Returning for its second year, next month's Liverpool International Festival Of Psychedelia (27-28 September) is bigger than better than ever with a host of internationally acclaimed acts. In a guest column for Q, Ade Blackburn from hometown headliners Clinic looks at how psychedelia has grown from music's fringes into a internationally thriving scene.
I first got into psychedelia, through the Pebbles and long forgotten but classic Eva compilations. Liverpool was awash with those albums in the 80s. Even the uncool shops stocked them. From there a whole new and bizarre world opened up, the likes of which I thought we'd never see again...
Somewhere in the middle of the last decade, the neo-psychedelic movement slowly but surely started emerging. A key element was the return of a DIY ethic. Through the internet, and specifically social media, a global psych village got it together. The general aim being to blow people's minds, while helping their fellow heads and not ripping off the kids. For the likes of Wooden Shjips, Thee Oh Sees and Follakzoid, it's been far more about imagination than money. As a result, the psych movement has been a rejection of the safe and staid corporate indie we've been bombarded with this century. Psychedelic has become a byword for inventive music, whether that be the electronica of Warm Digits or the heavily processed guitars of Tame Impala.
Unlike the original late 60s bands (Elevators, Red Crayola et al) or even the 80s' Paisley Underground Of The Rain Parade, it's a far broader church and less guitar obsessed. Hopefully this should serve the scene well and prevent it from becoming just a flash(back) in the pan for the media.
Our present day take on multi - dimensional sounds, was really put on the map with the Austin Psych Fest, set up by The Black Angels in 2008. A truly inspired gathering, that finally gave all things mindbending their own platform. 2013 saw stunning sets from Goat, Black Mountain and the godfathers of note manipulation Silver Apples.
Indeed, here in Britain we now have our very own festival. The magnificently titled Liverpool International Festival Of Psychedelia, which works as a kind of sister event to Austin. Now in it's second year, Liverpool is spreading the word via a grittier club atmosphere. The festival covers smaller niche labels such as Chicago's Trouble in Mind records, warped electronica and even symposiums on what constitutes mind expanding music.
Naturally, some of the leading lights also get a look in, with Moon Duo, Ty Segall's Fuzz and Dead Meadow all playing headline sets at this September's event. The result of all this mayhem and psychosis, has been a global scene from Santiago to Berlin (rumoured to be next in line to host their own festival). People making things really happen on a shoestring, without relying on record companies and big money. Now that truly is psychedelic. Ade Blackburn @clinicvoot