ROGELIO NARITO Graphic Designer. Based in Liverpool. Available for freelance work/collaborations in: Design/Print/Photography Site: www.rogelionarito.com E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Blog: www.rogelionarito.com/57DukeStreet
ISSUE 1 / OCTOBER ‘10
LIVERPOOL MUSIC WEEK
TRUE STORY, STOP THE TRAFFIK
Dave Cookson takes a look at the line-up to the city’s best live music festival, which for some stupid reason begins today (29th October), on the very same night as our Launch Party at The Kazimier. We pick the brains of LMW’s founder Mike Deane to discover exactly how you keep something like LMW going for 8 years and what to expect over the course of the “week”.
Dave Cookson writes a harrowing article about the dark side of what’s going on in our city.
LIVERPOOL SOUNDS LIKE
Four of the bands we’ve had on in steady rotation at Waxxx HQ. Perfect listening material for you to listen to and enjoy.
Have you heard?...Waxxx has and it sounds very good. Find out about one of Liverpools most exciting new bands.
If you were lucky enough to stumble upon Waxxx 1.0 you may be on page 13-14, if not you didn’t look hard enough.
Simon Amstell lookalike Paul ‘Cass’ Cassidy tells us all about Liverpool Fashion Week. In theory, it could be a majorly cutting-edge event, with a load of talented designers flocking to our ‘cultural’ city to display their finest pieces, with the world’s most beautiful models in tow. In theory.
Olivia Woollam and Phil Doran give us a glimpse of who has been scrubbing up well on the streets of both Liverpool and Manchester this past month
Matthew ‘Pedro’ Lloyd gives us a definitive guide to the Liverpool arts scene including the Liverpool Biennial.
We interviewed Mr Gold to find out why the star of Discovery Channel’s London Ink has moved here, and how he is finding the city.
Ste Bax is an unlucky chap. Urchins cling to him for dear life and inject into him a sense of worthlessness, none more so than his ‘assistant’. Just this week he went to A&E after dancing topless in Mixed Bag. Read the full story on page 5million.
A BEGINNERS GUIDE TO BEING INDIE
Dolce Pebble is Liverpool’s most indie “indie”, and tells us how to become cooler. Advice includes, on safe sex, where to buy your clothes, and what to smoke.
That’s how it starts….after a frantic dash to the bank to pay the printers with two minutes to spare before the lazy bastard accountants finished work at 4.30, we hope in future it won’t be as hectic as it has been putting this first issue together. Anyways, we began thinking about producing magazine back in May and our first meeting lasted 10 minutes before we were both in Bumper off our barnets. After a repeat performance the next night, it’s a miracle we actually remembered we were going to try and produce a magazine. We first shown our colours at Waxxx 1.0 in September at Make Art Studios on Duke Street with the help of Greg, Lee, Tall Paul, Anthony and the lovely blonde girl who’s name wasn’t stored in our phone. It was a gentle introduction to what were about and touched at how many people showed their support. Many thanks to you all. October hasn’t really existed for us being locked away producing this magazine, but we are coming out the other end foaming at the mouth and ready to dance our tits off tonight at the Kazimier for our launch party. We welcome ‘Danger’ over from Paris to headline tonight’s event, with support from Kazimier’s own ‘Dogshow’ DJ’s and friends of ours from Late Of The Pier ‘Zarcorp’. Finally, although we didn’t know him a lot of people reading this magazine will, so we feel it’s more than appropriate to mention the loss of many peoples friend Luke Carragher. He sadly passed away this week and our thoughts are with his family and friends. Stay safe, Lots of love, Waxxx xxx
Website www.waxxx.co.uk Editors Michael Pickard – email@example.com Joshua Burke – firstname.lastname@example.org Designer: Ricky Narito – email@example.com Contributors: Dave Cookson, Philip Marsden, Mina Bihi, Paul Cassidy, Phil Doran, Olivia Woollam, Ricky Narito, Matthew Lloyd, Amee Christian, Dolce ‘the shotgun’ Pebble and Steven Baxendale Special thanks to: Ricky Narito, Paul Ledsham, Mandy Salter, Sophie Alice Todd, Pete Smith, Claire & Dave Pickard, Becky Jones and Mike Clarke. Advertisement: If you want to advertise in Waxxx please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Words - WAXXX | Illustration - ameechristian.co.uk
SINGLE TEETH!!! – See Spaces This has been our favourite song of late and is just fucking awesome. Friends of ours, almost, TEETH have just been in Iceland playing, swimming and being interviewed by someone who has previously ripped into them. We don’t intend to.
EVENT Warehouse Project, Manchester Sorry to Liverpool Music Week who were just tipped to the post in this two-unicorn race by the galloping WHP. It may be the better line-up. It may be that they gave us free tickets. It might simply be because they have way over the top, almostarrogant silver writing on their promo material. We’re still not sure. Either way, this year’s Warehouse Project, affiliated with Liverpool’s own Chibuku, promises to be the best yet.
REMIX Divine by Sebastian Tellier (Danger Remix). Yeah, Danger played our event. He might even be playing whilst you read this in fact, however, Danger has never set foot in Liverpool before so it’s surely an appropriate way to get excited for his arrival/get nostalgic about him ripping it up in The Kazimier for this magazine’s own launch party.
BLOG Salacious Sound We “like” SalaciousSound.com on facebook. We actually do though. The electronic music-loving hermits from over the pond work furiously to expose some of the best music you won’t find elsewhere. See waxxx.co.uk for more of their posts and our other favourite blogs.
Words - Dave Cookson | Illustration - ameechristian.co.uk
ALBUM GOLD PANDA: LUCKY SHINER It’s probably fair to say that Gold (or Derwin as he was born) Panda is either your cup of tea or he isn’t. Lucky Shiner is the producer’s debut effort after building hype following a series of remixes of tracks with his version of ‘Letter to My Son’ featuring on Bloc Party’s Intimacy Remixed. This is an unconventional LP dominated by electronic production, opener ‘You’ is a pressing track that slowly adds layers, it isn’t as such broken down at the end but subtle additions make it an impressive opening. Confusingly ‘You’ is also the name of the final song, with Panda laughing in the face of conventional wisdom. ‘Parents’ is alien to the other tracks on the album, featuring garbled vocals at the beginning before an acoustic guitar takes over for a couple of minutes. The track comes a couple of places too soon on the LP, and would be better served further back breaking up the multi-layered electronic feel to Lucky Shiner. ‘Same Dream China’ is a captivating track, like a lot of the songs on the album Gold Panda slowly but surely adds depth with samples, but as good a number as this is, you’re left feeling it still has somewhere to go when it finishes. ‘I’m With You But I’m Lonely’ manages to sound like an empty call centre at peak hours. That description may turn you on to the prospect of Gold Panda or alienate you entirely. Throughout Lucky Shiner there is a great sense of rhythm as it bursts with ethereal sounds produced by modern, industrial techniques. At times the music can be
LIVERPOOL MUSIC WEEK
Liverpool Music Week kicked off last Saturday with Warpaint at The Kazimier but if you’ve missed out thus far then fear not as it actually lasts closer to a month. Plenty of highlights are on offer, many of which do not cost a penny. Mojo boasts an impressive series of free gigs from 29th October to Monday 15th November, kicking off with 1Darwin Deez and culminating with 2Los Campesinos! Ticketed venues include Stanley Theatre, O2 Academy, Static Gallery and Mountford Hall. London outfit Chapel Club headline at Mojo on the 4th. The band don’t fit neatly into pigeon-holes which is never a bad thing, with a post-punk sound and lyrics that command intrigue, none more so than in ‘Surfacing’ with a twisted nod to chirpier music: ‘Bodies swinging in a sycamore tree, Dream a little dream of me’. It’s a rendition that certainly marks new territory for a track covered by Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong and Dean Martin. There is more than just a hint of shoegazing with Chapel Club and they are well worth a visit. Given the growing hype and a recent Later with Jools Holland appearance, this could be your last chance to catch them live for such a nominal fee, i.e. bugger all. Local musician 3Miles Kane has emerged from disbanded group The Rascals to embark on a solo career, whilst his exploits with Arctic Monkeys’ Alex Turner in The Last Shadow Puppets remain on hold. He will be playing at Mojo on 11th November where you may have to be a bit eager in order to get in ahead of the hardcore fans of Kane’s earlier projects. His individual material is elusive at best given the lack of a Myspace page or anything similar, making amateur youtube videos of previous live performances a rare obtainable source of what Miles Kane will be bringing to the table soon. If you want to hear Kane’s new material then your best bet is to revert to the presocial media age and actually go and watch him play live. Doing the opposite of The Rascals, Scouse Britpop favourites Cast have reformed and fans of Liverpudlian musicians will be disappointed to learn that they clash with Miles Kane. Cast play at the BBC Radio Merseyside Performance Space on the 11th, and will have many yearning for the 90s when tamagotchis were the bomb and Goosebumps books were the height of literature. 2Cast produced some indie pop classics back in their heyday with the likes of ‘Alright’, ‘Walk Away’, ‘Guiding Star’ and ‘Sandstorm’, don’t be surprised to see an audience full of nostalgic Scousers singing along. It will also be a bonus to hear some music by Cast without ‘…of Glee’ following in the band name. Once you’ve recovered from the crippling dilemma over which Scouse act to watch and actually been to see them, the following day should not be used for respite. Friday 12th November at Mojo should be arguably the most interesting show of the festival with Sleigh Bells headlining with support from O. Children. The support act released their self-titled album earlier this year complete with oodles of dark gothic tones. Not a million miles away from The Horrors, but the band retain a serious edge, with an impressive frontman in Tobi O’Kandi dictating the dark atmosphere. Sleigh Bells released debut album ‘Treats’ in May to widespread critical acclaim and deservedly so. The Brooklyn-based duo are an experimental lo-fi act consisting of producer Derek Miller and vocalist Alexis Krauss. Although Sleigh Bells remain in the infancy of their brash, in-your-face pop music careers, they still have an array of excellent songs. 4
‘Treats’ features short, snappy tracks with plenty of static effect in terms of production, leaving a ringing in your ears, but what else do you expect from a band called Sleigh Bells? Album opener ‘Tell ‘Em’ whacks your senses around the chops with a heavy intermittent beat and occasional siren sounds, whilst ‘Infinity Guitars’ should be a brilliant live tune with its infectious riff and sweaty indie mosh pit crescendo. In short, the duo have plenty in their locker to make them a fascinating live act. Mojo’s free show schedule culminates on 15th November with Los Campesinos! The Cardiff-based eight-piece have made two LPs and a mini-album amongst other releases and are an excellent live ensemble. Their name is Spanish for ‘The Peasants’, which could be seen as fitting considering the lack of cost for entry to the show. The combination of having eight members and a cacophony of instruments make the band sound frantic both on record and live, with barely a pause for breath in their juvenile but endearing pop music. Los Campesinos! boast quirky lyrical content with debut album ‘Hold On Now Youngster’ featuring the wonderfully named track ‘This Is How You Spell, “HAHA, We Destroyed the Hopes and Dreams of a Generation of Faux-Romantics”’. In further work the band haven’t abandoned these quirks with second LP ‘Romance is Boring’ featuring the lines ‘The traffic’s so persistent that it barely registers and it smells like a mix between petrol and dog shit’ and ‘You could never kiss a Tory boy without wanting to cut your tongue off again’. A few minutes is barely enough for Los Campesinos! to cram their lyrics in, and an iPod screen struggles to fit in some of their track names, but if you like frantic pop music without an air of pretension then they are right up your street. A collection of notable performers will be playing at ticketed events, !!! (5Chk Chk Chk) play on Halloween night at Stanley Theatre, bizarrely hypnotic Liars will be at the Static Gallery on Saturday 13th November with dance duo Leftfield bringing the curtain down on the festival at Mountford Hall on the 25th.
Words - Dave Cookson
LIVERPOOL MUSIC WEEK FOUNDER...
MIKE DEANE 1
Hi 1Mike, How are things going? Very good thank Mike. Very busy, but with the buzz we’re getting around the festival at the moment it feels like all the hard work has been worth it up to now. I genuinely think this is our best line-up to date, and we’ve been inundated more than ever with requests for tickets and info this year, which is always a sign that we’re in for a good event. Liverpool Music Week began in 2003 and over the last 8 years Liverpool has seen more and more well established artists visit the city. What has been your best memory since it began? There’s been so many highlights, it’s always difficult to pick a favourite memory. My best moments are a mixture of not just the best performances, but milestones that the festival has reached. Ian McCulloch supporting the festival & playing a covers set of his favourite all times songs in 04, Lee Mavers joining La’s bandmate John Power on stage in 05, Going ‘multi-venue’ for the first time was one of our biggest ever challenges, so getting to the end of that year having pulled it off was a great memory. In 06 a great highlight was having international superstar Seu Jorge jumping around the back room of Bumper with a plastic glass of warm beer, to the Liverpool Batala Samba Band after his Philharmonic show. An unheard of Dan le Sac vs Scroobious Pip’s first gig in 07.. Benga’s first Liverpool show at Magnet in the same year, as Dubstep was just bubbling under the surface as a new force in music.. Florence & the Machine’s first LMW gig to 200 people at the old Korova in 2008 & of course the MTV collaboration as a whole that year was a real landmark for the festival. The Specials playing our first Liverpool Olympia show last year was incredible, and I can’t really overlook how much of a highlight our first Echo Arena show was with Kasabian last year, mainly as the show underlined just how far we’d come since 03. But if I have to choose one, I think the stand out memory for me will be last year was Daniel Johnston playing a midnight performance at Masque with Hot Club de Paris. The line-up that night was incredible, boasting a wonderful variety of Liverpool’s very best ‘alt’ artists – all massive fans of Johnston. That was probably the most special night I’ve had, with Wild Beasts playing Alma de Cuba down the road on the same night, plus the fact that both venues were chocka block on a Tuesday night.
Do you monitor the music scene in Liverpool and how much an influence is it on which artists you book? I wouldn’t say we just monitor the music scene in Liverpool, we live and breathe it, and so do those we work alongside for each festival. There’s such a strong infrastructure in the city at present that’s still growing with new promoters, bloggers, photographers, designers and venue spaces appearing alongside the hugely active kaleidoscope of scenes & artists in the city. The patchwork of posters seen across the city provide a colourful snapshot of all that goes on behind the bustling doors of Liverpool’s creative spaces at present. We always make sure that we are working closely with the best and most active local promoters, collectives & organisations to produce our line-ups every year. It’s the best way to operate in such an active city as ours. If we don’t know enough about a new scene, we’re making sure that we’re working closely with the people that are. We’ll continue this model into the future, so anyone who wants to talk about working with us in 2011 can always get in touch! Obviously the big acts draw the crowds but what has really stuck out in previous years is the local talent. Who do you expect to be the years stand out local band and who are you looking forward to the most? It’s always difficult to predict, as there are always so many surprises during the festival where the underdogs steal the show… ‘Dogshow’ [techno-krunk duo from The Kazimier] for example were unheard of on the Liverpool circuit in 2007, and then went away as everybody’s favourite new band after their show with Friendly Fires at Bumper. There’s the bands that are hot on the lips of everyone in Lpool right now - Dire Wolfe, Owls, The Sand Band… Also, personally I’m looking forward to seeing Stealing Sheep at Zanzibar, Ticks with Egyptian Hip Hop & Seal Cub Clubbing Club’s new stuff. To be a ‘stand out’ band at the festival, I think we need to make sure the locals have the best platform for them to shine. One of the main reasons for scaling back the number of shows this year was to make sure that every slot on the festival is a good slot. For example, I think Shadow Cabinet on the Sleigh Bells gig will get a good reception, same with Capac on the James Yuill/Silver Columns night.. and its great to be able to give a good young band like Liberty Vessles exposure to a Darwin Deez audience. I think they’ll go down really well at that show. There’s so many more I could list, but I realise that I am waffling quite a bit as it is..
Interview conducted by WAXXX
No worries Mike! While we’re on the topic about local bands - do you feel a duty to support local artists? Of course we do, as are lucky enough to be in a position to do so. As I just mentioned we’ve scaled back our agenda slightly this year.. Although this does mean that we don’t have as many slots for local artists, I strongly believe that this has only strengthened the support we give to the artists that play. It’s a privileged position to be in, and all year round we’ll always do our best to support local artists, through our contacts, experience & relationships in the industry to help potential flourish. Do you find the longer the festival has been going on, more people are travelling from outside Liverpool to enjoy the festival? Absolutely! We struggle to book hotels for artists that we have playing if we leave it for too long! We’re by no means attracting those to come from far and wide on a scale as Mathew Street, but we’ve definitely seen a wider demographic through our crowd monitoring and ticket databases. As the festival has grown, we’ve established a wider reach across the UK with our press coverage, putting the spotlight on what we do here in the city. But I’m always pleased to see the Liverpool audience grow each year. It’s sometime difficult to get the message out to the masses through our better selling local newspapers. I find independent magazines and blogs are essential in getting our PR out to those who live in the area. So each year there are more new local faces in the crowd, I’lI feel that we’ve done a good job. What festivals have you been to this year? Do you take inspiration from other festivals and if so, what is it you add to LMW? I was getting married in the August, so for various wedding associated reasons, I didn’t manage to get to any UK summer festivals this year! I did a first visit to the ‘Open’er Festival’ in Poland for my stag do in June. It was voted Europe’s number 1 festival last year and is pretty much the equivalent to Reading/Leeds in Poland, except the beer is £1.30 a pint and it’s next to a beautiful beach! I also went back to Poland for the launch of Warsaw Music Week, that we’ve helped put together at the end of September. Warsaw is a city that’s bidding for Capital of Culture status for 2016, and has a vibrant underground music scene at present. Each year I’ll always make it down to Camden Crawl & The Great Escape, which are quite similar to our own festival in many ways. Aside from learning more about how they run their city-centre event, here are always good festivals to see
whether the front-running hyped artists each year are actually any good live or not! Although I didn’t make over it this year, SXSW in Texas has always been great inspiration for me, ever since I first went over in 2006 - the sheer power and spread of that festival is immense, with the majority of it being based at regular city centre venues.. I went 3 years in a row and still couldn’t get my head around how they make something of that size work, and work so well. Everything runs on time and to plan. From an operational point of view- it must be the best festival in the world. My first visit to Sonar in Barcelona was also that year. They have such a forward thinking team behind the event incorporating art, film & music. The programme is so varied and they don’t shy away from taking risks in order for their agenda to be creative as possible- nothing scares them! Closer to home, and from a business point of view- you’ve got to look at festivals like Bestival and Creamfields – as different as they are, they have got their business models so locked down that they sell out every year now, and both are hugely inspirational in learning how a festival captures exactly what its audience wants & to keep a festival surviving. Apart from the headliners Leftfield, what other headline shows are you looking forward to seeing? give us your top 5 Liars show at Static, The Drums at O2 Academy, Darwin Deez & Sleigh Bells at Mojo, Cast at BBC Merseyside. Do you think you can keep it going for another 8 years? It’s all about finding the right balance between ensuring the festival has good appeal to the public, whilst maintaining the sustainability of the event. I think we’ve proved in two very difficult financial years that we can adapt to suit the economic climate and still put on a festival of the highest quality. As long as we keep moving with the times, keep the festival fresh every year, I think we’ll most certainly be there for our 16th anniversary!
LIVERPOOL SOUNDS LIKE
Words - Dave Cookson
The Sand Band
The Seal Cub Clubbing Club
Local indie band with songs about that old cursed nugget called love. The Sand Band have a list of influences varying widely from classic songsters like Leonard Cohen and Neil Young to more modern inspirations such as Elliot Smith and Spiritualized.
Their title may not endear them to every indie kid’s favourite Mancunian (Morrissey) any time soon but The Seal Cub Clubbing Club continue building up a following of fans who struggle to say their name once they’ve downed a few tequilas.
Single ‘Set Me Free’ sees David McDonnell sing about the urgency with which a broken heart needs fixing, in keeping with the band’s themes as they deliver songs straight into the just been dumped playlist. ‘Out of Sight’ mixes an ambient sound with the trusty acoustic guitar, proving their appreciation of music both new and old plays out in their own repertoire.
The band have been going for several years now, impressive debut LP Super Science Fiction was released last year and their second, Royal Variety will be released on 15th November.
Supporting Los Campesinos! for Liverpool Music Week on 15th November, Dire Wolfe offer stripped down alternative indie rock. The band have been playing gigs in Liverpool for more than enough time to cover a Chilean miner’s summertime shift. Dire Wolfe offer modern power pop to keep any jovial individual happy, it’s difficult to say who they sound like - nobody exactly, whilst remaining totally accessible with catchy and quirky instrumental and vocal performances. The band’s debut release, a four-track EP, was released at the beginning of September with enough quality songs to acquire a new set of fans in addition to those picked up on their Liverpool jaunts, pointing towards an exciting future.
It is not just their name that is unconventional, SCCC are an innovative experimental rock band demanding repeated listens. Literature fans will be interested to know they reportedly bring books to gigs as part of their own book club project. The Venus Fury
The Venus Fury produce considered music with sombre tones and a wistful edge with songs like ‘Shiver’ in addition to atmospheric pop tracks such as the foottappingly good ‘Lovers in the Dark’. ‘Silence Kills the Fury’ has a combination of oriental noises with the band’s default setting of post-punk tinged with dark gothicness. The lineup consists of The Dead 60s minus the frontman, The Zutons’ ex-guitarist Boyan Chowdhury and female vocalist Iraina Mancini, yet sound nothing like the other two Scouse bands mentioned. The Venus Fury will be supporting Miles Kane at Mojo on 12th November.
HAVE YOU HEARD...
Words - WAXXX | Photography - Mark McNulty
‘THE WICKED WHISPERS’
It all began with 3 words, ‘Have you heard?’ It was these words that marked a formation of a group reluctant to scream their arrival from the rooftops, instead word of mouth is spreading like wild fire with a name surely too suitable to be true. So, who are ‘The Wicked Whispers’? Waxxx dispatches x to catch up with Michael Murphy to find out... Well, it’s probably no secret by now that the band is the brainchild of one of Liverpool ’s most unique singer songwriters Michael Murphy, whom has spent the last 18 months preparing the group. Murphy, a retro fanatic had built local notoriety with ‘Whiskey Headshot’, a band who became Liverpool’s most popular underground 60s influenced cult group back in 2008 and caused quite a stir. However on the cusp of bigger success, the band split. The timing however was perfect according to Murphy ‘Whiskey Headshot was already dead for us when things started taking off. I had another more defined group in mind in my head already but I also needed to go back to being reclusive songwriter for a bit, that part of me had died.’ It was from there Murphy built a small studio in his home and began writing and demoing a 30 song collection turning his hand to drums, bass and organ as the songwriting tool appose to guitar. ‘I needed a new perspective and needed to be just as good a bass player, drummer and organist as a guitarist. I also wanted to capture a more authentic 60’s sound in terms of the instruments used and the methods.’
In conjunction with new local record label, Electone Records, ‘The Wicked Whispers’ first special event ‘The Butterflies Ball and the Grasshopper’s Feast’ promises to be a true and genuine celebration of the American West Coast Psychedelic culture, era 1967-1970. Finding a fan in Arthur Brown, he agreed to perform at the event as very special guest for the night which the band are very excited about indeed. ‘One minute he was interested in the idea of the night, then once he heard the band he was on 100% board, the guy has inspired so many important bands but most importantly he is friends and has played with all of my 60s influences’ Alongside The Wicked Whispers and the Crazy World of Arthur Brown, El Toro and Eva Petersen will also be on the bill. As special treats, Howard Be they Name will be a doing visual lightshow frenzy, Will Sergeant (Echo and The Bunnymen) will be guest DJ and the whole night will be compared by BBC Radio Merseyside’s Dave Monks. ‘We want this to be a special night for the Liverpool Music Scene’ explains Murphy. ‘We want people to come and see our first night and feel it’s been worth the trip. There are lots of great band nights at the minute, lots going on in Liverpool which is great. But we just want to do a memorable one off night and introduce everyone to the Whispers in style and do our own thing... There are loads of little bells and whistles we’ve organized to make this special; nothing is by accident, its going to amazing!’
Murphy brought in Toby Virgo as bass player and joint lead vocalist to which he added Andy Smith (also previously guitarist in ‘Headshot’) and Ste Penn who would bring the trademark Vox Continental sound for organ. After teaming up with local producer and engineer Steve Powell (John Power, The Stairs, The La’s, The Magical World Of The Strands, Muffin Men) to work on some early demo’s Peter Shilton was then added on drums to complete the outfit. Key influences for the bands sound are those of The Byrds, Love, The Doors, Jefferson Airplane, The Pink Floyd, Buffalo Springfield and 13th Floor Elevators to name just a few.
The band seem extraordinarily close personally and professionally. All members seem overly dedicated in equal measures. Despite the musical vision being Michael Murphy’s, the group all have an active power that is evidently shinning through. ‘There has been a lot of hard work and deep routed friendships built here, its got a magic atmosphere surrounding it and everyone can feel it. Its not forced and its not by accident, not exactly sure whats going to happen but were loving every minute of it we can’t wait to get out there and let everyone see and hear us.’
‘The Wicked Whispers’ were picked by Will Sergeant of Echo and the Bunnymen to be his resident band at his 60s monthly club night ‘Friction’. The band would play acoustically warming up the groups material. By August 2010, The Wicked Whispers played their debut live performance on the original band stage as part of the Mathew Street Festival to a large outdoor audience receiving a striking reaction. A grand statement for any debut.
It certainly has been a long time coming however ladies and gentlemen ‘The Wicked Whispers’ appear to have finally arrived.
This winter the band are heading out on a small introductory UK tour starting in Sheffield October 30th. However the band are mostly exited about their first event in Liverpool being held at the Static Gallery, Saturday 27th November.
For all other information www.thewickedwhispers.co.uk or www.myspace.com/ thewickedwhispers
The Wicked Whispers play ‘The Butterflies Ball and the Grasshopper’s Feast’ Saturday 27th November 2010, The Static Gallery, Roscoe Lane , Liverpool . Limited tickets are available from Probe Record and See tickets.com. (£8).
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Photography - Mina Bihi | Rogelio Narito
BOOZE HOUNDS When I woke up the first thing I noticed was that I was on my mattress but for some reason it was in the living room. My lip was split in two and my eye was black and swollen with the white of it filled with blood. Bruises and cuts all over my body. The entire flat was destroyed, all the furniture was turned upside down and everything was bent out of shape like it had been beaten with some sort of bat. The room was littered with signs of chaos, kitchen surfaces completely covered in lime husks, all the upholstery soaked in booze. I sat there wondering, what bastard has done this to me, and why? Once I’d fully woken up I realised that the bastard was in fact me. The “why” is more complex. I’d noticed that since the Liverpool mephadrone scene has died out people have gone down one of two routes. One being people snorting any and every illegal, legal and semi-legal substance in an attempt to get a similar kind of high. They’ve not been very successful. The second being people drinking themselves into a frenzied mess so they can enjoy nights again in a blur of depraved behaviour. These people have been successful, sadly. I decided I needed to explore this second route to see what it’s about. So I called my research assistant and he came around at once to help out. He brought around two bottles of rum and as many limes as he could carry. My assistant has never believed in the philosophy that one should enjoy alcohol responsibly, rather he believes that the purpose of alcohol is to help you to reach rock bottom. I’ll make you my favourite cocktail” my assistant said “the bastard”. Which seemed to consist of just a pint glass filled with rum. “I’m not one for cocktails” he said, then began drinking straight from his bottle. A rum drunkenness comes on slow. So with a little practice you can drink a full bottle without feeling the effects. But as soon as you finish that last drop you’ve got to get where you’re going as soon as possible, because you’ve got mere minutes before you turn into a weeping mess. I spent too long in the flat fiddling around putting my shoes on. So by the time we were out the door we were both in the grip of a terrible booze madness. Walking normally seemed out of the question. To get any sort of motion going my assistant was walking sideways with both his arms gripping the wall. I had to lean all the way back so my head was pointed skywards and then to offset the weight imbalance take huge strides with my legs kicking up high. It looked a little odd but at least we were going in the right direction. “For fucks sake!” My assistant said “We need to get our shit together. the bouncers will be on to us before we even do anything, if they see us walking like this they’ll probably just take us into the back and beat us in the head.” With a horrific effort we were able to walk upright and forward for just enough time to convince the door staff that we were just a couple of average drunks, but once we got inside it became impossible to hold ourselves together anymore and we became completely crazed. Liverpool is a different place since methadrone died. Everyone could afford it so everyone was on it. People would make ten new best friends every night. After the bars closed and everyone was too wired to sleep there’d be an all night house party in any direction. Now when you look around everyone is doing there own thing, huddled in groups, barely looking up. Sometimes you’re eyes will scan across the room and you’ll see a half remembered face, someone who was your best friend in the world for ten minutes and you’ll both look away and get back to your group. I’d started to suspect that we were all doomed. My assistant was loosing it a little, the rum was soaking into his brain. He kept harassing the barman and banging his fists on the table and making bizarre booze orders. “I need seven rums.” He said. “All for me. And three Gins and a pint of wine, for this man” pointing at me. He befriended a young male fresher at the bar. “It’s okay, you’re with me now” He said to the frightened child “Get this kid some damn rum, god help you if it’s not rum!” I turned away from this madness, I could tell this would not end well. There is an undeniable freedom to being this boozed up in public. Most of the
higher parts of the brain have shut down. Your mind becomes like a recording camera that’s been tied to a mad hound that’s running around screaming, pissing itself and crashing into things. I saw my editor and became panicked. I was long past my deadline and it would be hard to explain that I was not drunk but in the depths of background research. When I approached him I discovered he was completely rigid with booze, unable to move or talk. When I asked if he was okay, he simply handed me a business card and walked away. I began to feel like a saviour for all the lost souls in the bar. The booze had shifted gear on me and now I felt frantic and felt the need to approach complete strangers and explain their problems to them. I approached a group of break dancers, trying to explain that this show of athleticism was inappropriate and unnecessary. My speech came out garbled and frantic and the group began to get angry. Before things could get any worse I felt the familiar sturdy grip of a bouncer dragging me out. I was making slow progress getting back to my flat. I had to keep stopping as I forgot what I was doing or where or was. Then I remember my break dancing friends appearing in front of me. “Is there a problem, amigos?” I said. I was answered by a quick punch to the face and blood shot up in front of my eyes from my broken lip. Then something slammed into the back of my head and I fell to the floor. I was thrashing around as wild kicks landed all over my body. I could hear the sound of shoes smacking bone. A lot of the kicks glanced off harmlessly. But some of them didn’t, some of them were hitting vital things, my brains, my kidney, my spine discs. I suddenly realised that I was about to die. The horror of the thought that I was being kicked to death by a pack of break dancers filled me with such horror than I began howling like a small child. They eventually stopped, out of pity more than anything else. My assistant tells me that he found me huddled on a street corner spitting blood and cackling to myself. He dragged my bloody corpse back to the flat and carried me up the stairs. I was pretty low at this point, but I knew it wasn’t rock bottom. I began tearing apart the flat. Blaming it for the madness that had descended onto my life. I was swinging my lamp into anything that looked at me the wrong way. My assistant understood the vibe that I was on and began throwing furniture into the walls. My assistant quickly took off his clothes and became naked, except for a pair of aviators. He climbed out of the window and made his way to the roof. He stood there naked in the middle of the night drinking tequila, shouting at the moon or anyone who would listen. The need for another beating became terrible. I picked a large pair of cymbals and began roaming around the halls of my building banging them together and screaming my own name. Challenging anyone to pick up a kitchen knife and end this terrible night once and for all. Sadly, the beating never came and I came back into the flat defeated. When I came back in my assistant, still mostly naked, had a bottle of high strength vodka and was pouring it all over the flat. He tried to set it alight, to finally put an end to the flat and ourselves. He quickly gave up and fell asleep then vomited. I woke up shaking, huddle on a mattress in a sea of chaos. I was still completely deranged by booze and began thinking dark thoughts. What the hell was I doing? What was the purpose of any of this? Is this rock bottom or could there be more? My body was completely beaten, all my property destroyed in a moment of madness and I‘m not even sure what I achieved. I was too hangover to hold a coherent thought and too badly beaten to use a pen or keyboard. A man in this state is in no position to criticise anyone, even those people who’re are chasing that long gone high. As I looked around I began to see a certain beauty to what we’d done and I began to think maybe we weren’t all doomed. Maybe we‘re just all moving on to different things. Maybe that’s how it starts.
Words - Stephen Baxendale | Illustration - Phillip Marsden
BEING A DICKHEADS COOL...
A BEGINNERS GUIDE TO BEING INDIE Indie; (n) an obscure form of rock which you only learn about from someone slightly more hip than yourself. (Urban Dictionary) This is the first article I have ever written. Am I nervous? No. Why would I be? To be Indie, people say you should try to express yourself. This is wrong, try and be like me. • Clothes are very important, but you have to be good looking, if you’re not, don’t bother reading this article; Become a Skater or a Goth. The best clothes come from Vintage shops, where do vintage shops get their clothes from? Cool People. Where do cool people get their clothes from? Topman. Fuck the charity shops, go to the source. Anything goes in Topman, except the following. -Clothes with luminous bits on them -Clothes with paint splatter on them -Clothes with a band who broke up before you were born Whenever I buy clothes from Topman I usually give them to a charity shop and then buy them back. • T-shirts should always be V-neck and either black, white or grey. V-necks are in, no matter what anyone says. Chris Martin wears them. The only way you can get away with wearing a round neck t-shirt is if it has stripes. Stripes must be black and white. Stripes are very cool. • Wear scarves as often as you can. The smaller and least useful, the better. • American Apparel hoodies are good – but only if you wear them open and tie the drawstrings in a bow. This is very indie. • Jeans should be black. Skinny. Nothing else. Use the small pocket for your mephadrone. • Converse can be worn, but must be dirty, clean shoes are no good. Boat shoes are ok, but socks must NOT be worn and jeans will need to be rolled up at the bottom – you don’t want to look like an idiot. • I try to use the plain jeans and plain t-shirt as a foundation, and then use the shoes and the jacket to be creative. White shoes are good. If someone laughs and says you look like a twat, they are just jealous. The jackets you wear should be blazers, velvet ones are good, they get attention, I get lots of attention. Hats? I have great hair, so I tend to stay away from hats. Yours will not be as good, so pick yourself up a black trilby. The Libertines wear trilby’s. The Libertines are indie. • Don’t use condoms. • The music you listen to is important. The Kings of Leon’s are generally considered to be the best. So listen to their stuff. We know the best acts are the most popular ones, but you need to be able to remember at least five band names that no one else will know. NME is good for getting this kind of information. Sure the HardFi’s of this world will always be known as the best but if you show some musical knowledge girls will love this. Girls love me. • You should smoke. Try and smoke something less common. I smoke Lucky Strike Lights. Like me, they are very cool and not very strong so they don’t hurt my throat. Girls always ask for cigarettes, you pull out a lucky strike and that girl is yours. Fact. Don’t feel the need to finish your cigarettes, or even inhale, the fact you have it in your hand makes you indie. Well there you have it, a quick guide to being indie. Not many people would be in a position to write such an article. Could anyone else write an article like this? No... Maybe Mark Ronson
Words - Dolce Pebble | Photography - Dolce
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STOP THE TRAFFIK
Take a moment to think what the fastest growing criminal industry in the world right now might be. Drugs trade? Terrorist activity? Online fraud and phishing? They all jump out as obvious candidates, but in reality they are incorrect guesses. The quickest growing crime in the world does not generate heaps of awareness amongst the public, but according to the UN’s Office on Drugs and Crime and their Refugee Agency (UNHCR) this crime is human trafficking. Of course, most people have a basic grasp of what trafficking entails, words such as ‘slavery’, ‘kidnap’ and ‘prostitution’ are likely to arise in our consciousnesses, but how many people are truly aware of the extent of trafficking in the UK, especially right here in Liverpool? Trafficking involves the exploitation, deception and/or coercion of individuals into enforced working environments. This often occurs across international borders, but people can be trafficked and enslaved within their own country, immigration is not a necessary condition to justify the term trafficking. The sex trade is often where victims end up ‘working’, although traffickers do not operate exclusively with prostitution in mind. Some victims are forced into sweatshops, domestic servitude or begging on the streets. Men, women and children are all targeted. When thinking of slavery in the UK our minds hark back to history lessons or films set hundreds of years ago, but the slave trade wasn’t truly abolished here in 1807, it was merely prohibited. People continue to be brought into the UK either under coercion or false pretences and are forced to work in inhumane conditions. One may ask who is being trafficked into the UK and where from? The Serious Organized Crime Agency’s National Referral Mechanism, which investigates referrals of suspected trafficking victims from police officers, community officers and non-governmental office staff released statistics concerning referrals made between April 2009 and March 2010. Out of 706 referrals, 38 victims were from the UK, with many coming from Africa or Asia including 123 from Nigeria, 94 Chinese and 62 Vietnamese. These referrals are not an exhaustive list of people who had been trafficked; they are just a drop in the reported ocean. Victims from the sample came from 68 different countries. 84 were under the age of 16, 23 of which were 11 or younger. 74% of the 706 alleged victims were female. Louise from Manchester was 18 when she met a man who took her to France and then Italy. He told her that he had a big debt that she needed to work to pay off for him. Her life and that of her younger brother were threatened to prevent her from leaving. Louise was a prisoner without bars: ‘You’re just scared to do anything, talk to anyone, if you do, you don’t know who they are. If you go, try and run away they’ll come and find you, you can’t get to a plane because they’ll have people at the planes and airports, train stations…it’s like you can’t go anywhere.’ Louise was treated like all victims, purely as a commodity, inside she was lost and ‘wanted to curl up and die.’ The man who controlled her was not a stranger, he had gained her trust to the extent that she considered him her ‘best friend’. She escaped after being admitted to hospital with pneumonia and wants people to know that this isn’t something that just happens on TV. At the end of August Channel 4 screened The Hunt for Britain’s Sex Traffickers which followed various police forces engaged in Operation Pentameter 2, a targeted attack on the key players of the trafficking industry. This began with raids in brothels and led to money launderers and kingpins based in the Far East. This was a significant sting on traffickers, and where were the police targeting? Places like Cheltenham and Plymouth, hardly metropolitan hives of activity like London or Birmingham. Given the fact that somewhere like Plymouth can be home to trafficking, it follows that there are victims in large cities like Liverpool. SOCA has worked with the Liverpool Stop the Traffik ACT group (active communities
against trafficking) in order to maximise the effectiveness of fighting the problem. In combination with Stop the Traffik’s London office SOCA trained local volunteers in researching trafficking in attempt to uncover perpetrators. In a town hall meeting on 18th October a Liverpool councillor told of a house in Kensington which contained trafficking victims who were forced to go into pubs and sell pirate DVDs. In this meeting councillors stated that they wished to make Liverpool a particularly hostile place towards those intent on making the city a human trafficking hub. When asked if public offices such as the police and councils could do even more to combat the crime, Liverpool ACT group co-ordinator Brenda Garner is quick to praise the stance of the council, adding ‘From my perspective…people are open to doing more things…we can always do more but funding is an issue.’ When setting up the group the most shocking aspect of the industry for Brenda was the estimate that there are 27 million slaves worldwide, her reaction was to look beyond the statistics and think of these as 27 million different harrowing stories the victims had to tell. The voluntary group in Liverpool, fittingly based in the International Slavery Museum actively campaigns against trafficking, performing a flashmob in Liverpool city centre in March where people stood on Church Street holding barcodes in the air before other members dragged them down the road towards a sign reading ‘People shouldn’t be bought and sold.’ Aside from raising awareness the group contributes towards actual prevention, an ongoing campaign involves members distributing flyers to taxi drivers explaining the problem of human trafficking and providing drivers with a national helpline. Once conscious of the problem one driver told members how he had given a lift to a Filipino woman who had told him that she had been working as a nanny on the Isle of Man, her visit to Liverpool was the first time that she had left the island in over two years. This revelation may not have been monumental or even indicative of criminal activity but it did indicate that local cab drivers were becoming vigilant and important members of Liverpool’s fight against traffickers. Since the taxi campaign began at least one driver has been in contact with the helpline, providing information about suspected victims and/or perpetrators using his car. Unfortunately there is some suggestion that the odd exception could be complicit in the act. One driver when approached by campaigners became suspiciously defensive, objecting that he had nothing to do with trafficking, despite a lack of accusation, just an attempted explanation of the problem. The success of the campaign has meant that Stop the Traffik groups across the UK will be carrying out similar taxi projects, whilst Liverpool Council’s licensing department will be providing information and stickers to drivers as their cars are re-licensed. Elsewhere in Liverpool, staff at Toxteth Women’s Centre have been helping women who have experiences of being trafficked. The centre files cases of victims and gets them to reflect on their ordeal whilst trying to build their confidence and provide them with life skills that are key for the women to move on with their lives. Chief Executive of TWC, Ayesha Bell-Gam tells of one shocking case that she has encountered. A middle-class woman was living in a country holding sham elections when a group attacked her home. Her husband had voted for the ‘wrong’ party, and he and her family were taken away from her whilst she was imprisoned without knowing if they were still alive. Once in prison she was raped and tortured by various prison guards. One day a guard told her that he could help her escape and find a job in the UK. The guard
Words - Dave Cookson | Illustration - Stopthetraffik.org
took her to the airport where she was flown to Britain. After arriving in the UK, a white Englishman was waiting for her in the airport where she was put in a black van, blindfolded and taken to a house. When she entered the house she was told to strip and was forced to work as a prostitute, she had been taken straight to a brothel. Â This kind of story is not rare. People are commonly kidnapped or forced into new countries, some for years on end. Putting a number on the amount of people who have been trafficked in or out of the UK amounts to little more than guesswork given the silence of so many victims due to the terror and deceit imposed on them by traffickers. This doesnâ€™t just happen on gritty late night TV dramas, it could be happening around your corner.
WINGWALKER Promotions (Evol/Samizdat/ Meshuggy) 22/10 - Maps & Atlases @ 02 30/10 - Fucked Up (NOTLD) @ Kazimier (Happy Endings DJ) 06/11 - Happy Endings w/ Danny Hunt (Ladytron) @ Shipping Forecast 12/11 - Sleigh Bells (LMW) @ Mojo 13/11 - Liars (LMW) @ Static Gallery 15/11 - Abe Vigoda @ Shipping Forecast 20/11 - Pete Simonelli (Enablers) @ Rapid Paint Shop (Biennial) 27/11 - Happy Endings @ Shipping Forecast 16/12 - Philip Jeck @ The Bluecoat Shows so far in 2010: Mice Parade / The Vaselines / Foals / HEALTH / Holy Fuck / Max Tundra / Anti-Pop Consortium / Trans Am / Chrome Hoof
A HOMAGE TO THE FORCE THAT IS THE W.A.G.
We’re stood in Bamboo, one of the cities more decadent venues - marble flooring, lofty ceilings and huge mirrors in which to keep tabs on your make-up and cleavage. The club itself is decked out in white, it’s completely pristine, from the floors to the white shirts being worn by the bemused bar staff. So... We’re stood here for one very valid reason, that being Liverpool Fashion Week, it’s a catwalk show incase the title up there didn’t give that away. Surveying the room is like taking in a celebration of Roberto Cavalli, this is his wettest of wet dreams (throw the bedsheets out, Rob). Liverpools infamous WAG is out in full force. Looking at the crowd is like looking at the inevitable God-awful Ladies Day tribe stumble and stagger through the city centre six months early. It’s all here, every last bit of it; tatty extensions, too much make-up, fake hangbags, false eyelashes, false nails, false attitudes, and colour clashing mish-mashes of floral and animal prints. There’s a certain uniform going on here; skinny jeans and skyscraper heels, both of which are traditionally used to elongate and accenuate legs. They are, however, doing nothing for stumpy scouse legs tonight. They’ve even brought along their kids and elderly parents, all themselves unfortunately exhibiting varying stages of WAG. Anything for a few hours out of Kirkby, I suppose. The kids look like mini-me’s, devoid of childhood and thrust into a perpetual mid 20’s of sequins and up do’s. This is society gone into hyperbole, I wonder if they themselves realise it? So we have the WAG in it’s natural habitat, what else can be hurled at us? A soundtrack, that’s what. The DJ is kindly providing us with funky house classics, “indie” rock remixes, and Lady Gaga from his booth positioned at the highest point of the club - just out of heckling distance. At least he’s keeping these exotic birds ruffling their feathers I guess. It’s doing nothing for us though. There was one redeeming feature to this night however - Raiders Vintage. The store had a slot in the show and shone through. In my opinion it was an odd mix... Raiders wasn’t out its depth here, simply out of context. We had inititally came here just to catch the Raiders presentation and it didn’t disappoint, it provided a glimpse of salvation in all of this - perhaps things aren’t as bad as I’ve made out, or perhaps I’m just being an elitist? Get yourself down to the store to check out their selections either way. Anyway, the average preparation time for this room as one coherent unit has got to be around two and a half hours. Our exit time as a two-piece? A mere fraction of that - I’ve got a headache, you see. Watching the models parade up and down merely cushioned the blow, it couldn’t stand up against the onslaught.
Words - Paul Cassidy
STREET FASHION LIVERPOOL Sian, 19, musical theater student, influenced by mischa barton (she messin?) |1 Hannah, 23, works for liverpool biennial |2 Tristan, 18, music student, inspired by the weather and has strong ability to pull a stern face |3 Sean, 18, canadian, too good a beard for his age |4 Jhelisa, 19, english and french student (red cardigan), robbed her whole outfit from her friend |5
Words & Photography - Phillip Doran | Olivia Wollam
MANCHESTER 1| Alex, (with the sharp haircut) 23, works for ryan vintage but could better herself, she was ‘fucking freezing’ hence the fur coat 2| Rosie, 20, (wearing a trippy coat) works in best vintage and photography student, inspired by ‘narnia’ 3| Wesley, 24 (ginger beard) works in best vintage with Narnia. 4| Jessie, 19, fashion (half a shaved head) inspiration: alice dellal obvz 5| Gorgeous Ricky, works for barbour in manchester, wearing his uniform, gorgeous, hearts melted, gorgie, get a rimjob in a flash. cass knows.
ART ATTACK have now entered an extremely leisured and unique room then you will ever see in the whole of the Biennial. In big red neon lights ’The Marx Lounge’ is an extravagant public boudoir/ reading room. -You almost feel like you have just steeped into a David Lynch Film- But this is not just looks over substance, in the middle of the room lays a large table spread almost from one all to the other. On the table lays neatly placed philosophical publications. The public is invited to divulge into the Mind of Karl Marx, they are able to read, think and discuss his philosophical, political ideas, in the comfort of his own made room. This room seems rightly fitted in Liverpool. You can probably tell I am of course going to highly recommend you go to Renshaw Street and go into the Rapid Hardware store, if you’re looking for really exciting stuff, this is the best place to be.
Now before I start to tell you about all the things you have missed so far during Liverpool’s wonderful biennial, I just want to assure you that I am fully recovered from the - once in a lifetime - private biennial opening party at the Old Tobacco Warehouse, at Stanley Dock that happened back in September (and what a night it was!) Anyway as I write this Liverpool’s 6th Biennial is in full swing! Its only October and we are already half way through this un-missable event. So where to begin? I suppose the newest gallery in town wouldn’t be a bad start, and home of official information centre, the massive Rapid Hardware shop located on Renshaw Street. A fantastic building that literally stretches out to the length of the whole street. Lets not forget to mention the fantastic art inside it….. and outside. Across the large scale windows of the building is plastered with eye-catching photographs of the extremely expressive and political collective group: FREEE (which consists of, Dave Beech, Andy Hewitt and Mel Jordan) The quite humorous trio use their advertising abilities to endorse the freedom or expression, speech and art. As we make it inside, one can surely agree on how magnificent it is to see such a diverse range of the visual arts, this building it has it all! Large room filled ’shop-like’ Installations by Meschac Gaba - who highlights, socially and politically the awareness of cultural identity from Africa to the West. Performance/interactive pieces by Lee Mingwei who will hopefully bring strangers together by the means of stitching and sewing the their old torn and battered pieces of clothing. Video art is even welcome, artist Ryan Trecartin’s bizarre, fast moving, weird looking, jittering - TV’s one liners - video, really captivates you, mesmerizing your consciousness to the point where it could be difficult to look away (almost like when your watching TV.) Other pieces that have the ability to hold your attention, are the paintings from Oren Eliav’s obscure characters, who seem to come to life, if you look at them for a certain amount of time, and Tim Eitel’s powerful abstract-looking landscapes, which on closer inspection show us a used mattresses, rubbish and a supermarket trolley, Eitel is showing us his views of an overcome, crushed and lost society. Aime Mpane uses a combination of painting and sculpture, his work Ici on Creve, 20062008 display’s 50 panels, of violent, broken and distorted portraits, Mpanes unsettling panels echo the history and present of Africa. Another painful and distressing piece of work but with a combination of depressed playfulness comes from artist Csaba Kis Roka and his work Dynamism of Love 2010 which presents several paintings of generally mutilated bodies of old war men, who are being violently sexual molested by four legged animals - a dog, a goat etc. Ones first reaction might be a slight giggle, but then would quickly transform to a serious gaze of disbelief. Kis Roka, plays with irony instead of crudity, one cannot help but think of Goya, similar themed work when looking at Kis Roka’s work. Alfredo Jarr presents my favourite piece of the gallery and possibility all of Liverpool’s Biennial. The Marx Lounge 2010, is really a lounge, and a large one at that. Painted, carpeted and lit all in red with black leather sofas, you
So where to next? Onwards to FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology) Starting with Tehching Hsieh and his One Year Performance 19801981. Indeed it is a one-year performance. To go into some detail: Hsiech -who is now retired from art since 2000 - For one year punched a worker’s time clock in his studio, on the hour, every hour. He marked the occasion by snapping a self-portrait on a single frame 16mm film, the documentation of a year in his life at approximately one second per day. As you walk into the exhibition room in FACT and see a single frame that the artists took, displayed in rolls of film, filling up the whole space of the room, one immediately thinks of the emotional and psychological repetitive task in hand, Hsieh cleverly poses questions of Touch, and how can humans afford not have this affection? Another work that stood out, was Yves Netzhammer’s 3D animation, sculptural/ sound installation room, Located In FACT’s Gallery 2 (upstairs.) His room instantly plays on the senses, something seems not to be in the right place, odd sounds dart in and out, and separate boxes filled with shoes, beds, chairs and other odd objects, light up at different times, you find your body has to crouch down, and get closer to look at the objects from altered angles. You realise what you are looking at but at the same time you are uncertain of where you actually are, objects take on another form and you become enclosed in a dream-like universe where you are challenged to figure out and almost adopt to these other worldly surroundings. Netzhammer is taking you back to a certain incident of an event in which he is making a statement about the psychological relationship of humans and objects. Whilst at the Bluecoat you will be able to see a unique art performance known as; The Bed-in. This year the Bluecoat are celebrating John Lennon’s and Yoko Ono’s Bed-in Protest that they did back in 1969, in protest of the Vietnam War. Starting from the 9th October to the 9th December. Each day, the bed will be occupied by different artists, performers and members of the public, all of them making their own protest for a better world. I was able to do the 6th performance on the 14th October, where I took John Lennon’s lyrics from his song ‘god’ -where he makes a list of all the things he does not believe in- and made my own list of all the things I don’t believe in. I wrote all the words across the bed in paint, and the public were invited to join in and write what they don’t believe in on a roll of paper. The performance went brilliantly, gathering over 140 people in duration of the performance. My highlight was when an elderly woman visited and asked “who on Earth doesn’t agree with the monarchy?!” after someone had scrawled such a statement on the sheet. It’s a great event, which sees someone different every single day! One definitely not to be missed. Something else not to be forgotten would be Liverpool’s traditional John Moores Painting Prize, at The Walker Art Gallery. If you want to see the major shifts in painting this is for you. I always enjoy The John Moores Painting Prize because not only does it acts as a catalyst to show you what other artists are finding interesting, but it is an extremely diverse rang of paintings to behold. There are many fine works of art to talk about in this year’s exhibition, but I shall only
Words - Matthew Lloyd | Photography - Rogelio Narito
organisations based in Liverpool, including; Jump Ship Rat, The Royal Standard, Arena studios, Mercy, Red Wire, Sound Network and The Lost Soul And Stranger Service Station. Each Week The Cooperative will showcase a different exhibition/ performance of artists from its collective organisations. The Cooperative features a hub where you can gather all the information you need to know about each of the seven local art organisations. Seeing an expansion of TAO (The Art Organisation) who bring S.Q.U.A.T to this year’s Biennial. S.Q.U.A.T (Social Questioning Using Art Today) is the combination of TAO and New York-based group, No Longer Empty (NLE). Both Groups working together have unleashed and exposed new art in some of Liverpool’s finest city centre buildings. These shows fix Liverpool’s disused spaces but are able to show off new emerging art with that underground feel. mention a few. Of course it would be quite rude of me not to write about this years £25,000 winner, Keith Coventry and his piece Spectrum Jesus 2009. Though a modern face of Jesus Christ, this piece of work shows old traditions of icon painting. Keith Coventry’s dark blue portrait, draws you in, just by the fact its so dark, you really have to get close to make it out, making it twice as difficult with it framed in glass so that, its hard not to see your own reflection staring back at you. But this is a conscious decision; Coventry is not only wanting you to view his painting but also to view yourself. Both you and the painting have become absorbed in each other, a truly alluring piece. So now comes the time to ask, do you want to see something brand spanking new? Emerging the best London art schools in the world? If you do, then head on down to A Foundation for The New Contemporaries 2010. Yes, it is that time again to get right up close to what’s the next generation of modern art, and like always it’s surprising and obscure. The Foundation is a colossal building, and I think probably the best place for this exhibition just for amount of space it has. The New Contemporaries list of alumni keeps on growing, including over the years, artists such as, David Hockney and Damien Hirst. This years selection panel even sees fellow scouser and Turner Prize winner Mark Leckey help with making the tricky decision of picking this years artists to be put in the show. Now without wanting to be repetitive this show unfortunately does not consist of dead sharks or unmade beds, but yet as always sees versatile range production. A large talking point of this year’s show became a highly humorous yet painful to look at- 2D animation by Kristian de le Riva titled Cut 2009. The simple yet grand line drawings, that have been animated to move and react exactly like a human body would, really helps this piece come to life. We witness a male figure self-mutilate his body to extreme measures, e.g. putting explosive devices inserted into anus, only to ‘blow out his ass’ Other torture events happen, but I wouldn’t want to give it away, go, see and laugh for yourself. Well-known cartoon characters appear in large over-sized sculpture, by artists Murray O’Grady. Unbelievable screen-prints by Nick Mobbs look like photographs of sofas and mattresses being pushed and forced through doorways and small windows. Darren Harvey-Ragan’s amusing and clever stuffed bird seems to be appearing itself into a mirror, but is in fact just looking into a photograph of itself, thus creating a spirit of the taxidermy animal. Even in the exhibition is a PowerPoint Presentation (and a good one at that) by Daniel Lichtman, who displays a series of texts from the artists diary from the age of ten and onwards. The exhibition shows traditional abstract art by Alice Browne, and collaged postcards from artist Keren Dee. At the A foundation show its hard not to feel an excitement of seeing newly discovered artists who are always pushing their context and mediums in all forums. New to this years Independents Biennial sees the Birth of The Cooperative located on Renshaw Street (the Old Rapid Paint shop next too the old Rapid Hardware shop.) The Cooperative is a collective group combined of seven art
And don’t forget about the return of this years spectacular event; The Long Night -18th November, this is a chance to stay out late and visit all your favourite galleries/ venues. Lots of events will be happening far into this night, such as The Sound Relay, Philosophy in pub. The Bluecoat, S.Q.U.A.T, Arena studios, Victoria Gallery & Museum, Liverpool Playhouse and Tate are just some of the venues that will be holding late night performances. Well that is it from myself, I shall not be revelling anymore of this prime biennial, you will have to go and explore it for yourself. Don’t forget to make your trip to the Tate, The Open eye gallery and to visit the Independent Biennial, which see more then 500 local, national and international artists in over 60 Venues across Liverpool, Merseyside and the Wirral. Many other events will be taking place so look out for them. For more information go to, www.culture.org.uk or Liverpool’s best art website, www.artinliverpool.com. As for me I will be around popping around as many galleries as I can, trying to get as much art in my consciousness as it will take, and I will leave you with this: “…let yourself be guided by the simple pleasure of viewing, don’t seek meanings where there are none, look at as many works of art as possible and in the end, trust your instincts. And don’t feel embarrassed of you like a mark on a canvas but you cant say why, the motive may simple be that it is beautiful. It means nothing, but it is beautiful. That is the secret of art.” -Giorgio Guglielmino
By Matthew Lloyd (Red Wire Art Organisation) www.redwireredwire.com www.nocompromisepublishing.blogspot.com
DAN GOLD 13 INK STUDIO
You opened 13 Ink Tattoo studio in December this year, how are you
It all started with a programme called Orange County Choppers which
finding Liverpool so far?
was very in line with what Discovery were doing beforehand, which was quite nerdy tech programmes. The characters were so strong that they kind
I love Liverpool, I think it’s amazing. I’ve worked all over the world, and
of took over and it became more of a soap. It became the most watched
the city it most reminds me of is San Francisco. It’s got a real alternative
programme that Discovery had ever done, so I think they realised that that
vibe, a big music scene and a big student scene. I really like how Liverpool
formula really worked. Then Ami, Nunez and Chris Garver got together
has this ‘fuck off’ attitude and doesn’t really care about any of the trends
and got a production team and completed a pilot, they called it Miami Ink.
or fashion that go on anywhere else. It’s got its own little scene and I
It went on to become one of the most popular programmes they had. I
love that. Also I think that Liverpool is really progressive when it comes to
think the half tech/half soap formula really works and since then Discovery
tattooing, people take a lot of chances and have quite adventurous work
have done many more, such as Deadliest Catch, Trawler Men, Axe Men
done here. People seem to be really into it, but then it is quite a heavy
and loads more. It kind of has the human aspect but it also has a type
tattoo city compared to other places in the UK.
of nerdy aspect as people are interested about how things are done. So, I think the formula really works and now a lot of programmes have that
How does it compare to London?
hybrid of what the industry is really like. Mainly, I think people become involved in the soap story underpinning it. Some tattooists and people in
Well obviously London is London, and I love London. London is the place
the industry have not taken too kindly to it however, but realistically it’s not
that I call home. It’s where I started tattooing but it’s quite different tattooing
for the industry, or the diehard fans, it’s mainly for the middle classes who
outside of London. I think when you’re in London you kind of forget that
don’t understand what we are about and are always looking at us as being
there are other places. I think out of all the places Liverpool is the place I
mysterious and alien. Now a whole new world has opened up to them and
really like and I think that’s why I chose to come here.
it’s showing that we are normal people. Everyone should get a tattoo - it’s
Liverpool has its own little scene and people dare to be different here
not just people in rock bands, bikers or sailors; it’s for everyone, and there
and don’t give a fuck about what trends are happening in London or
is a tattoo out there for everyone.
Manchester, they have their own little thing going on. I really like Liverpool and the place has big balls, it’s got its own identity and to be honest it’s
Were you surprised about the mainstream appeal, and how much
taken a bit of getting used to. I find Liverpool to be much friendlier than
do you think this has contributed to more and more people getting
London, in London it takes a lot longer to get to know people and people
can be off with you but Liverpool has welcomed me with open arms. I wasn’t surprised by it and it’s something that certain people in the industry What made you move to the city?
have been fighting for a long time now, however other people want to keep it underground and punk rock. I’ve been in the industry for about
We were going to do another TV programme and the Discovery Channel
22 years and I’ve been trying to get it recognised as an art form and for
asked us to find a place outside of London. I could only really think of two
people to take us serious. We kind of got that with the programme, which
places and those were Manchester and Liverpool. I just think culturally and
was the final seal of approval. Anyone who moans should take a look at
historically Liverpool has so much more to offer. And also as a backdrop
their pay checks before the programme and after the programme and that
to the TV series Liverpool has much nicer architecture and a better skyline,
will soon shut them up.
which suited the TVprogramme more. However the economy collapsed and Discovery withdrew their funding for the TV programme, but it might still happen. Obviously you were apart of London Ink. Why do you think it appealed to Discovery Real time to want to do a show about tattoo artists in the first place?
Conducted by WAXXX | Photography - Rogelio Narito
DAN GOLD 13 INK STUDIO (CONTINUED)
Did you ever foresee yourself being a television personality when you
Are there any famous artists, tattooists or not, that have influenced
you throughout your career? Is there a style of tattooing you prefer?
Totally not!! It’s crazy. When I started out in the industry it wasn’t even a real
There are loads of people who have influenced me. One famous person is
job. My mum and dad were like, “It’s great that you tattoo but you need to
Ed Hardy, before he was a fashion brand. When I started out Ed Hardy was
get a real job”. It wasn’t seen as a real job but now I have people bringing
actually a tattooist and not a t-shirt. He taught me some great things from
their children to conventions, saying they have seen me on TV and their
the UK scene. I think that Ed Hardy and Dennis Cockell are some of the
children want to be tattoo artists, it’s fucking mental. If I would have said at
giants and we are standing on the shoulders of those people. We wouldn’t
school I want to be on TV and draw robots they would have thought I was
be here today if it wasn’t for them. It’s our responsibility to use their legacy
mad and told me to get the fuck out! That’s how it goes,* *I think if you have
in this industry and take it a little further. They worked six days a week to
tunnel vision and a dream to believe in, anything is possible. I think one
take the industry forward, and we have been handed that as a gift.
thing society and school does is become a collective dream killer. I think you should encourage people to follow and believe in their dreams, and
Before you were famous, had you encountered prejudice from
obviously make them aware that it sometimes doesn’t happen but if you
people who would see your outward appearance and judge you, or
have the commitment and you have the stamina anything can happen. You
treat you in a certain way because you’re heavily tattooed?
can even get on TV drawing robots!! When I first started out I had tattoos on my throat before it was normal… What got you interested in the business?
Well I don’t know how normal that still is! But I would walk into a restaurant and there would be tables empty and all conversation would stop, you
Well when we started there was no internet and no tattoo magazines.
know like in the old westerns. They would say that the restaurant was fully
People starting out now have it fairly easy and it always pisses me off a
booked when there were blatantly tables there. I used to get stopped by
little bit when they moan about it. As I said we had no internet, no tattoo
police and at borders, which is strange because now I get stopped when
magazines, we had no suppliers; you had to build your own machine. There
I go into foreign countries so border control can have their picture taken
were about two or three tattoo shops in each town who trained a mate of
with me because they have seen me on TV. I like it though, it’s nice, I set
theirs, who then trained another mate and that was how it was. For someone
out to achieve that reaction to our industry. Our job is not done yet but it’s
new to enter the industry it was virtually impossible. So for us, who were the
certainly come a long way in the 20 odd years I’ve been going.
old school, we had to fight a lot harder and we had to steal, beg, and borrow any information that we could. It was just something that I wanted to
What is it about tattoos that you love so much? So much so that you
do, and no-one was going to stop me. I started building my own machine
don’t mind being almost completely covered?
and opened up my own shop. I would say to anyone wanting to get in to it, it’s dangerous - there are a lot of things that can go wrong. People now
Tattooing for me will always be magical; you can put something on your
have the opportunity to go through an apprenticeship. I don’t like people
body and it will stay there for life. You have to remember that the skin is
doing it from home, just because you can buy a tattoo machine it doesn’t
the biggest organ in the body, it’s part of the respiratory system and your
make you a tattooist, for example if you buy a set of knives it doesn’t make
colouring it in blue or red and yet it’s still alive and still growing, the colour
you a butcher, if you buy a guitar it doesn’t make you a musician. A tattoo
will always be there… For me that’s magical. I don’t understand why anyone
machine without the knowledge is just a bit of iron and it’s a bit of iron that
would want to be a natural tone when they could have all these magical
you can do a lot of damage with. I think it’s our responsibility to educate the
colours; you feel a bit like a peacock that can show all your colours off!
public and to make sure that people who are getting tattooed are getting it in proper licensed places. Without that, the industry will slip back into that underground scene and we will start seeing bad tattoos. It can ruin everybody’s work, if people see a bad tattoo it puts people off getting one but if you see a good tattoo then it may act to persuade.
Conducted by WAXXX | Photography - Rogelio Narito
What would you say is your favourite part of the job? I was going to say all the pussy, but that would be wrong!! No seriously, it’s the trust you get and the people you get to meet. I have met people that I wouldn’t have otherwise. I always say you can tell you doctor some things and your psychologist other things, but you can tell your tattooist anything. I’ve gotten to know gangsters, lawyers, police officers, bank robbers, prostitutes, and supermodels in a way that other people would never, and that’s the biggest gift of being a tattooist. And finally, what’s in the pipeline next? What’s next? Good question... Onwards and upwards I suppose. I think I would like to maybe sneak into the art world a bit more. I used to do a lot of oil painting but since I’ve done the TV stuff I’ve had very little time to do my art. I think I would like to try and do some exhibitions. That would be cool.