Liverpool Sound City

Has it really been a week since Liverpool Sound City? My feet are still recovering from running around trying to catch as many sets as I could. I headed to the Baltic Triangle early Saturday to get set for the busy weekend. I had a couple of sets down on my list but I tried to go with an open mind of being free to wander the streets to different venues and catch some new music which certainly isn’t hard with a line up that big!

It’s always great to see festivals come alive in the Baltic Triangle and really gives credit to how fantastic the range of venues are there. From the outdoor stages on New Bird Street and Constellations Garden to the Hobo Kiosk and Brick Street the festival really covers it on every front to play around as a gig photographer.

Our biggest highlight of this festival was an electric set from Scottish lads Vistas. We were lucky enough to have them at Shout About It Live last year and they have just gone from strength to strength and their hard work certainly pays off as they played to an absolutely jam packed Hangar 34. We spent a lot of our time across different venues over the weekend but Hangar 34, Constellations and District certainly had the most to offer in terms of music.

Like many festivals in Liverpool, it was great to see artists and bands turning up to stages across the festival see what was on offer. Sound City certainly showcased a large chunk of the local music scene with some absolute belter sets from the likes of SPQR, Natalie McCool, Wide Eyed Boy, Tracky and Paris Youth Foundation. We managed to squeeze ourselves into a very sweaty and tightly packed District to catch a couple of songs from Red Rum Club. The lads are on a massive rise with a sold out gig in the O2 Academy Liverpool coming up in September, I doubt there will be much chance to catch them in a small venue like Heebie Jeebies where I first fell in love with their roaring music. If they’re coming to play in your town soon be sure to grab yourself a ticket, you won’t be disappointed.

After missing them at The Cavern on the Friday night, we were not going to be missing a full hour set from Clean Cut Kid on the main stage. At this point, the festival had ran out of pit passes but for sets like this the best thing to do is grab a pint and just enjoy it. I’ve seen Clean Cut Kid countless times and each time is special for a different reason. From the last time I saw them in Manchester playing a perfectly polished set of songs from their new album Painwave, to the Sunday of Sound City watching them struggle with a hangover just like myself and half the crowd, they never disappoint. The set was full of banter, laughter, some old favourites and had the crowd dancing.

We all know at Shout About It we are all about the visuals but before we get to the gallery…. the biggest highlight of Sound City for us would have to be the Levi’s Music Project. Inspired by the notion of ‘Music & Unity’ Loyle Carner has spent the past six months working with students to mentor them leading up to Sound City weekend.

These short burst sets were great to catch over the weekend and showcased some truly incredible young talent. The project also showcased the work and stories of the photographers and graphic designers involved in the project in a zine style giveaway. Constellations had been transformed into a full branded Levi’s space and a stunning exhibition of images from Merseyside photographer Dean Davies. At Shout About It, we pride ourselves on our mission to ‘Bring Communities Together’ and it was amazing to see one of the world’s leading fashion brands being so passionate about the creative community and bringing people from different arts together.

This was actually my first experience of Sound City and it really did not disappoint. From photographs and stories i’ve seen of previous Sound City weekends, it’s clear that there has been a big change from huge stages to a more spread out festival and it may still be finding it’s feet in a new area a little bit. But to see the Baltic Triangle buzzing and full of live music to a point i’m having to make very difficult decisions over which set to catch is an absolute dream as a Merseyside photographer. A credit to their team for putting together such a diverse line up and having such a fantastic app that made it super easy to view stages and set times. Tickets for Sound City 2020 are available to buy now… grab them here.

Photographs & Words by Georgia Flynn.

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