By Desh Kapur
LIVERPOOOL SOUND CITY 2018
5th - 6th May. Liverpool Baltic Triangle
It’s that time of year again and Liverpool Sound City kicked off the festival season with a bang, with over 100 bands and artists spread over 14 venues. There was a healthy mix of the more established and well known bands rubbing shoulders with the up and comers. 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 shining and people were out in droves. I was lucky enough to find a parking space straight away. All signs seemed to indicate that this was going to be a very good day as I headed down to Hangar 34 for my first band of the day!
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, with Huw Stevens (Radio 1) describing them as “Another brilliant band from Sheffield” I was very much looking forward to seeing what all the hype was about. They didnt dissapoint!
Playing to what I would consider a good sized crowd for the time of day, they played a 30 minute set full of catchy hook laden, guitar driven, sunny, breezy indie rock with shimmering synths thrown in for good measure.
Lead vocalist Harry Lyon was born to sing in a rock and roll band and I loved every minute of their set. Indeed, half an hour was simply not long enough and it was all over far too quickly! If you haven't heard any songs from this band I would highly recommend that you check out “Messed Up” and “Take It Or Leave It” !!
With a little time to spare before the next band I had pencilled in my itinerary for the day, 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, who are a 4 piece Alt Rock band from Bedford. They had everything you expect from a band of this kind, all the rock moves, and great style from head to toe. Their music was tight and their performance was entertaining, with the crowd seemingly digging their sound!
After grabbing a drink, i went down to The Camp and Furnace. Arriving a bit early for the next band on my list, I had a chance to catch a couple of songs from Park Hotel, an electronic, guitar dance band based in London and the brainchild of Tim Abbey and Rebecca Marcos – Rosa. What I saw and heard I enjoyed! It was tight and very funky, with lovely vocals courtesy of 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 a sound reminiscent of Cage The Elephant, Gorillaz and Twenty One Pilots. After seeing them however, the only sound I can relate to is the Cage The Elephant comparison, as the other comparisons are 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 whether this was because i was expecting too much due to the hype surrounding the band, or whether this was due to the band coming off as flat and uninterested in the performance they were giving.
Following this, I nipped 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 very long time now.
These guys are a 6 piece indie pysche – rock band from Caithness, Scotland. I have to admit I was very excited to see Neon Waltz and they were everything I expected and more! I enjoyed their set from start to finish and the standout moments of their performance to me were when they sang “Sundial’, the brilliant “Perfect Frame”, “Heavy Heartless” and the self reflecting “I Fall Asleep”.
Their music is full of 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 as he sways with his eyes closed, lost in the music and the words, mop top hair and pipe-cleaner frame.
Neon Waltz were simply great and I am a fan! They look and sound like a band destined for major success and stadium filled gigs.
My last band of the night were a band that are very much on the up, with Liam Gallagher describing their new album as “Biblical”.
The band in question are DMA’S. They are three lads from Sydney, Australia and have had a massive 18 months, playing what I guess I would call, (If I had to pigeon hole it, which i don't want to but will do anyway), "Oasis inspired Britpop". The thing is however, they are so much more than that and they write truly great songs!!
Playing to a full Camp and Furnace crowd, the Aussie boys went through a set of anthemic indie pop gems and had their fans lapping it up, bringing back memories of scenes past and an anticipation in my mind of what this band can go on to achieve.
Lead singer Tommy O’Dell's voice dipped and soared across the room, accompanied by Matt Mason and Johnny Hook on bass/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!!