Hayleigh Chamberlain looks at the top spots in Liverpool to stumble across the best new talents on the open mic circuit.
Liverpool is no stranger to being one of the biggest musical cities of the North West, not to mention the country. The worldwide success of The Beatles made Liverpool the city for music and, since then, music has been one of the city’s biggest strengths.
Liverpool is home to some of the UK’s most recognisable talents like The Beatles (obviously), Dead or Alive, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, The La’s, and Echo and the Bunnymen. So, it’s no surprise that the city’s love for musical talent is increasing, especially with open mic nights spread around the city centre.
Liverpool have some amazing open mic night venues that have gained attention from music lovers of all ages to coffee drinkers, pizza addicts and cocktail downers. There’s an open mic night venue suitable for anybody’s needs in Liverpool, and here are the top 5 that offer Liverpool’s rising talent:
Leaf on Bold Street is a favourite in Liverpool for those who love eating in aesthetically pleasing places full of fairy lights and cocktails. Leaf have their own stage on the downstairs floor. More of a fancy, aesthetically pleasing place to get vegetarian food, Leaf does offer music nights on the regular. Although you’d have to book in early, or get there quick as this place gets busy very fast, especially on open mic nights which are hosted by many different hosts, including local favourite Johnny Sands.
The Jacaranda is one of the biggest venues for unsigned acts and open mic nights. If you’re wanting to get your name out there, The Jacaranda is the place to go. With an open mic night every Sunday and Thursday, featuring a different host each time, there’s always more and more talent to scout. Almost anybody can sign up here for open mic nights, as it has a mixture of both serious band nights and fun for customers inside the pub who like joining in. The best part about the Jacaranda during open mic nights? If you don’t like who’s playing, then the built-in record players on the tables allow you to pick and choose what you and your friends want to listen to as you’re drinking, or to drown out any noise.
Camp and Furnace is a night like no other and home to the big bear. Yes, they do open mic nights for unsigned Mersey bands and artists, but it has also been a venue where hit bands have performed in the past, with the likes of Wave Machines, The Joy Formidable and Eagulls gracing the stage. Set in the scenes of Baltic, Camp and Furnace is a favourite amongst scousers and students, offering all the trendy aesthetics in the setting of a warehouse. These open mics are on at certain times monthly so it is best to watch out for when they become available as it’s a popular one.
Unit 51 is situated in the centre of Baltic for all the creatives and their offices. It is always buzzing with coffee lovers and music lovers, and they have a whole plant area in the place dedicated to gig nights and offering free local gig posters. When the weekend hits, Unit 51 it becomes more than just a cool coffee/soup hangout; the locals come for DJ nights filled with cocktails and more music offered by the bands and artists of the city. Rills & Lights in particular, a two-piece formed in Liverpool, have done a few open mic nights at Unit 51 and said: “It is such a great atmosphere here in Unit 51. You get normal passers-by but then you get the odd-ball creative people who work around here. It is so fun. There are so many amazing open mic places in the city, and even stepping out of the city centre and going down towards Lark Lane too. We always get a good response and its down to the locals! We’re unsigned but its getting out there which keeps us going.”
Baltic outside Barbeque sits around the back of Jamaica Street, and a street away from Camp and Furnance. The outside barbeque offers street food to passers-by in the summer time, along with cultured style dancing and, of course, open mic nights on the rare occasion. This is one of the best; the outside barbeque area is such a tiny space, passers-by are mainly standing on the road space. The space is lit up with lightbulb fairy lights, and has a small shed seating area and space for dancing and singing.
Obviously, there are plenty more open mic night venues throughout the city that you should go along to – you never know who you might end up seeing, and what better way to support your local music scene.