New Music

Sinead O’Brien and Egyptian Blue, IVW Tour @ Birkenhead Library, 02.02.2020

Sinead O’Brien and Egyptian Blue, IVW Tour @ Birkenhead Library, 02.02.2020

Art-Rock Meets Post-Punk In A Fiery Double Bill In Birkenhead

Art-rock meets post-punk in an upcoming double headline event featuring Irish poet Sinead O’Brien and Brighton’s punk quartet Egyptian Blue this February in Birkenhead. The gig, facilitated by Get It Loud In Libraries, is part of Independent Venue Week – a seven day celebration of music venues around the country.

London-via-Limerick based artist Sinead O’Brien entered the music industry through the medium of spoken word. Together with bandmates Julian Hanson and Oscar Robertson, O’Brien speaks her poetic bars over art-rock melodies to create a ‘mesmerising call-to-arms’ (Breaking Tunes) in recent track, Taking On Time. A truly ‘transfixing’ (Rough Trade) live performer, O’Brien conducts the pace and intensity to create a unique live show, not interested in ‘getting into a frenzied state of it being identical each time’. 

Brighton fourpiece Egyptian Blue, made up of Andy Buss and Leith Ambrose, both on guitar and vocals, Luke Phelps on bass, and Isaac Ide on drums, released their debut EP Collateral Damage in 2019 which was praised by Gigwise for its wholly post punk feel and ‘fuzzed-up, bubbling rage’. The fiery, frantic rhythms received high praise from the likes of DIY, NME and post punk royalty – and Get It Loud In Libraries alum – IDLES (“They’re f***ing sick”, IDLES frontman Joe Talbot says of Egyptian Blue, Ticketweb). Live, the band present ‘absolute chaos with skill’ to make them an ‘unformidable live act’ (Underscore Part 3). Not what you would expect from a trip to the library…

Both artists are coming together for Independent Venue Week – a week-long celebration of venues that are so much more than just places for live music, but are cultural hubs for learning, creativity, arts and culture. By using alternative spaces, brand new bands are given the opportunity to play to audiences for perhaps the very first time and lets fans get up close to artists that one day, may well be playing stadiums. Previous artists that have played for Independent Venue Week include IDLES, Kate Tempest and Tim Burgess. This is not the first Independent Venue Week event for Get It Loud In Libraries. Earlier this year, Amsterdam’s indie-rockers Pip Blom played Birkenhead Library and one reviewer remarked that seeing the band tear up a library was ‘mildly alarming, deeply satisfying and uniquely thrilling’.

Audiences across England, Scotland and Wales are discovering the potential of libraries as unique, intimate music venues that give people of all ages the rare chance to get up close and personal with upcoming artists, thanks to Get It Loud In Libraries. In fact, the programme boasts a long list of performances from, at the time, unknown artists who then went on to have incredible careers, including Adele, Clean Bandit and The Vaccines. Get It Loud In Libraries provides music provision to areas often missed on major tours and exists to ‘make libraries meaningful, useful and enjoyable for young people who hadn’t visited in years, if at all’ (Stewart Parsons, The Skinny). Get It Loud In Libraries’ upcoming gig at Birkenhead Library is a great opportunity to see two fantastic artists in a unique, intimate venue that’s right on your doorstep.

Tickets for Sinead O’Brien and Egyptian Blue’s gig at Birkenhead Library on 2nd February, 2020 are on sale here. For all upcoming Get it Loud in Libraries gigs see their website and additional photos are available here. For more information, please contact

Since 2005, Get it Loud in Libraries has been programming high quality, live music events in libraries in towns and cities throughout the UK. They consistently demonstrate a unique talent for identifying new and emerging artists on the cusp of breaking through to the mainstream.The programme is delivered in geographic areas that are generally outside the major metropolitan centres, with low live music provision – especially for young people and families. Incorporated into their work is the GILIL Academy which supports young people’s participation and talent development in creative and cultural activities. Through doing this, the programme seeks to challenge and change perceptions of libraries and to engage new audiences, particularly young people in using these unique and valuable community assets. (

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Martin Moseley