A weekend of special events celebrating musician Captain Beefheart will be held in Liverpool later this year.
The programme will feature music, visual art, writing and performance as it marks 45 years since the cult American figure held his first exhibition of paintings in the city.
Taking place from 10-12 November, the events will aim to explore Captain Beefheart’s specific relationship to Liverpool, as his 1972 display took place at Bluecoat and he also performed his music in the city several times.
Independent curator Kyle Percy has joined forces with Chris McCabe, poet and head librarian of the National Poetry Library at London’s Southbank Centre; and Bluecoat’s artistic director, Bryan Biggs to organise the series of events focusing on Beefheart, who died in 2010.
The programme will include a performance by Captain Beefheart’s band, the Magic Band at Liverpool Philharmonic’s Music Room on 10 November as part of their final UK tour; and a symposium exploring the artist as a ‘20th Century visionary’ at Bluecoat on 11 November.
Plus 13 poets, including Patience Agbabi, Vahni Capildeo and Peter Finch, will perform new works produced in response to Captain Beefheart’s albums at Bluecoat on 11 November; and during the same evening District will also host a musical celebration of his with a line-up of artists including Dave McCabe, Edgar Jones and the New Joneses, and former Magic Band member Gary Lucas.
Then on 12 November there will be a walking tour of ‘Beefheart’s Liverpool’, starting at Bluecoat and taking in sites including the Stadium, Rotters Club and Probe Records’ first shop; and an exhibition, curated by John Hyatt, professor of contemporary art at Liverpool John Moores University, will go on display at Make on the North Docks showcasing art students’ work in response to Beefheart’s 1972 Bluecoat paintings exhibition.
The weekend of festivities will tie in with a display of archival material at Bluecoat relating to the artist’s visits to Liverpool, which will be on show from 21 October until 12 November.
Ahead of the events Bluecoat’s Bryan Biggs says: “We’re really looking forward to hosting the event, 45 years after Beefheart first exhibited here.
“The weekend will explore the idea of him as ‘total artist’ who moved between artistic disciplines, and frame him as more than just an idiosyncratic musician of the 1960s counter-culture who gave up music to develop a career as an expressive painter.
“The variety of events will spark interest and discussion with existing fans, but we also want to expose Beefheart’s art to new audiences.”
Tickets for all events apart from the Magic Band concert are available from Bluecoat, including special weekend passes priced £20/£15. Tickets for the Magic Band performance, priced £20, are being sold separately by Liverpool Philharmonic.