Year in Review 2011: Samizdat & Chibuku
How's the year been for two of the city's most tireless live music promoters? We have a word...
2012′s but a few hours away, and so we’re reaching the conclusion of our Year In Review series. Today we bring together two of the city’s best live music promoters and DJs-about-town, Andrew Ellis from Samizdat and Wingwalker, alongside Lewis Boardman from Chibuku, Circus and The Shipping Forecast, to see how the last twelve months has gone for them.
The city’s been packed with rather brilliant events and goings on this year. What were your personal highlights?
Ellis: I’m sure this one will be echoed by a few people: Zee at FACT (above) and AND Festival as a whole was absolutely spectacular, shame on whoever didn’t go and see it. Unless you’re epileptic, in which case, sorry about that.. Musically I really enjoyed both the Rhys Chatham and Dustin Wong guitar orchestras, two totally different radical musicians leading the cream of Liverpool’s guitar talent with differing but spectacular results. I was pleased to see Bold Street Coffee win an award at the Liverpool Food and Drink awards, easily the most deserving winner on the list and without winning due to having a bigger PR budget than everyone else.
The Kazimier also acts as a personal highlight in itself, strength to strength, easily my favourite thing about working in music and living in Liverpool. Finally the success of my former house-mates Outfit being really highlighted by their glorious reception at the LMW closing party.
Lewis: I would probably say the re-opening of The Magnet up on Hardman St was a huge highlight for me.
And how about professional highlights? Was there anything you were particularly pleased with?
Ellis: I probably wouldn’t go as far as calling any of my highlights professional but the Rhys Chatham guitar orchestra I mentioned before was a definite triumph personally, I got very bleary eyed towards the end. It was over a years work and I really couldn’t have been happier with the way it went. Collaborating with Forest Swords on the Ground Rhythms piece for Mercy and AND festival was definitely my biggest challenge of the year – never try and cut records to X-Rays – but it really allowed for me to get creative rather than being on the production end of things and it was a total honour to work with him, more projects are set for the new year. Also playing two Chibuku sets with my comrade Heather and 2manyDJ’s being super complimentary was lovely.
Lewis: I’ve had some great gigs this year, from the Cocoon party at The Warehouse Project in Manchester to the Circus Hallowe’en after party in The Magnet. Also my birthday party in The Shipping Forecast with Maya Jane Coles and Yousef in July.
Was there anything that disappointed you, or you think the city could have done without this year?
Ellis: The city could have done without the recession (yes I know it’s not that simple), two venues – CUC and the Masque – down in a week. Let’s hope it’s the last of the lost spaces, though sadly I doubt it. I wasn’t involved in Don’t Drop the Dumbells but a number of my friends and really amazing people were and they made something really special. It’s a real shame that it was taken from them in favour of building – inevitably – some totally average restaurants and shops. I think this city has some real funding guzzlers who take funds that could be used for much more pro-active and independent use. The disappointment is that this won’t change for a long time and certainly not under this government. This ‘Big Society’ hasn’t really given power back to the people has it?
Lewis: Definitely The Masque closing was one of the worst things to happen this year.
2012′s looming. Is there anything in particular you’re looking forward to next year in the city? What do you have coming up?
Ellis: It’s another Biennial year so i’ll hopefully be able to get involved with that again in 2012, I’m winding down on the promoting front because there are plenty of people out there doing a great job so unless something really hits me as something that needs to happen I’m really looking forward to just going to see bands without having to be working at the time. I’ll continue to be playing songs around town, Bier every Saturday and dotted about here and there.
Lewis: I have a new EP coming out on Tiefschwarz’s label Souvenir, and I’m working on a exciting remix for a huge French producer as well.