The sixth edition of Liverpool International Festival of Psychedelia will be taking place at Camp & Furnace this coming weekend (22nd and 23rd of September). With a stellar congregation that includes headliners Songhoy Blues (Friday) and The Black Angels (Saturday) alongside the likes of Träd, Gräs & Stenar, The Telescopes, W.I.T.C.H: We Intend to Cause Havoc, Jane Weaver, Adrian Sherwood, Laetitia Sadier and a entire stage curated by California label Castle Face Records, it’s all set up to be another great year.
With around 100 artists and DJs from around the world appearing across five performance spaces during two jam-packed days of live music, there will also be immersive visual displays with PYZK Colony, Furnace 2.0 and PZYK PRYZM and the Musings In Drone chat-show programme featuring The Black Angels, Castle Face Records, W.I.T.C.H. and AUDiNT: A Century of Zombie Sound. In addition to this there is also the immersive PZYK SKAN installation to look forward to, as well as Dig Vinyl’s Psychedelic World Of Wax Wonders pop-up record shop selling vinyl and other merchandise, including the first in a series of four official Liverpool Psych Fest EPs.
So, to get you through the rest of the week until the fun beings, we’ve put together a list of ten performances that we’re most excited about at Liverpool Psych Fest 2017. Enjoy!
A Place to Bury Strangers
The Oliver Ackermann-led Brooklyn trio have been creating dark and tense beautiful noise for just over a decade now, with four albums and several EPs under their belt since they released their self-titled debut in 2007. Their post-punk and shoegaze-inspired wall of sound takes inspiration from the likes of My Bloody Valentine, The Jesus and Mary Chain and Suicide. which means that there may be no better way to experience full-on a sonic assault at Liverpool Psych Fest than positioning yourself in front of the stage at Furnace on Saturday evening.
After last year’s La Souterraine showcase, the French underground label’s leading light Aquaserge will be joining the Liverpool Psych Fest congregation for 2017. Led by Julien Gasc, a former Stereolab collaborator who appeared last year as part of Aquagascallo, the experimental French pop collective from Toulouse will be bringing their blend of avant rock, prog, psychedelia and jazz to town after touring their fourth album laisse ça être (among the most underrated LPs of 2017) since it was released back in February. Catch them on Friday at District on Friday afternoon.
A Mancunian collective with a rotating cast, the Salford-based Krautrockers have played with anything from three to fifteen members at any one time. Taking inspiration from non-musical influences such as Kurt Vonnegut, Graham Hancock, Rupert Sheldrake and Nikola Tesla, GNOD have released a shit ton of albums since they formed in late 2006 but we expect their performance at Liverpool Psych Fest to focus on material from the stark and nihilistic glory that is their latest album: ‘Just Say No to the Psycho Right-Wing Capitalist Fascist Industrial Death Machine’. Catch them on Friday afternoon at District.
The Croydon trio formed in 1986 by Robert Hampson were only around for four years, disbanding in 1990 after releasing three critically acclaimed LPs. Said to be louder than My Bloody Valentine by those who saw them live back in the day, their raw and hypnotic feedback-powered sound with primal rhythms took inspiration from the likes of Can and The Stooges and helped to rejuvenate space rock during the late 1980s alongside fellow droners Spaceman 3. After reforming again in 2014 with a new line-up, they put out the well received Array 1 EP the following year. Catch them Friday evening at Camp as part of PZYK Colony.
The Brixton-based five-piece have been declared by the Fat White Family as “the greatest band in the country right now bar none”. They released their genre blending full-length debut HiFi Classics at the back end of 2015 and are currently working towards completing their third with the aim of avoiding the “difficult second album syndrome” by skipping it altogether. Their excellent single ‘Brother‘ from their forthcoming album received plenty of airplay during the summer on BBC 6 Music, with Marc Riley also having them in for a very fun live session during which they agreed to write a song for Psych Fest titled ‘‘Psychedelia Smith’ about the TV cook. Catch them Saturday afternoon at Blade Factory.
The Bug vs Dylan Carlson
A collaboration between dub/dancehall producer The Bug (aka Kevin Martin), and Dylan Carlson of drone metallers Earth, both of whom have been making music since the late 1980s, they were brought together after Carlson contributed some unused music for The Bug’s 2014 album Angels & Devils. The following year they were both invited to the Ninja Tune 25th anniversary bash, booking some studio time in L.A. together that would eventually culminate in Concrete Desert. Inspired by J.G. Ballard’s urban dystopias and the state of modern society, they have created an apocalyptic album that’s incredibly visual and cinematic. Catch them on Friday night at Camp as part of PZYK Colony.
The Comet Is Coming
The London-based cosmically-inclined nu-jazz trio formed in 2013 when Sons of Kemet and Melt Yourself Down saxophonist Shabaka Hutchings spontaneously joined Soccer96 synth and drum duo Danalogue and Betamax on stage. Since then they’ve become known for their fusion of Afrobeat with jazz, electronica, funk and psychedelia which takes inspiration from Afrofuturist pioneer Sun Ra, as well as the likes of Frank Zappa and Jimi Hendrix. To the surprise of many (mainly those who hadn’t heard it), the trio’s 2016 debut album Channel the Spirits was nominated for the Mercury Prize in 2016. Catch them on Saturday night at Camp as part of PZYK Colony.
The London-based audio-visual duo were formed in 2010 by Nicholas Wood and fine art student Kat Day and blend electronic-based post-punk with elements of shoegaze and dream pop. They released their first proper full-length album Always Then in 2012 and went on to collaborated with former Stereolab drummer Joe Dilworth, with the resulting Out of Body EP leading the duo to sign to Invada Records. Their most recent album, 2016’s Of Desire, was recorded using vintage synths owned by the head of Invada, the one and only Geoff Barrow of Portishead. Catch them on Friday night at Camp as part of PZYK Colony.
Sharing their name with a New Jersey hamburger restaurant, Northern Californian five-piece White Manna have been steadily carving out an online presence of their own over the past five years. Armed with a sound that blends together elements of space and garage rock with psychedelia, drone and a touch of doom, they’ve frequently been likened to what would happen if you merged bands like The Stooges and MC5 with Hawkwind. With four full-length albums under their belt there’s plenty of material to get wrap your ears around, most notably their 2014 live album Live Frequencies. Catch them Saturday afternoon at Furnace.
ZOFFF are a Brighton-based experimental rock five-piece who operate on a largely improvisational basis, meaning that they pretty much exist to perform live. Made up of members of Cardiacs, Dark Star and Levitation, the influence of Can runs deep through their heavily rhythmic style which also incorporates elements of space rock and psychedelia. Highly recommended by Innerstrings (who will be providing psychedelic projects throughout the weekend), Shindig! have described them as being perhaps “the ﬁnest purveyors of Kosmische heaviness on the planet right now”. Both of their improvisational one-track albums, ZOFFF 1 and KOZFEST MMXVI, are available via Bandcamp. Catch them Saturday afternoon at Blade Factory.
The sixth edition of Liverpool Psych Fest will take place across five performances spaces at Camp & Furnace on Friday 22nd and Saturday 23rd of September. Tickets are still available from www.LiverpoolPsychFest.com, with full weekend tickets costing just £85. Day tickets are also available.