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Jim Pearson And Mike Ryan Win The Liverpool Acoustic Songwriting Challenge 2023

The Liverpool Acoustic Songwriting Challenge 2023 Showcase Final took place at LEAF on Bold Street on Saturday 27 January 2024.

A packed venue saw each of the finalists performing their song with a picture of the work of art that inspired it projected onto the big screen for all to see.

At the end of the night Jim Pearson was announced as the winner of the Judges’ Award for 2023 for The Boy With The Red Hat, a song he wrote after seeing a specific piece of art on display at West Kirby Arts Centre. After his performance Jim was delighted to discover Julie Hunter, the artist who created the work of art, was in the audience!

After the final performance the audience was able to vote for the song they enjoyed the most. When voting closed it was revealed that Mike Ryan had won the Audience Favourite Award with his song Lily’s Last Waltz, inspired by the Paul O’Grady and Lily Savage mural painted by local artist Brezaux at the Woodside Ferry Terminal.

Mike performed his song on the night with Nicola Hardman on keyboard. This is the second year in a row Mike has won the Audience Favourite vote – he must be doing something right!

During the September 2023 entry period 26 songwriters submitted brand new songs inspired by works of art on display across the Liverpool City Region. Judges Jon Lawton, Kaya Herstad Carney, Robert Vincent, Luke Moore and Alison Benson listened to all of the entries and gave each a score based on lyrics, melody, composition and originality. The points from the judges were added together and the songwriters with the ten highest scores were awarded a place at the Showcase Final.

The winning songwriters get their song professionally recorded by Jon Lawton at Crosstown Studios, a cello arrangement for the recording from Luke Moore, plus a songwriting or singing lesson from Kaya Herstad Carney.

The money raised from tickets to the Showcase Final is split between Marie Curie Cancer Care and Garston Animal Rescue in memory of former Liverpool Acoustic team member Sharon Jones.


Founder and Editor, Clare Deane, shares her passion for all the amazing things happening in Liverpool. With a love of the local Liverpool music scene, dining out a couple of times a week and immersing herself in to all things arts and culture she's in a pretty good place to create some Liverpool Noise.

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