The Magnetic Fields live, 3/4 September

Philharmonic Hall, Hope Street, Liverpool, L1, 3/4 September, 8pm

Stephin Merritt, the master craftsman behind the Magnetic Fields’ 69 Love Songs, is one of our great living songwriters—a sardonic Stephen Foster with an expansive literary wit. Celebrating his 50th birthday and a new album on Nonesuch Records. Merritt and band perform two distinct programmes of new songs—one for every year of his melodious existence. In a spectacular staging featuring 50 instruments from Merritt’s formidable collection, the seven-member band recounts his five decades on planet Earth, covering everything from bedbugs and Buddhism to his conception by hippies on a houseboat in St. Thomas.

Each performance will be a separate programme.

The whole album will take place over two nights: songs 1 through 25 on 3 September and songs 26 through 50 on 4 September.