Liverpool seems to be enjoying a musical resurgence of late with an abundance of quality gigs across the city. From attracting big names to the Echo Arena to the sold out shows at the O2 Academy and the fresh musical talent being given the opportunity to shine in small independent venues.
Everywhere you turn in the city centre nowadays you are never too far from live music and this is in large part down to the hard working independent music promoters.
The work of the music promoter is usually overlooked by gig goers. You see a gig advertised, you get your tickets and you go and watch the band. Any thought processes beyond that are not usually necessary and that’s fair enough. But for the promoter the work starts months prior. Deciding the venue, booking the bands and selling tickets then hoping that you can break even after the slog of it all.
A love for music is both obvious and essential for music promoters as well as determination and bucket loads of self-motivation. Here we look at some of the key independent promoters in the city and their passion for the business.
Stalwarts of the DIY scene in Liverpool, Yeah Buddy have been putting on incredible shows for years. They are responsible for making Maguire’s backroom what it is today – a thriving independent music venue. It also happens to serve incredible pizza. Two of life’s finest things!
Yeah Buddy describe themselves as a community for the unsigned, independent and DIY music scene. Most notably Yeah Buddy are a DIY music blog but are one of the first in our list here who started to host their own events. Music Blogs are obviously a good source of new music talent as they discover and write about emerging acts all day long so it seems like a good progression to bring the bands to a local stage so they can really show what they’ve got. False Advertising are notable as an early Yeah Buddy find, performing at this year’s SXSW music festival in Austin, Texas. Curating stages at local festivals throughout the year they are a trusted voice on the scene.
Yeah Buddy have several shows coming up over the next few months including Post War Glamour Girls at Maguire’s on 4th May. For more info visit the Yeah Buddy DIY website here.
Rebel, Rebel is an urban club night that offers a variety of new live music for people to discover. They tour around their favourite venues in Liverpool every three months. The team consists of Laura Atkinson, Izzy Engler and Lucia Matusikova.
They came to start Rebel Rebel when a band in Liverpool asked them to run a band night and with Laura and Izzy both studying management at LIPA they were more than happy to help. After this event that was held on the 19th October in the Buyers Club they decided to carry the night on as a running club night and from there created the brand Rebel, Rebel.
They have another two successful shows under their belt at 24 Kitchen Street featuring Sillia and Halem and their most recent at Camp and Furnace on the 16th March including bands Cabezudos and Spxken.
“We feel our event offers new, exciting bands whilst also providing a fun night for all those who attend. We hope to continue building our following and believe it could become something special.”
Rebel Rebel can be found on Facebook here.
Hail Hail Records
Record label and promoters Hail Hail are specialists in showcasing ‘Lo-Fi music’ artists in various venues in the city. Founded by Sam Banks, Adam Burns and Connor O’Donnell who all play in bands in various parts of the country, their passion for music shines through in their Cult DIY label.
“I suppose growing up as a teenager in Liverpool, a city which is and always has thrived with amazing culture/arts and a fantastic history was a major influence on me musically. I love this city and everything it stands for. That is why I wanted to become part of the underground community.” Says Sam.
Having teamed up with fellow music promoters The Pentatonic (below), their second show together will be at HUS on Thursday 13th April featuring headliners Glass Peaks and support from Hail Hail promoter Sam Bank’s band Oh Well, Goodbye plus more. The event page can be found here. For more info about Hail Hail Records visit their Facebook page here.
Liverpool Noise mates The Pentatonic have a good ear for the next big sounds. After showcasing Amsterdam artist Pip Blom at Maguire’s last September, she received airplay on BBC Radio One the very same night. Liverpool band SPINN have also been taken under their wing and have gone on to play a supporting slot at the O2 Academy for The Sherlocks and found themselves on the lineup for this year’s FestEvol Gardens festival later this month.
Head honcho Sam Meaghan will be celebrating the first birthday of the Pentatonic with a special night at The Zanzibar on 29th April featuring Anaisa, Tiger Twins, Mary Miller, Seegulls and LUNGS . Plus the event with Hail Hail Records on 13th April. Keep track of all The Pentatonic’s events and announcements via their Facebook page here.
Music Blog Boot Music hosted their first live event at the Zanzibar in March featuring two local bands (Mosley Bar and Factory) plus Swindon’s high tempo indie rocker Misfires, who look like they have a bright future ahead of them. It was an exceptional debut event for Boot who’s aim for promoting the live scene is twofold;
“Firstly, we wanted to try and be part of the resuscitation of the Liverpool music scene having seen it be crushed by large property development companies closing venues to make way for offices etc.
Secondly, we wanted to build a circuit that would actually benefit the artists. We felt we were in good position to do this as we are independent , not money focused at all and so we promote all our artists before and after the event , featuring them on our site , reviewing all their new music and interviewing them to promote any upcoming tours , gigs or new music!” says Boots’ founder James Booton
Boot’s next project? “We are looking to plan a huge charity gig, with carefully selected , politically aware bands playing – with all profits going to save the children’s refugee appeal” says James
Keep an eye on Boot Music and their latest events on Facebook here.
Relatively new to the scene but not to be underestimated ICYMI are bringing a diverse range of the next biggest stars to Liverpool. Born out of (you guessed it) a love for music, ICYMI saw one of their favourite emerging artists posting on social media asking fans which cities they should play on their debut UK tour. From there ICYMI went on to arrange a gig in Liverpool’s Pen Factory to a healthy crowd and they were hooked in the world of promoting from that moment on.
One of their aims is to bring more talent to Liverpool, rather than or in addition to, our neighbouring city Manchester. Forward thinking in their approach to booking exciting acts and ensuring they play to decent crowds, ICYMI are stirring up the scene. Often their gigs are free entry, which leaves you with no excuse not to go! Coming up they have two really exciting shows in the form of British electronic music producer and singer-songwriter from London, Tony Njoku playing on the 11th April and indie pop band Trash playing on 10th May, both at HUS.
Check out ICYMI’s full gig line up on their Facebook page here.