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Issue 60, January 2020

Happy New Year! Welcome to the January 2020 edition of 'The Swoop' - our monthly newsletter featuring the best of what's happening across Liverpool and Merseyside.
We thought what better way to start the year than with a few imminent new distractions, plus things we're really looking forward over the coming 12 months!

Covering everything from music to theatre, films, clubs and comedy, The Swoop provides a range of handpicked highlights from the region's cultural calendar.
Thanks for all your support in 2019, here's to 2020! 

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A Night For Sam: An Audience with Neville Southall

23rd January, 2020
Oh Me Oh My, Liverpool

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One of the best goalkeepers ever to grace football’s Premier League has stepped in to support a North Wales woman who lost her precious daughter to stillbirth by helping her take her heart-breaking story to a wider audience.

Philippa Davies, from the Mold area, has written a play, ‘Dancing in the Wings’, based on the loss of her daughter, Sam, who was born asleep and how Ty Gobaith Children’s Hospice’s counselling service helped her move forward from her loss.

The fundraising night will feature:

  • An audience with Football Legend, Neville Southall
  • Comedy from Bill Woolland
  • Music from Arustic Duo
  • A special raffle and bingo with Mersey Memorabilia
  • Oh me Oh My’s hotpot buffet

'Dancing in the Wings' is supported by Hope House (Ty Gobaith) who supported Philippa through her most difficult times, Sands UK, the stillbirth and neonatal death charity, and Baby loss charity, Cradle.

Come and join Big Nev for a fantastic evening, raise money for a brilliant cause, and celebrate the memory of a much-loved baby girl on her 8th birthday.

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Phil Shotton Quartet 'Straight Down' Album Launch

31st January, 2020
The Capstone Theatre, Liverpool

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Phil Shotton and his quartet will be playing tracks from their debut album Straight Down alongside other tunes from the Great American Songbook, in their typically swinging, melodic style.

Straight Down was inspired by Phil’s admiration of the Blue Note recordings of the 1950’s. "A band meeting in the recording studio, calling some tunes and playing in a live situation." So that’s what the band did, after choosing the tunes from their recent live repertoire (over a cup of strong coffee), they went straight into recording - no overdubs, tracks captured in one take, and nothing overly produced.

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Mellowtone - New Dates for 2020
Mellowtone return with two dates for early 2020, both at Studio 2 Parr Street.  The first show will be a folky affair, with Yorkshire's Serious Sam Barrett, and Liverpool's Charlie McKeon on Thursday 20th February.  The next date will feature Milo Seabird, Campbell L Sangster, and Ben Burke, and takes place Thursday 19th March. 

Mellowtone 15 - an exhibtion celebrating 15 years of gigs and parties - is a collection of of fifteen original screenprints as well as artwork and ephemera from the archives - is still running at Buyers Club, Hardman Street, Liverpool

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Krewe Liverpool 2020 - The Mardi Gras Experience

7th February 2020
Sefton Park Palm House, Liverpool

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Ahead of the inaugural Krewe Liverpool - a surreal New Orleans inspired masquerade ball, with live music, costume and carnival - organisers have announced more information about how you can get involved.

Traditionally the festivities, balls and parades arranged for the New Orleans’ Mardi Gras were created by social organisations or clubs known as “Krewes”. In the early days, members of these Krewes were often from the wealthy elite, and traditionally all male.  This inclusive event features five Liverpool Krewes - all performing live on the night, as well as live music from Frog & Henry (New Orleans) and The Jubilee Stompers (Liverpool). 

Fairport Convention to visit Southport on Anniversary tour

Legendary folk rockers Fairport Convention stop off at The Atkinson in Southport on Friday 31st January, celebrating 50 years since the release of Full House  - their seminal 1970 album for Island Records, and their first to feature both current members Dave Pegg and Simon Nicol.

Having entertained music lovers for over half a century, the band are still in fine fettle, and this year's Winter Tour will also coincide with the release of a brand new album - Shuffle and Go.

Support will be provided on the night by Smith & Brewer, a British duo renowned for their close harmony singing and guitar virtuosity.

Tickets are available here.

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Africa Oyé announces 2020 festival dates

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The 28th annual Africa Oyé festival will take place in Liverpool on the 20th and 21st of June, 2020.

Following an incredible 2019 which saw Africa Oyé break its single-day attendance record, take home two awards at the inaugural Liverpool City Region Culture & Creativity Awards, and see itself included on the Liverpool Edition of Monopoly, the largest celebration of African and Caribbean music in the country has announced its 2020 festival dates.

Sefton Park will once again be taken over by the music and culture of Africa and the diaspora, for two free days of fantastic live music, DJs and dance, as well as workshops, food stalls and a range of traders in the Oyé Village.

More info


INDIKA: Europe’s finest festival of Indian arts returns to Liverpool for 2020

12th - 22nd November 2020
Various Venues, Liverpool

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Indika, Europe’s finest festival of Indian arts, returns to Liverpool for 2020, taking over the city for a vibrant 10-day celebration.

Looking ahead to its 10th year, the Indika festival, presented by Milap, is renowned for hosting some of the biggest names in Indian arts, as well as some of the very best rising talent from India and across the world.

Indika will return in 2020 with an expanded and eclectic programme of events, featuring contemporary Indian music, dance, visual arts, film, poetry, talks and participatory activities, across locations including St George's Hall, the Philharmonic Music Room and LEAF on Bold Street.

Building on Milap's successful collaboration as part of the citywide Sgt. Pepper's 50th Anniversary, one of the highlights of the new programme will see a major Diwali festival celebration in Liverpool for the first time.

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Award-Winning Reggae Festival, Positive Vibration Returns In 2020

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After a year-long hiatus, the UK’s award-winning celebration of reggae music and Jamaican culture returns to the Baltic Triangle, Liverpool on 12 + 13 June 2020.
Since its inception in 2016, Positive Vibration - Festival of Reggae has established itself as one of the country’s most exciting and eclectic reggae festivals, playing host to internationally renowned bands, legendary sound systems + selectors and some of the brightest new talent. 

Taking place over the 12 + 13 June 2020 across the Baltic Triangle, Liverpool, the festival also sees the return of the Reggae Q&A panel discussion, Jamdown Food + Drinks Market, Family Workshops and The Art of Reggae Exhibitionwhich will showcase 100 reggae-inspired posters, designed by illustrators + artists from over 60 countries.

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Threshold Festival - 10th and FINAL festival

Marking a decade of events, and their final festival, Threshold is back for 2020 - taking place on April 3rd & 4th at various venues across the Baltic Triangle. The festival launched in 2011 as a platform for grass-roots music and arts in the city, and has grown up with the Baltic Triangle, often being the first to utilise the formerly abandoned warehouse spaces.
Moving on from their annual festival format, Threshold will remain an active force in the city, as a resource for music and arts and the team will continue their work as a producer of special events - both locally and across the UK.

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Bongo's Bingo say 'Bollocks to Blue Monday' with CALM Fundraiser

On Monday 20th January - the date commonly referred to as Blue Monday - Bongo’s Bingo are putting on four special events across the nation to help raise awareness for mental health on what is commonly dubbed as being the most miserable day of the year, all in support of The Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM)

But it’s essential to know that mental health isn’t just ever about one single day; it can be a much broader and more nuanced situation for people the length and breadth of the UK. Bongo’s Bingo are using Blue Monday to help highlight how anyone’s mental health and emotional well-being can be affected at any time - not just on one specific day – and the importance to look out for other people, too, including friends, family, work colleagues and loved ones, as well as looking within.

So for this special collaboration with CALM, Bongo’s Bingo are saying bollocks to Blue Monday with a special show at Content in Liverpool on Monday 20th January.
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As a lively city-centre based agency working primarily within the cultural industries, we are at the heart of the region's events and perfectly poised to separate the wheat from the chaff.  The Swoop offers us an opportunity to communicate the excellent work of the people we represent, whilst giving a bird's eye view of what's happening in the city and beyond.
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