October 27th 2020

On Record – Celebrating black music in Liverpool

A festival of celebration and exploration of black music on Merseyside and the role it has played in communities over the past 70 years will launch online this week as part of Black History Month – From 5pm on Friday 30th October.

Curated by LCR Music Board member, Yaw Owusu (The Playmaker Group / LIMF), On Record will host a vast array of specially commissioned original content including streamed performances, exclusive in-conversation events, film screenings, podcasts and an exhibition.

On Record has been funded by Liverpool City Council, and partners including Liverpool City Region Music Board, National Museums Liverpool, University of Liverpool and the Liverpool Philharmonic.

The festival kicks off with a very special – and important – evening of entertainment on Friday, including performances by The Real Thing, The Christians, Jennifer John and Sense of Sound and Mic Lowry.

It will also include a debate around black music and its significance in the past, present and future of Liverpool’s ever-evolving music scene, and will feature Africa Oyé CEO Paul Duhaney, DJ and broadcaster DJ 2Kind, The Farm’s Peter Hooton Bluecoats Artistic Director Bryan Biggs, Positive Impact’s Barbara Phillips and Liverpool’s Head of UNESCO City of Music Kevin McManus.

Some of the commissions are:

  • Untold Stories – Short documentaries will shine a spotlight on important venues, events, songs and stories within the black music scene in Merseyside both in the past and the present. They are entitled Classic Kirklands, Tents, Sounds and a 50 Pence Piece, Listen Up! and Take Note and were produced by Jernice Easthope.
  • AMALGAMATION by Jennifer John – Liverpool artist Jennifer John will work her musical magic, merging songs and sounds which reflect the Black Lives Matter movement of 2020.
  • On Record x Culture Deck Live Sessions – Enjoy six live sessions by a variety of diverse emerging Merseyside-based black music artists including Tee, IamKyami, Ty Lewis and many more.
  • Champion One! Champion All – In partnership with National Museums Liverpool, this digital exhibition by photographer and activist Anthony Wilde showcases 32 Merseyside people who are, or have, contributed positively to the black music scene.
  • On Record x The Group Chat Podcasts – A series of four podcasts that will spotlight and delve into the craft of various black music professionals include hot DJ Hannah Lynch and stalwart Kof.
  • Beneath The Merseybeat Podcast – The team from Mellowtone and Next Stop New York give a fascinating insight in to three decades of black music in Liverpool, focusing on the 1950s to the 1980s.
  • In the Mix – in partnership with Toxteth Community Radio enjoy the ultimate playlists from the 80s to current day, mixed by some of the city’s most important DJs.


Curator Yaw Owusu, said: “On Record is a real reflection of what is often untold in mainstream discussions about Liverpool’s music culture – that black music has and still does influence and inspire so much that makes the scene so special. On Record is a celebration and exploration of this.

“One of the aims of On Record is to bring together a thought-provoking and engaging programme which inspires debate and discovery, and On Record does exactly that. It’s a strong, diverse festival that will hopefully do some justice to this fascinating subjects and demonstrate how black music is a cornerstone of this great cities musical prowess.”


Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for Culture, Tourism and Events, Councillor Wendy Simon, said: “This has been a challenging year for events, but the transition to online means we can still engage with audiences and continue to showcase important, cultural events such as On Record.

“There are some incredible names involved in the programme which will inevitably generate some thought-provoking debate accompanied by an incredible soundtrack charting some of the best music from the last seven decades.

“I encourage as many people to tune in across the four weeks and enjoy this free, musical gem.”


Head to www.limfestival.com/onrecord for all the details and see brand new content added each week until Sunday 29 November.

For full details of other events which mark Black History Month, head to www.cultureliverpool.com/bhm.