Liverpool Sound City – Top Ten Bands


From the hundreds that made the trip to Liverpool, here’s Getintothis‘ top selections.

This list is by no means a definitive ‘top bands of the festival list’ as there was simply so much to take in – but these are, in no particular order, Getintothis‘ picks of Liverpool Sound City 2011.
1. Chain & The Gang
Ian Svenonius‘ latest incarnation were the opening night’s sensation. A rock and roll boogie led by a band sporting jail bird garb with riffs galore, tongue-firmly-in-cheek manifesto and at the centre of the swagger, the former Nation of Ulysses frontman mic lead-lashing his way through a barnstorming set of grit and glam. Static Gallery was united in grins, air-punching and hip-shaking – a glorious Sound City moment.
2. Three Trapped Tigers
Fair to say Getintothis was severely flagging when TTT took to the Kazimier, late on Friday early Saturday morning, but their thunderous approach to party tunes was like a shot in the arm and suddenly we found our fifth wind. Like a Brit HEALTH (yup, there’s the soundbite), this lot have been on the radar for some time and in the live arena they’re even better.
3. The Temps
Local Pride #1 – The Temps stole my heart, and a few others, with their uncompromising brand of post-punk. There’s simply no band on the Merseyside scene that offer such an aggressive, yet sonically complete sound as these teenagers.
Like New Young Puritans minus the flirtation with a wood wind ensemble, Joey Wainwright doesn’t just stalk the stage like an untamed panther, he kicks at the barriers threatening to brake loose. Thomas Rycroft , meanwhile, doesn’t so much play his guitar but EATS it. Throwing it around the stage like, well, an axe – the effect on the eyes combined with the visceral assault on the ears was a wonder and those in the Masque’s Loft knew they were witnessing something dangerously thrilling.
4. Cloud Control
Perhaps the one band that can lay claim to have made the most new fans during LSC 2011. Cloud Control arrived with plaudits and the Aussie version of the Mercury, they left with a sweaty army of Shipping Forecast coverts.
The basement of The Hold was chocker as Alister Wright swung from the roof, cracking a speaker stack with a drum stick as everyone sung in unison Meditation Song #2‘s summertime blues.
This lot could get real big, real soon.
5. Capac
Local Pride #2. ‘Who were that band that played AMAZING *insert description* at the Kazimier on Thursday night,’ was usually the way the line of inquiry started.
Capac were the band Getintothis got asked about the most by visitors to the city during LSC 2011. The fact they played to a slight crowd won’t hinder them, their name spread like wildfire and interest abound. By the end of the festival I was saying ‘Capac’ before the question was even asked.
6. Kurt Vile
Dividing opinion like no other, Kurt Vile, played to a heaving Kazimier and the results were either outrageous, wind-swept anthems of excellence or indulgent wank. We’d opt firmly for the former; for despite obvious moniter issues, Vile and his hairy Violators weaved grandiose guitar magic all the while oozing a don’t-give-a-fuck nonchalence you associate with the greats.
7. The Publicist
Take one man, one drum kit, one helper in the crowd with a torch, combine and the results are a budget LCD Soundsystem.
Trans Am/Weird War‘s Sebastian Thomson provided one of the festival’s most most visually arresting spectacles, thwacking and autotuning his way through a singular green strobe inside Static Gallery‘s basement – fascinating, funky and utterly moreish.
8. Braids
By Day Three at LSC 2011 things were becoming increasingly fuzzy – and Braids only assisted in adding to our woozy unsteadiness – not that we were complaining as their layers of harmony-laden drone washed over, coating us in a warm, snuggly glow. Maybe that was the JD. Either way, the Kazimier folk were in full agreement, giving an emphatic thumbs up all round.
9. Beat Connection
With what appeared a combined age of 20, Seattle’s Jordan Koplowitz and Reed Juenger of Beat Connection looked in need to day-carers, instead they dazzled the Zanzibar with 30 minutes of hook-heavy pure pop. Think Cut Copy washed down with a couple of Panda Shandy‘s – the perfect way to begin the party that was Saturday night.
10. Colourmusic
Every festival needs four beardy fellas smashing the shit out of everything. LSC 2011 got Colourmusic.
11. Outfit
Local Pride #3 – so we had to squeeze in just one more. Outfit‘s hypemachine is near astronomic now. Talk is of six A&R, four NME staffers, several freelancers and Getintothis‘ own photographer Conor McDonnell being told to shoot exclusively for Birkenhead’s finest – whatever the music insider’s chit-chat they proved on this, their third outing there’s substance to the hyperbole.
A slight offering of six tracks began all coy and teasing before climxing into a summer rumba as Caught Between Two Islands closed the set in a heatwave of slinky dancing.