Howard Monk talks The Local at Liverpool Sound City

  • Howard Monk
  • 2018-04-16

The Local will present a selection of emerging folk and indie rock acts at this year’s Liverpool Sound City in Birdies Bar on Saturday, May 5th. We spoke to The Local’s founder Howard Monk about his experience booking acts and getting involved with the multi-venue festival.

We’ve got some great acts playing and our challenge is to find a way of having people come to our thing over the other shows that are happening at the same time!

Tell us about The Local. What got you started as a promoter?
Promoting my own bands and working on events while at university.

Who were your biggest influences?
Probably bands really - just wanting to do things they did. Although when I got started organising shows, ATP was doing very well and I was very envious! (I nearly worked for them - we did some co-pormotes once).

Can you remember the first bands you booked?
Yup: American Analog Set, Nina Nastasia, Les Savvy Fav

Who have been your favouite acts you’ve booked?
Loads. It would be easy to name the acts who have gone on to be much bigger here but that wouldn’t be always true (that I like/still like their music). But I can always enjoy listening to Shearwater, David Thomas Broughton, Nina Nastasia, AAS. Loads and Loads. I think that I usually really love the bands I put on.

Any favourite venues?
The Lexington, owned by the lady who had The Buffalo Bar back in the day which was ace. Paper Dress Vintage, Servant Jazz Quarters, Bush Hall. Elgar Room at Albert Hall. Cecil Sharp House. Smaller ones mainly. Bigger ones - Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall.

Tell us about getting involved with Liverpool Sound City. How did that come about?
I met Dave and Becky yonks ago on foreign trips. We got on well! The Local did a few shows at LSC a while back and I suggested we do it again. And they said yes, so that was nice. I’m really looking forward to it!

What challanges does booking for a major event present?
We’ve got some great acts playing and our challenge (along with the acts) is to find a way of having people come to our thing over the other shows that are happening at the same time! Never easy!

How have you approached this year’s Liverpool Sound City?
We’re pretty much showcasing our booking roster with a couple of added newer acts.

Your stage will be in Birdies Bar. What does that mean for you?
I’ve never been! It looks like a nice place. Perhaps one that doesn’t always have live music, so that will bring it’s own challenges. But I’ve always enjoyed putting on shows in unusual places!

Who have you got in store for us?
Sean Christopher, Samana, Hawk, Maria Kelly, Mathilda Homer and Nathan Harrison. A mixture of dreamy folksters and proggy indie stuff. Dead dead good!

Which acts are you most looking forward to seeing?
I’d like to see Superorganism on the Sunday.

What’s been the biggest challenge this year?
Availability, and money. ALWAYS!

What else has The Local got in store for 2018?
We’ll do The End festival again in November, and we’ll have some excellent shows over May and June but we start next Tuesday with The Horse Loom at Aces and Eights in London!

HAWK and Maria Kelly play The Local’s stage at Birdies Bar for Liverpool Sound City. Watch a song by each on the YouTube embeds. For more news and information about The Local go to; for Liverpool Sound City details go to

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