Ten years of Sound City celebrated in spectacular four day event


RETURNING for its 10th anniversary Sound City made its ever-lasting mark on Liverpool's music history.

With music, arts, lots of food and drink the festival boasted something for everyone.

Spread over four days Thursday and Friday saw sets from the Human League and John Cale's last European show performing The Velvet Underground and Nico in its entirety.

The vibes for the sold-out John Cale were poor to start with, the crowd were left with a band taste in their mouth.

However as the night went on, things heated up - and for the better.

Performing the infamous Velvet Underground and Nico album special guests such as The Kills, Clinic and Gruff Rhys shape-shifted their way through a set of fan-favourites.

One of the crowing glory's of the evening was 'Femme Fetale' when Cale was joined by the superb songstress Nadine Shah who sang Nico's part with so much power and dignity - making it sound so much better than the original.

A memorable moment, commenting on Saturday Cale told audiences about how Nico couldn't sing and was always craving some attention.

The first year at their new home, Sound City has been covered in mystery but it lacked the character of the old Bramley Moore Dock site which is soon hoped to become home to Everton Football Club's new stadium.

Just along the way from the Titanic hotel in Stanley Dock, the setting was crowned by Liverpool landmarks such as the Liver building.

The VIP section had its own bar and posh toilets - a rare and desperately wanted commodity at any festival for little extra cost.

Fairground rides and dance acts were the crowning glory to the perfectly contained surroundings at Clarence Dock.

On Saturday the site was consumed by dust - the dry foundations whirling up like a tornado with artists getting caught up in the strong winds and dusty surroundings.

One of the biggest crowds - and our most anticipated set of the day was for The Kills.

After seeing them the night before, their high energy, sexy sets were all we craved on the day.

Celebrating their 15th year anniversary front-woman Alison Mosshart and equal counterpart Jamie Hince provided a set which was arguably the most memorable of the weekend with hits such as Black Balloon, U R A Fever and Baby Says,

The energy from the stage plummeted onto the crowd who watched open mouthed and wide eyed totally amazed by the band who oozed all the right sounds and all the right shapes.

Wirral bands such as Jo Mary helped open proceedings on the Pirate Studios stage - bringing a fair sized crowd of revelers who were enjoying an early tipple.

In Conversation stages complimented the festival with an on-stage interview with John Cale proving to be a popular set among the Sound City crowd.
John Cale speaking to Dave Haslam

Cale spoke of times producing The Stooges infamous album - I Wanna Be Your Dog and close relationships with band mates such as Lou Reed.

On the Cavern stage bands such as Manchester's Crimsons roared into mics and gathered a cool, modest crowd with tracks such as 'Idle Ways' and 'Shy Talk' ringing out by the 'chill out' zone.

Headliners Metronomy had a crowd of around 500 people - a surely disappointing turn-out considering the numbers on the day however it was a hard to follow on from such an energetic set from The Kills.

Sunday's offering seemed to draw a larger audience with many 'indie legends' returning and tapping into Liverpool's core target market.

The Kooks brought a strong crowd of thousands singing fan favourites such as 'Naive' and 'She Moves in Her Own Way'.

During the day there was even guest appearances from Andy Burnham and Steve Rotheram who delivered a moving speech about the Manchester terror attack.

All weekend we paid respects to those who have been affected by the Manchester blast - with bands offering their own moments of silence - or noise to show their support for those involved.

Carl Barat and the Jackals paid tribute with a simple United Kingdom flag with 'MCR X' written on it with duct tape.

Liverpool Sound City certainly celebrated its 10th birthday in a way they only know how - through sublime music.

We'll be back again next year.

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lauren@themusicmanual.co.uk