Liverpool Sound City 2018 review

Henry Lewis spent a glorious bank holiday Sunday enjoying the musical mash up in Merseyside, with highlights coming from White Room, Hey Charlie, Peace and much more.

Henry Lewis

Last updated: 7th May 2018.
Originally published: 3rd May 2018

Image: Liverpool Sound City (credit)

The inner city festival is oft at its best when you get to journey across a number of venues, some big, some small some packed, some sparse on a voyage of discovery both culturally and musically.

If you haven't frequented Liverpool in the past, then this year's Sound City was the ideal opportunity to meander through a city absolutely steeped in cultural history, one that has produced musical icons such as the Beatles, The Las and a shedload more and oozes creativity from its every pore.

From its inception in 2008, Liverpool Sound City has moved from a city centre experience taking place in venues such as the Kazimier and The Zanzibar to Bramley-Moore Dock in Liverpool's historic docklands where the 2015, '16 and '17 editions were held.

This year however saw the sprawling weekender take place within the thriving Baltic Triangle and Cains Brewery areas of the city in iconic warehouses, intimate spaces, outdoor stages and pop-up places and with Liverpool basking in glorious sunshine and sizzling heat, it made sense to head over to Tim Peaks Diner in Constellations Garden for some early Sunday sightings.

Brighton psych pop five piece White Room were due to be playing much later on in the evening, but as they had to make the not so lengthy trip down the M62 to Salford's Sounds From The Other City for an evening set, their performance in Liverpool had been rearranged, but those lucky enough to catch them were treated massively. Style oozes from this band, from their outfits to their instruments to , of course, their powerful harmonies and majestic melodies and they glistened in the afternoon sun.

As the afternoon went on it was clear that the true joy in a festival like this is enjoying a smorgasbord of musical delights, taking a chance on acts you've heard about but never really followed up on and this leads to discovering absolute gems that can leave you feeling just as satisfied as the sets put in by the festivals' headliners.

This moment happened via a duo of fast rising trios Peaness and Hey Charlie, who played one after the other at the bustling Baltic Market Stage, the former making light work of whipping up the crowd into a frenzy with their lo fi indie pop sonics, while the latter tore into their set of garage goodness with serious aplomb.

A resplendent set from scouse indie four piece The Night Cafe was a real highlight of the day over at Camp and Furnace, with the local act getting one of the biggest reactions of the day with endless mosh pits and energy exerted from the crowd despite the stifling heat. 

After that it was down to Peace to end the day at the Camp main stage and they did so in some style, ripping through tracks from their brand new release Kindness Is The New Rock and Roll which only dropped three days before, and they weren't scared of airing it as much as they could. 

With the likes of 'Power', 'You Don't Walk Away From Love', 'Silver Lined', and plenty more including the album's anthemic title track (which saw lead singer Harry Koisser adopt a Freddie Mercury esque position behind a piano) the Birmingham rockers proved that their latest tracks slot in perfectly amongst those off of In Love and Happy People, and as well as new sounds, they delivered a set full of fan favourites too.

As the echoes of 'Bloodshake' rang out from lead singer Harry Koisser's guitar, bringing the curtain down on Sound City for another year, not one person could have left disappointed. Great weather, great people and most importantly great music meant that this year's Merseyside mash up will live long in the memory.

Festivals 2018