Evelyn Halls picks out her fave hangouts from Clean Cut Kid’s base of operations, Liverpool.
Liverpool is class. It draws you in, and even if you leave, you end up coming back - and staying for good! That’s what happened to me anyway. It is a city full of creative, friendly and open-minded people. Anytime something new is built they try and keep some old element of the building so even though it’s a constantly growing city, it keeps a ‘days gone by’ kinda vibe. There are speakeasy bars, microbreweries, boss venues and independent galleries - it’s a really cool place to live, and I immediately feel home the second I'm back off tour. The music and art scene is so special here because no one is expected to fit into any boxes. Yes, there is a ‘mersey’ sound, and it’s lovely - but it’s not what dominates the scene. There’s a huge array of music and art being made, and I think that’s what draws creative people here. Clean Cut Kid wouldn’t be what it is today without the freedom and support we felt coming from the scene. Here are some other things that make Liverpool great.
Bold Street Coffee
It's been holding down the fort as the best coffee in town since it set up shop seven years ago. Arguably the coolest place to hang out, many a promoter, artist and freelancer use it as their ‘office’. The best coffee, the nicest staff and always impeccable music taste. We’ve hosted a few gig nights there, and it’s the first stop when we get back from tour. Long live BSC!
Parr Street Studios
One of the very few studios of a dying breed up north with a huge live room, analogue gear, Neve desk, huge vibe and heritage that doesn’t really exist in newly built studios. We recorded our first two singles there, and it’s seen some massive bands and exciting up-and-comers walk through its doors including Coldplay, Elbow, Everything Everything, The Verve, Blossoms… the list's bloody massive and well impressive!
Our mate Billy Kelly is well-known around the city for being one of the nicest guys you’ll meet, but he’s also known for his shop and clothes brand DefClub. You might have seen us wearing his stuff anytime we’ve been filmed or seen some stickers on our gear. It’s so good. His shop is on Victoria Street in the same building as our practise room, which is dangerous when we have time and money, but so depressing when we’re rushing past and can’t pop in. Never left there with anything less than a bag full, and the nice guy he is; I've never had to hand over more than a tenner. Loads of bands in Liverpool wear his gear, and you’ve probably seen him play in one of his many bands as well! Go check it: defclub.co.uk.
A couple of years ago a venue called Camp and Furnace popped up over the side of town nobody really ventured towards. Then a really cool bakery/coffee shop (baltic bakehouse), then another venue (Constellations), until soon there was so much stuff going on in this once ‘industrial’ area it started to become somewhere people didn’t NOT go. Opposite the old Cains brewery, it’s an area called The Baltic Triangle, full of rehearsal rooms and art studios (Elevator Studios), cafes and creative spaces (Unit 51) and tucked away bars and clubs (Botanical Garden)... with a skate park thrown in the middle.
If you’ve been anywhere in Liverpool, you’ll have probably seen this famous pink paper! They’re a monthly magazine about Merseyside's creative community, and they’re all about promoting the local scene and making it as strong as it can be.
Recently changed their name from Lying Bastards to get past silly national radio barriers, but thankfully they’ve kept everything else the same. They remind me of The Black Keys, and they’re a bunch of proper sound lads who play some pretty wild shows. I think they’re gonna be big… even if they do accidentally burn down the odd venue or break every limb doing it! See them live; it is excellent.
Taken from the July issue of Dork, out now.