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August 31, 2006

Manchester Book Market - This Weekend

Some Merseyside involvement with this new event....


10am-6pm, St Ann's Square

Dear literature lovers, book buyers and fans of the spoken word,

We are looking forward to seeing you at this, Manchester's First Independent Book Market! The buzz has spread nationwide, perhaps it's the excitement of getting our hands on quality fiction.

The undercover literature marquee is at the ready and we've a brilliant line-up, consisting of some of the best writers, as well as the two hottest performance nights in Manchester, all taking to the stage in St Ann's Square.

With more than 30 publishers taking part and around 30 writers reading back to back over the two days, it's going to be a great day out.

Help make the market a success. Simply pass this email on to your friends, pop by and say hello. We'd love to see you.

Spread the word
Support writers and publishers of diverse backgrounds and independent spirits!

FRIDAY Sep 1st:
Performance Times: 1pm-2.15pm: Host: Chloe Poems
Featuring Chloe Poems, Anwen Lewis, Graham Wilson, Sam Barker, Anne C Clarke Samuel Shimon

3pm-4.15pm: Host: Kate Taylor
Featuring: Matthew Scott, Crista Ermiya, Olivia McCannon, Tom Palmer, Pat Winslow, MY Alam, Nouri Jarrah, Margaret Obank

5pm-6pm: Host Verberate: Zoe Lambert
Featuring Togara Muzanenhamo, Maria Roberts, Tony Curry, Rebecca Goss

1pm-2.15pm: FAMILY EVENT Hosted by Pete Kalu
Featuring Verna Wilkins, Pete Kalu, Creina Mansfield and a sketch session

3pm-4.15pm: Host DGPS: Hosted by Ra Page and Maria Roberts
Featuring - Shamshad Khan, Conor Alyward, Adam Irving, Stuart Mallinson, Ian Seed, Dinesh Allirajah

5pm-6pm: Speakeasy: Host Julian Daniel
Featuring Dike Omeje, Chanje Kunda, Shirley May, Cheryl Martin, Segun Lee French

National Museum Liverpool Youth Theatre

National Museums Liverpool is launching an exciting opportunity for young people with a passion for drama to take part in their new Youth Theatre. Youngsters will be inspired by the unique location to create new and exciting theatre as well as develop their performance skills.

Taster sessions are at World Museum Liverpool on the the following dates:

11- 15 year olds:

Thursday 31st August - 10:30am - 11:30am
Friday 1st September - 10:30am - 11:30am
Saturday 2nd September - 10:30am - 11:30am
Saturday 9th September - 10:30am-11:30am

16- 21 year olds:

Saturday 9th September - 12pm - 1:00pm
Monday 11th September - 4:30pm - 5:30pm
Tuesday 12th September - 4:30pm - 5:30pm
Wednesday 13th September - 4:30pm - 5:30pm

Places are limited please book to reserve your place. 0151 478 4338

August 30, 2006

Brazilian Beatles and Other Covers

clube big beatles pedestrian-zone.jpg

Mathew Street Music Festival 2006 - Part 4 - Monday August 28th - Derby Square, Pier Head, The Strand and Dale Street

The early morning rain has cleared and its another pleasant day, thank goodness, as the whole downtown area and Pier Head is packed solid with a few hundred thousand people.
Today is the day for Beatles bands and other cover bands with silly names like Definitely Mightbe (Oasis), Banned On The Run (Wings), Robbing Williams and Coldplace complete with a Coldplay singer - Chris Martin lookalike. We watched some of their set on the North stage after first seeing the Clube Big Beatles from Brazil playing in Derby Square in front of a big crowd of sing-along-a-beatles people.

The South stage is again a welcome relief as more new local bands are playing original music. Watched the last few songs from 28 Costumes.

On stage in the Strand, I think it was Kappa Guitar Hero playing Frank Zappa classics.

Further up Dale Street, past the awful, awful fairground 'attractions' (do we really have to have those things at every event??) more cover bands - Squeezed, the Overtures (James Taylor) and Urythmix played until the evening.

Naturally a lot of tourists here from all over the world including these guys from Japan, sampling the excellent local traditional food.

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Lightning Seeds and Wonder Stuff

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Mathew Street Music Festival 2006 - Part 3 - Sunday August 27th - Pier Head

Some big names on the North stage today and the sun is shining. Arrived just in time for the start of the Lightning Seeds set. Ian Broudie and the band played all their hits and the atmosphere was great as the whole of the Pier Head area was packed out. Lots of people danced manically to Life of Riley and sand along to Three Lions which is now 10 years old so, sadly, the lyrics have changed from '30 years of hurt' to '40 years of hurt' Ouch.

Next up was Wonder Stuff, looking a bit more mature but still very lively, another good show - The Size of a Cow!
Listened to a few songs from Shack. I hadn't heard of them before but they're pretty popular here and internationally apparently.

Planned to see John Smith Band on the South stage for new local bands but for some reason he'd been replaced by The Pedantics who are also quite good

wonder stuff the pedantics

August 26, 2006

McCartney, Doctor and The Medics

mike mccartney 08place dr and the medics

Mathew Street Music Festival 2006 - Part 2 - Saturday August 26th 08 Place & Pier Head

Mike McCartney was at the 08 Place this afternoon signing copies of his Live8 Coolpix book. I already got a copy at the original launch a while ago but called in anyway. There was quite a queue waiting, I'm sure they'll sell out soon, its a limited edition of just 1,000 copies and all the proceeds go to the Live Aid Trust.

I only actually saw one band at the Pier Head today but Dr and the Medics is a great act, very funny and entertaining. They finished, of course, with their one and only hit, their cover of Spirit In The Sky. The large crowd loved it..

They were followed by Johnny Silver, the German John Lennon impressionist. hmm.

Would have liked to have seen the Proclaimers earlier but I arrived too late.

dr and the medics dr and the medics

August 25, 2006

Philharmonic and Others at Mathew St Festival

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Mathew Street Music Festival 2006 - Part 1 - Friday August 25th Pier Head

Its August Bank Holiday Weekend, its the Mathew Street Music Festival opening with an outdoor concert by The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. So, naturally, its cold and raining but we British are prepared for this weather with all our outdoor gear, blankets, umbrellas, folding chairs and flasks of sweet hot tea.
Unfortunately the wind is also blowing in the wrong direction so the delicate members of the orchestra (that's the instruments not the players) have to make a quick exit after only a few minutes.

Things were delayed for a while so that a reduced orchestra could play further back from the elements. We were then treated to short (1 song) sets from Thomas Lang with Jennifer John, Garry Christian, and Pete Wylie performed his 'Heart as Big as Liverpool'. Finishing with the orchestra led by their new conductor Vasily Petrenko from Russia performing some Mussorgsky (appropriately) with a small firework display at the climax.

Despite the conditions it was a very good evening and the crowd were very appreciative of the the performers efforts.
I though Mark Forrest of Classic FM did a good job as compere for the evening too.

After it had finished earlier than scheduled due to the weather, the rain stopped briefly but then really chucked it down as we walked home. Managed to keep my camera dry but everything else was soaked.

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Mike McCartney Book Signing at 08 Place

live8 coverAcclaimed photographer Mike McCartney will be signing copies of his 'LIVE8 coolpix' book this weekend. The book features unique behind-the-scenes shots of some of the biggest names in pop and politics at the Hyde Park concert last July. All proceeds are going to Band Aid Charitable Trust. It is estimated the book will raise between £30-40,000 for the charity.

LOCATION: The 08 Place, Whitechapel, Liverpool City Centre

DATE: Saturday, August 26

TIME: 1pm to 3pm

Sir Paul McCartney, Bob Geldof, Bono and U2, Brad Pitt, Sting, Jeremy Clarkson, the creators of Little Britain - Matt Lucas and David Walliams, Kofi Annan, Chris Martin, John McEnroe, Peter Kay, Harvey Goldsmith, Slash (ex Guns n Roses), Madonna, Richard Curtis, Killers, Peter Blake, Sir Ian McKellen, Joss Stone, The Scissor Sisters, Bill Gates, Pink Floyd's drummer Nick Mason and David Gilmour - with his family - and, of course, one of the seminal band's founder members, the inimitable Roger Waters, along with George Michael, and Fran Healy from Travis.

August 24, 2006

'Saga Rose' Cruise Ship in Mersey Next Week

Via 08 Ambassador news...

Cruise arrival
The Saga Rose will be in the River Mersey from 8am to 6pm on Wednesday 30 August.

Mersey Ferries will be providing cruises from Liverpool, offering excellent views of the Saga Rose, on the hour at 10am, 11am, 12pm, 1pm, 2pm and 3pm and from Seacombe terminal at 30 minutes past the hour and Woodside terminal at 20 minutes to the hour.

Passengers may choose to break their journey for a complete day out at Seacombe - home to an Aquarium and the Spaceport, a new £10m space themed attraction full of interactive exhibits and simulations taking visitors on a trip through space.

August 22, 2006

Slavery Remembrance Day - Reminder

broken_chain_logo.jpgSlavery Remembrance Day is celebrated every year on 23 August with a series of free events.

This year the main events are staged at Otterspool Promenade in south Liverpool.

The day starts at 1045 hours on Wednesday 23 August with an interfaith church service at Liverpool’s parish church of St Nicholas on the city’s waterfront.

Events at Otterspool begin at 12 noon. There is a cultural food and exhibition marquee with traditional African and Caribbean food plus lots of children’s activities ranging from playing musical instruments to mask-making. There is a chance to explore items linked to the transatlantic slave trade and an opportunity to learn more about the exciting new International Slavery Museum at Merseyside Maritime Museum opening on Slavery Remembrance Day 2007.

At 1300 hours Chief Angus Chukuemeka leads a libation joined by civic and community leaders from the Liverpool area. This is a traditional African ceremony involving the pouring of liquid while paying homage to ancestors.

Following the libation, visitors move into the main marquee at 1330 hours for an afternoon of exciting and entertaining music and drama performances plus children’s activities. Performers include the River Niger Orchestra, Liverpool Community Spirit, rappers Yaw and Kofi and a community choir

August 21, 2006

Young Culture Directory Now Available

You can download the directory from the liverpool08 website.
Lots of useful info including phone numbers and email addresses but no website addresses! Amazing!!

Young Culture Directory

Our Young Culture Directory is now available, featuring listings for Liverpool arts and cultural organisations on offer to children and young people.

Liverpool boasts a unique and diverse cultural offer and is brimming with an array of cultural activities for young people and children, all of whom played a significant role in the city becoming the European Capital of Culture in 2008.

We are continuing to forge links with young people in order to celebrate life in all of our neighbourhoods and communities. As a commitment to young people, the we aim to listen to the many diverse voices, actively involving them in the lead-up to 2008 and beyond.


August 20, 2006

20/08 Day - St John's Beacon Tour

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So, we soon achieved our first mission of 20/08 day which was to find Sgt Pepper walking around Liverpool and ask him for a 'ticket to ride'. Unfortunately all the free tickets for The Beatles Story had gone, he had finished and was just returning his Culture Company umbrella to the 08 Place.

The 08 Place officially opened its doors in Whitechapel on this day last year so today is its first birthday. Hence the excellent looking cake. We got there just as the staff were about to cut into it and hand out pieces to the visitors.

We picked up a few leaflets for next weeks Mathew Street Music Festival whilst waiting for the guide to take us to St John's Beacon (now known as Radio City Tower). It was a long wait, in fact he didn't show up but eventually a replacement arrived, a nice young bloke called Jordan.

They have tours of the tower every Saturday and Sunday, bookable through the 08 Place but normally you have to pay, today it was free. It includes a quick tour of the Radio City studios and a showing of a short video about the history of the tower. Obviously we took loads of photographs but it was a wet, grey day and the windows are quite mucky so not ideal conditions. Some amazing views though, interesting what you can see on top of some of the roofs in the city centre.

Here are pictures of the fountain and roundabout in Williamson Square and a view of one of my favourite areas - The Museum, Central Library and Walker Gallery with St Georges Hall. We could have gone on to a few more places but we were worn out after climbing the tower (only kidding, the lift goes so fast it makes your ears go funny)

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August 19, 2006

Mathew Street Festival - Details

Mathew-St06-1.jpgFull details of next weekend's Mathew Street Music Festival are now online at

Mathew Street Music Festival

Mathew Street Music Festival is now the largest free annual music event in Europe.

In 2006 you can look forward to four days of live music, with over 75 bands performing on five stages across the city, in celebration of the 2006 Capital of Culture year - Liverpool Performs. More than 40 indoor venues will also be hosting free live music throughout the weekend

The RLPO will be joined on stage by top names from the Liverpool music scene; Garry Christian of The Christians will sing his poignant ballad Father; Pete Wylie of The Mighty Wah will perform his epic Heart as Big as Liverpool and Jennifer John and Thomas Lang will duet on the anthemic You'll Never Walk Alone.

Pop legends The Lightning Seeds will be headlining the festival on Sunday 27 August - their first appearance in Liverpool since the millennium. Led by Ian Broudie, the band famous for hits such as 'Life of Riley', 'Pure', 'Lucky You' and 'Three Lions', will perform a special one-hour greatest hits gig.


August 16, 2006

Get down on the farm!

Get down on the farm!

RICE Lane City Farm is about to be taken over by party animals!

Hundreds of young people are expected to converge on the farm for the 2006 Liverpool Urban Music Festival on Saturday 19 August.

And it's all been organised by the kids themselves.

Liverpool performers, aged eight to 20, from rappers, to R'n'B singers, to DJs will take to the stage for the free, all-day festival.

It's a massive boost to Liverpool's 2006 Splash programme, which is helping kids beat the boredom during the Summer holidays with a programme of more than 50 events.

The Rice Lane City Farm Youth Development Group runs a huge range of projects for young people, from play schemes to workshops, and from mural painting to dance and drama.

Kim Connelly, 16, is part of the group and has helped organise the Urban Music Festival and raise funds. She is also a member of the Capital of Culture Youth Advisory Group.

Kim said: "It's taken a long time to sort out this event but putting it all together has been really enjoyable. I'm can't wait for the festival to start, it's a great chance to showcase urban music to Liverpool people."

The festival kicks-off at 1pm and goes on until 6pm. Performing on the specially erected stage at the farm will be young Liverpool urban acts SFL, Rage, Vogue, Faye, Da 3 Style 3, Endless Limits and many more.

The 2006 Splash scheme is once again proving to be a smash kit with local kids. Last year a record-breaking 22,000 took part and that looks set to grow this year.

Thousands of Liverpool children have already got involved in a wide range of activities, including swimming lessons, first aid, circus skills, puppet design, golf, American football and healthy eating workshops.

The Urban Music Festival has been funded by Liverpool Youth Service, Merseyside Police, Connexions and Rice Lane City Farm. For more information on the event, call Rice Lane City Farm on 0151 530 1066.

To take part in the 2006 Splash programme, or to find out about Splash events in your area, call the Children's Information Service on 0800 085 2022 and register your details.

August 15, 2006

Slavery Remembrance Day - Events

broken_chain_logo.jpgSlavery Remembrance Day
Merseyside Maritime Museum

Free events before Slavery Remembrance day:

African Drumming with Ma Ma Dou- MERSEYSIDE MARITIME MUSEUM
Try your hand at African drumming or just come along and enjoy the rhythms
Sunday 20 August 2006
1pm & 2.45pm

Ekow Eshun, writer, broadcaster and the artistic director of the Institute of Contemporary Art, will give a lecture focusing on his book Black Gold of the Sun, and the legacy of slavery through contemporary art and culture

Tuesday 22 August 2006

Slavery Remembrance Day
Wednesday 23 August 2006

A church service for people of all faiths to remember the victims of Transatlantic Slave Trade and affirm their commitment to human rights and social justice for all. The service will include a special performance by Liverpool Community Spirit.

Cultural food and exhibition marquee- OTTERSPOOL PROMENADE
From 12pm
Enjoy a taste of traditional African and Caribbean food. Lots of activities for children, including arts and crafts and a chance to dress up in traditional Ghanaian and Nigerian costume. Try playing musical instruments or make a colourful mask. Explore artefacts from the Transatlantic Slave Trade.

Libation on the waterfront- OTTERSPOOL PROMENADE
Chief Angus Chukuemeka will lead a libation, joined by community and civic leaders from Merseyside. This traditional African ceremony calls on the ancestors to bless the event. The offereing of libation involves pouring liquid, which can be water or wine, ina special pattern while homage is paid to the ancestors.

An afternoon of exciting and entertaining music and drama. Special performances from local actors, poets and musicians and more children’s activities.


August 13, 2006

Heritage Open Days 2006

countysessionshouse.jpgJust a first taster of some of the activities for this years Heritage Open Days.(September 7 - 17 2006)
From the Culture Company...

Sample a slice of heritage

THIS year's Heritage Open Days programme has been extended to take in more historic buildings and walks and tours than ever before.

From the Athenaeum to Anfield stadium, West Derby Courthouse to Walton Church - significant architectural and cultural sites across Merseyside are offering people a chance to peek behind their famous facades between September 7 and 17.

And as part of the St George's Hall open day on September 9, TV antique expert David Dickinson will host a valuation event, giving people a chance to put a price on their own hidden treasures.

Cllr Berni Turner, Liverpool City Council's Executive Member for Environment and Heritage, said: "Heritage Open Days are a fantastic opportunity for people to take a glimpse behind the scenes at some of our finest buildings, and learn more about Liverpool's fascinating history.

"Just pick up a copy of the brochure or log on to to find out which venues will be throwing open their doors this year."

Organised by Liverpool Culture Company and the Civic Trust, this year's programme also features a series of walks and tours around significant cultural trails, with some led by the new '08 Performance Guides' - costumed characters from Liverpool's past that bring local history to life.

Due to the popularity of previous years, Heritage Open Days 2006 will spread across 11 days, giving people even more opportunities to check out the wealth of history right on their doorstep.

Full details of all the open days and walks and tours are available in a special brochure being launched by the Liverpool Culture Company next week.

August 09, 2006

Pyjama Party at Toxteth Library!

Sounds like fun. Women only I think.

Wild Woman Sparkly Pyjama Party©

Raise your self esteem, have a fun night and raise money for women

8th September 06 @ Toxteth Library
Windsor Street, Off upper parliament street, Liverpool, L8 1X (many thanks to Liverpool Libraries !)

Show off your pjs– yummy chocolate-self esteem building- feel good -meet lush new friends-creativity- inspiring bed time stories –massage-affirmations-glitter-sparkle-snuggle-prizes-candlelit labyrinth walk- magic-beautiful stalls-gorgeous goddess things !

Ticket Price £15 Limited tickets available and selling fast !
(book for a group of 10 friends or women from your workplace and receive your ticket free !)
(£5 from each ticket goes direct to help the fabulous women at Speke Garston Domestic Violence Project)

Organised by Wild Woman to book tickets contact

Thursdays Alive After Five


Thursdays…Alive after Five!

At last! Liverpool city centre will open for Thursday late-night shopping throughout the year starting 3 August.

It’s usually restricted to a mad scramble on Thursdays leading up to Christmas. But from August, the stores will stay open late every Thursday until 8pm.* To add to the experience, restaurants, bars and major attractions will be offering special promotions throughout August.

To celebrate the extended opening hours, the city centre will come alive from 5pm with exciting new outdoor events, including Liverpool’s first roller skating rink!, every Thursday from 3 - 24 August. There’ll also be free ice creams, courtesy of Liverpool’s retailers.

The shops, bars, restaurants and attractions will have loads of special promotions and discounts on the Thursday evenings - so there’s every reason to come into the city centre and enjoy the extra opening hours!

August 08, 2006

The Merseyside Song by Freddie Baker

A bit of light entertainment from Freddie Baker....

I currently have a song being played on BBC radio

The song entitled The Merseyside song is a promotional aid for the whole region.

The Liverpool tourist website city portal Liverpool has done an article on the song
The Merseymart are running an article in there next edition about the song
And I am currently arranging with Liverpool Everton and Tranmere football clubs
To have the song played at all this seasons coming home games .

The song is available free of charge at

Please have a listen to the song it will bring a smile

August 07, 2006

Brouhaha Carnival Parade

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It was the grand finale, carnival parade and 'The World in Princes Park' event for the Brouhaha 2006 festival on Saturday. To be honest, I didn't really watch the parade as such and didn't got to Princes park, I believe it all went very well though.
The procession was starting from almost right on my doorstep so I just popped out, took a few pictures then went back inside. Not being lazy, you understand, just so many other things to do.
The outfits, as you can see, were fantastic and the weather was fine. Everyone having a good time though some of them must have been worn out by the time they reached the park, some of those costumes must weigh a ton.

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August 04, 2006

Proclaimers to Perform at Mathew St Festival

proclaimers-murdo-mcleod.jpgTHE PROCLAIMERS TO WALK TO MATHEW ST

FESTIVAL favourites The Proclaimers are to play at Europe's biggest free city centre music event.

The cult Scottish duo, who penned classics such as Letter from America and the million selling I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles), are to play a one hour set on Saturday, August 26 at the 15th annual Mathew Street Music Festival (August 25-28).

Twins Craig and Charlie Reid, who formed the Proclaimers in 1983, are currently recording their sixth album. They'll take centre stage at the Pier Head at 1.30pm on Mathew Street Saturday, August 26.

Famed for a pulsating live act - as witnessed at Edinburgh Live8 - the duo have successfully blended politics, passion and pop, and even helped their football club by spearheading the 'Hands Off Hibs' campaign.

Hollywood also continues to knock on The Proclaimers' door, with their songs appearing in hits such as Benny and Joon, Dumb and Dumber and Shrek.

The duo love playing in Liverpool and appeared as surprise special guests at The Coral's home town end of year show.

Councillor Warren Bradley, Leader of Liverpool City Council, said: ''The Proclaimers are one of the great Scottish bands and always leave audiences wanting more. They are a great live band and they'll make sure the weekend begins in style. This year's festival line-up is really taking shape and should appeal to people of all tastes and ages.''

For the first time in the festival's history, the music begins on a Friday with The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra's first Mathew Street concert on the Pier Head at 7.30pm on August 25.

This year's festival has a strong Liverpool theme, with the Lightning Seeds headlining on Mathew Street Sunday. Festival organisers - the Liverpool Culture Company - have focused on showcasing home-grown talent, from the famous to the unsigned, to celebrate the 2006 Capital of Culture themed year - Liverpool Performs.

August 03, 2006

Free Music Fest, St Helens, August 13th


Interest from the UK music festival circuit is soaring as Eclectica ’06 approaches. This month, one of the North West’s most innovative and up-and-coming free music festivals is taking place in St.Helens, situated midway between Liverpool and Manchester.

Sunday 13 August will see revellers flock to Victoria Square in St.Helens Town Centre, to dance the day away from 1 – 9pm. From rock and reggae to folk and roots, and headlined by festival heavyweights Michael Franti and Spearhead, the line-up will feature an eclectic mix of music types that’s sure to excite music-lovers everywhere.

The event is not exclusively for dedicated music fans though – with an outdoor bar and food stalls, a lively party atmosphere and energetic live performances, Eclectica guarantees a different and fun day out for everyone.

The opening performance at 1.00pm will be from up-and-coming local band The Loungs. Their unique pop and indie fusion is guaranteed to get the festival off to a lively start and will have the crowd up and dancing.

As part of their busy summer festival schedule, Tiny Tin Lady, will follow the Loungs at 2.00pm The girls have an extra special treat in store for their fans on the day, as Eclectica will mark the debut performance of new band member Kat on fiddle and vocals.

Its then time to crank things up a notch with Liverpool-born Ian McNabb at 3.30pm, former lead singer of cult 1980’s band the Icicle Works, set to impress with his remarkable vocal and guitarist talent as he plays a mixture of rock and ballads.

Folk festival legends Oysterband will provide the penultimate performance at 5.15pm, with their distinctive fusion of punk and folk music.

The climax of the festival will see the mighty Michael Franti and Spearhead take to the stage at 7.30pm inspiring the crowd with their pop and reggae style and conscious lyrics. Just two weeks after the UK release of their latest album, Yell Fire! the group’s performance at Eclectica will form part of the UK leg of their world tour, having already gone down a storm in their native North America.

Gary Maddock, Tourism Development Manager at St.Helens Council comments; “Eclectica is a top quality music festival, featuring a diverse range of musical talent from local to global acts. It is also completely free and does not require tickets, so people can just turn up and enjoy the music and atmosphere. Hits on the website have rocketed since the line-up was announced as people visit the Eclectica web-page in anticipation, suggesting that this year’s festival will be a busy and popular event”.

He continues; “The highly accessible, town centre location just outside St.Helens Town Hall and plentiful parking means that it is easy to get to Eclectica - there really is every reason to come along and enjoy what promises to be the musical highlight of the ever-growing St.Helens event calendar”.

Link at

August 01, 2006

Van Morrison to Play at Liverpool Irish Festival

Rock legend Van Morrison is to play two concerts in Liverpool to launch this year's Cains Liverpool Irish Festival.

The Irish star will play two gigs at the Philharmonic Hall as part of a massive weekend of activity in October to kick-start the event.

News of the concerts came as city brewer Cains announced it is to sponsor the festival for a second year running.

The festival begins on October 20 and runs until November 12. More than 50 events will take place at venues across the city, spanning folk and rock music, theatre, poetry, lectures, films and nightclubs.

Other events being lined up for the opening week of the festival include performances by bands The Dubliners and Hothouse Flowers, a one-man show by actor Donal O'Kelly and a performance by fiddler and flautist Frankie Gavin with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra Strings.

Tickets for the Van Morrison concerts, on October 20 and 21, go on sale on Friday August 11.

For further information about tickets for other events, telephone the Philharmonic Hall box office on 0151 709 3789.

Brouhaha Parade on Saturday

brouhaha06-150.jpgRegrettably, The Pioneers will not be playing at the World in Princes Park event, due to the fact the group have recently disbanded. Sincere apologies to The Pioneers. They have NOT disbanded. I was given incorrect information by the Brouhaha press office. Take a look at The Pioneers website:

The festival is proud to welcome legendary reggae superstars DAWN PENN & AMBELIQUE, with backing band the DELROY WILLIAMS ACES.

Please read on for more information about the events on Saturday 5th August...

The Liverpool International Carnival parade will lead from Myrtle Street, to Princes Park, based in the heart of Toxteth. This year the parade looks at the Middle Passage of the transatlantic slave trade, as part of the "Crossing
Waters" programme, with over 2000 costumed performers. (Starts at 12pm, arrival at the park 2pm)

Voted as winner of the 'Best Event' within Liverpool's Black History Month Achievement Awards 2005, the "World in Princes Park" is a multicultural celebration with local, regional, national and international performing arts
companies on four stages in Princes Park. The park will also host children's workshops, international food stalls and a number of consultation tents from local housing and regeneration organisations, as well as the fantastic
Liverpool Mela - a celebration of South Asian arts and culture.

This event has been developed through a partnership between Brouhaha International, Include Neighbourhood Regeneration and The Groundwork Trust.

Featuring performances from all the international companies and: Soul Powered, One Heart One Voice Urban Choir, Positive Impact, Sense of Sound, Ms Scandalus, The Abelwell Foundation, Chinese Arts Platform, Tamil Dance Group, Oldham Dance Group, Shockout!, Brouhaha Dhol Drum Group, Luton Drum and Dance Group, Punjabi
Hit Squad, Cassava, DigaBeat, X-Tension + more tbc.