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Liverpool Soul Fest is just around the corner, taking place at Arts Club Liverpool on Saturday 8th October. Now, Liverpool isn’t especially known for its Soul Music, generally being associated with Brit-Pop and Indie…I can’t for the life of me think why…
However, those of us who have been, and are, lucky enough to perform at SoulFest, as well as being involved in other aspects of the scene in Liverpool, know just how much soul music and the soul genre flows below the surface.
This year Liverpool Soul Fest brings us one of the best voices, and soul songwriters in the UK – Lemar will be headlining with a feast of other great soul musicians on the bill, including our very own Mersey Wylie. Watch the lineup video below for more.
This is number one, straight up, no questions asked. The Soul Inspired Events team are, in my opinion the sole reason (pun intended) as to why we have such a richness of the genre in the city. They not only run Soulfest itself, but they are responsible for bringing in acts like JP Cooper and ESKA, as well as granting local, smaller artist access to a community through having monthly gigs and their own stages at local festivals. They are vital to the scene, and should never go unnoticed. Plus, they’re all a good laugh, which is always good!
Some of Liverpool’s best, upcoming musical exports are packed full of soul. The likes of Taya and Mic Lowry are really breaking down the industry’s walls and, although they might be deemed as Pop, they are in fact massively influenced by Soul, R&B etc, in case you couldn’t tell…
Also, artists who are not necessarily from Liverpool, but have come through the scene, such as Ady Suleiman, are massively influenced by the genre, and I’m sure, can contribute some of their success to the cities ever growing Urban Scene.
Being a local artist myself, I see how prolific the genre is at the grass roots level, hence why I am such a fan of the Soul Inspired Events team. Scratch a little deeper than the breaking artist and you will find an array of Soul inspired bands and singers doing great things, trying to carve their journey out through the local scene. My band, Deliah, singer-songwriter Katy Alex and 4 piece Little Grace, to name only a few, are all made up from born and bred scousers with lots of soul!
The Real Thing
Yes, they came from Liverpool. That’s a pretty good show of how far some Scouse Soul can go, with the classic ‘You To Me Are Everything’ going in to the stratosphere of being one of those songs that everyone knows and no one knows why.
The Bar And Club Scene
This might seem like a bit of weird one, but I think that it’s pretty justified. First of all, there are always Funk and Soul nights on at clubs around the city, with Brooklyn Mixer playing nothing but the Soul and Urban genres. However, this is on the list more so for this point…
Being a musician myself I often see many cover bands in venues such as Hannah’s Bar, Heebie Jeebies etc. and, I would say, 90% of them are Soul/Funk bands. Obviously there are exceptions, but I definitely hear Luther Vandross more than I hear any Indie-Rock. I know if you head to certain areas, such as Mathews Street you will find plenty of Beatles music, but even there you have a venue such as Eric’s accommodating for Soul/Funk cover bands. It might seem small, but the people of Liverpool obviously love it! Why else would there be so many of these bands and why else is everyone up dancing?
So we are a city FULL of soul. You could even say bands like the Beatles, Cilla and new rising stars like Louis Berry & Lapsley have elements of soul music within their songs and sounds. Soul is everywhere and Liverpool has it bursting out of the Mersey. So go celebrate it at Liverpool Soul Fest – you’ll see Lemar live, what’s not to love?
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