LIVE: Liverpool Festival of Psychedelia 23 – 24/09/16

Psychedelia as a label/term has constantly mutated and (trans)morphed since its 1966 -1968 flowering, today’s smorgasboard of technicolour deriving its influences from 50 years of cultural happenings (music/art/film/lit) artefacts that still permeate and infect/infuse: from sound to style, the aesthetic to the synthetic, echoes of the past recontextualised reassembled, resurrected and replayed: all with a (post)modern twist.

From the trippy-dippy sounds of the 60s to the space-rocking 70s, post-punk collage-rock and the Paisley Underground revivalism, there was plenty for all to hear and see. Womble on.


Situated in the old docks area away from the city centre, excellent use has been made of numerous derelict warehouses on La Mersey Riviera. This is by far the best use of that ‘cultural capital 08’ funding-pot I’ve seen, completely at odds with Liverpool One’s © monolithic, mercantile ‘Commerceum’.

Bar staff aplenty, security light-handed, everything accessible. Two days of sunny daze.


Mirroring the line-up’s variety the populace ranged from:

Homme: 75% 40+ bloke-heavy sausage-fest, surfeit of hiking boots on display, clearly the ps-hike ®ambler’s choice. ‘Good for me posture, innit?’

Warhol’s Factory flotsam: shades, Breton tops, leathers, winkle pickers, aloof-attachood.

Femme: Grace Slick doppelgangers, Joan Jet-setters and Fringe-bob flare-pants.

Fomme (transl: binary-ID): Deadheads, (artisan) breadheads and tie-diehards.


Everyone has their merits, but at a push here goes …

Cool Ghouls: West Coast savant guards of the groovy flame encapsulating and bottling the dying embers of summer with their jingle-jangle stars and spangle. Spectre the unexpected.

Cellar Doors: These San-Franciscan Tolkien Heads excavate cavernous post-punk in a Comsat Angels dank manner/dark manor: Bleak House music. Gateway drugs don’t come much better.

Josefin Öhrn + The Liberation’s technicolour scream coat of arms, a motorik-rolling Siouxsie backed by PULSE and THROB. Showing Mach Flo and the Welchers how to really banshee.

Ultimate Painting:  a supergroup hug (Mazes + Veronica Falls: A-maze Falls?)) of Lovin’ Spoonful o’sugar and Air-tight atmospherics. Artistry extraordinaire.


No duds, the time slots are perfectly arranged so anything that didn’t tickle a fancy meant you could walk and see an alternative. E.g. Not feeling Taiwanese temple of doomlords and ladies’ Prairie WWWW’s funk-monk robed shaolin wolf yelps? Then go and see something you do. Easy riding.


Firenze-UR-e-overloaders Go!zilla’s hyper-kinetic fusion of fuzz-saw grunge and surf-cresting crocodile rock. Bellissimo!

Italo-German core-tet In Zaire’s Hawkwind meets Arabfrican inter-planetary psychic beatings. A Saturn bunch o’fives. Voodoo-wah-diddy! 

Bantam Lyons and their no-Nantes-sense mood-doom-odelling in an Adrian Borland vein. Tres bon nuit!

Harald Grosskopf: still Kraftwerkin’ the late shift, up-front of house, total Teutonic tempo setting and kosmische-mashing. Wunderbar none!


Descryption: The blood-spattered attire of Brain Washington’s t-visual-pharmacopeia supplementing their superlative glam schlocking scuzzy subterranean soundsphere. The ‘rockiest’ band of the event, an acid-reflexorcism in psych-o-logical warfare and LSD-construction.

Overheard ‘You’re only supposed to blow the bloody doors of perception!’ at Déjà Vega; the aural equivalent of a snowstorm paperweight. New single ‘Friends in high places’ sounding like a cross between the Edgar Broughton Band and Honolulu Mountain Daffodils, the rever(ber)ie in between the songs as fundamental as the body-rock.