By Ade Blackburn
Liverpool has a host of hidden gems to discover, here’s a second selection of unique and culturally important venues and places that have helped shape the city.
1. News from Nowhere
News From Nowhere is Liverpool’s not-for-profit radical and community bookshop – established in 1974, and run collectively by a workers’ co-operative.
The bookshop is strongly committed to social justice, from challenging the power of corporate capitalism to breaking down prejudiced attitudes. They focus on subjects such as feminism, anti-racism, LGBT+, workers’ rights and also stock many local interest books.
A lovely shop to browse and discover new writers.
News from Nowhere, 96 Bold Street, L1
2. 24 Kitchen Street
With a storming mishmash of house, hip-hop, techno, electro and garage, there’s something for everyone at Liverpool’s 24 Kitchen Street venue. Head down on a bhangra/dancehall/soca night, or look out for samba dance and drumming nights for something a little different.
24 Kitchen Street has developed a multi-purpose events space in the Baltic Triangle and one well worth discovering to get a true flavour of Liverpool’s nightlife.
24 Kitchen Street, L1
3. Probe Records
The shop was founded in 1971 by Geoff Davies, a former carpet manufacturer who was fed up with not having anywhere to buy the kinds of records he liked. Quitting his job and pooling his £300 savings, Davies opened the first Probe Records on Clarence Street.
Due to its substantial stock of LPs and radical literature, Probe became a favourite within Liverpool’s alternative movement and relocated to Button Street. The new shop was close to the punk club Eric’s and became a hang-out in itself, gaining a legendary reputation as the cool place to buy music.
The shop is still going as strong as ever and is now located on School Lane, next door to the main Bluecoat building.
Probe Records, 1 The Bluecoat, School Lane, L1
4. Unity Theatre
Originally known as the Merseyside Left Theatre, the venue was opened in 1937. The theatre’s name eventually changed to the Merseyside Unity Theatre in 1944, as part of a national movement of radical and experimental theatre.
Located on Hope Place, in a former synagogue, the theatre has expanded over time to accommodate touring companies, as well as continuing to give crucial support to local talent.
In 2004, their acclaimed Unity Youth Theatre was established and the venue currently hosts and collaborates on the biannual Physical Fest with Tmesis Theatre.
Unity Theatre, 1 Hope Place, L1
5. Kazimier Stockroom
A one hundred capacity grassroots space for live music, comedy, film and more. The Kazimier Stockroom opened in 2019 and is a unique platform for the creative community in the city.
The space provides a safe little haven for local up-and-coming artists to place their shows, out of the open air and the busy surroundings of the Kazimier Garden.
Stockroom has also become a fixture of emerging talent on tour, featuring bands from all over the world, including acclaimed London art-rockers Snapped Ankles and the dark synth-pop of Los Angeles’ Riki.
Kazimier Garden, 32 Seel Street, L1