Food festivals, folk freak-outs and full-on pirate fun make September a month to remember

SCALARAMA | Various venues | 1-30 September

There’s much more to cinema than the multiplex, and the annual Scalarama festival gives communities all over the country the chance to come together every September and screen films in pop-up venues for the love of it. This year, that includes Terence Davies’s The Long Day Closes at Output Gallery, Sunset Boulevard in the old George Henry Lee’s building and Night of the Living Dead in the Redmonds Building at Liverpool John Moores University. See the Scalarama website for the full programme. Various venues across the city, ticket prices vary

BEN JOHNSON | Museum of Liverpool | Tuesday 4 September

Back in 2008, the artist Ben Johnson was commissioned to create a huge painting of Liverpool as part of the Capital of Culture programme. He set up his studio in the Walker Art Gallery and over a thousand people a day came along to watch him create his minutely detailed waterfront panorama. Ten years on, Johnson returns to the city; this time to talk about the creation of the painting, now on permanent display in the Museum of Liverpool. Coincidentally, Johnson also has a piece in the current John Moores Painting Prize exhibition at the Walker. Museum of Liverpool, Pier Head, L3 1DG (3pm; free drop-in event, no need to book)

2018 08 29 Ben Johnson The Liverpool Cityscape
The Liverpool Cityscape Ben Johnson

DAVID OLUSOGA | Bluecoat | Wednesday 5 September

David Olusoga’s recent BBC series, A House Through Time, told the story of one Liverpool dwelling - 62 Falkner Street - from its construction in the 1840s right through to the present day. But more than that, its stories also told the history of the city, from global super-port through to economic desperation and beyond, via the people who occupied the house over the years. Olusoga’s connection with Liverpool goes back to his student days when he studied history at the city’s university, and this Bluecoat talk gives us the chance to hear much more about his personal experiences as well as his academic research on slavery and black British history. Bluecoat, School Lane, L1 3BX (5.30pm; tickets £10 at

HERITAGE OPEN DAYS | Various venues | 6-9 September, 13-16 September

The annual Heritage Open Days have proved so popular over recent years that this time round, the event takes place over two weekends rather than the customary one. History buffs and nosey parkers alike will adore the opportunity to gain access to buildings that are usually out of bounds. This year the local list includes All Hallows church in Allerton with its Edward Burne-Jones stained glass, the Athenaeum with its fascinating library, and Toxteth Town Hall. There are guided walks too, including one looking back at our year as European Capital of Culture. Various venues (some buildings offer free access, others are available as pre-booked tours; opening dates and times vary, see the website at for full details)

2018 08 29 Heritage Open Days Athenaeum Library
Explore the Athenaeum library with Heritage Open Days

ONE MAN’S STORY | Philharmonic Hall | Friday 7 September

Readers of a certain age will remember the zooted-up Latin dance sounds of Kid Creole and the Coconuts. They appeared regularly in the UK charts during the early-1980s, having emerged from New York’s effervescent art and club scene. The late ‘Bongo’ Eddie Folk played with the band for a while, as well as performing with the likes of Al Green and James Brown, eventually settling in Liverpool despite being a born and bred New Yorker. One Man’s Story is a musical theatre show dedicated to the man and his story, written by his partner, Carolyn Edwards, who co-founded the recovery charity Genie in the Gutter. Folk was the charity’s patron, and funds raised will go towards continuing their work. Kid Creole and the Coconuts are even flying in for the occasion and will play a live set. Philharmonic Hall, Hope Street, L1 9BP (7.30pm; tickets from £17.50 at

UNDER THE WIRE | FACT | Sunday 9 September

When war correspondent Marie Colvin was killed in Syria in 2012, the world mourned the loss of one of the world’s most formidable journalists. She had entered war-ravaged Homs illegally alongside the photographer Paul Conroy, who resolved to tell the world what was happening if he managed to get out of the city alive. Under the Wire is a new documentary that tells that story. It promises to be a tense, dramatic and terrifying insight into what it was like to report, and exist, in the midst of slaughter. The screening is followed by a discussion with Conroy and director Chris Martin. FACT, Wood Street, L1 4DQ (6pm; tickets £12.20 at

2018 08 29 Under The Wire Paul Conroy And Marie Colvin
Under the Wire tells the story of Paul Conroy and Marie Colvin

SIMON YATES: MY MOUNTAIN LIFE | Epstein Theatre | Friday 14 September

It was while on Peru’s remote Siula Grande back in 1985 that Simon Yates was forced to make a decision that changed two lives forever. Yates was attached to a rope, the other end of which was dangling over a cliff with his fellow mountaineer, Joe Simpson, hanging off it. Neither could move, it was impossible to communicate, and so Yates decided the only option was to cut the rope. The story has gone down in mountaineering legend, most famously as the book and film, Touching the Void. This is a rare opportunity to hear Yates speak about that event, and also about his subsequent three decades of climbing. Epstein Theatre, Hanover Street, L1 3DZ (7.30pm; tickets from £15 at

PLAY IT AGAIN USE IT TOGETHER | Victoria Gallery and Museum | 14 September – 24 November

Deep within Liverpool University’s archive is the Institute of Popular Music’s repository of over 80,000 records – a rich resource gifted by collectors and enthusiasts. For this exhibition, the collection will be temporarily rehoused in the Victoria Gallery and Museum, making it fully accessible and public for the first time. There will also be a bespoke booth designed by the award-winning 51 Architecture in which shellac and vinyl records will be digitised and made available online, with a series of collaborators invited to create new music on the spot from this exciting, evolving resource. Victoria Gallery and Museum, 150 Brownlow Hill, L3 5RF (Tues-Sat 10am-5pm; free)

2018 08 29 Play It Again Use It Together
The Institute of Popular Music’s repository contains over 80,000 records

PIRATES ON THE DOCK | Royal Albert Dock | 15-16 September

Historical authenticity might not be high on the agenda at this annual pirate-themed bash, but when it comes to animating one of the city’s great spaces with colour, noise and smiles, Pirates on the Dock does it well. There are pirate parades, music performances, cannon battles (seriously loud), and relentless pounding from those samba drummers who appear at every outdoor Liverpool event. Visitors are invited to dress up in their best pirate togs, though given the potential for wild meteorological variation down at the dock, it might be best to pack a non-piratey coat too. Royal Albert Dock, L3 4AF (11am - 6pm; free)

LIVERPOOL FOOD AND DRINK FESTIVAL | Sefton Park | 15-16 September

Raymond Blanc leads this year’s chef line-up, but Wreckfish’s Gary Usher and Röski’s Anton Piotrowski are present and correct too, no doubt making sure there are also plenty of local flavours in the mix. This festival’s tried and tested recipe has proved itself to be a winner for a decade now, and as usual, the city’s food and drink scene will be well represented with appearances from over 30 restaurants, a big bunch of bars and some of our most successful street food vendors. And if you’ve still got room after that lot, stock up at the market before working off the calories with bands, DJs and the family friendly Kids’ Village. Sefton Park, Mossley Hill Drive, L17 1AJ (Saturday 10.30am-7.30pm, Sunday 10.30am-5.30pm; under 14s go free, adult advance tickets £7 per day or £11.50 for the weekend at

2018 08 20 Raymond Blanc
Raymond Blanc headlines this year’s Food and Drink Festival

IMMIX PRESENT KELLY LEE OWENS AND THOMAS GILL | Invisible Wind Factory | Thursday 20 September

Immix Ensemble’s current series of collaborations continues as they invite Kelly Lee Owens and Thomas Gill to join them at the Invisible Wind Factory. This one-off performance will see Owens’ ‘dreamy electronic pop’ melding with Gill’s immersive visuals and the ‘traditional instrumentation’ of Immix Ensemble themselves. There will also be new works by Immix’s composer-in-residence, Andrew PM Hunt, and their artistic director, Daniel Thorne. Invisible Wind Factory, 3 Regent Road, L3 7DS (7.30pm; tickets £6 at

LOKA AND SILVERMOON | Handyman Pub | Friday 21 September

It’s only a year since Smithdown Road’s Handyman Pub opened in the old Handyman Supermarket building, but it’s already easy to forget that there was a time when it wasn’t a boozer. These days, in addition to its fine beer, it also serves up some great local gigs: this one featuring the low-dose psychedelics of Loka (once of the mighty Ninja Tune label), and space-pop romantics Silvermoon, looks particularly enticing. Expect ‘a soundtrack spanning school discos to tales of supernatural possession’ to accompany those potent DIY store memories. Handyman Pub, 461 Smithdown Road, L15 3JL (8pm; free entry)

2018 08 29 Loka
Loka play Handyman Pub this month

TREMBLING BELLS | Philharmonic Hall Music Room | Friday 21 September

Late September is usually the time when the Liverpool International Festival of Psychedelia activates its annual rearranging of reality, but this is a fallow year for the far-out freak-out, and thus the psych folk of Trembling Bells will have to do instead. Not that that’s a hardship. Over the course of six albums, Trembling Bells have taken 1970s electric troubadouring and added their own 21st century twists – something like a fuzzed up, prog-punk version of Steeleye Span. Time to get your medieval tabard on. Music Room, Philharmonic Hall, Hope Street, L1 9BP (8pm; tickets £10 at

DEAF SCHOOL | Everyman Theatre | 21-22 September

It’s 40 years since Liverpool’s second most influential band originally broke up, but once they got back together in the mid-2000s, they played a succession of memorable cabaret-styled nights at the Everyman. Their track What a Way to End it All was even the last record of the night before the old theatre building was demolished. The band haven’t yet appeared within the award-winning walls of the new theatre, but over two nights this September they put right that wrong. Everyman Theatre, Hope Street, L1 9BH (7.30pm; tickets from £10-£35 at

20171127 Deaf School 5
Deaf School return to the Everyman

COMIC BOOK FAIR | Bluecoat | Saturday 29 September

Whether you like your comic superheroes to have laser vision and a figure-hugging body suit or you prefer them to carry a peashooter and wear red-and-black knitwear, there’s bound to be plenty of inky-fingered fun at the Bluecoat’s latest comic book fair. Thousands of comics will be on sales, from British weeklies to American monthlies and the very latest graphic novels. Biff, bam, kapow; if you like your comics, it should be good. Bluecoat, School Lane, L1 3BX (10am-6pm; free entry)