The annual Liverpool Music
Festival is upon us, with bands and artists from all over the world playing in 20
venues across the city centre. So you’re armed with your weekend wristband and
an intimidating large programme of events, but who to go and see? Truth is if
you’ve bought a ticket you probably have your favourites already, and a fair
few of the names speak for themselves (“Hot tip guys, Michael Kiwanuku, you
heard it hear 45th”), but I’m sure you’ve got a few gaps where you
wouldn’t mind seeing someone you have never heard before. So I thought I’d give
a few tips based on local acts that I have seen in the last six months or so
who have impressed me. It is BY NO MEANS a definitive list. I’m hoping to
stumble across something new and wonderful too, but for what it’s worth……

Thursday night kicks off for me
with newly signed Cold Shoulder at
the Binary Cell on Seel Street at 8pm. Everyone is banging on about girl band Stealing Sheep so I may as well join in
(they are ace like, to be fair). They are on at the catchily named Red Bull
Studios Live @ Garage stage (somewhere near Nation) at 9. Also all female, but
completely different, are Barbie Shop
who are on over the road at the Wolthenholme Creative Space at 9.40. They perform
harmonic A cappella versions of well known songs and are a delightful way to
spend half an hour. If you fancy something more laid back Johnny Sands (hunk alert!) plays acoustic at Bold Street Coffee at
10 (and somewhere else on Saturday too), whilst anyone who is anyone will be at
The Hummingbirds at Bumper at 11.

Friday I don’t know as well, but
I’ve heard good things about Eugene
who plays at the Kazamier at 10pm before White Denim.
Depressingly young Tiro Lark play
The Brink at 11pm (insert ‘past your bed time’ joke). They are getting more
hype than Raheem Sterling, and have the spate of teenage pregnancies to match (that
last bit may not be true). Or you can head over to Binary Cell at 11.15 to
watch Radio 2 championed Man Get Out,
and get a good spec for Adamski at 3am!! Adamski!! At 3am!!!

There is LOADS happening on
Saturday, including a football match I believe. I am playing trumpet with a band
called Silent Sleep at 7pm in Kazamier. If you want to see Wedding Present in the same venue you’ll need to
get in early anyway, so come and say hello, the songs are beautiful (I didn’t
write them, Chris McIntosh from 28 Costumes did). Loads of bands I am not
playing with include mega fun Pete
Bentham & the Dinner Ladies
who play the Art Acadamy at 9pm before our
mates Space come on at 11. My
favourite new discovery Nine Tails also play at 9pm at the Screenadelica on
Seel St and are so good it’s almost unfair on other bands. However if you are
bored of guitar bands by now you can sidestep them completely and go and see three
brilliant Liverpool urban acts; Chelcee
(Wavertree represent!) at 8pm at the Kazamier, slick female MC Miss Stylie at Bumper at 9:40 and then superstar
Esco Williams (swoon!) at the same
venue an hour later. Once that is all out of the way through every ounce of
energy you have left at The Tea Street
at that Red Bull Stage at midnight. I’ll be the one dancing like your

For information on who is playing
and where the venues are, visit

There is also a football film
festival taking part in Camp & Furnace. You can get free entrance to see
lots of great documentaries and other things all weekend with your wristband.
And yes, they are showing the match Saturday night. For more on that visit