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Geoff Travis, Rough Trade, and the Culture of Independence.

On Fri 5 May we will be joined by Rough Trade records founder Geoff Travis for a discussion on the culture of independence. Sam Turner, part of the team at Bido Lito! who invited Travis to talk in Liverpool, has provided us with the blog below allowing us an insight into what we can expect from the event, how it came about, and why this discussion feels particularly relevant in Liverpool today.


Revolution is in the air in Liverpool this May, not only because of the current political climate and certain events on the horizon, but with the return of Writing on the Wall Festival too. The region’s premier literary festival has a sprawling beast of a programme this year with the timely theme of revolution at its core.

Here at Bido Lito! we are pleased to welcome cult indie figure Geoff Travis to Bluecoat as part of the festival. The Rough Trade founder has been involved in all kinds of revolutionary activity during the label/publishing house/management/shop’s 40-year history.

For the Culture of Independence event, Fri 5 May, Travis will be in conversation with our own Craig G Pennington in the Bluecoat’s performance space. On the agenda will be the ups and downs of running an independent record label. Travis will also discuss Rough Trade’s incredible roster of artists including The Smiths, The Fall, Super Furry Animals, The Strokes, The Libertines and Arcade Fire, to name a few. Discussion may drift to producing zines, setting up distributor Cartel and legendary shops Rough Trade East and Rough Trade West which have become a hub for all things indie in the capital.

Rough Trade’s story hasn’t all been plain sailing despite its unparalleled roll call of artists. The company went into receivership in the early 90s before being revived by the likes of The Strokes and their New Rock Revolution counterparts in the halcyon days of the 2000s. Travis’ passion for good music, DIY values and hard work have served him well however with the brand now firmly established, along with its legacy.

At Bido Lito! we too are very much advocates of such as attitude of independence. The Geoff Travis event is part of our new Membership programme which allows fans of Liverpool’s creative culture to experience a variety of aspects and revel in the city’s independent spirit.

One benefit of the membership is the Bido Lito! Social, a monthly showcase of the region’s best new artists. Bido Lito! members also get free access to a special event each month, such as a curator tour of the newly opened British Music Experience housed in the Cunard Building, and a radio workshop with the minds behind IWFM at the Invisible Wind Factory.

Liverpool is a very special city because of its independent attitude and we look forward to celebrating the creative culture which is buoyed by that spirit. Hear from someone who encapsulates this ethos on Fri 5 May.

Geoff Travis: Culture Of Independence takes place at Bluecoat on Friday 5th May. The event is free to Bido Lito! members or £6 adv tickets are available at bidolito.co.uk.

For more information on the Bido Lito! Membership go to bidolito.co.uk/product/membership 

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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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