Liverpool Sound City 2012: Top 10 international bands


The Big Sleep Liverpool Sound City getintothis music blog.jpg
Getintothis presents our selection of the best overseas talent at Liverpool Sound City 2012

Liverpool Sound City 2012 welcomes a whole host of international talent this year.
Acts from the US, Canada, France, Italy and Sweden feature across Liverpool along with unique showcase nights featuring bands from Brazil, Poland, New Zealand, Taiwan – and the annual Australian BBQ at Heebie Jeebies.
As ever there’s always too many to choose – let alone see – but here’s Getintothis’ picks from the feast of international flavours descending on Liverpool over Thursday to Saturday.
1. Willis Earl Beal at Zanzibar, Thursday May 17, 10-10.45pm.
Young Mr Beal is an hypnotic rhapsody of torture and beauty penning late, late night lovelorn perverse odes which are as delightful on the ear as they are sinister on the soul.
With a captivating live presence it’ll be worth necking a couple of whiskeys and soaking up the dim red lights of the Zanzibar as Beal spins his tales of love and loss deep into the night.

2. Deadbeat at the Art Academy, Thursday, May 17, 12.15-12.45am.
Know that scene in Trainspotting where Renton jacks up in the toilet on the ratter for one final hit in the desperate knowledge that things could really go bad – but they could also go really good?
Well, Berliner Scott Monteith aka Deadbeat makes that feeling into sound: bottomless dub which spirals into an abyss – relentless, quaking paranoid grooves.
Should sound scarily-thrilling past midnight.
3. Tim Hecker at The Art Academy, Thursday May 17 1.15am-2am.
One of the big draws at this year’s Liverpool Sound City, Canadian Tim Hecker explores spectral ambient drones and imbues it with washes of haunting beauty.
His sixth album Rave Death 1972 was a shoe-in on most end of year album’s list (including ours), Hecker should be the perfect way to sign off Day One of the festival…

4. The Big Sleep at the Kazimier, Thursday May 17, 1-2am.
…That is unless you fancy going the whole hog on Day One and stomp your way into a frenzy with Brooklyn’s The Big Sleep.
Combining massive Led Zep hooks with filthy beats, Danny Barria and Sonya Balchandani are a couple of fiends intent on making a big ol’ racket – we suggest you get down to the Kazimier and sign off the night in style.

5. Oliver Tank at St Lukes Church, Friday May 18, 7pm-7.30pm and again at Heebie Jeebies, Saturday May 19 6pm-6.30pm.
Sydney resident Oliver Tank is so good he’s on twice at this year’s Sound City.
Essentially, 22-year-old Tank makes really good pop music layered with washes of echo and reverb making him a favourite with the ladies but cool enough for the hipster crew.
Oh, and he’s also a former Getintothis Single of the Week champion. Bet he did a little dance when that was revealed.

6. Still Flyin‘, at Mello Mello, Friday May 18, 11.15pm-midnight.
Getintothis saw this lot at All Tomorrow’s Parties several years ago.
Memories are hazy but the vision of several hundred people smiling/stage invading/bouncing joyously along to music seemingly heaven sent will always stay with me.
Their new album On A Bedroom Wall, released the week after Sound City, is a rapture of Broken Social Scene-inspired dreamy pop and we’re expecting Mello to go off when this San Fran collective take to the stage on Friday night.

7. Bear In Heaven at Leaf Cafe first floor, Friday May 18, midnight-12.45am.
From one of Getintothis favourite indie labels, Hometapes, come one of Getintothis‘ favourite under the radar bands – Bear In Heaven.
We’ve been raving about them since their ‘breakthrough’ record, Red Bloom of the Boom, back in ’08 – a record so good we awarded it a rare 9/10.
Mixing avant-rock pop with some seriously sinister noise, it’s been a long time coming but we can’t wait to catch them in the flesh at Leaf for the very first time.

8. Pond at The Kazimier, Friday May 18 1am-2am.
Getintothis visited the bohemian port of Fremantle some time ago. As well as dining out on the fine seafood and purchasing some nifty threads, we were also accosted by a local lunatic drifter type wielding a pretty big knife – sometimes you have to take the rough with the smooth.
That approach is adopted by Pond – hazy, trippy melodies meld into walls of ecstatic, delirious drone which can get rather dangerous.
From the same stable that gave us Tame Impala – this lot should pretty close to awesome come early morning.

9. Kamp! at Mello Mello, Saturday May 19, 9-9.30pm.
The superbly-named Kamp! are part of the superbly-named Don’t Panic We’re From Poland showcase on Saturday afternoon.
They make expertly-crafted summer-infused New Order-style electro which should have the hippies in Mello bouncing along with their Brooklyn lager and homemade chocolate brownies.
Kamp! feature alongside the also superbly-named Plum and Paula & Karol, both of which are of course superb.

10. Sweet Lights at Leaf Cafe first floor, Saturday May 19 8pm-8.30pm
Such is the raft of amazing new acts at Liverpool Sound City this week, we’d love to include the chirpy pop of Concrete Knives (St Luke’s Church, Saturday May 19, 9-9.30pm), the post-punk ferocity of Death Letters (Screenadelica, Saturday May 19, 5-5.30pm), the lo-fi scuzz of Bleached (Wolstenholme Creative Space, Saturday May 19 at 11pm-11.30pm), the haunted folk of Die Mason Die (The Attic, Saturday May 19, 10.30-11pm) or the electro-pop diamonds of hype stars Niki & The Dove (Red Bull Studios live at the Garage, Friday May 18, 10pm-11pm)…
But the last must-see pick goes to the exquisite sound of Sweet Lights. Take one part Brian Wilson, one part Perfume Genius and a little scoop of ELO (yup, Electric Light Orchestra) and you have gorgeous Philadelphian sound of musical polymath Shai Halperin – expect something really special.
Without wishing to end on a downer, we must tell you about Icelandic collective Stafrænn Hakon who were scheduled to play at St Luke’s Church on Thursday but have sadly had to pull out due to their drummer leaving the band.
Let’s hope they find a replacement and make the trip to Liverpool soon, as their music combines the colossal power of Mogwai with the punishing noise of Sonic Youth and we’re sure they’d be pretty magnificent ripping up our earholes.

Getintothis Top 10 Merseyside/Liverpool acts at Liverpool Sound City 2012.
Getintothis Top 10 UK acts at Liverpool Sound City 2012.
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For a comprehensive guide to all the artists playing Liverpool Sound City 2012 visit here.