So, that was Liverpool Music. Or they were Liverpool Music Weeks, to be precise. The city’s foremost celebration of local musicians and related outfit came to a fitting end in the CUC, a venue that seems to be finally becoming the creative hub we always hoped it would be.
The closing celebration was an incredible, ridiculous representation of an alternative Liverpool made tangible and real in the entirely suitable, yet unsuitable, CUC – like an outdoor music festival transcribed to an incomprehensible maze.
Someone’s looking for Beth Jeans Houghton, someone else is trying to navigate to the cinema where Mike Badger is playing. The symphony of guitars went down very well, says one. Forest Swords is looking forward to GhostPoet. Peter Guy – having previously launched the GIT music awards – recommends Outfit, but someone else says they’re stuck on the M6. Pete Bentham keeps getting told his gig is on later and later. Loose Moose are trying to find their instruments.
Wandering around we get snapshots of who’s playing. The Kazimier Krunk band are churning out some vintage funky beats. GhostPoet is well attended and, having made what might have been a bit of an error in judgement in holding aloft an LFC scarf, proceeds to go down very well in the impressive music space named, apparently, Venue One. There’s metal and there’s folk and there’s pop and more besides.
Bands who have finished move through the crowds bearing instruments; more are coming in. We feel left out since we’re not brandishing an instrument, but we spot the bones of a double-deck Yamaha Electone and console ourselves with that
The labyrinthine venue continued to pose delights and problems – as the CUC is a phenomenally large venue, especially with only one lift working. Signage was poor; there was little coherence or logic to what was going on and where. Many of the bar staff seemed singularly bemused.
Did this matter? Arguably not. Punters we spoke to were nonplussed by the lack of info, but really all that meant was that you were likely to stumble across something great you weren’t expecting.
We wanted to see Beth Jeans Houghton, Stealing Sheep, Ex-Easter Island Head, Pete Bentham, Loose Moose, Mike Badger, GhostPoet, DogShow, Hot Club de Paris, Mugstar and many more. We saw hardly any of that lot. But we did bump into a lot of friends and see a lot of stuff we’d never have been exposed to normally.
The venue, despite the disorganisation, was fitting, peculiar and stunning by turn; the music was superb; the overall impression was of a vibrant, diverse community united by a shared love. It was a brilliant expression and celebration of Liverpool music. We loved it.