Tuesday, May 26

Liverpool Sound City- Thursday

. Tuesday, May 26


Liverpool is a city that can often be held back by its impressive but dated history, so it's great to see a festival like Sound City establishing itself with a roster full of exciting new bands playing in the city's myriad of venues. Now in it's second year Sound City 2009 was a well organised and exciting event which, for the two days this writer was present, provided a non-stop catalogue of treats and surprises.

The best LA and Brooklyn has to offer was on show at the Barfly on Thursday with the mouth wateringly cool 'Kings of US Underground' show. Everyone with a festival pass and, more importantly, a plaid shirt was in attendance to see Mika Miko and Titus Andronicus open the event however it was the much blogged about Soft Pack who were most noteworthy, if sadly for the wrong reasons. The band formerly known as The Muslims offered great potential on their single 'Parasites' earlier this year however their live show suffers the pit falls of repetition and worse still boredom. They do show some promise with the aforementioned single and the swaggering 'On My Time' however so many of the tracks blend into a mush and far outstay their welcome that you can't help begin to clock watch.

Luckily with fifteen minutes of Soft Pack time left Atlanta's rowdiest band Black Lips take to the stage in the venues main room. They instantly whip up a storm playing tracks from 'Good, Bad, Not Evil' and this years '200 Million Thousand' creating a swelteringly hot atmosphere in an already sweaty venue. 'O Katrina' proves an early highlight and sees the crowd gathered at the front of the stage twisting, turning and threatening to spill over. As the set progresses so does your love for the three piece, they genuinely do seem to play as if their life depends on it. Guitarist Cole Porter who, when not spittin' 'n' riffin', regularly leans into the crowd, never missing a beat. Meanwhile Jared Swilley is attacking his mic like it did him wrong many years ago. As the set reaches fever pitch with 'Bad Kids' the crowd begins to spill over the barriers and heavy handed security grab the revellers by the throats and force them outdoors- seriously unfair. Undeterred, Black Lips finish their set explosively, proving that in the face of youthful newcomers they are still sitting on the throne of the US subterranean.

Thursdays final act is Brighton pop Gods Metronomy in the footballers haunt Alma De Cuba. "How nice it is that somebody finally married traditional Greek orthodox religion with Cuban cuisine" jokes singer Joe Mount at the bar's confusing decor/ business contrasts. With the departure of Gabriel Stebbing to his own band Your Twenties Metronomy have evolved into a full band four piece. Having recruited drummer Anna Prior (Lightspeed Champion) and bassist Gbenga Adelekan (Akira, Jeremy Warmsley) the band dynamic has shifted somewhat and the new foursome are clearly not quite comfortable with it just yet. Having said that, with such genius tracks as 'Heartbreaker' and 'A Thing For You' in their arsenal Metronomy can't fail to get the crowd moving. As they bring the night to an end you can't help feeling that Metronomy have made more than a few heart rates rapid this evening.

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