In just two days time Far Out will be touching down in Merseyside for this year’s instalment of Liverpool’s three-day extravaganza of music that is Sound City.
The festival looks ready to once again set the city alight, taking over its docks with a multitude of stages, hosting the biggest and best of the international music scene, whether seasoned stalwarts or fresh-faced newcomers.
With hundreds of artists appearing and many a mouthwatering bill, it is understandable that there may be a few odd ticket holders who are feeling slightly overwhelmed right now.
But as is usually the case when we cast our eyes over the set times and hope in vein that we will avoid a dreaded clash-fest, there are a handful of names that are simply too good to refuse.
So with that in mind, Far Out present our best picks from the 2015 bill at Liverpool Sound City…
This Kiwi trio streamed their upcoming third LP Multi-Love earlier this week and based on that evidence their Saturday night set on the Baltic Stage at Sound City will be truly unmissable.
The new material presents a new twist to Ruben Nielson and co’s trademark psych-pop, embracing synths and electronics in a way that was far less prevent in their previous, more riff-driven output.
Having caught them a couple of years ago when touring their second record II, we were astounded. It’s a show that flits between rock ‘n’ roll, punk, pop, garage and R&B in a heartbeat. For vibrancy, catchy choruses and a powerhouse of a tight unit, there will be no one better over the weekend.
London-based MC Loyle Carner first caught our attention last year when his track ‘Pieces’ was included in our Unsigned Sunday feature. Since then his exposure has rocketed having toured with the likes of Kate Tempest (read Far Out’s review from Liverpool’s Kazimier here) and Atmosphere.
With the help of producer Rebel Clef, Carner brought out one of our favourite EPs of 2014 in the shape of A Little Late – a truly engaging piece of hip-hop encompassing everything from Aerial Pink samples to the fast, unadulterated wit of one of the most talented 20-year-olds around.
On Friday night Carner will perform on the Cargo Stage at Sound City, in a set that could well prove a turning point in the offing of a bustling summer of UK festivals.
Fat White Family
Here’s how it goes. You scan over a festival bill, you make a note of whether Fat White Family are on there, and if they are, you bloody well make sure you catch them.
Over the last couple of years this Brixton posse of chaos-ridden rabble rousers have exploded out of their south London squat and unleashed carnage on the world – as demonstrated by their searing performance on Letterman that we showcased a few weeks back.
The risk with seeing your favourite live band at a festival can be that they are thrown on one of the big stages to make up filler earlier in the day, denying them the justice they deserve and subjecting them to a crowd that are still shivering in agony because of the antics from the night before.
But Sound City have got it spot on, effectively giving Fat Whites the accolade of being the entire event’s closing act. A bank holiday has never felt so good when you can find yourself going wild to these boys at half one on a Monday morning.
We caught these newcomers just a couple of weeks ago at Salford’s Sounds From the Other City, but you’d better believe we’ll be back for more this weekend.
Gengahr will play not one, but two sets. On Saturday, they bring The Kraken to a close and will no doubt offer an intriguing contrast to the abrasive sounds of Fucked Up over at the Baltic.
It’s perfect pop that burrows its way into the ear from the first listen and will be damned if you ever let it escape. Recent single ‘Heroin’ was a no-brainer for Track of the Day and our anticipation is soaring every day in the run-up to the release of their debut album A Dream Outside, which will be with us on June 15th via Transgressive Records.
If you miss them first time around (ok, we should probably come clean and admit they clash with The Flaming Lips) don’t worry, because you will also find them at the Baltic on Sunday night, 9.30pm.
This brand new London trio can switch from anthemic rock ‘n’ roll to sinister, grunge-fuelled dirtiness whenever you least expect it. Yak have gathered a few notable fans already, demonstrated by the fact that they have dates with The Strokes and Peace on the horizon.
But first things first, they will be appearing at Sound City on Friday evening at the Baltic. This is a Far Out guarantee that there will be no better way to kick off your festival.
The Flaming Lips
Ok, enough with the charade, you didn’t really think we would leave out the Atlantic Stage’s Saturday night headliners The Flaming Lips did you? How dare you think so little of us if so.
Unless you’ve been living under some kind of psychedelic stone, you will know by now to expect, lasers, dancing milk maids, ticker-tape cannons, flaming megaphones, giant hamster balls and much more besides. There is no better musical show on earth than The Flaming Lips when they are on top form. This will surely be everyone’s centrepiece.