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8 May 2013

Liverpool Sound City review 2013

Liverpool Sound City review 2013


SoundCity took over Liverpool at the May Bank Holiday weekend and once again proved why it is so popular and draws people from from and near to the city centre year after year.

As there was so much musical genres on offer, over so many venues, it's obviously impossible for us to bring you a review of everything that happened, so you'll just have to hear about what we considered some of the many many highlights of this years musical frolics and festivities.


We'll start you off on this three day musical journey, with Liverpool's very own Robert Vincent who performed at the Black E, Rob is fast becoming known nationwide for his folk/country style of music, distinctive vocals and heartfelt lyrics. This time around he had a full band playing with him, including Anna Corcoran on keyboard, which showed a different perspective to his music and worked fabulously in a larger environment. Rob treated us to some of his favourite tracks including a bouncy rendition of his latest EP, "The Bomb" and what has to be one one the most heart felt performances of the weekend with, "Demons".

One venue that was completely new to SoundCity this year was Liverpool's historic Anglican Cathedral, which played host to a few select artists, including Thursday night headliners, Noah and the Whale, whose folk fueled opening numbers including Blue Skies, and a new track from their latest album, Heart of Nowhere, with the same title, which was a heady synthesized rock number, slightly reminiscent of The Killers, the rest of the set had a rockier edge to it and Charlie Fink's vocals which reverberated around the Anglican creating an amazing atmosphere and was great headlining act for the Anglican's first night of musical fun. 


Also playing at the Anglican were none other than 80's legends of denim dungarees, Dexys Midnight Runners, who played firm favourites, Come on Eileen and Geno, but a vast array of old and new numbers and dungaree clad (YAY) lead singer Kevin Rowland showed his vocal range going from folk to blues to pop throughout the set. I have to admit I was slightly perplexed at one point when they seemed to re enact scenes from a bizarre spaced out episode of The Bill, with Kevin Rowland, trying to report an incident to a "policeman" but he couldn't recall what it was.....I'm still slightly confused as to what that was all about now and have at times wondered if I imagined it!! But the crowd seemed to be enjoying it immensely as were Dexy's.



This year, we managed to see quite a few acts in one of my favourite live music venues, The Kazimier and The Kazimier Gardens. I can't ever recall ever being disappointed listening to a band in these acoustically sound joined venues. This year they had some fab acts on offer but the Gardens won outright for me. With French electro pop act Concrete Knives, as a prime example, they had the crowd hooked from the start of their set. Performing their own songs "Wallpaper" and ""Be Your Own King" and a fab rendition of "Hot Stepper" the band looked like they were enjoying themselves just as much as the crowd. With twisting electro pop sounds and hedonistic beats from the drums it had a hypnotic vibe throughout the set that kept on transcending upwards and onwards taking everybody with them on their musical journey, Concret Knives definitely deserved the massive amount of cheers and applause at the end of their set.


The next day we were back in the very sunny and shiny Kazimier Gardens for "Korea Rocks" and after a few hours spent there I can say it definitely does. As we approched we could hear the raw rock rifts drifting over the walls and were pretty much blown away by "Galaxy Express" This trio are the very embodiment of rock and roll. From their looks, music and raw rasping rock vocals top this off with a free BBQ to sample Korean food (yes I went back more than once as it was amazing!!), goodie bags and the happiest atmosphere Ive felt in a long time and definitely put Korea on the musical go to map.




Later that night we were off to a very packed, very very hot and very very very sweaty O2 Academy for Enter Shikari. and what can you say apart from "Oh my frickin God"...these guys are amazing. The energy alone from them is enough to make your head spin, let alone trying to keep up with what part of the stage they're jumping from or climbing up onto but damn, they give one hell of a show. I don't really want to put them into a "genre" as they cross over so many to create their pretty unique sound and whatever influences they draw on, it definitely works for them and their legion of fans love it, especially when they performed tracks like, "All Eyes On The Saint" and crowd favourite "Destabalise"


Keeping on the metal theme, I'll move onto The Marmozets who played at Screenadelica on the Thursday night. We literally came across these by chance after a fair bit of folk music and being surrounded by the obligatory hipsters at most venues we went to. Marmozets are fronted by lead singer, Becca McIntyre who gave it her all with some full on raw metal vocals and rest of the band providing some heavy back up on guitars and drums, they were like a breath of fresh metal air to hear....I'm still in awe at her range of vocals. Loved these guys totally for their music, energy, head banging finesse and leaping off the stage to play in the crowd.....what can I say apart from fanfuckingtastic. 



And finally I leave you with Fire Beneath The Sea, an eclectic little group of pals who are full of fresh bouncing jazz and ska fueled energy with a dab of hip hop and according to them "skanking" flung in for good measure, and nope, I'm still not too sure what that is, but it definitely works for them. Playing to a very very packed Brooklyn Brewery, and thankfully minus the clown masks this time they performed with such energy and gusto that you cant help be swept up with atmosphere they create. If you love happy bouncy times with a band that is full of character then these are definitely the live act to catch. Perfect for an outdoor summer gig....Kazamier Gardens, I hope you get them in there soon!!


So after three days, we have seen once again that Liverpool Sound City has hit the bullseye once again, offering a vast array of different musical styles to please even the hardest musical connoisseur of modern music. so thank you for a fun packed festival and hears to next years, but if you're going to get Bastille again, try to get them on before 2am if you could!!


Review by Alison Goggin

Photos by Thomas Lennon

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