It’s high, high summer already, huh? Leo season might seem like its just one long Insta scroll of glitter and itsy bitsy teenie weeny yellow polka dot bikinis, but hey if you’re not in Croatia, Berlin or Ibiza, there’s still sun/rain-soaked adventures to be had back home. Here’s our monthly round up of what is HOT in Merseyside this month.
Whilst the MDR team might frequent different racks in the record store – and bicker like kids over the studio turntable – there’s a handful of events the whole team are excited about. These three are unmissable:
New Bird Skate Park Fundraiser – Constellations
Tucked right round the corner from our little studio, lain unloved and underrated is the New Bird Skate Park. In desperate need of a lil TLC, the local heads are coming together to gather some £s n ps to transform this historical wee gaff back to its former glory. Drawing tourists for years, and a renowned crucible fo sk8 creativity (it was the first place Lost Art / Mersey Grit collabed with other crews) the park deserves a tidyup, new fencing, some ramp upkeep and cleaning supplies.
Trying to raise £1000 to make it all happen, some of Liverpool’s most established crews of DJs have come through, pulling talent from Born To Roll, Ghost, Spektrum, Rum Riddimz Run, Melodic Distraction, Boogaloo, Wide Open, Smithdown Selects, ØSCILLATE & Meine Nacht. Plus, some of Liverpool’s finest drinking establishments have offered up prizes for a mega raffle, with food from New Bird to boot. A perfect community day out for a great community cause.
Bishop Nehru with REMI – 24 Kitchen Street
Bishop Nehru might only be a spritely 21, but he’s already tucked away projects, tours and productions with some of hip-hop heaviest hitters. Working alongside DOOM, Kendrick Lamar, Wu Tang, Joey Bada$$, Madlib, 9th Wonder, Earl Sweatshirt, Nas, DJ Premier and Kaytranada before even clocking enough years to pass a Masters degree, Bishop Nehru seems to have single handedly revived boom-bap. He’s drawn praise from NME, Crack, Pitchfork and pretty much all the other big guns you care to name.
The booking makes a fantastic addition to Bam!Bam!Bam! and Madnice’s past year, who still remain amongst Liverpool’s keystone hip-hop and jazz-bent promoters. Coming in on support is up n bubblin’ REMI, a hip-hop duo from down under.
Down to Funk in Rat Alley– Rat Alley, Kazimier Garden
What a year it’s been for Down To Funk! Meraki is all a-flow, they’ve booked sell-out parties with DJ Boring, Baltra and Moodymann, plus held down numerous Saturdays nights (and mornings) in the Jac. Getting together for a no-pressure, high-fun friends n fam party, they’re taking over the Rat Alley with a jammed lineup of some of the North West’s best homegrown disc jockeys.
Yadava, So Flute founder and fresh off the back of a release on Church, takes the headline spot, swiftly followed by Fly High Society boss Bolts, local disco legend Pooky, Range of the Reeds / Wide Open fame, underground dub spinner Che Wilson, Jack Tilston from Boogaloo and the main man Flossy. If you’re thinking some of these names ring familiar, you’d be right – many of these lovely faces have appeared on MDR, and Yadava was the title track for our very own crowdfunder video, which you can peep right here. That’s not all though, Melodic Distraction’s very own layabout, Lupini slinks onto the lineup too, bringing up the rear.
Notoriously shoddy with telecommunications, you’ll have a better chance of tracking down MDR’s resident studio cat at these events. That, or rustle a box/bottle of treats (olives in brine/retsina, respectively please) and watch her come a-runnin’.
Album Playback with Michael Lacey – OUTPUT Gallery
Our resident studio mouse has been entirely obsessed with the idea of quieter, les club-centric modes of listening recently. Tired of getting doublevodkalemonades poured over her shoes, she’s been hankering after listening circles, ambient parties and anything outside the normal gig/club dichotomy. After the successes of Plantlife and Immix Ensemble, there’s certainly room for another well-behaved diner at the communal music table. Enter Michael Lacey, hosting a playback party of his latest works in Seel Street’s spanking new OUTPUT gallery.
Whilst Lacey’s work is slightly too watercolored and ephemeral for this particular creature’s concrete tastes, the sentiment of the event itself is greatly enjoyed and she can’t wait to experience the sumptuous halfway marker between private/public musical experiences.
Seatbelts at The Bido Lito! Social with The Aleph + Annexe The Moon – 81 Renshaw
Well, first and foremost, the 23rd is this cellar dweller’s birthday, so you should be coming out armed with cake and birthday bumps. Secondly, and vastly more importantly, 81 Renshaw streets hosts three of the Liverpool’s fastest-rising pop outfits for a night of fluffy fun. Seatbelts, The Aleph and Annexe The Moon are all integral parts of the Liverpool’s internal live music carousel and celebrating Bido Lito 0.92, the baggy-trouser-donning, neo-hip fluffsters bring their delay pedals and good cheer to one of town cutest venues.
A Day In The Sun – Birkenhead Priory
Merseyside’s resident experimental outfit Emotion Wave have put together a full Teddy Bear’s picnic over the water, with pretty much a who’s-who of chin-strokey, forward-thinking electronica in the North West. MDR favourites UpitUp, M T Hall, Reedale Rise and Isocore join forces with canal boat based radio station Gated Canal and Preston tape label Concrète, as well as up-and-coming artists Breakwave, Lo Five and about a bajillion more.
With Blodge on the beers, wood-fired pizza on the bubble and the whole thing situated in an ancient monastery, there’s enough here to keep you dancing and eating Pom Bears until the 21:26 train back, landing you home in enough time to get in a last few pints at The Grapes. All the fun of a festival, minus the Portaloos, crappy sleep and overcrowding. Can’t say fairer than that, right?
When he’s not cooking up a storm at Kala Festival, Gottwood Festival or MODU:LAR, you can find Josh Aitman brewing up some spicy dance moves at his favourite events over the next 30-odd days.
Don’t Look Now: The Closing Party – Plot 22, Sheffield
Sheffield Techno party crew Don’t Look Now are relocating to pastures new, so to close up their end of a belter era of parties, they’re having one last hurrah. Bringing together some of their most beloved bookings over the years, and reuniting their residents for one last time, they’re celebrating their last three years of bringing bleep, electro, techno and house to the ears of Sheffield. This time around, they’ve brought DJ Pipes (resident of the infamous Kabal parties), Cellar Dweller (Sheffield Techno Institute), Smiley Selassie as well as putting all 3 residents in, cheek and jowl: Deburgh b2b Nomadic b2b Tom Lye.
Longtime friends of the station, the DLN crew have been by our side at Gottwood, decorated our shutter, provided incredible artwork to our Kickstarter campaign as well as holding down boss regular shows. Whilst this do might be their last under the Don’t Look Now monicker, we’re certain the folks have got more party miles in ‘em yet.
MDR Crowdfunder Closing Party & Tom Lye’s Leaving Do – Brick Street
Rounding off the very final lap of our Kickstarter, we’re throwing a wee bash to celebrate how far we’ve come and how far we’re going. As of Sunday, we’ll be just 3 days away from the deadline on that crowdfunder. To celebrate and round it all off, we’re having the finest local selectors on the decks, a BBQ with veggie and vegan options, a kickabout in the morning AND a huge raffle too.
Plus, we’re raising a glass and saying goodbye to Studio Manager Tom Lye, who is jetsetting off to Peru for the next year, putting boozers all over town out of business with his absence. He’ll be indulging in a super long set to say goodbye, so come down to shake a tail feather or two.
Disco and house lover, Eve Whiteside has been our reliable events maestro for a few months now, and she can always be trusted to uncover an excellent party. Here’s where you’ll catch her shaking down in June.
Max Graef – Más x Loose Lips X SISU Liverpool All Dayer – 24 Kitchen Street
Más, Loose Lips and SISU bring something new to Kitchen Street. With Berlin-based Graef fresh off releasing his brand new LP on Apron Records, this booking is extremely exciting. Expect a display of his eclectic taste, in which he incorporates a blend of dusty jazz, hip-hop, and house. His smooth and soulful selections of dance music will have the room buzzing. With such an array of musical talent on offer, including lots of boss local resident DJs, you’d be silly to miss out.
If you don’t know them already, SISU are an incredibly inspiring London-based group that promote female creativity through music. They’ve brought some of their residents out to play with the folks from Loose Lips and Mas, bringing Calaida, Malissa, Shea Chapman, Kortzer, Paxman, Feral State, JD, Li, Medallion Man, Juggins, Treece and MDR’s Lupini to the table. If the lineup alone wasn’t enough, there are also DJ workshops being held throughout the day with Liverpool’s own Breakwave running from 2 – 4pm, which are not to be missed if you’re an aspiring selector. Get yourselves down early for an all-day boogie and to get some experience while you’re at it.
Mouvement SummerClosing Party with Folamour & Bellaire– Constellations
Rounding off a very successful run of parties this year, Mouvement invite disco don Folamour to boogie down at Constellations as part of an 11 hour party. His sound lies somewhere in the middle of uplifting house, disco and funk, which shine through in some of my favourite tracks of the year including ‘Ivoire’, ‘Devoted to U’ and ‘A Power of Blessing And Unity’. Folamour has made a big name for himself recently, a frequent resident of Glitterbox and Classic Music Co., and garnering praise from Leon Vynehall, Roy Davis Jr. and Laurent Garnier, meaning he’s sure to bring the heat to this summer soirée.
Sharing the stage is fellow Frenchie Bellaire, marrying the latest in house and disco. Mixed with the likes of Melodic Distraction DJs, Chris Shennan and, of course, the Mouvement residents, this boss summer party in an all day and night grooving affair. Given the recent news of Constellation’s closure, be sure to make the most of the quirky space will you can.
Liverpool is spoiling us with excellent events left, right and centre. As well as the big guns that we’ve covered up top, here are some other events this month that are very much worth your while as well…
3 August – Dance Floor Mechanics Launch Party – Rat Alley (Postponed, so keep your eyes peeled)
10 August – Born to Roll Presents Meditate With Bass – North Shore Troubadour
20 August – Music Industry Surgery (FREE Advice Drop In) – LAN
25 August – Four to the Floor & Rotation’s Summer BBQ – Constellations
25 August – Lost Soul – Kazimier Garden
26 August – MaschienFunk present MrPaul & Moritz All Night Long – Rat Alley