It’s the Liverpool Biennial year. Unfortunately due to the loss of my dad I haven’t had the time to dedicate an entire day to walking the full Biennial trail. I’ve caught bits and pieces over the past few months like the dancing inanimate objects at the random apartment in One Park West, which while technically a fringe event was really nice. I’ve seen the stairs in Liverpool One, the Hummingbird telescopes in Derby Square and a few other things. I’ve also been lucky enough to see behind the scenes on a few commissions. So while I haven’t had the best chance to take time out and soak it all up like I normally do I feel like I’ve not missed out this year.
A new festival up in Kendal. I cover so many events and I’m usually rushed off my feet trying to Pokémon it all. This was a festival just as jam packed as any but somehow super chilled out. Maybe it was because it was spread over a few days and we glampped over. Is that how you even use that word? Glamped over. Well thats what we did. Posh tent out in a field 5 minutes from a Morissons and idling sheep. I’m doing a middle class wrist flick snap yo.
Unfortunately we couldn’t see the first days performances due to work but the second and third were lovely. A giraffe roamed Kendal nibbling on the tall trees. There was a permanent full moon inside a church. You made your own screen print totes. Live music filled another church at night. You could fly a drone and a project by Ironbird and Draw & Code, Bird Hive let you fly over the Lakes with a 360 degree VR experience like you were a bird… Or well a bird captured by a robot from a dystopian future perhaps as when you looked up you would see your drone overlord. VR outdoors made for a super accessible experience.
I always like photographing the Pride parade. It’s so full of life, energy and quite simply its great to see every type of person dance around the city because they’re proud of who they are. It’s infectious.
On 5th October 2015 a PC Dave Phillips was killed by a car speeding off the motorway towards Wallasey. The news broke while we were having breakfast and it was shocking. It happened just down the road from where I live. It’s not every day that a police officer is killed here. In fact the last police officer to be killed in a criminal act was in 1981. PC Phillips death made the national news.
On the morning of the funeral I was sat in a cafe thinking “If I go, why am I going?” I have to remind myself why I take photos of events such as these some days. Why did I go? Its important to show what happened. It’s important to show how many people were there. It’s simply important.
A year ago the Liverpool Irish Festival was revamped into a contemporary exploration of Irish culture. What does that really mean? Well, and this is the part that makes everyone go “Huh?”, they had Irish hip-hop this year. Irish. Hip. Hop. Yup. Two guys, two mics and a DJ dropping a beat. Best gig of the event imho. Rusangano Family had *so* much energy. It was crazy.
They also had these things called the “Meta-perceptual helmets”. Basically they were steampunk-esque chrome helmets that allowed the wearer to see the world like certain animals. They had a cat, giraffe, hammerhead shark, a gecko and a horse. Quite a fascinating experience. The gecko let you see both front and back. Hard to wrap your head around.
In a collaboration between National Museums Liverpool, 14-18 Now, Tate Liverpool and the Biennial, the Edmund Gardner was repainted as a Dazzle Ship back in 2014.
Last night, 1st October, as part of a nationwide event called the Night of Heritage Light the Dazzle Ship was lit up for just an hour. You couldn’t have picked a better night for it. The sky was beautifully clear with deep dusk blues and a crisp autumn chill in the air.
The event focused on lighting up several UNESCO World Heritage Sites around the UK. The idea was to promote lighting as both an art form and a science.
Holy cow what a weekend. I think LIMF this year has felt a lot tighter. The Academy stage was wonderful and I think the loudest stage in town. Real strong vibes there. The Bandstand was just lovely as usual. If I had to pick a stage to camp out by with beer, food and mates it would be the It’s Liverpool stage. Constantly great. A real joy.
I’ve loved this years events. So much has happened. The tribute to Gill Scott-Heron just a few days ago feels like months ago. There’s been a lot going on since then.
Man. What a day. Highlight was definitely the Its Liverpool stage. Great crowd. Great tunes. If I wasn’t working I’d be chilling there. If you’re about at LIMF today setup camp down there. The Real Thing were fantastic fun as were Herstory who had a guest appearance by Jayne Casey. The Academy and Bandstand stage had some great acts on too. I didn’t get to see much of the Central stage but thats on my list today. The great thing about LIMF is theres as much and as little as to do as you want. Want to sit in the park eating nice food and drinking a cider with your mates? Sorted. Want to jump around to thumping bass? Sorted. Want to sit on the beach with your kids? Yer that too. It’s such a good festival.
I’m not a Nashville country music kinda guy so I wasn’t aware of the Bluebird Cafe until last night. If I’m ever in town I’ll be stopping by. Last nights gig at the Bluecoat involved a spiritual recreation of the Bluebird cafe with beautiful music and conversation about music, creativity and life. I loved it. It was such an intimate heart warming gig. I learnt, or at least was reminded, that you need to stretch your “show up” muscle. That every “no” gets you one step closer to a “yes”. Most of all I learnt just how warm and soothing country music can be.