Photography: Darren Aston

OMPHALOS

The Invisible Wind Factory 20/5/16

If you’ve been living under a rock for the last month, then you wouldn’t have heard of the Invisible Wind Factory. Now, I’ve been searching my mind for the last week trying to not say “it’s nothing like The Kazimier” but I’ve decided to go one step further. The Invisible Wind Factory – the brand-new North Liverpool venue owned by the people behind The Kazimier – is nothing like anything else in Liverpool or even the North West.

As a guest you arrive with an excitement akin to entering a Disney theme park ride as an eight-year-old child. Describing the factory as Disneyland is justified in the imagination surrounding the building, the people and the whole persona the place gives off. Upon arrival, a black curtain with a slight opening teases people with the sounds and visuals of a movie-set straight out of War Of The Worlds. Even the location of the factory creates a strange buzz within, as you venture to a part of Liverpool you would never go.

Drama experts set the scene and invite people to indulge in the mystery they’re serving up. The mystery being OMPHALOS – Eternal Energy, which you’re still none the wiser about after 15 minutes in the building’s reception area. The pure energy and commitment the IWF team has put in to realising the story behind Omphalos, however, challenges your imagination, makes you want to know. The ‘show’ is in fact more like a tour taken in small groups, consisting of showing people various art pieces displaying the best of the Invisible Wind Factory. From lights, smoke, flying chairs and working machinery, you’re taken on a journey in pursuit of this mysterious ‘invisible wind’. The use of an eight-piece choir alongside homemade instruments creates an almost cult-like setting in which the audience are at the mercy of our Empyrean and Cthonic hosts/performers, listening to them beautifully “um” and “ah” in sequence for almost 25 minutes.

You can’t help but get carried away with the potential of the place. Yes, the imagination and creativity are rather mind-blowing, set around an amazingly surreal art performance; however, the raw space and imagination behind the staging are what excite me most. With the introduction of gig performances to the venue it will surely lift the environment to new levels. The imagination of creating an experience around a gig makes it feel much more than just going to your average Friday night viewing. Potentially, it will become the hottest place to be in Liverpool, in the middle of nowhere.

Music lovers in Liverpool felt as if a part of their heart had been torn out when the holy ground of The Kazimier was ripped from the Liverpool music scene. Yet its passing has opened up a completely new atmosphere for people to enjoy music and embrace the ‘invisible wind’ around them.

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