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Why Metal on Merseyside?

Another music website emanating from one of the most celebrated music cities in the world? “Why should I care?” you may ask.

Liverpool is indeed one of the most fabled cities for music on the planet, up there alongside the likes of Seattle, Nashville, and Los Angeles. Numerous books, newspaper column inches, tourist pamphlets, exhibitions, plaques, tour guides, and so on, chronicle the city’s music scenes (both past and present).

From Merseybeat to Eric’s to Cream, Liverpool’s music heritage is rich, varied and internationally recognised. Its contemporary live music scenes also appear to be thriving. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2018, research for Culture Liverpool revealed that live music constituted 44% of the city’s music sector turnover.

However, not all music scenes are equal. This was apparent in 2019 at the inaugural Liverpool Metal Music Conference where participants and audience members raised several key questions. Why have critically acclaimed emerging heavy metal acts such as Loathe and Video Nasties not been part of Liverpool’s major live music festivals such as Sound City? Why are major Merseyside metal acts such as Carcass and Conan so often absent from music heritage narratives generated about the city? What are the continued consequences of the loss of live music venues like the Lomax and gathering spaces like the Quiggins shopping centre that have previously been vital to the area’s rock and metal subcultures?

Liverpool Metal Music Conference 2019 (photo credit: Chris Everett)

The debates that arose from such questions were developed further at the launch of the book, Metal on Merseyside, late last year. The response to the book from the audience at the launch and from the wider rock and metal community inspired the formation of a collective that also calls itself Metal on Merseyside.

We are a range of individuals who are dedicated to raising awareness of heavy rock and metal music scenes within the Merseyside area and beyond. Our mission statement sets out our aspirations in more depth.

As this website grows, we want it to be a platform for others to share their experiences and understandings of heavy rock and metal within the Merseyside area (hence the heritage section on this site should be seen as a starting point, rather than a comprehensive ‘history’).

More importantly, we want this website to constitute a resource for members of local rock and metal music scenes to disseminate information about ongoing projects and events. We invite you to contact us to share your perspectives and to help us to nurture and support people who have too often been marginalized within a city region that is dominated by a select few narratives.

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