Photography: Georgia Flynn / @georgiaflynncreative

In another project with the WIRRAL NEW MUSIC COLLECTIVE, Fresh Goods Studios, Astral Coast, Eggy Records and War Room Records are all teaming up to put on a combined show and recording process like the Wirral has never seen before. For FRESH GOODS BATCH ONE, the team of likeminded souls are bringing together a line-up of their favourite local artists for an intimate recorded gig in Fresh Goods Studios, intended to incubate a new collective of artists around a repurposed creative space. The studio, with its industrial high ceilings, is a converted warehouse space right in the heart of Birkenhead (near Birkenhead Park), and has seen the likes of Beach Skulls and EYESORE AND THE JINX pass through its doors recently to record their stellar new material. Eyesore are one of the acts returning for this show at the beginning of August, alongside BEIJA FLO, BILL NICKSON and SPQR.

We spoke to all the participating organisers about their thoughts on the upcoming event. Matty Freeman, who runs the Fresh Goods Studios, tells us to expect a “really cool venue with a chilled house party-esque vibe,” whereas Matt Hogarth from Eggy Records is more ambiguous and tight-lipped. He explains how the line-up of “wooly-backed outcasts from the outskirts” spanning a “vast range of genres” causes an element of unpredictability. With the possibility of “special guests, sporadic stage antics and the occasional shirt being thrown along with caution to the wind”, Hogarth boldly claims “the acts on the bill provide some of the most electric and mesmerising stage shows in the country.”

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What we do know is that the evening will feature a rare solo piano performance by Jo Mary’s very own, self-styled sleaze crooner Sam (which may never happen again!), while Eggy Records favourite honorary wool Beija Flo offers up enchanting song writing with a good kick of venom to it. Elsewhere, Bill Nickson shall warm the very cockle of your heart with some of the best lo-fi pop out there, tackling love, loss and mortality. The night’s heavier acts SPQR and Eyesore and The Jinx (Eoghan on drums flies the flag for the dark side) will be sure to test the building’s mortar with snarling post punk offered nice and fast.

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Eyesore And The Jinx

In an innovative move by the organisers, the live show will also be recorded, with two tracks by each artist being bootlegged to create a lasting artefact of the event and the special energy around the studio. Matty Freeman says “It’s important for new bands to have recorded material to use when they need it, and this is a way we can offer them something without it costing anything. The recorded music will be given to each band for them to be use as they please, whether that be B-sides, promo videos or a full live album release!” Joe Edwards from War Room Records elaborates: “If all goes to plan, it would be ace to put some of it out, as a limited cassette only EP or something, probably as a split release between War Room and Eggy Records.” Edwards continues, hinting that this might be the start of something special: “There’s already talk of doing more Fresh Goods nights, so a series of releases would be great – document each one and then do a ‘Best Of Fresh Goods’ vinyl release perhaps, then a 20 CD box set for with all the outtakes…” – before acknowledging he may be getting ahead of himself. At least there’s no doubts about their ambition.

In and around the studio, Freeman states that there are “always bands coming and going and crossing paths,” which develops a mutual respect as well as sense of community. A community that is inextricably linked to music is one that can only thrive; it creates more avenues for individuality and expression, and through a mutual understanding, it can create a more cohesive society between all ages and all walks of life – or musical tastes. Freeman agrees, telling us that “a dedicated music venue [in Wirral] would offer somewhere for new bands to meet, perform and develop. For fans it would be somewhere to go and enjoy this exciting new music. The Wirral has a great history of music and it is important that new music is championed if that is to be the case in the future!”

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Beija Flo

The desperate need for a live music venue in Wirral and the win-win situation that this can only bring is echoed by P. Lee, who runs Astral Coast Festival. He states how the area has “a rare talent of producing world-level outsider art,” yet it has been “starved of a venue for much too long, and it seems that now there is the appetite, ambition, and willingness to make it happen.”. He continues, “Everyone would win. Smaller towns than this have amazing, booming spaces for musical creation and performance, which ultimately leads to amazing booming musical scenes cropping up hand-in-hand. Musicians collaborate, challenge and learn from each other, meaning the music created is better, music fans have hometown heroes breaking out nationally and the musicians themselves have opportunities to be recognised for, and nurture their talents. So, everyone is a winner.”

"The acts on the bill provide some of the most electric and mesmerising stage shows in the country" Matt Hogarth, Eggy Records

With all this positivity and willingness to make this unique event a success, along with the determination for a new live venue, it seems a night difficult to miss. The community seems united in striving to mark the next chapter, and hopefully open the floodgates, of Wirral’s musical and cultural history. If you haven’t yet been won over by this eagerness surrounding the Wirral New Music Collective, I’ll leave you with Matt Hogarth’s words of Eggy Record’s last gig in Birkenhead (that helped to kick-start the WNMC); “The last time we did an event in Birkenhead we had Queen Zee filling out a tiny upstairs pub room for a night of sweaty carnage. It was probably the most intimate gig most of these acts will ever do again. Grab a ticket for a true ‘I was there’ moment that you can tell your poser nephew all about it when you’re fat and bald.”

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Tickets are £10 in advance and are extremely limited. Snatch yours up now to avoid disappointment: TICKETS.

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