Hello from the trenches of Sound City! Your intrepid reporter has undertaken a mission of utmost gonzo journalism to give you, my hungry audience musical sustenance. I was joined by my brother in these intrepid adventures of sound.
The first band we saw was Hollysiz at The North Stage. Imagine if you crossed Blondie with Bronski Beat, with a generous dollop of Gossip and you'll get Hollysiz. The band set the day off to a great start, drawing in a decent crowd from just a few stragglers with a combination of catchy as all get out pop tunes and Cécile Cassel's strong front woman game, as she danced like a cross between Debbie Harry and Dave Gahan, alternately seducing the audience and her cool and disinterested lead guitarist. Also, in a gamely fashion, Cassel was carried over the barrier to greet her people and induct us in a spur of the moment audience participation, getting us to all sit down whilst she was stood in a circle and then jump up. Not sure what all that was about, but ok! Thoroughly entertaining first band, that I find easy to recommend.
Next we saw Thabo & The Real Deal at The Cargo Stage. Although they were unfortunately cut short due to sound check issues, I'd say that easily the band was the highlight of the first day. Self described as the answer to an unasked question "what if Julian Assange and Bill Withers wrote songs together?" I'd say that Thabo & The Real Deal are a damn good answer. With definite hints of Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye and The Negro Problem, Thabo & The Real Deal are social conscious soul with Nile Rogers-esque guitar. Make time for them - they're excellent.
Next destination was Shijo X at the Record Store Stage. Unfortunately there was bugger all room in the Record Store Stage due to the fact that half of the tent was taken up with tables selling vinyl and merch, which meant that a whole bunch of people that actually wanted to see the band couldn't get in. This isn't the band's fault, obviously, but it's poor implementation on the part of the organisers. From what I could hear and see of the band, they were pretty excellent. If you like Portishead (and I very much do), then you'll enjoy Shijo X. But on the bright side, I bought their album, so expect a review next Sunday!
So off on to The Atlantic Stage to see Spector! Great band, especially when they peaked with the hits Chevy Thunder and Never Fade Away. Imagine if you cross Editors with Roxy Music, then you'll get this excellent band. If you don't know about them already, then make yourselves familiar with them.
From the moment the band launched into their hit single Cough Cough the atmosphere was electric. By that time the crowd was getting bigger and more dense, a prequel to the crowd that would turn up for The Vaccines. They launched into fan favourites like Kemosabe and MY KZ, UR BF and completed the set with the blistering funk that is Distant Past. They started on a high and went out on one.
Vaccines O' Clock! The band enters to a rapturous applause and an impressive light show. The band did a great show, satiating the audience with a mix of hits from the first two albums, (Post Break Up Sex, Wet Suit, Teenage Icon, Handsome and I Always Knew) and also dipped their toe into the newer material. The audience was packed, jumping and singing along to every song. A great end to the first night, and hopefully an indicator of what is to come for the following days to come.
Monthly music columnist for the Kirkby Extra, sometimes article writer for Get Into This. Freelance writer/artist/maker.