Sharing Stories From The City

Photography: Paul McCoy /

We’re delighted to bring you a brand new podcast, to help your daily commutes pass more smoothly, and to sate your search for audio nourishment. Hosted by writer and critic Laura Brown and Bido Lito! Editor-in-Chief Christopher Torpey, the Bido Lito! Arts + Culture Podcast focuses on some of the more interesting stories that lurk just below the surface of our vibrant art, music and culture scene. The monthly show will use mini-features to unpick some narratives that maybe haven’t been widely heard, and offer some alternative viewpoints from invited guests.

In our second episode, musician and songwriter NICK ELLIS takes us on a psychogeographic walk through the city, focusing on places that have particular resonance with his music. Ellis shows us how oral histories and layers of stories and tied into the fabric of our surroundings, and how we often ignore them as we traverse the city. Listen to this episode below, or subscribe and download via iTunes, Google PodcastsAcast, Stitcher or Podomatic (coming soon to Spotify). And don’t forget to rate us and leave a review if you liked the show!

From the centre of the court room in St. George’s Hall, Nick Ellis looks around him as he surveys the space he came to in 2015 to record the songs that came to form his Grace And Danger EP. Always looking for that extra element that makes the stories in his songs resonate, Ellis is an artist who looks outwards for inspiration, drinking in the inspirations of his surroundings and the people he encounters on a daily basis. This is what makes him the perfect person to take us on a psychogeographic walk through the city, peeling back the layers of characters and stories that we find all around us.

In this episode, join us as we follow Ellis around Liverpool, stopping off at various points in the city which are central to the former Maybes? guitarist’s solo music. The journey takes us to the Central Library’s Picton Reading Room, where Ellis performed a special show for LightNight 2018 that tied in with his 2017 album Adult Fiction; we walk along Dale Street, past the Town Hall and down to The Strand, passing the place where the photo of ‘the Invisible Gentleman’ for the cover of Ellis’ Speakers’ Corner album was taken; our wanderings culminate at the Pier Head outside the Museum Of Liverpool, where once stood an iron podium designed by Arthur Dooley and Jim Hunter, which served as a speakers’ corner. The podium was removed around 1993/94 and never replaced, and this came to be a focal point of Ellis’ most recent album, delving into the city’s deep-seated socialist history. It is from this that Ellis sees a split in Liverpool’s current fortunes, where a city built on a fierce social aspect is growing apart from these foundations due to the influx of people who come through and capitalise on the city’s assets without putting anything back.

"Like Hamburg, Stockholm, like San Sebastian: it’s a port mentality, the vibe of a port town. It’s a life force" Nick Ellis

The above quote comes from an interview we did with Nick Ellis in 2016, around the release of his Grace And Danger EP. The interview he did with Paul Fitzgerald echoes the sentiments brought up in the podcast, and prove further insight into Ellis’ workings as a musician. You can read the full interview here – and enjoy some of Paul McCoy’s feature photography from inside the St. George’s Hall Court Room while you’re at it. Since the time of this interview, Nick Ellis has released the albums Speakers’ Corner (2018), Adult Fiction (2017) and Daylight Ghosts (2016), all of which are available via Mellowtone Records.

The songs played on this episode are A Walk Through The City, Lawrence Road Breakdown, The Grand Illusion and Blue SummerFollow Nick Ellis on Twitter (@nickellis_music) to find out the latest details of where to see him playing live.

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