If you’re heading to Liverpool for the Sound City Festival you’ve probably already made your ‘Big Picks’ for the weekend, possibly The Snuts at The Arts Club on Friday, or Red Rum Club at Grand Central Hall on Saturday, but if you need a little help with some of your other choices, here are the Halfway 2 Nowhere ‘Ones-to-Watch’.
The Sway, Gigseekr @ LEAF – Saturday, 15:30.
If I had to pick one emerging band that drips with the musical DNA of Liverpool then it would be The Sway. They’re all about the melody. Boasting not one, not two, but in Ryan McNee, Ciaran Smith, and Aidan McLean – three singer-songwriters, each song goes through a rigorous selection process. The products are melodious, harmonious, instantly catchy tunes like Are You Ready To Be (Happy) and Sunshine Seeker. If you’re a fan of The La’s, The Coral, or any Michael Head fronted band, then The Sway might just be for you.
The Clockworks, The Shipping Forecast – Saturday, 15:40.
Originally from Galway, now based in London, described by Alan McGee as ‘The best band to come out of Ireland since My Bloody Valentine‘ The Clockworks put on a hell of a live show. Guitarist Sean Connelly patrols the stage like a modern day Wilco Johnson. Bass player Tom Freeman has the energy and style of Blockheads bassist Norman Watt-Roy. James McGregor articulates his thoughtful, angsty lyrics about the everyday problems of modern life like a man on the edge. Bills and Pills and Stranded at Stansted are songs best heard live and loud.
The Luka State, Grand Central – Sunday, 17:05.
This Winsford foursome gave one of the most energetic performances I’ve witnessed, at 3 in the afternoon in a pub in Camden Town. They never give less than 110%. Coming off the back of touring their debut album – Fall In Fall Out, and support slots with The Reytons, I expect them to be fully match fit and cannot wait to see what they can do in the glorious surroundings of the Grand Central Hall. Expect some high octane, indie guitar rock and roll. For fans of The Clash, The Jam, The K’s.
Eyesore & the Jinx, Shipping Forecast – Sunday, 22:00.
Local trio, Eyesore & the Jinx, part of the Eggy Records Collective are guaranteed to entertain, educate and amuse. Producers of tuneful post-punk/punkabilly tunes with lyrics displaying a social conscience with songs like On an Island, Eyesore & the Jinx are the unnatural descendants of bands like Half Man Half Biscuit and The Fall. I’m smiling now just thinking about listening to Accidental Weller, a song about getting a bad haircut.
The Lathums, Grand Central – Sunday 18:45.
I know I said at the top of this piece that we were going to help you find some artists down the list to have a look at, but this is a no-brainer. By the time The Lathums take to the ornate stage at Grand Central Hall, their debut album How Beautiful Life Can Be will undoubtedly be standing atop the charts. I saw them play their first headline show in eighteen months last Thursday at Liverpool Arts Club and it was truly wonderful. Take every opportunity you can to see these boys in a smaller setting while you can. It won’t be long before you’ll only be able to see them in an arena or at an outdoor festival. Cherish these performances while you can.
Have a boss weekend and a sound Sound City.