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There is a festival for every genre these days, however, the Liverpool International Music Festival is there to cater for the tastes of a region that loves it’s Rock as much as it’s Hip Hop; a region that spawned the biggest Pop band in history and the largest EDM festival in the UK, Creamfields.
LIMF 2018 is just 1 festival, but we’ve picked out 10 genres over just 2 days.
Lets start with the biggest hitter. Pop music comes in many forms, and it is doing so at this year’s festival. The main stage plays host to the likes of Example and Rae Morris, already both very different styles of Pop, but both as good as the next. Then, we have the likes of Mary Miller and Gazelle who grace the Main Stage as part of the LIMF Academy showcase.
Soul is probably the only genre that we’re a little light on, however, the main act that we have in this department is a local talent, hailing from Washington, USA and making Liverpool his home. Jalen N’Gonda is a must watch as he headlines the It’s Liverpool Next Gen Stage on the Sunday with his self styled version of a classic Soul sound that draws a lot of inspiration from Blues. Also on the bill, also fitting in the Pop AND Singer Songwriter categories is Mahalia, a female artist that oozes Soul from every word, every chord and every movement on stage. She takes to the main stage on the Saturday afternoon. Trevor Nelson is another, a DJ that will be spinning Soul during his headline set.
LIMF 2018 is a wash with DJs, all playing various styles of Electronic music during their DJ sets. Steve Sutherland, winner of DJ of the year at the MOBOs, will be behind the decks, as will DJ Kayper. But, the biggie of the weekend is, of course, Haçienda Classical, as our favourite club anthems get given the orchestral treatment. With layers of brass and strings making this an unmissable event, the classic tunes will still be pumping on the main stage.
Hip Hop is represented in a big way at LIMF 2018, taking over the main stage multiple times during the weekend. Example draws on the genre at times, however artists such as Wiley, Stefflon Don and Ray BLK all perform their own sub genres of the Rap genre. We also have Beyond Average, a local Rap act on the Next Gen Stage. From Grime to the old school, with DJ Jazzy Jeff and even Tim Westwood, Sefton Park will have the rhymes and the beats of Hip Hop as it’s soundtrack this summer.
Sounds vague, we know, but World music comes into LIMF through various DJ sets over the weekend. Gilles Peterson and the filmmaker turned DJ, Don Letts, both spin records that include Latin, Afro and Caribbean sounds. Both worldly sets take place on the Sunday as warm up for the headliner of the True School Club House, DJ Jazzy Jeff.
R&B is another genre that doesn’t have obvious acts across the line-up, but it does creep into many artists sound. Firstly, we have Sub Blue who is distinctly a modern R&B artist, all be it on the darker side, taking to the It’s Liverpool Next Gen Stage on the Sunday, much like Neil Noa, who also rests on the darker side of the spectrum. We also have Jordan Rakei who definitely draws upon other genres, such as Jazz, to compliment his R&B sound and set it apart from many others. You can catch him on the Main Stage on the Sunday.
Similar to Pop, this is another genre that is very well represented but in many different ways. We’ve got the Folk tendencies of Red Rum Club as well as the raw, unadulterated sounds of ZuZu. Young Fathers, on the main stage also creep into the Indie category, with Trudy and The Romance also popping their head round the door for this one. Young Fathers could also be seen a little here in this category.
We’ve mentioned the likes of Jalen N’Gonda, Mahalia and Neil Noa already, but in a more specific genre. On top of this lot we also have two winners of the Mersey Rail Sound Station Prize, King Fast, from 2017, and Astles, from the year before. Both approach the Singer-Songwriter style in different ways, with Astles being more ethereal and King Fast drawing on his Afro-Caribbean heritage. Nonetheless, they are both a credit to the Mersey Rail prize and LIMF 2018.
Tipping over to just a little heavier than Indie, are Pale Rider, on the Next Gen stage on the Sunday very close to being on the Indie list but just packing that little extra punch. Another act that more than tips over the line, in fact can’t even see the line, is Post-Pun outfit, Queen Zee. This is pedal to floor, all out Rock music with a Goth-Glam edge, the penultimate act on the Next Gen stage on the Sunday.
Sounds vague, I know, but some acts just fall into this category because they are so hard to categorise. Aurora is definitely one of those, as she brings her weirdly wonderful, Scandinavian sounds to the Main Stage. The previously mentioned, Young Fathers, definitely fit into this category too, as do Trudy and The Romance, both twisting Indie-Rock, Hip Hop and World music until it’s almost unrecognisable.
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