REVIEW: Sounds From the Other City 2018

Sounds From The Other City is Salford’s celebration of new music performance and art, and a day that always promises an abundance of fun and frolics. A day of wonder and delights more than you could ever want from a day festival, SFTOC is peppered across venues in and around the perpetually named ‘up and coming’ area of Chapel Street.

As soon as I was on the other side of the wristband exchange there was no turning back –  I thought I would head straight to the hub in Islington Mill courtyard and was quickly greeted by a mass gathering assembled in a circle of sorts. I tried to wriggle in with little avail to see what all the fun was about, but a glance at the programme revealed that I had actually managed to walk into a dog show! Every human (and their dog) loves canines here in the North West, and here I was kicking off the day with a celebration of everyone’s best (four-legged) friend. Not your usual festival fodder.

From here, I took two steps back and was whisked away into the unit 5 trading estate building by a drag queen keen to get me involved in something involving paint – intrigue took me. I took absolutely no convincing at all, and was thrown in at the deep end as people jostled for both paint and brushes to complete tasks both on your own and in a group. Excellent


The Experience of Sounds From the Other City.

First up on the music schedule for me I headed over to the Five Four Studios to see [ K S R ], and what a way to kick off proceedings as he really set the tone for the rest of the day. Sandwiched between some charming self-promotion and witty exchanges with the elated gathering that come to the venue, [ K S R ] (also known as KS Roosevelt, as he had everyone instructed on how to find him on Soundcloud) performed with enough charismatic soul to warrant being referred to as ‘one to watch’ for the future and that was only the first song. Lively if not enigmatic duo Her’s were next on my ‘to see’ list. Obviously investing quite a few of their spare hours wrapped up in the sounds of Mac DeMarco (not at all a bad thing), the pair oozed slacker-pop sensibility as they crooned to the onslaught of head bopping fans that had packed out St Phillips Church for their set. The Foetals’ were placed at the Old Pint Pot with a performance shimmered with pop songs soaked in 60’s nostalgia, dragged by the scruff of the neck into new territories by Jolan Lewis’ lo-fi garage rock flair. Great.

Next up, Hot Bed Press hosted Luxury Death‘s last live show for a while – the pair did not disappoint with their brand of scuzzy emo-pop, full of synth and bittersweet melody throughout that ensured the icy cool outfit remain as one of the best at what they do within the local scene. Whilst Heavenly Recordings own Hatchie cast out blissful power-pop melodies that would get your granny dreaming of yesteryear, taking a stop off at an iconic Salford landmark on the way.

Duds were one of the ticketed events and, on the approach back to the Hot Bed Press stage, I could see that it could well be a one in one out situation (it was). When I finally managed to swindle my way in you could see exactly why there were people still waiting to get inside. The Mancunian band’s frenetic movement evoked a rapturous solidarity within the room – a solidarity which was mirrored within the band as they all clouted their instruments, creating an energy that was jangly enough to dance though very much still a punk show.

Loud, in your face, snotty punk outfit Crumbs heralding from Leeds created an undeniable buzz in the Salford Arms, if sounding a little like something you would envisage if your mother pretended to like the music that you were into. Flipping this on its head, Sleazy F Baby performed with all the arrogance and guile you would expect an artist born and raised in the Manchester area to do so back at the Five Four Studio, as the MC traded bars with the rowdy & energetic crowd, performing his local cult hits such as ‘All Blahk Tracksuit’ and ‘GANG GVNG’.


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Finally, it was time for South London’s Goat Girl at Regent Trading Estate who came in all guns blazing with a commanding, controlling and frightfully ballsy show & an air of intangibility to their performance. Dishing out an atmospheric rendition of ‘The Man’, it was clear to see that not only did one of the closing acts of the day channel what was a triumphant, glorious festival in Sounds from the Other City, but it spoke volumes for what the four piece could go on to achieve as a band.

Sounds From the Other City It is a festival that always manages to give you everything you could want and so much more – this year the organisers truly outdid themselves… and that’s without mentioning the dance tents, LGBT+ games and performances, local craft ale and vegan friendly food stands strategically placed in such an inner-city space. This is a day festival unrivalled. Do yourself a favour and get yourself there next time.