Liverpool is known throughout the world for being a city of music, with an amazing musical heritage stretching back to way before The Beatles, and a current scene to be rightly proud of. There are lots of venues supporting local, national and international musicians, The Zanzibar, Mello Mello, O2 Academy, The Kazimier, Lomax, The Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, and Leaf to name a few. There are also many talented local promoters who are supporting local artists and bringing exceptional touring musicians to the shores of the Mersey. The UNESCO City of Music award shows how confident we are about the range and diversity of Liverpool’s music.
So… with all of this music around, where is the recognition for songwriters? There are national and international competitions, and Wirral Folk Festival recently had one as part of its Fringe. But what happened to the On Song Festival, last seen in 2008, and the Linda McCartney Centre Acoustic Songwriting Competition, also last seen the same year? Even before this Liverpool used to have an annual songwriting competition but that’s now shrouded in the midst of time.
Here at Liverpool Acoustic we wanted to start a songwriting competition but rather than just run it as a straight contest we thought it would be more interesting to make it a bit different. The people of Liverpool love their art, and this is reflected in the success of the Walker, Tate Liverpool, John Moores Art Prize, the Biennial, the Liverpool Art Prize, and the myriad of independent galleries across the city and beyond. Given that the home of Liverpool Acoustic’s live gigs for eight and a half years was the now closed View Two Gallery we thought it would be a great idea to combine art and music, as a way of showing just how creative Liverpool’s songwriters can be.
How it works
To enter the challenge a songwriter must choose a piece of art that inspires them. The art must be on public display in the Liverpool City Region (Wirral, Liverpool, Sefton, Knowsley, St Helens and Halton) for at least one day during the submission period. They then have until the end of the submission period to write the song, record it, and submit it along with a photo of the art and a copy of the lyrics. The judges then review all of the songs, rating them for lyrics, melody, composition, and originality. The top ten songs as rated by the judges go through to the Showcase Final.
At the Showcase Final, each finalist will perform an acoustic version of their song. During the performance the work of art that inspired each song will be projected onto the wall for everyone to see. Once all of the songs have been performed, the audience will vote for their favourite and the judges’ winner will be announced.
Full details of how to apply can be found here.