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Lost Weekend: January 17-19

The olllam make English debut. Get a free jerk at Django's Riff. Motorway madness at the Bluecoat and New Brighton storms revisited

Published on January 17th 2014.

Lost Weekend: January 17-19

INTERNET dating is one thing, but these days the miracle of online tech means a band can write, rehearse and record together without even being in the same country, let alone the same studio. 

You can do this stuff in your kitchen while you are making the dinner, although the microwave 'pinger' can get in the way.

the olllam have done such a thig. Belfast and Detroit natives in a transatlantic trance of melody, stunning instrumental virtuosity and a magical marriage of tradition and technology, somewhere between Plaid and Planxty, it says here.

Think the ambient emotionalism of Nick Drake or Explosions in the Sky. This weekend the olllam make their long-awaited debut in England and Scotland. All scrubbed up with not an empty 

Belfast-born uilleann piper John McSherry and Detroit's Tyler Duncan and Michael Shimmin say they had been dreaming of the olllam for a decade. With a name inspired by the ollam bards of Irish lore, the trio wanted to create an ensemble that represented their combined experience in a multiplicity of styles.

They finally wrote and recorded an original album together. They rehearsed and composed live on Skype and built the tracks one part at a time between emails. The result, their eponymous debut the olllam, released in autumn 2012 on Compass Records, and subsequent tour dates in Ireland and the USA have been rapturously received. This Sunday they are at the Philharmonic Rodewald Suite as a six-piece band.

Ah, but they'll never recognise one another with their clothes on, now.

the olllam, Rodewald Street, Philharmonic Hall, Hope Street, Liverpool, Sunday January 19, 8pm Tickets £14, here.

Jerk Chicken


Free food? Free music? Can this be true?
In an effort to give you a reason to carry on a-supping on the Sabbath, pubs and bars up and down the land imagine that you require nothing more than a roast dinner to be lured onto the premises.

But if only pubs knew that at the end of the weekend most people like nothing more than some quick jerk action.

Now Django's Riff have twigged. This Sunday sees the launch party of a regular event – the Root Roast. A stellar roster of the city's finest DJs will be taking over Djangos Riff to bring you eight hours of the top quality reggae, dub, ska, calypso, dancehall, and ragga jungle for absolutely free. Sir Troyan, Danny Fitzgerald, Horza and Buddha.

But I'm hungry mommy, you say. Cue Ragga's Caribbean Takeaway who will be at Django's, cooking up jerk chicken, and rice and peas for you all to enjoy, once again....FOR FREE (when you buy a drink). Food is first come, first served. You can bop, however, till you drop.

*Root Roast Launch Party, Django's Riff, Wood Street, Liverpool. Sunday January 19. 4pm-midnight. Free.

The Black Pearl, New Brighton

The Black Pearl, New Brighton

A bit of a blow
Previously unseen footage of New Brighton storms long gone, the maiden voyage of The Black Pearl and the recent storm with vox pops can be seen in an evening of song storm and sonnet this Sunday.

After the Storm will be screened in New Brighton's Light Cinema which was also badly affected badly by the flood in December. It will be a ticketed screening but free tickets will be available on the night by donation. There will be several showings throughout the evening.

There will also be entertainment in the foyer, join the local musicians - EightBand, Pacific Swing a youth choir with Tracey Carmen, poet Clare Kirwan, The Crew of The Black Pearl, the MAP team and The New Brighteners.- the community clean up gang for an evening of music and laughter.

Frank Lund, the artist who created the driftwood Black Pearl with his friend Major Mace, said: “The loss of the Black Pearl in this recent great storm was both magnificent to see and a sad loss to our community. But it is that strong community that will help to rebuild the Pearl, it is that same community that gathered the rubbish along with The New Brighteners after the devastation. It is this same community that will come together to celebrate and reflect on all that has been built, lost and rebuilt again during the “After the Storm” celebration, organised by the team that are the Momentary Art Project”. 

*After the Storm. The Light Cinema, Marine Point, New Brighton, Sunday, January 19, 5pm-7pm. Free with donation.



Going soft on the hard shoulder
Prints made using road dust and etched car parts, a film of roadside shrines, and a new essay by nature writer Richard Mabey are just some of the highlights of Soft Estate, the big exhibition at the Bluecoat these days.

The title derives from the Highways Agency term used to describe the natural habitats that have evolved along motorways and trunk roads and looks at how these borders offer a refuge for wildlife and a modern form of wilderness in the midst of intense urbanisation and agro-chemical farming.

Artist and academic Edward Chell says: “While 18th Century tourists travelled to areas such as the Lake District to capture images of wild places, in today’s countryside, uncontrolled wilderness only springs up in the margins of our transport networks and the semi-derelict grid plans of industrialised corridors. These soft estates invite a new kind of tourist, new ways of looking and new forms of visual representation.”

Soft Estate, Bluecoat, School Lane, Liverpool. Daily 10am-6pm, until February 23. Free.

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