Liverpool Sound City 2008 - Demo Review

Liverpool Sound City is the latest in a long line of Urban Festivals following in the mould of SXSW and In The City and Designer Magazine was there to check out the latest bands heading out of Liverpool and the rest of the UK. While the likes of the Wombats, Reverend & The Makers, Hadouken and Santogold ripped up the larger stages it was the unsigned bands which made the focus point of the festival.

While we did see some familiar Manchester faces such as Carlis Star, Virginmarys and The Underclass the real problem is we didn't actually get to see that many bands due to last minute changes in stage times and mammoth walks between all of the venues which potentially took us from one side of the city to the other. Hopefully these problems will be ironed out for next years Sound City if they manage to take it further than the Capital of Culture funding streteches....but in the absence of any real live reviews we thought we'd round up the Best Demos of week long Festival

One of the bands we really wanted to see at Sound City, Prison Area manage to strangely mix the sort of riffs that Franz Ferdinand used to deliver with the the contemporary electro groove of Reverend & The Makers. "Can I Touch You" sounds like it should be soundtracking a Skins Party and "Break Probation" is probably what happened after said party. It wont be long before the kids bored of Hadouken look for a few more songs and the adults want something a bit more exciting to dance to. Prison Area could be heading for a mainstream Prison break very very soon .

Like Prison Area earlier are set to turn pedestrian audiences into full on raves. With half the band hailing with Sheffield their are obvious comparisons with Reverend, but there's more of a laddy swagger going on like early prime time Kasabian. "You Me Them Us" is an obvious arms aloft anthem and if you don't believe us burn it off as a free download from their myspace page, take it down the local indie disco and watch 400 people go mad for it. "Despair On The Stairs" is a little scuzzier with a post Monkeys riff wrapped around a post punk beat. They've supported The Enemy and NME love them - expect big things

Already known to those Oasis fanatics, The Sums are the latest band from former Smaller frontman Digsy (as in Digsys Dinner fame). The band deliver what you'd expect with a rousing workmanlike chorus that sticks to a tried and tested formula but their answer to that would be if it isnt broke dont fix it. What we get with the Sums is non-pretentious well written mid tempo songs like "Ringing In The Rain" and "Rise", while the stripped down "Who Cares?" touches on Neil Finns back catalogue. Members of the Sums have been writing with Paul  McCartney but when the tied turns back to songs rather than fashion there's nothing to stop The Sums finding a much larger audience

Space caused several arguments in the pre-Designer Magazine days between various members of the team. Some of us thought they were the future of pop and others thought they were just plain shit. Its come as a surprise than that we're universally agreed that former frontman Tommy Scotts new band The Drella's are f*cking amazing. Even the titles are better than other bands around with the best ones being "Radically Thinking Out Aloud" and "Violence Is Art". About as far removed from Space as you can imagine The Drellas sound like John Peels favourite band that never was and expect The Fall and McClusky fans to jump on this band

For a three piece they sure make an epic soundscape. Its the sort of thing you'd expect from a band that has travelled from Melbourne, Australia to Toyko, Manchester and London soaking up various musical influences. A distinctly 80s melodicism of the Smiths and Echo & The Bunnymen mixes up with the early 90s shoegazing bands such as Ride. At times they even remind us of long forgotten band The Frank & Walters. The Sound Movement are never gonna set the charts alive but they will make their cult audience's life much more enriched with these beautiful textured layered classics

We first became aware of the Vagabonds when the Tigerpicks decamped to Liverpool after their Deltasonic signing but the single "Twothousandandseven" is the first thing we've really listened to properly by the band. Lyrically articulate and observational, without falling into the WKD school of lyricism ala Alex Turner or getting preachy, they mix it up with some great punk tuneage. While "the title track and "The Boys In The Dirty Boots" are great tracks its "The Shape Of Things To Come" with its Clash influence meets 80s metal synths that shines through

One of Manchesters most underrated bands and proof that even though we do indie so well we can do rock music equally as good. Equal parts Muse, System Of A Down and Porcupine Tree there's nothing held back and each song builds to epic prog proportions. More than the sum of its parts it mixtures up strange arabian signatures with a European Stadium rock pomp. Word has it their album is set to released in the coming month and if it as half as good as the demo suggest expect them to received critical acclaim across the board.

Bowie meets Nick Cave with the look straight out of V for Vendetta. Everything that the London scenesters are saying about Glasvegas right now they should be saying about Revenge Tragedies because the mini symphonies this band create are made of bigger subjects than are normally covered in contemporary music and that to date only Spiritualised can only pull off with any credibility. This is a band you need to witness now!!! 

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