Day 2 at Sound City, what was waiting for me? Before I start, those with a keen eye will have noticed we don’t have a ‘Day 1’ up on the website as yet, I can assure all you Day 1 people (they are real I have seen them) that we do have our Day 1 coverage on its way (cough MEG nudge). So for now if you can just convince yourself that you have read Day 1 and it was a thoroughly stunning piece of work. After arriving at the Sound City press centre to get my press pass and getting mistaken for a band member (I think it was the way the wind had blown my hair) I took the short walk over the road to the Kazimier Gardens. It made sense that it should be my first port of call, it was sunny and I could also smell sausages cooking. Like Scooby Doo I arrived just in time to see the start of a set from Seafaring Creatures.
A local 5 piece band from Liverpool which also contained a well handled violin. There is something about someone playing a violin in a band that makes you stare at them. I don’t know if it’s the rapid elbow movements or the sound, or maybe both. They normally don’t notice. The first thing that struck me about Seafaring Creatures was the energy they produce with the overall sound. The female vocal would often prance along to the folky/upbeat tunes and at times the band would be quite fierece with their stage movements, but keeping it tamed within the sound, it worked and it was lovely energy you want to see from a band that mirrored the music they were giving the crowd. Overall it was a great set that everyone seemed to enjoy, a mixture of soft playful tunes through to foot stomping rhythms. Any band that has a squeeze box (accordion?) is OK with me. Go and watch Seafaring Creatures, you will love it. https://soundcloud.com/seafaring-creatures
I knew Hooton Tennis Club were playing here today, I had even marked it on my ‘to see’ card. Although we are currently reviewing their
current CD (cough JIMBO nudge) I thought I would take the opportunity to see them live. More people had arrived at the venue and there wasn’t much room for a nimble reviewer to get a good vantage point. Severn deep at the small outside bar and the meat grill whipping up a food frenzy the band kicked off their set by telling everyone to move in closer to the stage, we all shuffled in. Hooton Tennis Club have an instant like factor, even before they strum a chord or tickle a snare, you just know that what is going to hit you in the face, will be nice and you will want more. A warm lo – fi buzz dances out of the amps rolling around the gardens like a happy snake. In parts borderline surf pop; splashing’s of a Sonic Youth influence maybe. These guys know how to find a groove, sit in it and look happy right there for as long as they wish. Like the previous band, Hooton Tennis Club have a natural stage presence, one that makes you want to sit and see what they are all about. Stay tuned for our CD review, in the meantime, anyone for tennis? http://hootontennisclub.bandcamp.com
I hot footed it up to The Shipping Forecast to check out a band call Happyness. Before I knew it I was out of the sunny sausage smelling garden and into the dimly lit basement of The Shipping Forecast, eyes adjusting and hanging around with a group of others like doggers in a Tesco car park. I knew nothing about Happyness, I liked the name when I saw it on the performance schedule. I like to select bands that I
have never heard or seen before, you can sometimes arrive with a more open mind (not compare previous performances). This 3 piece from London had lots to offer the now filling darkened room. They pretty much had me at “We are called Happyness – this is a song about killing people at parties”. Happyness look as if they have been playing music together for a life time and are more than comfortable in their musical skin. A musical skin that is dripped in what a 3 piece band is all about, raw bass lines that are tied in tight with the drums, dirty vocals and guitar that just makes you move. Songs like ‘It’s On You’ have that trans-atlantic feel, wheezerish, but Happyness is more than that which is proven with tunes like ‘We’ve Got A Birthday Girl’. A mention also on the drummer, he has to be the happiest drummer I have ever seen, maybe they named the band after him I don’t know, but his performance alone is worth any entry fee, for me this band was a real find; brilliant. https://soundcloud.com/happyness-4
My final destination of the evening was to be Leaf on Bold Street to check out Silent Sleep. Many words have been written about Silent Sleep (lots from us) but I couldn’t resist heading over to see them play live to a packed out Leaf venue. The band gives the watcher many things, beautiful lyrics that take you on a journey, all rolled up in wonderful dreamy acoustic bundle. That bundle consisting of many different instruments such as glockenspiel (haven’t written that in a while) trumpet or violin. But the beauty about a Silent Sleep song is the fact it can quite easily hold its own by just being played on an acoustic guitar. This was put to the test at the start of the Silent Sleep set when there were a few technical problems and Chris McIntosh (Lead Vocal/Guitar) decided to play ‘Liked Me After All’ on his own which went down a storm. What makes each individual
Silent Sleep song and performance so bloody good? I think it maybe the fact that every lyric written is real and has been either lived or dreamed, everyone who is a part of Silent Sleep love the music they create, it shows and rolls off the stage to suck you in. It was a simply stunning set yet again from the band ‘Walk Me To The Sea’ ‘Black Tide’ I could probably name them all as highlights.
The set was interrupted halfway through with a phone call to Christopher from a Sound City representative (photo) asking him where he was? “I’m actually on stage right now; probably more music less chat?” was the reply with a background of an audience roar to the caller. The set was brought to a close with the band climbing down off the stage with instruments to stand in the middle of the audience and play ‘On The Steps Of The Bombed Out Church” with instructions for everyone to clap and foot stomp halfway through the song, which they most definitely did! If you haven’t seen Silent Sleep, put your socks on and just go out now and find them or you could at least check them out here http://silentsleep.bandcamp.com
Day 2 at Sound City didn’t disappoint. As a reviewer when going out to see a number of bands in one night you pretty much expect to hear something that isn’t great it can be a gamble, but tonight I most definitely rolled a double six and got a line of lemons, Jackpot. Well done Sound City 2014.