Sounds of the Sound City

Prior to the Sound City festival, Felix Knapp takes a look at some of the best music coming out of Liverpool.

Ah Rumjig! One of my favourite bands in Liverpool at the moment mainly because they’re just so much fun. It’s hard to place a genre on this lively four piece, they swing effortlessly between Soul, Reggae and Jazz. They have recently recorded their first EP in Parr Street studios, and it sounds very good indeed. It was their live show that won me over, though. I caught them last year at Beat Herder festival and it’s refreshing to see a band that so clearly enjoys playing. The presence and ability of lead singer Kalika is combined with a band full of highly talented musicians, and this creates a really special live show. They're not playing Sound City but definitely one to look out for.

Funky Victorian Electro madness is the name of Dogshow’s game. This act is intrinsically linked with the creative forces working away at The Kazimier, and has become one of the fantastic venues big attractions. Dogshow have become known for their unique live performances, and have played sold out shows at Glastonnbury, Glade and The Big Chill building up quite a reputation in the process. They are playing Screenadelica on Thursday night, and you won’t want to miss their stunning audio-visual live show. Words cannot describe it, so go see it yourself!

If you have not heard Frisk’s recent work for the Necessary Bass/Nescessary Mayhem label I suggest you click on the link below and prepare you ears for some Jungle goodness. Tunes like ‘Police in Helicopter’ and his remix of ‘Dubplate’ have been sending bass heads up and down the country mental, and are well worth a listen. He’s not your ordinary DnB/Jungle producer though, there’s definitely something fresh and interesting about his tunes. This is also evident in the fact he’s remixed stuff by punk rockers Sonic Boom Six. Again, they're not playing Sound City but are easily available on the dancehalls of the information highway.

A Liverpool stalwart this DJ collective has been tearing up dancefloors all over the North West for the past few years. A group of six DJ’s that operate a one-on-one-off approach their gigs are always a lot of fun. With their wide ranging taste in music they have every base covered, you will not stop dancing when this lot take over. They have supported the likes Mr Scruff and 2ManyDJ’s and even went to Africa to play the Lake of Stars festival back in 2010. These guys are headlining the official after party at the Art Academy on Saturday from midnight. I’ll be there, dancing like a fool, and I hope you can join me.


And Now For Something Completely Different…

Whats that? You want something completely mad and astonishing? Well then go see Barberos! These lyrca clad electro noise mentalists feature two drummers, a dude on synths and a live video DJ. How do you like them apples? I found them very tasty. The skill of the drummers combined with the insane synths and amazing visuals leaves you pretty gobsmacked. The energy that these guys play with is insane as well; you will not see many live performances like this. The band has been creating a bit of a buzz in recent tours across Europe, and it’s easy to see why. Not playing Sound City (they scare people) but can be caught fairly regularly in Liverpool. If you like this sort of thing you might also want to check out Stig Noise Sound System who are of a similar vein, except they have a trumpet.

What's coming up this summer?

Sound City is not all that’s going on in Liverpool this summer! Make sure you check out these great events as well:

Africa Oyé - 23rd/24th June
The best thing about summer in Liverpool! This free festival is held in beautiful Sefton Park in Aigburth and plays host to the best in Reggae and World Music. Highlights of previous years have included: Marcia Griffiths, Ska Cubano, Michael Rose, Misty in Roots, Tinawiren and Moussa Kouyate. It’s a really great day out full of food and music, and has become a favourite for many locals. Confirmed already for this year is Aswad front man Brinsley Forde, British Reggae stars The Rasites and the mighty Yabba Funk. Come down and enjoy the excellent vibes!

Brouhaha Carnival/Liverpool International Mela - 1st August

I really enjoyed this last year. Brouhaha is an organisation set up to celebrate cultural diversity and insitigate international cultural exchange. As far as I can see this essentially means making sure everyone has a good time! There is a small festival in Princes Park, Toxteth, featuring several musical acts as well as food and art. As well as this there is an exceptionally fun and noisy carnival parade. I remember waking up last year and walking out onto the street to be met by an explosion of colour, dancing and music making its way up Princes Avenue. Another really fun day out that’s not to be missed.