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SPRAY SHOP FUELLING LIVERPOOL’S UNDERGROUND RENAISSANCE

todayOctober 22, 2023 25

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SPRAY SHOP IS THE FORMER CAR GARAGE FUELLING LIVERPOOL’S UNDERGROUND RENAISSANCE

A 300-capacity former car garage, already attracting dance music juggernauts

Liverpool and music have always been a formidable duo. From The Beatles conquering the world, to Jamie Webster selling out venues all over the country; it’s is no different in electronic, with the city having produced a range of artists from across the dance spectrum — Rockman RockEvian Christ, Ultrabeat, Apollo 440Camelphat and more. It’s the birthplace of Cream, the club night-turned-mega-brand, first established in Liverpool’s now-closed Nation nightclub in the early ’90s before growing into a fully-fledged dance music juggernaut – attracting people from all over the country, and globe, to its later home in Wolstenholme Square.

However, it is a fair assessment to say that the clubbing experience within the city has struggled to match its empiric contribution to the world of dance music as seen in the ’90s to the early 2000s. Since Cream shuttered its doors in 2006, to focus more on festivals and international clubbing events — Liverpool’s once-blazing scene began to resemble more of an ember, muffled in comparison to thriving electronic meccas like Manchester and London. In recent years, there have been attempts to emulate the thousands-strong events seen in those cities, à la The Warehouse Project and Printworks — in particular Circus, an event run by former-Cream resident Yousef. Though markedly, these events have not found a home in the city centre – like the mega-clubs of years gone by – but instead on the outskirts of the city.

Vauxhall, which lies just north of the city centre, is home to a bracket of disused warehouses, dockyards and other former-industrial structures, and spent decades in decay before it was chosen to be the home of Everton’s new stadium. Recently, the Ten Streets Project has been launched, which aims to regenerate Vauxhall in the same mould as the large-scale redevelopment of the Baltic Triangle – or The Baltic – with which the city council invested in rehabilitating abandoned buildings and warehouses, into a burgeoning arts and community hub, brimming with bars, clubs and more.

But for now, Vauxhall acts as the unofficial home of Liverpool’s blossoming underground; its neglected facade hides a plethora of venues that have become mainstays for the city’s rave-inclined. On the larger end are Blackstone Street Warehouse and the Invisible Wind Factory; massive spaces with the potential to house thousands of dancers. While the area’s smaller, intimate venues have become driving forces behind Liverpool’s reconnection with its clubland roots — with clubs like Meraki and WaV providing a wide variation of underground sounds. While WaV primarily offers nights catered to fans of tech-house and techno, Meraki attendees can catch everything from minimal to jungle — booking a combination of hardworking local selectors and national and international names.

Written by: Mike Keet

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