By Desh Kapur, Rock At Night Manchester
Venue: Sound City Festival , Liverpool-LIVERPOOOL SOUND CITY 2018-5th – 6th May. Liverpool Baltic Triangle
It’s that time of year again and Liverpool Sound City was kicking off the festival season with a bang. Over 100 bands and artists spread over 14 venues; more established and well known bands and artists rubbing shoulders with the up and comers, the new kids on the block.
Spread over Liverpool’s iconic Baltic Triangle and Cain Brewery, it promised to be quite a couple of days, and let’s just say it didn’t disappoint.
SATURDAY 5TH MAY
The sun was out, the people were out in droves and I found a parking space straight away. All signs that this was going to be a good, good day. Heading down to Hangar 34 for my first band of the day, it was only 4.30pm.
There has been a lot of talk about the Red Faces, a 4-piece indie rock band from Sheffield. They have already signed a record deal with R.C.A, at what would be considered a very young age. Add to that a plethora of national airplay for their first four single releases and Huw Stevens (Radio 1) describing them as “Another brilliant band from Sheffield” I was very much looking forward to seeing what it was all about for myself.
And they didn’t let me down. Playing to what I would consider a good crowd for the time of day, they played a 30 minute set of tight hook laden, guitar driven, sunny, breezy indie rock with shimmering synths thrown in for good measure. The lead vocalist, Harry Lyon was born to sing in a rock and roll band and I was loving every minute of it but half an hour was not long enough and it was over too quickly. Check out their tracks “Messed Up” and “Take It Or Leave It” and I dare you not to like ‘em!!!!
With a little time to spare before the next band, I had penciled in, I took a little time to see what was happening elsewhere and wandered into The Baltic Markets to catch a couple of songs from The Wholls, a 4 piece Alt Rock band from Bedford. They had all the rock moves, clothes and haircuts. They were tight and entertaining and the fair-sized crowd seemed to be really digging them.
Enough time for a drink and then it was to The Camp and Furnace.
Arriving a bit early for the next band on my list I had chance to catch a couple of songs from Park Hotel, an electronic, guitar dance band based in London, the brainchild of Tim Abbey and Rebecca Marcos – Rosa. What I saw and heard I enjoyed – tight, funky, lovely duel vocals and fronted by the constantly grooving Rosa; I look forward to seeing them again.
Airways are another band that a lot of people in the know are talking about right now. In fact this band has had a lot of hype, being described as having hints of Cage The Elephant, Gorillaz and Twenty One Pilots. But after seeing them, I can relate to the Cage The Elephant comparison, but the others were lost on me. They played a set of guitar driven indie rock songs, but to be honest, after they finished they left me feeling a little bit underwhelmed. I don’t know if it was because of the hype around the band, I was expecting too much or the fact the band came over as flat and uninterested.
Nipping out to grab a pint and a bite to eat before I headed back to The Camp and Furnace to check out a band I have wanted to see for a long time now.
A 6 piece indie pysche – rock band from Caithness, Scotland, I have to admit I was excited to see Neon Waltz and they were everything I expected and more. I enjoyed their set from start to finish, especially tracks like “Sundial’, the brilliant “Perfect Frame”, “Heavy Heartless” and the self reflecting “I Fall Asleep”. Lush, guitar heavy, beautifully crafted indie anthems. Jordon Shearer’s vocals are impressive, delicate and powerful at the same time; that boy can sing and he is captivating to watch, swaying with his eyes closed, lost in the music and the words, mop top hair and pipe-cleaner frame. Neon Waltz were great, I’m a fan! They look and sound like a band that are destined for major success and stadium gigs.
My last band of the night were a band that are very much on the up; Liam Gallagher describing their new album as “biblical”.
Three lads from Sydney, Australia, the DMA’S are having a massive 18 months. Playing, what I guess if I had to pigeon hole it, and I don’t want to but I will anyway…. is Oasis-inspired Britpop, but they are so much more than that; they write truly great songs.
Playing to a full Camp and Furnace crowd, the Aussie boys played a set of anthemic indie pop gems and the fans lapped it up, bringing back memories of scenes past and anticipation of what these three chaps could go on to achieve. Lead singer Tommy O’Dell voice dipped and soared across the room, accompanied by Matt Mason and Johnny Hook on bass and acoustic guitar and the crowd were with them all the way. The stand-out songs on the night for me were “Delete”, “Step Up The Morphine”, “Lay Down” and “In The Air” but there was so much more, please please check them out, you’ll love them, Thank You Sound City for what was a brilliant Saturday, now bring on Sunday!!