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In the Mixer: Liverpool

In the Mixer: Liverpool

Ditch the clichés and stereotypes, Liverpool’s club scene is one of rebirth, new blood and the best underground sounds around...

Shellsuits, curly perms, scallies - it's probably fair to say that Liverpool has more than its fair share of stereotypes. Not to mention a bit of an obsession with the past, as seen by the fact that images of The Beatles seem to stare at you everywhere you go.

Something which has long afflicted the city's club scene ever since Cream and Garlands dominated Liverpool in the late-'90s and the city became fixed as glam house central in most people's minds, an association Yousef has spent the last seven years trying to shake off at CIRCUS.


"We're now the biggest house event in Liverpool," he claims.

"Cream still do big commercial events and Garlands' brand of house will always attract the locals but the scene here has changed dramatically. Now the underground rules, and clubbers want new music and big new acts."

It's a change Circus has been instrumental in, bringing the likes of Loco Dice, Laurent Garnier and James Zabiela to Merseyside. Running every last Saturday of the month at The Masque on Seel Street, the next Circus features Booka Shade, Vitalic and Yousef on Saturday 30th January. The Masque is also home to Liverpool's other best-loved famous night - CHIBUKU.


Celebrating its tenth anniversary this year, Chibuku has grown from a small student party into what promoter Richard McGinnis calls a "multi-genre musical experience", words backed up by the forthcoming line-ups which include Crookers and legendary reggae selector David Rodigan on Saturday 6th February. Then there's their tenth birthday event at Cream's old home Nation on Wolstenhome Square on Saturday 13th March, which boasts the mouth-watering prospect of Justice back-to-back with Cassius alongside Busy P and Chibuku's much-loved residents.
But while the relatively old hands are still going strong, there is a pack of young whippersnappers at their ankles. Chief among which is MUMU, which began at The Magnet on Hardman Street but will be occupying a number of warehouse spaces around the docks in 2010, with a second birthday party starring Anja Schneider and Pier Bucci on Saturday 6th February.

mUmU's former stomping ground at The Magnet now plays host to Coco De Mer on the second Saturday of the month, the rapidly rising house and techno shindig which has had star acts like Slam, Âme and Will Saul playing with up-and-coming residents Mark Mac and People Get Real.

It's not all four-to-the-floor round these parts though. Dub has long boomed throughout Liverpool's streets and dubstep has reinvigorated the scene, with nights like PLAY DUB on monthly Fridays at The Magnet, and EAT YOUR OWN GREENS settling into a bi-monthly Friday residency at The Masque.

And those of a more eclectic bent can satisfy their yearnings at Korova, the bar and club run by local electro-pop heroes Ladytron which recently moved to new premises on Hope Street - guests like Warp's Broadcast and the Evol DJs play in the basement at the MIXED BAG night here most Thursdays.

Meanwhile, ALTIPLANO at Studio 2 on Parr Street has Soul Mekanik's Kelvin Andrews and Chris Barker bringing the Balearic beat to the banks of the Mersey on the first Friday of the month from 5th February onwards.


Liverpool Lime Street is well served by regular trains from across the country, with a return from London Euston costing around £66 for the two-hour journey. National Express from London costs £42 return, If you'd rather drive yourself it's up the M1 and then the M6.


The Britannia Adelphi (Ranelagh Place) is Liverpool's most famous and centrally-located hotel and costs around £60 for a double. Meanwhile, if you fancy spoiling yourself or just can't get enough moptop memorabilia, the boutique Hard Days Night Hotel on North John Street has doubles at around £130, whilst Hotel Formule 1 on Wapping is the best budget option with rooms from £35.

The Peacock, Heebiejeebies, The Jacaranda and Alma De Cuba are all good for a tipple on Seel Street, whilst Django's Riff is one of Liverpool's best-kept secrets tucked away down Wood Street. On Hardman Street you'll find Bumper and Hannah's Bar offering a lively start to proceedings with decent resident DJs, while Baa Bar is the best choice if you're drinking around Concert Square.

Circus promoter Top 10


01.  YOUSEF 'Come Home' Cocoon
"A track I made with Cocoon in mind, it's truly epic and very musical. It's been big for Sven since July."

02. DJ SNEAK  'You Can't Hide From Your Bud (Yousef Circus Rework)' Magnetic
"I've added more loops, made it dirtier and added some serious pressure."

03. CLICK BOX 'Wake Up Call' M-nus
"Such a bad-ass bass groove, I can't get enough of this."

04. GUTI 'The Hustler' Desolat
"Big on groove and random vocals, I'm really into this."

05. MONOMAN 'Besos (DJ Sneak mix)' Magnetic
"Sneak laying the beats down!"

06. LOKO 'In Love/Pasionaria' Buzzin' Fly
"I've been following Loko closely all year, these are the best drums in the business right now."

07. SVEN VÂTH 'Ballet Romance (Yousef Circus)' CDR
"Something I just finished this week, disco trance style... is that a new genre?"

08. THE JUNKIES 'Hear Say (Original/Leon Mix)' Roots And Wings
"Just a solid housey groove with great tension in the track."

09. YOUSEF 'I Suggest/Firecracker' Saved
"A big sounding but bananas EP I did for Fanciulli's Saved Records."

10. MARTYN & DOP 'ELDEN ST (Sebo K Mix) Watergate
"Quality deep hypnotic house."