CONCERT REVIEW : Saturday Night Fever: Sound City Delivers Epic Performances on Day Two! 29th April 2023

Sound City Festival – Day Two – Saturday 29th April 2023

It was going to be a full day of music between Stanley Hall and Mountford Hall at Liverpool University and sixteen year old Alex Spencer kicked us off at Stanley Hall at 12.30. The talented singer and musician is from Manchester and began busking on the streets of Manchester several years ago. Spencer’s performance at Sound City coincided with the release of his first single: A Night To Waste. He was joined by a bass player and drummer on stage, who both looked around fifteen! Alex Spencer is one to watch out for with interest, giving the crowd reaction to his half hour set.

Little Planets took to the stage at 1.30pm and entertained the crowd with their infectious pop oriented sound. The 6 piece band from Leeds met at university and are fronted by two females, with the band singing songs with personal, socially aware lyrical content.

Staying in Stanley hall Malady were next to take the stage, the London band have influences from different genres, including dub, post-rave as well as indie guitar music. The three piece band had the crowd nodding along to every song.

Liverpool band Keyside entertained the crowd.

Birmingham band The Clause opened Mountford Hall for the day’s entertainment and the 80s and 90s inspired rockers kept the crowd entertained with a very lively set including their biggest song to date In My Element as well as the new single Hate The Player. They played all their well known songs during their half hour set including Sixteen, Time of our Lives, Where are You Now and Electric.

The Skinner brother brought their own style of indie rock to Liverpool which sent the crowd wild with mosh pits all over the place. Their expletive-ridden set was quite intense and they had someone directing the crowd during the most pits which was unusual.

Robin Ashcroft is singer/songwriter from Glasgow who is making waves on the UK music scene. Her solo acoustic set was outstanding as she tackled a range of subjects in the songs including domestic violence. Ashcroft has only released two songs to date – I Luv U and Tell Me – but you would have though she had been around for years with a set of unreleased songs, and a brilliant cover version of a 4 Non Blondes song ‘What’s Going On’, the crowd singing the words back to the talented singer. I am sure we will be hearing much more from Robin Ashcroft.

Staying in Stanley Hall, Deco were the next band on and for me they were the surprise act of the day. A mixture of synth pop took a packed room on a musical journey and the band played all their main back catalogue including Chances and Rain, as well as the three songs from their new EP ‘Just Can’t Get You Out Of My Mind’. The cover version of The Verve’s Bitter Sweet Symphony went down a treat with the crowd. Already have my ticket for their King Tut’s date in October!

Wrexham rockers The Royston Club took to the stage in Mountford Hall at 7pm and showed their class with a really eclectic mix of songs from their back catalogue including the biggest song to date Mrs Narcissistic, Cold Sweats, Mariana and the new song The Deep End. This band are gaining quite a following this year.

The penultimate act of the day for me was Dylan John Thomas, the young Glasgow singer/songwriter was joined by a full band this time. He didn’t take long to warm the crowd up as he quickly rattled off Jenna, Fever, Nobody Else, Feel The Fire, Problems. The set seemed to pass really quickly but the crowd participation was immense. Looking forward to hearing some new songs from Dylan John Thomas, hopefully this year.

Closing an amazing day of music were The Reytons, the Doncaster band having the bragging rights with a number one album in 2023 with ‘What’s Rock and Roll?’. The band had only recently returned from a successful tour of Australia, this being their first gig back in the UK. Mountford Hall was jam packed as The Reytons took to the stage, the band started off with Low Life from The Kids Off The Estate album followed by Red Smoke, a song with powerful lyrics.  The set continued with a few songs from the first album, including Antibiotics, before they played Fading, Avalanche and Cash In Hand & Fake IDs from What’s Rock and Roll. There was still time for a couple of the more popular early songs such as On The Back Burner and Harrison Lesser. The night ended with the title track from the first album Kids Off The Estate. The Reytons are out on tour again in September and October, one to look forward to.

Photo: The Reytons ended a memorable day of music at Sound City.

Review and Photographs by Alan Brown


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