The sophomore day bristled with collective happiness. Beginning with good-natured Radio 6 Music round-table bickering between Peter Hook and Guy Garvey, whose main job was to get a word in around John Robb‘s chipper motormouth babble, the night embraced an In The City which has truly begun to feel like the breezily ‘now’ festival it ought to.
The streets of the Northern Quarter teemed with cheerful gig-goers, all basking in the realisation that virtually any gig they poked their heads into would be a good one.
Lissie Dancefloor Disaster, direct from Sweden, encapsulated this ethos in one unrestrained and crazed performance to a dozen bewildered punters at Dry Live. An OCD/ADHD/MDMA blur of gauche colours, songs titled “You Can Have My TV I Don’t Want It” and, most importantly, tunes that sounded like the best, most rawkus, most pop songs that The Knife never made.
Laser focussed as much on demented, stage-clambering self-expression as on demonically hook-laden pop songs, they may prove to be deeply uncool within the confines of In The City, but are too good to be ignored any longer.
I was so thrilled by their off-the-wall gig that I collared them afterwards, shoved a microphone in their faces and asked them slightly brainless questions:
Back in normality, LA’s Kisses were – indeed – soft, tender and dreamy, while in the Soup Kitchen, Thomas J Speight‘s backing band just looked happy to be joining in the fun.
Walls, confusingly performing at Band On The Wall, began slowly, but rubbished the the fad for instant gratification with a careful and organic set of coiling electronica. Combined with stupendously blissfull visuals that actually drew murmurs of satisfaction from the audience, we drifted home on a technicolour fog of stupified pleasure. This, I thought, as I slept-walked home, is what In The City is all about.