Liverpool feels like it’s been in the throes of trying to replace Korova for some time now, with new bars and cafes offering a winning mix of good food and drink paired with excellent entertainment. A place to meet, hang-out and cross-fertilise.
Leaf and The Shipping Forecast can certainly stake a claim to filling that hole, as can half a dozen other generally around the Ropewalks, but there’s a new horse in town too.
Jules Bennett (whose DJing we have all surely danced to), along with friends Danny Murphy and Paul Coakley, is behind the new venture and claims that Sound Food and Drink only got off the ground as “Glastonbury wasn’t on this year, so we bought a bar.”
We suspect it’s a little more than that. With a launch fortnight promising live and/or special events ever night, featuring names like Loose Moose, Sidney Bailey’s No Good Punchin’ Clowns, Revo, Uptight, Bido Lito and Samizdat lined up for the launch fortnight there’s a bit of community feel to it all.
“We respect and love what all these people bring to the city,” says Bennett, and Sound Food and Drink certainly sounds like a particularly ‘Liverpool’ cafe-bar – and we’re not just talking about the name.
Ahead of this Friday’s launch, we caught up with Bennett to find out about the food, drink and sounds, what’s going on in the basement and why they’re just playing Half Man Half Biscuit all day next week…
SevenStreets: Why does Liverpool need Sound Food and Drink?
Sound Food and Drink: Food and drink make life possible, and sound makes life worth living. The 3 parts of Sound, Food and Drink are all equally important, but mostly we’re a glorified sit off.
We’d like to be Liverpool’s most inclusive space and are aiming for a community feel where people can drop in day or night and meet as yet unknown friends. The support and encouragement of friends and colleagues involved in the good bits of the Liverpool scene is heartening.
SS: What kind of food can we expect?
SFD: Morning pastries; lunchtime soups and salads; post-work Heat and Meat or Rice and Spice specials; evening cheese boards and sharing platters. It’s all freshly prepared, healthy and wholesome.
SS: You’ve got a live event on for every day of the first two weeks of opening. Can you keep it up?
SFD: Not every day, no. That was never the plan but as with the launch, entry will always be free. The opening programme is a statement of intent, and a chance to introduce ourselves.
From September 10th we settle in to our regular weekly and monthly schedules, with Hail Hail Rock’n’Roll every Monday and Gold Soundz every Thursday, plus record auctions, Sunday socials, weekend warm ups, tasting events, quizzes, old school games (cribbage/dominoes/backgammon) and more.
Within that we still have the flexibility to accommodate promoters and artists who are looking for a new opportunity. Longer term, we have a basement which will become an 80-capacity gig venue, to feature up-and-coming artists on their early tours, exactly when you get excited about bands.
SS: Tell us about 28 August…
SFD: We all love Half Man Half Biscuit. Everyone else should too. If you run your own space and you can’t dedicate a whole day and night to listening to only their songs, what’s the point? (HMHB, if you’re reading this, please play Liverpool again, we won’t badger you for gezzy!)
SS: What’s on the jukebox?
SFD: Everything we like. Obviously it varies depending on the event, but as an idea for daytimes:
Jules – Belle and Sebastian, Django Django, Talking Heads
Danny – Otis Redding, Toots and The Maytals, Bill Withers
Paul – Grimes, Grouplove, R Kelly
SS: Give us five celebs that wouldn’t be out of place in your gaff.
It’d be great to share a platter and a natter with Saul Goodman, Selina Kyle, A Boy named Sue, Shaft and The Dude.
Sound Food and Drink launches on Friday 24 August with live music from the Loose Moose String Band
Sound Food & Drink
52 Duke St