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Liverpool Sound City 2017 Sunday review

Ahead of Liverpool Sound City 2018, we look back on last year's event, when Henry Lewis went down to their 10th birthday.

Henry Lewis

Last updated: 2nd May 2018

Image: Liverpool Sound City

Celebrating a decade of bringing a wonderful array of musical talent to Merseyside this year, Liverpool Sound City once again delivered a triumphant weekend of memorable live spectacles.

Focusing primarily on guitar music, the festival proved that despite those wide of the mark murmurs, rock and roll is as healthy as ever with a line up that celebrated Sound City's ten event span and a glut of guitar-wielding outfits.

Early on in the afternoon feisty stick-it-to-the-man noise makers Cabbage tore up the main stage with a typically rip-roaring performance that chimed with clanging riffs and hollered messages. The band's bass drum directed fans to vote Labour, a common theme throughout the day - there were frequent hollers of "Oh Jeremy Corbyn" to the tune of The White Stripes' 'Seven Nation Army' and a pointedly placed 'Vote Labour' sticker on The Shimmer Band's Tom Kuras' bass guitar.

The Shimmer Band themselves were no doubt a highlight, with a groove-laden collection of swirling psych anthems. The five-piece are yet another outfit to have cut their teeth via rock'n'roll promoters This Feeling, who have helped to develop the careers of heaps of bands across the country with the likes of Blossoms, the aforementioned Cabbage, The Blinders and tonnes more a product of their showcase nights.

Just one more act to add to that list is The Vryll Society who followed the glorious Shimmer Band onto The Baltic Stage. It was a home fixture for the group, who delivered their brand of woozy, guitar sonics in blistering fashion with the likes of 'Sacred Flight' and 'Deep Blue Sky' consuming the room in a haze of reverb.

Later in the evening, one of the UK's soon-to-be-biggest loved bands The Amazons took to the same stage to perform in front of a rampant crowd eager to see the up and coming stars in action. The four piece from Reading took to the stage to deliver tracks from their eponymous debut album, which dropped only last Friday, and if the frenzied reaction to their performance was anything to go by, it's set to be a momentous summer for the band.

As with gigs and festivals up and down the country this week, the atrocities of Monday night's devastation in Manchester were certainly still prominent in everyone's minds with The Vryll Society's Mike Ellis dedicating their final number "to Manny", whilst a minute's silence was observed ahead of the Cribs' special guest slot.

Liverpool's Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram then met with his Manchester counterpart Andy Burnham on the main stage to deliver heartfelt speeches in what has been a tragic week.

Much like Thursday's minute silence in St Ann's Square, as well as The Courteeners' huge home triumph at Old Trafford Cricket ground and Dot To Dot's Manchester leg, a rousing rendition of 'Don't Look Back In Anger' rang around the festival site as music fans stood in solidarity for those gig goers who suffered the unthinkable at the Manchester Arena.

In a year where the festival celebrated a decade, Wakefield's finest The Cribs rounded off their Men's Needs, Women's Needs, Whatever ten-year anniversary tour in a city Ryan Jarman said "they'd played hundreds of times". Exaggeration or not, he can't be far off, with the Jarman brothers being one of the hardest grafting bands out there. 

It's important to champion bands like the Cribs, who have always done things their own way. Their never say die ethos has seen them acquire a fiercely loyal fan base, whilst also turning out six riff touting, lyrically inspired albums that have always perfectly exhibited their leather-jacketed charm and bullshit despising confidence.

As with all of the other dates on their MNWNW tour, they delivered their third album in full with their usual aplomb, reminding the crowd, if they didn't realise already, what a brilliant collection of frantic pop songs it truly is.

The main stage ended with the upbeat indie exuberance of The Kooks, who last year celebrated the 10 year anniversary of their own debut, and brought their greatest hits and a couple of new numbers to their headline slot.

You can't help but feel that it's so important to have events like Sound City, ones that are truly in it for the youth and more specifically, the youth that love guitar music. There truly are so many great bands to get behind and, whether they hit the heights of the pop charts or not, festivals like this prove they're out there. Guitar music salutes you Liverpool Sound City; here's to another decade.

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