Running a monthly music magazine – with a constant eye on deadlines, and new releases and the next big gig announcement always on the horizon – it’s sometimes difficult to sit back and take stock of what has happened over the preceeding months. 2017 has been a whirlwind year at Bido Lito! for many reasons, but mainly due to the tirelessness, creativity, and hardworking nature of our subject matter: Liverpool’s cultural community. It’s our job to document the outcomes of this thriving hive of imagination, and each month it’s a struggle to cram everything that is going on into our modest pink pages.

For the first time in our seven-year history, we have given ourselves the task of looking back and exploring how this year has taken shape: the events, the artists, the debates and the sounds which have defined the last twelve months. Our Bido Lito! Journal: A Year In Liverpool Music is our way of distilling these elements into 128 pages of exquisite photography, in-depth journalism, specially commissioned illustration and glorious design.

Earlier on in the year we interviewed Professor David Garcia, the artist and academic who curated FACT’s How Much Of This Is Fiction. exhibition. This was timely in a number of ways. The first quarter of the year saw society coming to terms with Donald Trump becoming the leader of the free world – and asking itself how such a thing could have happened. FACT’s exhibition looked at the way artists infiltrated mainstream media to get their message across. Tactical media artists were endlessly inventive in their quest to get in front of large audiences and get one over on various corporations. In an illuminating talk at our Bido Lito! members’ special event, Professor Garcia spoke about the origins of the movement and painted a picture of how the alt-right had hijacked these practices and coopted the latest technology to bring about the changes we are witnessing. 

As an independent media outlet, we took great interest in the exhibition and Professor Garcia’s points. At the same time the exhibition was running, we were busying ourselves refreshing Bido Lito! in print and online. Independent media is more important than ever, and we are proud of how our small ‘professionally-ran fanzine’ has evolved in 2017. Our Editor-in-Chief Craig G Pennington’s feature is a snapshot of a crucial point in time, prefaced in the Bido Lito! Journal with a wider reflection on the exhibition, taking into account Shia LaBeouf’s ill-fated HEWILLNOTDIVIDE.US piece which was briefly installed at FACT, and considering where we find ourselves now at the closing of another politically bruising year.

Elsewhere in the Journal we present the musical success stories of the year: Jane Weaver, The Orielles, Forest Swords, All We Are and Queen Zee And The Sasstones all chat to us after a year that has seen them climb the echelons of the industry. We look at the events which captured the imagination: speaking to the legendary John Cale around his reimagining of The Velvet Underground And Nico at Clarence Dock, immersing ourselves in the fifth edition of Liverpool Psych Fest, and meditating on the time when art pop pranksters The Justified Ancients Of Mu Mu (AKA The KLF) wreaked havoc with 400 willing participants in our fair city. It’s been one hell of a year!

Over the year, we also asked each artist we interviewed for the magazine the probing question ‘Why is music important to you?’ with a view to collating the responses in the coffee table publication we can now share with you. The results are thought-provoking, funny and touching, and represent a microcosm of a thriving scene of musicians living and working in Liverpool in 2017.

The Bido Lito! Journal represents a chronological line in the sand, and – while we can’t wait to see what 2018 brings – we hope the Journal will enable you to pause and reflect on what has been another incredible, breathless year for Liverpool’s new music and creative culture.  

The Bido Lito! Journal is available to buy at bidolito.co.uk and from selected stockists from 1 December. Head here for a full list of stockists and more information about the Journal.