It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and Liverpool is bursting with ways to celebrate, Getintothis’ Steven Doherty brings us those Yuletide highlights.
Watching Christmas films in July? Listening to Christmas songs in October? Putting up the tree in the middle of November?
I’m aware that to most of you, these sound like the ravings of a mad man.
However, if you’ve answered yes to any of the above, well done, you like Christmas almost as much as I do.
Obsessed with it, that’s me. I spend January to June ruing the fact it’s gone, and July onwards looking forward to the next one.
So you can only imagine how delighted I was to be asked to write this year’s festive guide to what’s going to be going on in Liverpool, underneath these dark cold December skies.
If anything, there’s simply too much going on to include every last thing, so the normal gig guide will bring you up to speed as per every week, this is just mostly those out of the ordinary, once a year things.
So crack open the Baileys and Guinness (yum!), read on, enjoy and Feliz Navidad to you all.
Miracle On 34th Street The Musical: Playhouse, December 10 to January 4
It’s a strange thing, films that aren’t musicals that are turned into them.
The original film was great, the remake appalling, who knows how and where they’ll fit all the songs in?
If your tired of panto’s, (but then again, who in their right mind could possibly be) then this is sure to be an equally festive theatre night out.
Cinderella: Epstein Theatre, December 10 to January 5
It wouldn’t be Christmas without a bit of panto and there’s something about the cosiness of the Epstein that gives it the edge over most other theatre productions.
This year it’s good old Cinderella, pumpkins, slippers and all.
Oh yes it is.
Rod Stewart: Arena, December 10
Christmas time, a time for crooners. Rod Stewart is one of the big names still around, we are lucky enough to have him as part of his winter UK tour.
Not especially renowned for his Xmas songs, his set will be full of his well-known hits, as he’s here to promote his latest album, aimed squarely at the lucrative Christmas market, recently recorded with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
Your parents/grandparents would love a ticket, get them an early present.
Bido Lito x Liquidation Quiz: Constellations, Liverpool 10
Now this will be far more of a serious quiz.
Raising money for two great charities, MIND and The Whitechapel Centre, this is open to everyone with a maximum of 8 members per team.
Promising questions on all music, from Abba to Zappa as well as a trophy for the winner, live music and even mince pies.
Ian Prowse 15 Piece Band Christmas Extravaganza: Academy, December 14
The ghost of Pele past is back with his thumping, now quite the annual tradition, Christmas party.
As a festive treat, the underrated Scot Brit-poppers, The Supernaturals will be taking to the stage on a rare excursion to these parts, before the man himself.
Phase One Xmas Party: Phase One, December 15
Live Jazz and Hip-Hop. Vegan Food. Good Times.
All are promised at the Phase One Christmas Party.
What better way to avoid the noise.
Bombed Out Church Market: December 15
Another market that is becoming an annual event, this artisan market will see over 60 local independent stall holders. Street food, artwork and crafts as well as a live DJ.
Another laudable local venture that should be supported heartily.
Jerry Dammers: Spiegeltent, December 15
Spiegeltent is a Dutch word meaning ‘mirror tent’ and in Liverpool, there’s a multitude of things happening in ours, situated at the Cains Brewery.
The standout of which being this Sunday afternoon event featuring ex-Specials impresario Jerry Dammers.
You can have a dance combined with a Sunday lunch, but be careful that you’re not sick whilst giving it all that to Too Much Too Young.
Luna Winter Cinema: St George’s Hall, December 17-23.
This will be the place to watch those classics this December, in the stately presence of the finery that is St. Georges Hall.
We are promised huge trees, a big screen and most importantly of all, a fully licenced bar.
The perfect setting to have that yearly argument about what actually constitute a Xmas film or not (Die Hard? Gremlins?? The Greatest Showman??? Absolutely not.)
Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – The Immersive Experience: Albert Dock, December 19 to January 9.
Now this is an interesting addition. Taking place at the Dr Martin Luther King building at the Albert Dock, this promises “the ultimate Beatles listening experience”.
The album how they always wanted you to hear it, it’s said to be like being at Abbey Road itself, as it has been remixed by no other than Giles Martin (son of George) from the original recordings.
Not festive per se, but if you’re a big enough Beatles fan it will feel like all your Christmases have come at once.
Kate Rusby at Christmas: Philharmonic, December 19.
The good news is at this point there’s still almost a week to go before the big day, so treat yourself to something really festive.
Mercury Music Prize nominated Kate Rusby has been enchanting Christmas audiences for the last 15 years, and she now has for albums worth of festive material, so this will be sparkly folk at it’s finest.
A Christmas Carol: St George’s Hall, December 19 to 23
Back at St George’s Hall, it’s a spine chilling stage adaptation of the Dickens classic.
It has special resonance as Charles Dickens once graced the same stage as this production will play out on, reciting excerpts from his books some 175 years ago.
Don’t be a Scrooge.
Circus Xmas Specials: Bramley Moore Dock, December 21
Big night this, as befitting for the last Saturday before the holiday.
The legendary Circus have announced the line up for their Xmas do, which will run from 2pm to 11pm.
The line-up includes Steve Lawler, Hot SInce 82 and headliners Solomun, and will be finished in time to get into town to carry on the party.
It’s A Wonderful Life: Philharmonic Hall, December 24
It’s A Wonderful Life.The greatest Xmas movie ever on the greatest day to watch it.
There’s so many places having a cinema experience this year, but this is the original.
Get there early for the organist playing Xmas songs, marvel at the audience (some of whom have been doing this for years) bringing their own sound effects, and just simply enjoy a classic.
Joe Goddard DJ Set: The Merchant, December 26
Bored of it all by now, are we? For those with restless legs looking to work off those turkey pounds, get yourselves to this.
The Hot Chip frontman taking to the decks, you just know he will have impeccable taste in both music and his outfits.
Craig Charles’ Boxing Day Special: Camp And Furnace, December 26
The legendary 6 Music DJ and star of Red Dwarf brings his Funk and Soul Spectacular to the Camp And Furnace in a bid to blow away those Christmas cobwebs.
Tickets will be flying out for this, so get involved if you want to see the man DJ’ing classics in his hometown element.
Twisted Circus: O2 Academy, December 31
There’s DJ’s all night long, but that’s only the tip of the New Year iceberg at the O2 Academy tonight.
The circus element of the night also gives us daredevils, contortion and knife swallowing amongst others. You won’t get that if you just go the local for a pint.
There’s also candy giveaways giant balloon attacks and a confetti shower on the stroke of midnight.
R and B, Hip-Hop and Club Classics are en vogue here, so if all that sounds your cup of tea (there’ll be no cups of tea) get involved.
Chibuku NYE Party with Groove Armada: Invisible Wind Factory, December 31
The splendid IWF host a huge party featuring a spectacular DJ set from the bona fide dance legends that are Groove Armada.
It also has the Chibuku seal of quality so you know it’s going to be a night packed with tunes.
It’s on 10 till 4, and the full line-up will be announced nearer the time.
End Of Decade Disco: Baltic Market, December 31
To celebrate the end of the 2010’s, the Baltic Market is, for one night only, to transform into a disco heaven, all glitter and sequins.
There’ll be both live music and DJ’s with lots to eat and drink. If Disco is your thing, your NYE is sorted.
The Final NYE: Constellations, December 31
To commermerate their final year in their current location, Constellations have teamed up with their Baltic neighbours Melodic Distraction Radio to spend one last NYE looking up at the stars.
Crazy P will be bringing their famous Sound System to see them off, for those Constellations fans amongst us (of which there are many), this will be some send-off.
Dance Out The Decade: Leaf, December 31
Pretty much exactly what it says on the tin. Bold Street’s diamond celebrates the end of another 10 years with a night to remember.
Celebrate new beginnings with a good old knees-up a disco ball sky.
Eggy New Year!: Sound, December 31
One of Liverpool’s shining stars, the Eggy Records label has gone from strength to strength in 2019.
Following a recent all-dayer in the same venue, they are now back, taking over the Basement on this special evening for what’s sure to be a mad one.
Red Rum Club: Jimmy’s, December 31.
And finally, the pick of the month.
What a year for Red Rum Club. Sold out gigs, going off at festivals, all after producing one of the great records of 2019 in the shape of their debut album Matador.
To those of you (unlike me) who were quick off the mark getting tickets for this extravaganza, this will be some welcome to 2020.
Support comes in the shape of Shardy and Scuttlers and there’ll be DJ’s playing indie bangers till the small hours.
No better place to see in the New Year.
New Year’s Eve at the Kazimier Garden, December 31.
IWFM present their annual new year’s bash at The Kazimier Garden.
The night includes, live music and Kazimier DJs, including, Faux Queens, Mellodigy + Howard Be Thy Name, The SheA Twins, DJ Vinyl Silk, James and Ellis, plus live music from members of All We Are in The Wanton String Band.
Tickets on sale now.
New Year’s Eve at Camp and Furnace, December 31.
New Year’s at the Camp and Furnace includes special guest DJs, live dancers, circus performers and, of course banging tunes amid big visuals and lasers.
The team at Camp and Furnace know how to do Christmas Eve better than most so grab your tickets now. General ticket currently on sale.