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A Love Letter to... 24 Kitchen Street

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In a climate where a third of venues are struck with property development and noise complaint issues, it's becoming increasingly important for the development and support of independent venues.

24 Kitchen Street

24 Kitchen Street by Samantha Milligan Photography

Liverpool is synonymous with a band referred to as the 'Fab Four' - you might have heard of this small band, The Beatles? The city is adorned with tourist attractions in homage to a cultural movement from over 50 years ago, which has often seen it's burgeoning music scene ignored by passive listeners. With the closure of many city centre venues such as The Magnet, Buyers Club and The Kazimier in recent years, there signifies a pressure on the city's independent venues. In response, promoters have moved outwards to the Baltic Triangle area with the renovation of its warehouses into independent venues, bars, cafes and recording studios. The glittering disco ball of the 400-capacity 24 Kitchen Street is the shining star of independent spaces.  

Its beauty is its simplicity - with the installation of a single giant disco ball, a bar full of Red Stripe, and white-washed brick walls. The decor gives little away, providing a blank canvas for acts to paint upon the minds of their audiences. The small, levelled dance floor creates an unparalleled intimacy between artist and audience - artists such as Grammy nominee SOPHIE was able to provide an invigorating live show back in September. In its dinginess lies a feeling of primal instinct, where all pretence is lost for the next couple of hours, and you're simply immersed in music translated through one of the city’s best sound systems. It wouldn’t be a Kitchen Street club night without finding some wisdom in the graffiti emblazoned toilets, in a 3am drunken slump.

Aside from the audience experience, Kitchen Street shows the benefits of small venues and the structural need for them in the city's culture scene. Providing a residency for some of Liverpool’s most eclectic and forward-thinking club nights, it has become a hub for music lovers who wish to avoid the frenetic drunken revellers of Concert Square. From electronic music promoters such as Abandon Silence and The Wonder Pot to alternative LGBT club night Sonic Yootha; there is no prototype of what should occur in the white-washed walls of Kitchen Street and this is what makes the area so special. You could be seeing Liverpool’s most exciting new punk act one night and be screaming the chorus to ‘Dancing Queen’ the next. Annual metropolitan festivals bring some of the world's most prolific acts to the stage from Liverpool Disco Festival, to the Baltic Weekender.

However, Kitchen Street was threatened by the ever looming bulldozer of gentrification back in 2017 after noise complaints from residents in the developing flats. But Liverpool's creative community would not go down without a fight, as a series of gig nights were held such as 'Get Up Stand Up' in support of the venues permanency. And their rebellion proved succesful. 2 years later the venue is still showcasing some of the world's most exciting talent.  

The coming months see Syrian singer Omar Souleyman, English techno DJ and producer Objekt and even an ABBA club night. Whatever type of night out you’re looking for, browse through Kitchen Street's Facebook events and there will be something that makes you click the ‘Interested’ button, that's for sure. And maybe, you too, will find a pearl of wisdom in the toilet graffiti.




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