peter-hook-and-the-light-plays-unknown-pleasures.7272888.871Farm Feast and Livestock
Claremont Farm, 25-26 May

AKA When Claremont Farm Got Its Groove Back: Great to see the original, and best, foodie fest back and better than ever. And if you don’t like Peter Hook? They’ve plenty of soft fruit you can pelt at him. No, but really, this looks like a bank holiday belter. And the farm’s looking more fecund every day. Great food, great (Dan Croll, Stealing Sheep, Peter Hook and The Light…) music, and a brilliant atmosphere make this a Bank Holiday must.

Death-Of-A-Lifter-web (1)Katie and Tomo Exhibition
Secret location,3-10 May

Two of Liverpool’s most exciting illustrators come together for this hush-hush show (visit their websites for details of how to get there. Gobsmackingly great graphic goodness awaits – dirty ink, we love you.

Chester Music Festival
31 May – 15 June

If classical music’s your thing, this is pretty splendid. The fest amassess an ensemble of musicians from Liverpool Phil, the Halle and Manchester Camerata and it’s led by the very glamorous violinist Giovanni Guzzo who’s half Italian and half Venezuelan. Which is nice. The concerts are played in the round, with the audience a metre away from the action,so it’s kind of exciting, in a classical way. And it’s got that Gwilym Simcock playing too – he’s the real deal, if jazzy piano is your thing.

Wirral Folk on the Coast
Ellesmere Port, 5- 8 June

If we were to pick one thing from this list, which we’re not, because we can’t really – we’d plump for Karine Polwart’s eagerly awaited gig here, at this brilliantly curated mini festival. Polwart sings sweetly, but her songs carry a big emotional punch – and when she gets angry (as she does in the sizzling ‘Cover Your Eyes’ lament aimed squarely at Donald Trump’s desecration of Aberdeenshire dunes) she’s spine-tinglingly good. First time I heard The Light On The Shore, I had to pull over and cry. And that’s not easy on the M56. Seth Lakeman’s not bad either, is he? Ellesmere Port it is then…

Light Night
Throughout Liverpool, 16 May

It’s back. And it’s looking like being a bit of a belter. From after-dark projections, to secret Biennial meetings, Flyover illuminations to cyborg labs, carnivals to sound battles. The city will be thrumming with arty stuff and free fun from 4pm til very late. Exhibitions at our favourite culture houses will enjoy extended opening hours (including FACT’s ace Science Fiction New Death – main pic), and the journey between them will be animated with plenty of wonder. Don’t miss. Full details at their website.

The Critter Shed
To Be Announced

The marvellous Critter Shed people are back, and they’re asking for your involvement in their next project: Creatures of Extinction. So get your nibs out for the lads. Deadline is 6 July: submissions on A5 card, in black and white. The best will form their next show this summer. For more information, get in touch.

Shakespeare and Assertiveness
Calderstones Mansion House, 24 May

Reading Shakespeare, say the good people at the Reader Organisation, is like the best self help book ever. Yeah, even better than Eckhart Tolle: but have you ever turned to the Bard for guidance on that awkward relationship that’s developing between you and your boss?

In this first instalment of the ‘Shakespeare and…’ series of short courses, Casi Dylan and Grace Farrington will lead you through different models of assertiveness as presented in Shakespeare’s work, and consider ways in which we can put this to practical use in our own lives….

To reserve your place contact Jenny Kelly at

104 Collective
Duke Street, 16 – 30 May

Opening their doors to coincide with this year’s Light Night festivities, curators Cherie Grist, Colette Lilley and Laura O’Reily are showcasing the city’s latest creative hub: home to six residing artists. Cherie Grist documents her relationship with life through large abstract expressionist pieces and Colette Lilley investigates different states of being, showing the calming effect art can create on body and mind through her meditative drawings. Nicola Hands’ paintings explores the legacy of colonial British society with a specific emphasis on identity and Laura O’Reily explains life through the use of graphics. Karen O’Brien currently focusing on figurative painting and finally, Paul Romano gets all abstract on us. He would.

Ian McNabb Open Mic
Mathew Street Live, From 7 May

Ian Mcnabb launches his very own ‘Open Mic’ night at Mathew Street Live on Mathew Street, Liverpool (above Eric’s) starting next Wednesday 7th May from 9pm – 1am. Entry is free. Come, plug in and play.

UnknownWarrington LitFest Weekender
Pyramid Centre, Warrington, 2-3 May

John Hegley’s set to play tomorrow (Friday 2 May Pyramid £12/£10) at Warrington’s lively LitFest Weekender. The acclaimed poet and comedian will read an extract from his new book New And Selected Potatoes and deliver performance pieces which are sung, spoken and ‘awoken with dance’. We like the sound of that.

Pyramid hosts a range of talks and workshops with some of the best in the business including keynote speakers Curtis Jobling and Oxton’s own Helen Walsh on 3 May.

Soundtrack by Roger Edwards
Arts Hub 47, Lark Lane, 1-10 May

A new music and soundscape installation opens tonight, 1 May, til Sat 10 May – with Bernie Connor’s ‘Sound of Music’ live broadcast on Saturday 3 May, and psychedelic grooves by the Floormen on Sunday. Just another unmissable Arts Hub weekender, then.

movie_stars_and_their_carsMovie Cars Exhibition, Mark Harrison
Arena Artists Gallery, 10th – 25th May.

New work by Mark Harrison, freelance illustrator and artist based in Liverpool, celebrating cars from Psycho to Drive via Ghostbusters, in Harrison’s distinctive, day-glo style.

Unknown-1Camp and Furnace is Two
Greenland Street, 1- 3 May

And what an amazing couple of years it’s been for the big old barn of a place – the beating heart of the Baltic. So, as you’d expect, they’re throwing a bit of a party. Friday sees those excitable equines, Horse Meat Disco bringing their stable-rockin beats to Food Slam alongside resident The Mighty Mojo. On Saturday Grand Central artist, producer, remixer of Felix Da Housecat and Hercules And Love Affair and man behind the epic Gucci Sound System nights Riton will be joining resident Andy Mac. Sunday sees legendary Ashley Beedle at Roasted – so expect a set of roots reggae, funk and classic Philly disco. All free and welcome. Happy birthday, neighbours.

Flux Liverpool
Across Liverpool, 17 July – 2 August

Not your usual festival, Flux Liverpool is the opportunity young creatives across Merseyside to shape the creative landscape of the city that surrounds them. Venues across the city will host Flux Liverpool events, performances, workshops, projects, and exhibitions providing a platform for our millennials to showcase their talents, and develop future business opportunities long after the festival has finished.

Events on offer throughout the 17-day celebration include Young DaDaFest, Blueprint Festival 2014 for Circuit at Tate Liverpool, The BIG Event and the Young Liverpool Film Night at FACT.

Testing Bed
131 Vauxhall Road, Royal Standard, April 25th-May 30th

Promising to propel the Royal Standard’s focus on the nexus where art and research meet, this six week series of experimental live events, performances and screenings is aimed at creating a body of research that will shape the future programme of the gallery. Working with a selection of international artists known for their innovation and experimentation, the Royal Standard always pokes a healthy thorn in the side of the city’s creative consciousness.

Forgotten Woodlands
Bidston Moss/Fact, throughout spring

FACT and The Mersey Forest welcomes us to explore the forgotten woodlands of Bidston Moss – rising from a disused refuse tip, but now blooming beautifully.

The unique creative project, which will run between now until the end of June, is set to capture the attention of the public through a series of digital storytelling, art installations and community events. Zone is an innovative performance and film by the highly renowned international artists, Close and Remote, and is inspired by the Russian film, Stalker and 1971 science fiction novel Roadside Picnic.

The unique creative project, which will run between now until the end of June, and begins with a sequence of four walks led by the artists Close and Remote to and around the ‘Zone’ based in the Wirral woodland. In addition to the public tours, the digital art content of Zone will be published on the artists’ website, displayed through social media channels and represented in FACT’s current exhibition Science Fiction: New Death which is open until 22 June.

Open Borders: Who Profits?
The Athenaeum, 18 Church Alley, 8 May

‘Open Borders – who profits?’ marks the launch of the Liverpool Salon, a new forum for public debate on Merseyside. Like its sister Salons in Manchester, Leeds, Brighton, London and further afield, in New York and Zurich, the Liverpool Salon battles with ideas, ethos, and analysis: encouraging thought-provoking, critical and rounded debate, pitched towards an intelligent, general public.

Open Borders – who profits takes a moral, political and philosophical look at controversies around immigration, from public attitudes to impacts on the community, citizenship, economic benefits and international cultural exchange.

CachedImage.axdSail Away: Liverpool Shipping Posters
Merseyside Maritime Museum, from 16 May

Liverpool shipping posters records a century of ocean travel – with a tightly curated display of 14 posters used between 1880 and 1980 to publicise transatlantic travel. The romance and excitement of the sea, and the wide horizons offered to passengers disembarking from Liverpool: The golden age of travel, it’s all here.

Mellowtone Presents: Blue Rose Code
Leaf, Bold Street, 14 May

Blue Rose Code is Edinburgh-born songwriter, Ross Wilson. At the edge of contemporary alt-folk, Wilson’s music evokes a meeting of Van Morrison and a young John Martyn, both shipwrecked with a bunch of Motown records.

Writing On The Wall Festival & MelloMello present…Jazz Time
Mello Mello, Slater Street, 14 May

Poems with guitar. Why not? Sean Street and Neil Campbell present an evening based on Sean’s new poetry collection, Jazz Time, about improvising through life, some jazz heros and the redemptive power of music.

Kazimier Garden, June 21

the first independent festival of Liverpool and Barcelona, and a cultural meeting between the two cities, focused on music, live illustration, Catalan cuisine and workshops. Featuring Broken Men, Etches, DJ Coco and illustrator Conrad Roset (who designed the lovely poster)

Immix Ensemble (Ex-Easter Island Head and Joseph Hillyard)
The Bluecoat, School Lane, May 7

Immix is a new music ensemble featuring West Kirby’s ace new composer, Joe Hillyard, and the Ex-Easter Island crew, who’ll be championing the work of forward thinking composers, songwriters, bands and electronic artists, and to cast a spotlight on emerging talent. Their first season centres around the work of a classically trained composer alongside that of a boundary-pushing songwriters, sowing seeds for future exciting excursions. This piece responds to the Bluecoat’s current exhibition, The Negligent Eye.

Thinking City, Imogen Stidworthy
An Introduction to BLISS for Two Voices with Chorus
Tate, 2 May

An Introduction to BLISS for Two Voices with Chorus uses multichannel sound and mixing techniques to interweave a live conversation between Tony O’Donnell and Judith Langley, accompanied by two chorus groups – an intriguing collaboration between Liverpool Biennial, Tate Liverpool and Liverpool John Moores University. It’s free, but you have to book.

News from Nowhere’s 40th Birthday
Adelphi, 3 May

Celebrate Liverpool’s radical heart, News From Nowhere – free party from 5pm at the Adelphi, with Dead Belgian, River Niger Orchestra and Bolshy.

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