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A Music Guide To... Liverpool

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Liverpool is often considered the UK's capital of music. Over the last century it's released some of the most talented and successful musicians into the world, including a pretty small band named The Beatles.

The city prides itself in its musical heritage. As well as being home to John, Paul, George and Ringo, Liverpool and its surrounding area also churned out Cilla Black, Gerry & the Pacemakers, Echo & The Bunnymen, Clean Cut Kid, The Coral, The Wombats and everyone's favourite girl band... Atomic Kitten.

It's a hub of pop, rock and indie music with a mass of venues, clubs and festivals to showcase the city's seemingly infinite amount of talent. Soak up the sounds of your new university city, Liverpool, with this guide to it's music scene.

Venues

Two of the most popular venues in the city are the Echo Arena and the O2 Academy, who host some of the biggest acts of the moment.  Catch chart-topping bands such as Little Mix, James Arthur and Kasabian at the arena in the coming months, or get a bit more intimate with The Horrors, Liam Fray or Deaf Havana at the academy.

The Arts Club on Seel Street is a two room venue that is about to see Loyle Carner, Dan Croll and Blaenavon grace its theatre and loft stages. It's also home to club nights Medication and Shit Indie Disco, but more on them later. Drinks are decently priced and the theatre even has steps to stand on while you watch the band... so if you're short, you'll always be able to see. Just don't trip up them after one too many Somersbys.

Mountford Hall is situated in the students union at University of Liverpool and put on some of the coolest bands. With a capacity of 2,300 it is Liverpool's second largest venue after the arena and recently saw You Me At Six, Two Door Cinema Club and Paul Weller take the stage. Next up? Mac DeMarco, Sundara Karma and White Lies. We're definitely not endorsing getting a two pint cup of cider though... it's too big and gets everywhere, as cool as it does make you look on your instagram.

For smaller acts, check out places like Zanzibar, The Magnet and Studio 2. Adjoined to Parr Street Studios, Studio 2 especially puts on some of the smaller indie bands juuust before they hit the academy venues; Declan McKenna, Fickle Friends and Modern Baseball have all played this converted studio... so get here to catch the next big thing while tickets are still under a tenner.

There couldn't be a piece about music venues in Liverpool without mentioning The Cavern Club. Famous as the place where The Beatles and Cilla Black were discovered, the (unfortunately, not original) club hosts live music events all day, every day.

Festivals

Bramley Moore Dock is converted into Liverpool Sound City every year, which in May was headlined by Metronomy and The Kooks. The line-up ranges from big name acts to start-up bands and local dreamers as well as showcasing art and letting people sit in conversation with band members.

Africa Oye is the UK's largest free celebration of African, South American and Carribean music and takes place annually in Liverpool's Sefton Park; it celebrated its 25th year this year. A 'treat for all five senses', the colourful event serves up food, art and fashion as well as the music. It aims to readdress the negative representation of the continent, which is typically viewed as full of disease, war and famine, by embracing multiculturalism and showcasing its vibrant culture.

For fans of psychedelic music, Liverpool International Festival of Psychedelia provides just that. Currently on at Camp and Furnace, the event celebrates kaleidoscopic bands and DJs from across the world.

Chances are that you've heard of, or been to, Creamfields. A successful spin off from cult Liverpool club Cream, they put their dance tunes and club anthems into a, well, field. It's now one of the most popular Summer festivals in the UK and sees thousands of glittered up young people attend every year.

Clubs

For indie music, head to the top floor of Heebie Jeebies on Seel Street - expect to hear a huge mix from Jamie T to Catfish to Arctics - that's if you don't spend all night sat in their awesome courtyard/smoking area. Tuesday nights see Shit Indie Disco take over Arts Club, though they don't quite live up to their name... an indie disco? Absolutely. Shit? Not at all. 

If you're more into pop music, the bars in Concert Square (Soho, Modo, McCooleys and Walkabout) play a mix of pop classics and dance floor anthems to get you in the mood to have to queue to get into Level. Level has something for everyone - spread across three (huge) floors, they play house classics on the first floor, R&B on the second floor and cheesy pop on the third. Yes, that includes the High School Musical Soundtrack.

If the third floor of Level sounds your sort of thing, a freshers tradition is to end your night on the floor in Popworld. From Disney to Kylie to Toto, you'll find yourself singing your heart out to something, no matter how reluctant you originally may be.

R&B music lovers, head to Camel Club above Revolution on a Thursday for £1.50 drinks all night. A little bix more luxury, Pure Lounge's resident DJs also play a huge mix of R&B, house and hip-hop Thursday through Saturday.

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