Liverpool’s Angel Field Festival of the arts begins this week – and will showcase some of the North West’s most exciting local musicians and composers.
With an eclectic mix of events covering Motown, funk and soul, classical guitar, dance, live storytelling and film screenings, the week-long festival offers something for everyone.
The Angel Field Festival 2022 runs from Friday 11th March to Saturday 19th March 2022 and is organised and hosted by Liverpool Hope University.
The performances will take place in Liverpool’s Capstone Theatre and Cornerstone Theatre – both located at Hope’s city centre Creative Campus.
Manchester’s BBC-acclaimed funk stars Buffalo Brothers will be joined by Liverpool’s own up-and-coming jazz-funk-punk outfit Sweet Beans.
Liverpool songwriter Evie Moran, 20, has been likened to acts like Billie Marten and popular folk trio The Staves, and will support UK singer Nick James for a spectacular celebration of Soul, Motown, Swing Pop, Rock, RnB and Modern Pop.
But the Angel Field Festival 2022 doesn’t just support and salute local acts.
Joining the line-up is Newcastle-based choreographer Dora Frankel and composer Peter Coyte, whose Trails dance event will celebrate the work of English Romantic painter JMW Turner.
A free art exhibition, Signifiance: Painting Beyond Borders, will feature works from acclaimed contributors John Bunker, John Chilver, Phil Frankland, Gunther Herbst, Peter Lamb, Charley Peters, Simon Pike, Jessica Power, Michael Stubbs, Mark Wright.
Meanwhile, there’s also an important theme running through this year’s showcase.
Professor Stephen Davismoon, festival director and Dean of Hope’s School of Creative and Performing Arts, explains: “The theme of this year’s Angel Field Festival is ‘Strangers Transcending Borders’.
“2022 marks many historical and cultural anniversaries – perhaps the most pertinent to our community is the centenary of the Irish Civil War and the death of Michael Collins; the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday. This being the case the theme of our upcoming Angel Field Festival ‘Strangers Transcending Borders’ invites creative provocations linked to it.”
Audiences can experience On Common Ground, a collection of two short plays that explore both Irish history but also contemporary politics. There will also be a special screening of director Ken Loach’s hard-hitting 2006 film The Wind That Shakes the Barley, which is set during the Irish War of Independence.
Another highlight is Asylum Monologues, a heart-rending reading of first-hand accounts from those seeking refuge and who have to run the gauntlet of the UK’s asylum system.
Alternatively, head to the Festival’s Ticketquarter pages.
Strangers Transcending Borders
Friday 11th March 2022, 7pm
Preludios Nostálgicos/Impresiones Argentinas – María Luisa Anido
Three Ships – Errollyn Wallen
Finding The Way – Florence Anna Maunders
(F)rammenti – Nina Danon
Kinkachoo, I Love You – Phillip Houghton
Eleanor Kelly – classical guitar
Eleanor Kelly is a classical guitarist based in Merseyside, UK. A Liverpool Hope University Music alumnus, Eleanor graduated in 2016 and then went on to study in Spain on the prestigious Máster en Interpretación de Guitarra Clásica course at Universidad de Alicante with the world’s foremost performers and teachers. In 2021 she was selected as an International Guitar Foundation Young Artist and made her London debut as part of the scheme. In 2020, she was awarded a EuroStrings scholarship.
This programme of solo classical guitar music explores the ways in which we transcend borders through music.
Buffalo Brothers (featuring Sweet Beans)
Saturday 12th March 2022, 7.30pm
Born of the Manchester (UK) creative melting pot, Buffalo Brothers is a band that has quickly earned a reputation in its local stomping grounds for energetically executing explosive live sets of breathtakingly raw funk creations. The band’s members met whilst working as session musicians in Manchester’s thriving music scene, having worked together in various combinations on several projects including Blossoms, JP Cooper, Trio Valore, and The Guillemots. Their debut album, Fresh From The Horn, received praise from the likes of Huey Morgan and Craig Charles, who played a number of tracks on his BBC Radio 2 and 6 shows and invited the band to join him at his live Funk & Soul Club nights in various UK locations.
Buffalo Brothers will be supported by Sweet Beans, a riot-jazz-dark-funk-groove-punk band formed in Liverpool Hope University in 2018, who combine elements of insanity and musicality in equal measures. The band comes equipped with riotous horns, throbbing drums and mind-bending guitar which is guaranteed to get the feet tappin’ and the necks snappin’.
Monday 14th March 2022, 5.30pm
SynBia is a live performance work realised through the interaction and collaboration between various expressive mediums: digital sound and visuals, acoustic musical instruments, and motion capture of a dance performance. Wearable motion sensors act as the link between dancers and electronic musicians, with the performance manifesting as a feedback loop where sound and movement are continuously influencing one another. The performance aims to highlight the emergent properties of interdisciplinary interaction in reference to the biological phenomenon of symbiosis.
Liverpool Hope Composer’s Concert
Monday 14th March 2022, 7pm
This concert features compositions by Liverpool Hope students. The performers are a mixture of Hope music staff, students and professional musicians drawn from IMMIX ensemble and St Helens Sinfonietta. The compositions have been specially written for the Angel Field Festival and workshopped by the performers with the composers, an invaluable process that enables students to hear their work before the final performance and receive feedback from professional instrumentalists as well as their composition tutors.
Composers have been given an open brief regarding style, the only restrictions being the length (no more than five minutes) and instrumentation (oboe, clarinets, saxophones and bowed strings). The call for compositions was offered to Hope students at all levels of their studies, from Foundation Year to PhD! Expect to hear a wide range of chamber music, all being given its premiere performance.
Tuesday 15th March 2022, 7.30pm
Trails is an evening of extracts from the trilogy inspired by the work of landscape painter JMW Turner (1775 -1851) and created by Dora Frankel and composer Peter Coyte, with costumes by Kate Collins. The trilogy comprises The Unfolding Sky: Turner in the North 2013, Figures in a Floating Landscape 2019 and Tread Lightly on the Planet (to be completed 2022).
Together these works form a journey in time and space from 18th century Northumberland rural idylls and early industry to the present day climate emergency and our response. Dance and electronic music, mixed live on stage are fused in these works performed by dancers Luca Braccia, Livia Massarelli and Zara Sands. Dora curates the evening giving context to the works and sharing some thoughts about the process.
Fire & Flood; Queer Resilience in the Era of Climate Change (Screening)
Wednesday 16th March, 11.30am
An exclusive UK sneak-peek screening of a documentary project that tells the story of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and the fires in Santa Rosa, California, two-near simultaneous climate-related disasters in the fall of 2017, through the voices of LGBTQ people who lived through them and were part of the community response. The film explores the vulnerability of LGBTQ communities to climate disasters and also lifts up queer and trans strategies for resilience, transition, and survival.
Fire and Flood was piloted at the National LGBTQ Task Force’s Creating Change Conference in January, 2018, with positive feedback on the need for these stories in the LGBTQ movement.
Wednesday 16th March 2022, 6pm
Asylum Monologues is a rehearsed reading of interwoven first-hand accounts of peoples experiences of seeking refuge and the UK’s asylum system. Read by actors and performers, the reading offers a unique insight of the experiences and perspectives of refugees. Actors for Human Rights is a network of more than 700 actors across the UK who are dedicated to drawing public attention to human rights concerns. They respond to requests for rehearsed readings of their documentary plays and can go anywhere at any time. Ice&Fire is a theatre company and arts charity that explores human rights stories through performance. They put human rights at the core of everything they do to make accessible theatre for a wide range of audiences across the UK.
The reading will be followed by a Q&A Panel Discussion.
Please be aware that accounts of state, sexual and homophobic violence.
Queens of Albion: Bronze and Stone
Wednesday 16th March 2022, 8pm
In the days before Britain had been named, they were the first to set foot on the island. Sisters. Refugees. Shipwrecked and storm-weary. On the hunt for a home of their own. A land where they could live free.
So how come England has forgotten the story of its first (and fiercest) mythic mothers? Part history, part story-set, part straight-up rant, Queens of Albion aims to set the record straight. Fusing medieval poetry and contemporary spoken-word, it re-dreams our island’s story for an age of identity anxiety and falling statues.
Stephe Harrop is a contemporary storyteller, spitting out new words and re-spinning old tales to try and make sense of a crazy world.
“One of the punkiest storytellers I know. Really cheeky and always properly in the room and talking to actual people who get on buses and eat pizza and shout at the telly.” – Alys Torrance, Story Jam
On Common Ground
Thursday 17th March 2022, 2pm
To celebrate St Patrick’s Day, Liverpool Hope University Drama and Theatre Studies students and members of the community are presenting two one act plays with an Irish theme:
On Common Ground, by A C Courtenay
A piece of thought provoking theatre, addressing the politics, interrelationships and conditions of life in care. Here we see the struggles of immigration, compromise and a search for understanding. With everyone trying to find their own place, will they all be able to find a common ground?
Riders to the Sea, by John Millington Synge
The One Act Play Riders to the Sea was an important contribution to the Irish Literary revival. Premiered in Dublin in 1904, it explores the tragic power of the sea on island communities on the West Coast of Ireland. Synge, like his Spanish contemporary García Lorca, is noted for his rich poetic dialogue and his depiction of rural Ireland.
This performance will be a rehearsed reading of the play, directed by Niamh Malone, with a discussion contextualising the importance of the work of John Millington Synge and his contribution to Irish Theatre.
The Wind that Shakes the Barley (Screening)
Thursday 17th March 2022, 5.30pm
The Wind That Shakes the Barley is a 2006 war drama film directed by Ken Loach, set during the Irish War of Independence (1919–1921) and the Irish Civil War (1922–1923). Written by long-time Loach collaborator Paul Laverty, this drama tells the fictional story of two County Cork brothers, Damien O’Donovan (Cillian Murphy) and Teddy O’Donovan (Pádraic Delaney), who join the Irish Republican Army to fight for Irish independence from the United Kingdom.
The film takes its title from Robert Dwyer Joyce’s The Wind That Shakes the Barley, a song set during the 1798 rebellion in Ireland and featured early in the film. The film is heavily influenced by Walter Macken’s 1964 novel The Scorching Wind.
Widely praised, the film won the Palme d’Or at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival.
Signifiance: Painting Beyond Borders
Thursday 17th March 2022, 8pm (Private View in Cornerstone Gallery at 5.30pm)
The exhibition on display at Liverpool Hope Creative Campus’s Cornerstone Gallery, Signifiance: Painting Beyond Borders features works by John Bunker, John Chilver, Phil Frankland, Gunther Herbst, Peter Lamb, Charley Peters, Simon Pike, Jessica Power, Michael Stubbs, Mark Wright.
The show reflects the myriad ways the selected artists are pushing at and exploring the boundaries between old and new media, between our historically rooted modernist, medium-based understanding of painting practice and the contemporary critical discourse that attempts to extend or break it down. Feminist philosopher Julia Kristeva coined the term ‘Signifiance’ in order to address the intimate relations between human subjectivity and language. But might this melding of the terms ‘Signification’ and ‘Defiance’ be co-opted to explore a new kind of agency for the medium of painting within our technologically expanded, 21st-century image culture?
In this special event some of the artists and curators of the exhibition talk about the work and field questions from the audience.
After the Flood
Friday 18th March 2022, 7.30pm
Imagine if the world was almost destroyed and there were just a few survivors left. With the goal of building a new positive world from the wreckage of the past, what sort of music would the surviving musicians make?
After the Flood is a conceptual instrumental band hailing from Liverpool, UK featuring guitarist/composers Neil Campbell (Bulbs/Neil Campbell Collective) and Marty Snape (Mighty Zeb/Bulbs/The Hat Band), along with Roger Gardiner (Dead Poppies) on Overwater bass and Norwegian ace Viktor Nordberg on drums.
The band creates a pan-global acoustic-based music where each musician is an equal part of the whole. After the Flood’s music draws on minimalism, folk music, progressive rock, African, Indian and other indigenous musical styles, using polyrhythms, cyclical structures and tight arrangements but allowing pockets of space for improvisation and self-expression.
Original music performed will draw from the band’s 2018 debut eponymous album and also from Neil Campbell’s recent 2021 Klee Music release The Great Escape.
Saturday 19th March 2022, 6pm
Sheep is the ninth show from multi award-winning theatre company Naughty Corner Productions. After the show received a sell-out debut run and rave reviews in Liverpool last October, it returns to blow audiences away this March.
“He taught me how to tie a miller’s knot. So the rope wouldn’t slack under the water. And then I dropped him in the lake. Me oul fella turns to me and says “Boys cry. Men don’t.”
Five friends take a trip to the Lake District to relive their booze and drug-fuelled university days and to escape from their banal and disappointing lives. When they wake up to a sheep with its throat cut open and a used condom dumped on top of it, with no recollection of what’s happened, they are forced to confront the reality of who they are.”
“Back and Dickinson deftly capture the raw effects of toxic masculinity … It’s an arresting, trippy thrill of a show, captivating the audience from start to finish with sheer frivolity and at breakneck speed.” – Bido Lito
Nick James (Supported by Evie Moran)
Saturday 19th March 2022, 8pm
Nick James is a UK based male singer/songwriter with an original Motown and Pop sound that embraces a wide variety of music genres including Soul, Motown, Swing Pop, Rock, RnB and Modern Pop.
One of the Principal Singers in the ‘West End’ Show Thriller Live, he has also recently starred in an ITV singing show (Starstruck) due to be aired in February 2022 where he made the Finals and is currently part of theatre show All Singing All Swinging starring Ray Quinn and Shane Richie Jr, which tours around the UK reliving the era of the Ratpack.
Described by Getintothis as having ‘the voice to light up your life’, Evie Moran is a 20 year old singer-songwriter from Liverpool. With delicate vocals and an intimate style, Evie’s stripped back sets often have the effect of quieting a room and captivating an audience. Reflecting influences like Billie Marten and The Staves, her carefully crafted originals tell stories of love, dreams and nature. Her latest single ‘Dream’ is out now on Bandcamp and streaming platforms.