Here’s why Liverpool’s music scene will bounce back
3 years ago
With the city’s live music circuit, recording studios, practice rooms, and grassroots music organisations coming to a sudden halt in the spring, as lockdown lifts it’s good to see the music scene coming back to life.
Record shops are back open
Between them, Liverpool’s record shops celebrate the city’s rich musical heritage plus cheerlead releases from local up and coming artists. The annual Record Store Day which flags up independent record shops selling exclusive releases was cancelled in April, but replaced with four different Love Record Stores Day events over the year. The first in June was the world’s biggest online in-store happening, due to all bricks and mortar shops being closed. Liverpool’s 81 Renshaw and Defend Vinyl, both take part in Love Record Stores, the next is on 29 August.
Future Yard presents NEAR NORMAL gigs
Brand new 350 capacity Birkenhead town centre venue Future Yard opens in September by launching a series of socially-distanced and digitally streamed shows. It gives music fans the option of being at the gig itself and allocated a dedicated safe ‘pod’ within the space, or watching from home.
The first gig, from Wirral’s She Drew The Gun, is on 19th September.
NEAR NORMAL is a temporary measure ahead of welcoming audiences at full capacity once government guidelines allow, currently planned for early 2021. Next year brings gigs from Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark and Tokky Horror, former member of Queen Zee.
Sign up to the Future Yard mailing list here.
Bido Lito! is in print late August
After a five month gap between print issues, Merseyside’s music and creative culture magazine returns. Also, this monthly voice for Liverpool’s creatives is working with the University of Liverpool to research the impact of COVID-19 on Merseyside’s music community. Local musicians asked to fill in this survey, closing on 7 August. The results will be given to the Liverpool City Region Music Board to help come up with a recovery plan for the live music sector.
Bands have been unable to do gigs during lockdown but most made good use of their downtime anyway, planning for a post-COVID future, like writing and recording demos at home. For local lad Jamie Webster, that meant preparing for his debut album We Get By to be released on 21August. Jamie’s rise is due in no small part to Liverpool fan power following his notoriety covering football chants like Allez Allez Allez. His tour in support of the album is to be delayed until March 2021 but selling out Liverpool’s 02 Academy months in advance means he’s now upgraded to play Liverpool Guild. Jamie’s Facebook has interviews, videos and regular updates, follow his journey.
Beatles Week isn’t happening this year and the Cavern and the band members’ childhood homes closed to visitors for now, but it will take more than that to stop Liverpool celebrating the Fab Four this August. The Beatles Story and Strawberry Field is open, the Cavern pub returns at the beginning of the month, and outside sculptures Eleanor Rigby on Stanley Street, Four Lads Who Shook The World and John Lennon on Mathew Street, and all four lads at the Pier Head an ever present reminder of the Beatles’ legacy.
M&S Bank Arena
Here in Liverpool we’ve had an arena for big name live music, comedy and sporting events since 2008 and we’ve missed it over the last months. But the Arena will be back, with Stormzy, Radio City Hits Live, The Who, Dua Lipa, Paul Heaton & Jacqui Abbot to look forward to once safe, and new bookings for 2021 by James Blunt, Rick Astley and Elton John.
Find out what’s in store here.
PRS SUSTAINING CREATVIITY FUND
The PRS Foundation have opened up applications for the next round of their Sustaining Creativity fund, a vital lifeline during the COVID crisis with income streams disappearing for many artists.
This funding is specifically for Black music creators, to help fight inequality and a lack of diversity in the music industry.
Applications close 6pm 10 August. Apply here.
The city’s annual festival returns in Spring 2021 after the inevitable postponement and brings local names alongside international acts.
Sound City keeps the home fires burning until the live scene is back on its feet again with online performances via live music streaming site Guest House. The service is a way of supporting artists during a time when live revenue is cut. It has featured shows from The Blinders and Jamie Webster, as well as the Stay At Home festival with The Wombats, She Drew The Gun back in May.
Guest House website is this way.
Save Our Venues
Campaigns Save Our Venues and Let The Music Play had the desired effect for venues across Merseyside and the UK to receive much needed funding through emergency grants and loans to help them survive and recover from the COVID crisis. Registered charity Music Venue Trust which acts to protect, secure and improve UK grassroots music venues plus music fans and musicians, worked hard to draw the government’s attention to this issue. On top of that, local venues launched crowdfunders, with Phase One recruiting Frank Turner to play a streamed fundraiser gig. All added up, it means we have a much better chance of our local live scene returning and as soon as possible.
The Save Our Venues campaign can be found here.
There have been plenty of new releases throughout summer from the likes of Red Rum Club, Eyesore & The Jynx, and alternative folk artists LYDIAH. Of course as stated above we have seen Jamie Webster ride high in the charts, Circa Waves released a new album in March and a cover of The Las ”There She Goes’, plus the mighty dance duo that is Camelphat continue to take the international dance charts by storm. One notable recent release though was just last week when we seen Timo Tierney of Tea Street Band release his first solo album, City Pets, under the name Akiro (read our interview with Timo here). Liverpool music is still playing loud and we love it!
We have missed the Liverpool International Music Festival in Sefton Park this year BUT if you are a budding musician wanting to play the 2021 edition then listen in. The LIMF Academy provides industry training and insight for upcoming artists who wish to further their music career, and applications from the class of 20/21 are open now. You have until 14 August to apply.