Liverpool Sound City 2016 gathers a crop of emerging artists, Getintothis’ Adam Lowerson finds the makeshift Cavern showcasing a swathe of young bands in the glorious sunshine.
You’ve got to give it to Sound City. It does far more than its fair share in giving a platform for brand new artists. Today’s line up on the Cavern stage reinforces that ethos as emerging artists to do their thing in front of a healthy crowd, with showcases from Wales and Edge Hill University taking place.
Early on, Barron‘s MoR guitar pop had the feel of early Coldplay without any tunes, while Vernon Jane and Bridges showed a lot of promise in terms of songwriting and intricate melodies, but there’s still work to be done for both before they can move to the next level.
Bringing a much needed change of pace, grunge-rock two piece Atlas Wynd livened things up with energetic, Nirvana-tinged sounds before Storme brought the mood crashing back down again with gloomy, siren-like vocal pop.
Representing Edge Hill University‘s The Label Recordings, the DIY label responsible for Hooton Tennis Club, Irene and the Disappointments got things going with a sound reminiscent of Alanis Morissette and a couple of catchy tunes before Shrinking Minds‘ garage rock rattled the rib-cages of those down the front. Youth Hostel made their live debut and gave hints that label boss Carl Hunter might have unearthed another gem, while Cavalry, a more established act than most others on the bill, seemed a bit out of place with their refined, atmospheric sound amidst the rawness and youth.
The first of the Welsh acts, Connah Evans, seemed more concerned in shouting ‘Come on, Liverpool‘ repeatedly than he did in playing any decent tunes. Fleur De Lys and Castles flew the flag for their home nation in style, with the former’s Welsh language indie making for interesting listening, while the latter’s Super Furry Animals inspired psych-pop was one of the stand outs of the day. We’re No Heroes gave a flat finish to the Welsh showcase with some run of the mill punk, and were followed by the widescreen pop of Violet Skies who were genuinely captivating.
The main issue from the Cavern Stage today was that it all felt a bit like a high school gig. There was a lot of promise and talent on show but no real cutting edge or any signs of originality. It was a relief then, when Taiwanese veterans the Chairman took to the stage, with their traditional music/rock fusion paired with their masks and outfits culminating in one of the best visual performances of the day.
Closing with Feral Love‘s collaboration with Wake Island, former Bird singer Adele Emmas showed that although her new band are novices, she’s still a major player on the Liverpool scene. Her soaring vocals matched with droning electronics and thumping beats filled the night sky, and showed exactly why they were topping the bill tonight. Boss.
Pictures by Getintothis’ Martin Waters, Tom Adam and Mark Holmes