Playlist: Liverpool International Festival Of Psychedelia

Liverpool International Festival Of Psychedelia

The second Liverpool Psych Fest is almost upon us. We’ve got the playlist to get you in the mood…

As DJ Bernie Connor noted in his piece in the Guardian Guide last Saturday, Liverpool has become a de facto centre for psychedelic music in Europe. On that basis, you’d think it was only a matter of time before some bright spark lazily dreamed up a festival to cash in.

Fortunately then, someone else beat that particular bright spark to it, for 2012 saw the Liverpool International Festival of Psychedelia take its bow – coherent and congruent programming coupled with an obvious love of, and dedication to, the genre meant success followed in its wake.

Plaudits from the national music media were not long in the coming, either. The Quietus remarked: “Curated with care and performed by bands with a rare joy, this is an event devoid of cynicism and one that embraces the Be Here Now mantra with a real sense of love. Here’s to the next one.”

“The Liverpool International Festival Of Psychedelia is not an exercise in nostalgia”

And that next one is very nearly upon us, for this weekend sees the Psych Fest’s return, sights and ambitions raised. For their part, the organisers say, “The Liverpool International Festival Of Psychedelia is not an exercise in nostalgia or UFO Club regurgitation, but a celebration of a culture very much at the vanguard of artistic exploration.”

So, what does that mean for the warriors of psych descending on Liverpool this weekend? Our playlist will provide at least a smattering of insight into the musical nuggets on offer; the likes of Moon Duo, Hookworms and Dead Meadow on the front-line of what can only be described as a new high-point for Psyche.

Indeed, when the festival organisers describe the movement as experiencing a ‘global renaissance’ it’s hard to disagree. Locally Clinic, Mugstar, Mind Mountain and Bonnacons of Doom, amongst others, are welcome additions to an international-feeling line-up.

And of course, for the vast majority, the musical offer will be the main draw; rightly so. But, taking over Camp and Furnace for the weekend allows also for a varied non-musical programme. Heading up that offer, and in something of a coup for LSF, is the premiere of an Arts Council supported collaboration between distinguished sound designer Pete ‘Sonic Boom’ Kember and London-based design collective Heretic.

Though details are a little scant at present – “the piece will combine a new audio/sound design piece by Sonic Boom, and a fully immersive visual sphere from Heretic” – the involvement of Sonic Boom (a founding member of Spacemen 3 who has worked with the likes of Delia Derbyshire, Stereolab and My Bloody Valentine) is sure to reward those finding their curiosity tickled.

Aside from those audio/visual pyrotechnics, you’ll find a Psych Shorts Film programme curated by Shindig! Magazine and Musings in Drone, a ‘micro conference dealing with the modern psychedelic condition’. Throw in guest DJs from Drowned in Sound to Andy Votel and a record shop run by Merseyside-based Ramone Records and there’s seemingly little reason to leave the site for 48 hours.

See you there!

Liverpool International Festival of Psychedelia, 27-28 September @ Camp and Furnace £45/£25/£20

Posted on 26/09/2013 by thedoublenegative