The last gasp of summer!
First up - and spanning the whole weekend - is the marvellous, fascinating, bizarre and always memorable AND Festival. Boasting a series of exhibitions, films, events and talks as well as a range of online and public realm activities there's plenty to choose from. Grabbing my attention are three exhibitions in FACT: Zee in Gallery 1 (by Kurt Hentschlager) is an installation of fog, light and sound which promises to be an immersive and disorientating sensory experience. In Gallery 2 is an installation from artist Ahmed Basiony, who was tragically killed during the Egyptian uprisings. His work was created over 30 days of running and tracks how his body responded physically and physiologically. In the same space is an exhibition by Chinese artist Zhang Qing. Posing questions on government surveillance and the spectre of Big Brother; the artist uses Communist-inspired propaganda, filmed using CCTV.
Exhibitions at FACT run through till the end of November but an event limited to this weekend only is happening just around the corner, at No. 2 St Peter's Square. Entitled 'The Immortal', AND hosts the world premiere of a piece by Revital Cohen where life support machines are linked together to create a moving, breathing synthetic organism - a commentary both on the potential of artificial life and the fragility of human life when supported only by the power of machines. The Immortal runs 11am-6pm until Sunday.
Now, if exhibitions and challenging narratives get a bit heavy - you're probably after a good party so you can shake what yo' mama gave ya... (yes, i said it) - so get down to Wolstenholme Creative Space on Friday night for AND's collaboration with local alt-heroes and queer punk party favourites Chew Disco. The night is centred round a screening of Bruce La Bruce's hardcore film LA Zombie. Expect gore, expect a damn good playlist and if you're lucky a secret early morning after-party!
Chew Disco won't get started till about 10, or more likely midnight. To get yourself warmed up, i recommend the acoustic delights and shoegaze DJ sets at My Twee Box, marking volume 5 with a move to the fantastic Static Gallery. Nomad Soul, Dirtblonde and ESA are on the line-up tonight. Over at Mello Mello at the same time is a night from EDILS Records, presenting female indie-pop group Puzzle, indie rock band Elk and 'post rock' band Rhodes, fresh off their first UK tour!
Saturday, get an antidote to excess and head down to newly opened The Brink on Parr Street. It's a café, bar, venue opened to support recovering drug and alcohol addicts and promises to never serve alcohol. The old head chef from the Everyman Bistro has been employed, so the food should be suitably delicious.
Now, not advocating further drinking, but Saturday night continues the hectic pace set by it's younger brother (...Friday, keep up...) Over at The Kazimier is a celebration party to mark the end of a week of Atalonia tours, an event which it seems more apt to call a phenomenon. It's being given impressive and rave reviews by those lucky enough to have experienced it so far. The tours are sold out, and i expect the night will be too but to see more details, visit the Facebook event page and maybe you'll be lucky to find some spare tickets out there!
Turned away from The Kazimier? The alternatives aren't too shabby - head over / back to the Static Gallery for an impressive show featuring local math-rock band Vasco da Gama, ably supported by Loved Ones, Voo and Dire Wolfe. For a perfect after-party, head up Hardman Street and drop into Liverpool institution The Magnet, which is reopening after several months hiatus. Legendary DJ Norman Jay (MBE no less!) is taking centre stage on the night.
If you make it through to Sunday in one piece, there is but one recommendation - a trip back to Wolstenholme Creative Space. A fascinating exhibition is running from Friday, through to Sunday afternoon. Entitled Unintention, it features a work by genius satarist Chris Morris (of Brass Eye, The Day Today and Four Lions fame) in which one of George W. Bush's Presidential Addresses is reworked. Another highlight in the varied exhibition is a collection of photos by Quintin Lake entitled 'Pripyat: 21 years after Chernobyl', examining the state of decay in the ghost city closest to the infamous former nuclear power plant; promising to be both haunting and fascinating.
Explore the exhibition, grab some food but then head back if stamina allows. From 7pm, the Unintention closing party begins - with a documentary screening then a series of musicians performing to a live visual installation from AV collective HIVE. With descriptions including 'mind melting' and 'electro doom jazz noise', the party looks set to be a fascinating and suitably crazy end to a whirlwind of events over the weekend.
Proof, if required, that life in Liverpool need never be dull!