EPIC REVIEW BONG! From blown membranes to magnificent pop, Getintothis’ Emma Walsh embarks on one of *the* marathon voyages around Liverpool Sound City
Ding ding! Round 2.
Day two kicked off at East Village Arts Club with the diva sass and powerhouse vocals of Fabienne, dripping with soul, stripped back with raw acoustic vibes and goosepimpling sounds on Taxi and City of Shadows.
Fortunate that The Black-E hosted the Screenadelica exhibition this year, the few revellers hovering about this evening had something pretty to keep them occupied while they waited for proceedings to get under way – incidentally, how long should one wait before initiating a sarcastic slow clap?
When Memoria de Peixa (that’s ‘Fish Memory’ to you and me) finally did get a shift on there wasn’t much urgency about it, we barely had time to enjoy their guitar loops and licks before duty called us elsewhere. Shame really.
But nothing could keep us away from Harlequin Dynamite Marching Band, one of the cream of the local crop at this year’s festival. While getting a bit of a goose step on to the beat, we couldn’t help but notice, with the crew on stage and two dozen more throwing shapes in the front rows, its safe to assume the Kazimier and Mello Mello bars were on self service only.
Thoroughly loosened up with big band sounds it was over to a packed out Kaz Gardens to snatch the last of The Inkhearts.
Harlequin Dynamite Marching Band performing live at Duke Street Garage
Despite appearances this band have all the meaty sounds to compensate for young bones, Temper Temper and Keeping Up in particular made great waves with the crowd.
Excuse us while we indulge in a fangirl moment – Eliza and the Bear, sigh.
Taking up roots front and centre in the criminally sparse Garage venue, the band got straight down to business with big hitters Upon the North and Friends a successful battle cry which drew crowds in off the square. This band do nothing by half measures, giving the whole set absolute beans, from the fist clenching keys player to the thrashing around on stage of the two guitarists. We’ve said it before but this band are built for the festival stage with their relentless energy and singalong rock ballads. We could have watched them bounce about all night, but sadly, neigh.
Folly and the Hunter provided the perfect downtime over at Sound next with a softly softly Sufjan Stevens-esq sound. It’s hard to tell if the restraint in their set was a natural resistance to going full pelt or if the constant threat of techie gremlins disturbing the sound was keeping the band in third gear but regardless it was good change of pace. They didn’t receive the hush they deserved from the crowd.
Just when your ears readjust to volume control you go somewhere like The Shipping Forecast to see someone like Girls Names and have your eardrums absolutely destroyed with moody darks songs in a moody dark basement.
Cathal Cully‘s has an ominous tone with the same pleasant threat of suffocation, it is both magnetic and disconcerting all at once, seeping over the pummelling noise of the band as they work up a sweat – the perfectly permed drummer even undoing a top button in fatigue.
Continuing in our role as Irish correspondent for Sound City, it was over to The Attic for another taste of the Emerald Isle. Last night this reviewer said More than Conquerors were the sound of her hometown, well White Male Actors are actually from her hometown, but with a bit more maturity to them. There is still the pounding alternative rock vibes bred into every Norn Iron band in their youth but with a more grown up sonic sound that demands greater consideration.
There’s a fuzziness to the vocals that give an unplugged, even course feel, and the songwriting in Take a Bow and 31 Years give a nod to a more unembellished sound of yesteryear. A welcome nostalgia.
Meanwhile East India Youth was blowing minds and tympanic membranes with big electro sounds and a beat that made your lungs swell.
Building swells of reverb to pulse with the visuals on screen, Doyle explodes in animated head banging while all across the crowd men of a certain age start pulling out shapes that haven’t been seen since the mid nineties. It’s sublime.
It’s two for two from Sound City so far and tomorrow they promise to hit it out of the park.
Pictures by Getintothis‘ Simon Lewis and Tomas Adam
Further reading on Getintothis
Liverpool Sound City 2014 Review: Day Two Round Up.
Liverpool Sound City 2014 Review: Day One Round Up.
* Liverpool Sound City 2014: Top 10 Merseyside bands to watch
* Liverpool Sound City 2014: Top 10 international bands to watch.
* Liverpool Sound City 2014: Top 10 UK bands to watch.
* Liverpool Sound City 2014: Getintothis‘ guide to the venues.
* Liverpool Sound City 2014: Things to do off the beaten track.
* John Cale – the grit in the oyster that shaped the sound we worship today.
* Liverpool Sound City 2014: Revo‘s routeplanner – the insider’s guide.
*Liverpool Sound City 2014: Getintothis presents Jon Hopkins and stellar Merseyside show at Nation.
* Liverpool Sound City 2014: Fringe events and John Peel World Cup revealed.
* Liverpool Sound City 2014: The Hold Steady ready to bear their teeth.
* Liverpool Sound City 2014 – a Getintothis festival playlist.
* Liverpool Sound City 2014 add The Kooks to festival bill.
* Liverpool Sound City 2014: He used to come round wearing make up and strange Japanese Kimono clothing – David Pichilingi.
* Liverpool Sound City 2014: Jon Hopkins, Albert Hammond Jnr, Drenge and more for May festival.
* Liverpool Sound City 2014 announce headliners Kodaline plus Gruff Rhys and Fuck Buttons for May festival
* Liverpool Sound City 2014: John Cale and Thurston Moore head up Conference speakers
* Liverpool Sound City 2014 reveal football, music and style themes
* Liverpool Sound City 2013: Top 10 bands and review round up of the festival