The Mancunion

Britain's biggest student newspaper

Festival: Liverpool Sound City

The best part of the festival tended to be the unexpected


Various Venues in Liverpool

1st-3rd May


The first-rate lineup of Liverpool Sound City initially proved almost overwhelming to consider.  If, like many, you arrived schedule-in-hand mapping out a complex list of bands to see, you quickly learned that the best part of the festival tended to be the unexpected: whether it be discovering a particularly striking (yet tiny) venue (read: the Kazimier) or stumbling upon an impressive gig killing time between sets (the ambiance of relaxing on a sofa in Leaf Café with a beer at midnight and experiencing the incredible vocals of Sivu).  Of course, there was always the pleasure of something good living up to your high expectations (it really doesn’t get much better than Clean Bandit performing in the incredible aesthetics of the Angelican Cathedral).

Liverpool favourites Circa Waves lived up to the hype, performing to a crowded room at the East Village Arts Club loft, and it’s easy to see why this might be one of the last times you’ll catch them on a stage so small.  Another band with a ‘I’ve seen them play at [insert small venue]’ moment was Saturday headliners Jungle, who played to a packed crowd within the outdoor tent of the Factory, and whose seven members exemplify cohesion and enthusiasm in a band.

Brighton-based Phoria, an electronic-infused five piece who played the slot before the flawless as ever Glass Animals, was one such band whose chance encounter left many enamored with their sound.  Other highlights came from guitar and synth outfit We Have Band, as well as the late night set from the Sunshine Underground at the Zanzibar on Friday night.

One thing you’ve got to admire about Sound City is the convenience and unrivaled multiplicity of the more than twenty participating venues, all situated within essentially the same five minute radius in the center of the city, making traversing between sets easy.  Despite its metropolitan location and not exactly summery temperatures, Sound City had all the good vibes of a festival surrounded by people who really were there for the music.