Liverpool Sound City, now in it’s fifth year, offered a combination of various daytime Music/Tech conferences and a plethora of artists and bands of diverse styles playing at a multitude of venues across the city running late into the night and early hours over a 3 day period.
Before the music events kicked off at night, there was chance for delegate pass holders to attend various daytime talks and panels at Liverpool’s Hilton hotel, with the emphasis being on promoting oneself in the music industry. Added to this there was the Sound City Expo across the road at the waterfront Echo Arena, which was divided into Music, DJ and Digital Hubs showcasing the latest tools and gadgets for DJs and musicians alike. Across town at the Camp And Furnace, the Kicking And Screening Football Festival added the beautiful game to beautiful sounds at Liverpool Sound City showing football films ‘Argentina Futbol’ and ‘The Extraordinary Story Of The NY Cosmos’, as well as the John Peel World Cup at Chavasse Park.
As evening arrived, so did the bands. Lots of them. On the opening night Mystery Jets (a five piece indie band) packed out the Liverpool Academy Of Arts in Wolstenholme Square (home to Liverpool’s iconic nightclub Cream). It was a great way to kick off the festival on an early summer’s night.
Next up was the headliner of Sound City, rapper Professor Green at the Echo Arena. Although the Arena was nowhere near full capacity, Professor Green’s energetic performance had the young audience going crazy to all his big hits, the biggest of which being ‘Just Be Good To Green’.
Over at Kazimier, a beautiful small rounded venue, Death In Vegas were delivering psychedelic techno inspired tracks for the 300 strong crowd. They progressed their 2 hour set well with the likes of ‘Dirge’ and ‘Death Threat’, before building up to a massive crescendo finish by dropping ‘Rekkit’. The dance floor was bouncing to electronic madness.
The second night’s pouring rain didn't dampen people's spirits – with massive queues to get into the livelier venues. One of these was for the Australian indie rockers Temper Trap, who at 10pm had a full house crowd with hands in the air loving their massive ‘Sweet Disposition’. White Denim, on at 11pm in the Kazimier, brought their big American rock sound to the party. It worked. They had the crowd lapping it up.
On the closing night, local Liverpool band Space rocked the Liverpool Academy Of Arts with their big tracks ‘The balled of Tom Jones’, ‘Female Of The Species’ and ‘Neighbourhood’. With a real care free stage attitude, they were having the time of their lives. Opposite the road, at the specially erected The Garage – a car park by day, Manchester DJ/producer D/R/U/G/S was delivering some dark techno in a venue similar to Manchester’s own Warehouse Project. It felt pretty cool to be dancing away with a crowd of around 500 people in a car park – albeit one with a specially erected bar, speakers and lighting effects. It felt fresh, like being at an underground rave – something almost unheard of in the swanky cocktail bar and VIP era we find ourselves in.
With an abundance of musical options across this whirlwind 3 day period, festival goers had little chance to grab their breath before heading on to see the next band. It helped that the venues were so close to each other, meaning one could literally pop from venue to venue, checking out different band after band. There was a good combination of local up and coming bands, to bigger more established UK and International acts. It was nice to see people coming together and building friendships and business contacts over the whole weekend through music. It felt like we were at the centre of something really special, and it felt great. Liverpool Sound City done the city’s name and rich music heritage proud with a festival providing great music, bands, venues and atmosphere.
Published on 21 May 2012 by Andrew Darwin