ARE you a university speaker, academic, comedian? Do you have a reasonably big gob and something interesting coming out of it?

"Bright Club" - a sort of beer-meets-brains-meets-stand-up comedy - is coming to Liverpool’s brand new East Village Arts Club. In the city where everyone has an opinion, you could be just what it’s looking for.

The original Bright Club started at London University in May 2009 as an experiment. It posed the questions: “What would happen if we got a bunch of interesting comedians and combined them with all of the fascinating people who work for one of the UK’s best universities? And what would happen if we did that combining on a stage, in front of an intelligent public audience?

"And what if we didn’t worry about whether people were famous, or experienced, or had been on TV, and instead just picked people that we thought were brilliant at telling stories about what they know?”

(Click here to add text)Not a Village for idiots

Is there any money involved? you are wondering at this point. Er, no, but you will receive training in public speaking which can come in handy on the Hunts Cross train.

Bright Club already takes place in 11 cities across the UK. Speakers have included evolutionary psychologists, mechanical engineers, medieval historians, quantum physicists, economists, mathematicians, cultural linguists, philosophers, nanoscientists and many more.

They can be talking about anything from the impact of global warming to the science of sleep, to what makes the sky blue or why bread always lands butter-side down; guests can bring any subject they know intimately to Bright Club’s audience.

Interested? Then email them here 

Taking an Institution back to its roots

East Village Arts Club opened less than a fortnight ago and what is immediately evident is the lashings of TLC that has been lavished on an ailing landmark.

Its new owners, the MAMA Group, aren't short of a few bob and with Camden's Jazz Cafe, Edinburgh's Picturehouse and the Manchester Ritz ballroom in their portfolio, it would seem the entire building housing the former Masque/Barfly is finally in safe hands.

Liverpool Confidential strolled into the building site, unannounced, a couple of weeks ago and was given the tour by a Scot in a hard hat, the group’s already mithered property MD, Archie McIntosh. 

Archie and co have spent zillions on removing decades of grubbiness in an effort to turn this music-venue-with-more into something resembling its original incarnation of the Liverpool Royal Institution which dates from 1815 and was dedicated to the promotion of literature, science and the arts.

There is a 700 capacity auditorium and a smaller performance space in the rafters of the Seel Street building. In the 1800s, these were, respectively, a lecture theatre and exhibition space -all fitting nicely with the East Village arts and debate ethos (but with gigs).

“We aren’t interested in courting the Saturday night, downtown party drinkers,” says Archie. “We think we have got something special to offer a completely different crowd to that."

Several collaborations with artists and the LJMU school of art are in the pipe and work is also at an advanced stage on a street-food style restaurant (MAMA recently acquired the Hoxton Grill too). Confidential will be bringing you more on that soon.

East Village Arts Club, 90 Seel Street, Liverpool, L1 4BH. Tickets: 0844 847 2472