Stevie Law cut his teeth promoting live shows and editing fanzines from various windowless offices around Liverpool, Manchester and London. He then took the hotly-tipped Elle s’appelle to the brink of global domination. Now he elegantly spins discs for pennies at Le Bateau and LaGo while masterminding the career of much-talked about Bagheera. He cooks a ridiculously good spag bol. On the eve of Liverpool Sound City he offers a few choice worlds on what’s what.
Coming from a far-off land where the word ‘cultural’ was pronounced ‘poofy,’ it is fair to say that Liverpool was something of a shock to the system.
Of course, I was well aware of that there Beatles band what wrote a couple of hummable ditties in ye olde times.
I also had a vague knowledge of the scene that sprang up around Eric’s and its importance to both the punk and new romantic movements. What I had no concept of, however, was the rich tapestry of artists, promoters, DJs, venues, producers, engineers and – most importantly – gig-goers that continue to cement the city’s claim to the World Capital of Pop. To be honest, I still don’t.
Barely a week goes by without me catching wind of a new band destined to blow my ears and mind simultaneously, a new night to take me to dizzying levels of hedonism, or a new venue (The Kazimier, anybody?) that surely ranks high amongst the best this country has to offer.
Sound City – as wonderfully crafted and intelligently compiled as it is – is a mere indication of what is available on your doorstep 365 days of the year. Liverpool is crawling with talent: ApaTt, Atlantic Massey, Bagheera, Barbieshop, Bicycle Thieves, By The Sea, The Cubical, Dave Owen, Dead Cities, Dire Wolfe, Dogshow, Down and Outs, Eva Petersen, Fly With Vampires, Free Peace, Future, Hot Club de Paris, Indica Ritual, John Smith, Kof, The Laze, Marc Sunderland, Married to the Sea, The Maybes?, Mugstar, Ortolans, Pete Bentham & The Dinnerladies, Pink Film, Ragz, Sean Francis Butler, Sound of Guns, Strawhouses, Ticks, The Vanities, The Seal Cub Clubbing Club, Voo, Wave Machines, We Came Out Like Tigers – they are all brilliant and they are all yours.
There are many, many more besides. Just let your ears guide you through town. Indeed, no other place on the planet can boast more hits bastardised by drunken karaoke pensioners spilling from city centre pubs on any weekday afternoon.
There is good reason for this. As a Scouser, you believe that it is your God-given right to perform. This is not a criticism – far from it – it is a good thing.
As babies, you have a harmonica thrust into your mouth instead of a dummy, maracas instead of rattles. By the age of eight you are better at guitar than I will ever be.
By eleven you have written your first album. And by 17 you most probably have a record deal.
And me? Well, while you’re off trotting the globe being all famous and that, I’ll most likely be sat in my pants having my mind numbed by purile TV talent shows, sick with jealousy and void of aptitude. Music is the blood that keeps this city alive and you, my friends, are its capillaries.
People of Liverpool, the world is your stage. Now go and break a leg.