Some places beat their own chest too much. Liverpool, though, is humbler. It’s never lost its working-class attitude, even after it became the toast of Europe for its culture and given its reputation for throwing so many music stars into the mainstream.
We’re mad for it all. The docks. The Georgian streets. The Wheel of Liverpool that grabs your gaze at the waterfront.
The nightlife here is amazing too. And that’s what we’re going to focus on here. Because despite its size, the city has a crazy number of cool venues. Let us show you where to find them…
The Cavern Quarter
We should start at Mathew Street. This was the home of Merseybeat back in the 1960s, with the Cavern Club as its main stage. You can still catch a dozen buskers a night playing ‘Blackbird’, ‘Something’ or ‘Drive My Car’.
The alleys are very tight, pushing you into old pubs and towards statues and the Cavern’s Wall of Fame. It’s a chilled atmosphere when you’re two or three pints in.
Wherever you are in Liverpool, it’s tough to avoid music. But there’s more than flop-haired guitarists these days. Right now, the city’s in love with soul, hip-hop and dub: artists like Winston Surfshirt and Childish Gambino are a big influence. See what’s turning people on and leave the Cilla Black wig at home.
Anyone who goes to Concert Square never leaves the same. It’s a jungle, an open forest of bodies where you can barely swing to the next shot glass.
So pick your club poison. 80s nostalgia? Go wild. What about disco tunes with a Notorious B.I.G. medley? There’s a fair few basements with your name on them.
Then grab some shisha. Blink at the red neon at 2AM and realise you don’t know your way back to the hostel, but you also really don’t care. Hens, stags, students and all the in-betweeners could count this as the best night out of their lives. And it just might be.
Royal Albert Dock
We’re all romantics at heart, right? The docks are waiting to coax that side of you out. They’re barely 10 minutes from the city centre, marked by the old tan brick storehouses that have been converted into bars, souvenir shops and oyster restaurants.
Couples tend to be everywhere, sticking like barnacles to the benches and fixing their love padlocks along the riverfront. Then again, you can just be mysterious on your own, peering across to Birkenhead. Chew a toothpick. Wear a sailor’s hat. People might ask you for a picture.
When you’re done being a seadog, turn back to a string of low-lit drinking dens. There’s the occasional food fest too, which might just set you up for a trip on the Eye.
The Baltic Triangle
Amble a little way east, and you’ll find the weirdest side to Liverpool nightlife – which obviously means you can’t afford to miss it.
This is a place for the castaways. The house music devotees. All those beard-tickling gin and ale connoisseurs, who need to see open casks or else smell a fake. The Baltic Triangle is like a communal squat, where shabby historic buildings hide a multitude of sins.
We’ve seen fire eaters on these streets. Psychedelic festivals. Grime artists playing to 100 people. And for the notorious warehouse raves, a swarm of black cabs trying not to crash into each other. Definitely check it out.
Forget Strawberry Fields; this city’s redefining itself through an ever-evolving party culture. And Fatsoma are right there with the best Liverpool events where people can be who they want to be. Take life on their terms. The Scouse spirit doesn’t allow for anything less.