Its May bank holiday weekend and Bramley-Moore dock once more plays host to Liverpool Soundcity and with one of the strongest line-ups yet, it promises to be quite an event.
Arriving on site to queues and delays only shows the popularity of the event but any delays are dealt with swiftly and effectively and as the sun is shining brightly, most people aren’t too bothered anyway.
First up on the Atlantic stage for us was Kyko. Touted as an “Indie Whizzkid” for the fact that he writes and plays almost any instrument he puts his hand to and admittedly he does impress. His music is ideal for a gorgeous sunny day such as this. Light, upbeat and chilled with seductively smooth vocals to accompany the music. He was the ideal way to ease yourself into the festival.
Following on from him we headed over to the very little Mailchimp Record store stage to have a gander at Hein Cooper. The Sydney based singer/songwriter is an imposing figure on such a small stage but his stature and build are a stark contrast to his sound. Hein’s vocals drift out sharp and sweet across the crowd gathered and he is a joy to listen to. Playing songs from his new album, The Art of Escape, he manages to bring a vibe not dissimilar to that of Kyko. Something to tap your feet and smile too.
In stark contrast to that on the Tall Ship stage, we stumbled across Las Aves. Stark, bold and in your face. The French quartet have just released their album “Die in Shanghai” and its a punk, hip,hop synth style is glorious. Pounding beats alongside an energetic set left me mesmerised and, along the back drop of singing on the deck of a tall ship, the juxtaposition of the two made for a spell binding set.
The anarchy that populated the North stage in the form of Levelz from Manchester was something to be seen to be believed. 11 members in the group, all on stage and dropping lyrics faster than your ears can compute, these guys know how to draw in a crowd. Their absolute mayhem on stage is infectious and well received by the crowd. Probably the most glorious thing we had seen today in regards to crowd interaction and energy. And jumping off stage, onto the floor and back up into the crowd to surf is something that only these guys could do and still remain stylish and graceful.
Sleaford Mods. These seem to be a Marmite duo. I have seen and read so much about these 2, both in the positive and negative, so to finally witness what it is that polarises people so much was a must do and immediately I could see why. My initial thoughts saw me thinking “what the f*uck is this crap”. Lead vocalist Jason Williamson really goes out of his way to alienate a lot of people with his brash, in your face lyrics which are tantamount to him swearing and screaming. But as the set went on, I became more interested in what they were trying to do. This is a brash in-your-face exploration of our times. With lyrics that don’t beat about the bush. Heavily influenced by the mod and punk culture, this is raw, unadulterated music. The kind that makes you sit up and listen. I guess if you have any opinion on these guys its better than having no opinion and that is probably what Sleaford Mods are about.
In complete contrast to Sleaford are our headliners on the Atlantic Stage, Catfish and the Bottlemen. The last time we managed to see this band it was at a little festival called Southport Rocks and even then they displayed something special. Now with a host of awards, they take to the main stage to a capacity crowd. The provided a storming 90 minute set and with the release of their new album “The ride” the day before, their was much anticipation to hear the new stuff live and they did not disappoint and as always lead singer Van McCann had the audience in the palm of his hand. A glorious and rip-roaring to what has been a great start to the 2016 Soundcity Festival. Roll on day 2!