As you will have gathered from part one of our Sounds From The Other City coverage, on Sunday the 6th of May, Salford’s Chapel Street was transformed into a motorway for culture enthusiasts. One by one they traipsed up and down its concrete walkway as if on a huge musical pub-crawl. Northern Noise was there to soak up the atmosphere, check out some live music and find out first hand what all the fuss was about.
In part two we see what the festival was like when the sun went down, as the alcohol started to take an effect and the dancing became less controlled and more spontaneous.
After a bit of a break for some standard pie and chips, much needed to soak up the various cans and pints consumed thus far, we returned to the fabulous King’s Arms to catch the hotly tipped Molly Nilsson. Only armed with backing tracks and her voice, it could well have been karaoke night in Salford. 80’s synths and beats worked well in the space and as the smoke machine burst into action, the performance really rang true.
We couldn’t get enough of The King’s Arms that day and sure enough, after restocking our pint hands, we went back into the performance space to catch the fabulous low-fi Brown Brogues. Loud and raucous both members seemed to be enjoying the occasion, with the lead singer performing various maneuvers on the overly phallic microphone. Impressive and raw, they continue to be one of the city’s most exciting performers.
Moving back out into the sun, we headed down Chapel Street, past the hoards of others moving from venue to venue, to Islington Mill. We managed to get round the side to the front to see them up close, although maybe a bit too close to the speaker as loud guitars and thumping drums rang into our ears. Wearing what seemed like witches hats, Black Belles were literally dressed in black from head to toe. All except the drummer who had kicked off her heels, and then lost the hat as soon as her enthusiastic performance began.
After that we nipped back out into the darkening streets and made our way to The Old Pint Pot. A long thin venue that widened out towards the stage it quickly filled up as Leeds producer Debian Blak took to the stage with a drummer and the incredible vocalist Neo Jessica Joshua accompanying him. After a bit of technical difficulties with a rogue synth, it wasn’t long before the crowd were gripped by a fantastic performance that was awash with James Blake and Mount Kimbie influences.
Following that would be a hard task but Zach Sainaw – under his pseudonym Shigeto – managed that with ease. A solo live performance that involved him managing to sample, mix and drum all at the same time certainly left a lasting image. The place was packed out with everyone actively connecting with the music so that the place was swaying with bodies, moving like puppets with Shegito holding the strings.
After that, and with the Sunday quickly turning into Monday we returned once again to Islington Mill. A hive of activity, it was clear that this is where many people had chosen to finish their festival. Hot and sweaty we danced to the DJ’s until our feet and legs were giving way.
In the taxi home, with our heads happily fuzzy, our bodies comfortably tired, we agreed that Sounds From The Other City was definitely something we had to do again. Perfectly run, with no trouble visible and with both staff and festival goers in the best of moods, returning next year is a no brainer. If the rumours are correct and the format will be changing, we’re glad to have been involved in this one.
words by Daniel Savage
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