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10th May 2016

Festival Preview: Liverpool International Festival of Psychedelia

These bands, composers and producers are pushing forward and doing what all the best modern music should.

Liverpool, England
23-24 September

Returning for the 5th time, Liverpool Psych Festival promises to bring together every kind of music that messes with your head. Headlining are the endlessly shapeshifting Horrors, as well as Welsh ridiculousness peddlers Super Furry Animals. The lineup has something for everyone, from the retrofuturist revivalism of krautrock purists Cavern of Antimatter to the iconic, genre shaping experiments of Silver Apples to darker, shoegazier affairs like Spectres and Taman Shud. The acts cover drone to garage psych to lo-fi Brainfeedr-type affairs and everything in-between. However, what really makes the festival special isn’t just the musical variety but the national variety. The ‘International’ is in the title for a reason – Liverpool Psych Fest is a truly global affair, with bands coming not just Britain and America but Andalucía, Sweden, Mexico, Italy and more. Perhaps most exciting then is Tokyo label Guruguru Brain’s showcase, bringing bands not just from Japan but Pakistan and Taiwan, such as Minami Deutsch’s endless motorik charge, and Nawksh’s madcap productions. These acts are exceptional and otherwise hard to see in the UK, so having so many of them in one place is rare and brilliant. Whilst writing about psychedelic bands is usually just filled with mundane drug references, Liverpool Psych Festival deserves more. It doesn’t just provide lazy imitations of bands that were tedious by the time our parents were students, but music that’s genuinely exciting, varied and intelligent. These bands, composers and producers are pushing forward and doing what all the best modern music should – taking what came before and changing, twisting and combining it to create brand new, mind-altering sounds, not just music for some middle-aged divorcee at The Happy Mondays staring at his hands by the time the support act’s finished. Kill the Pink Floyd tribute act, this will be so much better.

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