Hijacking towns and cities across the country throughout October in the name of humanitarian charity, the Oxjam Liverpool team are set to take control of the Ropewalks and Baltic Triangle, Getintothis explores their action packed, poverty-fighting line-up.
While it is evidently true that Liverpool is going through one of its most prolific periods of musical output, it is also sadly true that the world is experiencing some of the worst strife and suffering it has ever seen. When one thing is going so incredibly well and another thing so awfully wrong it makes sense to use one to affect positive change on the other. Luckily Liverpool’s not just a musical city, it’s also a charitable city so the talent was lining up to get involved and help the cause. That’s why this year’s Takeover is going to stretch across seven venues, showcasing over fifty acts; ranging from folk to punk, reggae to R&B, funk to rock and even a little kraut prog jazz for those with stranger inclinations…
Constellations / The Observatory
Taking hold of the Baltic Triangle’s newest event space Constellations and its soon to be ready warehouse counterpart The Observatory, the Oxjam Liverpool team will be working with Club Freeze and Greg Wilson‘s new multi-media record label Super Weird Substance to put together a twelve hour “Super Weird Happening“. Styled on the artistic gatherings of sixties counterculture, the happening will draw in live art, visuals and record stalls, cultivating a sense of community to accompany the music.
With a small sense of irony and a small glimmer of hope, the outdoor space will be rocking to the sunshine sounds of the Caribbean courtesy of Wavertree-based Danny Fitzgerald, who recently released the Calypso: Musical Poetry in the Caribbean compilation on Soul Jazz Records, Bernie Connor and his new Sir Henry’s Hi Fi reggae sound system and Kermit & Organic Gav who tap into a visceral energy from the past with a heady mix of dusty grooves and good vibes, as well as Greg Wilson who will be spinning the first of his two sets.
As the sun starts to go down, things will move into the Observatory where the encylopedic Bernie Connor will host talks with Greg Wilson, John Higgs, the seminal counterculture writer – whose book about the infamous KLF duo was a source of inspiration for the Super Weird crew – and Kermit Leveridge, an original British b-boy whose rhymes were hailed by Roots Manuva as the “roots of grime”. Autocycle will restart the party before Kermit‘s new band Blind Arcade take the helm. Working with Bristol-born bass assassin EVM128, keyboardist Rev. Chunky and the soulful vocals of BB. James and the Reynolds sisters, Kermit has returned to music longer merely a rapper but a sabre-skilled vocal chameleon, dextrously dipping and diving through a myriad of infectious grooves. After the showcase from the label’s flagship act, Greg Wilson will keep the torch lit into the late hours before his childhood friend and veteran DJ Derek Kaye rounds things off.
Sound Food & Drink
Things will get a little melancholy in Sound Food & Drink but as experimental recording artist Simon Maddison will tell you, there’s a light in the darkness. As well as explaining that rather obscure reference, his Eigenlicht EP – recorded with Mario Leal – has seen Simon‘s Silent Cities project become a prominent force in local grassroots communities. Currently collaborating with Clockwork Arts and Natalie McCool on a surreal music video, Simon will be joined by the formidable songstress giving Oxjam an exclusive premiere of their work together.
The rest of the afternoon’s line-up, co-curated with Mellowtone will include the the in demand Sophia Ben-Yousef, ethereal autoharp duo Cheskimo, warped and wonderful singer/songwriter Mick Flaherty and the striking falsetto Luke Cusato. Taking things up a level, Ninja Tune’s eight-headed beast Loka will unleash a whirlwind of acid jazz and psychedelic radiophonic sounds. Rising stars of Liverpool’s underground electronica GhostChant and D R O H N E top things off. Signed to BBE Records and Tim Burgess‘ O Genesis Recordings respectively, Joe Cornwell and duo Luke McCulloch & Richard Craddock have seen meteoric rises in a very short space of time.
Two days after bringing Lucy Rose to the Arts Club, Oxjam Liverpool will return but this time with a distinctly rowdier bunch, none more so than bananas alt rock/rap machine Breakfast Monkey. Retrospective three-piece Sankofa will unleash their howling psychedelic hurricane as Seprona marry slow burning grooves and vibrant alternative anthems. There will be some echoes to Oxjam‘s previous trip to the Arts Club in Watchtower who take the psychedelic sound towards an indie-pop aesthetic and Inge Bremnes who combines jangly folk with sparse atmospheres, singing both in Norwegian and English.
Assembled by Popped Music, the House line-up hosts a real mix of music. Alex Hulme and The Debt Stars will be helping out the Oxjam Liverpool cause again this year, having played their Mello Mello Launch Party and their Battle of the Bands at the Lomax respectively. Having won the Sheffield Battle of the Band The Velcro Teddy Bears chose to play Liverpool as their prize. Recently awarded best female act in the Liverpool Music Awards, Vanessa Murray will be bringing her extensively practised live performance and up and coming songwriter Daniel Astels will test the water with some new material. 17-year-old Niamh Jones, whose Celtic roots are reflected in her folk sound will be joined in the intimate basement space by contemporary R&B duo Deliah, the Ghost Town Heroines – who are inspired by “salt, love and monotonous small town existence” – and five-piece, pop-tinged rock outfit The Fleet.
Maguire’s Pizza Bar
Things are much heavier in Maguire’s Pizza Bar but they know punk rock and pizza go hand in hand… apparently. Carl Moorcroft will be cause ruckus with his infectious ska and heady punk sounds as will the Manchester duo with a penchant for dirty grooves and big riffs; The Hyena Kill, whilst Saltwater Injection – “the musical equivalent of being hit in the face with half a brick” – will most likely take things over the tipping point. Though still decidedly heavy, (ATLAS) and Pocket Apocalyse will slow things down with a dense atmospheric show, whilst TAWS and Asterisks will explore the waters between quirky math-rock and punk territory and DELCA KARA will provide some hard hitting alternative rock with unapologetically pop sentiment.
The Brink will play host to a crop of exciting up and coming songwriters, most of whom have flocked to Liverpool to make a name for themselves, many currently studying at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts. Belfast-born Liam McMullan will bring his merge of folk and Americana, whilst Grace Hartrey will grace Oxjam with her take on folk, drawing on her Welsh heritage and whimsical duo The Witty Featherstones will lull the crowd with their quirky witterings. California-born Liv Gold will feature too as will soulful folk songstress Jessie Solange. There will be more folk music courtesy of Emilio Pinchi and Ben Paveley & The Tides but where Paveley adds pop inflections, Emilio injects his sound with punk and garage influences and there will also be some blues courtesy of The Vibes. The formidable Helena Johnson tops the bill, gracing Oxjam with an acoustic soul set. The Oxjam team also have lots of fun-filled activities planned for The Brink, including games, raffles and stalls.
Emilio, Liam, Jessie, Liv and The Witty Featherstones will also take to the Oxfam Bold Street to perform intimate acoustic sets throughout what promises to be a great day. You can get six venue’s worth of action for just six pounds or you’ll need to part with twelve gold coins to gain access to the twelve hour Super Weird Happening.