his<br />

experience as a haemophiliac on the wrong end of the contaminated<br />

blood scandal, currently the subject of a public enquiry. Listening<br />

to Andrew recount his story – one that saw the wonder-drug he<br />

self-injected as a five-year-old inadvertently leave him HIV positive<br />

and almost dead as a result of AIDS by his late teens – is a deeply<br />

moving experience. His subsequent fight for justice for all those<br />

effected (taintedblood.info) goes on and his message here is simple:<br />

keep fighting. Right on cue as I leave the reading room, I notice a<br />

bookmark underfoot, inscribed simply: “ideas change things”.<br />

JNR WILLIAMS’ crystal neo-soul marries clean lines and vocal<br />

acrobatics with spades of individuality. I doubt he has played to an<br />

audience containing such a high concentration of neckerchiefed<br />

whippets before, but he leaves them (and their owners) aghast.<br />

Come night time and we’re dancing the jive with the assembled<br />

pre-schoolers at the vintage disco to Duffo’s take on Walk On The<br />

Wild Side (our Georgia steals the show). It’s a fitting curtain call<br />

to the weekend, an off-kilter take on conventional wisdom which<br />

catches you off guard, that suggests another way.<br />

The Good Life Experience is for the curious. I implore you to join<br />

them in raising a glass of organic nettle ale, delving into the sound<br />

of Welsh birdsong and leaving your preconceived conventions in the<br />

car park. A slightly better version of yourself may well come out the<br />

other side.<br />

Craig G Pennington<br />


ADD TO<br />


Red Rum Club<br />

EVOL @ O2 Academy – 28/09<br />

It’s a packed, expectant and hot O2 Academy that awaits<br />

RED RUM CLUB. Everyone’s up for a good time with these local<br />

crowd pleasers; there’s almost a sense of reverence towards<br />

them.<br />

In terms of set design it’s perfectly pitched: the tension and<br />

excitement are built to a peak before the silhouetted band walk<br />

on behind a red curtain, fitting with the Matador theme, which<br />

tumbles to the floor to reveal a group rightly confident in their<br />

abilities accompanied by a celebratory explosion of confetti and<br />

the first notes of Honey.<br />

Singer Fran Doran’s adept at whipping up the bodies before<br />

him to near hysteria. Before he’ll start playing Would You Rather<br />

Be Lonely? during the encore, he insists people get on shoulders<br />

– it takes a fair while and leads to some precarious pairings. He’s<br />

got the swagger and charm all the best frontmen have and that<br />

mysterious ingredient which means all eyes are pinned on him.<br />

On record Doran’s voice is at times reminiscent of Ian<br />

McCulloch (which is such a lovely thing) while on a couple<br />

of tracks – Kids Addicted in particular – the overall sound is<br />

reminiscent of latter day Manics (OK, but not breaking any new<br />

ground). Live these subtleties are lost in the mix: the vocals are<br />

still strong, but the ubiquitous trumpet drowns out the guitars<br />

meaning at points it becomes one unstoppable mass of brass.<br />

Red Rum Club (Stuart Moulding / @Oohshootstu)<br />

They seem like a group who are loving the acclaim they’re<br />

receiving after years of working hard. Doran speaks with<br />

understandable pride about their album after seven years of<br />

graft, and what they do they do well. They come across as a<br />

band who’ve been selling out arenas for years. If the success of<br />

tonight is anything to judge it by, their stock will continue to rise.<br />

Performance wise they’ve got the confidence and charm<br />

nailed and, technically, all six are really good musicians. It just<br />

depends what you’re in to and people here are very much on<br />

the Red Rum Club team – as the inflatable trumpets proffered<br />

towards the band attest. It’s a packed-out singalong, but<br />

at points it teeters precariously close to being the musical<br />

equivalent of Live Laugh Love, guaranteed to whip up emotion<br />

in a hometown crowd on a Saturday night. Not necessarily a bad<br />

thing, depending on what you want from a band.<br />

A cover of Golden Slumbers is lovely and fits the bill,<br />

showing in whose trail they’d like to follow: if success is built on<br />

confidence, they’ve smashed it. They could and will be playing<br />

venues far bigger than this soon – commercially their songs<br />

strike the right note between indie guitar rock and radio-friendly<br />

earworms. They’re fully formed and rounded as a live act ready<br />

for much bigger things – but sometimes a bit of edge does us all<br />

good.<br />

It’s definitely crowd-pleasing, if not ground breaking, but it’d<br />

be petulant to argue with a room so full of joy.<br />

Jennie Macaulay<br />

ADD TO PLAYLIST is the monthly<br />

column brought to you by MELODIC<br />

DISTRACTION RADIO, delving into the<br />

fold of the newest releases on the dance<br />

music spectrum. If you’re into 808s,<br />

sample pads, DJ tools and everything in<br />

between, then you’re in good company.<br />

Manra International<br />

Presents<br />

The Ultimate Spice<br />

Mix<br />

Night Slugs<br />

Oh man, well if the artwork alone doesn’t sell you on it,<br />

then what will? This compilation is practically a who’s<br />

who of some of the best global club DJs and producers<br />

at the moment, with 8ulentina, Foozool, Scratcha DVA,<br />

Ikonika, Manara and Bok Bok all bringing dishes to the<br />

potluck. With proceeds going to international human rights<br />

organisation Restless Beings, what’s more you’ve got your<br />

pre-going out playlist pretty much sorted for the rest of<br />

eternity. Canned hype, extra spicy.<br />

Hanna<br />

I Needed<br />

Melodies International<br />

Floating Points’ reissue label,<br />

Melodies International, is back<br />

to school with another dusty<br />

crate dig. Warren Harris, aka<br />

HANNA, offers up some laid-back classic Chicago house<br />

and a little tipple of sunshine to take the edge off all this<br />

autumn nonsense. It’s strictly buttery smooth edges and<br />

no surprises, filled with sultry street soul vocals, no-baddays<br />

keys and a lithe garage skip. Expect to hear this at a<br />

trendy biodynamic wine bar very soon.<br />

Anunaku<br />

Forgotten Tales<br />

Louder Than Death (Michael Kirkham / @Mrkirks)<br />

Whities<br />

Louder Than Death<br />

The Go-Go Cage and No Fun @ The Zanzibar<br />

– 13/09<br />

Leaves hang like cobwebs throughout The Zanzibar, a retro<br />

space that feels like a treasured discovery among the new venues<br />

around Liverpool. Tonight, however, it serves as the perfect fit<br />

for an intimate gig presented by garage-rock madman King Khan<br />

and his newest outfit, the ferocious LOUDER THAN DEATH.<br />

The band, who are currently blazing around Europe in<br />

promotion of their album Stop Und Fick Dich! have collected a<br />

troupe of punks from The Spits and Magnetix along the way,<br />

however, much to our dismay, Spits member Sean has been held<br />

up in customs.<br />

The lights dim as Khan walks out on stage to applause from<br />

the room, dawning pleather short-shorts, a police hat and a<br />

denim vest speckled with patchwork. Armed with a bouquet<br />

of roses, he sets a light, careless tone for the evening; “I’m just<br />

trying to make some money on the side here if anyone wants to<br />

buy a flower,” he laughs. Raging on, LTD rip-roar through a set<br />

with songs dedicated to Lemmy, Bad Brains, Christian conversion<br />

camps, Al Capone’s syphilis, Hermione from Harry Potter and, for<br />

good measure, the punk rock women of England. The prerequisite<br />

pogoing ensues in front of the stage as King Khan and his cohort<br />

bring their 77 punk style to with a blast of spilled beer, sweat<br />

and pleather. As the night extends, then begins the stage banter.<br />

After three or four stop-starts of a song they learned just that<br />

day, Khan, ever the gifted spokesman, keeps the extremely<br />

patient Scouse crowd entertained with one-liners.<br />

On a night saturated with a lo-fi, raw and dirty attitude from<br />

the makings of a band who seem like they’re just having a really<br />

damn good time, we are indeed given what we were promised: a<br />

full throttle onslaught of much needed energy and fun on a Friday<br />

night.<br />

Brit Williams / @therealbritjean<br />

Tasker’s Whities label has<br />

pretty much become buy-onsight,<br />

barely putting a foot<br />

wrong over the last couple<br />

years. Whities 024 is no different. Although the release has<br />

little to do with its alleged zeitgeist theme of ‘mythology’,<br />

the three tracks explore the intersection of global<br />

percussion and club music, careening from screw-face<br />

breakbeat to polyrhythmic drum loops. Forgotten Tales – a<br />

shimmering, padded ambient techno track – stands out as<br />

the smart, well-heeled slice of the moment. For fans of Yak,<br />

Minor Science, Poly, Leif etc.<br />

Words: Nina Franklin<br />

melodicdistraction.com<br />

Melodic Distraction Radio is an independent internet radio<br />

station based in the Baltic Triangle, platforming artists,<br />

DJs and producers from across the North West. Head to<br />

melodicdistraction.com to listen in.<br />



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Featuring demonstrations by Verve guitar legend Nick McCabe.<br />

Your chance to be amongst the first to see, hear and play these amazing and very different guitars.<br />

Merseyside Guitar Show, Aintree Racecourse Sunday 24th <strong>November</strong> <strong>2019</strong> - £7 on the door.<br />

The<br />

PRESENTS...<br />










<strong>2019</strong> Winner<br />

Best Shop<br />


Take the hassle out of<br />

Christmas party planning<br />

with our Festive Feast<br />

On arrival<br />

Welcome drink + Beer Snacks<br />

18th <strong>November</strong> - 24th December<br />

£17.50<br />

per person<br />


17/19 bold street (1st Floor) · l1 4dn<br />

PLENTY of<br />

Sprout Bhajis + Festive Curry<br />

PLUS a sharing menu of<br />

Okra Fries + Onion, Kale & Broccoli<br />

Bhajis + Bhel Puri + Bundo Chaat + Gobi<br />

& Mushroom Manchurian + Vada Pav +<br />

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+ Chole Saag + Paneer & Mushroom<br />

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Join us for a bi-weekly<br />

group bike ride in partnership<br />

with the Baltic Triangle’s<br />

cycling gurus, Ryde.<br />






This month’s offering is a selection of writings and artefacts taken from The Casserole Of Nonsense, a new<br />

book pulled from the bubbling mind stew of Lewy Dohren and Jack Turner.<br />

If you had to describe your style in a sentence, what would you<br />

say?<br />

A reaction to the plight of new age confusion, caked inside an<br />

embryo of semi-hysterical tripe.<br />

It’s fair to say that poetry isn’t your primary creative outlet.<br />

When and why did you start writing for The Casserole Of<br />

Nonsense?<br />

Lewy: It had probably been festering inside our minds for years<br />

without realising. But I had started writing some stuff while I was<br />

in Berlin, just as a reaction to the confusing hilarity of modern life. I<br />

was telling Jack about it at this fezzy, and while we were there we<br />

started writing down some of the shite we were coming out with.<br />

Jack: Yeh, something defo got switched on at that fezzy.<br />

Almost as if our collective mental pen drives got hooked up to a<br />

mainframe of ridiculousness, and both of us pressed ‘download’<br />

at the same time. Not to plagiarise MLK but I also had a dream<br />

about it.<br />

Can you pinpoint a moment or a piece of writing that initially<br />

inspired you?<br />

L: I remember reading Caravan by Nick Power on a train journey<br />

in the cold depths of winter, during the crescendo of sensory<br />

bombardment that is Christmas. And I thought it was amazing<br />

(the book, not the bombardment). That got the inspiration cogs<br />

nice and oily, I reckon. I should probably say thanks to him here as<br />

well, because he offered us some good advice in the early stages<br />

of the project. Tar lid!<br />

J: We’ve been spewing up nonsense butties ever since we met<br />

many moons ago, but it was when he told me he’d started writing<br />

stuff down in Berlin, that’s when I thought, ‘OK, maybe we should<br />

try and get something down together and see where it takes us’.<br />

Where does the inspiration come from for your work? Are<br />

there any particular influences (everyday life, the outside<br />

world, other art, people, society, politics, etc.)?<br />

L: Probably just an amalgamation of years of confusing existence<br />

and the monotonous struggle of day-to-day life. Mushing<br />

together the generic boring things we all encounter with a packet<br />

of cold hard insanity.<br />

J: Dreams, nightmares, supermarkets, TV, GFs, current-eff-airs,<br />

mates, pets, pubs, clubs, whatever’s left in the bottom of the<br />

tea cup and a large dollop of the social medication we’re all<br />

unflinchingly prescribed to.<br />

If you could read at any event, work with any artist, or be<br />

published anywhere, what would you choose?<br />

Behind the bins at the Mecca Bingo in Birkenhead with Derek<br />

Acorah, published in the Bible’s Ultra-New Testament.<br />

Sound and rhythm are key to the emotional punch of The<br />

Casserole Of Nonsense. Why do you think that slang and<br />

vernacular speech works so well with your message?<br />

L: Maybe because it feels like you’re in there actually swimming in<br />

the pond of our fragile minds or something. Part of the confusing<br />

world we’ve created for yer.<br />

J: A lot of the poems and stories in here are written in the same<br />

way they’d be spoken. The localised references comprised within<br />

that would be impossible to avoid having lived on both the upper<br />

and lower lips of the Mersey for pretty much all of our lives.<br />

Why The Casserole Of Nonsense?<br />

L: The name, or why are we even bothering to do this? The name<br />

came in a dream and the rest, well, we’ll wait and see if it’s all<br />

gonna be part of that same dream…<br />

J: Who knows, someone could very easily just tap us both on<br />

the shoulder… and there we are both standing in the middle of<br />

that sweltering summer festival. Dazed, confused, bareback and<br />

speechless to the fact that none of this has ever even happened.<br />

Loser<br />

An Ode To A Bifter<br />

A Clean Sweep<br />

-<br />

-<br />

I lost the nerve<br />

And lost the receipt<br />

I lost the number<br />

And the street<br />

I lost the tickets<br />

And all the money<br />

I think I’ve lost the beak<br />

And my sunnies<br />

I’ve lost my card<br />

And my jacket<br />

I lost the plot<br />

Cus I thought you had it<br />

But one thing I haven’t lost<br />

That I didn’t mean to find<br />

Is you.<br />

Oh fuck where’ve yer gone…<br />

Lewy Dohren, September 2018<br />

Your silky sweet and sultry scent<br />

Has in my heart now left a dent<br />

A dent for all those times we shared<br />

A toast to all lost eyebrow hairs<br />

I’ll take with me these yellow teeth<br />

Laid round my mouth, a stale wreath<br />

Commemorate the biffs I’ve lost<br />

Whilst balking at the total cost<br />

And so to you I bid farewell<br />

Tears in my eyes now start to swell<br />

The plaster’s on, I can’t look back<br />

A smoky curtain fades to black<br />

Jack Turner, August 2018<br />

There it was<br />

A warp of time<br />

A pool of self excrement<br />

5 past nineteen ninety nine<br />

Containers of excitement<br />

Swamps on the Wirral line<br />

Contract with the sphincter<br />

Read and then sign<br />

Sunshine and sins<br />

And the start of a new deal<br />

Good meaty hands<br />

Keep them behind the wheel<br />

Tape player’s wrecked<br />

And we’ve broken the seal<br />

It’s been 48 weeks<br />

Since we called in that meal<br />

A long forgotten pop star<br />

Picking chewy off his toes<br />

A sly fart from nostalgia<br />

And I’m selling Matalan clothes<br />

Stuck behind the tills<br />

Getting necked by a rose<br />

Is this still my birthday?<br />

Fuck, nobody knows<br />

Memory lane asylum<br />

Wheelie bins of thoughts<br />

A lifetime in the cloakroom<br />

Wanking over Sunday sports<br />

Sniffing loadsa fentanyl<br />

With Sooty, Sweep and Paul<br />

I’ve got it all on VHS<br />

And in my school reports<br />

Lewy Dohren & Jack Turner, March <strong>2019</strong><br />


Bohemian Chiropody<br />

Is this my real foot<br />

Or is that just fungal cream<br />

Caught in my bird’s tights<br />

Can’t escape the reality<br />

The specialist sighs<br />

She looks down at her notes and says<br />

‘You’re just a poor boy<br />

No cash for Bazuka Gel’<br />

Cos my feet are sad, I can’t ignore, a little dry, a little sore<br />

Any way my shoes walk, it doesn’t really matter to me, two feet<br />

Mama, just removed a sock<br />

Sat on the chair and bent down low<br />

A once-white Donnay had to go<br />

Mama, they never used to smell<br />

But now I’ve had to throw them all away<br />

Mama, am so uncouth<br />

I didn’t mean to scrape your eye<br />

I’ll hack these toenails off this time tomorrow<br />

Sand ’em down, sand ’em down<br />

They’re turning into daggers<br />

It’s too late, my letter’s come<br />

Got a referral from the quacks, now there ain’t no turning back<br />

Goodbye rotten pinkies, you’ve got to go<br />

I gotta buy a pumice stone and make you smooth<br />

Mama, gotta face the truth<br />

I don’t wanna go<br />

I sometimes wish I’d been born with no feet all<br />

I see a little white-clad body of a man<br />

Wielding tools and he says ‘can you feel your verrucas?’<br />

Sharp harsh pain and white bits, need things to take my mind off please!<br />

(Chips and mayo) chips and mayo, (Brian Oviedo) Oviedo, dormant volcanoes, figgy rolls<br />

I’m just a poor boy, nobody loves feet<br />

He’s just a poor boy with some snide scabby feet<br />

Spare him his soles for their callosities<br />

Easy scrape, with a stone, banish that whitlow<br />

As if that’ll go! It will not fucking go<br />

(Make it go!) As if lad, it will not fucking go<br />

(It’s tryna grow!) Oh shit lad, I think we’ve lost control<br />

(Ah me toe!) Pus began to flow<br />

(Ah me toe!) What a holy show<br />

(Ah me toe!) Ahhhhhhh...<br />

No no no not my big toe<br />

Give it here, pass it here, give it here that’s my toe<br />

The chiropodist has just left it on the side for me, for me, for me!<br />

So you think you can charge an extortionate price? So you think you can chop feet and<br />

leave me to die? Oh, maybe, I’ll see you at the Old Bailey<br />

I just gotta get out, I just gotta get right out of here<br />

My feet don’t really matter, cos no one ever sees<br />

My feet don’t really matter<br />

My feet don’t really matter to me<br />

Any way my bunions grow<br />

Jack Turner, December 2018<br />

Vision for Condiments<br />

For as far as her stagnant vision would carry her glazed eyesight<br />

There were Nettos<br />

Like bald yellow fish<br />

In a big and badly ventilated pond<br />

Each new sighting brought a slightly more pungent joy<br />

She could almost taste the 16 for 1 whole chickens<br />

Knowing that the synthetic bag would keep them fresh and<br />

frozen well into the next century<br />

Only the big man in the discounted sky would know how...<br />

Hurriedly she scampered down the first aisle<br />

Past the fruit and veg void<br />

Through the household deterrents<br />

Across snack sanctuary<br />

Until finally<br />

The cool stale air reached her trembling lips<br />

The smell of iced plastic was almost too much to bear<br />

She began to quiver with excitement<br />

Clutching her branded reusable and degrading bag like a symbol of her unity<br />

She slowly turned to face the glory of the frozen section<br />

And there...<br />

There it shone...<br />

Like a portal to another dimension<br />

Rows upon rows of deteriorating iced coffins<br />

Radiating their frozen advertisements<br />

Offering carnivorous delights for such menacingly cheap prices<br />

She could barely walk<br />

Never had she been in such awe<br />

Never in her wildest misery, had she imagined she’d make it this far<br />

Overcome with emotion she gripped tightly onto the nearest freezer<br />

A frozen lid of fulfilment propping up her dreams<br />

A glistening tear trickled down her ageing face<br />

And for the first time she looked down at what glorious opportunities awaited<br />

her<br />

Peering down into the frosted glass she began to try and read what was on<br />

offer...<br />

V..<br />

Vee...<br />

Veal?<br />

She couldn’t make out the words past her haunting cataracts so she asked the<br />

shining yellow angel stocking the shelves nearby for assistance...<br />

“What is the offer here sweet cherub?”<br />

“Oh are you on frozen aisle love?”<br />

“Yes dear... I’m from the Emerald Isle of Frozen Love”<br />

“Haha, if you say so... 2 seconds, wait there.”<br />

Surely it can’t be the vegetables again, she had already passed that section<br />

“Yeah it’s all vegan now isn’t it... legal requirement... been like that for about 6<br />

months I think. So what you’re looking at there is a vegan cod, 2 for 1 on those.”<br />

Words and Design: Lewy Dohren and Jack Turner<br />

The Casserole Of Nonsense is available from 1st <strong>November</strong>.<br />

Lewy Dohren, October 2018<br />



SAY<br />


Working at the heart of the<br />

North West based Low Carbon<br />

Eco-Innovatory – a university<br />

affiliated research and action<br />

group – Dr Ariel Edesess and<br />

Daniel Blunt underline that the<br />

fight to reverse climate change<br />

is nearing the final round, yet the<br />

contest is far from decided.<br />

It was the 1950s and 60s: World War Two was over and the<br />

world was trying to heal. With the end of the war came a<br />

global population boom. The rate of growth reached a peak<br />

of two per cent per year in the late 1960s (as compared<br />

to one per cent per year now). This accelerated increase in<br />

population, coupled with limited food resources, was alarming to<br />

many, and sparked what is now called the Green Revolution, or<br />

the Third Agricultural Revolution.<br />

In this “revolution”, resources (both financial and human)<br />

were diverted towards collaborative research and technology<br />

initiatives designed to increase food production. The Green<br />

Revolution was, for the most part, a resounding success. And,<br />

while it is true that an unacceptable amount of people are still<br />

without basic nourishment, this is due to unequal distribution of<br />

resources and inequality, not the amount of food produced.<br />

We are presently faced with creeping global warming,<br />

perhaps the greatest threat to the human race we have ever seen.<br />

The oft-used description of global warming is as an “existential<br />

crisis”, named so because it could threaten the entire existence of<br />

the human race. For most of us, global warming exists mainly as<br />

something to be afraid of, to rally up against, to use as an excuse<br />

to rage against capitalism, or to deny is happening at all. The<br />

success of the Green Revolution in increasing food production<br />

(notwithstanding its many flaws) provides us with a blueprint of<br />

how to approach another, seemingly, Herculean challenge.<br />

Every day, I work closely with the public and small-tomedium<br />

sized businesses in Liverpool city and Lancashire regions<br />

to meet the goals laid out in the various local and global emission<br />

reduction plans. While the range of feelings about climate action<br />

is as broad as the issue itself, the majority of feelings encountered<br />

can be roughly summarised by the following: recognising the<br />

problem and feeling anxious and motivated to contribute to<br />

solution; recognising the problem but believing that, because of<br />

their sector or business, they are not part of finding a solution;<br />

recognising the problem but struggling to see any financial<br />

benefit for making changes; recognising the problem and feeling<br />

“The fight is not yet<br />

lost – the world as<br />

we know it today is<br />

not set in stone”<br />

overwhelmed and incapacitated to help; recognising the problem<br />

but feeling that it is hopeless or caused by large corporations, and<br />

therefore not their individual responsibility.<br />

While these are wholly understandable reactions to an<br />

immeasurably complex problem, they should not dictate how<br />

we move to address the challenge. Luckily, this is not the first<br />

time humanity has faced a major global crisis and we have some<br />

examples to help readjust how we approach and think about this<br />

crisis.<br />

With the recent passing of Paul Polak on 10th October, a<br />

world-renowned innovator, entrepreneur, anti-poverty warrior<br />

and one of my personal heroes, the urgency to highlight his<br />

accomplishments and what we can learn from them for the<br />

current fight against global warming has increased. Born into a<br />

Jewish family in Czechoslovakia in 1933, Polak fled the advancing<br />

Nazis with his family when he was six years old. Following a<br />

perilous and terrifying journey through Germany, where young<br />

Paul even paraded as a member of the Hitler youth to hide<br />

his family’s true identify, the family eventually found refuge in<br />

Ontario, Canada.<br />

This experience could have left him with a bitterness towards<br />

humanity, but instead he chose to direct his innate curiosity to<br />

understanding and trying to help others in need. Polak practised<br />

psychiatry for two decades before shifting his attention to the<br />

problem of global poverty, especially those who were surviving<br />

on $1-2 per day.<br />

Animated by his experiences as a child and equipped with his<br />

training as a psychiatrist, Polak sought to fill the gaps where the<br />

Green Revolution failed to reach those most in need. What made<br />

Polak special was where others saw insurmountable obstacles,<br />

he simply saw challenges that needed solutions – or, as he said<br />

to me once, “People often say I’m an innovator... if innovation is<br />

walking along a sidewalk and, on reaching a step, you step up<br />

and continue walking, then sure, I’m an innovator.”<br />

Polak understood that the key to changing behaviour and<br />

affecting change was to look for solutions most in harmony with<br />

the people for whom the solution is intended, to include them in<br />

the process, to track progress, and to adjust the approach when<br />

needed. His most basic tenet was to treat people who are lower<br />

on the socio-economic ladder (in his work, those making $1-2 a<br />

day) as customers rather than charity recipients. At the heart of<br />

this message is an appreciation of the role of human dignity and<br />

feeling of accomplishment in promoting behavioural change.<br />

The climate crisis fight is not the same as the anti-poverty<br />

fight or the Green Revolution, but they are all inescapably linked.<br />

Mountains of research show over and over again that it will<br />

be people lower on the socio-economic ladder who are most<br />

impacted by the climate crisis. This is true worldwide, from<br />

Kolkata to Merseyside. Here in Liverpool, it might not look like a<br />

community decimated by wildfire or a village washed away in a<br />

hurricane, but it might look more like fuel poverty, leaking houses<br />

due to extreme rainfall and flooding, or rising food costs, and it<br />

will be those already struggling to make ends meet who are hit<br />

the worst.<br />

The climate crisis monster we find ourselves facing<br />

encompasses far more than the environmental realm – its roots<br />

are buried in centuries of deep-set behavioural patterns and<br />

social paradigms. Years and years of damaging activity, pursued<br />

even when we suspected, and then became fully aware of the<br />

impacts, have driven us to this crossroad. Tackle the beast and its<br />

many faces? Or be blissful in our apathy, ignorance and business<br />

as usual?<br />

We all know which is the easy option, and we’ve probably<br />

all felt justified in reneging on our personal responsibilities to be<br />

better – to use less, reuse more, throw away less, and vocally<br />

support difficult or disruptive plans, policies, or technologies.<br />

It is exhausting, and anxiety-inducing to be in a constant state<br />

of worry about the looming destruction of humanity and it is<br />

much easier to ‘opt-out’ and just keep planning your next trip to<br />

Tuvalu – yet we all play a big role in challenging the climate crisis.<br />

So, how do we take on this issue as individuals (yes, yes, we<br />

are all individuals!) and maximise our impact? Put simply, there is<br />

no single answer. There is not one action you could do that would<br />

be the ‘right’ way to go – each one of us must choose our own<br />

way to contribute. Your contribution is not just certain individual<br />

choices you can make, like choosing to go meat and/or dairy-free<br />

a couple of times a week, reducing and reusing water whenever<br />

possible, or driving less – your most important tool is your voice<br />

and how you exercise your expectations of how society should<br />

operate.<br />

But, more important than any action we can take today is<br />

our resilience and drive to insist on change, to be different and<br />

better from how we were before. The fight is not yet lost – the<br />

world as we know it today is not set in stone, and “that’s just how<br />

it is” is not how it should always be. We should learn from Paul<br />

Polak’s philosophies, such as talking to the people who have the<br />

problem and listening to what they have to say, focusing on small<br />

solutions to big problems, seeing and doing the obvious, and<br />

learning from mistakes and adjusting when required.<br />

Polak is an example that each one of us can be an influencer<br />

and that each one of us has the capacity to affect major change.<br />

When choosing your own path forward to address the crisis, here<br />

are four useful points to remember: keep it local, keep it timely,<br />

keep it personal, and keep it honest – uncertainty is not your<br />

enemy. I’ll leave you here with a reminder from Hannah Arendt:<br />

“We are free to change the world and start something new in it.”<br />

By reading this piece, I hope you’ve felt encouraged to take<br />

action. This list is by no means comprehensive, but here are some<br />

activities to take part in/actions you take:<br />

• Clean ups (CleanupUK, the National Trust and Keep Britain<br />

Tidy all have easy routes to involvement).<br />

• Seed bombing (get yourself some seed balls and go wildflower<br />

guerrilla gardening – like a rebel Alan Titchmarsh).<br />

• Write letters to local government to insist on reducing public<br />

transport prices and build better green infrastructure. I mean,<br />

it feels like Liverpool City Centre is actually a deterrent for<br />

cyclists right now (believe it not, your letters are actually read<br />

and if enough people speak up, they are obliged to take action).<br />

• Change daily habits: reduce water use, turn off lights, don’t<br />

charge phone overnight, switch off cars at long traffic lights,<br />

reduce and reuse waste (standard but worth remembering).<br />

• Promote holistic solutions – think creatively. Ask questions, find<br />

supportive peers.<br />

• Adjust expectations, both of yourself and of the companies you<br />

spend money on. Demand drives the market, we can influence<br />

the market by changing our consumer behaviours.<br />

• Engage your company or place of work with the Low Carbon<br />

Eco-Innovatory at LJMU. We exist to help small-medium<br />

businesses in Liverpool, Sefton, Wirral, St Helens, Knowsley<br />

and Halton develop low carbon products, processes and<br />

services by engaging them with our team of researchers. We<br />

work across all sectors and love to be given a challenge! Want<br />

to decarbonise your business but don’t know where to start?<br />

Give us a shout. Developing the next great piece of green tech<br />

and need it testing? You know who to call (Disclaimer: it’s not<br />

Ghostbusters).<br />

Words: Dr Ariel Edesess and Daniel Blunt<br />

Photography: Robin Clewley / robinclewley.co.uk<br />

ljmu.ac.uk/ecoinnovatory<br />

The Low Carbon Eco-Innovatory is a partnership between<br />

Liverpool John Moores University, University of Liverpool and<br />

Lancaster University. Find out more about how to get involved<br />

with their Clean Growth UK action at @EcoInnovatory.<br />


Richard Dawson<br />

SATURDAY 23rd <strong>November</strong><br />

Studio 2, Liverpool<br />

SOLD OUT<br />

Beans on Toast<br />

FRIDAY 20th December<br />

Phase One, Liverpool<br />

The Local Honeys<br />

Wednesday 22nd January<br />

Gulliver, Manchester<br />

King Creosote<br />

Performing a live accompaniment to the film<br />

From Scotland with Love<br />

Monday 16th March<br />

Bridgewater Hall, Manchester<br />

@Ceremonyconcert / facebook.com/ceremonyconcerts<br />

ceremonyconcerts@gmail.com / seetickets.com

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