Liverpool is again turning into a site of pilgrimage for music fans with its Liverpool Sound City Festival happening from 19 to 21 May.
To give you a taste of the Liverpool music scene, our concierge and music aficionado Micky Dunne has put together a little overview of Liverpool’s music history.
The influential thinker Carl Jung never actually visited Liverpool yet he still managed to dream the above quote. Whether he is right or wrong is debatable. What we know for certain is that the city has one of the biggest and most successful talent pools in the history of popular music.
Boasting more British chart number ones than any other part of the country, the city has produced a massive 56 different number one hits. The first being Lita Roza with “(How Much is) That Doggie in the Window?” in 1953 and the most recent being “About You Now” by Sugababes (we know Heidi is only one third of the group but we’ll have it).
Since our first hit record, much has happened: mankind explored the moon, colour TV and the World Wide Web was invented. And then there was also this little happening called The Beatles. The Beatles, as we know, had a huge effect on everything (full stop). The way we dress, the way we listen to music, the way music is recorded and even the way people think was altered. There have been reams of works written about the ‘fab four’ so I don’t need to waffle on about their influence on popular culture, but what has happened since?
The early 1970s were not the most fertile of times musically for the city but the latter part of the decade and into the early 80s was quite the opposite with Echo & the Bunnymen, A Flock of Seagulls and Julian Cope’s Teardrop Explodes inspiring a new breed of post punk anti-heroes.
The late 1980s and early 90s started promisingly with The Farm reaching the top10 twice with “Groovy Train” and “All Together Now” whilst The La released their critically acclaimed self titled debut album.
With Cast, the only other group having minor chart success during the decade, all the promise fizzled away as we approached the millennium. The noughties belonged to local record label Deltasonic and their stable of acts, the most successful of which were The Coral and more recently The Zutons.
With a steady stream of acts pouring out of “the pool of life”, you would imagine that there are tons of live music happening here…and you’d be right. You can find a live band every day of the week in Liverpool if you know where to look – and we do.
Obviously most visitors’ first port of call is The Cavern, located on Mathew Street. It has hosted some legends of the rock and pop scene and has live music daily. Add to this list its sister venue The Cavern Pub across the street and The Grapes, Flannagans Apple and John Lennon Bar and you could spend the whole day watching live music in one street.
The largest venue in the city is Liverpool Echo Arena, which has a capacity of 10,000 and has world famous artists from Elton John to Rihanna gracing their stage. Further up into the city is Philharmonic Hall home of the Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Vasily Petrenko.
However, if you feel like letting your hair down then you will find one of the biggest names on the club scene at Cream who host some of the biggest DJs on the planet.
If, like me, you are after something more intimate then you will find dozens of pubs hosting everything from Irish, Acoustic Open Mic or Jazz nights. My personal favourites are Café Tabac with its Wednesday Jazz night or Parr St Studio with its Tuesday sessions.
Whatever your musical taste, Liverpool has it all!
If you would like more details and tips on the music scene in Liverpool, come and see me at the Concierge Desk at our Atlantic Tower Hotel in Liverpool.