Hello again from the Capital of Counter-Culture! It’s been a busy few weeks in the ‘Pool. The return of the student population, the Liberal Democrat conference and an influx of artists and their appreciators with the launch of the Biennial has meant that the walk down into town from Hope Street, via Hardman and Bold Street has become quite the journey once again.
As I mentioned in my previous column, I was lucky enough to have a VIP invite to the launch of the Biennial – not because I’m important or, indeed, arty, but because my best friend works for them. As the largest festival of contemporary art in Europe, Liverpool Biennial 2010 attracted quite the crowd to its opening night. After numerous private views across the city centre, guests were bussed to the darkest corner of Liverpool’s dockland to Stanley Dock, where an abandoned tobacco warehouse had been converted into one killer party venue. DJs spun a mix of breaks, dubstep and electro to the gathered crowd of invited guests, arty types, club kids and hangers-on like yours truly. Quite the night and a great way to kick off the festival. Just a shame that the complimentary Rum cocktails means my memory is a little hazy. Thanks, Biennial.
The following night saw Liverpool’s premier clubbing destination, Chibuku Shake Shake, return to The Masque to kick off a new season with sets from the likes of Claude Von Stroke, Benga and Jamie XX, fresh from his recent Mercury success. The Chibuku boys have worked hard to put together yet another amazing line-up for this year – Erol Alkan and BoyzNoise are joined by local hero James Rand this Saturday 2nd October while Justice make a welcome return for a Halloween Special on Sunday 31st October. Chibuku on a Sunday = a very, very long week in work afterwards. Can’t wait.
Another Liverpool institution kicks off a bumper season this week with Evol starting a ten show residency at the o2 Academy on Hotham Street, with shows from Everything Everything and Sound of Guns. Not content with brightening up the o2’s gig listings until December, Evol main-man Revo has already notched up some quality shows of late. Saturday 18th saw a double-whammy with rising star Florrie pitching up in The Shipping Forecast while Glasgow’s Vaselines returned to the stage just up the road at the Static Gallery. When the man finds time to sleep, I’ll never know.
This weekend Static plays host to Inside Pages – a two-day festival to celebrate the launch of Bido Lito magazine. More on that (and the fall-out from my 30th birthday celebrations) next week!
- Philip Bakstad