This year’s Liverpool International Music Festival, we’re up to Year 3 of these already, happened in Sefton Park, and I was there keeping an eye on things. The Park itself as much as the music. Three perfect Liverpool days. Here’s what they looked like to me. Three days in fields full of friends. Good to meet you all.
And to the strangest sight the Liverpool Stage has seen since the Bonnacons of Doom a couple of years back. Meet Barberos. ‘Electro-noise’ they call it. Well I was on my way to somewhere else before the noise started and it drew me right in. Think Van Der Graff Generator and then get a bit tougher.
This was a brilliant idea. It’s almost too easy at festivals to simply celebrate and do ‘best of’ sets. For me this talking helped put it in all in context. In our delight at this great big festival of us all, let us never forget, never, that we are sat here in a direct line through, oh where do you start? The Blues, Louis Jordan, Billie Holiday, Atlantic Records, Howlin’ Wolf, R’n’B, Elvis, the Chants to the Real Thing, Four from Eight, the Big Three, The Beatles, Merseybeat and the Cavern, Motown and Stax, Hope Hall, the Liverpool Scene, Deaf School, Jimmy Campbell, the L8 Blues and the Ibo, the Somali and the clubs on Princes and everywhere, Trojan and King Tubby, to Probe Records, Eric’s, Larks in the Park, the Bunnymen, Pete Wylie, Earthbeat and Africa Oyé, Cream and eveywhere and everyone I’ve forgotten to mention, sorry – to here. It bears talking about.
Fourteen joyous women on the stage and how do I pick the highlights? Other than to pray this was not in fact a one off? Natalie and Jennifer’s own and gorgeous songs. The soaring heritage celebrations of the Mamas, the Papas and the Lotus Eaters? The gentle remembrance of Step Inside Love? Or ‘Fortress?’ Brand new from Natalie and the whole field singing?
And I for one didn’t think things could have got more family, more Liverpool, more all that lineage I wrote about earlier. Until the Real Thing via The Chants came on next.
Liverpool Royalty. Can’t get by without you – No Way. The Amoo family on the stage and in front of it dancing. And the rest of us? This is what late summer happiness at the Liverpool International Music Festival looks like this year.
And still another day to go? Bring on the dancing horses.
A beautiful late summer evening to get going with a Saturday evening full of dance music. Most of the dressed up for a Saturday night arrivals not even half my age. I leave well before headliners Basement Jaxx come roaring on. But as things got going this is how it was all looking. I’m not good on numbers but the main field, the only one open tonight, is filling steadily. At the height of things last year there were apparently 60,000 people on here. Still plenty of room though. As usual, a special seating area with a good view of the stage for people with different abilities. I saw the security staff going round telling people about this. Well done you.Tonight, as the music gets underway, is clearly a dancing occasion. All working up to Basement Jaxx. Even I know this is their logo.Good and varied food and drinks supplies? Not bad. Not as varied as Africa Oyé, but maybe there’ll be more choice on the full days on Saturday and Sunday? (There is, by the way, a funfair for the children.) As serious numbers continued to arrive for a dancing Saturday night, I slunk off home. Past the ever excellent Two Red Eds. Only real musicians sighted so far.There’ll be lots more tomorrow though, especially on the #it’sliverpool Stage. Maybe see you there? If you do come don’t even think about bringing your car. Most of the roads around the Park are closed or no parking. So buses, trains, taxis or walking? But it’s all looking idyllic. So see you tomorrow after an 11o’clock breakfast at the Real Junk Food Café in Everton?