If, like us, you can’t wait to see the end of 2019, then you’ll be glad that there’s so much to take in over this festive period. Once the tree is up and the presents are done, you’ll be looking for something to keep your music brains and dancing feet occupied. To aid you in your quest to the make the end of the year as festive as can be, we’ve picked out our selection of the best parties and events to help you welcome in 2020 and wave a fond farewell to 2019.
Photo by Anthony Mooney
Circus Christmas Special with Solomun
YOUSEF presents a special Circus Christmas party in the great expanse of Bramley-Moore, with house music superstar SOLOMUN helming what will be a huge show down on the docks. The Bosnian-born DJ has been a titan of house and techno music for almost a decade, regularly scooping industry awards while running successful labels (Diynamic, 2DIY4), clubs (Ego) and multiple Ibiza residencies (Pacha, Ushuaïa). Solomun’s emotional take on European house music is characterised by ultra funky basslines and euphoric melodies, reflective of his love of hip hop, soul and funk.
Circus have re-tooled the vast warehouse space at Bramley-Moore as an ideal venue for raving and partying, and the location will add a new dimension to their famed Christmas party blowout. Leeds’ globetrotting deep house technician HOT SINCE 82 brings an element of energy and dram to proceedings. “King Of Space” DJ STEVE LAWLER also joins the party, hosted by Circus maestro Yousef and also featuring ENZO SIRAGUSA.
Miracle On 34th Street
Miracle On 34th Street has been spreading festive cheer, in various guises, since the 1947 feature film that picked up three Oscars. Via a novel, TV series and the much-celebrated 1994 feature film starring Richard Attenborough, it has become a Christmas staple. Meredith Wilson’s lyrical rendering of the story of six-year-old Susan, a Christmas sceptic, and Kris Kringle, is brought to sparkling life on stage as a musical, which gives centre stage to the famed seasonal song, It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas. The set of Macy’s is brought to the Playhouse stage, with a story specially tweaked for a Liverpool audience, which will get Christmas lovers of all ages in the mood for festive magic.
Photo by Jonathan Frederick Turton
Sonic Yootha’s Xmas Murder
24 Kitchen Street
Beat the Boxing Day blues in fine style with Yootha’s final party of the decade. Their annual festive freak out is the stuff of legend, and recent events at 24 Kitchen Street are evidence why nights like this in venues like this are absolutely essential. The best party for everyone – boys, girls, gender-benders and part-time Brendas.
It’s A Wonderful Life/Ghostbusters
It’s A Wonderful Life – 24/12 (various times)
Ghostbusters: Film with live orchestra 28/12 and 29/12 (7.30pm)
Two quintessential Christmas films get the Phil treatment, to add a sprinkle of special stardust to your festive programme. The Christmas Even screenings of It’s A Wonderful Life on the Phil’s rising Walturdaw cinema screen is an institution for many Merseysiders at Christmas. If you haven’t experienced Capra’s timeless festive favourite in the grand Philharmonic Hall yet, get booking early for one of the two screenings on the day (11am and 2pm). If you ain’t afraid of no ghosts, why not book yourself in to see a special screening of Ghostbusters with Elmer Bernstein’s score performed live by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Ectoplasm and the Stay-Puff Marshmallow Man never sounded so good.
TICKETS: It’s A Wonderful Life / Ghostbusters
Chibuku NYE Party with Groove Armada
Invisible Wind Factory
Chibuku come up trumps with a New Year’s Eve party to cap off the year on a glorious high. Chart-topping big beat duo GROOVE ARMADA return to Liverpool for the first time in a decade, with a DJ set at Invisible Wind Factory that dwarfs that 2009 set at Barfly for a Circus Easter special. The global stars have since played Creamfields and The Warehouse Project on numerous occasions, but their mix of electronic, house and trip hop is equally suited to more intimate clubs. Through decks and FX shows and a series of dancefloor EPs, Groove Armada have marked a return to the DIY spirit of the warehouse turntables where the project first began. Southport’s BONTAN and Liverpool’s own JAMES ORGAN complete an insane line-up. Go on, sign off the year in style.
Joe Goddard (Hot Chip) DJ set
Synth wizard and member of the songwriting partnership at the heart of Hot Chip, JOE GODDARD knows how to pilot a party. An exemplary DJ, Goddard has form with The Merchant and is the ideal person to lead a Boxing Day groovefest. Tickets are needed for this one as it will be a lockout.
Final New Year’s Eve with Crazy P Soundsystem
The final New Year’s Eve party at Constellations takes on epic proportions under the stewardship of Melodic Distraction. No holds will be barred for this grand celebration of the Greenland Street venue, which will be winding down operations in 2020. Cosmic disco dons CRAZY P are charged with piloting this closing party (of sorts) to another dimension, which will make for the perfect kind of celebration. Shimmering with pop, throbbing with electronica and slinking with disco, revellers will prepared to blast off into 2020 in the highest of spirits. The Soundsystem is a club variation on Crazy P’s live setup, and will feature live vocals from Danielle Moore. Melodic Distraction DJs will be joined by a host of the region’s finest selectors in getting things primed for this huge signing off party.
The Sound Of Music Friends And Family Gathering
Smithdown Social Club
“An oasis of slowness in a world of increasing velocity.” Those are the words of Andrew Weatherall in reference to A LOVE FROM OUTER SPACE, one of his latest creative endeavours. Teaming up with Sean Johnston, ALFOS takes it cues from music that is in no rush, no urgency to reach crescendo, or compel, unless given the appropriate amount of time. With that in mind, there’ll be fewer poignant NYE celebrations than that taking place at The Merchant. From first track to the last, ALFOS will be guiding all in attendance towards a better understanding of the celestial outer reaches as 2018 becomes 2019.
Eggy New Year!
Sound Duke Street
The rascals from Eggy Records power up their fun machine once more, to give you the perfect excuse to skank your way in to 2020. The line-up is like an Eggy Avengers Assemble mega film: BEIJA FLO, STORES, DAN DISGRACE, BILL NICKSON, ANA MAE, ASTLES, ALEX TELEKO, UNLCE JANE and JAMIE all come armed with tunes galore. Plus, invited guests the Eggy Cinematic Universe join in the fun, with RONGORONGO, SAMURAI KIP, PISS KITTI, TERRY VENOMOUS and WIZOLD SAGE powering up their special powers for a night of sweaty fun down in Sound’s basement. Brad Stank and Strawberry Guy are among those on the decks, too. It’s a pay what you can affair, so make sure you let the bands know how much you appreciate spending New Year with them.
House Music For The Homeless
24 Kitchen Street
Liverpool Disco Festival / Hustle founder James Morgan marks his 20th year of DJing and hosting events with a 24hr charity fundraiser DJ set, in support of the most vulnerable during the festive period. All proceeds from the event will go towards supporting the homeless in Liverpool, UK and Ireland, via the charities Crisis and The Whitechapel Centre. Tickets are free, but donations will be taken on the door. If you’d like to make a sponsored donation to the project, you can do so here.
The marathon DJ set will begin around midnight on Thursday 19th December at 24 Kitchen Street via live stream, running through to the early hours of Saturday 22nd December. The venue will be open to the public from 8pm on Friday 20th December, where a special guest DJ will join the fray for the final eight hours – perfect for dancing!
Wavertree Worldwide Christmas Dance
Smithdown Social Club
Anyone for a festive community dance? Wavertree Worldwide have put together a seasonal send-off for 2019, capping off their first year of events at Smithdown Social Club with a special (disco)ball.
Manchester’s HIDDEN SPHERES swings by South Liverpool as part of a global expedition. The much in-demand DJ and producer has the lo-fi hit Waiting in his armoury, with the vinyl being repressed for three years running as testament to this anthem’s place in a generation’s new house sound. NTS radio host and producer YADAVA guarantees the funk, while there’s still space for midnight mince pies and Christmas spirit.
You are invited to celebrate the Winter solstice in the company of safari park punks SILENT-K. Christmas carnage and festive frolics is guaranteed on the last Saturday before xmas at a special gathering of electric minds, which also sees live performances from garage dwellers FUMAR MATA, DAVID SILCOCK and JOEY. A FLOORMEN SOUND SYSTEM completes the trip on the shortest day of the year.
Hope Street Jazz Boxing Day Special
Frederiks is the place to be to jazz up your Boxing Day as residents Hope Street Jazz plan in a very special show featuring the newly formed HOPE STREET JAZZ ORCHESTRA. Veering between jazz, disco, funk and groove, this outfit really is something to behold when in full flow. As usual, there’s a jam after the main set, and DJ John Dean is in charge of holding it all together. You’ve got to get up to get down.
Whatever you choose to do over the festive period, we hope you have a lovely – and safe – time! If you get the chance to choose, we’d really appreciate it if you chose local and independent places to spend your hard-earned money this year. They’re the ones who will benefit from it most. And, if you’re lucky enough to be able to spare a few quid, please think about supporting the amazing work of The Whitechapel Centre, the tireless charity who provide vital support for people without homes to go to.
Thank you, and Merry Christmas!