Stephen Langstaff in concert. Photograph by Ian D. Hall

For fans of Liverpool’s vibrant music scene, there is one weekend that stands out above all others during the calendar. The Mathew Street Festival is a chance for music lovers from Liverpool and beyond to come to the biggest free open-air street festival imaginable.

This weekend has the added bonus of Liverpool Echo’s music writer Jade Wright announcing the New Band Stage at the iconic Eric’s venue on Mathew Street.

Ethan Allen, the music director at Eric’s said, “This year sees the launch of our new music festival at Eric’s. We’re proud to announce the new band stage, curetted by Liverpool Echo music writer Jade Wright. We’ll be bringing some of the U.K.’s best bands up for the weekend from places such as London, Devon and Brighton. Look out for These Reigning Days, 4th St Traffic and The Last Carnival, along with Liverpool’s Cold Shoulder, Kids on Bridges and singer Stephen Langstaff. Mathew Street is in for a real treat this year, and all for free!”

“We’ll also be running our Rubber Soul live music festival again on Mathew Street, with the best covers bands in the northwest, we’ve got solo performers at Mathew Street Live and we have Ian McNabb and The Merseybeasts both playing at the Water Street stage”.

Echo music writer Jade Wright said, “It’s a real pleasure to be working alongside Eric’s to curate this stage for the Mathew Street Festival. The Mathew Street weekend is one of the city’s biggest parties of the year, and it’s only fitting that original music should play a big part in that.”

“The best part of my job is discovering and championing new music. With this line-up we have put together a real mixture of bands from around the country, taking in a wide variety of styles. I’m particularly looking forward to seeing Liverpool band Cold Shoulder. Formed from the ashes of The Black Velvets and The Aeroplanes, they are always a great live band. We’ve tried to keep the focus on the ‘new’ element – some of these bands have been together for a year or less so it’s all about potential. It’s fantastic to put that on in a venue that has such a strong reputation for nurturing new talent. Bands from around the country cite Eric’s as being pivotal to their success. Here’s hoping that we can help build on that for a new generation.”

“So if you’ve had your fill of tribute bands, pop down to Eric’s for a free showcase featuring some of the best up and coming new bands – and remember where you saw them first.”

One of the highlights over the weekend has to be Liverpool singer Stephen Langstaff who plays the Jade Wright New Music Stage at Eric’s on Monday 27 August at 7pm. His music has been compared to the late Jeff Buckley and Tori Amos. This will be an intimate gig for Stephen who has played at the Echo Arena, Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, the main stage at Chester Rocks, as well as playing the summer festival circuit this year. “I’m really looking forward to playing Eric’s. The atmosphere really changes in the city centre during The Mathew St Festival and there is always a real buzz about the place.”

The running for both days is as follows.

Jade Wright New Music Stage
Eric’s, Mathew St

Sunday 26 August

5pm. Alex Hulme
6pm. Robert Vincent (band)
7pm. Cold Shoulder
8pm. Kids On Bridges
9pm. These Reigning Days

Monday 27 August

5pm. 4th Street Traffic
6pm. Robert Vincent (band)
7pm. Stephen Langstaff
8pm. The Last Carnival

The Mathew Street Festival is always a great chance to discover new music to fall in love with, this year is no exception.

Ian D. Hall