The Liverpool International Festival Of Psychedelia is very nearly here, ready to expand your mind and enrich your very being.
The festival will take place at Liverpool’s newest and flyest hotspot, Camp & Furnace – a converted former industrial furnace in the city’s buoyant Baltic Triangle. HEADLINE ACTS
THE TIME & SPACE MACHINE
The first act to be confirmed for the Psych Fest THE TIME & SPACE MACHINE source the best bits of vintage and modern pyschedelia and recasts it into startling new forms. Booked to play Liverpool earlier in the year, the gig was postponed as the concept for the Psych Fest began to take shape with T+SM playing a central role.
The band’s headline slot at LIFP represents something of a homecoming for bandleader Richard Norris, whose Liverpool club The Hangout in the mid-80s, featured playlists stuffed with psych and garage classics. Aside from T+SM, Richard is one half of in-demand remixers Beyond the Wizard’s Sleeve, whose 2010 debut album Reanimations Vol.1 was warmly received.
Live, T+SM appear as a quintet, constructing their huge hypnotic psych jams from swirling Hammond organ, woozy melltoron, phasing backwards guitars all wrapped in massive space echo and backed by a stunning lightshow. Forthcoming LP Taste The Lazer was recently trailed by ‘Pill Party in India’, which picked up heavy airplay on BBC 6Music and was descried as “incredible” by DJ Lauren Laverne.
T+SM’s set at Psych Fest follows a busy schedule of summer festivals for the band including appearances at Standon Calling and Green Man.
Proclaimed “Icelandic psychedelic overlords” by The Quietus,mighty drone rockers DEAD SKELETONS make their Liverpool debut at LIFP. Coming to world attention via a MySpace upload of their mesmeric ‘Dead Mantra’ track in 2008, the band amassed a huge buzz in cyberspace without anyone knowing about them beyond the solitary track. Critical praise from The Stool Pigeon, The Guardian and The Quietus followed in quick succession.
The mantra in question, ‘He who fears death cannot enjoy life’ is applied to the band’s music, a forward-thinking collision of hypnotic vocals, fuzzy guitars, endlessly looped basslines and motorik beats. Led by visual artist Jón ‘Nonni Dead’ Sæmundur along with Henrik Björnsson, Ryan Carlson Van Kriedt and guests, the band counted Brian Jonestown Massacre mainman Anton Newcombe amongst their members late last decade.
Debut LP Dead Magick, released on 11.11.11 (the date chosen due to ‘planetary alignments’) quickly sold out its initial pressing and was swiftly followed by a second batch of vinyl. Hailed by The Guardian as “pure rock ’n’ roll magic’, the band will come away from the Psych Fest with scores of new converts.
The first British act to sign to revered US independent label Jagjaguwar, WOLF PEOPLE stake out similar sonic territory as prog-psych figureheads Wooden Shjips, with hints of late ’60s Brit blues rock giants Cream and Traffic. Led by singer/guitarist Jack Sharp, the quartet released two albums in acclaimed LPs in 2010, Tidings and Steeplewith the NME commending the band for their “Righteous, groove-heavy psych-rock that weaves different eras and styles.”
Tidings, issued for CD for the first time earlier this year after its initial appearance on vinyl in 2010 brought those unfortunate not to have heard of the band previously to greater attention. The Line of Best Fit hailed the album as “a relaxed and fluent assemblage, entwined in a gorgeous psychedelic, blues-rock holy matrimony.” Tiny Mix Tapesmeanwhile stated “Tidings is a journey down a strip of tape from one reel to the other… it’s a little warped and damaged, but that’s what gives it its character; the insane parts make the most sense of all.”
A man who needs almost no introduction, guitarist WILL SERGEANT has been the creative nucleus and only permanent member of Liverpool legends Echo & The Bunnymen since their formation in 1978.
While Will’s instantly recognisable spikey guitar sound, one of the most influential in British pop is his calling card, he has also made several forays into ambient and psychedelic pastures. 1978 debut solo album Weird As Fish, a series of sound/art tapes, limited to seven ultra-rare copies served notice of his interest in the field and was released 18 months before the Bunnymen’s Top 10 debut LP Crocodiles. Weird Fishwas eventually given a full release in 2003, and gained a four-star review from Uncut.
Will’s ambient/psychedelic instrumental project Glide was unveiled in 1997 with well-received LP Space Age Freak Out, the release coinciding with the Bunnymen’s triumphant comeback that year with ‘Nothing Lasts Forever’ and Evergreen. Glide went on to open for the Bunnymen on tour in the early 2000s and second album Curvature OfThe Earth was released in 2004. In addition to all this and a burgeoning, critically acclaimed career as an artist, Will appeared on fellow Psych Fest act Baltic Fleet’s eponymous debut 2008 LP
Liverpool’s very own MUGSTAR have plotted their own course into the further realms of space rock, prog and psych for a decade. The last band to record a session for late broadcasting icon DJ John Peel on his BBC Radio 1 show, the group have played shows with some of the finest psych/space rock bands of the past decade including Wooden Shjips, White Hills, Acid Mother’s Temple and Oneida.
Mugstar recently supported and performed as “sound carriers” for legendary Can vocalist Damo Suzuki at The Kazimier which was recorded for a forthcoming live album.
One of the most descriptive names for a band in recent years, Carlisle’s THE LUCID DREAM and their hazy psych-rock sound does indeed feel like daydreams rendered as sound. The band have been praised by The Fly, as possessing “reverb-drenched majesty”while Artrocker called them “utterly enlightening”.
No strangers to Liverpool, the group have played scores of gigs across the city, including slots at Liverpool Music Week and Liverpool Sound City. They are presently touring with A Place To Bury Strangers, following dates with The Magic Band and Death In Vegas.
Mixing gritty garage-rock with a bubbling psychedelic undertow, South Londoners BLACK MANILAhave been steadily winning converts over to their cause. Electrifying 45 ‘Fiasco’ b/w ‘England’ released in April raised their profile considerably and was mastered by Massive Attack/Oasis/Chemical Brothers cohort Mike Marsh.
Clash wrote of the group, “Black Manila… have clearly decided that rock ’n’ roll at its key most core level is a degenerate art form played by outcasts, something that shouldn’t be downloaded but rolled up, smoked, consumed and soaked through every pore.”
Stomping, garage ensemble THE SHOOK UPS! bring their fuzz-drenched farfisa-fueled, double-pronged guitar attack to the Psych Fest. Operating in the tougher end of the psych spectrum where the genre meets garage-rock, the group are influenced by the cream of the US ’60s underground, The Seeds, The Standells and The Music Machine.
The Liverpool/Wigan six-piece have logged gigs across the country, including several Liverpool dates as part of Free Rock ’n’ Roll at MelloMello and The Go-Go Cage at The Cabin Club.
Their name a shoo-in psych heads, juxtaposing Ken Kesey’s infamous Kool-Aid Acid Tests with a cult US kids TV show, KOOL-AID ELECTRIC COMPANYare one of the UKs most beloved shoegazing acts. The group’s debut long-player Random Noises AndOrganised Sounds released last year was garlanded with high praise from the press and fellow musicians alike.
Fans included The Black Angels, “We have that record, its great” and none other than My Bloody Valentine chief Kevin Shields who said the LP “made me think about music differently.” The press meanwhile said “these songs are beautifully simple yet full of hooks” (NME) and ‘Opiated psychedelia’ (Time Out).
A potent cocktail of Spiritualized-styled soundscape inertia and BJM leader Anton Newcombe-esque vocals,Italian trio THEE PIATCIONS unveiled well received debut LPSenseless≥Sense last year.
Released through London label I Blame The Parents, the disc was helmed by Spiritualized/Liars producer James Aparicio. The LP’s dazzling, epic riffs received heavy airplay on BBC 6Music and John Kennedy’s XFM Xposure Show, with Subbacultaapplauding the band’s sound as “luscious, dense…artfully constructed and beautifully arranged.”
Lauded as“Kraut-tinged proggy electronica… expect it to provide the most unexpected soundtrack to your life” by Manchester Screenwipe, PLANK! deal in sprawling instrumental prog jams that reach into almost double figures. Highly anticipated debut album Animalism hits the shelves in July via a hook-up with Akoustik Anarkhy/Static Caravan.
Personally asked to play Manchester International Festival by legendary Hacienda DJ Dave Haslam, the three-piece have built up a strong following in their home city over the past three years.
The project of Echo & The Bunnymen keyboard player Paul Fleming, Baltic Fleetfollow up their acclaimed 2008 debut with second album Towers over the summer. Created almost entirely independently the first LP was described in Rough Trade’s Albums of the Year as “A faultless piece of instrumental music that captures the spirit of Eno, NEU... modern post rock and chamber music.”
Recorded during free time on a Bunnymen world tour on laptops and any instruments available, an excellent Uncut review hailed the disc’s “Sigur Ros-like post rock, fuzzy bass grooves and NEU!-style motorik beats”.
Since forming in 2009, HOOKWORMS have become one of the UK’s most exciting new psychedelic prospects, picking up plaudits everywhere from The Guardian to Loud & Quiet and The Stool Pigeon. Having released an EP through Gringo Records last year, the Leeds based band can now count Julian Cope amongst their rapidly growing fanbase. As he says himself,they sound like “ambient road-movie heat haze-on-the-road sonic wipeout of the post-Loop variety. Swee-ee-eet.” We couldn’t have put it better ourselves. Fresh from a date supporting Wooden Shjips in July, the band are currently working on their imminent debut album, with LIFP being the next chance to hear what they’ve been doing recently.
A veteran of so many influential Liverpool bands, including The La’s, the Bunnymen, The Zutons via The Stairs and Paul Weller, EDGAR SUMMERTYME has had a hand in some of the sharpest sounds to come out of the UK in the past two decades. With his new record Sense Of Harmony, this restless cult hero has come even closer to defining his inspiring mix up of garage rock, soul, R’n’B and jazz. After a triumphant homecoming date at Festevol Gardens at the Kazimier in August, Summertyme is making another return at LIFP which is sure to be another mystifying and brilliant turn in the career of one of the city’s most impressive musicians.
Self-professed Irish psychedelic terrorists THE ALTERED HOURS are known for their displacing garage pop music and experimental live shows. Their latest releaseDownstream was recorded in a reclaimed government building and was released independently. They were recently invited to give their debut international performance at the renowned White Trash in Berlin. Following the release of Downstream, The Altered Hours played a number of dates across Ireland and were featured in the acclaimed Ones To Watch festival in Dublin.
Aside from being the most dangerously hyped band in the country, PALMA VIOLETS are also Britain’s most exciting new live act. They arrive at LIFP destined to prove these lofty claims. After a superlative performance with Death At Sea and Savages at the city’s Leaf Café in July that ended up in the roguish band being arrested for scaling the city centre’s helter skelter, it’s fair to say that Palma Violets will once again be ascending to dizzy heights with their submersive lo-fi racket. Perhaps this time, though, they won’t be arrested.
Florida natives ANCIENT RIVERS specialise in psychedelic sounds of the ’60s and ’70s, garage, grunge, and good old American rock 'n' roll. Having formed in 2005, they came together in 2008 to create an intense live show which typically consists of very loud music and a variety of visuals such as smoke machines, oil-projections, photographic slides, and experimental video feedback. Following their appearance Austin Psych Fest 3 they began work on their first professional studio recordings. The band released their third full-length album, Let It Live, in January, and will be coming to LIFP in September to test out their new material.
Londoners BLACK MARKET KARMA make the trip up to Liverpool in support of their September 7th release of new album, Easy Listening. The mind-bending sextet take inspiration from the likes of The Velvet Underground, My Bloody Valentine, and Jesus & The Mary Chain, and with kaleidoscopic results. Easy Listening will be their third release of the year, having released their debut album in January and quickly following it with a sophomore effort in July. Their restless creativity is sure to impress at LIFP.
Former drummer of Spacemen 3 and member of Darkside, Sterling Roswell has been at the business end of single-minded, gently psychedelic music for over two decades. He returned in 2004 as ROSCO, having put together a live band, and put out a debut album under the moniker, which he describes as "space age pop". The album was ecstatically received by press, leaving MOJO to wonder if “the real inspiration in Spacemen 3 was Sterling Roswell”, and praising him for his “stoned Dylanising”; a description that really cuts to the heart of Rosco’s languid tone. His appearance at LIFP is his only scheduled live appearance, and a rare chance to catch one of psychedelia’s most influential characters.
English post-punk group FACTORY STAR return to Liverpool after recording both their debut album ‘Enter Castle Perilous’ and a subsequent mini album in the city. Songwriter Martin Bramah had two lengthy stints in The Fall, as well as founding Blue Orchids. The group make a rare live outing to LIFP to road-test material from the forthcoming mini album.
THE SEE SEE
THE SEE SEE return to Liverpool after a well received visit with The Wild Eyes at Mello Mello in June. Led by Richard Olson (who previously fronted acid-folk/rock band Eighteenth Day Of May) this London based group have pooled their influences together to make some of their strongest music yet on recent release Fountayne Mountain. Not only have they made fans of MOJO who gave the album a glowing review, but Brendan O’Hare of Teenage Fanclub has likened it to “nice cheesecake, and a glass of chablis”, all of which bodes well for their LIFP performance.
LOLA COLT are one of the capital’s finest young psychedelic bands, receiving attention for their tense live performances which one critic described as “a cacophony of unfettered sexual energy”. Debut single 'I Get High If You Get High' was released on Bandcamp this May and has turned many heads, resulting in a number of live bookings, including one alongside fellow LIFP-ers Baltic Fleet, The See See, and The Cult of Dom Keller.
DARK BELLS are a kraut-influenced three-piece from Sydney who have recently relocated to London. The sprawling atmospherics of recent demo 'Wild Flower' saw the band featured on numerous influential music blogs, and the band have recently been heading out into the live arena as attention builds around them.
Nottingham based THE CULT OF DOM KELLER arrived in 2008 and in the following years they’ve self-released three dark, psychedelic EPs equally influenced by Spacemen 3 and Wooden Shjips. They’ve recently been picking up a lot of attention online off the back of releasing their ‘Secret Sounds’ mini-album, and come to Liverpool poised to go on to great things.
Returning to Liverpool for the first time since their widely praised July show at Bumper, MILK MAID are undoubtedly in fine form. Their recent sophomore album Mostly No found front man Martin Cohen cementing his reputation as a talented songwriter, straddling the line between noise and pop whilst also expanding the band’s sonic terrain. Adding swirls of psychedelia to debut Yucca’s crafted fuzz, the home-recorded Mostly No explores a trans-Atlantic sound that at times simultaneously recalls the grand traditions of Manchester indie and Californian acid-rock but which also sits alongside contemporaries such as Ty Segall, White Fence, and The War on Drugs.
Glasgow band HELICON was formed by brothers John-Paul and Gary Hughes and Laura O'Brien around May 2008 and they continue to build on an already expanding psychedelic sound, live show and fanbase. They bring their mesmerising drones to Liverpool for a rare live outing which is certain to provoke comparisons to The Warlocks.
MIND MOUNTAIN are a native Liverpool band specialising in heavy, progressive jams. Having played the Screenadelica Exhibition at Liverpool Sound City and then supporting Damo Suzuki and Mugstar at the Kazimier, Mind Mountain are quickly becoming the city’s go-to band for dense, reality warping rock.
THE WILD EYES are rock 'n' roll weirdos. True believers with fans to match, their songs connect primal garage-rock to psychedelic-pop. In a time of deep economic stuttering, their music transports the listener to a place where hedonism meets heartache. Gigs at Liverpool Music Week and Sound City have honed their sound and bared their awe at the still potent power of rock n’ roll. The music press drew comparisons with the raw groove of the Stones and The Stooges, as well as modern day sonic adventurers My Bloody Valentine and early Verve. With local media in the form of Bido Lito! Magazine,The Liverpool Echo, and Seven Streets all singing their praises, their LIFP performance comes at an exciting time for this very exciting band.
Fierce garage rock duo DRENGE descend on Liverpool for the first time with their raw rock anthems that recall Japandroids at their most visceral. The hotly tipped band are making the trip over from their hometown of Sheffield for LIFP, where they’ll be wheeling out their drum kit, a guitar, and making some good old fashioned noise.
Domino-signed Liverpool legends CLINIC will be manning the turntables with their own blend of spooky post-punk.
SONIC CATHEDRAL DJs
There can be nobody with a more extensive knowledge of left-field alternative rock music than the guys at Sonic Cathedral, who over the past six years have been one of the most consistent champions of innovative new music. They take to the decks with their enviable record collection.
NICK POWER (THE CORAL) DJ
Nick Power should need no introduction; as keyboardist with THE CORALl he has been producing some of Liverpool’s finest dreamy guitar pop for over a decade, and he appears behind the turntables at LIFP.
AKOUSTIK ANARKHY DJs
Akoustik Anarkhy have been finding and releasing great music from Manchester since 1999, and will be accompanying signees Plank! across to Liverpool to spin some disks at LIFP.
DJ KOOL AID BOB
A legend of the also legendary Probe Records, DJ Kool Aid Bob will be present to spin obscure psychedelia on wax, without an iPod or Macbook Pro in sight.
BIDO LITO! DJs
Also present will be Craig Pennington and Christopher Torpey, editors of the city’s finest music publication, to spin some brain-rupturing psych cuts amongst the newest and best sounds from the city.
The Liverpool International Festival Of Psychedelia are very pleased to announce media partnerships with online music oracle The Quietus and psych bible Shindig!