Liverpool Sound City 2009: Wednesday

Various venues, Liverpool 20 May

Liverpool Sound City 2009: Wednesday

Photographer: Brendan Docherty01 June 2009

Calories are usually more cheerful than this; but they’re not usually standing in front of ten people in a large venue, trying to get the sound guy to turn off The Zutons so that they can begin their set. The meagre audience aren’t much happier, they’ve just spent twenty five minutes in the pouring rain, waiting for the delayed doors to open. So Liverpool Sound City 2009 begins as 2008’s event ended, chaotic and delayed.

Luckily things improve from there, as the sound guy finally ends the saxophone-fuelled indie allowing Calories to begin their set. Whilst tracks like ‘Adventuring’ encapsulate the high-tempo attitude of Los Campesinos, elsewhere they display a love of 90’s American indie, a la Pavement, with both styles working to good effect. They may be the first band of the festival but ‘Drugged’ immediately reveals itself as a highlight and is certain to prompt night-closing singalongs in countless scuzzy clubs if Calories are allowed the future attention they deserve.

Immediately afterwards, Kingston trio Tubelord declare themselves another of Britain’s great hopes, as they deliver a fast-paced stomp through their future anthems. By now Liverpool Barfly has begun to slowly fill up and it’s a half-full venue which witnesses their unexpected blend of Biffy Clyro, Coheed And Cambria and, tonight’s bill-mates, Johnny Foreigner.  ‘Feed Me A Box Of Words’ sounds colossal live and the new tracks build from where, recent single, ‘I Am Azerrad’ left off to suggest even brighter things in Tubelord’s future. Their set even takes in a crowd-invading vocal performance, complete with pig mask, showing that the box is being well and truly thought outside of by these three students.

Johnny Foreigner have spent the past few years touring tirelessly and tonight it appears that their efforts are finally beginning to bear fruits; despite the fact that much of the aired material has yet to be released, the crowd reaction is better than that reserved for many headline acts. Opening with forthcoming single ‘Feels Like Summer’ they possess an infectious charm that involves you in their live act even if the chaotic scuzz of their studio recordings doesn’t appeal. Some tracks survive from debut album ‘Waited Up Til It Was Light’, but the majority of tonight’s set is a preview of Johnny Foreigner’s upcoming release and it sounds like they’re going to have an album to match their effortless live energy in the very near future.

Despite the great atmosphere the best reaction is, predictably, reserved for local heroes Hot Club De Paris. They open with early single ‘Sometimes It’s Better Not To Stick Bits Of Each Other In Each Other’ and only briefly pause for breath during a 40-minute set which takes in 18 breakneck songs. Their infrequent dalliances into slower territory are a slightly unwelcome curve ball, but tracks like ‘Hey Housebrick’ and ‘Snitches Get Stitches’ prompt wordy singalongs, deserving of the bands elaborate titles. As ‘Ouija Board’ clatters to it’s climax, the opening night of Sound City 2009 reaches its conclusion and for a festival which prides itself on exhibiting the best breaking talent, day one has proved itself to be a fine display of Britain’s glowing future.

By Jamie Barker

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