Explore Irish Culture In Liverpool

Explore Irish Culture In Liverpool

This year’s Liverpool Irish Festival has over 50 events at more than 30 venues across Liverpool. So you could take in a fair tour of the city centre just by attending a few of its events over ten days this month.

Begin at Hope Street ….

Start the Festival with two events to delight the senses, one the eyes, the other the taste buds. Over at 92 Degrees Coffee discover a tasty blend of the black stuff while enjoying Leo Boyd’s exhibition Prints of Things to Come. The Belfast artist and illustrator thinks it’s ridiculous to try to predict the future. Inspirations like comic books and 50s sci-fi are at the fore. This is also a great pit stop for a sandwich or a cake.

Leo Boyd - The Shape of Things To Come
Leo Boyd - The Shape of Things To Come

Next head over to the Clove Hitch and Club 23 for an Irish Tap Takeover. Think every drink in Ireland is all about Guinness? Think again. This is Liverpool’s first ever Irish tap takeover and we can’t believe it hasn’t been done before Craft beer, meet the brewer events and a special menu, it turns throughout the whole Festival, so don’t think you need to sample every beer on the first night.

The Caledonia is only just around the corner and our favourite pub is hosting several Irish music sessions, from Transatlantic Connections to The Saltcutters. Evening or afternoon come along for a listen, a dance or bring your own musical instrument and join in.

The Liverpool Philharmonic’s new venue The Music Room is just off Hope Street. It will host Roisin O and Dallahan as well as the Family Ceili and Liverpool Comhaltas at the end of the Festival. Christy Moore plays the Philharmonic Hall.

Róisín O
Róisín O

Next stop Ropewalks….

On the opening night of the Festival head to Leaf on Bold Street for Sea Legs by Ciaran Lavery and Ryan Vail. A folk artist meets a minimal sound artist in this incredible experimental piece. Inspired by the Donegal coastline hear the sounds of the sea from seagulls to the chatter of fishermen and Irish spoken word. Hauntingly beautiful.

 SEA LEGS by Ciaran Lavery and Ryan Vail
SEA LEGS by Ciaran Lavery and Ryan Vail

Over six days during the Festival you’ll be able to see the world through the eyes of an animal. Five animals in fact! The Meta-Perceptual Helmets are wearable sculpture created by two Irish artists and a master coachbuilder. On the last day of the Festival they’ll be free to wear at Ropewalks Square. You don’t need to wait until then, though. They’re at Liverpool ONE, Clayton Square, Albert Dock and Church Street between 16-18th and 23rd-25th October. Find out where on the website.

Meta-Perceptual Helmets
Meta-Perceptual Helmets

The doyenne of Ropewalks is FACT and this is the place to go for a celebration of Irish film through the Liverpool Irish Festival. From Song of the Sea to a UK preview of Brooklyn, the adaptation of the Colm Toibin novel, to a special series of shorts from IndieCork come and see the finest cinema being made in Ireland right now. Book tickets on the Picturehouse at FACT website.

On to the Waterfront…

As well as those Helmets at the Albert Dock you’ll also have a special family fun day on Saturday 17th October. From musical performances to a Landfill Rhythms Instrument Making Workshop, and orchestral performance to craft sessions and a Q and A with Glenn Patterson, the award-winning author, there is plenty to do throughout the day. It is completely free to turn up and it’s the ideal excuse to have some family fun in a glorious world heritage site.

Glenn Patterson
Glenn Patterson

The City Centre…

Those Meta-Perceptual Helmets make it to Church Street as well during the Festival so mix a little contemporary art with your shopping.

Head to Bluecoat for Sara Flynn and Niamh O’Malley exhibitions. As a spectacular finale to the Festival, in partnership with Liverpool Music Week, Bluecoat will also play host to a very special performance. Stealing Sheep and Immix Ensemble with contemporary dancers Fearghus Ó Conchúir and Aoife McAtamney. The musical soundtrack will bring to life the uniquely commissioned contemporary dance from one of Ireland’s leading dancers and choreographers. Expect an amazing audio visual experience.

Niamh O’Malley – Glasshouse
Niamh O’Malley – Glasshouse

Make sure you’re wearing your dancing shoes on Saturday 24th October if you’re in the city centre as a there will be a live performance by  with a Street Ceili. Movema’s trained Community performers will help people who don’t know the steps but get in the swing of things, just be careful where you swing your shopping bags!

Discover new venues…

There’s always somewhere in Liverpool you’ve never been. Two of our favourite venues this year have been the Kazimier Garden and Liverpool Small Cinema. Handily, both have events for this year’s festival.

At the Kazimier Garden meet The Rusangano Family, a hip hop collective from the West of Ireland. It’s the first ever Liverpool performance for this electrifying and explosive group. Made up of Togolese MC MuRli, Zimbabwean rapper God Knows and Irish producer mynameisjOhn they explore issues from identity to belonging. They’ll be supported by Liverpool singer Gemma Dunleavy, SerzOne and Bolts.

The Rusangano Family
The Rusangano Family

Meanwhile over at Liverpool Small Cinema Terri Hooley is on hand for a DJ set after a screening of the film of his life Good Vibrations. Hooley, the man who discovered the Undertones, opened a record shop on the most bombed street in Belfast at the height of the Troubles and called it Good Vibrations. The films screening might be sold out but the aftershow party is just £2. Places are limited.

Richard Dormer (centre) as Terri Hooley in Good Vibrations
Richard Dormer (centre) as Terri Hooley in Good Vibrations

Get to know Liverpool this year with the Liverpool Irish Festival. Book tickets and find out about events at www.liverpoolirishfestival.com

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Published: 13/10/2015

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