It’s like we’ve always said. The best bits of this city have never been the big ticket, parachuted in events, they’re the home-grown, the kitchen table and the back of the beermat master plan. We’re a city that’s learned to be resourceful. Creative. Inventive. Yes, that may throw up the odd curveball (Herbert as Mayor. The Scouse Brow), but rather that than the demographic tick boxes and the Cultural Olympiad, eh?
It’s kind of why we started this online almanac. And kind of why we’d always love something like everisland.
The city’s newest musical maitre Ds, everisland have grand ideas. And tiny wallets. And that’s the sort of combination that we get excited by. It’s what gave us Music Week, the Kazimier and yeah, even Cream. It’s what didn’t give us Ringo on the Roof, the Summer Pops and Desperate S*********s.
They’ve set up base camp in our curious little city with plans to burst our nighttimes wide open. If their first few forays are anything to go by, they’ve got good taste, and perfectly aligned priorities: I’d rather drink for cheap somewhere with a decent music policy than drink expensively listening to songs from five years ago. Let’s raise our glasses, then…
It’s been a rocky few years for city-based promoters. Some we’ve lost, some we’ve gained. What are you hoping to add to the mix?
Samuel: Community more than anything. everisland isn’t just another promotion company hoping making a bit of money by slapping some posters about, we want to be a part of Liverpool’s music scene and really get involved in what’s going on.
Clarry: We also hope to add a focus on genres and niches perhaps not given much attention to previously, and to present a showcase of artistic endeavors alongside live music.
C: I guess everisland came partly from the notion that if you feel something is missing, then do something about it. We’d like to keep things local, to generate interest within the city by using its resources. We never really started off with a manifesto, we still have a lot to learn, and are still finding out what we’re about or represent. Hopefully our manifesto will form itself over time.
S: Creating a tangible identity was definitely something we were also keen on, so hopefully people are starting to see a fluidity in our aesthetic, both visually and musically.
What are your backgrounds?
S: We met writing for Bido Lito!, it was from there that we knew we both had an affinity for the local scene. I’m from Liverpool though; musically there’s not a lot I was doing before everisland, I was in a couple of bands over the years, but nothing too colossal. I also currently run a reggae night called ‘Tighten Up’ which is beginning its new life in The Blade Factory, so there’s plenty to distract me from the dissertation that I should be working on.
C: I’m from Sussex and studied Music and English here, then stayed because I saw opportunities here and had a familiarity with the city that I didn’t want to cut off. I always need some form of musical side project, and at the moment it’s everisland.
Long hours, late nights, little cash. What’s the draw?
S: Someone has to do it. We don’t mind the hard work, it’s the risk of disappointment that’s the toughest element, however, a huge bonus with this is the people we meet and the friends we make.
C: It makes my purely-for-the-cash day jobs more tolerable to know that I’m involved in something exciting and worthwhile when I’m not at them. I enjoy the feeling you get on a gig night when everything appears to be going well. And as Sam said, meeting interested people who are willing to work with and support us. It’s enough to make you realise a music scene will always strive to continue and develop despite difficult circumstances.
Surveying the city’s venues scene, what’s your opinion?
S: As sad as it is to lose places like The Masque, I think the closure of venues isn’t a distinctly negative thing, as it provides a sharper focus on the places that remain. There are still plenty of fantastic venues such as The Kazimier, Wolstenholme and Mellomello, along with the emergence of venues in the Baltic Quarter.
C: I like the range of close venues with differing appeals and identities. But I’d also like to see more empty spaces being utilised for musical purposes, DIY style, much like Wolstenholme Creative Space.
What are you excited about this year?
S: It’s going to be exciting to see what Mike Deane can pull out of his seemingly never-ending sleeves for Liverpool Music Week’s 10th anniversary. There are also a ton of EP’s coming from some hugely promising bands; Muto Leo, Ninetails, Fieldhouse, to name a few.
C: I’ll just get sucked into whatever is happening at the time, but I’m excited about the Biennial, Waxxx parties if NYE was anything to go by. Sound City of course, and the Apocalypse.
What’s right with Liverpool right now?
S: First and foremost, the music. There can only be a great scene if the music behind it is decent, and luckily for us, as promoters, it’s phenomenal. To me, ‘Thirteen’ was proof that there’s still plenty to be hopeful about; to see an almost full-house turn up to The Kazimier for an entirely local bill was incredibly fulfilling, not only from a promotional perspective, but also as a fan of the scene.
C: I admire the committed parade who soldier on in the face of funding shortages, venue closures, and the general sense of impending doom.
What’s wrong with Liverpool right now?
S: Obviously external problems such as financial crisis aren’t helping, but internally I wouldn’t say too much. It would be nice to have a few more promoters doing it purely for the love, but there are some great groups, like Obscenic and Milk Presents, who are already playing such roles.
C: The emergence of £5 cocktail bars irritates me. I’d rather drink for cheap somewhere with a decent music policy than drink expensively listening to songs from five years ago.
Who are you listening to?
S: Purity Ring is one band that I can’t seem to get over at the minute. However, globally I don’t seem to be nearly as excited by releases as I used to be, nowadays I feel more strongly towards local releases. Eye Emma Jedi’s EP is one that I’m stoked for.
C: I am continually over excited by new music. Loved Ones, Outfit. Liz Green sounds promising. Nationally Alt-J, Azealia Banks, Baxter Dury, Factory Floor, and globally I’m still obsessed with Tune Yards, and still intrigued by Brooklyn bands like Friends and The Antlers.
What’s your criteria for booking acts? Do you share the same radars?
S: I’d say so, we don’t have exactly the same tastes, but that works in our favour as it provides us with a greater pallet in which to consider bands
C: We’ve come from different musical backgrounds, but can definitely appreciate and trust each other’s suggestions and recommendations.
everisland’s next venture is a free show on March 1st at The Kazimier.
Norwegian-Liverpool collective Eye Emma Jedi headline (featuring new SevenStreets music writer Joe Wills – more on them soon), with support from The Kabeedies, Crushing Blows & Ninetails.