WHETHER summer is a wash out or cracking the flags there are plenty of cultural events to enjoy in Merseyside. Laura Davis and Jade Wright select 50 to go to over the next few weeks and months
1. THE organisers of the annual Threshold Festival are holding a one-day event as a fundraiser for next year.
Taking place at Camp and Furnace, Greenland Street, on Saturday, July 28 it will feature music, art, fun and games while showcasing some of the best emerging talent in Liverpool.
Featured bands include We the Undersigned, 69 Watts, Bolshy, Dominic Dunn and Vanessa Murray, The Thespians, Triphazard and Thom Morecroft.
Family friendly events include The Littlepool Art Prize for children, judged by Liverpool Art Prize 2012 winner Robyn Woolston.
CantmixWontmixShdntMixDontMix will be hosting have-a-go DJ tasters, while there’ll also be a vintage clothing swap shop, big screen retro gaming and a prize for the most flowery summer hat.
Chris Carney, Threshold’s artistic director, says: “This event is all about three things – music, fun and raising funds for Threshold 2013. We are really excited about the line-up and also eager to make our annual main event more open to families.
2. AFTER a trip to the planetarium, the universe starts to wobble for a group of young people in Liverpool.
In 20 Stories High Youth Theatre’s new production, Ruby and her gang start to experiment with teleportation, Jason is feeling so small that he’s starting to become invisible and Abdul has to choose between Nigeria and his one true love.
The Universe and Me is at The Black-E tonight and tomorrow before touring to Manchester’s Truth About Youth Festival. Tickets are £3 (£2 concs) from 0151 709 5109.
3. THE Everyman and Playhouse’s Summer School is returning for another year, giving children interested in drama and acting that chance to have fun in a professional theatre environment.
Professional theatre practitioners will use acting exercises and games to develop skills in voice, movement, improvisation and storytelling, culminating in a short performance piece at the end of each week.
All abilities are welcome, no performance or acting experience necessary.
Places are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis and cost £100 per week (payable in advance). The course, for seven to 10-year-olds, runs from August 13-17, 10am-4pm. Further details on 0151 709 4776.
4. AUTHOR Tony Hawks will be at Picturehouse at FACT for a screening of Playing the Moldovans at Tennis plus a Q&A on Saturday, July 21.
He’s giving away a pair of tickets to the first two Moldovans who come to the cinema with their passports. The screening takes place at 4pm.
5. THE Chemical Brothers, Groove Armada, David Guetta, Skrillex, Tiesto, Afrojack, Avicii, deadmau5, Calvin Harris and Example are among the big names at this year’s three-day dance fest, Creamfields.
A new Nation stage has been added to the tfestival and will be showcasing talent from UK DJs.
This will include a performance from DJ and producer Jordan Suckley who recently secured a monthly show on BBC Radio 1.
The festival starts on Friday August 24 with a night offering three silent discos featuring music choices from more than 10 different DJs, and continues through the weekend with both the Saturday and Sunday night offering multiple stages with live DJ sets.
Creamfields has sold out of day tickets for Saturday August 25, two-day non-camping and the limited ticket offer has also sold out. There are now only a limited number of tickets still available.
Details at www.creamfields.com
6. BROADWAY star Kim Criswell will join the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra in the first of two free concerts taking place at the Pier Head this weekend.
She will sing a range of classics from the Hollywood’s golden age, including There’s No Business Like Show Business and Stormy Weather, on a waterfront stage tomorrow evening.
Fresh from the BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall last week, John Wilson will conduct the RLPO in an evening celebrating the silver screen.
The programme will feature songs from the musicals Carousel, Annie Get Your Gun, Funny Girl and The Sound of Music as well as a selection of music by The Beatles to mark the pop group’s 50th anniversary.
Before the RLPO begins, there will be performances by young opera singers Danielle Thomas and Nick Hardy, former stars of the city’s performing arts festival, accompanied by the Liverpool Signing Choir.
The Liverpool Youth Orchestra will be playing at locations around the Pier Head as the audience arrives.
Sue McAdam, Music on the Waterfront event manager, says: “We want to encourage people coming to the Friday night concert to bring a chair and have a picnic and really enjoy the ambience of what will be like a picnic at the Proms event.
“The waterfront is an absolutely awesome location to have a free concert.
“People can come along and enjoy the view of the World Heritage Site as well as listen to the music.”
It’ll be standing room only at Saturday’s concert when Smooth Radio presenters will introduce some of the station’s best loved artists.
Paul Carrack, the distinctive voice of Mike and the Mechanics classics The Living Years and Over My Shoulder, will take to the stage to deliver some of his biggest hits, including How Long?.
Internationally renowned tenor Russell Watson will be performing his own unique brand of rousing classical-pop crossover.
The line-up also includes British trio Honey Ryder, New York singer-songwriter Nell Bryden and singer-songwriters Scarlette Fever and Ben Montague.
Both concerts are open air so audience members are advised to dress appropriately for the weather and check the event’s website for updates.
This is the fourth year of Liverpool’s On the Waterfront events.
Last year’s included Spring on the Waterfront in April, Reflection on the Waterfront in July, featuring a 3D light show by Czech artists The Macula, and the return of the Mersey River Festival in September.
In total they attracted 250,000 people, bringing in more than £10m to the local economy.
Music on the Waterfront takes place at the Pier Head this weekend with John Wilson conducting the RLPO tomorrow, 6.30pm-9.30pm and Love Live Music with Smooth Radio on Saturday, 6pm-10.30pm. Both concerts are free and unticketed. Further details at www.liverpoolonthewaterfront.co.uk
7. PROFOUNDLY deaf percussionist Evelyn Glennie will perform a diverse recital at the Philharmonic Hall on Saturday, August 18.
The programme will include Ilijas by Nebojsa Zivkovic, Clapping Music by Steve Reich, Rhythmic Caprice by Leigh Howard Stevens and her own work.
The concert will be followed by an insightful talk about her unique connection to music, challenging the listener to ask where music comes from. It will be British Sign Language interpreted.
Liverpool’s Pagoda Chinese Youth Orchestra will open the event with its new 10-minute work The Jasmine Flower, performed with the Merseyside Signing Choir and Shanghai Deaf School.
8. TRY your hand at digital SLR photography on one of Open Eye Gallery’s photowalks.
On July 28, McCoy Wynne will be hosting a Cityscape workshop, while Mark McNulty will be showing beginners how to take street and even photography on August 4.
The one-day events aim to de-mystify the digital single lens reflex camera, helping participants to take some outstanding pictures.
After an introductory session at Open Eye Gallery, at Mann Island, the workshop moves outside for them to test their new skills on a specially tailored photowalk.
Aimed at beginners and people who understand the basics but want to be more creative, the courses cover all the essential tips and techniques including getting the correct exposure and understanding the relationship between aperture, shutter speed and ISO, learning about composition and light, lenses, colour temperature and white balance.
To take part, you’ll need your own DSLR camera and appropriate dress for the weather. The photowalks, priced £80 (£60 concs) are limited to a maximum of 15 people so make sure you book ahead at www.openeye.org.uk or 0151 236 6768.
9. JOHN REILLY has recorded with Bryan Adams and can claim Sean Connery as a fan, but the thing he’s most excited about is playing a gig in his hometown.
“My mum’s a Phelan from Scotland Road and the Reillys are from Aigburth,” explains Reilly. “It was a big family, all kinds of music. Dad was the youngest of 14 kids. Mum was one of nine. I have three older sisters, so I grew up wearing their cast offs.”
The singer moved to Sheffield at 18, but he’s still a proud Scouser, and a devoted Evertonian. He’s looking forward to playing The Cavern this month.
“I’m looking forward to a reaffirmation of my roots and identity, and of course the Walker Art Gallery,” he says. “I miss the tangible sense of a shared and unique culture, a sense of pride that our city survived the late 70s and 80s when its soul was in danger of being suffocated. Now I tell everyone I meet, wherever I am in the world, to visit Liverpool.”
John Reilly plays The Cavern on July 27
10. DISNEY Live! presents Mickey’s Magic Show at the Echo Arena from August 29 to September 2. The master magician joins forces with professional illusionist Michael Barron and a host of Disney friends to perform the magic of the films live on stage. Tickets £16.50-£23 from 0844 800 3680.
You can also take part in a treasure hunt at the Albert Dock to win tickets to the show. Find out how at www.albertdock.com
11. JAMES BURTON has played on some of the most influential guitar riffs in popular music. Elvis Costello says he is one of a few players who musicians call “legendary”, while Pete Townshend calls him “probably the most important guitar player in American music.”
He’s best known for playing guitar for Elvis Presley from 1969–1977.
“Elvis was a wonderful entertainer,” smiles Burton. “One of the best. It was an honour and a privilege to play alongside him.”
Burton will be performing some of the songs he played with Elvis when he plays the James Burton Weekend at Fort Perch Rock, New Brighton.
“I’ll play some of the Elvis songs,” he says.
“I like playing Suspicious Minds and the Trilogy, but anything goes.”
His back catalogue reads like a who’s who of popular music – he played alongside Keith Richards, Eric Clapton, George Harrison, Jerry Lee Lewis,The Beach Boys, The Everly Brothers, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Simon and Garfunkel, The Righteous Brothers and The Mamas and The Papas.
“I’ve had a great life and I’ve been so lucky to work with so many wonderful people,” says Burton.
“I always enjoy playing live, particularly in Merseyside. I’ve been coming here for years, decades, and I always have a great night.”
James Burton plays three nights – Elvis Night on Friday, July 20, a double header with Albert Lee on Saturday, July 21 and Los Pacaminos, featuring Paul Young and James Burton, on Sunday, July 22.
12. IT’S not just all about The Beatles at the Liverpool Academy of Arts this summer.
The gallery has extended its annual Come Together exhibition, usually focused on all things Fab Four, to cover all Merseyside pop bands.
The show runs from August 14-30 and you can still submit works for inclusion. Find out more at www.la-art.co.uk
13. THE Royal Court is running a heritage tour of its Grade II-listing building on Tuesday, August 7.
See behind the scenes of one of the country’s finest art deco theatres after it has completed the first phase of its £10.6m renovation scheme.
Tickets for the hour-long tour are £5, with the whole sum going towards the building’s restoration.
More details at www.royalcourtliverpool.co.uk
14. JOIN comedian Gareth Berliner and comedy actor Kiruna Stamell (Life’s Too Short, Cast-Offs) as they entertain you with their real life rom-com exposing discrimination on route.
A Little Commitment is at The Unity on Thursday, August 30. Tickets £10 (£8 concs) from www.unitytheatreliverpool.co.uk
15. IMAGINE yourself on Time Team with a session of simulated digging at the Museum of Liverpool. The 30-minutes sessions are being run as part of the Festival of British Archaeology, July 24 and 25; 11am, 1pm, 2pm. Further details on 0151 478 4545.
16. SENSE of Sound is hosting a singing masterclass at The Bluecoat on July 28 for those who aspiring to be a singer or already performing and wishing to improve their vocal and harmony skills. Further details and tickers, priced £25, from www.thebluecoat.org.uk
17. THE Pantaloons theatre company is performing Oscar Wilde's classic comedic masterpiece The Importance of Being Earnest outdoors at Speke Hall on Wednesday, August 15. Tickets, priced £14, (child £7) at www.nationaltrust.org.uk