Philharmonic Music Room celebrates its first birthday – a look back at our favourite memories

Mick Head and Sense of Sound

Mick Head and Sense of Sound

As the Philharmonic’s Music Room venue prepares to celebrate its first full year since opening, Getintothis’ Adam Lowerson looks back at some of the highlights so far.

The Philharmonic Music Room is set to celebrate its first birthday with a special evening of music on October 13, with a concert from Benjamin Mellefont and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, performing Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto in the main auditorium.

A fan of the RLPO? Read Getintothis’ Rick Leach on his new found love of classical music

The Music Room has become a favourite of Merseyside music fans over the past 12 months, and has hosted an eclectic mix of concerts and events. It’s intimate and relaxed setting is a huge contrast to the Philharmonic‘s main auditorium, but is every bit as great a venue.

Along with many international acts, the Music Room has welcomed some of Liverpool’s finest, with Ex-Easter Island Head and Mick Head with Sense of Sound. The venue also hosted the Liverpool Acoustic Festival and LIMF‘s From the Soul commission with Gilles Peterson.

Other memorable nights have included Imarhan, the Chills, John Bramwell, Eduardo Niebla, Bassekou Kouyate and Ryley Walker.

With its immaculate sound The Music Room affords an opportunity for smaller more niche acts to benefit from the sonic purity of the Philharmonic Hall away from the stilted formality of the main hall itself. It is this sense of intimacy that defines The Music Room. With its minimalist decor, the box feels like a rehearsal space allowing for a closer more relaxed atmosphere with greater audience involvement.

The Music Room works as a versatile space, depending on the nature of the performance it can be a seated or standing venue and it is largely a blank canvas allowing the performer to adapt the setting to the performance. It does, nonetheless, have its drawbacks. The austere high-ceilinged space will suit certain acts more than others and the considered and balanced sound can veer towards the clinical, which may not suit acts of a scuzzier and grimier disposition.

Yet those acts have plenty of options elsewhere. In its first short year since opening The Music Room has proved itself to be a vital addition to the Liverpool live music scene. For those seeking absolute clarity of sound coupled with a relaxed and intimate setting then The Music Room absolutely fits the brief.

Now entering its second year, the Music Room has already announced a number of upcoming shows, including the psychedelic folk of Scott Fagan, Steve Gunn, surrealist poet Robyn Hitchcock and Blue Rose Code.