Issue 106 / Dec 2019/Jan 2020

December 2019/January 2020 double issue of Bido Lito! magazine. Featuring: BEIJA FLO, ASOK, LO FIVE, SIMON HUGHES, CONVENIENCE GALLERY, BEAK>, STUDIO ELECTROPHONIQUE, ALEX TELEKO, SHE DREW THE GUN, IMTIAZ DHARKER and much more.

December 2019/January 2020 double issue of Bido Lito! magazine. Featuring: BEIJA FLO, ASOK, LO FIVE, SIMON HUGHES, CONVENIENCE GALLERY, BEAK>, STUDIO ELECTROPHONIQUE, ALEX TELEKO, SHE DREW THE GUN, IMTIAZ DHARKER and much more.


You also want an ePaper? Increase the reach of your titles

YUMPU automatically turns print PDFs into web optimized ePapers that Google loves.

ISSUE <strong>106</strong> / DEC <strong>2019</strong>/JAN <strong>2020</strong><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 />

Thur 28th Nov • 6.30pm<br />

Mountford Hall,<br />

Liverpool Guild of Students<br />

Mac DeMarco<br />

+ Los Bitchos<br />

+ Phoebe Green<br />

Fri 29th Nov<br />

The Doors Alive<br />

Sat 30th Nov • 6pm<br />

The Wonder Stuff<br />

performing ‘The<br />

Eight Legged Groove<br />

Machine’ & ‘HUP’<br />

+ Jim Bob from Carter USM<br />

Sat 30th Nov<br />

Pearl Jam UK<br />

Thur 5th <strong>Dec</strong><br />

Shed Seven<br />

+ The Twang<br />

Fri 6th <strong>Dec</strong><br />

Mountford Hall,<br />

Liverpool Guild of Students<br />

Happy Mondays<br />

+ Jon Dasilva<br />

Fri 6th <strong>Dec</strong><br />

SPINN<br />

Fri 6th <strong>Dec</strong> • 7.30pm<br />

Conleth McGeary<br />

Sat 7th <strong>Dec</strong><br />

Prince Tribute -<br />

Endorphinmachine<br />

Tue 10th <strong>Dec</strong><br />

Mountford Hall,<br />

Liverpool Guild of Students<br />

Razorlight<br />

Wed 11th <strong>Dec</strong><br />

D Block Europe<br />

Thur 12th <strong>Dec</strong><br />

Mountford Hall,<br />

Liverpool Guild of Students<br />

Daniel Sloss: X<br />

Fri 13th <strong>Dec</strong><br />

Mountford Hall,<br />

Liverpool Guild of Students<br />

Dermot Kennedy<br />

Fri 13th <strong>Dec</strong><br />

The Lancashire<br />

Hotpots<br />

Fri 13th <strong>Dec</strong><br />

Scouting for Girls<br />

Sat 14th <strong>Dec</strong><br />

The Smyths<br />

… The Smiths 35<br />

Sat 14th <strong>Dec</strong><br />

Ian Prowse &<br />

Amsterdam<br />

+ The Supernaturals<br />

+ Steve Pilgrim<br />

Wed 18th <strong>Dec</strong><br />

The Darkness<br />

+ Rews<br />

Thur 19th <strong>Dec</strong><br />

Cast...<br />

All Change Album<br />

Fri 20th <strong>Dec</strong><br />

Cast...<br />

Mother Nature Calls<br />

Album<br />

Fri 20th <strong>Dec</strong><br />

Christmas<br />

at the Academy<br />

Sat 21st <strong>Dec</strong><br />

Cast...<br />

Magic Hour Album<br />

Sat 21st <strong>Dec</strong><br />

Limehouse Lizzy:<br />

The Greatest Hits of<br />

Phil Lynott & Thin Lizzy<br />

Tue 31st <strong>Dec</strong> • 10pm<br />

Twisted Circus NYE<br />

Sat 11th <strong>Jan</strong> <strong>2020</strong><br />

Elvana:<br />

Elvis Fronted Nirvana<br />

Sat 18th <strong>Jan</strong> <strong>2020</strong><br />

Mountford Hall,<br />

Liverpool Guild of Students<br />

Stereophonics<br />

Wed 29th <strong>Jan</strong> <strong>2020</strong><br />

The Interrupters<br />

+ Buster Shuffle<br />

Sat 1st Feb <strong>2020</strong> • 6.30pm<br />

Liverpool<br />

Rocks Heat 4<br />

Mon 3rd Feb <strong>2020</strong><br />

Kano<br />

Tue 4th Feb <strong>2020</strong><br />

Mabel<br />

Wed 12th Feb <strong>2020</strong><br />

Inhaler<br />

facebook.com/o2academyliverpool<br />

twitter.com/o2academylpool<br />

instagram.com/o2academyliverpool<br />

youtube.com/o2academytv<br />

Sat 22nd Feb <strong>2020</strong><br />

The Fillers (The Killers<br />

Official Tribute Band)<br />

Tue 25th Feb <strong>2020</strong><br />

The Murder Capital<br />

Thur 27th Feb <strong>2020</strong><br />

Kiefer Sutherland<br />

Fri 28th Feb <strong>2020</strong><br />

The Big Moon<br />

Sat 29th Feb <strong>2020</strong><br />

Bulsara and His<br />

Queenies<br />

Thur 5th Mar <strong>2020</strong><br />

Gabrielle Aplin<br />

Thur 12th Mar <strong>2020</strong><br />

Mountford Hall,<br />

Liverpool Guild of Students<br />

The Blindboy Podcast<br />

- Live<br />

Thur 12th Mar <strong>2020</strong><br />

Tragedy: All Metal<br />

Tribute to the Bee<br />

Gees & Beyond<br />

+ Attic Theory<br />

Sat 28th Mar <strong>2020</strong><br />

AC/DC UK & Dizzy<br />

Lizzy<br />

Sat 28th Mar <strong>2020</strong><br />

Becky Hill<br />

Sun 29th Mar <strong>2020</strong><br />

Cigarettes After Sex<br />

Sat 4th Apr <strong>2020</strong><br />

Mountford Hall,<br />

Liverpool Guild of Students<br />

Circa Waves<br />

Sat 4th Apr <strong>2020</strong><br />

808 State Live<br />

Tue 21st Apr <strong>2020</strong><br />

Darwin Deez - 10Yearz<br />

Sat 2nd May <strong>2020</strong><br />

The Southmartins<br />

(Tribute To The Beautiful<br />

South & The Housemartins)<br />

Sat 9th May <strong>2020</strong><br />

Fell Out Boy<br />

& The Black Charade<br />

+ We Aren’t Paramore<br />

Sat 16th May <strong>2020</strong><br />

Nirvana UK (Tribute)<br />

Sat 23rd May <strong>2020</strong><br />

The Bon Jovi<br />

Experience<br />

Fri 11th <strong>Dec</strong> <strong>2020</strong><br />

Heaven 17<br />

FRI 22ND NOV 7PM<br />




FRI 22ND NOV 7PM<br />

SLADE<br />

SAT 23RD NOV 10.30PM<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 />



SAT 7TH DEC 7PM<br />

IAN MCNABB &<br />


TUE 10TH DEC 7PM<br />



WED 11TH DEC 7PM<br />



THUR 12TH DEC 7PM<br />



SAT 14TH DEC 7PM<br />


+ DENIO + GALLIA<br />


WED 18TH DEC 7PM<br />

ALI HORN<br />

THUR 26TH DEC 10PM<br />

D.O.D & FRIENDS<br />

FRI 24TH JAN <strong>2020</strong> 6.30PM<br />


SAT 25TH JAN <strong>2020</strong> 6.30PM<br />


MON 27TH JAN <strong>2020</strong> 7PM<br />


FRI 31ST JAN <strong>2020</strong> 6.30PM<br />


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


SAT 8TH FEB <strong>2020</strong> 7.PM<br />


THUR 13TH FEB <strong>2020</strong> 7PM<br />

HMLTD<br />

FRI 21ST FEB <strong>2020</strong> 7PM<br />


SAT 22ND FEB <strong>2020</strong> 7PM<br />


SUN 23RD FEB <strong>2020</strong> 7PM<br />


THUR 5TH MAR <strong>2020</strong> 7PM<br />


SAT 7TH MAR <strong>2020</strong> 7PM<br />

PINS<br />

THU 12TH MAR <strong>2020</strong> 7PM<br />


+ 8 BALL AITKEN<br />

SAT 14TH MAR <strong>2020</strong> 7.30PM<br />

THE K’S<br />

MON 16TH MAR <strong>2020</strong> 7PM<br />


WED 25TH MAR <strong>2020</strong> 7PM<br />

PALACE<br />

WED 25TH MAR <strong>2020</strong> 7PM<br />


FRI 27TH MAR <strong>2020</strong> 6.30PM<br />


FINAL 1<br />

SUN 29TH MAR <strong>2020</strong> 7PM<br />



FRI 3RD APR <strong>2020</strong> 6.30PM<br />


FINAL 2<br />

SAT 18TH APR <strong>2020</strong> 6PM<br />


SAT 25TH APR <strong>2020</strong> 6.30PM<br />




90<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 />


1 NOV <strong>2019</strong> - 23 FEB <strong>2020</strong><br />


you feel<br />

me_<br />








FACT / 88 WOOD STREET / L1 4DQ<br />

fact.co.uk<br />

Anna Bunting-Branch and Aliyah Hussain, Warm Worlds and Otherwise (2018-19) and META (2018) commissioned as part of Worlds Among Us, a<br />

collaboration between FACT, The Mechatronic Library, QUAD and Wysing Arts Centre. Installation view at FACT. Image by Rob Battersby.


at Liverpool<br />

Philharmonic<br />

Elf Spirit of Christmas Awake, Arise – A Christmas Show For Our Times It’s a Wonderful Life<br />

Connie Lush

An Audience With<br />

Connie Lush<br />

Plus support Satin Beige Chousmer<br />

Friday 6 <strong>Dec</strong>ember 8pm<br />

Music Room<br />

Connie Lush<br />

Plus special guest Thomas Lang<br />

Saturday 7 <strong>Dec</strong>ember 8pm<br />

Music Room<br />

Film<br />

Elf (cert PG)<br />

Tuesday 10 <strong>Dec</strong>ember 7.30pm<br />

Christmas Tour<br />

FARA<br />

Tuesday 10 <strong>Dec</strong>ember 8pm<br />

Music Room<br />

Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra<br />

Clare Teal with<br />

Guy Barker – In the<br />

Christmas Mood<br />

Wednesday 11 <strong>Dec</strong>ember 7.30pm<br />

Family Concert<br />

Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra<br />

Sing-along with Santa<br />

Saturday 14 <strong>Dec</strong>ember 11.30am & 2.30pm<br />

Sunday 15 <strong>Dec</strong>ember 11.30am & 2.30pm<br />

Awake, Arise –<br />

A Christmas Show<br />

For Our Times<br />

Featuring Lady Maisery, Jimmy Aldridge<br />

and Sid Goldsmith<br />

Monday 16 <strong>Dec</strong>ember 8pm<br />

Music Room<br />

Baked A La Ska:<br />

Ska of Wonder<br />

Monday 23 <strong>Dec</strong>ember 8pm<br />

Music Room<br />

Film<br />

It’s a Wonderful Life (cert U)<br />

Tuesday 24 <strong>Dec</strong>ember 11am & 2pm<br />

Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra<br />

Ghostbusters: Film with<br />

Live Orchestra (cert PG)<br />

Saturday 28 <strong>Dec</strong>ember 7.30pm<br />

Sunday 29 <strong>Dec</strong>ember 7.30pm<br />

Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra<br />

Messiah<br />

Saturday 4 <strong>Jan</strong>uary 7pm<br />

Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra<br />

Spirit of Christmas<br />

Saturday 14 <strong>Dec</strong>ember 7.30pm<br />

Tuesday 17 <strong>Dec</strong>ember 7.30pm<br />

Wednesday 18 <strong>Dec</strong>ember 7.30pm<br />

Friday 20 <strong>Dec</strong>ember 7.30pm<br />

Saturday 21 <strong>Dec</strong>ember 7.30pm<br />

Sunday 22 <strong>Dec</strong>ember 2.30pm<br />

Box Office<br />

0151 709 3789<br />

liverpoolphil.com<br />

LiverpoolPhilharmonic<br />

liverpoolphil<br />



CHRISTMAS SPIEGELTENT 29 NOV <strong>2019</strong><br />

NEW YEAR’S EVE <strong>2019</strong> PROHIBITION PARTY<br />

TUSK BALTIC 31 DEC <strong>2019</strong><br />


THE JACARANDA CLUB 3 DEC <strong>2019</strong><br />


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


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


THE AUDITORIUM AT M&S BANK ARENA 1 FEB <strong>2020</strong><br />


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

THE 1975<br />

M&S BANK ARENA LIVERPOOL 26 FEB <strong>2020</strong><br />


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

SOUND CITY <strong>2020</strong><br />

BALTIC TRIANGLE 2 - 3 MAY <strong>2020</strong><br />


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

CREAMFIELDS <strong>2020</strong><br />

WARRINGTON 27 - 30 AUGUST <strong>2020</strong>


13 DEC <strong>2019</strong> – 3 MAY <strong>2020</strong><br />




Supported by<br />

Media Partner<br />

Theaster Gates still from the film Dance of Malaga <strong>2019</strong><br />

© Theaster Gates and courtesy of the artist.<br />

Photo © Chris Strong<br />

With additional support from the Theaster Gates<br />

Exhibition Supporters Group and Tate Members

Be part of it<br />

Become Be a member<br />

part of it<br />

Become a member<br />

Sign up online at<br />

liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/membership<br />

Sign up online at<br />

liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/membership<br />

or at one of our venues<br />

or at one of<br />

#NML<strong>2020</strong><br />

our venues<br />


5 – 19 Oct <strong>2019</strong><br />

8 Feb – 14 Mar <strong>2020</strong><br />

14 Feb – 15 Mar <strong>2020</strong><br />

20 Feb – 13 Mar <strong>2020</strong><br />

8 May – 13 Jun <strong>2020</strong><br />

22 May – 13 Jun <strong>2020</strong><br />

Book now at<br />



26TH - 31ST DECEMBER <strong>2019</strong><br />

ANTI SOCIAL JAZZ CLUB BEST OF <strong>2019</strong> - JOE GODDARD (HOT CHIP)<br />






Through our team of community writers, photographers, illustrators and creative minds, Bido Lito!<br />

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

community by becoming a Bido Lito! Community Member.<br />

As well as receiving the latest edition of the magazine in the post before anyone else each month,<br />

Community Members get a plethora of sweet rewards. Upon signing up you’ll receive a Bido Lito! Tote<br />

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

get free admission to the Bido Lito! Social and a playlist of the best new music which informs the pink<br />

pages every month.<br />

As well as this, you’ll help shape the content of the magazine itself each month. Whether it be<br />

recommending subjects for features, providing insight into live events, curating recommender playlists or<br />

suggesting your favourite new artists, our members are at the centre of everything we do.<br />

!<br />


Bido Lito! members get opportunities to have direct input into the<br />

editorial direction of the magazine.<br />


Bido Lito! members get free admission to the Bido Lito! Social.<br />

The best artists at the best independent venues.<br />

!<br />


As well as the monthly magazine, the Bido Lito! TOTE BAG will be<br />

sent as your joining gift and you’ll receive the end of year BIDO LITO!<br />

JOURNAL each <strong>Dec</strong>ember.<br />

Join the community media revolution and sign up today at bidolito.co.uk/membership

New Music + Creative Culture<br />

Liverpool<br />

<strong>Issue</strong> <strong>106</strong> / <strong>Dec</strong> <strong>2019</strong>/<strong>Jan</strong> <strong>2020</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 />

Robin Clewley<br />

Words<br />

Elliot Ryder, Cath Holland, Christopher Torpey, Julia<br />

Johnson, Neil Grant, Simon Hughes, Sam Turner,<br />

Paul Fitzgerald, Bethany Garrett, Laura Brown, Chris<br />

Brown, Damon Fairclough, Rhys Buchanan, Matthew<br />

Hogarth, Anouska Liat, Joel Durksen, Sophie Shields,<br />

Daniel Ponzini, Georgia Turnbull, Rhys Thomas, Jennie<br />

Macaulay, Glyn Akroyd, David Weir, Nina Franklin,<br />

James Zaremba, Matthew Thomas Smith, Imtiaz<br />

Dharker.<br />

Photography, Illustration and Layout<br />

Mark McKellier, Robin Clewley, Keith Ainsworth,<br />

Antony Mo, Lo Five, Mr Marbles, Daniel Patlán, Ryan<br />

Lee Turton, Luke Parry, Lucia Matušíková, Lauren Avery,<br />

Lucy Roberts, Jemma Timberlake, Niloo Sharifi, Tomas<br />

Adam, Stuart Moulding, Mook Loxley, Glyn Akroyd,<br />

Brian Sayle, John Johnson, Nicholas Daly.<br />


The end of the decade doesn’t feel too different to when<br />

it began. Protest. Helplessness. Reality.<br />

Of all the changes brought about by David<br />

Cameron and Nick Clegg in five bitter years, raising<br />

tuition fees is probably the least<br />

devastating when you weigh the receipts<br />

up against the body count. But, for me,<br />

it was the first moment in my life where<br />

I’d been directly affected by a democracy<br />

I wasn’t old enough to influence. A<br />

democracy where I’d eventually be<br />

granted four votes on a national scale<br />

before the decade was out. Three of<br />

which I’d be on the losing side. The fourth<br />

is still in the phase of protest. It’ll switch<br />

to helplessness on the evening of 12th<br />

<strong>Dec</strong>ember. The early hours that follow<br />

deliver the reality.<br />

Being told that I would be the first<br />

cohort to pay tripled tuition fees was the<br />

most forcible lesson I’d had of ‘getting<br />

what you’re given’. It was a mantra that<br />

typified much of those first five years of<br />

the decade. Tuition fees were just the first<br />

incision, the entry point before many vital organs of society were<br />

removed. So many more were to get what they were given, not<br />

what they deserved. All with much more severe consequences<br />

than carrying inflated university debt. Many protested. We<br />

looked on helpless. Then we saw the reality. Austerity bred the<br />

chaos that unravelled in the five years that followed. When you<br />

push a community to breaking point it will start to point fingers<br />

within. Then the irreparable damage is done.<br />


“Bravery will always<br />

have a home in<br />

Bido Lito! for the<br />

decade to come”<br />

Bravery is the key. It’s the source of power the assumes<br />

control without reason. For 10 years, Bido Lito! has been a<br />

chronicle of bravery, platforming/celebrating/holding up those<br />

who choose to assert themselves through music and art. Those<br />

who’ve taken control of their situation,<br />

those who’ve completely lost themselves<br />

in it. It takes an unrivalled bravery to<br />

formulate a public facing expression of<br />

protest, of helplessness, of reality, of<br />

escape.<br />

This issue, like the 105 that have<br />

run through the decade, is packed full of<br />

bravery. Bravery is Beija Flo’s expression<br />

of physicality and the world that exists<br />

beyond the limitation of form. Bravery<br />

is ASOK following emotive intuition;<br />

equally for Lo Five in the spiritual sense.<br />

As noted by Simon Hughes, bravery<br />

is taking ownership of addiction and<br />

seeing that circumstances can be<br />

reversed. This in particular is something<br />

to take note of when feeling the strains<br />

of the political climate, the world beyond<br />

the socialist bubble of Liverpool.<br />

Bravery is taking back control of language, of image, of<br />

expression. Taking it away from those who’ve weaponised its<br />

use. Bravery will always have a home in Bido Lito! for the decade<br />

to come. This won’t change. But, on 12th <strong>Dec</strong>ember? Let’s hope<br />

it’s a time for real change. !<br />

Editor<br />

Elliot Ryder / @elliot_ryder<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 />

If you are interested in adverting in Bido Lito!, or finding<br />

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 />

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 />

16 / BEIJA FLO<br />

Beija Flo’s experimental artistry is boldly laid bare in her new<br />

material; Cath Holland learns more about its subtle contours.<br />

20 / ASOK<br />

Breathless breakbeats and warped techno that drip with the<br />

energy of club walls; ASOK on the notion of making music in the<br />

moment.<br />


Since opening at Birkenhead Market in June, Convenience Gallery<br />

has been working to rub away the divide between the everyday<br />

and the artist.<br />


Social history writer and football journalist Simon Hughes looks<br />

back at Liverpool’s progression over the last 10 years.<br />


14 / NEWS<br />

34 / SPOTLIGHT<br />

40 / PREVIEWS<br />


Electronicist Lo Five navigates us through the terrain of his latest<br />

album, a world conjured from meditation and internal discovery.<br />

30 / A DECADE OF<br />


A selection of Bido Lito! writers pick out some of the most<br />

important cultural moments to have taken place in Liverpool over<br />

the past decade.<br />

37 / BEAK><br />

Constantly sharpening the edges of their three-sided setup,<br />

these masters of sonic immersion know how to keep it sounding<br />

fresh.<br />


“The intention for my music was to make it underthought:<br />

straight from my brain to the machine. I wanted to do it in the<br />

now”<br />

42 / REVIEWS<br />



NEWS<br />

The Stomach And The Port<br />

Rashid Johnson, The Crisis, <strong>2019</strong><br />

Liverpool Biennial returns for its 11th year in <strong>2020</strong>,<br />

taking place between 11th July and 25th October. The<br />

contemporary art festival will engage with Liverpool, its<br />

history and cultural landscape in even greater depth, guided<br />

by a theme of The Stomach and The Port. Liverpool’s<br />

dynamic as a historic international port city – a point of<br />

global contact and circulation – provides the perfect canvas<br />

on which to consider the analogy of the city as an entity<br />

similar to the body; a fluid organism that is continuously<br />

shaped by and shaping its environment. Public spaces,<br />

historic sites and the city’s leading art venues will ‘host’<br />

the various artworks that will comprise the Biennial, the<br />

UK’s largest festival of contemporary visual art. New<br />

director, Fatos Üstek, and curator, Manuela Moscoso, have<br />

constructed this modern vison for the festival, working with<br />

more than 50 international artists to interpret this theme in<br />

relation to Liverpool. biennial.com<br />

A Feast Of Fests 1<br />

Festival season never ends on Merseyside, and <strong>2020</strong> is already shaping<br />

up to be plentiful in that regard, with announcements coming thick and<br />

fast. SOUND CITY have come out of the blocks with all guns blazing<br />

for the festival in the Baltic Triangle (1st-3rd May), headlined by goth<br />


STEALING SHEEP are among those also joining the fray, with more<br />

expected announcements due early in the new year. Barely a week<br />

later (7th-9th May), FOCUS WALES gets up and running for <strong>2020</strong> in<br />

Wrexham 7th-9th May. The mercurial GRUFF RHYS headlines, with<br />

some brilliantly eclectic acts – such as FLAMINGODS and GEORGIA<br />

RUTH – spread across a line-up that has something for everyone.<br />

And, after a year off, Positive Vibration Festival Of Reggae returns to<br />

the Baltic Triangle, on 12th-13th June. HOLLIE COOK and GENERAL<br />

LEVY AND JOE ARIWA are the big-hitters leading the way, in what is a<br />

welcome return to the gigging calendar.<br />

Pale Waves<br />

A Feast Of Fests 2<br />

Cykada<br />

What, you want more festivals? OK – we can help you there, because our diary <strong>2020</strong> is already filling up with<br />

unmissable dates. LIVERPOOL INTERNATIONAL JAZZ FESTIVAL is one of the earlier starters, taking place at Hope<br />

University’s Capstone Theatre between 27th February and 1st March. London collective CYKADA bring the fire;<br />

Belgians TIN MEN AND THE TELEPHONE bring the raucous fury; and saxophonist TONY KOFI brings a quartet<br />

whose set will focus on Kofi’s work with Ornette Coleman. The 10th edition of THRESHOLD will also, sadly, be its<br />

last. The grassroots arts and music festival has championed many emerging artists during its tenure, but will be<br />

wrapping things up in the Baltic Triangle on 3rd and 4th April (artist announcements due in <strong>Jan</strong>uary <strong>2020</strong>). INDIKA<br />

has made some slight changes to its programme, moving its main festival to November (12th-22nd) across a number<br />

of city centre venues, including St George’s Hall, Leaf and the Philharmonic Music Room. A major Diwali celebration is<br />

also planned as part of the revamped programme, with year round taster events and showcases to keep us keen.<br />

Read The Dots<br />

Big Wows Treasure Hunt<br />

Two local art organisations, The Reader and dot-art, are joining forces to<br />

deliver a new range of activities and workshops for <strong>2020</strong>. Based in the<br />

recently refurbished Mansion House in Calderstones Park, The Reader is a<br />

national charity that champions the benefits of shared reading and literature.<br />

In teaming up with independent art gallery dot-art, The Reader will be<br />

incorporating a visual art programme alongside a number of art classes<br />

and community workshops within the Mansion House. dot-art has been<br />

running a successful series of art classes with The Bluecoat for a number<br />

of years, and their involvement with The Reader will open up exciting new<br />

possibilities; nature photography, walking drawing, textile arts and short<br />

story illustration courses will all take a lead from the glorious setting of<br />

Calderstones Park.<br />

If you haven’t yet managed to get your hands on the limited edition<br />

STEALING SHEEP Remix Wows cassette we teamed up to release<br />

earlier this year, you may just be in luck. A number of the special<br />

pink cassettes – featuring versions of the tracks from the Sheep’s<br />

third album Big Wows remixed by their friends – are dotted around<br />

the city (and even further afield) to be picked up for free. We’ve<br />

hidden 50 cassettes in locations specific to Stealing Sheep – places<br />

where they’ve played, worked, recorded music, filmed videos and<br />

created artwork. We’ve even left a number of cassettes at Liverpool<br />

landmarks for anyone to find. If you want one for your collection,<br />

follow the clues on our Twitter account (@BidoLito). Big wows!<br />

Independent Venue Week<br />

Sinead O’Brien<br />

Anna Calvi is the ambassador of INDEPENDENT VENUE WEEK <strong>2020</strong>, the nationwide<br />

festival that puts the spotlight on the indie music venues that are the lifeblood of the UK<br />

music scene. In Liverpool, a whole host of establishments are taking part between 27th<br />

<strong>Jan</strong>uary and 2nd February, bringing a slew of gigs at an otherwise downbeat time of<br />

year. District, Grand Central Hall, The Zanzibar, Jimmy’s and Parr Street Studio2 all have<br />

activity planned in, with many shows still to be announced at the time of going to press.<br />

The Jacaranda venues – Phase One, EBGBS and Jacaranda Club – throw themselves<br />

into the action once more, with BLACKWATERS’ headline show at EBGBS on 30th<br />

<strong>Jan</strong>uary one of their highlights. Craft Taproom and Handyman have their own weekend<br />

scheduled, featuring SILENT-K and MATT MCMANAMON (The Dead 60s) among others.<br />

And Birkenhead Library gets in on the act, with a joint headline show from SINEAD<br />

O’BRIEN and PUMA BLUE on 2nd February. Keep an eye out for more shows to be<br />

announced. independentvenueweek.com<br />



Glitch-pop wizard PODGE gives us<br />

an insight into the various layers and<br />

sounds that inspired the treasure<br />

trove of sonic delights that is his new<br />

EP, Eatmore Fruit.<br />

Walt Barr<br />

Free Spirit<br />

Muse Records<br />

Am I Not A Woman And A Sister<br />

Am I Not A Woman And A Sister is a brand new visual<br />

installation by Manchester-based artist ELIZABETH KWANT,<br />

co-curated with female survivors of modern day slavery in<br />

partnership with Liverpool charity City Hearts. Situated at<br />

the International Slavery Museum, the piece seeks to better<br />

understand the history of the transatlantic slave trade and its<br />

strong links with the North West region. The film on display<br />

reflects on colonial slavery and the legacy which is still felt on<br />

a social and tangible level here in Liverpool, Manchester and<br />

surrounding mill towns, with further assessment of modern<br />

day slavery and human trafficking that is rife in contemporary<br />

first-world societies. The moving image installation is open<br />

now, showing until 15th February <strong>2020</strong>.<br />

Steel A March<br />

A new initiative aimed at 16-25 year olds looking to exhibit and develop art<br />

works is set to host its first event this coming <strong>Jan</strong>uary. ANTISTEEL will be a<br />

pop-up project that moves around the city and seeks to platform a wide mix of<br />

creatives, offering access to those who do not have formal training or in higher<br />

education. The first pop-up show will take place at MAKE North Docks on 9th<br />

<strong>Jan</strong>uary, with an open call for submissions to be part of the group show running<br />

until 12th <strong>Dec</strong>ember. Works can cover everything from music, art, fashion<br />

and performance, with applications to be sent to livantisteel@gmail.com for<br />

consideration.<br />

Sweet Release(s)<br />

In case you were wondering: yes, we get lots of music sent our way each month<br />

and, yes, we listen to it all. If you’d like a taster of some of those morsels we’re<br />

lucky enough to hear, try some of these on for size. THE FLOORMEN take a step<br />

into Sketches Of Brunswick East territory with a brand new EP that’s full of woozy<br />

ditties and meanderings. The Easy Peelers “Don’t Panic, We’re In Cannich” is a<br />

collection of songs written and recorded by the quartet in a caravan in Scotland,<br />

complete with the patter of rainfall on the window. Multi-instrumentalist and<br />

former Wave Machine VIDAR NORHEIM makes a welcome return with a new EP<br />

of squelchy synths and immersive pop on X-Ray Eyes (check out The Pink Echo,<br />

too, for a Bido nod!). And, fresh from his track 4F3D63 Hex being included on<br />

the new Future Bubblers 3.0 release, WILROY has interpreted Dutch producer<br />

Stephen Emmer’s 2017 album as Home Ground (The Wilroy Remixes). A touch<br />

of progressive hip hop is added to the soulful originals, which feature Chaka Khan<br />

and Leon Ware. Keep the music coming!<br />

Elizabeth Kwant, <strong>2019</strong><br />

Why can’t we do this IRL?<br />

In November 2018, Shirrako, a YouTuber, shared a<br />

video of his modified Red Dead Redemption 2 avatar<br />

killing a suffragette, creating huge controversy due to<br />

its violence against a female character. This incident,<br />

which sparked the comment “why can’t we do this<br />

IRL?”, is the subject of artist Megan Browdmeadow’s<br />

piece within the you feel me_ exhibition at FACT,<br />

which centres on restorative justice. On 7th<br />

<strong>Dec</strong>ember, the second part of this immersive VR<br />

experience launches, which centres on a virtual trial<br />

of the accused video game character. Delving into the<br />

ethical questions behind gaming, this piece engaged<br />

with FACT’s Dungeons And Dragons gaming<br />

community to discuss the social, ethical and moral<br />

implications of such behaviour in a virtual space.<br />

It’s Quizmaaaaaassssss!<br />

Bido Lito! and Liquidation’s joint Christmas Christmas Christmas<br />

trivia extravaganza returns on 10th <strong>Dec</strong>ember, with Constellations<br />

once again hosting proceedings. The event looks to cap off a great<br />

year in Liverpool music with fans, friends and colleagues pitting their<br />

wits and arcane bits of music knowledge against one another for a<br />

selection of fantastic prizes in Punk Rock Bingo (not Bongo). Once<br />

again, all proceeds from the night will go to chosen charities The<br />

Whitechapel Centre and MIND, and there will be festive live music<br />

from some special guests. Head to ticketquarter.co.uk to get your<br />

tickets before we’re all booked up – and email chris@bidolito.co.uk to<br />

reserve your table.<br />

The Floormen<br />

I originally found this song<br />

when Madlib sampled it on<br />

Freddie Gibbs’ Crime Pays.<br />

This song and Crime Pays<br />

were constantly being played<br />

when I was hanging out with all my friends during this past<br />

summer. The electric piano chords and soft vocals really<br />

bring the whole relaxed vibe together and getting to hear<br />

Freddie Gibbs rap about “Choppin’ up this change with<br />

cocaine in my microwave” over the top of it totally switches<br />

up the whole mood of the song.<br />

Bruno Pernadas<br />

Valley In The<br />

Ocean<br />

Pataca Discos<br />

This lovely song from<br />

Portuguese jazz musician<br />


one of those songs that I had on repeat this summer.<br />

I love the contrast of male and female vocals and the<br />

chord progressions keep me on my feet, never being too<br />

predictable. The descending middle eight is one of my<br />

favourites of all time, with the simple guitar and the rich<br />

vocal harmonies bringing it to the next level.<br />

Mac DeMarco<br />

Nobody<br />

Mac’s Record Label<br />

The newest MAC DEMARCO<br />

album came to be my new<br />

favourite of his over this<br />

last summer. It’s really<br />

helped me appreciate super<br />

minimal arrangement and<br />

instrumentation. Nobody in particular made me realise that<br />

one tiny element can bring so much feeling to a song. The<br />

warbling synth in this song changes it from a chill guitar<br />

tune to a warm, slimy, relaxing load of goop.<br />

Hinobu Tanaka<br />

& Kazumi Totaka<br />

Professor E. Gadd<br />

Luigi’s Mansion<br />

Soundtrack<br />

I straight up named one of the<br />

songs on Eatmore Fruit after this. Me and my friends found<br />

this by accident while going through the Luigi’s Mansion<br />

soundtrack and it’s stuck ever since. This song shows you<br />

the true power of a really good groove. I tried to capture<br />

that feeling in my track Prof. E Gadd, but it came out pretty<br />

different in the end.<br />

soundcloud.com/pooodge<br />

Podge’s new EP, Eatmore Fruit, is out now.<br />



Physicality and form have been at the forefront of Beija<br />

Flo’s experimental artistry, boldly laid bare in her fervent<br />

songwriting and zealous live showcases. Cath Holland<br />

learns more about the subtle contours of her being.<br />


30 minutes into interviewing BEIJA FLO, I know more intimacies<br />

about her than women I’ve known all my adult life. We’re in a<br />

slightly different scenario than a naturally developing friendship<br />

gradually built; every word and pause is recorded, as we talk in<br />

a Liverpool city centre bar in late afternoon. But my point still stands: Beija<br />

likes to share.<br />

I first heard of Beija via a review of one of her shows. The writer wrote<br />

at length about the singer, poet and artist’s medical history, namely her<br />

diagnosis of MRKH syndrome – more of that later. In the accompanying<br />

photographs she looked witchy, wild and sexy, in fishnets and leotard with<br />

everywhere hair and much drama. Seeing her perform myself, I witnessed<br />

a minimalist yet theatrical performance – she and a laptop, but on a stage<br />

decorated like a burlesque club in Berlin. Most of all, she was a woman<br />

comfortable in her own skin. Weeks later, a nervous daytime show at<br />

Birkenhead Library away from her usual crowd showed the vulnerability of<br />

a fledgling artist.<br />

I’ve since learnt a lot more about Beija Flo the artist: she’s a life model,<br />

standing and reclining naked in front of complete strangers for a living. On<br />

one hand we have Beija the bold siren, with a microphone and great one<br />

line put-downs. And on the other, a young woman still trying to find her<br />

place.<br />

Beija’s MRKH syndrome means she has no womb or sexual organs.<br />

She talks frankly about that and her poor health at her gigs and in<br />

interviews, via social media, wherever she can. I sure as hell didn’t know<br />

what it was the first time, so I Googled madly for information on the<br />

subject. It’d be rude not to.<br />

“I’m an enigma to the NHS,” she tells me of it, and her seven-year<br />

experience with the cyclical vomiting syndrome which leads to constant<br />

nausea and daily bouts of being sick. “The amount of time I’ve been in<br />

[hospital], it’s like, ‘Do you mind just talking to a team of junior doctors,<br />

because you know way more than we do’.”<br />

So yes, we think we know all about Beija Flo. How wrong we can be?<br />

We’re to learn a heck of a lot more, revealed in a forthcoming exhibition<br />

at Output Gallery incorporating her different creative strands. Somewhat<br />

tellingly, the collection of drawings, poems – she cites eccentric oddballs<br />

like Viv Stanshall and Ivor Cutler as influences – and photographic selfportraits,<br />

is called Nudes, along with the recent single of the same name.<br />

This is the sharing of her most secret self and experiences yet, an insight<br />

into an 18-month period some time ago when she suffered a series of<br />

scarring events. “I gave trust to the wrong people and received scars in<br />

return,” says the press release.<br />

“Over this period I was with a very abusive partner emotionally and<br />

slightly physically,” she explains quickly. “Sort of had a lot of sex when I<br />

didn’t really want to.”<br />

Er, having sex you don’t want is much more than ‘slight’ abuse. It’s the<br />

real deal. Abuse is abuse.<br />

“Yes. No, not slightly, really.” She smiles, sadly…<br />

In the song Nudes, with its bleak narrative and static electronic musical<br />

bed, she sings of the relationship: “I’ve been the fool…” But any blame<br />

needs to be firmly on the abuser’s shoulders.<br />

“Yes. Yeh… I was with someone who wasn’t very good for me. And left<br />

me feeling very small and very angry. But also very un-listened to and very<br />

insignificant.”<br />

Abusive relationships have emotional and physical effects and this<br />

exhibition is about your relationship with your body. I’m guessing this<br />

experience had an effect on your body, and how you viewed it?<br />

“After that, sex really wasn’t fun anymore for a while, quite a while.<br />

And it affected me with later partners. Maybe half a year after being with<br />

him, I met this really wonderful girl and I know that I was very challenging<br />

to be in a relationship with. It was more to do with what I’d been left with.<br />

[I] didn’t want to be hurt or revisit emotions.”<br />

The issue of body confidence is part of the exhibition as well, I take it?<br />

“The exhibition is an insight into the journey I’ve been on with my own<br />

body; the good bits and the bad bits. I still have days where I’m, like, ‘I hate<br />

this’. Sometimes if I eat a really big meal I get a bit bloated and I hate that<br />

because my biggest, biggest nightmare is, and I know it’s silly, but, erm, I<br />

get very insecure someone might think that I’m pregnant. Because I can<br />

never ever be pregnant.”<br />

And that upsets you?<br />

“It’s a really, really big concern. My weight has always been up and<br />

down I have some days where I put on a bit of weight and I feel really<br />

good about where all of that weight is.”<br />

As long as it’s evenly distributed?<br />

“Yeh! It’s not like I’ve ever stood naked in front of anyone and they’ve<br />

gone, ‘Oh, no, you’ve had too much ice cream, put your T-shirt back on’.<br />

No one’s ever said that and I think I almost have a few little tricks I use on<br />

myself to make myself feel good about my body.”<br />

The photos in the exhibition were taken during her ‘lost weekend’<br />

that lasted four or five months after the bad relationship ended. She won’t<br />

reveal when this took place “because people can’t figure out how old Beija<br />

is. All I can tell you it happened in a window on Bold Street”.<br />

And which window is that? I ask.<br />

“Can’t tell you.”<br />

But she can tell me it was warm, so when<br />

indoors she was naked much of the time,<br />

purposely isolating herself.<br />

“I remember having a lot of fun but also<br />

feeling very lonely. But almost being grateful for<br />

the loneliness, ’cos it meant I really discovered<br />

my body. I took lots of walks and did lots of<br />

drawing and wrote lots and spent a lot of time<br />

with myself.<br />

“That man I was with, the horrible one, was<br />

quite abusive. Abusive,” she corrects herself. “I<br />

lost a lot of myself in that experience and I’m<br />

still gaining that back. Or maybe I will never<br />

quite get her back.”<br />

The eventual need to be with people led her<br />

to go on a series of dates, but again with men<br />

who took advantage of her vulnerable state.<br />

“I don’t fully remember all of it. It was a<br />

very dark period of time where I look back and I<br />

think, ‘Who was that woman in my body?’ I did not like her.”<br />

She thinks it happened because she feels more ‘normal’ when she’s<br />

in a relationship with “someone not totally emotionally understanding or<br />

won’t just hear ‘I don’t have a vagina’ and… [will] let you explain how you<br />

can have a normal… a great sex life.<br />

“That’s when I feel the most confident in my body and my issues<br />

because, even though I’m very confident about my MRKH syndrome, and<br />

know that if any future partner would have an issue with the syndrome<br />

that they’re in the wrong, not me.<br />

“I’m intrigued by sex and how people do it,” she continues. “I’ve<br />

always, always been interested in what other people are doing in sex and<br />

I remember being in the earlier stage in my life when sex was a lot more<br />

blurry and I didn’t really know what it was. When I first started discovering<br />

my body I was ahead of the other girls, really. I was with the boys in terms<br />

of experimenting with masturbation.”<br />

It’s not that teenage girls don’t masturbate, I don’t think. It’s more that<br />

it’s taboo. They don’t talk about it.<br />

She nods. “I remember asking boys how it felt and how do you do it<br />

and I was very intrigued. It wasn’t in a sense of let me see it or anything, I<br />

was very interested in how other people saw their bodies.”<br />

Beija and I meet again a couple of weeks later, in the same place on<br />

the same sofa, but this time I ask her to bring some of the photos from<br />

“I have always aimed<br />

to never lose the<br />

confidence and the<br />

innocence and the<br />

freedom of being a child”<br />



her Nude months. A fan of the late American photographer<br />

Francesca Woodman, who specialised in experimental photos<br />

of herself and other women, Beija’s images are true to her<br />

inspiration. There are lots, all of Beija at this mysterious place<br />

on Bold Street. Taken at different times of the day and night, in<br />

some she’s naked, others wearing underwear. Her mood varies,<br />

too: she’s in distress in one picture, the next peaceful and happy.<br />

Some are natural and stark, others posed and a little contrived.<br />

In one she’s in a bath dyed red with food dye and bath bombs.<br />

A few show her body only, no face. She knew from the get-go,<br />

she says, which images out of the incredible 500 taken were to<br />

be used for the exhibition. From different times of the day, when<br />

newly woken or late at night, and in earlier images she has no<br />

body hair. In ones taken later, armpit and pubic hair is growing<br />

back as her confidence and sense of self makes a return.<br />

She flicks through them and recalls each one with surprising<br />

clarity. It’s not like looking at photos on your phone of a night out<br />

with friends, holiday snaps or shots photographers take of her<br />

at gigs. So what did she think of her body laid out in such a way<br />

when she saw them for the first time? A camera taking a still of<br />

you like this and alone, no audience to pander to or entertain,<br />

how did she feel? It’s difficult to get an answer out of Beija on<br />

this one – I ask her three times. “They’re sad in places and hard to<br />

look at,” she concedes eventually. “I captured how I was feeling.<br />

It was more, ‘This is what we’ve got’. It wasn’t a negative or a<br />

positive.”<br />

She points out one of her laying down with a peaceful<br />

expression on her face, her upper body at ease and content.<br />

There are visible love bites on her neck. “This one is after quite a<br />

nice one night stand. I quite liked him and never heard from him<br />

again.”<br />

You look very girlish there: pink skin, slightly flushed.<br />

“Yeh, it’s partly the lighting. After you’ve had a nice time with<br />

somebody you feel… it looks a little bit like I’m glowing.”<br />

In a remarkably beautiful photograph, Beija somehow<br />

resembles a pre-Raphaelite painting, her hair cascading around her<br />

shoulders in waves. She’s often booked for life modelling precisely<br />

due to that look. Hylas And The Nymphs, the 1896 oil painting by<br />

John William Waterhouse, springs to mind, removed temporarily<br />

and controversially from public view from Manchester Art Gallery<br />

last year, leading to accusations of censorship. The irony being,<br />

if you wish to take the subversive view, it features females<br />

surrounding and luring a young man into the water for their own<br />

pleasures. The nymphs are calling the shots.<br />

Beija’s hair changes in the images as we go through them, in<br />

itself reflecting her state of mind, she reckons. In some she’s cut it,<br />

obviously and dramatically.<br />

“I don’t really get my hair cut often. It’s almost as if I have to cut<br />

something off myself, [so] I’ll cut off my hair. It’s quite cleansing.”<br />

On the plus side, it grows back.<br />

“It grows back newer and stronger, which I like.”<br />

Beija points out exhibition photos she calls “the sunburnt<br />

drunk ones”. “It was on a really hot day,” she says of them,<br />

“and I’d been out with lots of my male friends and I sat there<br />

frustrated, [thinking] ‘Why aren’t I allowed to take my top off and<br />

sit here? Why is it I was allowed to do that when I was six, but<br />

not now I’m a woman. How come boys are allowed to become<br />

men and lots of rules don’t change, especially with how they<br />

present their body?’”<br />

It’s the women should exist in private space only and men<br />

alone own the public arena scenario, as old as time itself. “Being a<br />

woman is challenging.”<br />

Beija goes on to share stories, of being told by men and boys<br />

when she’s not wearing a bra and the male inability to pass a<br />

woman in a crowded space without placing his hands on her<br />

hips, shoulders or back.<br />

“There are people out there who don’t understand personal<br />

space,” she laughs at the ridiculousness of the last example.<br />

Going back to the subject of the<br />

exhibition, I can’t help but wonder if<br />

revisiting such a strange period in her<br />

life is an entirely positive experience?<br />

Most people don’t enjoy dredging up<br />

bad stuff.<br />

“It’s been emotional. It’s like,” she<br />

pauses to take a breath. “Do you ever<br />

feel sorry for your younger self?”<br />

All the bloody time, my dear.<br />

“If only you knew then what you<br />

know now? I felt so horrible for that<br />

period of time and I look back and I’m<br />

so proud of myself for getting to where<br />

I am now. Although I’ve still bloody<br />

miles to go, the universe loves playing<br />

games with me. I get lots of shit<br />

thrown in my garden.”<br />

Do you think woman relate to you,<br />

because of the openness around your vulnerabilities? Women<br />

are restricted by our biology and physical weakness compared<br />

to men. Your limits may be different from most women but the<br />

common bonds remain.<br />

“[With] the openness and honesty of it,” she speculates. “I<br />

don’t think I particularly dress up or glamourise my struggles. I<br />

think a lot of women don’t realise that we all have something to<br />

say. We’ve all had bad experiences and some people think, ‘Oh,<br />

I’m a woman and that’s just the way unfortunately society is’, and<br />

I’m like, ‘Sod that for a bunch of bananas’.<br />

“Some women at first hate me ‘cos they think I’m being really<br />

cocky: ‘Look at this girl, she knows she’s really thin’ and whatever.<br />

Then they watch the show and find out all of these things and I<br />

haven’t had the easiest time. A large amount of the time the way<br />

women dress is for other women. I feel for women that dress for<br />

other women and are so self-conscious that they maybe don’t<br />

wear something they like and feel comfortable in.”<br />

Being part of a group is a human need, though. Everyone<br />

feels that, even outsiders.<br />

“What I mean is, a lot of women feel really under pressure to<br />

act a certain way and look a certain way. When people see what<br />

I do and the confidence and the fact I feel sexy onstage… still<br />

people ask me why I wear leotards, where I get the confidence<br />

running around in the nip. Essentially I have always aimed to<br />

never lose the confidence and the innocence and the freedom of<br />

“Being told that<br />

there was so much<br />

my body can’t do, I<br />

asked myself, ‘What<br />

can my body do?’”<br />

being a four-year-old running around in your knickers around a<br />

paddling pool in the middle of the town park.”<br />

This exhibition explores the relationship between you and<br />

your body, yet you must ultimately feel let down by yours?<br />

“You know, men can shout all they want at me. I don’t have a<br />

vagina. You can’t have sex with me even if you tried. It’d hurt you<br />

a lot more than it would hurt me because it’s essentially shoving<br />

your dick into a brick wall. That’s not going to feel good. I feel in<br />

particular with that side of things, me being told that there was<br />

so much my body can’t do, I’m like, ‘OK, what can my body do?’<br />

You can look but you can’t touch because of my situation.”<br />

Incels – men who think they are entitled to sex and resent<br />

women when they can’t get it – get<br />

very angry. You as a woman can be<br />

hurt in other ways by them.<br />

“Yes,” she nods. “Yes. Been there.”<br />

So you’re aware of your<br />

vulnerabilities?<br />

“Yes, I am. When I’m not at a venue<br />

and travelling to or from I’ve had men<br />

think I’m a prostitute just because<br />

I’m in knee-high boots and a leotard.<br />

That’s a very strange position to be<br />

in but, also, unless we go for it in the<br />

places that are safe then it will never<br />

get to the point where we want it be.”<br />

When planning the photo<br />

session to go with this article, the<br />

first thing she asked herself and the<br />

photographer, Robin Clewley, was,<br />

‘What am I allowed to do?’ Speaking<br />

shortly after the session, she confesses to being “a bit nervous”<br />

on the run up to the day.<br />

But I want to know, how different did it feel, being<br />

photographed by someone else?<br />

“It was obviously different to posing for myself.”<br />

Many photos for the Nudes exhibition were taken by<br />

candlelight, a contrast with the professional lighting draped<br />

across the shoot.<br />

“Because I’m a life model subject so often, I trust people<br />

to get me to position my body in a way that works from their<br />

angle. The paintings and drawings I see of myself are always so<br />

beautiful. That’s how I felt after this shoot.<br />

“Robin made me look like a Renaissance painting. Everyone<br />

should feel like a Renaissance painting.” !<br />

Words: Cath Holland / @cathholland01<br />

Photography: Robin Clewley / robinclewley.co.uk<br />

@iambeijaflo<br />

Inside The Walls: Nudes, Anxieties And Other Content runs at<br />

Output Gallery from 17th <strong>Jan</strong>uary to 2nd February <strong>2020</strong>. The<br />

single Nudes is out now via Eggy Records.<br />





ASOK<br />

Breathless breakbeats and warped techno that drip with the energy of club walls; ASOK sets new<br />

parameters for making music in the moment.<br />

“It all changed for me in 2013.” Stuart Robinson,<br />

producer and DJ, AKA ASOK, isn’t recalling his<br />

breakthrough moment in music here. By this point,<br />

he’d been DJing for over 15 years. And by the moment<br />

he’s about to recollect, he’d been touring the world as Cosmic<br />

Boogie, a project set up with Merseyside’s premier loop digger<br />

Greg Wilson. At the height of its success his lightbulb moment in<br />

music was about to flash before his eyes.<br />

“I was playing at a party in Montenegro on a beach, a private<br />

party,” he begins, essentially<br />

alluding to the first steps towards<br />

this conversation we’re now having<br />

today in his home studio, one<br />

centred on his jagged breakbeat,<br />

“You’ve got to<br />

connect with the<br />

music the way you’d<br />

want others to”<br />

warped techno and jungle-infused<br />

productions. “There was probably<br />

around 2,000 people there. About<br />

1,500 were probably the most<br />

beautiful women I’ve seen in my<br />

life.” In the world of the jet-setting<br />

DJ, the picture he’s painting doesn’t<br />

seem like the crux for change, but he<br />

continues. “There was DJ Robinson,<br />

sweating behind the decks in 40<br />

degree heat. People doing lines of<br />

coke from the decks. It was wild. It<br />

was going off.”<br />

Starting out as a DJ in the mid 1990s, picking up a pair of<br />

Vestax PDX-2000s in exchange for designing a website for<br />

Manchester record purveyors Eastern Bloc, Robinson came up<br />

through raves in Manchester and Liverpool. He cites escaping<br />

to musical scenes thriving beyond post coal mining Newton-le-<br />

Willows as the gateway to dance music. “The best way to go<br />

somewhere new was to get absolutely twatted and go to dance<br />

music clubs,” he colourfully illustrates. Attending his first rave<br />

at 14, his first forays as a DJ came later in the world of drum<br />

and bass, jungle and hardcore. Though, he says, there was little<br />

change in approach whether in front of the decks of behind;<br />

always unadulterated release.<br />

By 2003, he’d moved away from breaks and studiously<br />

delved into learning about dance music and its history. “I just<br />

started reading books and learning a lot. I met Greg Wilson, and<br />

we started the Cosmic Boogie project, playing disco all over the<br />

world for about five or six years.” Robinson was an in-demand<br />

DJ and label owner, doing his thing at headlining shows across<br />

the world with a slick mix of house, funk, boogie and disco. Then<br />

came that day on the beach Montenegro. The turning point, as<br />

2,000 dancers waited for the cues of his next selection.<br />

“I looked up and I just thought, ‘I’m not enjoying this. I’m<br />

playing the same set everywhere I go. I’m painting by numbers.<br />

I’m not learning anything’. I came home that night and ended<br />

Cosmic Boogie. One million plays on SoundCloud, 15,000<br />

Facebook followers – I just wiped it out that night. Finished.”<br />

The very next day ASOK was ushered into life. Initially a<br />

name adopted in his drum and bass days, the moniker served as<br />

internal resurrection. The restrictions of disco were forcibly pulled<br />

from the record bag, erasing a world of beach parties, four-figure<br />

attendances and indulgent hedonism. Robinson was to stop<br />

playing for everyone else. From 2013, the focus became creating<br />

something of his own. “I felt free. And as soon as that freedom<br />

came, I told myself to buy some equipment and make a tune. I<br />

bought a Juno 6 and Roland 707, opened up Ableton for the first<br />

time and realised I had no idea what to do.”<br />

The baby steps into production quickly turned to strides after<br />

perseverance. The incessant reading and research soon developed<br />

into a knack for songcraft, energised by a sweat drenched<br />

empirical understanding of the dancefloor garnered in his youth.<br />

Six years down the line, Robinson now has an enviable<br />

release discography. A slew of EPs and singles on revered labels<br />

Lobster Theremin and Mistress have arrived since that day in<br />

Montengro. Releases that meld acerbic acid house, twitchy jungle<br />

breaks, hissed atmosphere, blissful piano and pounding kicks.<br />

It is music written from the heart. Quite literally. It feels its way<br />

through like a heart rate rapidly powering the necessary bodily<br />

movement the track demands; rising, hurtling and, in moments,<br />

resting in the euphoria – if given the chance.<br />

“For me, producing has been about recreating the feelings<br />

I had on the dancefloor, as a dancer, as a fan. It’s all about<br />

capturing that raw emotion in the moment.” The commitment to<br />

recreating the momentary euphoria is reflected in his producing<br />

style. Rather than piece together his tracks in arrangement view,<br />

everything is mixed live. The visual accompaniment is forgotten<br />

about, essentially. It’s as though Robinson could shut his eyes<br />

and completely let go of the walls that surround him once the<br />

music begins to rumble from his<br />

studio monitors. It becomes personal.<br />

Attached to the now, the moment,<br />

the happening. The mix has to be led<br />

by intuitive feeling, rather than the<br />

precision that can come to rule when<br />

gradually knitting small pockets of<br />

music together.<br />

He further underscores the<br />

dancefloor DNA in his production when<br />

asked about the motives to produce<br />

in such a way. “I make a track as<br />

though I’m dancing to it in the club,”<br />

he says with an energetic animation.<br />

“I’ll be playing certain tracks through,<br />

feeling when parts get repetitive, when<br />

aspects need to breathe, when more<br />

urgency is needed. I’m always thinking of the rhythm of a room,<br />

feeling as if I was a dancer and wanting the break to drop out at<br />

that moment – when the body expects it.”<br />

The process is like buying a set of paints, preparing them in<br />

front of an easel and allowing emotive drive to take its course.<br />

There’s no set plan. Rather than follow the paint-by-numbers<br />

DJing of Cosmic Boogie, his own music allows the heart to pluck<br />

random numbers form the sky a fill the space with energetic reds<br />

and yellows, all washed with a bright white flash of energy. It’s all<br />

about catching the spark, making the most of that high you know<br />

can’t last forever. “You can sit there and sift through so many hihat<br />

samples. By the time you get one, that raw feeling you had is<br />

gone and you’re no longer feeling it. You can over engineer it. You<br />

lose the part that made you excited about the track. You’ve got to<br />

connect with the music the way you’d want others to.”<br />

He loads up Ableton and plays a track formed from in a<br />

recent rush of energy. The process seems even more urgent<br />

when he informs me that most of his tracks have been made in<br />

less than an hour. He continues to explain as he presses play. A<br />

breakbeat immediately serrates through the room. This is one<br />

he’s aiming to release on Lobster Theremin. He starts to talk me<br />

through its foundations, but shouting has become necessary,<br />

such is the decibel level. “I get a load of channels up. Hit record,<br />

then start to bring everything in.” The shouted conversation<br />

tapers off as the syncopated drum patters take hold of his<br />

attention. The music has already caught him in just over one bar.<br />

As he later informs, music has to be cautiously rationed to avoid<br />

it stealing the abundance of his days. “I become totally lost,” he<br />

informs me, once the stop button is found. “If I put some dance<br />

music on when trying to work at home, I can’t do it. I’m in it, part<br />

of it, thinking over the incidental notes, any parts I’d change. It<br />

grabs me so much. My brain is triggered by dance music.”<br />

Robinson has severe ADHD. It’s something which he has<br />

lived with all his life, yet remarkably has only been recently<br />

diagnosed. It’s highly evident as we talk; conversation regularly<br />

trails off into new topics. His voice is breathless at times, taking<br />

draws on a cigarette in the moments he pauses. His mercurial<br />

nature embodies the title of his 2016 album, A Mind Forever<br />

Voyaging. “You can see where the name comes from just<br />

watching me. It never stops,” he says with shades of humour.<br />

Above his monitors and computer sits a sign reading<br />

the words ‘Don’t Make Techno’. It’s a mantra subtly rooted in<br />

his ADHD. Something which, in a musical sense, he’s taken<br />

ownership of, using the condition as a vessel to journey through<br />

worlds that require more than a 4/4 stride. It’s a jovial swipe<br />

in reality, knowing he does incorporate the genre into his<br />

productions. However, it speaks more of his unwillingness, or<br />

inability, to remain in one place. To endlessly look beyond the<br />

steady pace; running, sprinting pausing and quickly changing<br />

direction. “When playing, I have to change direction every three<br />

tracks. I get bored,” he attests. “The sign is just a little reminder<br />

to try and make something that’s not continually the same.<br />

Ultimately, I’m always voyaging, always drifting around.” !<br />

Words: Elliot Ryder / @elliot_ryder<br />

Photography: Keith Ainsworth / arkimages.co.uk<br />

soundcloud.com/asok-four-triangles<br />

Mistress 14 by ASOK is available via Mistress Recordings in<br />

<strong>Jan</strong>uary <strong>2020</strong>.<br />





Since opening in Birkenhead Market in June, Convenience Gallery has been working to rub away the divide<br />

between the everyday and the artist. Julia Johnson meets its curators to learn more about their programme<br />

of exhibitions, tutorials and workshops.<br />


Is it perhaps easy, especially in a city perceived to be as creative as Liverpool is, to take the<br />

flourishing of the arts scene for granted. But having a city filled with people driving to create<br />

work is only half the story: the conditions must also exist for these talents to mature. This is<br />

why spaces are crucial; places where artists can develop ideas by putting them into practice,<br />

and where they can find audiences receptive to their talents.<br />

Enter CONVENIENCE GALLERY. Based in Birkenhead Market since June <strong>2019</strong>, the project –<br />

led by artists Ryan Gauge and Andrew Shaw – is a space for artists to grow through practice and<br />

exhibition. Affiliated with the socially engaged Small Steps Events, Convenience developed as its<br />

own project from the desire to put art and artists in the spotlight as a main event in their own right.<br />

Acting as facilitators rather than selective curators, Convenience’s format is optimistic and trusting.<br />

They believe in the fundamental talent of individuals and its ability to blossom with the right<br />

community.<br />

As artists, Ryan and Andy know that having confidence in the strength of your own work can<br />

sometimes be a challenge in itself. “One of the barriers is that you just sit in your own head for<br />

hours,” explains Ryan. “The point with Convenience was to be able to get a load of artists to sit and<br />

to say, ‘What do you want to do? No barriers – what would be beneficial?’ And a lot of it was just<br />

people getting to have conversations about their work, because they don’t get to do that.”<br />

From these conversations, several strands of programming and interaction have emerged.<br />

Exhibiting is one, of course: giving artists a space in which visitors can view their work. It’s another<br />

question which maybe isn’t addressed enough in public conversation: where are the spaces for<br />

artists to emerge for an audience? And the location and layout of<br />

Convenience make it a unique venue.<br />

Located on both sides of an aisle in the centre of Birkenhead<br />

Market, their units open out directly into the path. There are no<br />

physical or psychological boundaries that an audience needs to cross<br />

in order to engage with what’s being shown. Ryan and Andy have<br />

understood the importance of tapping into the potential of this setup<br />

to spark curiosity since the first exhibition. “It was a lot of wall-based<br />

work, so it was immediately relatable, even if you were just walking<br />

through,” says Andy.<br />

This has had a significant effect, not just on how people<br />

are accessing the work, but what happens in the subsequent<br />

interactions. Convenience’s approach, once again, is openness:<br />

they’re aware of their place as a point of connection between the arts<br />

scene and the everyday, and want to be as open to all as they can be.<br />

There’s plenty of space to sit and chat in their units, and many visitors<br />

do, including those who are less art conscious than your regular<br />

gallery frequenter. “The big question we get asked is, ‘What’s actually going on?’” says Andy.<br />

“People are excited about the ‘weirdness’ that we’re situated here. We find there’s a lot of people<br />

here getting a watch fixed, who say ‘I do art!’ and they get their phone out and start showing us all<br />

the work that they do.” It is in these moments the gallery reveals itself as not only a proving ground<br />

for young, new artists, but a bridge to those who’ve casually practised away from the four walls<br />

of local and national institutions. It subtly brings the two together thanks to its irregular home in a<br />

once bustling heart of Birkenhead commerce.<br />

Importantly, these passing conversations are increasingly able to continue beyond a brief visit,<br />

by attending the workshops Convenience facilitate. Our conversation returns time and again to the<br />

gallery’s programme, which is growing in collaboration with the artists they work with – indeed, at<br />

their request. Ryan says how, at those early meetings, “there was quite a lot of artists saying ‘I’d<br />

quite like to teach a class about what I’m doing’. It’s a chance to sit down for two hours with people,<br />

it’s more interactive than just viewing art”. “And it becomes a regular social thing,” adds Andy. “We<br />

do a lot of them that are more affordable, because we don’t want people to feel like they’re priced<br />

out of something.”<br />

“Convenience’s ideal<br />

is to have a space<br />

with no boundary<br />

between the viewer<br />

and the art or artist”<br />

As well as evenings focusing on particular skills, Convenience are also collaborating with LJMU<br />

and Bloom Building to bring the Thinking Out Loud lecture series to Birkenhead. Open to anyone,<br />

the evenings are comprised of an accessible lecture, followed by an artist-led workshop inspired<br />

by the subject. As a way of introducing audiences to new creative concepts and activities, it’s an<br />

interactive and engaging format.<br />

As for the question of ‘why Birkenhead?’, the answer is less about establishing space<br />

specifically for Wirral as it is about broadening opportunity in a way which happens to be<br />

geographical as well as philosophical. Convenience very clearly see themselves as part of the<br />

Merseyside arts scene. They were participants in October’s Studio Shuffle, when studios and<br />

groups – including Dorothy, Antisteel, Arena, Road and The Royal Standard – opened up in the<br />

Baltic Triangle to exhibit what their artists have been working on. Talk is already of one taking place<br />

in Birkenhead. They’ve also hosted an exhibition of work by this year’s LJMU graduates, BURST Our<br />

Bubble. But they’re again keen to point out that this isn’t just overflow from across the water – it’s<br />

an expanding of the conversation. “If you live over here and you’re an artist, you can’t always get<br />

into Liverpool. There’s always been the question of ‘how do you get people to come over?’ Well,<br />

there are people who live here as well! So you’ve gotta be for them, too.”<br />

Until 21st <strong>Dec</strong>ember, Convenience are working with the international LOOK Photo Biennial to<br />

exhibit work by Hong Kong-born artist Dinu Li. The Anatomy Of Place takes over all three of their<br />

units and explores the ideologies and rituals that bind people and places together. Rather than<br />

this being a project forced into its venue, the exhibition was established through a mutual feeling<br />

that the space was right for the work. Andy explains how this came<br />

about. “Dinu was really into the market. It’s a big part of the work,<br />

where he grew up was a big market place. So he liked the space, and<br />

so we started chatting to him about his work. I think we just had a<br />

really good conversation about it. It grew very quickly from one piece<br />

to this collection, spread across all of the units. All the work in this<br />

show has entwined narratives which he’d never been able to show all<br />

together, and he was really excited to be able to do that.”<br />

A major international programme LOOK may be, but this story<br />

centres on the same qualities as have been found in every aspect of<br />

Convenience’s work: relationship with the community and support<br />

for the artist to realise their vision. It’s an ethos that spreads across<br />

collaborations with international artists such as Dinu, or those who<br />

stumble upon the space when looking for a watch repair. Ultimately,<br />

it’s a space that looks to mix institutionally taught art with experience<br />

of the real world, all blended together through exhibitions and wide<br />

array of tutorials and workshops.<br />

Our changing shopping habits, and the need for the purpose of traditionally commercial spaces<br />

to change with them to survive, has seen projects akin to Convenience emerge up around the<br />

country. The example of Convenience shows how such spaces can become symbols of the kind<br />

of society we want to exist. The team describe their ideal as having a space with “no boundary<br />

between the viewer and the art or artist”. After just a few months they’re well on their way to<br />

making this an interactive reality. !<br />

Words: Julia Johnson / @messylines_<br />

Photography: Antony Mo / @antonymo<br />

facebook.com/conveniencesse<br />

Convenience Gallery can be found on Brassey Aisle within Birkenhead Market. The Anatomy Of<br />

Place, part of LOOK Photo Biennial, continues at Convenience until 21st <strong>Dec</strong>ember.<br />




Electronic artist Lo Five<br />

navigates us through the<br />

terrain of his latest album<br />

Geography Of The Abyss – a<br />

world conjured from meditative<br />

states and internal discovery.<br />

Illustrated through adjoining<br />

artwork made specifically<br />

for the record, the Wirralbased<br />

producer touches<br />

on the hurtling potential<br />

to travel even when in the<br />

most static of states.<br />

Geography Of The Abyss travels across the terrain<br />

of the inner self. It’s a continuation of a theme I’ve<br />

explored and tried to make sense of through pretty<br />

much all of my music.<br />

I’m endlessly fascinated with the nature of consciousness<br />

and memory, how one colours and shapes the other. I’ve been<br />

practising meditation on and off for around 15 years now,<br />

and I guess that sort of inner journey of self-inquiry has been<br />

expressed in some form on this album. I see the record as a kind<br />

of a mirror image of my own experiences of meditation.<br />

The album is made up of a series of live jams rather than<br />

piecing it together on a computer; building these repetitive<br />

loops that I could get lost in late at night, just by focusing in on<br />

the music and tuning into feeling, or as close as possible. Taking<br />

this approach, the album and its production is pretty much the<br />

same as meditating; focusing your attention on an object that’s<br />

not your thoughts until your ‘self’ falls away. This happens<br />

naturally with any activity that requires long periods of simple<br />

concentration, like painting or knitting for example. It’s like a<br />

mini holiday from your mind. Therefore, the album has ended<br />

up a more contented and intuitive record, rather than something<br />

cerebral or wholly conceptual.<br />

For me, meditation is about suspending that inner judge<br />

we all have inside of us, the one that forms opinions of<br />

situations, others and ourselves. In theory, it’s the perfect<br />

vessel for severing the ties with contemporary capitalism<br />

and the continual drive towards individuality. But we live in a<br />



world of increasing levels of judgement and opinion. Just look<br />

at Twitter. Capturing attention is the name of the game and<br />

we’re increasingly giving our attention away to causes that<br />

don’t necessarily help our mental well-being. It comes at a<br />

price to ourselves. Binary opinions on social media have been<br />

effectively gamified, offering rewards to extreme views that<br />

stir up negative feelings, rather than rewarding open-minded<br />

attempts at understanding and compassion. This direction<br />

society has taken has real-world consequences which may<br />

appear harmless and trivial on the surface. In reality, they are<br />

quite subtle and insidious, especially when amped up by the<br />

people in charge. Narrow-minded judgement and opinions are<br />

obviously divisive and isolating, so it stands to reason that a<br />

practice that offers the dropping of this act of judgement could<br />

be something that offers some sort of exit strategy from the<br />

current state of affairs.<br />

In my view, there is a strong relationship between the<br />

tangible and the mental. They share a similar geography and<br />

are often bound by the same contours. What are we but the<br />

sum total of our experiences and memories, which are formed<br />

in real-world environments? There is a contrast with the<br />

familiar and the unknown within the album’s artwork [pictured],<br />

as there are nods to local landscapes, as well as places I’ve<br />

never been. I liked the idea of framing the album as a journey<br />

through the familiar/unfamiliar, both of which can be just as<br />

familiar to one another when the context of the self is removed.<br />

Beyond the glitchy silhouettes of places and spaces, and<br />

their abundant energy, the realities of their origin are quite<br />

lame, really. They’re merely screenshots from Google Earth,<br />

edited and manipulated to appear as though visual discoveries<br />

of my own internal Mars Rover. However, the source material<br />

shouldn’t stand in the way of the conceptual journey they<br />

represent. I like firing up Google Earth and picking random faraway<br />

places to wander around. Places I’ll probably never visit.<br />

They all come together to form a virtual exploration that the<br />

record encapsulates.<br />

As with the recurring theme of the record and my previous<br />

releases, making music is about discovery. That exciting<br />

eye-opening feeling of experiencing something new for the<br />

very first time. That’s absolutely the attraction for me. That’s<br />

where the record tries to position itself. I guess travelling holds<br />

the same attraction, not that I actually do much of that in the<br />

tangible form. Nonetheless, we’re all on a journey, and anything<br />

we make or do is a reflection of that journey. There’s always an<br />

element of escapism to the music and especially this record.<br />

Not just escaping my current environment and situation, but<br />

escaping myself. !<br />

Words and design: Lo Five / @EM0TI0NWAVE<br />

lofive-cis.bandcamp.com<br />

Geography Of The Abyss is out now via Castles In Space.<br />

“There is a strong<br />

relationship between<br />

the tangible and the<br />

mental. They share a<br />

similar geography”<br />





Following the release of his latest book, There She Goes – Liverpool, A City On Its Own: The Long <strong>Dec</strong>ade:<br />

1979-1993, social history writer and football journalist Simon Hughes looks back at Liverpool’s progression<br />

through the last 10 years, and the challenges still to come in the decade before us.<br />

Three years out of 50. It’s a small figure, and one I can’t<br />

stop thinking about, especially when it’s essentially just<br />

one year – when you really think about it.<br />

In 1970, back when Liverpool was still a<br />

Conservative city, its political interests aligned with the rest of<br />

the country until 1972 – when Edward Heath reigned as Prime<br />

Minister, a role he would lose in 1974.<br />

Since then, there has just been one short period when<br />

Liverpool has not been a place in opposition. That was under<br />

Frank Prendergast from 1997 until 1998 when the city rejected<br />

New Labour and stood with the Liberal Democrats for the next<br />

12 years.<br />

It is said repeatedly now that Liverpool is an undisputed<br />

Labour stronghold but that wasn’t the case until 2010. It feels<br />

like much has changed since the start of the decade, though<br />

– not least in terms of feeling among the younger generation<br />

of Liverpudlians who seem more socially aware than ever and<br />

certainly more politically conscious than they were before.<br />

There are reasons for this change, starting with the 20th<br />

anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster in 2009 when those too<br />

young to remember or even understand what happened 20 years<br />

earlier started to ask questions after Andy Burnham’s public vow<br />

to help seek justice in front of a packed Anfield.<br />

There was a shift that day, a generation who had grown up<br />

with the consequences of the 1980s finally emboldened. In 2011,<br />

there was the lifting of the 30-year rule on government papers<br />

and what many had suspected for decades was as good as<br />

being confirmed as true – that Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative<br />

government in 1981 had at least discussed the possibility of<br />

allowing Liverpool to slide. Considering what happened to the<br />

city throughout the rest of the decade, you can only assume<br />

Geoffrey Howe’s memo about “managed decline” was put into<br />

practice.<br />

The Hillsborough Independent Panel’s findings came next,<br />

this amid the austerity of the latest Tory government. It has<br />

surprised many who were growing up in the 1980s the way the<br />

“Scouse not English” mantra of this era has accelerated because<br />

the sentiment didn’t exist with the same appetite when things<br />

were even worse than they are now. But are they better? Are<br />

they just as bad but in a different way?<br />

Liverpool is a more cosmopolitan city than ever. Its economy<br />

has boomed through tourism, which, whether we like it or not,<br />

serves to benefit the drugs barons whose finances are washed<br />

through the hotels and restaurants that so many visitors like<br />

to sleep and eat in. Liverpool looks smarter and, unlike other<br />

Northern cities, it is not made of glass. It feels like it is built to<br />

last. The development of the Baltic Triangle has been spectacular<br />

and I hope that extends into other parts of the city that require<br />

investment at its southern end, albeit without it endangering the<br />

identities of the communities that live there.<br />

Stray outside the centre, indeed, and the struggle is arguably<br />

greater than it has ever been in the boroughs that have long<br />

struggled anyway. Homelessness was not the scourge of the<br />

1980s like it is now. It may be a national issue but the figures<br />

prove it is worse in the cities where the government has no<br />

council control. Foodbank collections in Liverpool are a reflection<br />

of the spectacular generosity that exists here but it is also a<br />

reflection of how genuinely<br />

desperate so many people have<br />

become.<br />

Perhaps change will come.<br />

The Brexit vote in Liverpool<br />

was closer than many people<br />

in Liverpool expected. Yet it is<br />

worth remembering that while<br />

Liverpool suffered because of<br />

the increase in trade with the<br />

European Economic Community<br />

in place of the British Empire,<br />

when Liverpool was at its lowest<br />

in 1993, the European Union<br />

dedicated more money than any<br />

British government in history to<br />

help start some form of recovery.<br />

A fortnight after the murder of<br />

James Bulger – just at the point<br />

where it felt like Liverpool couldn’t<br />

slump any further – funding was allocated to Merseyside, along<br />

with parts of the old East Germany and the poorest regions of<br />

Southern Italy. If parts of Liverpool feel left behind, it is mainly<br />

because of the lack of care from successive governments which<br />

have run along too similar lines rather than necessarily the EU.<br />

In writing There She Goes, I was told coldly by Professor Patrick<br />

Minford, whose economic policies defined Thatcherism and<br />

impacted so gravely on Liverpool, despite the fact he worked<br />

in the city, that the EU repulsed him because it was “a socialist<br />

machine” in so many different ways.<br />

I wonder where Liverpool will be 10 years from now. It is a<br />

city which will always be in the news because of its association<br />

with music and the council will have to challenge the interests<br />

of property developers to ensure classic venues remain open<br />

even if the land they stand on is potentially profitable. It is a city<br />

“Liverpool is a city which<br />

will always be in the news<br />

because of its association<br />

with music, crime and<br />

football. But where will it<br />

be 10 years from now?”<br />

which will always be in the news because of its association with<br />

crime, and the threat of gangsterism largely goes unreported<br />

even though there is a cocaine epidemic which goes a long way<br />

towards explaining knife crime. It is also a city which will always<br />

be in the news because of its football, and changes are necessary<br />

if the grassroots game is to survive.<br />

Supporters of Liverpool FC should be proud of the way<br />

they mobilised themselves and pushed out greedy owners at<br />

the start of this decade, as well as the way they challenge the<br />

New England venture capitalists who are currently in charge. If<br />

Liverpool manage to win the league for the first time in 30 years,<br />

maybe the greatest challenge<br />

for fan culture will arrive. What<br />

tricks will Fenway Sports Group<br />

try then?<br />

The ecosystem at Anfield is a<br />

fragile one but when it feels like<br />

everyone is pulling in the same<br />

direction, the club can seem like<br />

it is unstoppable both on and off<br />

the pitch. So long as no decisions<br />

are made that jeopardise the<br />

interests of local supporters, then<br />

Liverpool have a better chance.<br />

Other than winning football<br />

matches, the club’s priority should<br />

be to find a way to get more<br />

young Liverpudlians inside the<br />

ground.<br />

An even more significant<br />

period feels like it is ahead for<br />

Everton whose move to Bramley-Moore Dock will potentially<br />

make Liverpool’s waterfront more stunning than it is. In theory, it<br />

will re-energise a part of north Liverpool which has never really<br />

recovered from the period which sets the scene for There She<br />

Goes in the years before 1979. Ultimately, I hope the book makes<br />

younger readers particularly understand better where the city has<br />

been and where it is now coming from. !<br />

Words: Simon Hughes / @Simon_Hughes__<br />

Illustration: Mr Marbles / @mrmarblesart<br />

There She Goes – Liverpool, A City On Its Own: The Long<br />

<strong>Dec</strong>ade: 1979-1993 is out now, published by deCoubertin Books.<br />



This extract, taken from There She Goes, looks at how the owner of one of Liverpool’s most recognisable<br />

shops was forged by the city’s 1980s heroin epidemic.<br />

When a Pakistani ship carrying heroin with<br />

a street value of £1million was seized in<br />

Ellesmere Port, customs officers admitted<br />

to reporters they were losing control. It was<br />

April 1983, roughly around the time Brendan Wyatt went<br />

back to a Birkenhead flat following a night out in Liverpool.<br />

He was accompanied by a friend and two girls. What<br />

happened next surprised him. One of the girls reached into<br />

her purse and brought out some foil. “Then the smack... it<br />

was dead casual, as if they were just smoking a spliff,” he<br />

remembered, through the fug. “Don’t worry, it’s just smack –<br />

you don’t get addicted to it…”<br />

Wyatt returned to his side of the Mersey without having<br />

tried ‘this new drug’ but within a few years, it had taken<br />

him – just as it had already gripped Birkenhead by that point,<br />

where nine per cent of 16- to 24 year-olds were users.<br />

Research in the 1980s found that if you lived on the Wirral<br />

estates, particularly in the Noctorum area – which, like those in<br />

Liverpool, were hastily built in the post-war years – you were<br />

16 times more likely than the average person to die.<br />

There was one theory that smack penetrated Birkenhead’s<br />

estates just before Liverpool’s, because Liverpool’s gangsters<br />

wanted to use it as a testing ground as nobody was quite sure<br />

of heroin’s capabilities. It had been around London’s bohemian<br />

community in Soho for almost a century, but researchers<br />

believed its availability only began to spread after 1979 when<br />

revolution in Iran led to a refugee crisis across Europe. In<br />

Liverpool, smugglers marketed it as a non-addictive, smokable<br />

high; but, uncut and 90 per cent pure, it would leave users<br />

like Brendan Wyatt “off your head for hours – rather than<br />

withdrawing quickly”. It would feed off boredom, alienation and<br />

desperation.<br />

Howard Parker, whose 1985 book, Living With Heroin,<br />

dealt with case studies from the Ford Estate, believed that what<br />

happened in Liverpool and Birkenhead was a part of a cycle<br />

that began in the US in the 1960s, explaining that epidemics<br />

like these have lifespans of 10 to 15 years before the demand<br />

retreats because the next generation “won’t go near it – they’ve<br />

seen the impact”. Smack, therefore, only became ‘dirty’ and the<br />

drug of ‘losers’ when the lower orders in big numbers were<br />

hooked.<br />

Wyatt was one of them. He had grown up amongst the<br />

terraced streets of Kirkdale, a fiercely strong-willed district<br />

and working class to its core. He had a vivid memory of his<br />

childhood and could envisage being in a classroom in 1979.<br />

“Thatcher was elected in May 1979 and I remember the<br />

morning after clearly: a 12-year-old devastated by politics –<br />

can you imagine?” He had learned about the realities of life<br />

early, after his mother died when he was just four. By the time<br />

Thatcher got in, his father had already been made redundant<br />

from his job on the docks because of containerisation. “You’re<br />

suddenly finding yourself on free school dinners, which was a<br />

label to carry. I’d rather not eat than have the stigma.”<br />

He left school in 1982 and went straight into one of the<br />

dreaded Youth Training Schemes, promoted by the Tories<br />

– earning just £23.50 a week as a painter and a plumber.<br />

There had been just 11 apprenticeships and more than 3,000<br />

applicants. “We were bread to be thrown on the scrap heap,”<br />

he believed. “I went to a secondary modern school and there<br />

was never any discussion whatsoever about university options.<br />

I thought university was what you saw on University Challenge.<br />

The expectation for decades before was you’d follow your dad<br />

into the docks but when that came to a stop, there was nothing<br />

else.”<br />

Wyatt’s father died in 1984 and it turned his life upside<br />

down. He started taking heroin because of the dulling effect<br />

of the hit and his naivety to the consequences. “There were<br />

no skeletons walking around or people sleeping in doorways<br />

because the long-term impact wasn’t visible. It was still early<br />

days with heroin. You’d see big, strong, well-dressed lads in pub<br />

corners smoking it. It’s hard to explain how it makes you feel.<br />

It’s not a high like charlie, it sends you the other way quickly.<br />

It separates you from the world’s problems and your own<br />

problems; it numbs any pain. Then comes the rebound where<br />

you feel worse than you did before you took it.”<br />

Wyatt did not really stand a chance. No mother, no<br />

father, entering adulthood living in a city overwhelmed by<br />

unemployment and a drug epidemic. He was exactly the wrong<br />

age at exactly the wrong time – or the right time if you were a<br />

drug dealer. He was not the only target in this market. He and<br />

an entire generation would grow up with an ingrained drug<br />

culture – a black economy that sustained the city more than any<br />

government initiative.<br />

“For a while, the routine is great: you’re chasing the dragon<br />

and riding a wave. You’ve got all the jewellery, you’ve got a car<br />

and a lovely looking girlfriend. Anyone looking at me would<br />

have thought I was smashing it. It takes eight or nine months<br />

for it to unravel. You wake up one day and you’re skint. You<br />

think you’ve got the flu and you haven’t. You need gear to make<br />

yourself feel normal. The jewellery starts getting pawned, the<br />

car goes – you can’t afford the MOT. The girlfriend goes and<br />

then your friends go. I lost all of my friends. Not because of<br />

anything I did but because you alienate yourself. You become<br />

very selfish and all you’re interested in is that next fix. There<br />

are weddings, christenings – there’s funerals to go to. You stop<br />

going. You pull away from society. It gets around then that<br />

you’re on the gear. I’d get people coming up to me saying how<br />

disgusted they were because before, I’d been a good lad. By<br />

1988, it was really noticeable. People started swerving me<br />

completely and rightly so. I’m a mad Liverpool fan and I’ve been<br />

to 35 countries to watch them. But I can’t remember Liverpool<br />

winning the league in 1990. I didn’t give a fuck about anything<br />

else by then. That’s how much it depletes your interest in<br />

anything. The FA Cup final after Hillsborough was my last game<br />

until 1996.”<br />

Wyatt returned from Sheffield after the Hillsborough<br />

disaster and headed to the State nightclub to try and find out<br />

information about what had happened.<br />

“Everyone was crying and hugging but I didn’t cry for three<br />

weeks,” he admitted. “The only solution for me was to selfmedicate.<br />

I went right on the rollercoaster. All sorts of drugs<br />

came into play. My only memories from the early 1990s was<br />

the Sunday mornings because it was harder to get gear then.<br />

The drug dealers had their day off – just like the dockers used<br />

to on a Sunday. I was out at nine o’clock trying to score with the<br />

street dealers. I’d look at fellas walking their dogs and I’d think,<br />

‘What I’d do just to be like him.’’’<br />

“Morality flies out of the window – when you’re hooked, you<br />

get whatever you can to feed the addiction,” admitted Wyatt,<br />

who served three prison sentences in foreign countries, two<br />

in Germany, another in Switzerland – each time for shoplifting,<br />

“to feed what I needed”, which also led to him getting nicked<br />

in Liverpool several times. On one occasion, he was eligible for<br />

bail but only if he paid a long-standing £18 parking fine. “When<br />

I told the copper I was skint, he said, ‘You must have someone<br />

who can pay it…’ But I didn’t have a person in the world who<br />

could pay that fine. So, I had to do two days in Walton. The<br />

copper was saying, ‘I’d pay it myself, but I can’t’. That’s how<br />

isolated I’d made myself. I’d outrun all of my favours.”<br />

Wyatt suffered a heart attack and needed chemotherapy<br />

to treat liver damage related to his addiction. 25 years clean,<br />

he told me his story quietly in the back of the shop he now<br />

owns in Liverpool’s city centre where he sells deadstock<br />

Adidas training shoes. The name, Transalpino, refers to the<br />

sleeper he took across France, Switzerland and Italy to the<br />

1984 European Cup final in Rome, just before heroin really<br />

came into his life. He took ‘absolute’ responsibility for all of his<br />

actions as a drug user but wondered whether it would have<br />

been different for him had conditions in Liverpool been better.<br />

Wyatt, known more commonly as ‘Jockey’, estimated that<br />

more than 100 friends had died because of smack – “if you<br />

became an adult in the 1980s and you were from workingclass<br />

Liverpool, I’d imagine you have at least one family<br />

member who is still addicted, in treatment or in recovery”.<br />

“I’m one of Maggie’s children,” he concluded. “Smack<br />

made a lot of fellas my age desensitised and it has impacted<br />

the generations after us. Kids were brought up in crack dens<br />

and because of that, there’s a lot of sociopaths knocking about<br />

today. Nobody has shown them any respect so why should<br />

they show respect back?”<br />



Wow. It hardly feels like 10 years since we started<br />

on this journey – how time flies when you’re in<br />

the middle of great social and political upheaval,<br />

soundtracked by music that’s as angst-ridden as<br />

it is fearless. As is common when times are tough, music acts as<br />

a salve and spark; and we can perhaps look back at the 2010s<br />

with a little more affection knowing that its soundtrack is one<br />

for the ages.<br />

The first issue of Bido Lito! came out in May 2010, shortly<br />

after the general election which saw the beginning of a punitive<br />

decade of Tory rule. Softened as it was by the coalition with<br />

the Lib Dems (think: being punched repeated by a boxing glove<br />

rather than bare knuckle), things maybe didn’t seem quite so<br />

bleak back then. Little did we know what impact austerity would<br />

have on our society, wearing away at the cultural bonds that<br />

unite us all. We arrive, jaded, at the end of the second decade of<br />

the millennium, desperate for a fresh beginning.<br />

We’ll all have our own memories that stand out from the past<br />

10 years, moments that have affected us deeply or have proven<br />

to be turning points in our own lives. For our look back at the<br />

decade just gone, we’ve asked some of our core team of writers<br />

to pick out a selection of key cultural moments that they believe<br />

have had the greatest impact on our collective consciousness.<br />

We could quite easily have filled a book on dozens more<br />

memories – indeed, we’ve filled <strong>106</strong> magazines with them – so<br />

our selection is far from definitive, merely a snapshot. Therefore,<br />

if anything comes to mind, we’d like you to send us your own<br />

cultural moments from the past decade that you feel are worthy<br />

of mention.<br />

The collection of tribes and scenes that make up our music<br />

community is undoubtedly much changed: healthier and more<br />

diverse in many ways; but lacking greatly in others, not least in<br />

the infrastructure around the music venues that are the lifeblood<br />

of a community of inter-dependent independents. From Static to<br />

the Baltic Triangle, noise has been a constant issue, making us<br />

face up to what kind of place we want our city centre to be. The<br />

coming decade will see that battle continue, and it is up to us to<br />

work out how we create an environment that is equal parts music<br />

city, party city and destination city.<br />

We also need to encourage, or make space for, more<br />

collectives to add their voices to the hubbub, especially those<br />

from the worlds of jazz, grime/trap and hip hop. The underground<br />

dance, electronic and experimental purveyors that have coalesced<br />

around 24 Kitchen Street in the Baltic Triangle, for example,<br />

is surely one of the biggest, warmest successes of culture-led<br />

regeneration in the past decade – although there are fears it’s<br />

now in reverse. And we should look beyond the confines of the<br />

city centre – much like the seeds of growth around Smithdown<br />

Road – if we’re to find further fertile places for our noisy artists to<br />

flourish.<br />

I’ve enjoyed seeing some of these tribes develop in a musical<br />

context over the years, not least those underground scenes that<br />

gathered around Strange Collective’s and Eggy Records’ DIY<br />

events. Queen Zee provided a momentous moment for queer<br />

visibility when they headlined Pride in 2018, which has also<br />

been buoyed by the work of Sonic Yootha and Preach. Stealing<br />

Sheep gathered their whole scene around them for a brilliant<br />

representation of their varied world when they filmed a video<br />

with Jack Whiteley and Joe Wills in the Kazimier Garden; which<br />

was just as exciting to witness as was XamVolo’s entrance to the<br />

GIT Awards in 2015, when a new sense of possibility descended<br />

the stairs onto the Kazimier stage with him. The re-emergence of<br />

Mick Head has also been particularly warming to see, with long<br />

overdue recognition rightfully coming his way.<br />

It is a great tragedy that some people haven’t been able to<br />

see this all play out, not least Alan Wills and Tony Butler, two<br />

pillars of Liverpool music in the prior decade. The respect that<br />

both men commanded has been carried on by new torch-bearers,<br />

and their impact will still be felt as we embark on a new decade.<br />

We must also remember the memories of the talented young<br />

musicians from the groups Viola Beach and Her’s, who tragically<br />

passed away. The best way we can honour their memories is<br />

to make sure that the great work they started gets completed,<br />

and that their stories are remembered for future generations to<br />

discover.<br />

It’s easy to get side-tracked by the flashy, large-scale events<br />

that we’ve become used to and forget about the more basic,<br />

grassroots cultural institutions that we need to encourage. Yet,<br />

we also shouldn’t play down the impact of great communal<br />

moments – giants, parades, fireworks – in bringing the city<br />

together and restoring some much-needed collective pride.<br />

Whether you agree with the fence or not, LIMF is a massive<br />

upgrade on the Mathew Street festival, and is a far more<br />

progressive way of celebrating music for a city with a reputation<br />

on a global scale; and Sound City has re-discovered its heart,<br />

after a brief sojourn down on the docks. Watching together,<br />

dancing together, celebrating; that’s the very essence of culture.<br />

This was our culture – what was yours? !<br />

God Save The Florrie<br />

Community action in Liverpool is a powerful force. The<br />

changes that can be brought about by collaboration, by the<br />

bringing together of people from diverse backgrounds for the<br />

benefit of all, is something this city does well. By necessity<br />

more than desire, more often than not.<br />

A fine example of this is the Florence Institute, or The<br />

Florrie. A beautiful, Grade II late Victorian former boys’ club<br />

at the heart of Liverpool 8, The Florrie was in a perilous<br />

state of decay until a group of impassioned individuals with<br />

community ties to the building formed a trust to restore it to<br />

its former glory, and open it as a wholly inclusive community<br />

centre for all. Eight years and over £6 million later, The Florrie<br />

opened its doors to the community in 2012. Later, with the<br />

arrival of director Anne Lundon, The Florrie moved towards a<br />

programme of culture and creativity as a way of supporting<br />

the community and building cohesion.<br />

Today, The Florrie is both proactive and reactive in<br />

responding to the needs of the community and provides a<br />

wealth of activities, from belly dancing lessons to reading<br />

groups, art sessions to yoga and circus skills. Plus, of course,<br />

the now legendary guitar group run by the Tea Street Band’s<br />

A DECADE<br />

Placing one final exclamation mark at the<br />

end of the 2010s, a selection of Bido Lito!<br />

writers pick out some of the most important<br />

cultural moments to have taken place in<br />

Liverpool over the course of the past decade.<br />

Resurrecting The Everyman<br />

Demolishing a theatre is a dangerous thing. Once it’s gone, what<br />

happens to all the ghosts?<br />

When the elderly Everyman Theatre was knocked down in 2011,<br />

efforts were made to encourage its theatrical spirits to stick around. Its<br />

bricks were saved, its site was preserved, and when the regenerated<br />

Everyman finally opened on 2nd March 2014 – complete with its<br />

startling façade featuring 105 life-size Liverpudlians – it was a relief<br />

to find that the box-fresh new venue somehow felt as if it had always<br />

been there.<br />

Not all its ghosts came back. The reinvented Everyman Bistro never<br />

recaptured the magic that had made its previous incarnation into one<br />

of Liverpool’s most energised cultural hubs. But with its youth theatre<br />

space and its writers’ room, and its homely auditorium performing the<br />

trick of pretending it never went away, the Everyman remains a piece<br />

of Hope Street heaven – a resting place for old ghosts and for spectres<br />

yet to come.<br />

Damon Fairclough<br />

Timo Tierney. With happenings and exhibitions from notables<br />

such as Jamie Reid and Jimmy Cauty, The KLF, Michael<br />

Head, The La’s and Greg Wilson’s 14-hour Super Weird<br />

Happening in the mix, The Florrie has firmly established itself<br />

in the cultural beat of the city. By the community, for the<br />

community. #GodSaveTheFlorrie.<br />

Paul Fitzgerald<br />

Jemma Timberlake / jemmatimberlake.co.uk<br />

Words: Christopher Torpey / @CATorp<br />


OF<br />


Community Assemble<br />

It was 2006 when Laurence Westgaph said to me that FACT should have been<br />

built in Toxteth. Liverpool was in peak city centre regeneration at that point and<br />

there was still an assumption that to have good art it needs to be in the centre, and<br />

in a building.<br />

The night of the Turner Prize in 2015, Granby CLT hired out Liverpool Small<br />

Cinema. No one expected the Four Streets and Assemble to win the coveted arts<br />

prize. The pictures of when they win remind me of Liverpool in Istanbul in 2005. The<br />

underdogs become the obvious choice.<br />

Just a handful of years before, the residents of Granby were still convincing the<br />

council they deserved to keep their homes. After the win, they’re fielding calls from<br />

all over the world.<br />

Before then, community was a thing many arts organisations used to tick boxes.<br />

You’d get a few gems, but we’re talking top down, not bottom up.<br />

Post 2015, you can’t get away with pretending. Liverpool needed a kick up the<br />

arse. It needed art that was by its people if it wanted to be for its people. It needed<br />

reminding its art scene always works when it’s a bit punk; a bit less curated for a<br />

CV. It’s not there yet, but it’s a shift in power. Liverpool’s art scene needed a punk<br />

moment, and this was quite punk.<br />

Laura Brown<br />

Niloo Sharifi<br />

K Is For Kazimier<br />

A spaceship being hoisted over Wolstenholme Square, sparks flying off its<br />

base, following a symbolic battle between the evil Monotopia developers and<br />

Captain Kronos, astride a giant ostrich. You couldn’t have imagined a better sendoff<br />

for The Kazimier, the venue that was the creative, madcap, maverick focal point<br />

of artistic possibility in Liverpool.<br />

The night that the Kaz closed, New Year’s Eve 2015, was a momentous,<br />

ambitious celebration of all that the venue-cum-club had come to stand for. By the<br />

time the great burning K sign lit up the night sky, the writing had already long been<br />

daubed on the wall: Wolstenholme Square had already been shorn of MelloMello<br />

and Wolstenholme Creative Space – fellow outsider, independent spaces run by<br />

artists, for artists. Prior to their arrival, it was a part of town where people wouldn’t<br />

dare venture; since their departure, the square has succumbed to the endless<br />

sprawl of Liverpool ONE and premium city centre living apartments. Only the<br />

Kazimier Garden and Penelope light installation remain, towered over by flats and<br />

hemmed in by ‘vertical drinking establishments’ and ‘retail opportunities’.<br />

The escape to Planet Kronos ultimately only took the remaining Kazimier team<br />

as far as the Invisible Wind Factory in the North Docks – but the metaphorical<br />

flight of the city’s creative heart outside of the city centre still hasn’t materialised.<br />

The Baltic Triangle and Ten Streets projects aren’t quite the promised lands they<br />

first seemed, and a gaping, K-shaped hole still remains at the heart of Liverpool’s<br />

creative scene.<br />

Christopher Torpey<br />

Diggin’ Your Selections<br />

The vinyl boom hit Liverpool city centre after a lengthy period of<br />

slim pickings for those preferring the physical product in its traditional<br />

format, the omnipresent Probe aside. Dig Vinyl launching on Bold<br />

Street five years ago was a game changer, a second-hand record shop<br />

with knowledgeable staff well-armed with picky good tastes and<br />

attuned to customers’ wants.<br />

As a lifelong collector, Manchester was a common destination<br />

before Dig’s arrival, but the record-buying community here is now able<br />

to indulge in a wider tour of record shops on home turf thanks to the<br />

opening of Dig: Phase One/Jacaranda, 81 Renshaw and Pop Boutique.<br />

There’s a marked difference between a record shop and a space which<br />

simply has records for sale. Dig is securely in the former category – as<br />

is now the case with stores that followed – supporting new releases<br />

from new local artists and signposting rarities, but equally open to tips<br />

from those they sell to.<br />

Cath Holland<br />



Robin Clewley / robinclewley.co.uk<br />

Lucy Roberts / lucyannerobertsillustration.co.uk<br />

Small Space For The Big Screen<br />

I’ll let you into a secret about Liverpool Small Cinema, which was open between 2015<br />

and 2017 in Liverpool city centre. If the audience were laughing, or recoiling in horror, the wall<br />

of the projection booth would bulge, reacting to the force of the reaction. I first noticed it at<br />

a screening of John Waters’ Female Trouble, which managed to get the 56-seat crowd to do<br />

both.<br />

The space, on Victoria Street, was willed into existence by Sam Meech, arts project Re-<br />

Dock and a gang of volunteers. The place was built entirely through donations and offcuts and<br />

screened a huge variety of films. From a 24-hour Groundhog Day marathon, to championing<br />

female directors, offering LBGTQ+ screenings and somewhere for local film-makers to screen,<br />

it offered a home to many unable to use spaces like Odeon.<br />

It was completely its own thing and open to all. Now it’s a hotel bar, as the developers<br />

moved in. But, for a couple of years, it was ours and it felt we could do anything in the city.<br />

Chris Brown<br />

Dividing Wall<br />

The repeated destruction of Banu Cennetoğlu’s posters along Great George Street,<br />

which acted as a collection of records about refugee and migrant deaths, was an unsettling<br />

moment.<br />

It dented the city’s sense of self-identity as giving welcome to all, where fascists and<br />

anyone who would exclude minorities is quickly sent packing. But it also forced us to<br />

answer to the previously-hypothetical question of how such an attack is responded to. And<br />

the final decision to leave the work in shreds felt, to many, unsatisfactory. This was already<br />

a work which had been criticised for “aestheticising” tragedy. To stop repairing it felt like a<br />

confirmation that The List was more focused on violence than on advocating for the rights<br />

of the most vulnerable.<br />

The List’s fate has left its scars, but its real legacy should be a deep questioning of<br />

culture’s role in visualising and platforming empathy.<br />

Julia Johnson<br />

No Festival Today<br />

If we’re honest, Liverpool’s music community can be quite a hostile place to outsiders. Outsiders bringing what seemed to be a festival<br />

themed around British colonialism with a line-up consisting solely of Britpop also-rans were duly met with scepticism in 2017. Hope<br />

And Glory Festival came from nowhere and no one seemed to know who was behind the garishly-branded shindig. That would change,<br />

however.<br />

Ticket sales went well. There was clearly an appetite to see Embrace rub shoulders with The Pigeon Detectives on the Amritsar<br />

Massacre stage before the lad from Keane presented a screening of Zulu in the main room at St George’s Hall. However, when the<br />

weekend came, like the empire it looked to celebrate, things started to fall apart.<br />

I happened to walk past the festival site shortly before midday on the opening day. As I peered through the Heras fencing, past the<br />

B&M Bargains plastic flamingo garden ornament, I thought it unusual that the build seemed only three-quarters finished so close to doors.<br />

The bulldog spirit would no doubt prevail though. Later that day social media was rife with discontent. Queues stretching up London<br />

Road, not enough bars or toilets and timings running so far behind schedule bands had to find alternative venues to play. And it got worse.<br />

The words ‘no festival today’ have rightly been etched into Liverpool music folklore. This is how the Hope And Glory communications<br />

team (or most likely, the man in charge) chose to break the news that the event, which had been promoted for over a year and had Ocean<br />

Colour Scene fans sleeplessly anticipating all summer, would not be going into its second day. And the drama did not finish there.<br />

Predictably there was a mixture of horror, mockery and anger on social media. The organiser, outed as Lee O’Hanlon, was digitally<br />

hung, drawn and quartered. O’Hanlon didn’t help his case by responding to many social media missives with flippancy and truculence.<br />

A more expansive (and bizarre) statement was released in the week after the festival, pointing the blame at a Liverpool City Council<br />

employee who briefly became a cult hero and talking at length about where they stored the sandwiches and milk.<br />

Hope And Glory was a trailblazer in glorious festival fuck-ups. Unfortunately, there is no slick Netflix documentary and fly-by-night<br />

events do keep happening, but what it did provide Liverpool with is a cautionary tale and some of the funniest moments of the past<br />

decade. Outsiders are very welcome. Just don’t bring jingoism, please. Or Razorlight.<br />

Sam Turner<br />


John Johnson / @John.johno<br />

Giant Steps?<br />

When the Giants found their way their way back to Liverpool in 2018, it was<br />

a moment of celebration, but one to reflect on.<br />

Liverpool changed in 2008. The year as European Capital of Culture<br />

established the city on the world stage as a destination. A place to be. The<br />

figures say that growth has increased by £1.6 billion year-on-year since the<br />

end of 2008. Perceptions outside the city have certainly changed. Liverpool is a<br />

modern, forward-facing city, not only proud of its contribution to the arts, culture<br />

and sport, but dependent, more than ever before, on that contribution for its<br />

future. Maybe the full legacy will only be known in years to come, when we have<br />

the true bigger picture.<br />

The city mandarins talk of growth, of investment. From street level,<br />

however, that growth looks to be more about the Blade Runner claustrophobia<br />

of Wolstenholme Square, or the sheer whatthefuckery of the Lime Street<br />

development, a prestigious entry point to the city with the grand opulence of<br />

William Brown Street to one side and a grim metal box showcasing a new<br />

branch of Lidl to the other. Maybe this is the legacy for some. Culture comes<br />

from people, though, and that means the grassroots. Art needs space. It needs<br />

support and nourishment. So, while it’s no doubt an achievement for the city<br />

council, in the face of central government cuts, to protect the Biennial, or Sound<br />

City, Africa Oyé and LightNight, there is still a glaring need for the council to<br />

better support grassroots culture. That should be the true legacy.<br />

Paul Fitzgerald<br />

Haring at Tate<br />

Keith Haring’s presence in Liverpool was palpable all summer and into the<br />

winter of <strong>2019</strong>. Emblazoned on buses and T-shirts and collectables, with DJs in<br />

every other venue paying homage.<br />

Tate Liverpool housing the first major UK exhibition of Haring’s work felt<br />

like the North Star in a widening sky of constellations that are reorientating the<br />

city’s pull as a cultural destination. Vibrant, urgent and playful, Haring’s output<br />

has a humanity to it that resonated with the city. What’s more joy-inducing than<br />

Shazam-ing the shit out of the tracks played in a curtained room where his Day<br />

Glo works sit under UV light? What’s more sobering than understanding that his<br />

work was made in the face of a wilfully ignorant Reagan administration during<br />

the AIDS crisis? The exhibition was attractive and important.<br />

It can be all too easy for the face of the city to rely on certain tropes while<br />

its underbelly swells with a cutting edge not necessarily seen by those outside<br />

of Liverpool. Haring didn’t put Liverpool on the map, but his work has helped to<br />

broaden our horizons, and others’ perception of the city as a cultural destination.<br />

Bethany Garrett<br />

Streets Ahead<br />

My first visit to 24 Kitchen Street saw dust tumbling<br />

from the ceiling, such was the size of the sound system<br />

drafted in to celebrate Less Effect hosting Objekt. Since<br />

then, the music policy of the club has followed a similar<br />

track. Although now it’s likely small-scale debris drifting<br />

down from the ceiling can be attributed to the army of drills<br />

burrowing in the foundations of luxury apartments next<br />

door.<br />

The rise of the Baltic Triangle was one of the most<br />

positive in the slew of recent city centre developments. The<br />

work of Baltic CIC set the foundations for a new chapter<br />

in Liverpool’s electronic music scene, giving rise to 24<br />

Kitchen Street, Constellations, Camp and Furnace, Haus,<br />

Baltic Weekender and microclimate tastemakers Melodic<br />

Distraction Radio. A pared back answer to Detroit and<br />

Berlin’s repurposing of defunct industrial spaces, these<br />

homes to artistic endeavour and escapism are now ever<br />

more surrounded by simply homes, short term rentals and<br />

aspirational studio flats with necessary balcony to take in<br />

your achievements. Such apartments stand ever taller over<br />

Kitchen Street; Constellations is to be swept aside; the<br />

remaining venues in the district do their best to rattle the<br />

double glazing of local professionals.<br />

For a moment Liverpool had a thriving creative district<br />

and night time scene that was its own, free from large scale<br />

residential intrusion. Crane your neck on Jamaica Street now<br />

and it’ll be hard to see how a sound system large enough to<br />

rattle a building to its core will ever be able to feature again.<br />

Elliot Ryder<br />

Robin Clewley / robinclewley.co.uk<br />

If you’d like a soundtrack to these cultural moments, head<br />

to bidolito.co.uk to listen to our <strong>Dec</strong>ade Dansette — a selection of<br />

tracks that stood out to us as memorable markers along the way.<br />





“Songwriting can<br />

be so selfish at<br />

times, especially<br />

when you’re<br />

dealing with your<br />

own emotions”<br />

Leaping from synth wave to<br />

the digital age, ALEX TELEKO<br />

drinks in addictive 80s melody<br />

and convulses to the maddening<br />

beats and bleeps of the<br />

contemporary era.<br />

A by-product, birthed in the ceaseless surge of an intense<br />

digital labyrinth, 22-year-old ALEX TELEKO coolly steps onto the<br />

scene breathing words radiating a reluctant truth we flinch from.<br />

But it’s not entirely confrontational. His artistry also possesses a<br />

narcissistically relatable demur that we can’t help but concede to.<br />

Based in Liverpool, this modern innovator takes his selfdesigned<br />

concepts and manipulates them in a way that reveals<br />

his lust for digital emotion: “I’ve written music in many styles for<br />

a long time, but recently I’ve been trying to draw human emotion<br />

out of a computer instead.”<br />

A self-proclaimed crooner who produces “midi ballads in<br />

synthesis”, Teleko is not one to sugar-coat the reality we share. A<br />

realist who strives towards challenging the general perception of<br />

contemporary music, while also keeping his feet on the ground,<br />

he tells us that his creative intellect hasn’t always resided in<br />

music. “I much preferred the idea of becoming a train driver<br />

or a firefighter. However, some aspirations are unobtainable,<br />

so creating music seemed like a stable fallback plan.” Big<br />

aspirations steered his path, noting a wish to support the fondlyremembered<br />

Europop of Steps, because, “Why not?”<br />

As far as inspiration goes, he is his own muse. That is not to<br />

say further musical influence is obsolete. “My head has always<br />

been very scatterbrain, so I would absorb anything that had a<br />

strong melody or hook,” he explains. “That could be anything from<br />

police sirens echoing outside to chart-topping singles on the radio,<br />

so I don’t think I could pinpoint one piece of music, purely because<br />

everything with a musical nature acts as a form of inspiration.”<br />

Spurred on by an inwardly pleasing writing style, he goes on<br />

to explain how “songwriting can be so selfish at times, especially<br />

when you’re dealing with your own emotions and experiences,<br />

which I regularly interject into what I create”. It’s this strong sense<br />

of narcissism that some believe makes Teleko so delightfully<br />

appropriate for listeners nowadays: he accommodates them<br />

with a real human voice they can associate with, all the while still<br />

serving hard-hitting, bassy synths.<br />

That being said, Teleko admits to enjoying the more<br />

mischievous side of production: “I like to use my writing as a form<br />

of people watching, too, stalking the odd habits and tendencies of<br />

others, it provides some sense of entertainment.” Not just a theme<br />

in his writing, this also makes an appearance in performance: “I very<br />

much enjoy playing Call Me Digital. I like how, despite its upbeat<br />

exterior, there is a tormented and sick meaning at the centre of the<br />

song. It’s a good juxtaposition to me, to have something abrasive<br />

and visceral mixed with what is a seemingly pleasant surroundings.<br />

It probably says a lot about me subliminally.”<br />

Having performed mainly in Liverpool – with the exception<br />

of the odd anomaly – Moon Duo at the Invisible Wind Factory<br />

and Future Yard Festival have been notable highlights. Ultimately<br />

his favourite would be the former, despite the fact that it was<br />

“bordering on temperatures parallel with the Arctic Circle, but<br />

it’s an amazing space”. It’ll take more than temperature to halt<br />

Teleko’s infatuation with live performance, however, as he has a<br />

number of shows lined up to round off <strong>2019</strong>, beginning with the<br />

Merseyrail Sound Station showcase at Liverpool Central on 30th<br />

November.<br />

Which other artists does Teleko think others should be made<br />

aware of? “Die Orangen are one of the great acts coming out on<br />

Malka Tuti, an experimental label based across Europe with its<br />

roots in Tel Aviv. Khidja and Tapan are others on their roster that<br />

are worth checking out.”<br />

It’s safe to say that, with taste this eclectic, there are inspiring<br />

things to come from this young emerging artist. !<br />

Words: Anouska Liat<br />

Photography: Luke Parry<br />

@alexteleko<br />

Alex Teleko support Natalie McCool on 14th <strong>Dec</strong>ember at Arts<br />

Club, and appears at the Eggy Records NYE show at Sound.<br />


ABBY<br />


Arresting lyricism and delicate<br />

instrumentation are gently weaved<br />

together by this Seattle native<br />

quietly causing a stir.<br />

“Songwriting has<br />

proven to be the<br />

most cathartic<br />

communication of<br />

what I am feeling<br />

and thinking”<br />

If you had to describe your style in a sentence, what would you<br />

say?<br />

Lyrically driven indie-folkrockpop.<br />

Can you pinpoint a live gig or a piece of music that initially<br />

inspired you?<br />

When I was 14 I had the opportunity to see one of my favourite<br />

bands at the time (The Head And The Heart) play in an old<br />

theatre in Seattle, where I’m originally from. I had waited in the<br />

queue for three hours and ended up in the front row. It was<br />

the band’s first hometown show in a long time and I remember<br />

witnessing their collective energy, as well as their gratitude<br />

towards the crowd and the city, and immediately wanting nothing<br />

more than to be in a band.<br />

Do you have a favourite song or piece of music to perform?<br />

What does it say about you?<br />

I really enjoy performing unreleased songs. They’re often new<br />

and fresh to myself and the band and bringing them outside the<br />

practice room is a lot of fun.<br />

Do you have a favourite venue you’ve performed in? If so, what<br />

makes it special?<br />

A few days before I moved to the UK, I played a farewell/EP<br />

release show with my old band in the violinist’s backyard. We<br />

hung lights and made lanterns, our friends sat on lawn chairs and<br />

blankets, and my mom baked cookies. It was super wholesome.<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 />

Definitely emotions and experiences. I tend to wear my heart on<br />

my sleeve, but songwriting/performing has proven to be the most<br />

cathartic communication of what I am feeling and thinking.<br />

Have you always wanted to create music?<br />

I’ve always loved performing, whether it be ‘talent shows’ at my<br />

family gatherings, school plays, or covering songs on YouTube<br />

with my friends. I attended an arts-oriented high school and it<br />

was there that I began to take songwriting more seriously.<br />

If you could support any artist in the future, who would it be?<br />

Phoebe Bridgers or Lucy Dacus, probably. Both of them have<br />

been big inspirations to my own music, although I get a pit in my<br />

stomach just imagining what I’d say in the green room.<br />

Why is music important to you?<br />

I think music is a great platform for individuals to communicate<br />

their complex thoughts, feelings and experiences. Often, I’ve<br />

found the words I’ve been looking for to explain myself in<br />

someone else’s lyrics. That makes me feel a whole lot less alone<br />

in the world.<br />

Can you recommend an artist, band or album that Bido Lito!<br />

readers might not have heard?<br />

There’s a whole lot more to the Seattle music scene than grunge<br />

and there are a lot of fantastic artists in that area right now.<br />

Cataldo and OK Sweetheart are a couple of my favourites.<br />

Photography: Lucia Matušíková<br />

facebook.com/ameysenburgmusic<br />

Abby Meysenburg plays the Merseyrail Sound Station showcase<br />

at Liverpool Central Station on Saturday 30th November.<br />


Building their sound around the dull<br />

fuzz of an unearthed £50 1960s Tiesco<br />

guitar, MINCEMEAT come out all guns<br />

blazing with pummelling, bone-shaking<br />

controlled chaos.<br />


happened after<br />

coming across a<br />

terrible cheap guitar<br />

with a fantastically<br />

nasty sound”<br />

If you had to describe your music in a sentence, what would<br />

you say?<br />

Fast/slow garage punk rock clatter with a bit of motorik and some<br />

other oddities thrown in.<br />

Have you always wanted to create music? How did you get<br />

into it?<br />

We’ve all played in bands for a while, but MINCEMEAT happened<br />

after coming across a terrible cheap guitar with a fantastically<br />

nasty sound. It became an interesting project to try to write<br />

songs around its sound.<br />

Do you have a favourite song or piece of music to perform?<br />

What does it say about you?<br />

Probably one of the ones we’ve played least. Suck In from the<br />

new EP is a good, screamy glam guy which isn’t too exhausting<br />

to play, so possibly that one. What does that one say about us?<br />

That we get bored easily and we’re out of shape.<br />

Can you pinpoint a live gig or a piece of music that initially<br />

inspired you?<br />

Our first show was supporting Detroit garage gods The Gories.<br />

It was so much fun and really exciting to be playing on the same<br />

stage. Their stripped-down, ‘just smash through it’ approach to<br />

rock ’n’ roll informed the way we created songs. They’ve done<br />

loads of more ‘complex’ music in different outfits since their first<br />

recordings. We asked Danny the guitarist if it was hard to forget<br />

how to play the guitar for The Gories shows and he just acted like<br />

he had no idea what we were on about. It was kind of great that<br />

he didn’t understand how he was channelling all this primitivist<br />

noise.<br />

Do you have a favourite venue you’ve performed in? If so, what<br />

makes it special?<br />

Drop The Dumbulls Gallery. It’s got a great atmosphere and<br />

the shows are usually carnage. Plus, Jake and the staff are all<br />

sweethearts.<br />

If you could support any artist in the future, who would it be?<br />

Ohmns.<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 />

Our lyrics tend to sound like blurred string of undiscernible barks,<br />

but there are actual words. They often materialise from a variety<br />

of different areas. Sometimes the visual arts, literature, cinema,<br />

experiences, mental health, politics and the general flotsam and<br />

jetsam of the human condition.<br />

Photography: Lauren Avery<br />

facebook.com/mincemeatmusic<br />

Mincemeat’s EP Aroma is out now.<br />



Bristol electronic three-piece BEAK> have been a<br />

creative force for a decade now – and they continue<br />

to reach new heights on nothing but their own terms.<br />

Considering the immersive and compelling musical<br />

landscapes they’ve become known for, the concept behind the<br />

band is actually relatively simple: it’s about creating explorative<br />

music free from any bullshit or expectations.<br />

An outlet for the three to experiment and innovate away<br />

from their other musical endeavours, the band is in healthier<br />

shape than ever before (although you can be sure Geoff<br />

Barrow would have a self-deprecating joke to hand about that<br />

statement).<br />

Following another ambitious year on the road and in the<br />

studio, they’re hitting the Arts Club as part of their <strong>Dec</strong>ember<br />

UK tour. As Rhys Buchanan picked up the phone to bassist Billy<br />

Fuller to chat about their last 12 months, the ever-present sense<br />

of drive and community behind the band remains palpable.<br />


So, two glorious releases in the last few years, how’s it all<br />

been in your world?<br />

It’s been super productive since we’ve done our third album<br />

[>>>] and the last EP [Life Goes On]. We’ve been going to new<br />

places as well which is always refreshing. This year Mexico has<br />

been really good for us – we never thought anything like that<br />

would ever happen, but we played a festival there and it seemed<br />

to just land, the crowd went crazy for it. So the organisers of the<br />

festival had us back for a show in Mexico City and Guadalajara<br />

a few weeks ago. Both shows sold out and they want us back<br />

again next year. When we first started to do Beak>, I never<br />

expected anything like that to happen. It’s crazy reaching such<br />

heavy heights. We’re just buzzing now and really excited for the<br />

upcoming UK tour.<br />

You’ve been a band for a long time now, do those moments<br />

keep you motivated?<br />

That’s always a massive motivation for us, getting to play all<br />

of these great places and seeing all of the happy faces. The<br />

other motivation is to make tunes that excite us away from the<br />

other bands that we’ve been in, which is the reason why we<br />

got together. It’s still a totally different experience; it’s the most<br />

interesting band that I’ve ever been in and long may it last. We<br />

wouldn’t do it if we weren’t having fun. It’s all about enjoying<br />

ourselves and making good music.<br />

Do you think that element of freedom is a massive part of<br />

Beak> for you guys?<br />

Yeh, sometimes it’s not even very serious. I don’t know if you’ve<br />

seen our live shows, but sometimes we just take the piss out<br />

of each other onstage. A friend of mine said the other day they<br />

heard someone saying we’re like a comedy act with songs inbetween.<br />

It’s mostly about when we get in the room together,<br />

we don’t discuss much, we just fire things around, some things<br />

land and some things don’t. We all come up with stuff, bring<br />

ideas in and other times we do it on the fly in the studio. There’s<br />

not much discussion about it, we’re just trying to push for<br />

something we haven’t done before. We don’t want to repeat<br />

ourselves from here on in.<br />

That seems true of your live schedule, as well: earlier in the<br />

year you played on a bridge in Bristol for Extinction Rebellion<br />

which felt quite spontaneous...<br />

That came about because I had to go into town for some<br />

shopping – I didn’t even know that was happening. I walked past<br />

Bristol Bridge and I was like, ‘Hang on a second what’s going<br />

on here?’ I was there for about an hour chatting to people and<br />

thought it would be cool if they were up for us doing it. We went<br />

to play some tunes there and played a different set to bring some<br />

attention to it all. It worked out really well, we did a couple of<br />

Gary Numan tunes like Cars because everyone was frustrated<br />

with the traffic, then we did a cover of Pigbag which went down<br />

great. I think there’s a good video of that online.<br />

This year you’ve got another Christmas charity event lined up<br />

helping the homeless in Bristol.<br />

Do you feel like it’s important to<br />

be engaged with the community<br />

as a band?<br />

You’ve always got to be active and<br />

look out for other people. We’ve<br />

always believed in that and will<br />

always do it. The ‘Give A Shit<br />

Christmas’ thing is something that<br />

we’ll do every <strong>Dec</strong>ember as long<br />

as we’re together. I don’t know<br />

what it’s like in Liverpool, but the<br />

scale of the homeless problem is<br />

the worst it’s ever been in Bristol.<br />

I don’t want to get too political,<br />

but I put a lot of blame on the Tory<br />

government and austerity for that.<br />

There should always be money available for a human being.<br />

Everybody is someone’s son or daughter out there and people<br />

are dying. It’s disgusting and we’re not up for it. That’s the<br />

reason why we do this event for local charities every year. Last<br />

year we raised £9,000 and, with a bigger venue, this year we’re<br />

hoping to get five times that.<br />

GIG<br />

BEAK><br />

EVOL @ Arts Club – 05/12<br />

“I don’t want to<br />

be responsible for<br />

boring anyone. I think<br />

it’s best to keep it<br />

interesting and keep<br />

the hooks coming”<br />

Constantly sharpening the edges of their three-sided setup, these<br />

masters of sonic immersion know better than most how to keep it<br />

sounding fresh.<br />

Speaking of that sense of community, to what extent does<br />

having Invada Studios at your disposal help the band’s fluidity?<br />

The fact that it’s there for us is invaluable to be honest. It’s like<br />

a miniature Motown. When you go in, it’s like the label. All the<br />

records are there ready for mailorder;<br />

the releases are everywhere,<br />

filed away. We rehearse in the<br />

same room that we record in.<br />

When it first started we could<br />

pick and choose when we went in.<br />

Now we have to book a lot further<br />

in advance. It’s great when we’re<br />

in because we have it and can do<br />

some serious damage. It’s deluxe,<br />

really. We’re spoilt.<br />

Your songs are quite sprawling<br />

and immersive. How disciplined<br />

do you need to be when it comes<br />

to playing live?<br />

As a live thing, we never do any jamming; there’s never any<br />

heads-down, doing a Hawkwind kind of thing. People are<br />

always surprised by that. Otherwise, if there was anything more<br />

to get out of it then we would do it on track. I’m not putting<br />

anyone down, but I find that when a band’s head goes down<br />

they just starting whacking on the wah-wah and the fuzz pedal<br />

and they’ve had one too many goes on the bong. It just bores<br />

me. I don’t want to be responsible for boring anyone. I think it’s<br />

best to keep it interesting and keep the hooks coming.<br />

They’ve been coming for some time now and it seems it will be<br />

that way long into the future?<br />

Yeh, it’s all a discipline because, ultimately, we go through a lot<br />

of pain to make an album. The first album was the easiest thing<br />

we’d ever done because we didn’t properly know each other back<br />

then. So, we went into the studio, had a cup of tea, set our gear<br />

up and just started playing. The first song on the first album is<br />

us playing for the very first time in the studio. That all came very<br />

quick and easy because it was so natural. Then you go on tour<br />

and find out who you are, then once you’re involved then you’re<br />

working within parameters from there on in. Album four, which<br />

we’re starting work on in the new year, will be another adventure/<br />

headache/brilliant experience. If we’re up, then hopefully we’ll<br />

carry on making good and interesting music. That’s where it lies<br />

really. It’s not that difficult to think about, if we’re happy then the<br />

music will come out the back of it. !<br />

Words: Rhys Buchanan / @Rhys_Buchanan<br />

Photography: Daniel Patlán-Desde<br />

@BeakBristol<br />

Beak> play Arts Club on Thursday 5th <strong>Dec</strong>ember. Life Goes On is<br />

available now via Invada Records.<br />



STUDIO ELECTROPHONIQUE is the new project of<br />

former High Hazels frontman James Leesley. The<br />

first signing to Violette Records which isn’t a Micheal<br />

Head project, the debut Electrophonique EP Buxton<br />

Palace Hotel sees Leesley and his ‘imaginary band’ create a<br />

microcosm which lies somewhere between kitchen sink drama<br />

and The Velvet Underground. Balancing love and its inevitable<br />

pitfalls with a raw yet delicate sound, the Steel City balladeer’s<br />

first output has already captured the imaginations of the likes of<br />

Richard Hawley and Pete Paphides.<br />

On a cold Friday night, Matthew Hogarth caught him on the<br />

other end of the line shortly after a winter evening kick-a-bout.<br />


Sonically, the songs sound a bit like The Velvet Underground<br />

if they’d recorded in the North of England. Who and what<br />

influenced you to start Studio Electrophonique?<br />

I’ve been listening to music all my life, a lot of different varied<br />

things. The Velvets kind of got me into music properly, but<br />

growing up I listened to Oasis and Coldplay on the radio. They<br />

were on the radio, but obviously you kind of get into the darker<br />

and more obscured side in your own time. I’ve been playing<br />

music for a long time with a band but that kind of ran its course,<br />

quite naturally, and I just had a lot of ideas in my head that<br />

weren’t complicated enough that they’d need a band. In a way<br />

they were almost on a four-track up there, in my head. I felt like<br />

my head only had enough space for the melodies and a bigger<br />

accompaniment in mind. I’ve always wanted a four-track. I’ve<br />

never been a technical wizard by any stretch of the imagination<br />

and always stayed away from the likes of Logic and all that. I’ve<br />

always focused on writing the songs and left the recording to<br />

someone who knew what they were doing.<br />

So what attracted you to recording on four-track?<br />

It was only after I stepped away from being in the band that I<br />

thought I could do with an easy bit of equipment to record on.<br />

A lot of my favourite bands have used both four-tracks and<br />

eight-tracks over the years, and some of them recordings I love.<br />

I thought it must be a good enough place to start. So I just got<br />

myself a knackered old Fostex X-15 just to play around with and<br />

work it out. I’ve never worked with cassette before, and I thought<br />

if I can get ’em down on tape it’ll feel quite nice, push me down a<br />

route that I may not have gone down if I’d gone into the studio.<br />

I recorded the tracks in the spare room in me house which made<br />

it naturally a lot more hushed and quiet, because I couldn’t be<br />

blaring the place down. So I got ’em down without having any<br />

intentions of anyone hearing them; I know that’s a cliché, but I<br />

genuinely just thought I’ve got to clear some space out. It were<br />

just a bit of fun that I’d go upstairs in mine after work and just<br />

get a few songs down. I’ve got a couple of little old Casio organs,<br />

80s ones with only one or two good sounds on ’em. I just used<br />

those and an old Philicorda organ which I picked up for about a<br />

hundred quid, which provided a table for everything. I wanted to<br />

limit myself to just that and record it to tape. Luckily, I got a few<br />

tunes down and it echoed the old 60s recordings and modern<br />

bands demos that I loved. It had a really nice warmth.<br />

Lyrically, Buxton Palace Hotel seems to be a pretty personal<br />

EP. Would you agree with this?<br />

I’ve never been someone to overthink how it’s going to be<br />

received. Through practising, over the years I’ve come upon a<br />

style whereby it’s more the thoughts that people are having<br />

that they would never say. It can be very exposing. It’s all about<br />

putting your thoughts out there. If you look at the approach of<br />

the likes of Morrissey, Stuart Murdoch of Belle And Sebastian<br />

and Lou Reed, the thing they’ve all got is a really sensitive side.<br />

I wanted it to feel like it was just one person listening to it. I<br />

wanted it to feel very real. The fact that I was in a collaborative<br />

band meant that occasionally I would maybe doctor a few lyrics<br />

to make it more acceptable. There’s no reason for a filter, which<br />

makes everything a lot easier.<br />

When you’re on your own, there’s no one to stop it. The speed<br />

I could work at was so much<br />

quicker. It’s the first time I’ve used<br />

characters in my work; a lot of the<br />

stuff is personal but I’ve managed<br />

to put it into characters and the<br />

lyrics could be about anyone.<br />

The atmosphere of some of the<br />

tracks often feels quite isolated,<br />

lyrically blending romance with<br />

darker tones. Would you agree?<br />

Subconsciously, I was always<br />

trying to keep the balance between<br />

the two. I was basically trying to<br />

take you to a place for a moment,<br />

however long that may be. If I’m in<br />

the mood for a band I can create a<br />

little world which I can just access. I wanted to take people away<br />

for a little while.<br />

The intention was to make it underthought. I wanted to get it<br />

straight from my brain to the machine. I wanted to do it in the<br />

now. It is quite warm sounding but when it gets quite bleak, I try<br />

to bring it back. I wanted it to be so intimate it could fall apart at<br />

any point. All my friends who were into stuff were really into it. I<br />

didn’t have any idea if it was any good.<br />

GIG<br />

“The intention for my<br />

music was to make it<br />

underthought: straight<br />

from my brain to the<br />

machine. I wanted<br />

to do it in the now”<br />

STUDIO<br />


La Violette Società @ Studio2 – 20/12<br />

Hushed, attentive tones crafted in the dead of night - James Leesley’s<br />

new solo endeavour captures an honest, moonlit reflection of solitude.<br />

You’re the first artist to release on<br />

Violette Records who’s not Mick<br />

Head. How does that feel?<br />

I was a bit apprehensive because<br />

they hadn’t released anyone else.<br />

But I sent it to them because I<br />

really liked what they stood for,<br />

and obviously I’m a big fan of Mick<br />

Head. I thought, ‘May as well, and<br />

they might like it’. I don’t think they<br />

planned to put it out to be honest,<br />

but they just went, ‘This is alright<br />

and we haven’t really got anything<br />

else coming out,’ and it was doable.<br />

I think I was quite quick and easy to<br />

work with so it wasn’t a matter of<br />

waiting around. It moved really quickly and I think that helped.<br />

Matty [Lockett, Violette Records] said he just wanted to put out<br />

good records that they like.<br />

With High Hazels you’ve already got a decent fan base, but sell<br />

out-shows are no mean feat in Liverpool and you obviously did<br />

really well across the country and Paris. How does this feel?<br />

We couldn’t buy a gig at times, it was really difficult. But with this<br />

I kind of didn’t even plan to play live. The first gigs I did were with<br />

Richard Hawley. My first gig was in Holmfirth supporting him,<br />

and two gigs in London. Both were over a thousand capacity<br />

each. Luckily, I had a bit of live experience but I had to play<br />

quick and learn fast. If it went wrong I’d look the biggest fool in<br />

the world. I think a lot of [the success] has been [down to] the<br />

venues that have been dressed up nice. I wanted to do stuff<br />

that was a little bit different. Luckily the Violette guys sorted the<br />

Scandinavian Church in Liverpool and I managed to sort out the<br />

Lantern Theatre in Sheffield. It took a good couple of months to<br />

even get in touch with them. In the end, I went to this strange<br />

gig on a Thursday night just to see a human who worked there.<br />

I got chatting about Sheffield Utd and he passed me a number<br />

and I eventually got in. Roy, who runs the live side of things for<br />

Violette, played the show with me and did spoken word and<br />

people loved it. It was more of an experience and people loved it<br />

as a night. I think it was a bit of pot luck to be fair.<br />

Paris was daft. They were so nice. There was a massive spread<br />

and a bath of beer. I felt like this is how it should be. !<br />

Words: Matthew Hogarth<br />

Photography: Ryan Lee Turton<br />

violetterecords.com/studio-electrophonique<br />

Buxton Palace Hotel is available now on Violette Records.<br />

Studio Electrophonique plays La Violette Società’s Christmas<br />

Special on Friday 20th <strong>Dec</strong>ember, with Toria Garbutt, Daisy Gill<br />

and Roy.<br />




CLUB<br />

SOLOMUN/<br />


Various venues – 21/12 and 31/12<br />

Circus Christmas Special<br />

Circus and Chibuku have your festive party season covered with two heavyweight shows that will give you every<br />

reason to get off the couch and escape the TV repeats.<br />

YOUSEF presents a special Circus Christmas party at Bramley-Moore Dock on 21st <strong>Dec</strong>ember, with house<br />

music superstar SOLOMUN helming what will be a huge show down on the docks. The Bosnian-born DJ has been<br />

a titan of house and techno music for almost a decade, regularly scooping industry awards while running successful labels<br />

(Diynamic, 2DIY4), clubs (Ego) and multiple Ibiza residencies (Pacha, Ushuaïa). Solomun’s emotional take on European house<br />

music is characterised by ultra funky basslines and euphoric melodies, reflective of his love of hip hop, soul and funk.<br />

Circus have re-tooled the vast warehouse space at Bramley-Moore as an ideal venue for raving and partying, and the<br />

location will add a new dimension to their famed Christmas party blowout. Leeds’ globetrotting deep house technician HOT<br />

SINCE 82 brings an element of energy and dram to proceedings. “King Of Space” DJ STEVE LAWLER also joins the party,<br />

hosted by Circus maestro Yousef and also featuring ENZO SIRAGUSA.<br />

And if that wasn’t enough for you, Chibuku come up trumps with a New Year’s Eve party to cap off the year in fine style.<br />

Chart-topping big beat duo GROOVE ARMADA return to Liverpool for the first time in a decade, with a DJ set at Invisible<br />

Wind Factory that dwarfs that 2009 set at Barfly for a Circus Easter special. The global stars have since played Creamfields<br />

on numerous occasions, but their mix of electronic, house and trip hop is equally suited to more intimate clubs.<br />

Having picked up a Grammy nomination (Superstylin’), soundtracked entire advert breaks, worked with artists as diverse<br />

as Neneh Cherry and Richie Havens, and set up the popular Lovebox festival, the duo have very little still to achieve in the<br />

game. Through decks and FX shows and a series of dancefloor EPs, Groove Armada have marked a return to the DIY spirit of<br />

the warehouse turntables where the project first began. Go on, sign off the year in style.<br />




Tate Liverpool – 13/12/19-03/05/<strong>2020</strong><br />

Chicago-based artist THEASTER GATES is one of the world’s most influential living artists,<br />

working across social and urban issues that speak to the same ethos of community<br />

fracturing that has been highlighted by the work around Granby in Liverpool. Having studied<br />

urban planning – alongside a joint masters in religion, ceramics and city design – Gates’ work<br />

shows how art can transform places and improve the lives of the people who live there. He is best<br />

known for his projects in the South Side of Chicago, where he has redeveloped abandoned buildings<br />

for community use.<br />

Gates also worked as a potter for 15 years, which taught him the power of making something from<br />

only bare materials. “I feel like as a potter you also start to learn how to shape the world,” he commented<br />

in a TED talk he gave, titled How To Revive A Neighbourhood: With Imagination, Beauty and Art.<br />

In Amalgam, Gates explores the complex and interweaving issues of race, territory and inequality in<br />

the United States, from the slightly curious starting point of Malaga. Not that Malaga, however. During the<br />

19th Century, this small island off the coast of Maine, USA, was home to an ethnically mixed community.<br />

In 1912, on the orders of the state governor, Malaga’s inhabitants were forcibly removed to the mainland.<br />

They were offered no housing, jobs or support.<br />

The exhibition uses sculpture, installation, film and dance to highlight this history. A new film, Dance<br />

Of Malaga <strong>2019</strong>, features the choreography of acclaimed American dancer, Kyle Abraham, while Gates’<br />

musical collective, The Black Monks, provide the score. Their blues and gospel-inspired sound can be<br />

heard throughout the exhibition, continuing into an immersive ‘forest’ installation.<br />

Launching at the same time in Tate’s neighbouring Wolfson Gallery, a new exhibition of work by<br />

VIVIAN SUTER provides an immersive installation of tropical landscapes of Guatemala. A maze of Suter’s<br />

large-scale hanging paintings brings to life the organic elements – such as volcanic and botanical matter –<br />

that the Argentinian artist is surrounded by during her everyday life.<br />

Theaster Gates<br />

ticketquarter.co.uk<br />



GIG<br />

Aldous Harding<br />

Arts Club – 04/12<br />

Aldous Harding<br />

Returning with her third record in April, for many, ALDOUS<br />

HARDING’s Designer is an understated contender for album of<br />

the year. The New Zeland-born, Cardiff-based singer-songwriter<br />

has crafted a varied selection of wonky folk since arriving with her<br />

eponymous debut in 2014, but Designer sees Harding achieve new<br />

levels of eccentricity and panache. From start to finish the record<br />

is assured in its oddness and comfortably blends the abstract<br />

with her winsome songwriting formula. Rather than force its point<br />

home, the record beckons you into its world, one that remains often<br />

indecipherable but aboundingly charming. Taking centre stage at Arts<br />

Club, Harding will offer a hazy, sun-kissed escape from the winter chill.<br />


Miracle On 34th Street: The Musical<br />

The Playhouse – 07/12/19-04/01/20<br />

Miracle On 34th Street has been spreading festive cheer, in various guises,<br />

since the 1947 feature film that picked up three Oscars. Via a novel,<br />

TV series and the much-celebrated 1994 feature film starring Richard<br />

Attenborough, it has become a Christmas staple. Meredith Wilson’s lyrical<br />

rendering of the story of six-year-old Susan, a Christmas sceptic, and Kris<br />

Kringle, is brought to sparkling life on stage as a musical, which gives<br />

centre stage to the famed seasonal song, It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like<br />

Christmas. The set of Macy’s is brought to the Playhouse stage, with a<br />

story specially tweaked for a Liverpool audience, which will get Christmas<br />

lovers of all ages in the mood for festive magic.<br />

Miracle On 34th Street<br />

GIG<br />

Judy Collins<br />

Grand Central Hall – 11/01/20<br />

JUDY COLLINS has been an omnipresent force in music for the best part of five decades. In<br />

that time she’s featured on 55 records and inspired millions with her contributions to folk<br />

music and Americana. As well as performing to countless audiences since the 1960s, the<br />

American singer songwriter as drawn in praises from Rufus Wainwright, Shawn Colvin,<br />

Dolly Parton, Joan Baez and Leonard Cohen, who all honoured her legacy by featuring on<br />

the album Born To The Breed: A Tribute To Judy Collins. An artist of such stature deserves<br />

a stage to match, and the opulent backdrop of Grand Central Hall will be the perfect fit<br />

when she arrives in Liverpool for an exhibition of vulnerable songwriting littered with social<br />

activism and determination.<br />

CLUB<br />

Crazy P Soundsystem<br />

Constellations – 31/12<br />

The final New Year’s Eve party at Constellations takes on epic proportions under the<br />

stewardship of Melodic Distraction. No holds will be barred for this grand celebration of the<br />

Greenland Street venue, which will be winding down operations in <strong>2020</strong>. Cosmic disco dons<br />

CRAZY P are charged with piloting this closing party (of sorts) to another dimension, which<br />

will make for the perfect kind of celebration. Shimmering with pop, throbbing with electronica<br />

and slinking with disco, revellers will prepared to blast off into <strong>2020</strong> in the highest of spirits.<br />

The Soundsystem is a club variation on Crazy P’s live setup, and will feature live vocals from<br />

Danielle Moore. Melodic Distraction DJs will be joined by a host of the region’s finest selectors<br />

in getting things primed for this huge signing off party.<br />


Four To The Floor<br />

Invisible Wind Factory – 22/01-25/01/20<br />

Four To The Floor<br />

A history of dance music is rendered in this off-site performance from the Unity Theatre and production company Turntable<br />

Theatre, which is also your invitation to the closing part of the century. Inspired by Earl Young’s 4/4 beat that revolutionised<br />

music for dancing, this immersive theatre show with an electronic heartbeat charts dance music’s progression from the disco<br />

to the underground rave scene, via youth culture, political movements and superstar DJs. The action takes place wherever it<br />

needs to rather than be confined to the stage: the audience is placed at the heart of the narrative, blurring the lines between<br />

theatre and a rave. Real dancefloor stories are told in thrilling fashion, touching on the effects of gentrification, ‘luxury living’<br />

and city growth on rave culture.<br />

GIG<br />

The Flying Luttenbachers<br />

Kazimier Stockroom – 20/12<br />

Weasel Walter’s shape-shifting collective THE FLYING LUTTENBACHERS have been in existence,<br />

in various forms, since 1991. Taking in prog, punk jazz and no waves elements (among many<br />

others), the outfit has deconstructed music and reality via a multitude of seminal releases. Anyone<br />

trying to keep up with Walter and his Luttenbachers – or the constant line-up changes – will attest<br />

to the group’s commitment to exploring extremities in music. The current line-up will see a quartet<br />

of guitar, bass, drums and saxophone, under Walter’s tutelage, engage in the kind of explosive<br />

free jazz improvisations that feature on the group’s recently released album Imminent Death.<br />

Liverpool’s own DIY pop experimenter CLAIRE WELLES offers support, alongside Manchester’s<br />

sonic adventurers YOSSARIANS and no wave goth soundscape artists JEZEBEL. Tickets available<br />

now from TicketQuarter.co.uk.<br />

The Flying Luttenbachers<br />




Daughters (Tomas Adam)<br />

“The entire<br />

experience is<br />

anxiety-inducing and<br />

downright unnerving,<br />

like watching a<br />

good horror film”<br />

Daughters<br />

+ Jeromes Dream<br />

Harvest Sun @ Arts Club – 01/11<br />

DAUGHTERS triumphantly returned after an eight-year-long<br />

hiatus with one of the most twisted and harrowing albums of<br />

the past decade, You Won’t Get What You Want. The album is<br />

a surprising and rewarding continuation of their earlier work;<br />

Daughters embrace the sounds of no wave and industrial music,<br />

without sacrificing the hectic noise-rock edge they perfected over<br />

their short, yet lasting, discography.<br />

Tonight’s support, JEROMES DREAM, are something of<br />

hardcore legends in their home state of Connecticut. The shortlived<br />

outfit were together for a mere four years in the late 90s,<br />

releasing two albums, both of which were one of the first to be<br />

recorded by seminal producer Kurt Ballou, essentially the Nile<br />

Rodgers of heavy music. They return after nearly two decades<br />

of silence without skipping a beat. During their original stint, the<br />

band refused to use microphones and even play on the stage,<br />

often setting up on the floor. Rejecting convention, the music is<br />

often angular and inharmonious, favouring screeching guitars<br />

and violent screams. Cuts from their new untitled record like<br />

Drone Before Parlor Violence are more melodic, and hark back to<br />

the nostalgic emo and post-hardcore of the late 90s, yet hardly<br />

sound dated in the slightest. Long droning sections in Half-In<br />

A Bantam Canopy see the band embracing post-rock in a way<br />

they previously haven’t. Everything about them serves as a big<br />

middle finger to the mainstream. Frontman and bassist Jeff Smith<br />

screams into a microphone with his back to the audience and<br />

doesn’t say a single word in between songs. The message is loud<br />

and clear, but he could at least turn around and give the kids who<br />

are to see him a wave?<br />

There is an air of anticipation as Daughters take to the<br />

stage. The music dies out and a familiar tune plays over the<br />

loudspeakers; the beautiful post-punk classic Goodbye Horses<br />

by Q Lazzarus. The walk on reference is two-fold: firstly, as a<br />

nod to Daughters’ embrace of the new wave sounds of the 70s<br />

and 80s; secondly, and more notably, the song’s legacy is forever<br />

intertwined with its iconic use in the classic film The Silence Of<br />

The Lambs. In the spine-chilling scene, serial killer Buffalo Bill<br />

gets all dolled up and films himself singing along to the song with<br />

his penis tucked between his legs. All the while his latest victim<br />

tries to escape becoming a part of his “woman suit”. Sleazy,<br />

depraved and sex-obsessed, Daughters take to the stage.<br />

Given the introspective nature of You Won’t Get What You<br />

Want, one might expect the audience to be awestruck and<br />

inward during their performance. We quickly realise this is not<br />

the case as they begin The Reason They Hate Me. Frontman<br />

Alexis S.F. Marshall assumes control with a bloody forehead and<br />

brings all the energy of The Dillinger Escape Plan to Arts Club.<br />

He stage dives, climbs on top of speakers, wraps the mic cable<br />

around his neck. A man after GG Allin’s heart, he puts his fingers<br />

down his throat, spews an ungodly amount of saliva onto his<br />

hand and wipes is all over his face. The band have clearly not lost<br />

their roots on The Lords Song, which is the closest they sound on<br />

their latest record to their earlier days.<br />

There is a healthy mix of old and new, squeezing in blistering<br />

songs like The Virgin and Our Queens (One Is Many, Many Are<br />

One) from 2010’s self-titled album, with the common thread<br />

being the wild and shrieking guitar sounds that only Daughters<br />

can make. Songs like the crooner Less Sex and Satan In The Wait<br />

are where the band steps into new territory. The beautiful synth<br />

lines in the latter sound like they could be right out of a Peter<br />

Gabriel song, giving the audience a well needed breather before<br />

returning to the punishing, throbbing latter half of the song as<br />

Marshall screams “This world is opening up”.<br />

Marshall’s lyrics transport you right into the twisted mind of<br />

a mad man. There’s something deeply unsettling and apocalyptic<br />

about the poetry of the closer, Ocean Song, the story of a man<br />

overcome with paranoia at the banality of everyday life, who<br />

simply begins to run from his home. “The shadow haunts him<br />

for several yards/The ghosts of what he was, desperate to keep<br />

up until gone”. Seeing the song performed live verges on an<br />

exorcism, for Marshall and for the audience. The entire experience<br />

is anxiety-inducing and downright unnerving, like watching a<br />

good horror film. For those who can stomach them, Daughters<br />

have become one of the most compelling bands in recent<br />

memory. !<br />

Joel Durksen / @joeldurksen<br />

Daughters (Tomas Adam)<br />


She Drew The Gun<br />

+ Peaness<br />

+ Mamatung<br />

EVOL @ O2 Academy – 09/11<br />

I’ve been lucky enough to see SHE DREW THE GUN a<br />

few times over the years. From the Buyers Club loft in 2016 to<br />

Glastonbury’s Park Stage in 2017, The John Peel Stage in <strong>2019</strong>,<br />

to a slot on this year’s BBC Radio 6 Music Festival at Liverpool’s<br />

Olympia. Their stages keep getting larger and their audiences<br />

greater. But there is something about a headline hometown gig<br />

in the main room of the O2 that feels bigger than all of these<br />

previous gigs. After all, there’s no place like home. A home crowd<br />

is special. No other city will get to experience this night.<br />

It might feel like She Drew The Gun appeared out of nowhere<br />

and grabbed a headline tour and slots on some of the most<br />

famous stages in the world, but it’s been a long and eventful<br />

road. After winning Glastonbury’s Emerging Talent competition<br />

in 2016, Louisa Roach has been splashed all over the radio,<br />

been to Texas for SXSW and toured around Europe spreading<br />

the message of her revolution. If anyone is going to bring people<br />

together for a cause and a dance it’s these guys.<br />

They’re known for their part gig, part political rallies. Their<br />

music aids their message with a beat, not relentless shouting<br />

like we’re used to seeing on the TV. If you’ve listened before, you<br />

know this is what to expect at these shows. Roach encourages<br />

sisters and brothers of the audience and her revolution to come<br />

together in Sweet Harmony – as one of their songs suggest. It<br />

works. We’re pretty used to coming together here in Liverpool.<br />

This tour is to support She Drew The Gun’s second<br />

album, Revolution Of Mind. It’s an album of the times we<br />

are living in; a critique of the systems we are living in. Roach<br />

comments on everything from<br />

personal relationships, capitalism,<br />

depression, global war, politics,<br />

feminism. The list goes on. But she<br />

doesn’t preach, she raises current,<br />

everyday issues for us to think about<br />

and act upon – politically charged<br />

track Poem reminds us of this.<br />

It’s a wet and windy Saturday<br />

night but that doesn’t stop people<br />

turning up for tonight’s show.<br />

Psychedelic trio MAMATUNG fill the<br />

stage with a range of instruments<br />

to kick off the festivities, with vocals<br />

and tracks reminiscent of Kate Bush<br />

and Haim. It’s fitting for tonight’s allfemale<br />

line-up.<br />

Chester’s PEANESS fit right into the second support slot with<br />

their sun-soaked indie-pop that once again touches on politics,<br />

Brexit and breakfast. The room is near full to bursting for their set<br />

and it’s nice to see people turning up to support the support. The<br />

contagiously charming trio are a joy to watch.<br />

By the time the lights dim for She Drew The Gun, fists<br />

are already in the air, deep bass rumbles through the floor, a<br />

shredding guitar cuts through the anticipation and they delve<br />

“Roach encourages<br />

sisters and brothers<br />

of the audience<br />

and her revolution<br />

to come together<br />

in Sweet Harmony”<br />

right into Resister, the first track off Revolution Of Mind. It’s one<br />

of their most recognised songs and a perfect crowd-pleaser<br />

to kick off the evening. Carrying on with Something For The<br />

Pain and Wolf And Bird, each song carries a different theme<br />

and style. From the ethereal chillness of Since You Were Not<br />

Mine to the grungy bass of Paradise,<br />

the setlist tells a story of Roach’s<br />

thoughts and feelings about all<br />

aspects of the world today. Some<br />

tracks like Arm Yourself, which<br />

Roach claims we should do against<br />

the Tory government, inspire fists<br />

of solidarity in the air, while others,<br />

like Pit Pony, just encourage a bit<br />

of a dance. There’s spoken word,<br />

rapping, singing and moments<br />

where the music speaks for itself.<br />

It’s a show that keeps on giving.<br />

Roach ends with a list of thank<br />

yous. She thanks her mum, friends<br />

and the audience for spending a<br />

rainy Saturday night with them with<br />

closer Thank You. It’s an ode to all the great female musicians<br />

who have come before her, from Aretha Franklin to Joni Mitchell,<br />

PJ Harvey and Tracy Chapman. If She Drew The Gun keep<br />

performing like they did tonight, it won’t be long until we can add<br />

Louisa Roach to aforementioned group of influential women. !<br />

Sophie Shields<br />

She Drew The Gun (Keith Ainsworth / arkimages.co.uk)<br />

FEET<br />

+ Courting<br />

I Love Live Events @ Sound – 03/11<br />

COURTING’s sound is the future. A very near future, but<br />

a future nonetheless. Whether you like their staggered drum<br />

patterns or harsh vocals, it doesn’t matter. They conspire to drag<br />

you into their own vision of the 21st Century. Following similar<br />

sonic patterns as <strong>2019</strong> breakouts Black Midi, as well as sharing<br />

anthemic choruses with Shame, debut single Not Yr Man is as<br />

punk as it is rock. Tonight they’re sharing a stage with band who<br />

are similar but more mature. FEET, with their leather jacket look<br />

and determined presence on stage, are brutally honest in the<br />

type of music they produce. They’ve chopped between band<br />

members before finally settling on a group they feel most capable<br />

of producing their debut album – something they successfully did<br />

at the beginning of October, just a few weeks before they take<br />

centre stage here in Liverpool.<br />

Courting strike first, hurling blankets of riffs across the<br />

cold concrete walls in the Sound basement. Tonight they are<br />

without a bass player, yet they still manage to create a bespoke<br />

atmosphere of “meandering sonic mess”. This self-prescribed<br />

genre tag is printed on their first batch of merchandise and they<br />

seem to deliver an ironic sensibility to the sentiment; the music<br />

is tight and they are captivating to watch. Courting catch their<br />

best moments when they feel visceral rather than cerebral; the<br />

panting and screaming on unreleased tracks leave breadcrumbs<br />

of multiple genres and it is up to the crowd tonight to follow them<br />

on their march. Luckily, they’re there every step of the way.<br />

Four songs in and lead singer Sean Murphy-O’Neill has<br />

stepped into the crowd, (something he looks to have flirted with<br />

for a while, but finally plucked up the courage to do). He parades<br />

a cowbell and proceeds to hand it out to spectators as they try<br />

to keep the rhythm of the song intact. Coincidentally, it is in the<br />

fleeting manner that Courting attain the most telling moments of<br />

melodic cohesion. Equally, it is these moments that most resonate<br />

through with listeners.<br />

Key to this connection is their stroke of lyrical humour: “I<br />

kinda wanna take the lads on tour and go to Pontins” Murphy-<br />

O’Neill chants. It is in these brief instances where he has the<br />

crowd in the palm of his hand, and the cowbell in the other.<br />

Feet are here tonight in support of their new debut album<br />

What’s Inside Is More Than Just Ham. Despite the comical title,<br />

there is a dramatic sense of seriousness about this band; they<br />

sing with purpose. Each drum beat wraps around the stage and<br />

demands total involvement as they sway on the stand-out Good<br />

Richard’s Crash Landing. Even before they manage to whisper<br />

the first lyric, the crowd are primed to jump the gun and are<br />

hanging on every word.<br />

There is plenty to admire here. Almost romantic red lights<br />

shine across the room, and it’s hard to tell whether they convey a<br />

feeling of love and lust, or resentment and anger. Perhaps both.<br />

Feet are a band that reside in the empowered juxtaposition. It’s<br />

their ability to dance effortlessly between a plethora of emotions<br />

makes their live shows so in demand, so enthralling.<br />

Feet are definitely building momentum. Even for a handful of<br />

people gathered on a freezing Sunday night, it’s easy to see why.<br />

For now, it is their best kept secret.<br />

Daniel Ponzini / @daniel_ponzini<br />



Black Lips (Stuart Moulding / @Oohshootstu)<br />

Black Lips<br />

+ Yammerer<br />

+ Ohmns<br />

EVOL @ Arts Club – 13/11<br />

With a status as revered and prolific as Atlantan garage punks BLACK<br />

LIPS, they’re a band you have to see to believe. Rewind eight years and<br />

they were well known (or extremely notorious) at venues around the<br />

world. Gigs would descend into urinating and nudity on stage, just a<br />

small sample of their reputation. In the years that followed, they became<br />

somewhat controversial figures within the punk scene.<br />

It’s <strong>2019</strong> now. Have Black Lips mellowed with age? Has craziness<br />

stirred through the years? With a full supporting cast of Liverpool’s own<br />

punks in tow, the scene is set to see if the notoriety still rings true.<br />

As has been said a thousand times before – even by myself – but no<br />

less true: OHMNS know how to put on a show. They smash out classics<br />

from 2015 EP The Rice Tape. But what’s noticeable, particularly with the<br />

seven-minute version of Keshi Heads dedicated to Craig Charles, is how<br />

Ohmns elongate their riffs and a punk classic transforms into a sludgy jam<br />

that you can’t take your eyes off.<br />

Next on stage are Chester’s YAMMERER. With a lead singer who is<br />

wrapping himself in his microphone lead and has sunglasses on the back<br />

Snapped Ankles<br />

Harvest Sun @ Invisible Wind Factory Substation – 25/10<br />

of his head, Yammerer feel more like a performance art piece rather than<br />

a punk band. You don’t have to know which songs are which, which is<br />

probably a good thing. You can’t take home a coherent sentence from the<br />

microphone. But it matters little. You want to participate in the madness<br />

yourself. The entire set fluctuates between simmering anticipation to full<br />

blown pandemonium. What’s more punk than that?<br />

Black Lips immediately go for the jugular as they hit the stage, with<br />

only an hour until curfew. They start off with Arabia Mountain classic<br />

Family Tree. The crowd, which is hitherto relatively tame, splits into<br />

madness and fear of madness. People begin to spin and bump into each<br />

other, and some are courageous enough to crowd surf. You’re holding<br />

someone up by their boot, but it’s definitely all part of the fun of being in a<br />

crowd that energetic.<br />

They play a varied selection of songs, including tracks from 2015’s<br />

seminal album Let It Bloom and of course, their biggest hit O Katrina! The<br />

songs begin to mellow as they turn towards their album Sing In A World<br />

That’s Falling Apart, their forthcoming country-infused record.<br />

For the more hardcore garage punk fans, this might not be what<br />

they’ve come for, but it’s still captivating to witness a band’s sound<br />

evolving in this way. Line-up changes aside, Black Lips appear to have<br />

finally gelled together for the long term. They’ve matured and found<br />

comfort in the country, but they haven’t completely forgotten to give fans<br />

what they want.<br />

Georgia Turnbull / @GeorgiaRTbull<br />

Snapped Ankles (Mook Loxley / @MookLoxley)<br />

Or:la<br />

The Wonder Pot @ 24 Kitchen<br />

Street – 16/11<br />

24 Kitchen Street has remained a bastion<br />

in Liverpool’s underground electronic music<br />

scene over the years. It’s become a citadel for<br />

electronic music culture to grow and expand,<br />

break new ground and test its audience. It’s<br />

been six years since its inception, but it didn’t<br />

take long for it to emerge as one of Liverpool’s<br />

leading mixed-use independent music<br />

venues and arts spaces. Hosting regular club<br />

nights, performance art events and various<br />

workshops, it’s now renowned among the<br />

city’s creative community. Notably, Kitchen<br />

Street has allowed the electronic scene to grow<br />

at an unprecedented level, hosting hard-hitting<br />

DJs from Berlin to Detroit. But it hasn’t been a<br />

solo effort. Kitchen Street is the centre point<br />

of collaboration, working with innovative<br />

promoters such as The Wonderpot, Watt Hz??<br />

and Meine Nacht to introduce Liverpool to<br />

some of the most electrifying nights the city<br />

has witnessed in recent memory.<br />

To celebrate their sixth birthday, who<br />

better to take the reins than the Derryborn<br />

OR:LA. Starting her musical journey<br />

in Liverpool and a much-loved frequenter<br />

of Kitchen Street, Or:la has constantly been<br />

progressing since the start of her career.<br />

Originally DJing with Liverpool based nights<br />

such as Meine Nacht, she has moved onto<br />

become a resident at Manchester club monolith<br />

The Warehouse Project, as well as producing<br />

her own tracks for Hotflush, Deep Sea<br />

Frequencies and, more recently, her own label<br />

Céad.<br />

Walking into Kitchen Street, there is an<br />

immediate sense of warmth and a feeling of<br />

elevated spirits. A gathering of party people<br />

and electronic enthusiasts, creating the sort<br />

of vibe a birthday truly deserves. Immediately,<br />

as Or:la jumps behind the decks, she brings in<br />

her kaleidoscopic mix of genres, which varies<br />

from bass, breaks, techno and everything in<br />

between; ready to sway the people of Kitchen<br />

Street whichever direction she pleases.<br />

Through her guidance, the wide array of<br />

sounds fit snugly under one umbrella held aloft<br />

high above the decks, moving the crowd in a<br />

way that most DJs can’t achieve.<br />

A birthday occasion requires energy, and<br />

there is little shortage with the Kitchen Street<br />

native at the helm.<br />

Rhys Thomas<br />


Matisse: Drawing With Scissors<br />

Lady Lever Art Gallery – until March <strong>2020</strong><br />

Henri Matisse’s famous cut-out images can be found on<br />

postcards, fridge magnets and bookmarks worldwide. They’re as<br />

ubiquitous as they are well-loved, so it’s pleasing to see the Lady<br />

Lever Art Gallery host this touring exhibition from the Southbank<br />

Centre in London.<br />

This exhibition consists of 35 colourful lithographic<br />

reproductions made posthumously for the French art magazine<br />

Verve in 1958, based on the original cut-outs produced in the<br />

later years of Matisse’s life. As the viewer goes through the<br />

Nu bleu II (Blue Nude II), 1952 (lithographic reproduction, 1958). © Succession H. Matisse/ DACS <strong>2019</strong><br />

galleries, they are enticed into worlds of<br />

mermaids and dancing figures.<br />

The cut-outs, which include the<br />

renowned L’Escargot and Nu Bleu (I-IV),<br />

were produced between 1951 to 1953 by<br />

Matisse when he was rendered immobile<br />

as a result of chronic illness. Each work was<br />

completed with the aid of assistants, but<br />

very much under the watchful eye of Matisse,<br />

who was such a perfectionist that one of the<br />

assistants was near to physical exhaustion<br />

by the end of her time with him. His eye for<br />

perfection means that the works are beautiful<br />

and the figures fluid: the vivid pictures jump<br />

out at you across the room. There’s<br />

a sense of movement and vitality<br />

to the figures and the places they<br />

depict, referencing dance and<br />

Matisse’s travels to Tahiti, which he<br />

had visited in 1930.<br />

One of the astounding things<br />

about the originals is their size –<br />

L’Escargot is nearly three metres<br />

by three metres. The only clue<br />

to the scale of the originals is a<br />

small black and white photograph<br />

of Matisse directing an assistant<br />

from his wheelchair, pointing<br />

imperiously with a cane with the<br />

massive parakeet from 1952’s La<br />

Perruche et la Sirène looming large<br />

in the background. You can only imagine the effect<br />

these originals would have had – a charming detail<br />

is that Matisse’s doctor advised that he wear dark<br />

glasses to protect him from the visual assault – as even<br />

the smaller reproductions brighten up the galleries.<br />

It almost goes without saying that the prints are<br />

beautiful, and the trajectory through the exhibition,<br />

whichever direction you come in from, makes sense.<br />

The lighting levels mean the exhibition mercifully lacks<br />

the glare on the glass which hinders viewing other<br />

works in some galleries in the Lady Lever.<br />

Pieces have been metaphorically reframed for<br />

<strong>2019</strong>. The curation is caught between letting the art<br />

speak for itself and intervening and placing them in<br />

their cultural context and explaining, quite heavyhandedly<br />

at points, how and why the cultural context<br />

has changed.<br />

Undoubtedly, it’s good to reappraise art in light<br />

of new and welcomed cultural and societal norms<br />

L’Escargot (The Snail) 1952-53 (lithographic reproduction, 1958). © Succession H. Matisse/ DACS <strong>2019</strong>)<br />

and use pieces as a vehicle to discuss values and raise issues of<br />

inequality. At points, however, it seems unsure whether this is an<br />

exhibition where emphasis is on the art or whether the pieces are<br />

used as a vehicle to discuss society. This was particularly evident<br />

from the picture of Danseuse Créole where the accompanying<br />

description gives biographical information about the dancer<br />

Katherine Dunham on whom the picture was based. A 1963<br />

quotation from the dancer Josephine Baker, another of Matisse’s<br />

muses, about the horrendous effects of segregation, is painted<br />

across one of the galleries and could potentially have been better<br />

used or linked.<br />

The ‘pay what you think’ scheme for admission means the<br />

works will hopefully be seen by people whose purses don’t<br />

quite stretch to the £10-plus admission fees of the blockbuster<br />

exhibitions – which, let’s be honest, are most people in the<br />

current climate. It’s definitely worth a visit and will lift your spirits<br />

through the dark winter months.<br />

Jennie Macaulay<br />

To celebrate our first year in The Baltic, Liverpool,<br />

Dallas Prints is running a charity art auction with<br />

all proceeds going to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital<br />

and Great Ormond Street Hospital.<br />

We have 4 exclusive framed giclee prints up for<br />

grabs - all signed by the artists and limited to an<br />

edition of ONE.<br />

Artwork is provided kindly by world renowned<br />

artists The Singh Twins, Carne Griffiths<br />

(@carnegriff), Jason Hollis (@jsn_hollis) and<br />

Mike Badger (@mikebadgerart)<br />

The prints will feature<br />

Hahnemuhle’s new Natural<br />

Line of fine art papers<br />

which use unique raw<br />

materials: Bamboo,<br />

Hemp and Agave. The 4<br />

framed works will also be<br />

on display at The Tusk Bar<br />

until the auction’s closing<br />

date of 30 <strong>Dec</strong>ember <strong>2019</strong>.<br />


BOOK NOW: 0161 832 1111<br />

MANchesteracademy.net<br />

MUNA<br />











ACADEMY 2<br />















ACADEMY 2<br />



ACADEMY 2<br />



ACADEMY 3<br />



ACADEMY 2<br />









ACADEMY 2<br />



ACADEMY 2<br />






ACADEMY 3<br />




TOBI LOU<br />


ACADEMY 3<br />


& DON AIREY<br />


POPPY<br />


ACADEMY 2<br />












ACADEMY 3<br />



ACADEMY 3<br />

DIIV<br />


ACADEMY 2<br />

OAS-IS &<br />











ACADEMY 2<br />






ACADEMY 3<br />






ACADEMY 3<br />



ACADEMY 2<br />



ACADEMY 2<br />



ACADEMY 3<br />

facebook.com/manchesteracademy @mancacademy FOR UP TO DATE LISTINGS VISIT MANChesteracademy.net

ADD TO<br />


Scientist<br />

+ Kiko Bun<br />

+ DJ Oxman and MC Magoo<br />

Positive Vibration @ District – 02/11<br />

Despite taking a year out from their annual festival offering,<br />

the Positive Vibration crew have certainly not been resting<br />

on their laurels. A series of high profile shows throughout the<br />

year, including Horseman, King Yellowman and Mad Professor,<br />

have kept the reggae chalice blazing in Liverpool and tonight<br />

is arguably the jewel in the crown as acclaimed dub pioneer<br />

SCIENTIST brings his seminal 1981 album Scientist Rids The<br />

World Of The Evil Curse Of The Vampires to the ever welcoming<br />

environs of District (not for the first time a District first-timer<br />

comments on its inclusive coolness).<br />

District is pretty packed from the off and the crowd are soon<br />

dancing to DJ OXMAN, aided and abetted by MC MAGOO, whose<br />

selection of rarities and classics is pure quality and leads us<br />

skanking into KIKO BUN’s support set. The versatile Bun, a member<br />

of the current South London scene that includes collaborators Loyle<br />

Carner and Tom Misch, seems equally at home delivering a lovers<br />

rock vibrato or a dancehall flow and mixes songs from his relatively<br />

modest recorded output, such as the bouncy Sticky Situation, with<br />

new material from his forthcoming debut album which sounds<br />

very promising indeed. The UPPER CUT BAND take no time at<br />

all to hit their stride, the rhythm section of Bob Pearce (drums)<br />

and Ross Erlam (bass) are immediately locked into the tightest of<br />

irresistible grooves, offbeat cymbal crashes sending the crowd<br />

dipping in unison. Marcin Bobkowski’s choppy guitar riffs and Cyrus<br />

Richards’s swirling keys blend exquisitely with the punchy horn riffs<br />

of Adam Webb (sax) and Jake Jacas (trombone).<br />

Frankly, if the crowd had just come for the Oxman DJ set and to<br />

see Kiko Bun and the Upper Cut Band they would have gone home<br />

handsomely rewarded. But yet, the main event is still to come; it is<br />

approaching Day Of The Dead midnight when Scientist appears<br />

at the mixing desk as quietly as one of the ghouls he is about to<br />

vanquish.<br />

Visible Women<br />

Liverpool Irish Festival @ Philharmonic<br />

Music Room – 23/10<br />

“What do they call me? My name is sweet thing,” sings LISA<br />

O’NEILL with a biting intensity. The County Cavan songwriter<br />

admits she’d been unsure whether it would be appropriate to<br />

cover Nina Simone’s Four Women for tonight’s Liverpool Irish<br />

Festival showcase; none of the song’s narrators are white, and<br />

they’re either subjects of slavery or live in its cruel wake.<br />

However, its themes of oppression, inequality and resilience<br />

will surely have a universal resonance for many listeners tonight.<br />

Her voice peaking, she drives down her heels one final time and<br />

lets out a chilling bawl of “Peaches!”. A battle cry signalling the<br />

strength found in sisterhood, it’s an incredible note to finish the<br />

evening on. Yet, O’Neill is only one of the four performers that<br />

make the Visible Women showcase so memorable this evening.<br />

Bilingual spoken-word artist CIARA NÍ É hosts. Having been<br />

assured that Liverpudlians are famously “a great craic”, her blend<br />

of Irish Gaelic with fierce, proudly feminist poetry immediately<br />

appeals. The rattle of Iggy Pop’s Lust For Life backdrops her spin<br />

on Irvine Welsh’s “choose life” Trainspotting monologue. It’s a<br />

powerful take, pitching provocative humour against hard-hitting<br />

naked truths.<br />

Captivating English songwriter MAZ O’CONNOR is the<br />

first singer to take centre stage. Drawing from her fourth album<br />

Chosen Daughter, which was influenced by the trials and<br />

torments of various female relatives, her timely and evocative<br />

set is steered by her pristine, delicately nuanced voice. Mary’s<br />

lyrics linger long after she takes her leave, whereas the direct<br />

thrust of Loved Me Better hears O’Connor take aim at dominant<br />

patriarchy. Limerick’s LAURA DUFF then follows, her sultry pop<br />

DJ Oxman (Glyn Akroyd / @glyn_akroyd)<br />

Scientist Rids The World Of The Evil Curse Of The Vampires is<br />

an epic and playful comic book title for an album that is generally<br />

regarded as a dub classic, taking previously released (and, in 1981,<br />

contemporary rather than established) material from the likes of<br />

Michael Prophet and The Wailing Souls, adding judicious twists of<br />

echo and reverb but never draining the originals of their integrity.<br />

The sound quality, which has been superb all night, is<br />

somehow taken up a notch. A fuller, brighter sound drawn out by<br />

Scientist’s sleight of hand (promoter Rory Taylor later comments,<br />

“We’ve used that PA thousands of times but I’ve never heard it<br />

sound like that before”).<br />

No self-indulgence here, or 20-minute dub outs – just the<br />

songs delivered in relatively concise form. The performance<br />

takes not much longer than the original album, the unassuming<br />

controller hunkered down behind the decks – situated off-stage to<br />

the right of the dancefloor – are all that separates Scientist from<br />

an audience who are facing away from him towards the stage. As<br />

the performance progresses more and more people are sneaking<br />

a wondering look over their right shoulders to try to get a clue as<br />

to how Scientist is conjuring up this sound. Who knows? He is a<br />

picture of unadulterated concentration, probably the only person in<br />

the building not dancing.<br />

Prophet’s Love And Unity becomes Your Teeth In My Neck;<br />

Wailing Souls’ Fire House Rock morphs into The Mummy’s Shroud,<br />

its memorable horn motif echoing long into night. Bun strides<br />

across the stage, arms aloft as the crowd sing every word of Blood<br />

On His Lips (Wayne Jarrett’s Love In My Heart). The Upper Cut<br />

Band prove equally adept at soloing as they do nailing down a<br />

groove: horns, guitar, and keys all stepping out of the shadows to<br />

be transformed by Scientist’s sound-shifting searchlight.<br />

From the sea of bobbing heads audience members shout<br />

out their praise – “Thank you, thank you, massive tune that was”,<br />

“Sick album, fucking wicked man” – smiling faces and cheers<br />

signalling universal agreement until Scientist, his exorcism<br />

complete, smiles at last and disappears.<br />

It has been a night of understated brilliance, a mixture of<br />

science, alchemy and magic to rid us of our demons.<br />

Glyn Akroyd / @glynakroyd<br />

Lisa O’Neill (Tomas Adam)<br />

inflections bringing more groove to proceedings. Humbled, she<br />

talks about how empowered she feels to be part of this bill.<br />

Still reeling from the last time we caught her, it’s a joy to<br />

see O’Neill make her grand return to Liverpool. A powerhouse,<br />

like Simone, Björk and Karen Dalton rolled into one, she’s a<br />

storyteller and songwriter of remarkable depth. Opener What<br />

A Voice says it all. Backdropped by the Liver bird, tales of<br />

cormorants, wrens and blackbirds circle overhead. “It’s good<br />

to shine a little light on madness, it’s in us all,” she grins before<br />

Violet Gibson; its daring chorus, “I moved in silence, for the love<br />

o’ truth, not violence” feeling particularly apt as we look back<br />

over the showcase.<br />

David Weir / @Betweenseeds<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 />

V/A<br />

NH Vol. 3<br />

Nervous Horizon<br />

Nervous Horizon have swiftly<br />

established themselves as<br />

one of the most potent labels<br />

in the game. Nominated for<br />

Best Breakthrough Label in the DJ Mag awards this very<br />

year, they’ve become synonymous with experimental yet<br />

club-ready sounds and the new, percussion-driven London<br />

style. Drawing on a global palette of reggaeton, taraxxo,<br />

gqom and dabke, as well as techno and bass, old favourites<br />

DJ Plead and label co-head TSVI join newcomers Tzusing,<br />

Object Blue and hard drum prodigy, Ehua, who plays in<br />

Liverpool on the 6th <strong>Dec</strong>ember.<br />

Bella Boo<br />

Once Upon<br />

A Passion<br />

Studio Barnhus<br />

Studio Barnhus’ latest<br />

release features LA producer<br />

Bella Boo with a debut full-length. Following on from a<br />

smattering of EP releases and guest appearances, the LP<br />

oozes with signature Barnhus pop sensibility. Born out of<br />

a desire to capture the fullness of a creative era following<br />

the news that her studio building would be repossessed,<br />

Bella Boo craftily dives between melodic house, Balearic,<br />

post-dubstep and ambient while even finding the time to<br />

squeeze in a sultry R&B jam. Head to She’s Back for the<br />

standout track.<br />

Jabes<br />

Klunk001<br />

Klunk<br />

The boys’ club of UK bass<br />

’n’ breaks ’n’ techno is in a<br />

healthy place, and a number<br />

of the month’s releases have<br />

been stellar (shout out to Facta, Desert Sound Colony, Yak<br />

and 96 Back). However, in the interest of platforming only<br />

one white man per month, the crown’s gotta go to Jabes.<br />

Quietly perfecting his hyperactive melodies over the last<br />

few years, he’s becoming one of the tightest producers of<br />

the neonate scene. More importantly, you get a fetching<br />

yellow techwear cap if you buy the record.<br />

Words: Nina Franklin and James Zaremba<br />

Melodic Distraction Radio is an independent internet radio<br />

station based in the Baltic Triangle, Liverpool, platforming<br />

artists, DJs and producers from across the North West.<br />

Head to melodicdistraction.com to listen in.<br />



LIVERPOOL - 17/19 BOLD STREET (1st Floor) · L1 4DN


25 Parr St, Liverpool L1 4JN<br />


table theatre<br />

presents<br />

four to the floor<br />

A history of house<br />

22-25 JANUARY<br />



0151 709 4988<br />

Beans on Toast<br />

FRIDAY 20th <strong>Dec</strong>ember<br />

Phase One, Liverpool<br />

The Local Honeys<br />

Wednesday 22nd <strong>Jan</strong>uary<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 />

Peggy Seeger<br />

Monday 18th May<br />

Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool<br />

@Ceremonyconcert / facebook.com/ceremonyconcerts<br />

ceremonyconcerts@gmail.com / seetickets.com



This month’s selection of poetry is taken from Matthew Thomas Smith’s<br />

debut book, Songs - a collection of tales pulled from the most surreal<br />

colours of the day to day.<br />

When and where did you start writing poetry?<br />

1994. Bootle, Merseyside. (They started out as nursery rhymes/<br />

lullabies but I could not get the hang of the guitar.)<br />

To what extent have local surroundings shaped your poetic<br />

voice and written vernacular?<br />

I do feel rooted in Bootle and Liverpool but through that same<br />

language I also feel like a citizen of the earth.<br />

The atmosphere and visual landscape of the poems featured<br />

in Songs ranges from the desperately real to the sarcastic and<br />

abstract. What is it that draws you to the themes featured<br />

throughout the collection?<br />

All of the poems are part autobiographical. I have lived these<br />

poems. The poems are me and the world around me.<br />

Would regard your poetry as a product of political upheaval, or<br />

an answer to it? Can poetry be a vessel for change?<br />

Both. It can, and I hope these poems can help to show that.<br />

The day I went to the Job Centre<br />

Out of place next to the well-used under<br />

threat library<br />

and not 300 yards from the block of flats<br />

where some middle-aged fella threw<br />

himself off<br />

perhaps in response to the bedroom tax<br />

or a recent smack drought<br />

part-time vacancy notices still hang<br />

next to the always-open automatic doors<br />

they promise flexible hours and competitive<br />

rates<br />

it seems that nobody wants to be a<br />

window-cleaner’s apprentice<br />

or a courier for an ‘ever-expanding’ criminal<br />

law firm<br />

I shuffle from one foot to the other in the<br />

falling queue<br />

conscious of empty desks and out of use<br />

signs on printers<br />

You won’t find anything here son<br />

jibes the well-dressed woman to my left<br />

this is more of a ‘keeping up appearances’<br />

set-up<br />

If this collection of poetry is, as your press release states, to be<br />

the last you will ever write, what statement do you wish the<br />

collection to convey?<br />

Nifty Records approached me to release a Poetry Collection. I had<br />

never planned to. Songs feels likes a natural ending – 30 years of<br />

me within one object. I feel I need to move on. I need to see what<br />

else there is. I am not a messenger, as such. Not really. Ultimately,<br />

I would like it if more people started to engage with poetry. That<br />

has always been the aim.<br />

Words: Matthew Thomas Smith / @mtsmith2605<br />

Photography: John Johnson / @John.Johno<br />

niftyrecords.com/shop/songs<br />

Songs is available to pre-order now via Nifty Records and is<br />

officially released on Friday 6 th <strong>Dec</strong>ember at The Royal Standard.<br />

Idea for a British film that would probably<br />

win an Academy Award<br />

A rich fella with a plummy voice<br />

has a cob on because<br />

his mother just won’t die<br />

and he can’t bear his wife<br />

countless infidelities later<br />

his mother dies<br />

and he inherits a fortune<br />

but he still isn’t happy<br />

For the Mountaineers<br />

climb the shale and slate<br />

while it is still able<br />

to take the burden<br />

the daytripper-favouring path<br />

only goes so far<br />

leave the camera in the house<br />

not everything is photo-worthy<br />

use your eyes<br />

kneel down<br />

get closer<br />

don’t take a tent<br />

fold your flag into your pocket<br />

be mindful of the summit<br />

look out for kestrels or a search-party<br />

headed by a bloodhound or a helicopter<br />

and beware of robin redbreasts<br />

rarer<br />

knowing<br />

tuned-in<br />







SAY<br />

Writer and artist in residence at Chester Literature Festival,<br />

Imtiaz Dharker, looks to the connective power of words and subtly<br />

poetic voices as an antidote to the ‘bullies of language’<br />

“Words are there<br />

to be used with<br />

pleasure, not to<br />

be squandered; to<br />

remind us what it is<br />

to be human”<br />

These are strident times and it is too easy for subtleties<br />

and nuances to be lost in the noise of devalued words.<br />

When we stop and really listen to each other’s voices,<br />

we make a still space in the world, and that is a space<br />

for poetry, where each word is carefully weighed. I think it is<br />

needed now more than ever. Poetry may whisper or rage, but it<br />

can say things the heart knows before the world has a chance to<br />

catch up.<br />

When I was asked to be artist in residence at Storyhouse, I<br />

knew I wanted to fill it with words and images that would make<br />

it a living book for the whole community, for all the<br />

people who step through its doors into its<br />

welcoming spaces.<br />

All the time I was writing the poem<br />

Storyhouse, I was thinking about the<br />

weight and power of the words we<br />

say to each other, how we greet a<br />

stranger, how we draw a map of the<br />

heart in the language we use and<br />

how poetry can travel without a<br />

passport.<br />

A while ago I wrote a poem<br />

called The Right Word. In it there<br />

are words like ‘terrorist’ but it is<br />

not about terrorism. It is more<br />

to do with how a single image<br />

can be dressed in new words<br />

to make it mean something<br />

quite different, how words<br />

can be used to stir fear<br />

and suspicion. I work with<br />

film, too, and I know I can<br />

take the same shots and<br />

edit them to make totally<br />

contradictory stories. But<br />

that is what is happening<br />

around us all the time: so<br />

many channels, so many<br />

people’s versions of the<br />

truth depending on the<br />

agenda of the person who<br />

tells it.<br />

I had intended to stop<br />

with the revelation that the<br />

person at the door is a child,<br />

but sometimes a poem takes<br />

on a life of its own and this is<br />

what happened at the end. The<br />

‘I’ in the poem opens the door and<br />

offers unexpected hospitality. The<br />

child takes off his shoes. After all the<br />

terrible loaded words and suspicion, the two<br />

acts of courtesy are a kind of healing.<br />

Perhaps because of its ability to say the<br />

unsayable, more and more people are turning to poetry now, but<br />

it has always been there, under the world’s skin, working away<br />

to say things that needed to be said. It is part of everyday life<br />

and speech, in every language, in Urdu or Farsi or in English. We<br />

speak Shakespeare’s poetry without even realising it, in phrases<br />

that are used every day. It is in the language of ancient songs, of<br />

anonymous women working in the fields, in the words spoken<br />

between lovers, between parents and children, in holy books<br />

and unholy curses from 2,000 years ago to two minutes ago.<br />

I eavesdrop shamelessly on conversations in cafes, stations,<br />

on trains, on the street. I see it as part of my job as a poet to<br />

listen to the words around me, in everyday life, not just what<br />

people say, but how they say it, the spaces between the words,<br />

the hesitations, the accent and odd usage. For me it’s like mining<br />

treasure and some of it finds its way into poems.<br />

There’s eavesdropping at all kinds of levels: listening to<br />

human voices of course, but also listening in on the world,<br />

nature, social shifts, the heart’s secrets. I suppose<br />

there is a furtive element to it. It does mean being<br />

undetected, having an ear to a keyhole, lying<br />

in wait for things people don’t even know<br />

they are hiding or aren’t ready to tell.<br />

So I don’t think of poetry as some<br />

rarefied thing. I see it as being<br />

involved with the world, not afraid<br />

to get its hands dirty, because<br />

it has always been about<br />

making sense of the everyday,<br />

examining the soiled<br />

underside of things, the mess<br />

of life, seeing, understanding<br />

it at an odd angle and<br />

putting words to it all.<br />

In a chaotic world,<br />

where language is brutalised<br />

daily, it is needed more than<br />

ever. With the explosion of<br />

media, there are platforms<br />

for all kinds of poetry and<br />

whole continents of new<br />

listeners. That is something<br />

to celebrate, because it is a<br />

wide and generous space<br />

and can accommodate all<br />

kinds of voices.<br />

Most of all, words<br />

are there to be used<br />

with pleasure, not to be<br />

squandered, but to be<br />

savoured; to remind us<br />

what it is to be human,<br />

with this great gift of<br />

language.<br />

It is the way to<br />

answer back and stand up<br />

to the bullies of language, an<br />

act of subversion, and is far<br />

too powerful to be controlled<br />

or contained. !<br />

Words: Imtiaz Dharker<br />

Illustration: Nick Daly / @nickdalyart<br />

Imtiaz Dharker is artist in residence at Chester Literature<br />

Festival, which takes place across Storyhouse until Saturday<br />

30th November. Imtiaz Dharker’s work will remain in situ at<br />

Storyhouse throughout <strong>2020</strong>.<br />

The Right Word<br />

Outside the door,<br />

lurking in the shadows,<br />

is a terrorist.<br />

Is that the wrong description?<br />

Outside that door,<br />

taking shelter in the shadows,<br />

is a freedom fighter.<br />

I haven’t got this right.<br />

Outside, waiting in the shadows,<br />

is a hostile militant.<br />

Are words no more<br />

than waving, wavering flags?<br />

Outside your door,<br />

watchful in the shadows,<br />

is a guerrilla warrior.<br />

God help me.<br />

Outside, defying every shadow,<br />

stands a martyr.<br />

I saw his face.<br />

No words can help me now.<br />

Just outside the door,<br />

lost in shadows,<br />

is a child who looks like mine.<br />

One word for you.<br />

Outside my door,<br />

his hand too steady,<br />

his eyes too hard<br />

is a boy who looks like your son, too.<br />

I open the door.<br />

Come in, I say.<br />

Come in and eat with us.<br />

The child steps in<br />

and carefully, at my door,<br />

takes off his shoes.<br />


Blow 3.0<br />

Tin Men and The<br />

Telephone<br />

Tony Kofi Quartet<br />

Cykada<br />

Sarathy Korwar<br />

Martin Archer’s<br />

Anthropology Band<br />

Moonmot<br />

Hippo<br />

Beyond Albedo<br />

Blind Monk Theory?<br />

Yaatri<br />

Liverpool<br />

Saxophone<br />

Day <strong>2020</strong><br />

27 Feb - 1 Mar <strong>2020</strong><br />

Festival tickets and tickets<br />

to individual events available<br />

For full details and box office please visit:<br />






HOT SINCE 82<br />


YOUSEF<br />




Hooray! Your file is uploaded and ready to be published.

Saved successfully!

Ooh no, something went wrong!