Sound City 2013: Itinerary

With more than 360 artists playing myriad venues at Sound City, we narrow the field down as best we can…

With the first bands getting underway a little later today for 2013’s incarnation of Liverpool Sound City, we couldn’t think of a better way to navigate the line-up than the best way we know how, with a playlist.

Over the next ten tracks, we’ve tried to give as broad a look at the musical offerings (taste allowing) as we possibly can. Of course, feel free to add your own suggestions below.

We start with hotly tipped Savages; riding a wave of hype, the band often – perhaps not unfairly – compared to Joy Division, have a great line in pop-punk to match the column inches they’ve inspired over the past couple of years.

Talking about hype, when Manchester’s Egyptian Hip Hop burst onto the scene, they were barely out of their mid-teens. Following some time under the radar (and no doubt surfacing a little more certain of themselves), the four-piece returned last year with assured debut, Good Don’t Sleep.

Two tracks in and you’d be forgiven for thinking this is a festival (and playlist) dominated entirely by a rash of guitar bands, leaving those with different tastes well and truly on the side-lines. While you wouldn’t be entirely wrong in that assumption, it would be to ignore the Kazimier and Deep Hedonia-programmed Thursday evening. Oneohtrix Point Never, backed up by a swathe of Liverpool acts, including Afternaut, Lunar Modular, Acrobat and Kepla, make the Kazimier the stage for anyone after an electronic fix.

“Blasting out the scuzziest brand of psychedelia known to San Francisco, Thee Oh Sees may be our picks of the weekend”

Our next selection is the incredibly prolific Thee Oh Sees (above), who have 15 albums to their name. Blasting out the scuzziest brand of psychedelia known to San Francisco, in short, the John Dwyer-led project rock; never mind making the playlist, Thee Oh Sees may be our picks of the weekend, full stop.

Also falling snugly into that category are The Walkmen. First coming to our attention in the sweaty morass that is le bateau’s dancefloor with 2004 single, The Rat (number 31 in the NME’s 150 Best Tracks of the Last 15 Years), if you haven’t heard it, we envy you the discovery.

Well, how to follow that? It’s a toughie, alright, but we have every confidence in the 2013 GIT Award-winner Baltic Fleet having a decent stab at it. AKA Paul Fleming, touring keyboardist of Echo & The Bunnymen, his debut was named Rough Trade album of the year. Dealing in kraut rock-inspired soundscapes allied to a pop sensibility, Baltic Fleet provide a different complexion to proceedings.

Another band making sustained waves are Manchester-based four piece PINS, their LuvU4Lyf EP of last year harnessing a chillingly appealing, Spector-esque quality. More than mere darlings of the indie blogosphere, PINS look and sound entirely capable of leaving the hype-machine in their tracks.

One of our favourite bands to emerge from Liverpool of late, Stealing Sheep have approached ubiquity at times over the past 18 months or so. Signing to Heavenly Records, regular airplay on BBC 6 Music and even – bizarrely – scoring a TV promo slot for teen nonsense, Hollyoaks. We don’t know about you, but that’s the longest we’ve ever been inclined to tolerate the show being on our tellies.

Our penultimate shout are London-based Wolf People. Taking a pick and mix approach to bands and genres who’ve gone before them (who doesn’t?), while adding enough of themselves into the equation, the band’s recently released album, Fain, has been gleaning some stellar reviews.

We close the playlist with a band, a duo actually, from the Peak District. If their location does little to excite you, it’s worth bearing in mind that Drenge (brothers Eoin and Rory Loveless) were a Guardian band of the day earlier this year. With a sound cobbled together from grunge and blues-rock, while it’s not difficult to spot the references, ridding yourself of the urge to listen to one more Drenge track could be.

Liverpool Sound City runs today until Saturday

Posted on 02/05/2013 by thedoublenegative