Soundcity Liverpool is one of the rare festivals were the musicians and artists playing it, have a chance to speak candidly in a forum in front of the festival goers and give an insight into their lives and experiences. Such is the case with Alexei Sayle who was at the Tim Peaks Diner in to promote his new book and to allow members of the audience to ask questions. Speaking about his renting days in London with sophisticated but child like arabs to how he pretends to own an imaginary sandwich shop, Alexei was both very engaging and approachable. As a start of a second day of the festival, this was ideal.
Moving on from Alexei, we came across Crosby band, Red Rum Club, ripping up the Cavern Stage. With music that wouldn’t be out-of-place in a Bond Film, Red Rum Club manage to draw a sizeable crowd to their set and the quality of the sound can be heard from afar. Sounding very much like The Killers is an achievement in itself but doesn’t distract from the style and smoothness of the band.
The Lottery winners hailing their appearance on the Tall Ship by screaming “We are on a boat” set us up for glorious half hour. Hailing from Manchester, this quartet certainly know how to embrace an audience and draw them in. With beautifully crafted songs, they seem to have brought much of their fan base along as they cheer and applaud along with the group. There is no them and us scenario being played out here but more an “us”. Great energy and enthusiasm and really making the “boat rock”.
Our first trip to the Atlantic Stage has us come across Shura. A singer, producer, remixer and video editor from Shepherd’s Bush in West London she was ideal for the sun setting on the main stage. Although her music has much of a similar sound to it and a lot of the time you find yourself thinking that the start of the song is some 80s track, she manages to make the most of her set and welcome the crowd into her world, albeit for only 45 mins.
The Hot Chip Dj was a stark contrast to Shura’s low beat performance. Blasting out tune after tune they had the warehouse bopping along to some of the finest tunes and as a set up to 2 Many DJs they were ideal but when 2 Many DJs hit the stage the place went into uproar. Pounding beats swallowed up the mesmerised crowd. Arms flying high and dancing a-plenty saw them rip the roof off the The Baltic Warehouse. An amazing 2 hour set that didn’t let up for a moment.
Whilst that was happening, we managed to slip out for a bit of The Dandy Warhols on the main stage. Stunning psychedelic and always a must see, they struck a wonderful backdrop to the Mersey and going through their back catalogue made you remember many a forgotten tune by the band. Bohemian like you had the audience singing along just as the first chords had sounded and ending on Boys Better left you feeling elated and joyous.
Our final act for the night was the one and only Mr Peter Doherty. Up against the mighty Coral on the main stage, Pete managed to arrive on stage at the right time (something The Coral couldn’t even do due to delays in previous sets). Looking a little worse for wear and trying to find his bass player, Pete played through a lot of his new album but throwing in You’re my Waterloo and Last of the English Roses to get the crowd singing along and his encore of Fuck Forever had them jumping, stamping and singing along with every little ounce of energy they had left. Although a more than sombre and quiet set from Pete, he still managed to raise the metaphoric roof off what has been a great weekend festival.