In brutal honesty, before now, there has not been anything about a festival that isn’t set in a field that would appeal to me. Why would I want to sit and eat cheesy chips and gravy on hard gravel? Why would I want to be able to walk from a centre of town to a festival in ten minutes flat? Isn’t that the point of a live music celebration – emerging yourself into the unknown whirlwind and trap yourself in a bubble of euphoria, nowhere near civilisation? Think again, Liverpool Sound City is going to rejuvenate and regenerate your festival ideas.
What I’ve learnt from my time at Sound City is that you don’t need the grass, you don’t need the ‘traditional festival atmosphere’ (IE. The mud dripping from your face or the guy next to your tent having a wee on your said tent… Fun, right?) and you especially don’t need something as dull as a mainstream chart-topper headlining the main stage (Indie 2012 will do instead). Give me culture. Give me something that is going to go down in the history of my mind. Sound City, you’re seriously my saving grace.
Here are my Top 5 attributes from this year’s edition of the fest:
5. T H E T O I L E T S H A D T O I L E T R O L L
This one isn’t a joke and yeah, you did read it right – every time I had to nip to the loo (this was quite often as I was downing pints of Peroni as if it were apple juice) every toilet would be immaculate and topped up with three toilet rolls. THREE. I’m used to the portable toilets of T in The Park and seriously if you know, then you know. In my book, it’s all part and parcel of the festival experience, but it was lush for once to not worry about getting poo smeared up my leg. Yummy.
4. W A L K T H I S W A Y
Sounds weird doesn’t it, that being able to walk from one side of a festival in under 3 minutes has made it on my best attributes of Sound City. But, there’s nothing worse than having to speedily hurry through a swarm of bodies, pelting themselves at you, while you attempt to fish out your favourite band in the smallest tent on site. Inevitably, by travelling you’ve essentially missed the crucial song you wanted to hear: ultimate fail. Give up now.
This year’s Sound City site was so compact however, that you could casually stroll from Tim Peaks’ Diner over to the main stage and loop around to the Pirate Stage in essentially five minutes flat. There are of course serious cons to a small site though, The Golden Age TV’s set on The Cavern Club stage was totally washed out due to Generation taking over The Baltic tent, but it also has some serious time-saving-band-seeing perks, too.
3. S T U D E N T S T A K E O V E R T H E C A V E R N C L U B S T A G E
Sound City (for the most part) celebrates new and diverse music coming from Liverpool and surrounding areas. The Cavern Club stage at this year’s event had some of the freshest / youngest bands and artists who are studying towards a degree at Edge Hill University, Leeds College of Music and the British Institution of Modern Music (BIMM). The latter, BIMM is where I studied towards a Music Journalism degree, last year. My time at BIMM will always hold sickly sweet memories for me and I will always champion anybody who has risen from the ashes and nabbed their place in the limelight.
One of the BIMM bands I managed to catch this weekend were Crimsons. Almost Nick Cave-esq where their dark sound is concerned and a look that was rivalled by no other – Crimsons are simply sublime and it’s refreshing that something so poignant has come from BIMM.
This should’ve just been a point dedicated to Crimsons really… Next time.
2. P E R S E V E R A N C E O F S O U N D C I T I Z E N S
Let’s not lie; on the Saturday of Liverpool Sound City 2017, the weather was atrocious. The sky was spitting during The Kills, eventually escalating into torrential rain throughout the entirety of Metronomy’s headline set. Fickle Friends’ performance was shrouded by a cloak of swarming gravel/sand and you couldn’t squeeze any more people into Peaches’ tent due of the brewing stormy night ahead… Also, Peaches is Peaches, so it was never going to be empty, was it?
However, it’s seriously refreshing that even at an inner-city festival, where you can hop on a free shuttle bus to take you back to your cosy hotel room, that the punters of Sound City persevered and would not let a lil’ bit of chilly rain ruin their night. Granted, Metronomy’s crowd was partly sparse but those hundreds of people who danced in the moonlight – good on ya’, you did us all proud!
1. M U S I C M A K E S T H E P E O P L E C O M E T O G E T H E R
Sound City is a music festival. There isn’t much alternative, like at Isle Of Wight of Latitude festivals, where you can wander down to a river and see a ballet, or hop into a world of queer comedy. Sound City is purely for the music and the people of the North West who love music. This is what makes the festival so good. Across the weekend, some breathtaking bands played: both archaic and fresh-faced artists took to the stage to produce phenomenal performances.
Below, I’ve compiled some of the top bands I have seen personally over the weekend so you can dive into some golden oldies and maybe discover your new favourite band like I have during the span of Sound City.
So, that was my roundup of the 2017 edition of Liverpool Sound City. Did you go yourself? If so, what did you think of it? And if you didn’t, you better be getting a ticket for next year’s events!