Every society needs a central point of focus; an area of universal significance that people can build a culture around. In Ancient Greek mythology, Zeus sent two doves to find ‘the centre’, and when they collided over Delphi, it took on this significance and became known as the ‘navel of the world’, an omphalos.
We’ve got something in the works for this year’s Liverpool Sound City festival on 5th/6th May…
Mathew Street was once the epicentre for all of Liverpool’s finest freaks and seekers. This gradually faded however, and the street diminished into a husk of its former self, now standing as a bleak caricature of soulless tourism, brashly cokey revelry and painfully cheesy music.
This is why is was decided the bad spirits would be exorcised from the pool of life on the twenty third day of November, 2017 – the first annual ‘Toxteth Day Of The Dead’ and the date the JAMs ‘Burned The Shard’. With the pool of life free of the corrupting influence, the undercurrents can now flow beneath the manhole cover uninhibited, hopefully ushering in a new cultural era for Liverpool.
One of Liverpool’s favourite sons is to be honoured on January 17th, on what would have been his 89th birthday. A very special exhibition at one of Arthur’s favourite places in the city forms the centrepiece of the latest annual ‘Dooleyday’. Inspired by the world famous ‘Bloomsday’ held in Dublin and around the world every year on June 16th, in honour of James Joyce, ‘Dooleyday’ is fast becoming a feature of Liverpool’s cultural landscape. This year’s celebration will centre on The Florrie in the Dingle, reputedly a favourite building of Arthur’s. Co-curated by The Florrie, the event will feature films, presentations, talks, a book reading, and an exhibition of original Dooley work, loaned from a mystery benefactor.
On 15th December we’ll be hosting a live reading of Alistair Fruish‘s monosyllabic masterclass ‘The Sentence‘ – a groundbreaking novel that contains only one sentence with no punctuation. When read aloud, it reportedly has quite the hypnotic effect.
Back in January Daisy Eris Campbell – the force behind the recent adaptation of Robert Anton Wilson’s ‘The Cosmic Trigger‘ – directed a reading of ‘The Sentence’ at The Cockpit theatre where she’d later stage the second run of her seminal play, Robin Ince was amongst the readers, whilst Alan Moore assisted in the Northampton reading.
There are many undercurrents running beneath the surface of Liverpool, intermittently emerging to influence the course of the city’s culture before ebbing to allow the next to lead the way.
Certain areas of the city have proven pivotal in the development of these currents and there’s one particular place that’s served, more than any other, to incubate Liverpool’s modern culture, and more importantly its counterculture. To understand the place we have to look back…
Taking inspiration from the Arts Lab movement of the psychedelic sixties counterculture, which is beginning to show signs of revival, and following the lineage set by Liverpool’s creative underbelly, the newly launched Liverpool Arts Lab looks to form a network that allows artists of all different fields to feed off each other’s ideas and push the city’s culture forward.