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,





Paul Van Dyk

This weekend, it is finally upon us – the 10th anniversary Creamfields event. It’s the biggest event in Liverpool’s clubbing calendar, one of the largest dance music festivals in the world, and is attracting some of the biggest names in electronic music to the region.

Undoubtedly one of these is Paul Van Dyk, the German trance pioneer whose career has been intertwined with Creamfields since the event’s inception in 1998.

“Obviously Creamfields and myself have a big shared history,” he says. “1998 was the first time I played Creamfields, it was their first event and it was also the first time I played ‘For An Angel’, which as you can imagine is a quite a memory. And things have picked up from there somewhat.”

It was ‘For An Angel’ that turned the Berlin-born DJ into a household name, and he has been a regular fixture at the festival and other Cream events ever since.

“I’ve seen it grow,” he says. “I’ve seen the changes that were made, and the dos and don’ts that happened. Still, at the same time, something that is always visible with the festival is the passion and effort that the team is putting into the festival. It’s not just the overall feel that’s cool it’s also in the detail. And it’s obviously something that matters to a lot of people, and why a lot of people repeatedly say that it’s one of the best festivals in the world.”

In addition to gracing the decks of Creamfields, Van Dyk was also a regular fixture at Cream club events when the Wolstenholme Square site was in its heyday – something else which also provokes fond memories.

“I remember playing the Courtyard and it all going off absolutely crazily,” he says. “It’s just one of those venues. They have great rooms and great people playing in them. I remember a time when Paul Okenfold was playing at the Annex, I was playing the main room and Nick Warren was playing the Courtyard, all at the same time. Can you imagine, one club, on one night? What a line up!”

He refuses to be drawn on who on the Creamfields line-up he’s looking forward to seeing himself, but he will, it seems, enjoy the backstage banter almost as much as the crowds:

“One thing that I can say I’m looking forward to is the fact that a lot of the DJs and acts that are playing there are very good friends of mine, but obviously we don’t se each other that much because we are always travelling. So those festivals are always a chance for us to get together and have a good time. So it’s an extra bonus for playing the festival.”

By Kenn Taylor

Saturday 23rd-Sunday 24th August,

Creamfields UK 2008,

Daresbury Estate,



Saturday day ticket £57.50 plus £5.00 booking fee
Sunday day ticket £53.50 plus £5.00 booking fee
Weekend ticket (without camping) £105.00 plus £10.00 booking fee
Weekend ticket (with camping) £115.00 plus £10.00 booking fee