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Stealing Sheep among performers as Bluecoat announces Liverpool Irish Festival events

Bluecoat, Liverpool’s centre for the contemporary arts, has announced its events for this year’s Liverpool Irish Festival.

From a unique collaboration between alt-pop group Stealing Sheep, contemporary dancers and an orchestral ensemble, to a discussion on the role of poetry and music in the life of James Joyce, the School Lane arts centre is home to some of the Festival’s highlight events.

The Liverpool Irish Festival celebrates the finest in contemporary and traditional Irish culture and Liverpool’s unique relationship with Ireland. With 50 events over ten days at more than 30 venues, the Festival runs from 15th to 25th October exploring music, performance, food and drink, art, literature, history, dance, theatre and film. Festival Manager, Laura Naylor said: “This year’s Festival explores counter- culture and independent artists creating new sounds with emerging acts on either sides of the Irish Sea.

“By matching emerging talent from Liverpool and Ireland with some of the most exciting music venues championing underground sounds in the city the Festival presents the cultural connections of two places tied together by a love of challenging the norm.”

In what is a grand finalé for the Festival, on Sunday 25 October at 6.30pm, Liverpool Irish Festival and Liverpool Music Week present Stealing Sheep & Immix Ensemble with contemporary dancers Fearghus Ó Conchúir and Aoife McAtamney.

Immix Ensemble are a new music ensemble working with traditional orchestral instrumentation to collaborate with Liverpool’s most exciting creative voices. Drawing on the talents of some of the region’s finest instrumentalists, Immix exists as a vehicle to champion the work of forward thinking composers, songwriters, bands and electronic artists, and to cast a spotlight on emerging talent.

Each concert features the work of a classically trained composer alongside that of a boundary-pushing songwriter, band or sound artist, with the aim of bringing together like-minded musicians. Also at Bluecoat, on Tuesday 20 October at 7.30pm, in James Joyce: Musician and Poet - Professor Matthew Campbell (University of York) and Dr Gerry Smyth (LJMU) discuss the role of poetry and music in the life of one of Ireland’s greatest prose writers, James Joyce. The event also features songs from Dr Smyth’s setting of Joyce’s book of lyrics, Chamber Music (1907).  Free, booking required.

On Wednesday 21 October at 7pm, The Writing on the Wall: A Visual History of Northern Ireland’s Troubles (book launch) presents an illustrated talk and Q&A to celebrate the launch of Stuart Borthwick’s illustrated book on the murals of Northern Ireland, published by Bluecoat Press. Free, booking required.

This is followed on Thursday 22 October at 7.30pm by Liverpool Poetry Café: Paul Farley. Born in Liverpool, with Irish heritage - Paul Farley is a well-known poet and broadcaster. His many awards include the 2009 EM Forster Award from the American Academy of Arts & Letters. His Selected Poems was published in 2014 by Picador. Born in Liverpool in 1965, Paul now lives in north Lancashire. With musicfrom Julia Rowe. Tickets: £5 / £3

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About the Bluecoat

Liverpool’s centre for the contemporary arts, Bluecoat showcases talent across visual art, music, dance, live art and literature. As the most ...

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