Sounds From The Other City

It seems like it was almost a lifetime ago, but Salfords best loved music festival Sounds From The Other City took place just over a month ago.  Wanna know a bit more about the festival?:

“Salford’s only new music festival, Sounds from the Other City celebrated its seventh birthday this year. Having presented Marina and The Diamonds, the Ting Tings, Cherry Ghost, Dutch Uncles, Wu Lyf, Egyptian Hip Hop, Jesca Hoop and many more, the one day event on Chapel Street returned on May 1 for a day and night of incredible sonic exploration.

As ever the focus on quality and talent and the festival expanded from nine to 13 stages this year; University of Salford 300+ capacity Peel Hall played host to a stage curated by promoters Hey! Manchester, while audiences could take in shows at Islington Mill, St Philip’s Church, Rover’s Return, and many more.

Acts this year included the NME’s favourite trancers D/R/U/G/S, indie legend Darren Hayman, Swedish popstrelles, Those Dancing Days as well as The Wave Pictures, The Twilight Sad, Rainbow Arabia, spoken word from Aidan Moffat and 70 more acts!”

As a presenter on Salford City Radio I felt it is only right that I head down there to see whats kicking off, but in any case it’s always such a good do, that it’s really not to be missed.  This year was the second year in a row for me and on the form of what I saw, I’d say this is what all local festivals should aspire to be… with a great mix of local born talent stacked alongside an array of buzz bands from our shores aswell as abroad.

Unfortunately due to being on air live until 6pm I missed a number of bands on early doors including The Louche FC and Driver Drive Faster who I adore. But when I did get down, I got to finally check out Willy Mason, who had packed out Peel Hall to the extent that it was one in, one out!  It was a pleasure to finally see Willy in action and Iwas lucky enough to get to chat to him afterwards when I was waiting to interview The Wave Pictures, he’s a really humble guy and we had a laugh about him almost choking on stage!

After that I raced over to my favourite Salford boozer, The Kings Arms to finally catch Sonny & The Sunsets.  I’d been looking forward to seeing them since I interviewed San Francisco band Citay a few months previously and had heard about all the movers and shakers of the west coast US music scene from lead singer Ezra who chatted with me for a long time off air whilst we chilled at Bernies house.    Sonny certainly didn’t disappoint and I’m still looking forward to seeing the Manchester Scenewipe session that they recorded on the day.  But in the meantime check them out here:

Whilst its great to be introduced to and watch bands that you’ve never seen before live, sometimes you just want to go and see a friendly face and dance like a madwoman.  So It was a run back to the Pint Pot to see one of the North Easts finest, Mammal Club next.  They have a brand new ep out now, and If you’re into the Everything Everything vibe, I suggest you take a listen, for a taster check out this:

How could it be A Salford music festival and me not to go to my favourite large space Salford gig venue Islington Mill.  So I hotfooted it over to the Now Wave stage to check out Sampha.  I was really disappointed by the number of people there to see them, but I guess I shouldn’t have been suprised, the band in question are brand new to me, and the music fans out in force at the festival seemed to be gravitating to established acts that they had seen previously.  I was impressed with the soulful vocals on offer in Sampha’s set and would definitely go and check them out again.

I decided to go back to basics and go see former SSR Salford Session band and show interviewees Young British Artists as they tore up upstairs of the Pint Pot.  It’s unbelievable to see how these guys have come on over the last year or so, they released one of my favourite EP’s of the year last year in Lived In Skin/Million Miles and when you have that in common with Steve Lamacq, thats testament to how good this band are.  They’ve been on tour of late supporting Dutch Uncles and from what I witnessed it’s allowed them to become an even tighter live unit.

If you haven’t heard me bang on about local band Patterns yet then you must have had your head in the clouds!  Recently signed to Melodic Records,  they set the downstairs of The Pint Pot alight on this particular night. They’ve also been lucky enough to be remixed bylocal buzz band Christian Aids wanna hear the result?

After that I headed to see Action Beat. I’d heard a lot about these guys and I was intrigued to see just how many drummers and guitarists they would have on board for the gig, not that I could see! The venue was rammed out and I was assured there were five drummers smash out the percussion and the same number of guitars, it was just a wall of NOISE!

Whilst I did nip over to see the ace D/R/U/G/S before escaping to my bed,  my real headliner was Veronica Falls. I’ve loved them for the last 18 months ago and the last time I saw them live was an Indietracks Festival last year and it had been way too long.  Apparently they are signed to Wichita Records with an imminent debut album, I cannot wait! They played a rousing retro set that was my personal highlight of the day!

All in all yet another amazing Sounds From The Other City.  Well done to all those involved in setting up and running the event, you did yourself and Salford proud!

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