City’s psychedelic sub-culture reborn

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Time and Space Machine’s Richard Norris © Richard Norris/Bido Lito!

The Liverpool International Festival of Psychedelia prepares for its inaugural showcase at Camp and Furness this weekend during an annual congregation of the UK’s psychedelic scene.

Liverpool has been a city rooted in psychedelic mystique ever since the bohemian days of 60s icons, The Beatles. Echo and The Bunnymen, The Coral and The Zutons have all been inspired by psychedelia.

On Saturday September 29th Liverpool will celebrate all aspects of this sub-culture with the event taking place in a previously industrial furnace, deep within the city’s Baltic triangle.

The festival itself is a collaboration of two local collectives; promoters ‘Harvest Sun’ and monthly music publication, ‘Bido Lito!’.

Together, they hope to mirror the achievements of an already established event from which they drew inspiration, ‘Austin Psych Fest’ in Texas.

Liverpool International Festival of Psychedelia © Bido Lito!

Chris Torpey, one of the co-organisers and promoters of the event said the inception of the idea emanated from their musical tastes and their passion for the genre.

He told JMU Journalism: “Austin Psych Fest has shown how a well-thought-out bill of purely ‘psych’ bands can work on a massive scale, and that has been a big reference point for us.

“Psychedelic music is a massive genre. So much stuff comes underneath that banner, and a lot of people aren’t aware of the breadth of it.”

The fledgling festival sees 28 bands from right across the psychedelic spectrum perform amongst a vast array of visuals, installations and consciousness-expanding films. One of the headline acts, ‘The Time and Space Machine’, have been categorised as a hypnotic, expansive five piece band that readily produce “brain frying warped electro”.

The Time and Space Machine frontman, Richard Norris, who spent a few years living in the city in the mid-80s maintains that Liverpool has always had a psychedelic feel.

Richard told JMU Journalism: “Liverpool was, and is, a fine place to immerse yourself in psychedelic culture. I don’t know why Pink Floyd, Frank Zappa or Captain Beefheart seems to strike a particular chord in Liverpool, but they do. I’m not sure that happens in every other city.”


About Joshua Nevett, JMU Journalism