Ellipsis’ Guide to the Best Venues in Liverpool
As deputy music editors, it’s vital that we know our gig venues, so here are some of our top picks for places to see all sorts of live events!
Liverpool’s largest music venue, the Echo Arena, is the place to find the biggest and most well-known acts in the world. From Mumford and Sons to Ellie Goulding, there’s a gig at the Echo for everyone – it even played host to the one and only Sir Paul McCartney on his world tour last year! There’s even something for you if you’re more into comedy than music, with a wide range of comedians performing regularly, including the hilarious Jack Whitehall, who’s there next February; time to get your tickets!
Every city worth bothering with is home to an O2 Academy, and Liverpool is no different. Everyone from Rizzle Kicks to UB40 are playing at the Academy this year, as well as a whole host of tribute bands and comedy artists. If you’re after a more intimate gig, with all the atmosphere of a festival, the Academy is the place to be.
At the heart of Seel Street lies Arts Club, a venue that’s been the location of many an incredible gig over the years. If you’re into up and coming artists, Arts Club will probably become your second home. My personal favourites over the last year being Nothing But Thieves and Wolf Alice. By night, Arts Club transforms into a great night out – read our article on the ‘Best Nights Out in Liverpool’ to find out more!
At first glance, The Magnet looks like any old bar, but in its basement lies a gig venue to rival all others. Although the décor may not be the best (think creepy 1970s children’s party), The Magnet hosts everything from DJ sets to open mic nights, with plenty of new bands also playing there. It’s a truly historic venue, so why not come down and find out what all the fuss is about.
Beginning its life as an indoor circus, the Olympia has now made its name as the place for all things music, comedy and fashion, with even some boxing taking place there occasionally – if that’s your thing. Famous names that have made their mark on the Olympia have recently included The Last Shadow Puppets, plus Jamie T’s going to be there in October, if you fancy a bit of indie-rap.
There’s no question that The Cavern is the most iconic venue on this list, and in the whole of Liverpool for that matter! Most famously known as the place where Beatlemania was born, there are still dozens of different bands and singers playing there every day. Pop down at any time during the day to find someone covering a whole array of Beatles classics – it’s definitely somewhere to bring your parents!
Although the Kazimier Club (RIP) is no more, there’s still somewhere to go on Wolstenholme Square to get your fix of live music. The Kaz Gardens is all about wood fires and specialist alcohol, with the chance to see a brand new band or two on a regular basis. If you fancy something that strays away from the mainstream, Kaz Gardens is the one for you!
With twinkly fairy lights and chilled acoustic musicians, Leaf is a coffee shop by day and a music venue by night. A typically ‘hipster’ hangout spot on the effortlessly edgy Bold Street, there’s nowhere else in Liverpool where excellent music and excellent sandwiches combine so beautifully.
Liverpool Philharmonic Hall
If you fancy something a bit more upmarket, there’s no better place to go than the Phil. Mainly a venue for classical musicians to play at, it’s also hosted Paloma Faith in the past, and it’s definitely somewhere for those who are a little classier. Comedy is also on the cards at the Phil, with both Sue Perkins and the cast of Absolutely Fabulous performing there, in the upcoming months.
Camp & Furnace
Technically not a gig venue, but the combination of football and incredible Sunday roasts means that there’s no way Camp & Furnace can’t have a place on this list. It’s the home of Liverpool’s most ridiculous event – the one and only Bongo’s Bingo. Despite taking place all over the country, Bongo’s Bingo started right here, and it’s both the best and the weirdest night out you’ll ever have.
(Featured Image courtesy of Ronald Saunders, Flickr – click here for the original)