Soulful Vibes

If you want decent quality dance music in Liverpool, it nearly always means a trip to the city centre. The Soulful Vibes music collective however, are building a successful audience out in suburbs. Co-founder Gavin Kendrick explains the group’s origins:

“We started off just a group of DJs, producers, writers and musicians who were just interested in the culture of the city. There was a gap for the kind of music we were into, which is all strands of black music going back to the 60s, jazz, soul, funk, up to the modern day fusions of broken beat, techno and new disco, so we started putting a couple of nights on. We did parties at Quiggins, when that was still alive, then we moved to our biggest night, which was the Dragon Bar.”

Unfortunately, as we’ve documented before in Metro, the Dragon was forced to close, a real blow to the city’s quality dance music scene. Gavin still laments its loss, but like many others, Soulful Vibes has adapted and survived.

“The Dragon was an Oasis for underground dance music in Liverpool,” he says. “With its open-minded music policy it was a really utopian bar in the city, and when he closed it left a lot of clubnights homeless. What we did at Soulful Vibes is that we split our sound in two. The electronic sound moved to Parr Street, and we do a monthly night there playing some broken-beat, abstract future hip-hop and instrumental music like techno and new disco. The organic, live disco sound we moved to the Vinyl Bar on Lark Lane.”

And it’s at Vinyl that you can sample Soulful Vibes this weekend. Gavin explains the make up of the night:

“Vinyl shares a lot of characteristics of the Dragon bar, it’s underground, promotion is mainly done by word of mouth, and you get a good mixedcrowd. This week we have Sean Martin, who co-founded Soulful Vibes with me, and Disco Dick, his partner in crime, both big disco and funk collectors.”

But Gavin is keen to point out that Soulful Vibes is more than just a clubnight, it’s a real creative collective:

“We’ve got some of our DJs putting mixes up on the website. We’ve got guest mixes from Greg Wilson and Rune Lindbæk. They’re going through iTunes now as well, and they’re really popular. We’ve also got Sound, which is a small handmade magazine that documents all the things that we value in the city; music, art, literature, and that comes out about every two months. It’s all more of a concept really, an idea. That’s what unites people in Soulful Vibes, a love of ideas and using art in all its manifestations to help us think about the way we live and who we are.”

By Kenn Taylor

Soulful Vibes,


Lark Lane,