Ruth Cockburn and Keith Carter of Black Liver on Glastonbury Festival 2024

Black Liver is Ruth Cockburn & Keith Carter. They’ve been seen and heard on BBC Radio 4, Sky and BBC1. Where did they get the name? Well, Ruth is from Blackpool and Keith is from Liverpool. Miss Nobodies is one of this year’s theatre shows with the two-hander taking us through the history of the last 100 years in a shop in a Northern town.

We caught up with Ruth and Keith – who answered our questions collectively – to find out more about the production.

Q&A with Ruth Cockburn and Keith Carter of Black Liver

Can you tell us a little about yourself and how you got into live performance?

We’re Black Liver; Ruth’s from Blackpool, Keith’s from Liverpool – hence Black Liver. We were born in captivity. Covid thing. Making music and poetry videos for friends and family. Next minute we were getting commissioned to do stuff for strangers. Once released into the real world we toured our stuff to even more strangers. And we’re not stopping.

What’s it like to be performing at this year’s Glastonbury Festival?

We’re not too sure. We haven’t done it yet. But we expect it’s going to be a dream. For Ruth, a dream come true. For Keith, a dream where everyone is staring at him wearing animal masks and holding flaming torches. In both cases, we’re going to have a great time. And we honestly can’t wait.

What can you tell us about your plans for the show?

Our show Miss Nobodies is verse and song celebrating a small town’s ingenuity in a time when retail shopping is falling. Namely a town called Great Harwood. The shops on the high street have been taken over by independent businesses – all run by women. We’ll be talking about these women AND hopefully getting some interaction with the crowd. We love ad-libbing and chatting during the show. We want to create a laid-back, informal show to chill out to on a Sunday.

How do you approach performing at a festival like this?

We don’t have a set plan or approach. We like to take it as it comes. We’ll be dropping and adding material throughout the show. We want to make it a show that occurs at the time. Obviously we will be delivering material BUT we have at least three hours of stuff for the show, so we tailor it on stage to fit the atmosphere. It keeps us on our toes and the crowd part of the creating.

Will you be checking out any other acts across the weekend?

Again, we haven’t planned anything. We want to be taken on the waves when we’re there. Though Ruth’s hero John Henley will be watched and adored from afar. And Keith does a great impression of Roger McGough that he wants to annoy the real McCoy with.

Black Liver: Miss Nobodies is at Poetry&Words at Glastonbury Festival 2024 on 30 June

Follow our full Glastonbury Festival coverage here: