Liverpool Sound City 2016 review: Catfish & The Bottlemen, Sleaford Mods, Paddy Considine, Greg Wilson & more

Catfish and the Bottlemen

Catfish and the Bottlemen

The opening day of music at Liverpool Sound City 2016 comes to a close, Getintothis’ Cath Bore checks out some of the main stage action. 

The Left Backs from Belfast got their place at Liverpool Sound City by winning Hope’s Got Talent 2016, and it’s easy to see why. Indie power pop with slices of joyful ska in Lucy, there’s balance too, A Better Man Than Me carrying a sweet sadness. Four lads from out of town filling the Mailchimp Record Store at one o’ clock in the afternoon while most people still queue at the front gate, The Left Backs bring with them sunshine and smiles.

After DJ Greg Wilson takes to the stage in Tim Peaks Diner and reflects on his career, Paddy Considine, aka Father John Hughes in Peaky Blinders, talks to Dave Haslam with enthusiasm about Journeyman, his forthcoming film, about a troubled boxer ‘making peace with himself‘. But when he’s asked by one audience member to comment on the struggle of young working class actors, he is not impressed and gets animated, insists we shouldn’t have labels, there’s no them and us. Just do it, with no excuses.

Be sure to check out the rest of our Sound City 2016 coverage here. 

In conversation with Sleaford Mods is up next. Haslam brings up the concept of political bands and artists, citing Gary Barlow as an actively political artist; OBE in pocket, making appeals on the telly, asking people with less money than him to donate to charity. ‘The status quo suits him…he’s political. But no one sees him as political.’ But Sleaford Mods are so clearly political, with no compromise, though as the band’s Andrew Fearn says, the concept of a political band is very ‘1980s’.

‘When we got together, life was uneventful…we’d failed in our professional lives. I wasn’t going to start singing about my broken heart,’ says singer Jason Williamson, Fearn nodding in agreement.

Sleaford Mods take to the Atlantic Stage an hour later, all quickfire barked barbs. T-shirted fans of Catfish and the Bottlemen, who are due on after them, look bewildered. Point made.

The superficial indie pop of Catfish and the Bottlemen jars as they follow Sleaford Mods, and compared with Young Fathers over at the other end of the festival site. Scheduling the two bands consecutively is either a very odd decision, or absolute genius. This writer can’t quite decide which.

Catfish and the Bottlemen‘s sound probably lends more to a boy band sensibility. Whether they are the kind of band who are best suited to headline an event like Sound City probably depends on the eye of the beholder. Their performance was an opportunity for the faithful to clap along, punch the air and sit on shoulders. Simple choruses can work in pop and often do, but ultimately this is quite dull. This writer can’t say she fully ‘gets’ it, but it can’t be denied that they pulled a sizeable crowd, many of whom obviously came to Sound City to purely to see them and they love it. Big time.

Pictures by Getintothis’ Marty Saleh.