With Liverpool’s conquering heroes The Coral playing their first homecoming show in five years, Getintothis’ Adam Lowerson was on hand to give us the lowdown.
It was the set that everyone was waiting for. Since their reunion and headline slot was first announced back in 2015, the most anticipated set of Liverpool Sound City 2016 has always been The Coral. Their homecoming. Their first show in Liverpool since the release of their 7th album Distance Inbetween. It was all about them. It was meant to be something special.
And it started with promise. The crowd was huge, their new material sounded boss. Everything was as it was meant to be.
And then the power went out.
For the second time in the evening, all momentum was lost. It was incredibly frustrating. Just as James Skelly and Co were beginning to put on a real show of mesmeric psych-rock, the rug was pulled from beneath their feet and it all fell a bit flat. There were highlights, though. Jacqueline and Holy Revelation sounded huge. But it wasn’t before the last handful of tracks that the set really began to feel like a headline show. Through no fault of their own, the perfect homecoming was no longer perfect.
Thank God, then, for tracks such as Pass It On, In The Morning, Goodbye and Dreaming Of You which picked it up by the scruff of its neck and saved everything. Not the homecoming we were all hoping for, but an enjoyable one nonetheless.
Before The Coral took to the stage, the Dandy Warhols showed off their stoner-indie rock to a big crowd but never really lifted the mood until their big hit Bohemian Like You, while Liverpool’s own Circa Waves played with tonnes of energy and swagger before another power cut brought their set to an abrupt end. They returned with a cover of The Beatles‘ Revolution and their own T-Shirt Weather which appeased the enthusiastic crowd, making up for the half hour gap in their set.
With the sun blaring down on the Bramley-Moore Dock, there couldn’t have been a better setting than Sound City‘s very own tall ship stage. Oh The Guilt kicked things off with a set of warped psych-rock, before Little Triggers shook things up with some energetic, retro rock and roll.
The Stamps‘ unmistakable Mersey indie sound illustrated just why so many have been backing the youngsters since their emergence a couple of months ago, while Anteros‘ slick, brooding rock impressed and drew an impressive crowd. The Lottery Winners performed to similar masses, but their jaunty guitar pop was all a bit too sugary sweet and floated by without ever really grabbing the attention.
One of the most anticipated sets of the day was by Manchester’s Horsebeach, who’s Real Estate inspired slacker rock meandered through the late afternoon air, before She Drew The Gun did their best to impress despite horrific sound issues making them completely inaudible at times.
The atmosphere throughout the day on the Tall Ship reflected that of the festival as a whole over the two days. It was all very nice and pleasant. Nothing was really bad, but nothing was particularly great. Sound City is notorious for giving a chance to younger bands, but this weekend felt that it was because of this that there were less standout moments than in previous years. There was a lot enjoy, but there’s something that Sound City needs to recapture next year to make the festival great. Let’s just hope they can work out what it is.
Pictures by Getintothis’ Martin Waters and Ryan Jafarzadeh.