Liverpool Sound City 2015 review: The Vaccines, Everything Everything, Spector, Shijo, Luckless, The Clameens

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Vaccines crowd

Full house awaits the Vaccines

With the Vaccines making the big-stage step-up for this year’s Sound City, Getintothis’ Matthew Wood was front and centre to see if they’ve got the headline chops.

The day begins with self-defined Rumblebeat pop 4 piece The Clameens from over the water in Derry. Packed in their guitar and hard cases come an energetic, infectious set that pleases an already crowded Cavern stage. Abundant with dancy hi-hat lift beats and powerful basslines the band show glimmers of potential with their overlay of raw rock and roll and meticulous palm muted riffs. Breaking down boundaries and emerging into the stage, their frontman shows his swagger and tops off the band’s rumbling set.

The intriguing Mail Chimp stage/record store holds Italian outfit Shijo. Their set is by all means ideal considering the intimate set up; leaning on bundles of records while the quartet cram into a corner. An admirable range of synth effects ranging from video game sounds to Pink Floyd inspired rattling coins was on display. Accompanied by hip hop/jazz inspired beats and basslines of a similar ilk to BadBadNotGood and vocals that recall Lady Gaga their was certainly a welcomed experimental set up with an atmosphere that was only going to get better.

Ivy Rossiter, aka Luckless hailing from New Zealand play a delayed set on the Kraken stage, which remained untarnished by the unfortunate sound overspill among the stages. A warming, folky blues arrangement held together with simplistic solo guitar loops that soon become sonic and mesmerising layered with an excellent vocal capacity. The toasty orange glow of a single light gives that close, campfire style vibe which is perfect for those of us feeling the bitter breeze from the Mersey; she proves it’s possible captivate a crowd with a single instrument.

“Liverpool is a Sound City,” affirms the ballsy Spector frontman Frederick Macpherson. This may very well be the case but the London fourpiece fail to bring an equally ‘sound’ performance. They have great faith in their music and are evidently tight, layering catchy melodies, but they really aren’t as great as they think they are, or could be. Stopping a song and accusing the crowd of lack of interest despite offering us a ‘great song’ takes guts and was perhaps unnecessary. The crowd were what made the act if anything, with loved up couples screaming ‘I’ll never fade away’ in one another’s faces and constant hand claps the band got more credit than deserved.

The nature of Everything Everything’s music is one that perhaps doesn’t always work well live, but after a year and a half of festival hiatus the band show they’re out to prove critics wrong. Clad in red shell suit jackets and a graduation gown the onslaught of genres left us swimming in a sea of everything (everything). A rawer sounding lead vocal was not to be the downfall with tropical riffs, mindboggling drum kit arrangements and exquisite backing vocals, characteristic of the band, carried them to a pleasing set that boasted all their strengths.

Friday’s much-anticipated headliners The Vaccines were as expected, raucous, sing-along inducing and charming. Frontman Justin was on the deck within the first song Teenage Icon, legs flailing as he strummed chords second nature. Set to play Glastonbury, the band may need to up their game, but despite this, the painfully short set illustrated the band’s progression with new tracks hinting at an Arctic Monkeys AM swagger and old hits were enhanced and retained their original youthful allure.

Photos by Getintothis’ Jack Thompson, Martin Waters, Martin Saleh, Tom Adam, Vicky Pea, Michael Hegarty.

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