The End Is Nigh…2012 in Review
How best to recap the past 12 months? We've hand picked a cross-section of SevenStreets favourites to give us their highlights, and their hopes for next year...
So, that was 2012. A year of sporting prowess, presidential re-elections and, er, Nick Grimshaw (memory was never our strong suit). But before Jools Holland starts fingering away in the middle of the night, what about stuff around here? It was a busy old year for SevenStreets (y’know, the usual, failed legal threats, brilliant theatre, amazing music, spine-tingling city events, failed legal threats), but how was it for you? We asked a group of people who’ve done wonders this year to reveal their favourite moments, and their hopes for 2013…
I was definitely blown away by a lot of gigs this year, much more than usual that’s for sure – Tall Ships, Muse, The Staves, Bon Iver, Madeon, Frightened Rabbit and Paul Thomas Saunders all fell into the ‘amazing’ category, but seeing Kanye West and Jay-Z perform Watch The Throne was pretty special indeed. So much so I went twice.
Next year I want to see more theatre (the NT Live broadcasts at FACT have really made me realise just how much amazing theatre I used to see when I frequented London a lot more) and I want to get Shut The Book Up’s first release out into the big wide world. Rather looking forward to that…
Simon Pursehouse, Sentric Music
Most enjoyed gigs for us are Stealing Sheep (everisland) at The Kazimier Garden, the venue itself is literally a breath of fresh air for the city. The Correspondents (Speakeasy), Ghostpoet (Sound City) were both huge highlights. Then there was The Liverpool Art Prize at Metal & Rolf Harris exhibition at The Walker. We’ve loved watching Bolshy busk defiantly throughout the summer and working with a truly creative man, Mark Brockelsby at Seel Street Studio.
Next year we’ve started to explore a huge passion of ours which is artist development. We have local studios, designers, labels and promoters on board for what we hope will become a huge part of Threshold in 2013.
Chris & Kaya, Threshhold Festival
Highlight of the year has to be Homebaked and the Anfield Tour for the Biennial, that really was an incredible experience and of course, it’s still just at the beginning. It was great art, great theatre, great cake and most of all, a very moving and intelligent voice for those residents of Anfield.
I hope that the grass-roots organisations in Liverpool can continue to operate, and even flourish, in what look set to be very tough times. Personally, I’ll be embarking on an eight month research project, so expect to see some new works being flung out of the studio during 2013…
Emily Speed, Artist
The sound City Garage gig. It felt like a real turning point for us as a band. Me nephew Niall has started playing guitar this year as well. I always said I wanted him to play but I’d never force him and he’s done it off his own accord. Although his tutor in school is teaching him Adele songs. Highlight of my year would have to be jamming with Mick Head no more needs to be said on this.
Also family they’re definitely my highlight as if it wasn’t for them being so supportive over the years I’d not be writing this piece. Next year’s going to be boss. Were going to play loads and release loads of records hopefully.
Timo Tierney, Tea Street Band
Watching the rise and bloom of local independent brands, Turner Monet Twombly at Tate Liverpool, celebrating 2yrs of launching a tea shop in the midst of a coffee revolution (Leaf), launching Liverpool’s first ever dry bar, jazz in the Caledonia, Duke St Espresso – for just being brilliant, Camp & Furnace for doing it differently.
Plans for next year? Creating, building and running a ‘super’ market, launching a book collaborating with 50 independent brands and 50 artist, branding the British Ceramics Biennial 2013, opening a new food & drink venue in the business district, a beer festival, punching above our weight, making friends.
Nic and Benji, Cow&Co/SB Studio
Every recent Merseyside event has been overshadowed by the Hillsborough developments, and so I should hope they’re the highlight of the year for a great many people. Pretty well anything else might seem trivial, but for restaurant highlights Bellini in Whitechapel is splendid. The already very good City Rendezvous on the waterfront lots more tasty items. Discovery of the year was the tiny Spice Garden in Prescot Road.
In the arts, the exhibition at the Tate converted me to Turner. In literature, I was happy to see the literary wall appear on the Central Library building.
And in the cinema, hurrah for the Light in New Brighton.
As for next year’s hopes – justice for the Hillsborough families. And my plans – a new novella that goes right back to my roots, The Last Revelation of Gla’aki.
Ramsey Campbell, author
I found myself truly moved not by musicians but athletes this year as the Olympic Games restored my faith in sport. The Olympics displayed a very real sense of dedication, commitment, honour and passion. I was left staggered by what human beings can actually achieve.
Next year I’m expecting big things from new promo teams like Milk, everisland, Waxxx, Abandon Silence, Deep Hedonia and Behind The Wall of Sleep while expecting even more from staples EVOL, the Kazimier and Harvest Sun. On a personal note I’m hoping the GIT Award can match last year’s incredible opening year.
Peter Guy, GIT Award Founder
Highlights would be the continued endeavour of the microcosm around Wolstenholme Square with Mello Mello, Kazimier, WCS and the newly resurrected Dumbells. Coupled with the new promoters; big local success stories Deep Hedonia and everisland and the continued work of BTWOS, Harvest Sun, Evol and god knows how many others it looks like Liverpool’s future is in safe hands. Artists wise Stealing Sheep, Outfit, Wave Machines and Loved Ones all released great tracks and Evian Christ, Forest Swords, EEIH and the left-field electronica output from Merseyside is continuing to attract attention.
Next year I doubt I can top my Biennial commission, the Rhys Chatham guitar orchestra. I wouldn’t change a thing as we all head into 2013, everybody just needs to keep up the good work!
Andrew Ellis, Events Producer and DJ
Thing I enjoyed this year was the Snooker Legends event at Echo Arena / Conference Centre – Ronnie O’Sullivan beat Jimmy White 4-3 on a re-spotted black! Brilliant finish!
Can’t wait to see how Baltic Triangle area evolves over the coming 12 months and to see how the on-going discussions regarding the re-opening of St James Street station develop!
Mark Lawler, Head of Baltic Creative
One of the highlights of the year has been the dim sum experience at Tai Pan followed by a long walk on sunny Crosby beach a couple of weeks ago.
Next year, the ‘Glam!’ season from February to May, will have an exhibition dedicated to the influence of visual art on popular culture in the early 1970s. For our 25th birthday in May, we will start a very special rehang of our Tate Collection displays, followed by a show of the early work of the enduringly popular 20th century Russian artist Marc Chagall. By next November, we will have started using the whole building as a ‘magazine’, with each exhibition being like an article that is linked in some way to all the other activity going on in the gallery.
Francesco Manacorda, Director, Tate Liverpool
Every year with Liverpool Biennial in it is a good year. The 2012 version contained the usual mix of the banal, the baffling and the brilliant. Another cultural highlight was a trip to the Lady Lever Gallery in Port Sunlight: it’d been ages since my last visit and I’d forgotten how good it was.
But for me 2012 will be defined by the Hillsborough families and their supporters. They have come to embody this city’s passion for justice and its courage to battle against the odds.
As for 2013, Liverpool will be getting its own local TV station. OFCOM is expected to award the licence in February. Which reminds me – I must update my CV…”
Liam Fogerty, Mayoral Candidate
My personal highlight of the year (my wedding aside!) would be the Hillsborough verdict. The enormity of the findings in the verdict really took me by surprise and seeing all the families on the steps St.Georges Hall was something very special. Although there is still justice to be served, it was a real watershed moment for everyone and it highlighted to the world everything that is great about us.
Our plans for next year are to keeping establishing Lucha Libre in Liverpool and all being well we will be opening Lucha Libre Manchester towards the end of 2013. To launch 2013 we will be offering 50% off your food bill all January if you spend £5 or more with any local independent operators.
Alex Hannah, Lucha Libre
Spike: Luche Libre. Margaritas are always a pleasure. Flamin Mamies & Loved Ones as favourite bands. Looking forward to another succesful year working at music fests and bringing our Wow show on tour starting in February.
Paula: Everything is a highlight for me since moving from the States earlier this year. I’ve enjoyed seeing what Liverpool has to offer and checking out some local favourites. I’m looking forward to continuing the vinyl shop’s legacy and bringing some exciting in-store events to it this coming year – including our new online shop.
The Music Consortium/The Vinyl Emporium
Cave was a brilliant new art fair led by artists Flis Mitchell and Kevin Hunt. Camp and Furnace has transformed my life, and Francesco Manacorda’s appointment as Artistic Director of Tate Liverpool is very exciting. Hope Street Festival was a great event and I would love to happen more often! Tai Pan on Great Howard Street for a marvellous Sunday Lunch Dim Sum experience with friends….
I’m excited about Derry-Londonderry City of Culture 2013, and especially the Turner Prize being hosted there, the European première of The Kite Runner at the Playhouse, and Vasily Petrenko conduct Shostakovich at the Philharmonic.
Sally Tallant, Biennial
In January we published an article titled ’2012: A Year To Forget’, in the context closures at The Masque, CUC and Static Gallery’s noise abatement troubles. Looking back, the year has provided so much more than I could have hoped for creatively. New challenges have resulted in new responses and I firmly believe that Liverpool is in a more exciting place than 12 months ago. 2012 was a year to remember.
In terms of 2013 I’m hoping for more of the same, and using our Bido Lito! platforms to celebrate everything that is truly marvellous about new music in our great city, and the second instalment of The Liverpool International Festival Of Psychedelia. The plans we have are cosmic.
Craig Pennington, Bido Lito!
There are some incredibly exciting developments happening in the Baltic Triangle, with Baltic Creative at the heart of it. These spaces have breathed new life into the area, which is already attracting national and international media attention. Take a walk down Jamaica Street and see for yourself.
Camp and Furnace feels like it’s been around for years and we hope to continue to make an original contribution to the city’s cultural offer. We really couldn’t have asked for a better start and it’s massively encouraging to see that people like what we are doing. Watch this space.
Ian Richards, Camp and Furnace
One of my main highlights of 2012 was the visit of the Giants in the spring. I was unsure at first the wisdom of spending so much money on street theatre at a time when funds for schools, hospitals and policing are so short. I’ll admit it though, I was wrong. Other highlights were the Sound City festival and it’s continued growth, and our emergence as a real force in the technology world, with all the cool happenings around DoES Liverpool and stand out companies like Scraperwiki forging forward.
Next year I hope to see more great events cement Liverpool as a centre for tech and creativity. We can be the capital of the North West. Hopefully I’ll be involved in organising some more of those events too. More selfishly I also hope the album I’m recording over winter with my band 20lb Sounds goes treble platinum, but I won’t hold my breath.
Dan Lynch, SevenStreets’ Tech columnist
Firstly and most importantly is my 11 year old daughter Phoebe becoming Junior Lord mayor of Liverpool! Then it’s Camp and Furnace. These guys are at the beginning of something great in the Baltic Triangle. Threshold Festival too – Chris Carney and the guys are doing a great job bringing our finest musicians and artists to great venues around the city! And the Liverpool Cheese company, they’re friends, yes, but a Liverpool institution as far as I’m concerned.
Laura, the Little Baker
The Biennial was the centrepiece of every artist’s calendar. In terms of gigs our favourites in Liverpool were R Stevie Moore and Lucky Dragons, although gig of the year was Tim Hecker/Forest Swords in Manchester. Jake Stig opening the Dumbells Gallery after closing up on Hardman Street, by far our favourite venue right now. Royal Standard, WCS, Hive, The Double Negative and CAVE. Our favourite locals this year were Ex-Easter Island Head, Evian Christ and Bantam Lions, and Isocore and the Upitup guys have been massively influential.
Next year? We’re looking forward to seeing all the acts at our last ARK01 show get more gigs, and can’t wait to see which new acts come out from the woodwork, and Liverpool Music Week returning.
Jonathan Davies, Deep Hedonia
No competition here, other than it has to be Hillsborough. Though a lifelong Liverpool FC supporter, football doesn’t play a big part in my life, so I was surprised at how emotionally involved I felt, especially when Margaret Aspinall said ‘this report proves what we’ve always known. You did nothing wrong.’
On a lighter note, a recent favourite is the ‘Barking Mad’ café in Royden Park on the Wirral. We think they’ve called it this because of all the dogs who come in with their owners!
Ronnie Hughes, A Sense of Place
I love the Roscoe Head for a real comfy atmosphere and decent drink. Best play has to be The Match Box, and its extraordinary performance by Leanne Best.
2013 is a landmark year for Homotopia and we’re already planning some uniquely queer happenings. The theme is ‘Homotopia 10 years: The Liverpool Dream!’
Gary Everett, Homotopia
Discovering the delightful food at Sahara. So nice, so cheap, great service and bring your own!
The Kazimier Garden, a brilliant outdoor space in the city centre. Watching the living legend that is Rodriguez play at the Phil. And finally, and in fear of cliché, the constant stream of fantastic new music that comes out of Liverpool.
Plans? To keep on keeping on, developing the various organisations I’m involved with and to continue working with the wonderful people of this fair city. Onwards and upwards, as they say.
David McTague, Mellowtone
Turner/Monet/Twombly at Tate Liverpool was a real discovery. The recent Biennial was great too – it was so cool to just walk around and discover interesting exhibits all over the city centre. And the scary piece in the Munroe properly rattled me, in a good way. I’ve also become chums with Claremont Farm, a great team of environmentally ethical producers.
As far as 2013 goes for me, I’m looking forward to putting out some more tunes and doing more shows. I’m also really excited for my housemate/musical cohort Jacob who’ll be putting out a record next year – I’d really recommend keeping an ear out for that, I think it’s gonna be great.
Jethro Fox, musician.
I’m greedy and indecisive so I’ve narrowed this down to two, probably very popular, choices. First up is the Sea Odyssey, which completely took over the city and was entertaining, magical and surprisingly emotional. Secondly, Liverpool Soundcity once again pulled off a really well organised and extremely fun three days.
Next year I’m really looking forward to running my first Half marathon in Liverpool on March 17th. It’s great to see RunLiverpool working so hard to put on a full programme of races in the city.
Stephanie Heneghan, SevenStreets’ clubbing editor
Liverpool Psych Fest was an amazing debut event. Kazimier Gardens took the city’s most important venue up another notch, and Designival had some great speakers.
Next year, we have our eyes set on a few new countries/continents to bring Screenadelica to, Im creating a new series of pieces for an exhibition in Chicago in the new year, plus I have some exciting exhibitons lines up for Percy Gullivers.
Gary ‘Horse’ McGarvey, artist
True highlights for as ever were Mello Mello getting on top of their troubles and becoming stronger for it… a true rare thing in this climate. I got a lot of joy from standing in Wolstenholme Creative Space’s Inhospitable Landscape forest. As always the Kazimier has done what I wouldn’t ever have thought possible in Liverpool and with amazing panache.
I like that despite these economically medieval times, a lot of the tiny businesses I know are still doing their job. Pashas Bike Repairs, Roscoe Street Printing studios, Mello Mello, Kazimier, the Hippy Hole.
Negatives: it drives me mental that creative people are more and more getting bogged down by industry and trying to make careers and basically turning everything into a ‘new enterprise’. I hate all that stuff… it just perpetuates a false and damaging myth that for something to be valid in the world or even valid as a life choice that it has to make money. It doesn’t.
Jake, Drop The Dumbells gallery
The Hillsborough Justice Gig. As well as being a great cause, and part of a movement that’s seen cultural activity used as a political tool (Justice campaign, Keep Streets Live etc), it was just inspiring to see so many talented musicians together on stage. The Kazimier Garden – loved it, loved it, loved it!
Hopes for next year? I’m really excited about the prospects for both my businesses, interior design company Team a go-go, and made-here, as the public get behind our movement to encourage them to buy beautiful things made locally and keep their money in our economy.
Kate Stewart, made-here.
I think FestEVOL at Kazamier was great, Revo proving what a great asset he is to this city one more time. Mean Fiddler and No Fakin’ bringing Joey Badass to the Shipping Forecast on a Monday night was definitely the hip hop moment of the year… Next year, keep your eyes on The Masque…
Rich McGinnis, The Masque/Chibuku
A highlight for me this year was an event called Boulder Breaks at the Climbing Hangar. A few friends of mine decided to throw a breaks party, something the city hasn’t done well in a long time.
This year has been emotional and for me is the culmination of a lot of hard work developing a career working in events in Liverpool. Through a lot of determination we set up our company in the spring and since then there’s not been a quiet day. We’re coming back with some new and unusual events fresh for 2013.
Nick Baskerville, Really Now
Personally I am huge fan of large scale, urban, outdoor events that unite the city and bring people together. Liverpool excels at this – Hope Street Feast, Liverpool Food and Drink Festival, Liverpool Pride and Brazilica are a few of my favourites. But the stand-out event was the RLPO’s 2012-13 season opening concert at Philharmonic Hall of Orff’s Carmina Burana.
2013 is looking very bright for Bill Elms Associates. We will continue working on Epstein – The Man Who Made The Beatles, the first major production I co-produced and it was a very hard but exciting project to work on. We’ve interest from two London venues and an International venue to host the play.
Bill Elms, Bill Elms Associates
My absolutely favourite Sunday afternoon of 2012 was whisky tasting at the Kazimier Garden hosted by Salt Dog’s. We’ve worked our stripy socks of this year and the Kazimier created the true festival feel we didn’t get a chance to escape from the city to stock up on this summer.
We do what we do because we like to see what happens when you bring people together to share in something creative. Our plans for 2013 are to build on our events. We’ve met so many awesome new people this year we can’t wait to see what we can come up with next.
Becky Pope, Really Now
What I’ve loved this year has to be the on going success of our very own Queen Vic, Camp and Furnace. Kindred spirits + wine and spirits = a jolly good time.
Hopes for next year? Agent continues to do what it’s supposed to; cracking marketing that delights clients up and down the country, happy, healthy and hysterically funny friends and family.
Paul Corcoran, Agent Marketing
A big highlight for me was the proliferation of electronic music, promoters and club nights – with people such as Evian Christ, Deep Hedonia & Waxxx doing some really impressive things. Also it’s been a huge year for local bands – All We Are, Muto Leo, Broken Men, Dan Croll and Stealing Sheep just to name a few from an ocean of choice. It’s the biggest highlight to see friends doing so well.
As for my own plans, me and my partners will really be pushing the limit of what’s expected with both everisland and Fiesta Bombarda – we really want to expand upon what we’ve done so far and take even more ambitious strides.
Sam Garlic, everisland
Mello Mello’s small victory and the opening of Home. I do like to see a bit of common sense and enterprise.
As for the New Year, phase two for R&H – to incorporate Toff’s Cafe next door and to draw folk to Queen Avenue for fine wine and a bit of scran in very relaxed, very quaint surrounds; to start up the Supper Club and to establish a calendar of tasting events. Personally – just to cope with my children.
Devin Stewart, R&H Fine Wines