Hannah Brierley reviews British Sound Project, returning for a second time
After a successful inaugural year, the British Sound Project returned last weekend to showcase some of the best of British music. The two-day festival took place in Stretford’s Victoria Warehouse, an exceptionally cool venue.
Originally used for storing cotton, the industrial vibe and overall size of the building creates an exceptional backdrop for any event. Saturday, the second night of the festival, boasted a line-up of rising stars and well-established acts.
The set-up of the venue was instrumental in ensuring crowds got the full experience, with the two stages situated close enough to move easily between acts and avoid missing almost any sets. Whilst there were no bad bands on the bill, a few did seem to fall into the boundaries of typical indie. Overall though, the night did produce some spectacular highlights.
Halfway through the first stage’s bill was TOY. If I could describe their set in one word, it would be ‘loud’. Very loud. The five-piece managed to create an impressive wall of sound whilst ensuring they were still playing good music, not just descending into pure noise. They played confidently and seemed to really enjoy themselves on stage, one of the most important qualities a live band should have.
Like any festival should aim to do, British Sound Project brought in crowds to see the bands they knew and loved and exposed them to ones they may never have heard of before. For myself, the best example of this was with Youth Club – previously unknown to me.
The high-energy nature of the set was infectious, getting people moving properly for the first time all night. Their brand of indie pop, with funky undertones, was refreshing to see. If you like a boogie, they are certainly worth checking out.
The only unfortunate clash of the night was between The Horrors and The Wytches, beginning their sets at almost exactly the same time. The Wytches lost out in this particular draw, however, and it was back to the first stage.
Having been a massive fan of The Horrors in my early teens — and have not seen them play since then — I was excited to see if they were as strong a band as they used to be. In short, they did not disappoint. Mixing songs old and new, they continue to prove that they can’t be contained to one particular sound.
Headliners White Lies were much anticipated throughout the night and played a remarkable set. Having seen a fair few people throughout the night donning their White Lies t-shirts, I knew the crowd was going to be a good one.
They showed they were worthy of the top spot of the night, despite being rather underrated over recent years. After their set finished, the good vibes continued onto the second stage where Foals closed the night with a varied and entertaining DJ set.
It has to be said though, my personal highlight of the night was Steph from BBC Breakfast walking right past me — can’t beat a brush with the stars.