On the night of their maiden live event, Getintothis’ Emma Walsh pays a visit to new neighbours The Well to soak up the surroundings plus sets from Andrew Hunt and The Aleph.
“Do you know, it feels so homely, you could live here” a friend says as we take in the newest venue on the Liverpool circuit.
It’s true, with a cluster of armchairs in one corner and the home comforts of leafy plants and overhanging fairy lights The Well could easily be someone’s front room. But at a time when the Council continues to sell off the city’s cultural cloisters to make way for surplus luxury flats and overpriced studio apartments it’s a relief to see this prime property forgoing lucrative redevelopment in favour of a stripped back public space devoted to the creative community of Liverpool.
It is a breath of fresh air to see a not-for-profit taking precedence over a sell-out considering the climate of closures taking down so many grass roots and creative spaces in the city of late. And to see a breath of fresh air invested into this less travelled by, off the beaten track corner of Liverpool. For this writer, The Well is a welcome new neighbour, but for the creative and gig-going community as a whole this venue comes as a blessing, going some way to fill the gaping, cavernous hole left by the forced closure of Mello Mello, the noise restrictions imposed on Static Gallery and for Adam Bresnen, the brains and hard graft behind The Well‘s rejuvenation, a welcome fresh start after the sad closure of the Fallout Factory.
With the fate of our beloved Wolstenholme Square decidedly doomed it’s been a scurry to the city’s outskirts for many of the creative hubs, setting up their various craft beer and vintage stalls in the Baltic Triangle but The Well offers a welcome alternative spot to settle down with a brew and bit of work, or bike repairs or low cost studio space.
North of the Bold Street hubbub and tucked away off the busier hillside streets, there is a real feeling of ‘height’ to the spot, with the open air yard relatively free of overbearing buildings. Inside there is a welcoming charm to the airy space, even here on ground level The Well draws effortless influence from the folksy, unadorned New York loft style which so many of the city’s new ventures have tried to emulate. There’s a patchwork feel to the space, an unfinished, rough around the edges kind of vibe that, paired with the little attentions to detail, set the perfect stage for a creative working space. It seems to breed creative potential.
There could be no sweeter spot then, for a free night of live music as James Canty invited special guests Andrew Hunt and The Aleph to join him on the bill of his first LOVE residency at The Well.
After a curious tale from a curious storyteller (Craig Sinclair of Lovecraft) we were already fascinated but a set of old school Outfit tunes from Hunt was quite the treat, setting a spectacular atmosphere on the maiden LOVE residency. The Aleph delivered the sole Liverpool outing of their most recent commission from Video Jam, a collaboration with artist and film maker Mary Stark with the vocals of Stealing Sheep‘s Lucy Mercer.
Delivering a weekly dose of LOVE at The Well, James Canty performed to a crowd of his peers with All We Are, Dan Croll and Silent Sleep among the familiar faces glowing in the pink light of the night. It’s been a steady soar of success for so many of those artists who joined Canty on the bill of the Fiesta Obscenic at Wolstenholme Square back in 2011 and he must feel, as so many in the know do, that he’s on course to enjoy the same fruition for hard labour soon.
Photos by Getintothis’ Martin Saleh: