There is loads of great stuff at the Liverpool Sound City festival. We have been and will keep talking about how much good stuff there is across the city, but this is solely about what you can expect from our stage.

We should take this a day at a time. That’s what people normally do.


The Troubadours

Mono LPs

Springtime Anchorage

Rob Vincent

Cold Shoulder

Astonishingly I’ve seen four of the bands on our Thursday night before. I am not John Gibbons and can therefore be astonished by that. They are all crackers as well. A real joy to listen to and watch in action. If I had to pick just one I’d pick Mono LPs even though they aren’t my usual type of band, but I don’t have to pick just one. This is Sound City. The music doesn’t stop, it brilliantly launches itself at you from all angles. What isn’t normally for you becomes suddenly vital. Mono LPs grab you by the lapels, push you against the wall, leer at you and then start fondling. Good fondling. Really good fondling. They know their business where the fondling, the leering and the lapels are concerned.

If these four bands weren’t so good, I’d have a bit of a face on about having seen them all before because the other brilliant thing about Sound City is the new, the band about to impress themselves upon your consciousness, the band you are going to bang on about to everyone for days. But these are that good. If you’ve seen them before you know that. And if you haven’t then you want to get to the Black-E on Thursday night.

Cold Shoulder start at half seven and The Troubadours start at half eleven. The rest come in between. The Anfield Wrap stage is, I suspect, going to laugh at specifics.

(One quick note – as said on yesterday’s TAW podcast, I will be at Mara And The Inner Strangeness at 18:30 in The Attic. I suggest we ALL start there and then mooch to the Black-E. I love a big walk. But you can go your own way.)


Silent Sleep


The Thespians

Modern Football Debate

Our bit first – Modern Football Debate. This is hosted by me and will be had by Tony Evans, Steve Armstrong, Peter Hooton, Kris Walsh, Gareth Roberts, Jay McKenna, Rob Gutmann and Jim Boardman. It is about where the game is in this country. Where it is going, where it has been, what to do next. It will be an hour of emphatic opinion and forthright views. Respect our values. Come. It is a 7pm start.

With all the Sound City stages, wristbands are needed to get in. Wristbands can still be bought and are available on the day. The wristbands allow access to all the participating stages but they don’t guarantee it. Therefore if the 7pm start for this debate is over subscribed then it is a lock out.

I don’t know if things will or won’t be locked out. I have no idea to be honest, how popular spoken word events about football will be at this event. I hope it is popular obviously. But what I am driving at is please:

a)      Come


b)      Try and come early if you want to catch us talking about modern football.

After us are The Thespians and their intense garage rock will be exactly as raucous as I expect Jay McKenna, Tony Evans and Gareth Roberts to be proceeding them. Then there is the remarkably strong Voo and Silent Sleep close. My word. We are indeed blessed.  I am a big fan of both and saw Silent Sleep launch their album complete with choir last week. They are looking to do to the Black-E what they did to Leaf and drench it in beautiful song until we all feel wrung out. I have every confidence they will do exactly that.


Tea Street Band

The Hummingbirds

Mercury 13

The Red Suns

The City Walls

The Anfield Wrap

So we’re doing the thing in Liverpool. The standing up and talking a lot about football in front of people thing. The party thing. It is a party. Don’t think it isn’t. If you want the really serious stuff then come the night before. On Saturday night get your party frocks on, get your dancing shoes on and get ready to get involved. It’s a celebration of everything good and bad about supporting this messy, weird, romantic football club. Ask them in Ireland, ask them in America. In fact, you can ask them on the night. We’re bringing an Irishman – Trev Downey. We’re bringing an American – Wayne Scholes. They each represent a nation. No pressure.

We’re also bringing  Steve Graves, Mike Nevin, Tony Evans, Mike Girling and Nick O’Prey. Might be other guests. Might not. We’re playing fast and loose.

As per the above, get there early. TAW Live is a 17:30 prompt start. I strongly recommend getting there as early as you can. In any case the earlier you can get there for the Saturday the better it would be anyway. We can get a bit of atmosphere going. You’ve got a bit of work to do, something to fill in which adds to the colour of the show. You can get comfortable, have a few drinks, imagine the rest of your evening. And it’ll mean I can have a mooch round, say hello and see if anyone has any Qs they’d like to get As to for that section of the night. In Bray we did three and a half hours. We’re compressing that for two hours – no breaks, only breakneck speed for Liverpool. I’ll also be wearing the stripey jumper. And what?

Then there are our guests. They are bands that suit our stage down to the ground. Bands that belong here, with us, keeping your party going and speaking to your souls. The City Walls bring Bon Iver-y wondrousness which I am so excited to sample for the first time. The Red Suns have supported The Coral and British Sea Power and have real songcraft at their disposal. Mercury 13 have been a fantastic Liverpool band for years and are completely psyched up to be playing the stage. They are going to do the business.

Then we have The Hummingbirds and The Tea Street Band to take us dancing into Sunday. The big thing we get from all the bands is that nothing will be held back. I bumped into Mercury 13 recently and they were talking so passionately about the show they will put on. Chris from Silent Sleep has walked around the Black-E, prowled it, mentally preparing, imagining his show. The Hummingbirds want to give everything. And Tea Street. Tea Street want to blow the roof off the place. They are bouncing round the city, boarding buses feeling ten foot tall. This focus and desire is true of all these bands. Playing a home town festival in a big space like the Black-E. They want it full and they want it bouncing.

So do we. I want to set them up for the night they deserve. Get to us early, come all in with us from 17:30, get in before then so that you are defo in. We’re as psyched up as they are. I was nervous. Live show in Liverpool. Nervous. I’m not now. Show’s been planned. Written. It’s there to look at. These bands are going to give it everything. We are going to give it everything. I know you are going to do the same.