Sounds From the Other City festival is a one day celebration of new music and performance, uniting the cream of the national and international scene with some of the city’s finest independent promotors, collectives and club nights. Mind on Fire Collective, Now Wave, Faktion, Comfortable on a Tightrope and Hey! Manchester are amongst the brave bunch hosting stages at this year’s extravaganza which takes over Chapel Street from 3pm to midnight on Sunday, May 6th.
The germ of the idea behind Underachievers was born from house-parties and indie discos…The idea that one should be a bit more like the other, feeling like everything interesting they heard, they rarely heard out. The night should be fun, fresh, and mean something to someone more than drink offers. It’s alternative indie, but it’s not designed to soundtrack chin-stroking. From new wave to no wave, noise rock to indiepop, with Underachievers there’s always the basis of a pop song or a hook, however heavily it’s disguised.
Along the way they invited a few bands to play live and, is oft the way, things snowballed. Acts have included Chad VanGaalen, Allo Darlin’, Those Dancing Days, Comet Gain and Male Bonding and their involvement at SFTOC in the last few years as part of the Postcards from Manchester crew has never been less than memorable. And messy!
+ T H E L O V E L Y E G G S
The Lovely Eggs are an underground grunge-punk-rock duo from northern England. They have a fierce punk rock ethos that music should have no rules. For Holly and David being in a band is a way of life. True to this, they live the way they play. Fiercely, constantly in search of the good times. Recent winners of the BBC 6 Music Rebel Playlist, their new single Allergies (produced by Gruff Rhys) released on the Too Pure Singles Club sold out before release day. The track was Artrocker’s single of the month and Holly and David even roped artist-video maker Casey Raymond (who has made vids for DJ Shadow & Los Campesinos) into making them a death-shaped psychedelic spectacular promo vid featuring a guest appearance from Gruff Rhys.
With observational and often surreal lyrics about life, The Lovely Eggs have a powerful stripped down sound: one vintage guitar amp, one Big Muff distortion pedal, a guitar and a drum kit. Their dare to-be different approach to music (producing everything from 4 minute spine chilling melodies about death to 10 second noise blasts about shit jobs) has seen them record sessions for everyone from Rob Da Bank to Lauren Laverne.
With two critically acclaimed albums under their belt, ‘If You Were Fruit’ and ’Cob Dominos’, The Lovely Eggs have played hundreds of gigs around the UK, USA and Europe supporting the likes ofHalf Japanese, Shonen Knife, The Slits, The Television Personalities and Art Brut. They have become well known for their live performances and have played everywhere from Amsterdam squats and Los Angeles scrap yards to steam trains in Ripley and charity shops in Leeds.
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It’s a cliché, but some bands do really deserve to be played loud. Ghost Outfit don’t just warrant that treatment, they absolutely demand it. The world isn’t short on raucous two piece outfits, but this duo stand out on merit with their energetic lo-fi masterpieces that have been played through the tinny speakers of influential bloggers the world over, but sound much more at home being blasted out in the flesh.
Previously knocking around as a quartet, they slimmed down and the tunes started pouring – rough, unclean but ridiculously fun. This is No Age channelled through the depths of a murky, industrial city – part genuine talent and part experimental reverie, but largely unapologetic, noisy brilliance that takes hold and refuses to let go. They’re a beast with many different sides, as unpredictable as they are brilliant, equally as likely to bash out the hook laden, grimy joy of ‘I was good when I was young’ as they are to make a collage of noise, masterfully knitted together. Their means are irrelevant – the end result is always one of the country’s most exciting new bands genuinely testing themselves and the boundaries of pop music.
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It’s been natural that the past couple of years has seen most artists shy away from making certain statements about themselves. This Many Boyfriends aren’t really like most artists, though. Unashamedly indie pop, if you’re searching for a band to obsess over and potentially change your life, you’re in luck.
As any fan of Beat Happening might be able to surmise from their name, TMB wear their influences on their sleeve. Their track Paul Simon was named after… well, you get the idea, and their debut EP ‘Getting a life with…’ brought to mind everyone from Orange Juice through to Hefner, and got Angular Records interested enough to put out their irrepressibly joyful debut single ‘Young Lovers Go Pop!’
Declared as one of the acts to look out for in 2012 by NME, they’ve already won over the heart of Ryan Jarman – who subsequently invited them to tour with The Cribs – and Steve Lamacq, who rushed to get them on his show as his new favourite band. Just a couple of the people that have already started ‘getting a life with’ them.
+ L E T ‘ S B U Y H A P P I N E S S
Image Courtesy of Luke Chase
Having formed over a mutual love of North American alternative rock, the 5 piece consisting of; Sarah Hall (vocals) James Hall (guitar/keys), Graeme Martin (guitars), Mark Brown (bass) and James King (drums) began playing local shows in there hometown of Newcastle (England) for their own enjoyment; However it wasn’t long until their melodic, melancholy songs took them to greater heights. The self released ”No Hot Ashes” garnered much local and national attention and with releases of singles ”Six Wolves”, ”Fast Fast” and ”Dirty Lakes” the band have twice been invited to the outstanding Maida Vale studios for both BBC Radio 6 and Radio 1. Dirty Lakes has also been included on Spotifys ”Songs of 2011” list showcasing all the best music from the last year.
As well as supporting the legendary Primal Scream at Electric Brixton for a special one off show, Let’s Buy Happiness toured the UK twice in 2011 with indie/pop success Frankie and The Heartstrings and the great We Were Promised Jetpacks gathering a large fan base on their travels. The band has also supported Idlewild, The Temper Trap, Vivian Girls, HEALTH, Sky Larkin and The Futureheads.
Self described as; ”melodic soundscapes slapped on driving rhythm sections” James Hall’s older sister Sarah was asked to front the band in mid 2009 gaining applause from The Guardian “…a voice that connotes angelic purity” and Q Magazine ”Imagine a female-fronted Shins.” Sean Adams editor of Drowned In Sound has became an avid fan describing Let’s Buy Happiness as ‘…one of the most thrilling new bands I’ve seen in years”
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Formed in 2010, the younghusband line up of Pete Batker, Adam Beach, Joe Chilton and frontman Euan Hinshelwood, who is also a member of Emmy the Great, made their live debut at Truck Festival the same year.
Since then they have steadily built a growing fanbase that includes Zane Lowe, Marc Riley and Jarvis Cocker, with a sound that veers from fuzzy pop to psych-kraut with subtle and constant nods to 60′ soul and ambient popThey released their new EP on Sonic Cathedral at the very end of last year.
+ V I C T O R I E S A T S E A
Before the turn of the millennium, music seemed to be very black and white – bands were viewed in light of certain genres and pigeonholed into whatever scene the music press wanted them to fit. Like every blog ever wants to remind you, the Internet changed everything, and now everything is fractured and mutated beyond recognition. Victories at Sea collect the best shards of these scattered scenes and prove that they can be coherent, purposeful and, above all, brilliant.
Their track Swim perhaps illustrates this best. It grazes upon being anthemic without being quite so garish and so blatant – where modern electro peers purposely grope for that hands in the air vibe, Victories at Sea come across that kind of thumping pleasure as a byproduct of using sweepingly atmospheric synth noises, with everything about their brutal live show coming across on record. They’re yet to commit anything to vinyl yet, which makes the prospect of these early tracks only being demos even more terrifying.
+ G R E A T W A V E S
G R E A T W A V E S are calling…