What comes to mind when you think of a library? If it’s a quiet and subdued space for book-lovers or university students, Get It Loud In Libraries and Wirral New Music Collective are about to turn that stereotype on its head. They’re bringing art punk five-piece BODEGA to Birkenhead Library in their latest quest to prove that libraries are fun, innovative public spaces for everyone to use. Don’t miss the chance to catch one of New York’s most exciting bands on a rare stop in Birkenhead.
Get It Loud In Libraries began putting on gigs in 2005 as a way of attracting new audiences to libraries and increasing their cultural value. The newly-minted Wirral New Music Collective have teamed up with GILIL in the hope of improving access to music outside of the major metropolitan centres. Director Stewart Parsons explains that the premise behind the project is to “engage local communities and offer entertainment, education and information about the music industry in a user-friendly, safe and inclusive package”. This means selecting easily accessible venues, using a Sunday matinée format to avoid travel difficulties and engaging with young people – the next generation of library users. The end goal is to “support cultural tourism by mapping a new network of library venues across the UK”.
Birkenhead Library is a natural fit for Get It Loud In Libraries: despite being a designated historic site, the library has been threatened with closure in the past and could benefit from having a larger community profile. For Stewart, it is also important to choose a location where access to music is limited: “The Wirral doesn’t really have an all ages gig venue where, if you’re 13 years old and love music, you can see really exciting, new and emerging bands.” Young people are encouraged to participate digitally via GILIL Academy, where they can learn from professionals about how to interview, review, film and photograph a live gig. “We have been working with the Hive to identify local young talent and some young Birkenhead people will get to interview Bodega on the day, too.”
Community work aside, GILIL know how to put on a really great gig. Bodega at Birkenhead Library is part of a brilliant summer programme that will see fellow New Yorkers Sunflower Bean play at Hull Central Library and The Orielles perform at Huddersfield Library. Previous gigs have featured Jagwar Ma, Young Fathers and even Florence And The Machine. Closer to home, Liverpool’s much loved Central Library has played host to sets from The Magnetic North, Lonelady and Josefin Öhrn + The Liberation under the GILIL banner over the past couple of years.
Bodega’s show at Birkenhead Library will take place two days after the public release of their debut album, Endless Scroll. The album was produced by Parquet Court’s Austin Brown and is a witty, upbeat and self-critical response to our collective reliance on technology. Liverpool’s own BEIJA FLO will be on hand as support on the day, after being selected by the band to open for them from a list of over 50 applications from local artists.
Performing in a library feels apt: a nod to a time before the internet, when libraries were the central hubs of all information. They were an easy choice for Parsons: “The songs are catchy, cool and have great intros, which we think is important as we are quite old school. The band are going places and it’s brilliant to have Birkenhead on the tour map.”
Listen to lead single How Did This Happen below.