Wirral New Music Collective announce Live Music Development Fund, plus Wirral’s best new music Top 10

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Bill Nickson (photo credit: Warren Millar)

Wirral’s Bill Nickson (photo credit: Warren Millar)

Wirral New Music Collective reveals exciting plans for live music in the area, here’s Getintothis’ Cath Bore with details of how to get involved.

Despite Wirral’s musical heritage and well deserved reputation in producing nationally and and internationally significant artists, the borough’s local music community finds itself poorly served, in a number of ways.

Names like The Coral and associated artists, Forest Swords and the long standing Half Man Half Biscuit – who release new album No-one Cares About Your Creative Hub So Get Your Fuckin’ Hedge Cut on 18 May –  have kept the peninsula’s fires burning, but there is little infrastructure in the area to support local music, meaning many musicians and producers record and build reputations in Liverpool instead of closer to home.

There are currently no live venues on Wirral dedicated to new music.

Skeleton Key‘s Sketelon Coast festival made its debut in 2016, a most pleasing turn of events, and last year Wirral New Music Collective was launched. This independent group of music professionals – record labels, music writers, promoters, visual artists, artist managers, magazine publishers and musicians – aim to change the current stalemate and help the peninsula generate and sustain a local music economy.

Chaired by Bido Lito! Magazine, the Collective includes representatives from War Room Records, Toucan Tango, Skeleton Key, The Open Door Centre, and others.

The group launched last August with a gig featuring Bill Nickson, Queen Zee and Jo Mary, at Gallaghers in Birkenhead.

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Wirral New Music Collective have announced a new fund – thanks to The Beautiful Ideas Company and Wirral Borough Council, which will provide a series of £500 grants for local musicians, promoters or music lovers – anyone with a great idea – to put on an innovative live gig in Wirral this summer, May-September 2018.

All ideas are welcome, on the condition the show takes place on Wirral – at least half are anticipated to be in Birkenhead – and features 50% or more Wirral talent. The more ambitious the idea, the better.

If a show breaks even, the Collective ask that a percentage of the profits go back into the pot so that more live shows can be commissioned in the future. The specifics of this can be discussed on a show by show basis.

Not only will selected live gigs receive £500, successful applicants will be invited to a regular monthly meet-up and receive the support of the Wirral New Music Collective to help realise their project.

To submit your idea, fill out this form here. The closing date for applications is 6 April 2018.

Despite Wirral’s disadvantages, the area is still a breeding ground for Merseyside’s best new music. Here’s our ten favourites in 2018.

  • Bill Nickson

Bill Nickson is a singer/songwriter growing a steady following. His mellow indie/pop brings the catchiness of The Magic Gang together with the melancholy of Mac DeMarco.

At the Deep Cuts is One show in January, Bill went electric. There were no shouts of “traitor! we’re happy to report, and he will be releasing a single on Record Store Day 2018 through Edge Hill University‘s The Label Recordings.

Jo Mary (photo credit: Peter Goodbody)

Jo Mary (photo credit: Peter Goodbody)

  • Jo Mary

Meshing together garage grunge with punk-psych, and often found to be performing in their underpants, Jo Mary have released two EPs, titled Songs To Shit To Volume 1 and Volume 2. They played at GetintothisDeep Cuts first birthday at Buyers Club, with fellow Wirralians Bill Nickson + Eyesore & the Jinx.

The Mysterines (photo credit: Keith Ainsworth)

The Mysterines (photo credit: Keith Ainsworth)

  • The Mysterines

The Wallasey-based trio led by singer-guitarist Lia Metcalfe set hearts racing at the Skeleton Coast festival in the summer of 2016.

The Mysterines performed in the small former school room upstairs, ‘melding swaggering rock & roll, propulsive Bleach-era Nirvana rhythmic clout and in Metcalfe a guttural nonchalant vocal bite which flits between deadened Courtney Barnett drall and fearsome Patti Smith howl – they’re at once intense and yet alluringly warm.’

The Mysterines have little online presence, you have to dig deep and search pretty damn hard to find anything, and only released a tiny number of CDs, quickly snapped up. Next month they open for Rory Wynne at his album release show in Manchester.

Queen Zee and the Sasstones (photo credit: Lucy McLachlan)

Queen Zee and the Sasstones (photo credit: Lucy McLachlan)

  • Queen Zee

Formerly Queen Zee & The Sasstones, the band are shortly to release a debut album, and embark on their first ever headline tour this April. They stop off at Shipping Forecast on 7 April as part of the 16 date tour.

Seatbelts

Seatbelts

  • Seatbelts

Seatbelts are a new project from Hooton Tennis Club’s James Madden and Ryan Murphy. The four piece have played under the radar support slots in Liverpool these last weeks, and released single Hey, Hey Tiger! from the forthcoming EP Songs For Vonnegut.

St. Jude the Obscure (photo credit: Warren Millar)

St. Jude the Obscure (photo credit: Warren Millar)

  • St Jude the Obscure

Adele Emmas and Christian Sandford, previously from bands Bird and Feral Love, returned to the fore as St. Jude the Obscure last year. The electronic art pop 2-piece play Getinthis’s Deep Cuts on 5 April at Buyer’s Club.

Zuzu (photo credit: Peter Goodbody)

Zuzu (photo credit: Peter Goodbody)

  • Zuzu

The GIT Award 2017 One To Watch winner and Zuzu signed her first record label deal with Virgin Records a few weeks ago. The Birkenhead singer and songwriter  has enjoyed a steady rise to prominence over the last 18 months, and last month featured on Steve Lamacq‘s show for 6Music during Independent Venue Week.

Zuzu plays Sound City on 5 May.

She Drew The Gun's Louisa Roach collects The GIT Award 2017 (photo credit: Keith Ainsworth)

She Drew The Gun’s Louisa Roach collects The GIT Award 2017 (photo credit: Keith Ainsworth)

  • She Drew the Gun

GIT Award 2017 winners She Drew The Gun released their debut Album, Memories of the Future in April 2016 via Skeleton Key. Singer and songwriter Louisa Roach is joined by Sian Monaghan (drums), Jack Turner (guitar) and Jenni Kickhefer (keyboards) and Louisa (vocals, guitar). They play Skeleton Key Records takeover at Tim Peaks Diner, Kendal Calling in July.

Eyesore and the Jinx

Eyesore and the Jinx

  • Eyesore and The Jinx

Though in their infancy, Wirral-Liverpool trio Eyesore and the Jinx have captured the imagination with their fresh take on Cramps-style garage freneticism.

With Josh and Liam from over the other side of the water (West Derby), it’s drummer Eoghan leading the Wirral charge with his pummeling barrage of beats culminating in a ferocious live proposition. Having had forays to Manchester and a wide variety of dates on Merseyside, they’ve built a kinship with the likes of Ohmns, Mincemeat, Pale Rider and Oh Well, Goodbye as one of the city’s ones to watch, and savage live bands.

Worth a follow on the ol’ Twitter too, with dry wit and nods to lizards always on the agenda.

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