We’ve got something in the works for this year’s Liverpool Sound City festival on 5th/6th May…
Through a series of interconnected workshops, the ‘Arts Lab Skiffle Factory’ will tap into the inherent DIY creativity in Liverpool. Paying homage to the homemade origins of the city’s music scene, the Liverpool Arts Lab will offer the chance to build a song up from ground level in a collaborative creative process. Between 3-7pm on Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th in the Camp & Furnace Gold Room, we’ll be creating 8 tracks (1 every hour) with cassettes available on the day, with digital downloads after the event. The Arts Lab Skiffle Factory will run as follows…
At the beginning of each hour we’ll first randomly select an easily recognisable tune, and then select a style. We could end up with a punk version of ‘Could You Be Loved’, a funk take on ‘Walk On The Wild Side’ or a reggae version of ‘Starman’.
People will then be able to build up their own instruments, both in the traditional Skiffle style, as well as some more updated creations. There will also be pre-made instruments available to use.
Working with the randomly selected tune and style, the lyrics mine will use books, magazines and newspapers to create the lyrics. No lyrics can be written down, they all have to be generated cut-and-paste Burroughs style.
Creating multi-media artwork to go alongside the music, which will then be added to the cassette tapes and digital downloads.
MUSIC VIDEO WORKSHOP
Creating live music videos with VJ software and psychedelic FX. Videos will be made available on Vimeo after the event.
The culmination of each session, festival goers will work with LAL’s adept musicians to lay down the tracks they’ve been collaborating on.
There’s opportunity for the audience to engage in every aspect of each session if they stay for the duration, as well as opportunity to get involved in a specific part of the process. As many people as can fit in the room can get involved in the workshops, everyone’s contribution valued.
Skiffle links directly back to the origins of Liverpool’s modern music scene. In the latter half of the ’50s, aspiring musicians began to make their own instruments, taking cues from the blues/blue grass bands Stateside. Gerry Marsden formed his first band, the Red Mountain Skiffle Group at The Florrie as an early teenager, whilst John Lennon’s career began with a skiffle group of his school-friends known as The Quarrymen (formerly Blackjacks).
Having laid the foundations for the seismic Merseybeat explosion in the ’60s, this vein of DIY creativity ran through the punk scene of the ’70s with Eric’s and the Liverpool School Of Language, Music, Dream And Pun. The baton was carried through the ’80s by the likes of Earthbeat and Urban Stress. More recently by Urban Strawberry Lunch have kept this spirit alive, even returning to the creation of homemade instruments.
With The Arts Lab Skiffle Factory, we’re looking to pay homage to all that’s gone before, whilst adding a few new ideas into the mix. This will be ‘anarcho-techno skiffle’, utilising electronics alongside the traditional. The idea is to break down the creative barriers around making music, turning it into a fun and wholly accessible experience.
THE ARTS LAB SKIFFLE FACTORY @ LIVERPOOL SOUND CITY 2018
SAT 5th / SUN 6th MAY – CAMP & FURNACE GOLD ROOM – 3-7PM