The team behind the popular Emotion Wave nights collaborate with the WIRRAL NEW MUSIC COLLECTIVE to put on A DAY IN THE SUN; a unique, daytime electronic music event at the wonderfully quaint Birkenhead Priory. The iconic priory dates all the way back to 1150, and with its recent restoration has become a Grade 1 listed building, proudly affirming its status as a building for the past, present and future of Merseyside. It seems an interesting and attracting fit then, for one day only the priory is to indulge in the modern-day art of experimental electronica. If Priory’s and Electronic music are still struggling to correlate in your head, that’s Emotion Wave’s direct intention. The event is designed to take live music to a whole new modern dimension; playing on the surreal, extra-sensory experience of non-standard gig surroundings, and breaking down the boundaries between musician, audience and performer.
We got the lowdown from Emotion Wave promoter and artist behind LO FIVE, Neil Grant. The day will run from 11am and finish at 11pm as Grant explains how he’s aiming for a “fairly laid-back, picnic vibe that’s accessible to all ages” – with family tickets also on sale. The two contrasting, avant-garde stages: the priory and the garden, further these extra-sensory, relaxed surroundings. Straight out of the blocks there will be DJ sets showcasing the most progressive producers, record labels, promoters and radio shows that have helped define the region as a welcoming space for auteurs and outsider artists. Artists to look out for is one of the most in-demand emerging DJs, producer, and self-described perfectionist BREAKWAVE; making a name with her eclectic blend of genres including breakbeat, ambience and techno. Headliner TVAM is another act certainly not to be missed with his upcoming debut album, Psychic Data, with new single These Are Not Your Memories, currently featuring on BBC6 Music playlist. Shoegaze electro TVAM’s live show has quickly garnered a reputation as something of quite the spectacle, shining a harsh light on nostalgia, crafting sounds and visuals that shines a harsh light on nostalgia, touching on our memories but toying with our fears.
This collaboration with the Wirral New Music Collective seems one of the most interesting and thorough in its concept. It’s an idea that seems an idyllic escape on a bank holiday weekend, and an escape that that includes the parents and discerning live music fans like himself, who regularly miss out on the late-night gigs or the all-nighters inseparable with electronic music. It’s family friendly and easy enough to get there and back – a five-minute walk to Hamilton Square station. Furthermore, even more interestingly, it’s an idea that raises questions between the normalised relationship between audience and performer. There seems to be a challenge to this stand-offish approach between a band or DJ with the audience, and this day-time event goal is to be warm and inclusive; working for everyone to feel the love of live music, with the eradication of snobbery and arrogance.
Alongside no current infrastructure of a live music venue in the Wirral, there isn’t even accommodating transport to make it easy to get to gigs in the city – unless you’re prepared to drive, spend a fortune on a cab or miss half the night by getting the last train home. Hence, Grant feels the area is an “untapped source” and thinks we need to be “more creative in the spaces we use”. This creativity can be fused in using current, non-standard buildings for gigs around the area, or by creating a multi-purpose, innovate infrastructure, capable of accommodating a variety of music events for a variety of people and interests.
Grant emphasises the family-friendly nature of the event. At the regular Emotion Wave nights he explains how there is “a real community vibe, everybody’s so friendly and it’s led to some great collaborations” – something he wishes to continue with A Day In The Sun. With obligatory refreshments coming from popular Stevie’s Wood-fired Pizza and Black Lodge Brewery, if pathetic fallacy lives up to its name and provides a bank holiday day in the sun, the Birkenhead Priory seems a blissful venue ready to accommodate this community vibe. Grant wraps up; “I think it’ll be pretty similar to sitting in your mates garden, but with a great line-up of music. I’m hoping it’s something people will be happy to make a day of.” With an amalgamation of different genres oozing out of the church walls including techno, ambience, jungle and even 80s horror soundtracks to name a few, expect a contrasting but compelling day, where you can kick back and enjoy the community orientated, exploratory ideas intended for all music lovers.