Mello Mello Liverpool Faces Closure!

Oh, shameful news. The Liverpool City Council strikes again… just a few days after we put a night there (coincidence of course, ha!)

Dirtblonde live at Mello Mello, Liverpool

Dirtblonde live at Mello Mello, Liverpool

Today’s post was supposed to be just a quick round up of Dirtblonde’s latest gig, which took place at Mello Mello in Liverpool, last Wednesday. But just last night, news came in that the popular venue is now facing closure, thanks to the Liverpool City Council, who once again seems hell-bent on destroying all that’s fun, bohemian and non-corporate in Liverpool.

Just a few days ago, we had a great time there, putting the latest Dirtblonde gig. We were supported by two ace bands – Beach Skulls, and SeaWitches (who just keep getting better and better!). We had some cool film projections, psychedelic lights and everyone seemed to have a great time.

Afterwards, an influx of happy drunk students flooded Mello Mello, all dancing to the “Dirtblonde Sound System” DJ playlist, which included Azaelia Banks’ ‘212’ (we just GOT to always play it!!!), Wugazi (‘Sleep Rules All Over Me’), Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd (‘Candy And A Currant Bun’), Lee Hazelwood & Nancy Sinatra (‘Some Velvet Morning’) and lots of the usual (for us) obscure 60’s French psych, which I’m obssessed with at the moment!

In short – it was great, cheap fun, that could only have happened in Mello Mello, a place that was cheap for us to hire, with good sound and a friendly staff.

We had many good times there (usually at Pete Bentham’s Free Rock & Roll…) and it’s a shame that now it’s seriously facing closure. We hope that the artistic community in Liverpool will once again fight – and beat – the Liverpool City Council! As  the Keep Streets Live campaign showed, when people get together for a good cause, we can fight the law and win!

 We urge anyone reading this to sign the Mello Mello petition, to stop Liverpool City Council from closing the venue!

Finally, here’s a statement from Mello Mello: ‘Liverpool City Council is set to force MelloMello CIC out of business. We will NOT let this happen.

We will fight Liverpool City Council’s unjustified and unexpected decision to slash our business rates relief from 80% to 0%, to demand £30,000.00 a year and force MelloMello into administration. We intend to explore every possible avenue available to us as Liverpool City Council have left MelloMello CIC, its employees, its customers, its users, its local community with nothing left to lose other than everything.

MelloMello was founded, run and staffed by volunteers who have turned a previously derelict building into a vibrant artistic hub of activity and business. The closure of MelloMello will result not only in the loss of facilities for grassroots artistic endeavours but also the loss of over 20 jobs, the loss of trade for other local independent businesses, and the loss of income of ANY business rates for the Council.

MelloMello has never received funding, grants, sponsorship or investment in order to grow. The success of MelloMello is that it has grown out of, quite literally, nothing into one of the city’s favourite bars/restaurants/venues.

‘For the Council to force MelloMello out of business by taking away the only charity it has ever relied upon sends out a clear message of cultural indifference, a blatant lack of acknowledgement for the people who have managed to build a sustainable not-for-profit business out of nothing, and serves as yet another affront to Liverpool’s musical, artistic and creative communities.

MelloMello is worth saving, because once it is gone you will never see anything like it again.

We must ACT NOW to SAVE MELLOMELLO, we must let Liverpool City Council know that MelloMello WILL NOT CLOSE DOWN without a FIGHT.



Dirtblonde Play Snub Festival @ The Masque this Sunday!

The Snub Festival @ The Masque is an event for some of the bands who have not been selected to play at Liverpool Sound City this year. Dirtblonde is one of them and we’ll bring 20 minutes of noise to The Masque loft this Sunday 22nd May. We’re onstage 5.40pm.

Snub festival @ The Masque

Snub festival @ The Masque

How apt! If there’s one band who’s been consistently snubbed by Liverpool Sound City, it’s Dirtblonde! Let’s see:

  • In 2009, Dirtblonde were the only one of the Liverpool bands playing at SXSW who were not invited to play at the Sound City showcase at the Austin, Texas festival.  Instead, The Lost Brothers, who entered the festival as an Irish band and are based in Dublin, were chosen to play at the” Best Of North West” showcase.
  • At the Liverpool Sound City 2009, Dirtblonde were indeed booked to play. That was the first and only time we ever played at Liverpool Sound City.  But no one bothered to contact us to let us know, and we only found out by casually browsing throgh the pages of the Sound City programme, when we saw that “Dirt Blonde” (sic!) were playing. They didn’t even list our site on the bands links directory.
  • And that was a shit gig… you’d think that after a triumphant SXSW, where we were probably the most praised Liverpool band (named one of the Top 8 UK “must see” acts by the local press, and having played at a more prestigious venue than the other new Liverpool bands, besides having DJed at a big magazine VIP party) maybe Sound City would pay a little more attention to us and treat us with more consideration – like the fucking good band that we are! But, alas that wasn’t the case.
  • To top it all – one of the first persons to play Dirtblonde on radio was KCRW’s Nic Harcourt, considered America’s most influential DJ. And guess what? In 2009 he was a Liverpool Sound City keynote speaker!!! So, in Sound City’s view of things – we’re not good enough to play at their festival, even though an influential DJ who they picked as keynote speaker thought we were good enough to be played on radio!!! Ridiculous!!!

And as if all these little things were not annoying enough…guess what happened at the School Of Rock event at Parr St studio, almost one year later? It was a talk about how to get your band to play at SXSW 2010 and…they mentioned Dirtblonde in the same breadth as the other Liverpool bands who played at SXSW,  as if Sound City and UKTI North West had anything to do with us playing South By Southwest! One friend of ours had to stand up and say “hang on a minute, Dirtblonde went to SXSW on their own!”.

So…it really pissed me off. These people never helped us and then wanted to somehow take credit for whatever little success we achieved on our own.

Liverpool Sound City claims to be a platform to showcase local talent, and here we are, once again ignored by them!  Dirtblonde are certainly better and more talented than many bands playing at Sound City this year…

Anyway. Sod it. Fuck Liverpool Sound City. Sure, I feel bitter and angry about them because they have been assholes to us, and a gig is a gig… it feels like we are missing good opportunities to show our music to new fans. But we know we don’t really need them, thankfully!

So if you’re in Liverpool, come and check us out this Sunday at the Masque! Entry is only £1 and we’ll rock the place…as usual.

…”School Of Rock” for bands who want to go to SXSW? Nah!

According to a Liverpool Daily Post article yesterday, Parr Street studios in Liverpool will host next month a “school of rock” event to help Merseyside musicians to go to South By Southwest (SXSW) festival next year.

I say…silly, billy. Dirtblonde went to SXSW 2009 without any help from Liverpool Sound City, UKTI North West etc.

Not that we didn’t try to get help from them…we sure did, but in the end we were probably deemed not good enough for them, or whatever was their reason.

But did it stop us? No it bloody didn’t. If you believe in your music, you should just go for it, bite the bullet, risk it all. If you have the will to cross an ocean for your music, you can do anything. This is rock’n’roll.

No one really needs the approval of bureaucrats…how rock’n’roll is that?

And in the end, it was totally worth it. We had an amazing time in Austin, we just loved it. 

People loved us too, and proving that money can’t buy everything, Dirtblonde’s one and only official set at SXSW 2009 took place at a better stage than that of ANY of the other Liverpool bands who Sound City took to the festival (Hot Melts, Wave Machines, etc).

AND, on top of it all, we were the only Liverpool band named as a “must-see” highlight of the festival, as the local press listed us alongside names such as Primal Scream! And we achieved this despite the fact we didn’t enjoy the publicity push that all the other Liverpool bands, who played at the Sound City BBQ, enjoyed.

The lesson? If you’re in a band and you want to go to SXSW 2010 and want to attend all that school of rock crap, apply for funding etc etc, ok go for it, you got nothing to lose! But in the end, if you can’t get the support of all those “official” bodies, you should still try to do things by yourself…it can be worth it!



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