Winter Bouldering League and UV Night at the Climbing Hangar

When: March 11th, 6:30pm – 5am

Where: 6 Birchall St, Sandhills

We’ve visited indoor wall The Climbing Hangar for several years, and the entire time it’s been great with amazing staff and decent snacks and a bathroom with a SHOWER just in case you climb so hard you sweat i.e. never in our case.

Then, a couple of years ago, owner Ged had the bright idea of giving the place a glow in the dark makeover. Luminous handholds and art mysteriously appeared, whilst outdoors was developed into a BBQ area.

The winter bouldering league runs annually between October and March, so you’ve basically missed most of it, but not to worry! March 11th marks the end of Winter with the legendary UV night. You can climb on the night, or we suggest making a day of it so you’re less likely to fall on top of someone.

This is Ged being a rascal:


We wanted to hear what he had to say for himself, and it was all so eloquent we couldn’t trim it down.

Climbing changed my life in a way I never imagined before I started it.  I was always rubbish at team sports and left school thinking I was crap at sport, so when I tried climbing and was good at it, despite being terrified of heights, I really enjoyed it.  Still though, I thought it was just another sport, albeit a funky one. 

One day I found myself waking up in a cave overlooking the sea into a glorious sunrise and we cooked bacon on the camp stove before climbing on the sea cliffs for the day.  I never knew something like this might happen in my life, a flame of ‘Oh my god this is amazing’ exploded in my chest. I quit my job as a chef in Bournemouth and moved to Scotland to work in the mountains.

Before climbing my friends were my age and like me in background and perspective.  Now immersed in climbing some friends were older than my parents, some younger than my little brother.  Some were minted, others poor, our politics were diverse and the conversation rich.

The broad church of climbing changed my horizons and what I was to expect from life which was in essence ‘Time not money.’ It feels we live in a world where often income, education, gender, politics etc. divide us, even most sports divide us on abilities like speed or endurance, but indoor climbing allows us to participate together, at our own level of challenge.

 This glorious aspect of indoor climbing means I get to do my favorite thing with my favorite people, it means mums get to climb with sons, daughters with grandads and so on.  I was inspired to bring this shared space to as many people as possible and to break down social barriers so we all start talking to each other again – naively perhaps – I hope this will contribute towards a fairer, kinder society.

‘I go to Awesome Walls’ you say? Well y’know what’s good about the Hangar? Bouldering walls aren’t very close to the sky so you’re much less likely to need the UV coffin Ged has attached to the wall (we don’t know why either – you’ll have to ask him).


So, where did inspiration come for the UV parties?

Bringing art and new experiences into people’s lives is something that really excites me.  I was taken clubbing a few times in my early twenties and was stunned to discover that I liked dance music after being convinced that it was only the horrendous too loud to talk/trying to pull/trying not to get in a fight I grew up with.  People were nice, the music was good, the sound system didn’t give me tinnitus, there were chill out rooms for chatting, there was artwork and strobes and lasers! I always remember a man wearing a fish with a wavy tail as a hat…it was so colourful and loads of fun.  Best of all it was a surprise! 

UV night is a homage to those surprise nights out – I wanted to reinvent a familiar space, to take a crowd of climbers who were in the building to climb and get them climbing into a UV coffin on an overhang, swinging from fluorescent steel cubes swaying in space and basically being daft.  I was able to pool the creative talents of our customers for food, dance and fire performances, aerial silks, DJ’s and live bands, even the visuals!  Everyone was keen to get involved and make the event special – there’s nothing like collaborative work for inspiring creativity!  The night has grown every year and this year will see new creative action too – cannot wait!


There will be prizes, fire and circus performers, a slackline, digital visuals by Meat Cassette, live music and DJs, food and a bar as well as some surprises. If that all gets a bit too much or you need a power nap there’s the pirate ship.


It’s a really boss night and one of the highlights of our calendar. Everybody goes all-out, so stock up on your glow sticks and UV paint. Each year has sold out so grab a ticket from Eventbrite from February 8th, ranging from £5 to £20.

PS: No you aren’t allowed to climb drunk (they clocked onto that after the first event).



By Abby Boak


Sometimes I hate social media. But occasionally I utterly love it.

“Anyone free to give out free cookies with me next Saturday as part of #belovelyday?”

YES. Me! I’m in! Tell me a time and a place.

Saturday 23 January 2016 at the Brink in Liverpool, I met my friend in her lovely orange camper van. She’d baked over 300 gingerbread cookies to give out as part of Be Lovely Day 2016 and I volunteered to help (help to give them out; her baking skills are FAR superior!). We decided to drive a little, hanging out the window of her van, then park on Bold Street and walk up and down with our free, multi-coloured, sugary wares.


Sally and I enjoyed ourselves and each others’ company, and marvelled at the wonderful city we live in. However, there was a concerning detachment from a large proportion of our fellow Scousers that became more apparent as time progressed. There were three categories of people we met; the open, the reticent and the closed.

Open people greeted us with joyous smiles and cries of “How lovely!”, “Thank you!”,
“What a great idea!”. They dove into the colourful array of gingerbreads with child-like abandon and kissed and hugged us freely. Mostly they were in small groups, and a high proportion were with children. There was the original sole wanderer who smiled and coyly thanked us, and one or two who were evidently down on their luck and needed a sugar fix (we insisted of course that they had extra).

Reticent people fell into two categories- those who wanted to say yes but needed a little cajoling, and those who were just sceptical. The former had that little twinkle in their eye – the one that said their minds were telling them “This is a situation I’ve never come across before and I need to be wary”, but their hearts were screaming “OH YEAH! FREE COOKIES!!!!!!!!!!! WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR???!!! Most of these were women, and many commented about their figures or what they had already eaten. With some gentle persuasion (read mild bullying) they smiled and conceded that these gingerbread were more than exceedingly good.

The sceptics were mostly men; “What have you put in them?”, “Are they laced?”, “What are you selling to me?”. Again, Sally and I spent a little while explaining what Be Lovely Day was and giving never-ending smiles and reassurances, and most of them ended up tasting her delightful biscuits.

However,  a fair few people had that reflex response of “NO”, looking straight down at the pavement and scurrying along, or even after our patient explanation still were too wary to partake in the lovely gesture.

I’d like to state for the record that I am not judging those people who did not take our goods – everyone is on a different path, and for all I know, there could have been extremely urgent and pressing things they had to do.

It is more that I am concerned for them, for us as a race, for our beautiful city. It reminded me of the disconnect that our modern world creates between people. People are generally too wary of talking to others, people are pressured, people are too cut off, too isolated and have too much going on in their own heads to be fully open to experiencing what is actually going on around them.

One of the criticisms of Be Lovely Day is that you should be lovely EVERY day. Whilst I agree in principle, this little outing gave me a real insight into why we need opportunities to do kind things for strangers (or indeed people we do know) for no ulterior motive than being kind.

The more random acts of kindness that happen to a person, the more open they will be to realising that their fellow humans are just like them, trying not to suffer, searching for happiness, and wanting to find meaningful human connections in their day to day lives.

So go out, spread the word, and feel free to be the lovely person that you are!


Riverside Rebels “fresh meat” course

When: Sunday January 31st 6pm

Where: New Ferry Village Hall

The Riverside Rebels are opening their doors for a free roller derby taster session to mark a new intake of fresh meat over an eight week course.

We know we agreed to try everything once, but we meant everything except this because roller skates are the most terrifying invention ever. We’ve crashed our car three times so wheels really don’t agree with us.

Roller derby involves two teams of five skaters competing to score points by overtaking each other on a flat track. If nobody breaks a bone, even better.



Newbies are provided with skates and safety equipment but there’s limited availability so booking beforehand is essential. Extra info can be found on their Facebook.


Don’t Tell the Bride

‘Do you, Gobshite, take this Boss Bird to be your awful wedded wife?’
‘G’wan then.’

Don’t Tell the Bride is looking for Scousers to create comedy gold. Couples will receive £14,000 – that’s £2000 more than the last series – to spend on their big day.

The only condition is that the bloke must organise EVERYTHING, i.e. make sure the bride wants to rip his bollocks off for our entertainment. If he knows what’s good for him, he’ll spend that 14 grand on a gown by Thelma Madine.

To apply visit the Renegade Pictures website. It’ll be a laugh.


There’s a place in the Albert Dock where you can wash dishes, not get paid, and it be totally legal. Ziferblat (clock face) is an international pay by the minute anti-café chain at which customers pay for the time spent there, rather than the food. The emphasis is on taking your time.

Customers are welcomed and give their name at their door before serving themselves and washing their own dishes and paying on the way out.  So technically, if you could wolf down a loaf of bread in 60 seconds, you’d still only spend 8p. It’s unique in that everything you receive is free, from the cake to wi-fi. Even the toilet is free no matter how much of a stench you make. 

There’s a huge choice of drinks, biscuits, cakes, cereals and you can even make toast (our Spanish pal’s Marmite face was gold). There are 43 kinds of tea and a microwave so you can bring your own scran.

Keep an eye on the time though, because you could spend hours playing board games, records or the piano. There’s a children’s play area so they can be seen but heard a little less, and even dogs are welcome (as long as they don’t poo). Luckily after four hours your time is capped so the rest of the day is free – good thing only London has a designated nap zone.

This place is unique but not try-hard. It feels genuinely inviting and cosy, giving off a vibe something like a hostel crossed with the Brink. You would never think you were even in the docks, and it’s drawing in locals because they don’t need to take out a mortgage to eat.

Back in 2011, Ivan Mitin established Ziferblat in Moscow, its prototype a common space called the Tree House. Ziferblat began as a community of poets aspiring to progress their work.

The main concept of Ziferblat is not only to use an unusual pay system, but to create a space cushy as home where it’s comfortable for you to work and to entertain as well, a place where it’ll be easy to meet new people. One of the main Ziferblat’s features is a tendency to allow the guest to be autonomous, if you want you can become a part of the process: cook food and make drinks at the common kitchen, organize events. People aren’t paying for consumption; we pay for the space and they pay for the time, so it’s about participation. – Ivan Mitin.

As of 2015, Ziferblat has opened in four countries: Russia, Ukraine, Slovenia and the UK (London, Manchester). The Liverpool branch is located near the Tate and the sweet shop with a Sgt Pepper’s canvas made of jelly beans in the window.

Most of the photos below are swiped off the website, although it was significantly busier on Saturday afternoon.

The voluntary opportunities are interesting, too. For every hour you help, you will receive two hours free back – boss for those struggling to feed themselves or even just wanting to get out and people watch or meet others.





Illustrations by Hazel Bee

When we’re bored in town without fail we’ll wander into Utility and chuckle at these cards by Hazel Bee. We’ve seen the same ones countless times but they’re still boss. If Hazel created a comic we would read it.

This is our go-to design for basically anyone that needs a card whether they’ve died or given birth (Hazel, please replace ‘hangover’ with ‘popped out another didn’t I.’)



Each card is 100% recycled, fair trade and printed with vegetable oil in case you get hungry. Here are a few more of our faves:


And we don’t usually buy into Valentine’s commercialism but WHERE ARE OUR RALPH & ALAN PILLOW CASES GOD YOU’RE SO NEGLECTFUL.


If that’s not your cup of vodka, here are some more sensual designs:

For the full range of items including temporary tattoos HAHAHA DAD THIS IS THE 21ST CENTURY NOBODY CARES ABOUT FOREHEAD TATTOOS ANYMORE visit


Epicured on Gradwell St would be a great place to go on a first date/to dump someone. A meticulous mishmash of curiosities, Mickey Mouse is trapped in a net suspended high above brunchers whilst a book dedicated to 80s trainers is sooo interesting you just didn’t notice your ex drowning in a puddle of his own tears.

Gutted on said ex when he worked out the cheerful fire was just a projection so he couldn’t swiftly dispose of us, tho.


Aherm, anyway. The music was decent, with tunes like Lola, Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Jammin’. 

Epicured is a haven for beardy topknot pug enthusiasts. If there was a convention for these people they’d all be too cool to go, so this place lets them all pretend they discovered it and a wall is covered in hipster jeans in their honour. It’s dead cosy inside and we could have whiled away the whole afternoon there despite not being beardy topknotted pug enthusiasts.

Described as a ‘grazery and cocktail cocoon’, it  basically translates to fancy breakfasts,  tapas-style cured meats, cheese and bread with the option of sharing picnic blocks. To wait we were given popcorn, and between two of us we went for:

– patatas bravas, which promised to be ‘an epi twist on a classic’ (£4)
– sobrasada bonbons (£4.50)
– a little stew pot i.e. a daily changing mini stew or cassoulet ‘bursting with favourite cured meats and treats’ (£5)
– bread with olive oil and balsamic vinegar (£2.50)

An Independent Liverpool card knocked 15% off the bill – nice one! The food was tasty, well portioned and served on bondage paddles in case your ex decided to beat you to death instead.





There were plenty of carnivorous choices on the menu including Scottish venison salami and iberico bellota lomo, a ‘special treat from acorn-fed pigs’. Right.

As far as we could tell the only cheesy light bite was the torta canarejal (£12.50), a ‘dreamy, meltingly soft cheese for sharing + dipping’. We’d like to see some smaller cheese options that don’t resemble fondue ‘cos we happen to have a phobia of fondue (don’t ask).

We’re raring to try what else is on offer, and maybe even indulge in a cocktail next time. PS,  how boss is their bathroom?







Stay Beautiful Hoop Dance

When: Tuesdays 6:30pm

Where: Dolphin Dance Studio, Devon St

How much: £4.50

Native American hoop dance is a form of storytelling dance incorporating anywhere from one to thirty hoops as props. These props are used to create both static and dynamic shapes, which represent various animals, symbols, and storytelling elements. The dance is generally performed by a solo dancer with multiple hoops.

Don’t worry though, you’ll only have one. Or two.

Both beginner (Tuesdays) and intermediate (Mondays 6:30, Live Wire Dance Studio) classes are run by Kirsten, who also hosts Clubbercise AND can dance with fire. Baiscally, if you take all of our posts as gospel you’ll be as cool as Kirsten.

Photo by Tomas Adam

Hooping has re-emerged over the past few years, widely credited to jam band The String Cheese Incident. Members started throwing hoops into their audiences in the mid-1990s, encouraging fans to hoop and dance, spreading the word.

Not only is it boss exercise, you can also be one of those glittery pixie souls at festivals that CARRIES A HULA HOOP ALL THE WAY TO A FESTIVAL WHAT THE HELL WERE YOU THINKING.

And it isn’t just about gyrating ’til you get bored/are crap and letting it drop to the floor. Hoop manipulation looks dead cool and you’ll learn ‘on body’ and ‘off body’ tricks in the form of breaks, isolations, leg hooping and double hooping.

Hoops are provided and you’ll learn how to keep one spinning around your waist then add more tricks as the weeks progress into a basic routine. [Insert creative and original line about coming full circle].








The Brink

Look at it. Just look at it. They said the Egg’s cheese on toast would never be kicked off its throne, but there’s a new king in town. This isn’t just cheese on toast – this is the Brink’s Posh Cheese on Toast.

A wedge of freshly baked bread is smothered with Smoked Applewood, topped with optional parma ham. GET IN MY MOUTH. But it’s inside you’ll find the real surprise which really sets this apart, in the form of pickle. Now, we don’t care much for pickle, but we respect that the chefs plonk it in front of you without any hint on the menu because it’s for your own good, damnit. It’s truly glorious – just trust us.


Besides the sex on toast, this place is an absolute gem and so much more than your usual café bar. Based on Parr St, the Brink is revolutionary in its status as Liverpool’s first dry bar and provides a welcoming, creative space where people from all backgrounds and walks of life can dine, hang out, socialise and relax. The food is just as colourful as its mocktails and interiors, with ingredients locally sourced and meals lovingly prepared.


They’re passionate about promoting the health and creativity of their local community and work closely with local artists, musicians, poets and performers to produce a wide range of events (we love the Heartbeat Community group drumming). Best of all, The Brink is a recovery social enterprise, meaning all profits go directly back into the community to fund support for those who have suffered through alcoholism and addiction.

The Brink is one of our favourite places to while away lazy Sunday afternoons. You’re guaranteed to leave inspired and with a satisfied gut.

Mister Grimm’s Little School of Horrors

Where: Gostins Building, Hannover St

How much: £15 per session

The Little School of Horrors is the UK’s ONLY special effects school for children (there are grownup classes, don’t worry). They cover a wide range of special effects topics, varying from the creation of masks and prosthetics to film and TV inspired props. No matter the topic though, this is a boss way to get t̶h̶e̶ ̶k̶i̶d̶s̶ ̶o̶u̶t̶ ̶o̶f̶ ̶y̶o̶u̶r̶ ̶h̶a̶i̶r their imaginations going.


Classes run in an award winning special effects workshop and Head Teacher/Dean of Demonology Amber has worked on shows like Dr Who and Sherlock. The mischievous Mr Grimm, the school’s resident monster and mascot, overlooks proceedings.

In the surroundings of Grimm’s fantasy realm kids can design and create their very own projects in 2D and 3D form with no strict deadline. You can tell they’re in good hands, because even the 7-11 year olds’ finished projects are dead good – we would proudly display that rabid plant in our window, because it still looks healthier than anything we’ve tried to keep alive.


They also run kids’ parties, and everybody gets to keep their own creations meaning you don’t even have to bother with party bags.

We reckon Mr Grimm would particularly benefit the 16-18 bracket, whose classes follow a little more structure in order to simulate working for a client. Aimed at those who either have an interest or  are looking at a career in the creative industry, whether it be special effects/theatre production/prop making or artistry, they’ll learn new skills and build a portfolio of mad creations. From lightweight armour for a Cosplay meet to prosthetics for a low budget student movie, they’ll receive advice and hands-on experience with a range of materials. Each student is given a sketchbook to record all the stages of the project (great to discuss in portfolio meetings/interviews) as well as ideas and sketches. Once the project is completed, professional photographs are taken – ‘built own Yeti suit’ is bound to make any UCAS application stand out. Classes thoughtfully start at 11am, because no self-respecting teenager is up before brunch.


Adult classes take the format of “Chaotic Crafting”, where students set the projects themselves. You can bring along a project you started at home and need help finishing (we blame YOU, Neil Buchanan – our damned angel is still a bottle of Fairy Liquid) or maybe you need a prop for a theatre production, or a sculptural piece for an exhibition, or have proper volcanic adult acne only SFX makeup will disguise. All you need to do is come with an idea and they will help make it a reality in their wacky workshop. Classes operate on a flexible basis, meaning you can attend when you like. You simply pick up from where the project was last worked on, and there is no deadline as it’s a weekly ongoing club.

For more information and bookings visit