A rollercoaster of a finale eventually comes good, as Getintothis’ Jamie Bowman finds retro-futurists Public Service Broadcasting channelling the spirit of the Battle of Britain on Day Three of Sound City.
It’s been a problematic venue during this year’s Sound City but the Black E nonetheless has been a pleasing destination for all those seeking out something slightly more sludgy in this year’s fare.
Nottingham’s Kogumaza are tonight’s opening treat and they present a mesmeric master class in dense fuzzed-out psychedelia driven by the wonderful cyclical pounding of a drum kit whose cymbals are there only for decoration.
It’s propulsive, groovesome and full of gradual shifts of tempo and full marks to the wah wah infused cover of the Beatles’ I Want You She’s So Heavy during which Kogumaza summon up the late 60s thunder of Blue Cheer to dizzying effect.
Over at EVAC, Doves frontman Jimi Goodwin is trying to convince a loyal and sizable crowd that he can pull off the solo thing despite the fact that fellow Mancunians Elbow seemed to have stolen his bruised everyman credentials.
To his credit Goodwin is full of the bonhomie that made Doves such a likeable group but there’s a feeling that he hasn’t quite got the star quality to come out of the shadows and recapture the anthemic likes of There Goes The Fear and Pounding.
Folk stomper Oh! Whiskey sees Goodwin channel the spirit of John Martyn but it all seems a little desperate when compared with his excellent renditions of Doves favourites Last Broadcast and Snowden.
Jimi Goodwin performing live at East Village Arts Club
There’s a long queue snaking from the door of the Factory, with plenty of gig-goers eager to catch much-hyped LA outfit Neighbourhood.
On tonight’s evidence it is difficult to see why as this awful band manage to stew a simply dreadful mix of Limp Bizkit, Maroon 5 and emo pop into a horrible soup of averageness. Frontman Jesse Rutherford is an annoyingly whiny presence, complete with a leather cap and lyrics like “fuck you anyway, you make me wanna scream at the top of my lungs” . I know the feeling.
Thankfully solace is at hand in the tweed clad form of Public Service Broadcasting who have somehow taken a great idea, run with it and landed their pleasing combination of instrumental krautrock, public information film samples and black and white visuals into the top 30 of the album charts.
Tapping into the fashionable hauntology concept, their retro-futurist use of WH Auden samples and clips of pre-war train drivers should be horribly niche but as the audience roar at the visceral thrill of watching a Spitfire dive and loop through a Battle of Britain sky line accompanied by motorik beats and slashing guitar, it’s impossible not to grin along and lose yourself in PSB‘s world. Everest closes the set with images of Hilary and Tenzing reaching for the stratosphere I dare you not be both moved and inspired by the soaring nostalgia of it all.
In direct contrast to PSB‘s sartorial elegance, one suspects New York’s Big Ups don’t have many bow ties in their wardrobes.
Indeed, these guys could not look more authentically New York than if they come on stage eating pastrami and calling each other mooks.
Their neo-hardcore grunge thrash is full of references to forbearers like Sonic Youth, Nation of Ulysses and most especially Jesus Lizard but Big Ups have an ace card and it’s name is Joe Galarraga.
The Big Up‘s frontman is a magnetic presence with a piercing scream and a penchant for trying to choke himself with the mic lead. If all this sounds a bit try hard, than they need to see Galarraga stalk the stage with a nonchalance which marks him out as a true original.
The fact he looks like a young Ian Brown only seals the deal and when his charisma is matched to a powerful set of taut and scything US punk the results are devastatingly good. By the end the Zanzibar‘s crowd have spilled on the stage and the two guitarists are trying to play each other’s instruments with the teeth. It’s a nice image with which to bid farewell to another wonderful three days of music.
Pictures by Getintothis‘ John Johnson and Sakura
Further reading on Getintothis
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