Sounds From The Other City 08 - Various Venues Salford - 4.5.08

Now in it’s fourth year, the SFTOC festival is a positive Indication of the health of the musical environment in the area. Appearances in previous years have seen artists such as Cherry Ghost and this year’s hottest ticket, the Ting Tings featuring in this musical glut.   Yet it is as much about the convivial atmosphere and the enjoyable experience of dipping into the invariably full venues to catch a taste of the rich diversity of talents on showas trying to catch the next big thing.

The lines ups are as diverse as the venues, so if you wanted the less “structured”, approach to music that can incorporate violin bows being drawn across the edge of a cymbal, or amicrophone being used to relay guttural uttering rather than actual words, then such delights were on supply at the Golden Lab sessions at the Black Lions featuring bands such as Beach Fuzz

The packed crowd seems tohave decided initially not to wander too far from where the wristbands werebeing dispensed and headed en-masse to the Salford Arms.   The worthily titled Planet Earth provided a pleasant opening to proceedings with their simple and effective pop.

Due to unforeseen circumstances, the Salford Central train station has been pressed into serviceas a music venue at short notice.  The recently renovated entrance features a lot of glass, metal and open spaces,which raises nervous concerns about the acoustics, which turn out to be unfounded.    Ironically there are no train services from the station today, so it’s purely being used as a music venue, and the one person outfit that is Man Amp provides a decent show with his darkly brooding, electronica that pours forth. Later on at the same area, the Lonelady front woman Julie delivers a set that displays that she – and the other two band members- are more than just Manchester answer to P J. Harvey

(Pic: Cats In Paris)

Over at the Kings Arms, Cats in Paris have launched an unprovoked assault on the eardrums. From the opening beats emanating from the keyboards the ferocity and intensity provided  by this duo - the other instrument being drums - is relentless.

It’s not all in a serious “Iwant to be famous” manner.  Outside of the Sacred Trinity Church – where the beer sales were doing well - there areimpromptu sets from people who want to recite poetry, or in Joe Stretch’s case,read an extract from his book.

(Pic: Tim and Sams band)

The variety on show is typified by two bands at the Rovers Return.  A much slimmed down Tim and Sam's band managed to squeeze four of their number onto the stage area, but still manage to produce the shimmering,plinky, pop that has garnered an sizeable following.   It’s then onto Warm Widow, a three piece that’s emergedfrom the ashes of some of Manchester’s wrongly overlooked but locally lovedbands namely, Jackie O & Tsuji Giri.   It’s an aggressive performance, Martin spitting out the lyrics and chords with Ivan focused heavily on his base whilst Leanne pounds away on thedrums.

So as the evening gets into full swings and I head off to a birthday party, the event has been another success

Ged Camera -

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