Getintothis guestlist selections Part Two: Liverpool venues, labels and promoters

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Liverpool promoters, label folks, venue dudes, festival runners and general movers and shakers tell what they loved this year, and what’s next.

As we say goodbye to 2019, it seems fitting that we should be canvass the opinion of some of the biggest names of the Merseyside music scene.

It may not be names that you are instantly familiar with, but rest assured, these people are the heartbeat of what goes on around here on a daily basis.

Without these good folks, bands themselves, their fans and, dare I say it, writers and reviewers would have nothing to praise or complain about.

Putting their reputation on the line with each booking or signing, taking a chance on new acts continuously, hoping they’ll sell some records or shift some tickets.

Hoping that their judgement is sound every time sounds quite frankly exhausting.

They are the reason why we love the job that we do, and the reason that the local scene feels as healthy as it does, so many gigs and bands.

We put our trust and our earned cash in their hands and have faith in their ability to deliver us the goods.

2019 in particular, with the ever glorious Sound City, the 6 Music Festival, so many countless high quality all-dayers as well as a seeming increase in the amount of brand new bands swerving Manchester to come here instead, this feels like it was such a good year.

And although it’s a cliché to say it, next year is promising to shape up even better.

Sound City‘s initial line-up has an abundance of bigger names than the last few have had (whether you feel that is a good thing or not is another conversation) and there’s a raft of splendid new bands already in the diary at a variety of venues for a multitude of promoters.

All of which benefits us all, especially those of us at Getintothis, more bands, gigs and happenings that we will be bursting to tell you all about.

We cannot wait.

Let’s get the ball rolling finding out what the best albums and gigs of 2019 were for the Liverpool music industry and their personal tips for 2020.

Getintothis’ guestlist selections Part One: staff writers and photographers on 2019

Up on high at Africa Oye 2019

Kevin McManus, Head of UNESCO City of Music Liverpool

“I enjoyed Africa Oye, Future Yard, LIMF, and Sound City. I missed the Nile Rogers set at LIMF, which I know was a big thing for a lot of people. I would have loved to have seen it but I was over at the Music City stage watching a tribute to Tony Butler (former owner/manager of the Zanzibar who sadly died last year).

It was put together by Nick from the Tea Street Band and they,The Zutons and others provided a fitting tribute to Tony.

It was great to see Luna playing on the LIMF Main Stage as well.

One of the beauties of this job is that I’ve got to meet a load of great musicians and organisations like Melodic Distraction and Liverpool Audio Network who are both doing great work.

In fact one of my favourite listens of the year was a mixtape put together by a couple of young local lads going under the name of Keplaar who just got in touch with me.

I enjoyed watching the artists who came through the Levi’s Project too.

On a very selfish level I loved putting together the playlist for the LFC victory parade. I’m not sure how many of the crowd along the route could hear it because of the noise but it was a nice thing to do anyway.

In a very different vein I enjoyed interviewing local heroes OMD at the opening of their exhibition at the BME a couple of months ago. They have had an amazing career and were remarkably open about the ups and downs over the course of their history.

I was lucky enough to spend a few hours chatting to Elvis Costello one morning as well which was another highlight. I’d met him a few times before years ago but when he turned up unexpectedly one day I had a chance to have a proper sit down with him.

It was fascinating talking to him about music (he knows everything and everyone), family, football and all the other important stuff. A lovely, incredibly knowledgeable, witty man who has a real passion for the city.

Favourite music of the moment or gigs that stick in my mind includes a load of local stuff like She Drew The Gun, The Mysterines, The Coral, Bill Ryder Jones, Yousef, Pizzagirl, Chinatown Slalom and Eyesore and the Jinx.

We put on a gig last week with She Drew The Gun which turned out to be one of my favourites of the year. It came about because Louisa from the band wrote the brilliant Russian Doll as a commission from Culture Liverpool’s Rise project.

In my role here I’ve enjoyed being able to facilitate getting a bunch of the young artists from the LIMF Academy to get to play in Falmaco in Portugal, and three bands from the city region to go a bit further and play in Ulyanovsk in Russia.

Our friends in Hannover, another UNESCO Music City, have been incredibly hospitable again over the last 12 months too.

But if you pushed me for a favourite album of the year I’d have to go outside of Liverpool to Dublin because I love Fontaines DC’s Dogrel.

Closer to home I really like what I’ve heard of Wigan’s The Lathums so it will be interesting to hear more next year.

Looking forward, I’m a huge Massive Attack fan so it is great that they have chosen Liverpool to do their first ever super low carbon emissions show.”

The Mysterines

Revo, Director at EVOL

Top 5 Albums of 2019

2019 was a strong year and I could list quite a few more but these are my stand out records of 2019, the ones that have entertained, raised an eyebrow and surprised.

The Murder Capital: When I Have Fears

Ladytron: Ladytron

Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes: End of Suffering

Angel Olsen: All Mirrors

Beck: Hyperspace

Top Gigs / event of 2019

Here’s a list of 10 that have been pretty special this year, they all have their qualities and experiences. For me, they were all mind blowing shows to work on and so nice to watch these groups play in Liverpool to great crowds.

Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes at Arts Club Theatre

Red Rum Club at O2 Academy Liverpool

White Denim at O2 Academy Liverpool

The Murder Capital at Arts Club Loft

She Drew The Gun at O2 Academy Liverpool

Fontaines D.C. at O2 Academy Liverpool

Mysterines at Jimmy’s Liverpool

Metz at Phase One Liverpool

Beak> at Arts Club Theatre

Nova Twins at Sound Duke Street

Music Tip for 2020

The Mysterines.

Just so good.

They smash it every time they play and their Jimmy’s show was off the scale. They’ll be selling out their Feb show at the Arts Club soon and the world is their oyster in 2020.

Really hope they break through the stratosphere. The most exciting new band around at the moment, they have everything they need.

Bruce Springsteen (credit: Artist’s Facebook page)

Michael Eakin, Chief Executive, Liverpool Philharmonic

Top 5 Albums of 2019 

Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Vasily Petrenko: Mussorgsky: Pictures At an Exhibition

Bruce Springsteen: Western Stars

Our Native Daughters: Songs of Our Native Daughters

Weyes Blood: Titanic Rising

Angelique Kidjo: Celia

Within my five I will be cheeky and pick one (but only one) of the several brilliant albums released by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra in 2019 – the latest in the series of our Russian Chief Conductor Vasily Petrenko thrillingly interpreting some of the greatest music from his homeland:

Top Gigs / event of 2019

kd lang at Liverpool Philharmonic Hall

Simply a peerless artist at her very best, holding a packed audience completely enthralled.

Sharon Shannon and Seckou Keita at Music Room

Sharon Shannon’s star is undimmed since she burst upon the  Irish folk scene in the early 90s. A collaboration with Senegalese kora player Seckou Keita may have seemed unlikely on the surface but it worked a treat.

Music Tip for 2020

Isata Kanneh-Mason

The Nottingham-born Kanneh-Mason family are taking the classical music world by storm. Cellist Sheku is already one of the most exiting British artists to emerge in decades. Watch out for his sister, pianist Isata, in 2020. She’s every bit as good.

Getintothis’ Top 100 Albums of 2019: A Year In Review

Daughters

Andrew Ellis, Giant Artist Management

Top 5 Albums of 2019 

Oliver Coates: John Luther Adams‘ Canticles of the Sky & Three High Places

Giant Swan: Giant Swan

Caterina Barbieri: Ecstatic Computation

Liturgy: H.A.Q.Q.

Jenny Hval: Ashes to Ashes

Top Gigs / event of 2019

Gazelle Twin & NYX Electronic Drone Choir at Southbank Centre

Daughters at Arts Club

Black Midi at Seachange Festival, Totnes

Music Tip for 2020

Music isn’t worse or less political today, you’re just old.

Michael Kiwanuka

Rory Taylor, Positive Vibrations

Top Album of 2019

Michael Kiwanuka: KIWANUKA

Top Track of 2019

Mungo’s Hi Fi feat. Max Romeo + Eva Lazarus: Babylon Raid

Top Gig of 2019

Ludovico Einaudi at Liverpool Philharmonic Hall

 Music Tip for 2020

Kiko Bun: an exceptional vocalist, Kiko works in a cross-section of reggae, soul, vintage R&B and Hip Hop. As well as having a strong back catalogue, he’s also collaborated with Shy FX, Loyle Carner, Swindle and Chase & Status. I anticipate 2020 to be a big year for him.

Fontaines DC

Luke Burrows, Sound City

Top 5 Albums of 2019 

Sigrid: Sigrid 

Fontaines DC: Dogrel

Nilufer Yanya: Miss Universe

Champs: The Hard Interchange – This is boss, get on Katrina.

Wasuremono: Are You OK?

Top Gigs / event of 2019

Sports Team at Sound 

Low Island at Phase One 

Fontaines DC at O2 Academy

Music Tip for 2020

Bamily / The Goa Express

In the Pit Festive Special: 2019’s best culture and music photographs of the year

Mr Ted

Krystian Hudson, Society of Losers Records

Top 5 Albums of 2019

Mr. Ted: El Dirty Sexy

So fun, so carefree, so catchy and a moment of pride for us to have released it

Spam Javelin: The Crackwhores of Betws Gamon

Raw, honest and relentless

False Advertising: Brainfreeze

Still catchy and effortlessly sing-a-long-able but so much more of a development from their debut with tons more edge. This band can do no wrong

Little Simz: Grey Area

Only picked this up quite recently but it’s so enjoyable. It chimed with me instantly and i’ve probably had it on about 20 in the past few weeks

Nilufer Yanya: Miss Universe

Very different and an album that isn’t just a collection of great songs, it’s a concept and every song ties in. It’s great.

Top Gigs / event of 2019

Crapfest was superb and a great moment for the DIY punk scene that is so strong from North Wales to Manchester and through Liverpool. 

SPQR selling 2 nights at The Kazimier stockroom was brilliant and cemented them as a next breakout band of Liverpool

Future Yard was really special, picture-esque and unusual venues, tons of brand new and superb bands mixed with established acts and up and comers and the turnout for the first one was very encouraging. Hopefully there will be many more

Zubberdust at Constellations. Transformed into another world for one evening and the whole thing ended with about 250 people banging pots and pans to Henge

Music Tip for 2020

We just signed Kin and Lennie Dies who are going to be making excellent music all year, Crapsons have been constantly improving and we would love to see them get the attention they deserve. Stores are very exciting and as an Eggy Records super group it’s hard to keep expectations down then there is Fisherman Swilbert who is a masterful song writer and really deserves to be heard.

Peter Doherty

Veso Mihaylov, Phase One
Top 5 Albums of 2019

Fontaines D.C.: Dogrel

Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes: End of Suffering 

Temples: Hot Motion

Red Rum Club: Matador 

Circa Waves: What’s It Like Over There?

Top Gigs / event of 2019

Might sound a big self indulgent but managing to get Pete Doherty to play Phase One on my birthday is bound to hold a special place in my heart.

Music Tip for 2020

Working Man’s Club and The Mysterines something quite brilliant about both of these.

Beak>

Kaya, Chris, Andy and Emilia, Threshold Festival

Top 5 Albums of 2019

Michael Kiwanuka: Kiwanuka

Gang Starr: One of the Best Yet

Foals: Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost Part 1

Cate Le Bon: Reward

Thom Morecroft: The Feng Sui And The Sushi

Top Gigs / event of 2019

Lizzo at O2 Victoria Warehouse, Manchester

Emilio Pinchi EP Launch at 81 Renshaw, Liverpool

BEAK> at Arts Club, Liverpool

Emergency Tiara at Manchester Academy

The Cure at Øya Festival, Oslo

Music Tip for 2020

Chincilla

Beija Flo

Joel Murray, Kazimier Stockroom

Top 5 Albums of 2019

Mutandini Karl: Goldne Zahne (Transcachette Tapes) 

The Flying Luttenbachers: Imminent Death

Solange: When I Get Home

Paddy Steer: Arkipelagon

Stealing SheepBig Wows

Top Gigs / event of 2019

Zu at Stockroom 

Italian noise jazz legends!  Sweatiest +loudest gig I’ve been to in a long time!

Deerhoof at Gorilla in Manchester

They gave us exclusive seats as my girlfriend was 8 months pregnant!  We felt very special! 

Music Tip for 2020

I’m very excited by Beija Flo and the Eggy Records crew, it finally feels there’s a load of really decent, serious bands coming up in the city for the first time in years which is super cool and inspiring. We’ve needed a fresh injection for a while!  

I am also really excited to be bringing some amazing things to the Stockroom in 2020 including Jarboe from Swans and one of my ultimate fave bands Old Time Relijun in the Spring.

Red Rum Club

Chris Taylor, Parr Street Studios

Top 5 Albums of 2019

Bruce Springsteen: Western Stars

I am an engineer and this is a masterpiece. Sonically it’s beautiful- the sound of each instrument is expertly crafted.  Ron Aniello’s use of soaring cinematic strings create a beautiful landscape for Bruce’s voice to return to what he does best – storytelling.  A favourite of the year for me.  

Ian Brown: Ripples

Getting to record this with Ian Brown is one of the highlights of my career. I don’t think its particularly groundbreaking musically or sonically – but seeing Ian’s determination to do it all on his own as a bold solo statement after the breakup of the Stone Roses was incredibly inspiring. 

Clean Cut Kid: Painwave

Ok – I’m biased about this one (they’re my mates) but I loved watching them record this in a make-shift rehearsal-room-cum-studio. It’s got a Fleetwood Mac aesthetic which perfectly compliments Mike Hall‘s songwriting.

Billie Eilish: When We all Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?

Macabre in its content and bravely sparse in its instrumentation – it’s alt-pop at its best.   I must admit I didn’t really get the hype until I was lucky enough to be stood side of stage at her now infamous Reading Festival performance.  It’s been a constant sonic reference in the studio this year.

Red Rum Club: Matador

These are local lads that I’ve been fiercely pushing since day one. Their infectious fiesta-based indie is winning over fans everywhere they play. Matador is their debut – Album 2 is currently under construction.  Mixing them when they headlined the Liverpool O2 Academy was one of my gig highlights of 2019. 

Top Gigs / event of 2019

I went to see The Coral in Moscow and that was the best of the year for me.

Music Tip for 2020 

Watch out for two newcomers: Ali Horn and The Lathums.

Records we’ve been working on at Parr Street (which we expect to be in contention in this article next year) include new albums from The Coral, John Head, Blossoms and Vistas!

2020 is going to be a good year for music.

Ibibio Sound Machine

Neil Campbell, Capstone Theatre

Top 5 Albums of 2019

Kikagaku Moyo: Masana Temples

Moon Duo: Stars Are The Light:

King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard: Fishing For Fishies

Caterina Barbieri: Ecstatic Computation 

Floating Points: Crush

Top Gigs / event of 2019

Ibibio Sound Machine at Invisible Wind Factory

Music Tip for 2020

I’m really looking forward to the new Tame Impala album.

Dave, Hyundai Mercury Prize winner (Twitter @MercuryPrize)

Dave McTague, Mellowtone 
Top Albums of 2019
I haven’t listened to that much ‘new’ music this year but have listened to a lot of ‘new to me music’.  Three albums from 2019 I’ve really enjoyed, in no particular order:

Sleaford ModsEton Alive 

Dave: Psychodrama

Richard Dawson: 2020 

Top Gigs / event of 2019

Biased I know, but I’d have to say Africa O’ye

Tip for 2020

Look after each other.  

The Night Cafe

Stephen Vondy: I Love Live Events

Top Albums of 2019

The Night Cafe: 0151

Mahalia: Love & Compromise

Loyle Carner: Not Waving But Drowning

Top Gigs / event of 2019

Catfish & The Bottlemen: M&S Bank Arena

Mahalia: Invisible Wind Factory

Sports Team: Arts Club

Peter Doherty: Hangar34

Spinn: O2 Academy

Music Tip for 2020

Sports Team and Jamie Webster.

Fat White Family

Kara McCabe,SJM Concerts

Top 5 Albums of 2019

Friendly Fires: Inflorescent

8 years, 8 whole years waiting for this glorious nugget.  Very happy they are back.

Fat White Family: Serfs Up!

This has been on repeat for me since its release. Genius.

Lizzo: Cuz I Love You

If there’s a collection of tracks to make you feel happy and sassy this is the one – have to give her a nod for her live show too. What a performer!!

Vampire Weekend: Father Of the Bride

Another one of my favourite bands returning with a blinder.

Loyle Carner: Not Waving, But Drowning

I could listen to this all day every day.

Top Gigs / event of 2019

Little Simz: Manchester Academy 3

The ultimate professional, showman and trailblazer. I was in awe of her. Incredible musician.

Friendly Fires: Manchester Albert Hall

Like the new album I was elated to see them perform live again and they did not disappoint. Ed + his dancing = magic

Neighbourhood Festival

I was honoured to witness sets from The Blinders, Yonaka and Fat White Family.  The audience interaction, the musicianship, stage presence; I’d never seen anything like it.

Tame Impala: Blackpool Empress Ballroom.

One word – Lazers.

Tears for Fears: Liverpool M&S Bank Arena

This has to be given a nod. What a repertoire. Ever since I was a kid I’ve always listened to them and never got the chance to see them live. It was just incredible.

Music Tip for 2020

We love Pizzagirl in our press department. Always happy to support a fellow scouser!!

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