So what is psychedelia? Does anyone really know? It’s easy to put labels on things – it’s something we do all the time to help us bring a bit of much-needed order. The label ‘psych’ is one that has been bandied about a lot in musical circles over the past 18 months or so, encompassing all of psychedelia’s traditional roots and bastard offspring: garage rock, shoegaze, drones, krautrock, whimsical fancies and motorik repetition. As the UK’s largest celebration of psychedelic sub-culture, Liverpool International Festival of Psychedelia (Fri 27 & Sat 28 Sep) stands to acclaim the new breed of artists and musicians who are operating at the cutting edge of this global psych renaissance. We ask Chris Torpey, one of the festival’s organisers, for his personal picks…

Clinic (pictured)
The festival takes place over two days and in three performance spaces, set again within Camp & Furnace in the historical workhouse of the city. For these two days the chug and grind of industry past will be echoed by motorik drone and cosmic repetition, aided by an assortment of warped sounds from a stellar assembly of DJs. As the walls of the former warehouse space shift and shimmer in a kaleidoscopic array of visuals, a programme of film and unique art commissions will help to take the mind down in to as yet unchartered depths. The final word will come from one of Liverpool’s own finest practitioners, as Clinic wrap things up on the main Furnace stage on second night (Sat 28 Sept, onstage at 1am). The psych-punk warlords have been one of the jewels in Domino Records’ crown for over 15 years, and we couldn’t be happier that they’ll be having the final word at this year’s festival.

Moon Duo
When asked about the tag ‘psychedelic’ being attributed to his ‘rock ‘n’ roll band’ project with wife Sanae Yamada, Moon Duo’s Erik ‘Ripley’ Johnson had this to say: ‘I don’t think you can use that tag generally; it’s more of a personal thing, depending on the listener’. In short, what is truly psychedelic is in the eyes, ears and mind of the beholder. Experience this for yourself when Moon Duo headline the Furnace stage on the first night of this year’s festival (Fri 27 Sep, onstage at 12am).

Warm Digits and Eat Lights; Become Lights
Liverpool Psych Fest is very much a forward-looking entity: this is not an exercise in nostalgia or UFO Club regurgitation, but a celebration of a culture very much at the vanguard of artistic exploration. There is a glut of exciting artists in the UK who are currently leading this wave, taking ‘psych’ down a host of different and increasingly more exciting avenues. Hookworms, with their stretched out contortions of reverb, seem to be leading the charge, while The Lucid Dream are showing the right way of going about updating traditional garage psych for the modern generation. But it’s the electronic pioneers that offer the most intrigue: harnessing the power and possibilities of looped, repetitive synthesizer sounds and driving beats is at the heart of the work done by Warm Digits and Eat Lights; Become Lights in particular. These two cutting-edge acts have been given the task of closing things off late on Friday night on the Camp stage, and we can be sure they’ll make the night finish on a pulsating high (Fri 27 Sept, Warm Digits onstage at 1am, Eat Lights; Become Lights onstage at 2.15am).

We’ve teamed up with Liverpool Pscyh Festival to offer two weekend passes to a lucky winner. To be in with a chance of winning, simply send the correct answer to the question below in an email – with the subject line ‘Liverpool psych fest’, plus your name, age, phone number and Twitter handle – to info at manchesterwire dot co dot uk. The competition closes at midnight on Sunday 22 September, and the winner will be contacted on Monday 23 September.

This competition is now closed. Tickets are still available from the website below.

Fri 27 & Sat 28 Sept, Camp & Furnace, 67 Greenland Street, Liverpool, L1 0BY, Tel: 0151 708 2890, Fri £20, Sat £25, weekend £45,

Fri 27 Sep - Sat 28 Sep
Wire Editor
Published on:
Sun 22 Sep 2013