Wolstenholme Creative Space closes it’s huge wooden doors for one last time tonight. Getintothis’ Peter Guy reflects on one of Liverpool’s most loved underground music venues and picks our favourite moments.
Wolstenholme Creative Space: indecipherable art installations, eye-splitting death metal, DIY crafts fairs, underground leftfield cinema, cutting edge dance projects and a meeting point for like-minded people – WCS provided all this and more.
And tonight it opens it’s doors for the very last time.
Deemed structurally unsound, the building will host a last hurrah for friends, artists and fans before closing.
Formerly known as Wolstenholme Projects, for a little over three years, WCS provided the back drop as a not-for-profit studio space, venue and gallery, in Wolstenholme Square – neatly situated around the corner from Mello Mello and opposite The Kazimier.
It was the smaller, harder, harsher and completely uncompromising little cousin in this triangular bastion for celebrating the thriving arts, music and culture zone in Liverpool city centre.
Stealing Sheep playing one of their first ever gigs inside WCS
Specialising in original, innovative content, it’s exhibitions and performances were tied to such cornerstones as The Biennial, AND Festival and Liverpool Sound City.
The curators, Priya Sharma and Caroline Smith, were fiercely independent in their approach to choosing the right content to feature inside the myriad of spaces available within this warren of whitewashed walls and wooden floors.
And that’s why they were so respected during WCS lifetime. No project was deemed too risqué in content, too risky in cost or tiny in audience – so long as it had maximum artistic merit.
Joe Wills‘ masterminding of FIESTA OBSCENIC in 2011 was a true one off – Outfit, Stealing Sheep, Dan Croll, Dogshow, Emily and the Faves, Wave Machines, Vasco De Gama and two dozen or more bands played during a beast of a festival – and all for a charitable donation.
The day summed up Wolstenholme’s spirit of opportunism and adventure – it thrived on the DIY carnage as noise fizzed across numerous rooms as plaster seemed to shift from ceilings and hoards of people buzzed off clothing sales and impromptu parties.
Commenting on the tonight’s closure, Benjamin Duvall of Ex-Easter Island Head, who played at Wolstenholme, said: ‘I’m certainly not the only one with this sentiment but it has to be said that today is all about Caroline Smith, Priya Sharma and the rest of the team who have made Wolstenholme Creative Space one of the most adaptable, forward thinking and passionate venues in Liverpool.
‘So many amazing shows – Ultralyd, Trouble With Books (Upstairs), Left Hand, Felix, Lucky Dragons, the massive Stig/Divorce/Child Abuse show and loads more.
‘I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing musically without that crumbly bastard of a building – adieu! adieu! You should all be justly proud of a LOT of hard work. Once again f*ck health and safety bollocks.‘
Down the years, Getintothis has had the pleasure to witness and whole feast of visual and aural delights presented to us at WCS. Here’s a quick list of some of our favourites.
Outfit played only their second gig at WCS
Getintothis reviews FIESTA OBSCENIC 2011: Wolstenholme Creative Space, Liverpool. Part One
Getintothis reviews FIESTA OBSCENIC 2011: Wolstenholme Creative Space, Liverpool. Part Two
Getintothis on Record Store Day 2011 featuring a whole host of labels, fanzines and arts.
Getintothis on Liverpool Sound City 2012 at WCS featuring PINS, Kestrals, Be Forrest.
Ex-Easter Island Head performing alongside Lucky Dragons at Wolstenholme
Getintothis reviews Lucky Dragons and Ex-Easter Island Head
Getintothis reviews Vialka, AMERiCANS, Paul Tarpey, Mark Greenwood and Jon Davies, Mango Shank
Getintothis reviews Iceage, Down & Outs, We Came Out Like Tigers
Jay, George and Jacob performing as Mother Earth at WCS
Getintothis reviews Behind The Wall of Sleep’s gig with Cowtown, Mother Earth, Spitting Cobras
Getintothis on Warps Films’ Trash Humpers
Dogshow’s Sam Crombie at WCS
Getintothis reviews Trouble Books, In Atoms, Michael Egan, Echoland
Aptly, Wolstenholme Creative Space ended not with a whimper but a smoking, fiery send off with a ritualistic burning of the building’s sign.
Fire extinguishers were used to put out the burning debris and the entire square was left plunged into smoke – much to the delight of the dozens gathered.
Here’s Priya emerging from the fog. Nice one, folks.