This year’s Sounds From The Other City new-band-shindig in Salford was a minor triumph, and a further confirmation that compact inner-city music festivals offer a glimpse of New Band Nirvana; a beautifully grubby and sticky place that smells of stale beer and shrieks with overloaded sound systems.
The experience of venue-hopping in bright May sunshine is as fulfilling as you’d expect, and bore a number of pleasant surprises and evidence of the proliferation of identical, ironic – and, frankly, ludicrous – Joan of Arc hipster haircuts.
Most impressive were (ANBAD-tipped) Tigercats, who performed a bunch of excitingly excellent songs in bare feet and with shy panache, proving that Indie Pop doesn’t have to be a faux-nostalgic throwback.
Praise also deserves to be lavished on the upwardly-mobile Young British Artists, as well as the fuzz-tastic Golden Grrrls – and a special mention must be reserved for the unnamed duo who made noise by inserting a microphone fully into one participant’s mouth whilst the other banged a very small gong every 15 seconds or so. Totally Jazz Club.
After all the scuzz and excitement, it turns out that the unlikely harp remix of Missdavinalee‘s Bedbugs is almost certainly the most overwhelmingly appropriate song in which to wallow.
It’s a song so stripped of motion that time lingers elastically as it bobs imperceptibly by. Harps have not traditionally featured prominently in the remix world – and after exposure to so many generic mixes, it has become hard to shake off the constant feeling that some hopeless Dubstep-lite WUB-WUB-WUBs are about to ‘drop’.
However, the Bedbugs remix has proven to be the most appropriate use of both restraint and the harp for a long time, and results in a devastatingly relaxing modern lullaby. Now that’s a USP.