Sound City Is Back In The City
Chatting With Black Honey & What To Expect This Year
Oh the glimmer of hope that comes every year with the May sunshine, that is Sound City is once again returning...but not to the outskirts of the city, as this year we will see the hugely anticipated Sound City returning to its roots. Sound City will be hosting the next generation of talent within the intimate venues and electric spaces of Liverpools historic Baltic Triangle, where Sound Citys origins reside. Within it's 11th year, it'll be kicked off on the 5th and 6th May to celebrate the spirit of the underground and embrace the best bands performers of the era.
During this odyssey of discovery across the weekend, over 250 of the most hotly- tipped new bands and headliners will perform to thrilling effect, taking in wild shows, raucous label parties and special global guests on the festival’s pulsating international stages. And for the first time Sound City will introduce the new wave of grime and urban stars too, mixing it up in an eclectic range of sounds and styles which includes electronica, indie, psych, rock, pop and much more.
The legacy of Sound City
Sound City is incredibly proud to now reveal the headline day splits and 100 of the artists joining them this spring. Saturday’s headliners include an abundance of sublime talent capturing some of the very best music around. With the spirit of Oasis running through their bones, the DMA’s have reinvented Britpop uniquely filtered through their Aussie origins, whilst guitar-electro poppers Slow Readers Club segue from their insanely catchy upbeat indie to angry, introspective downbeat ballads. Childhood friends Picture This are regularly compared to Kodaline, The Coronas and Ed Sheeran, whilst arch social commentators Idles chronicle the decline of the country and skewer the mainstream.
Baltimore duo Wye Oak bring their distinctive brand of indie rock to the festival, and Black Honey offer their distinctive psych-rock.
Further brilliant artists across the weekend include Jade Bird, The Blinders, Gaffa Tape Sandy, Sorry, Sam Fender, Billie Marten, Matt Maltese, Saint Phnx and Stereohoney. On the brand new urban and grime side of Sound City, the celebrated rapper and Manga author Shaodow was both the Hardest Working Artist Award Winner in the AIM Independent Music Awards 2017 and Music Artist Of The Year Award Winner in the AME Awards 2017. There’s also essential grime artist Vital touching down, and Liverpool’s Lab TV present local rap duo Beyond Average and Juke, with more to be revealed soon.
So where is Sound City this year?
Who to expect at Sound City
Returning to its original ethos offers a wealth of shows spread across Liverpool’s renascent Baltic Triangle, a warren of intimate venues, bars and clubs which has evolved into one of the UK’s go-to cultural destinations. During Sound City, events will be hosted in Great Baltic Warehouse, Constellations, Camp and Furnace, Baltic Market, Hangar 34, District, Unit 51, Baltic Social, Red Door Vintage, The Tank Room, 24 Kitchen Street, Northern Lights, Hinterland, Craft Minded, Black Lodge Brewery and Tap And Still. Becky Ayres, Sound City’s COO, explains: “This is a huge moment for us as we not only reveal our headline day splits but also the venues will be hosting our festival across in May. We really feel the spirit of discovery and exploration returning for our 11 th year, with a huge range of artists performing in some brilliant locations. We want to capture the magic of the UK’s thriving scene as well as what is happening around the world, and feel this range of 100 artists will really entertain, inspire and thrill everyone in May.” Sound City is also proud to be working with DIY as the official Media Partner, Edge Hill University as the Sound City Innovation Partner, Liverpool John Moores University as the official Cultural Education Partner, and the Baltic Creative.
I spoke to Black Honey about their latest single Dig, their experiences at Sound City as well as the inside scoop into Izzys talented mind.
What’s been going down with Black Honey lately? Any news?
We have been in the studio recording our debut album. We are still really busy writing, planning releases and getting everything glittering ready for our upcoming UK headline tour.
How’s life been off the road and back in London?
It’s a different lifestyle being home for the first time in a long time I’ve been craving space from the chaos of the road. I’m more creative at home and it’s been good to sleep and sober up after the tour with royal blood.
We’re super looking forward to you playing Sound City, how’s Liverpool treated you guys in the past?
Liverpool lot are always welcoming, it’s one of the first places we went on tour so it feels like everyone came on this journey with us. There’s so many familiar faces who never fail to show us round!
Hope you’ll be sticking around for the rest of the festival to dance on tables with me?
Yes of course it’s our tradition now right?
What’s the dream for Black Honey in 5 years time?
I wanna write amazing songs and watch the world sing them back to us. I want kids to loose their virginity to our music and connect with people in a way that’s so much more sincere than any connection this weird as fuck world is letting us do at the moment.
Whats been your favourite moment from beginning the band?
All time.... that’s hard. We have done some crazy shit, played Glastonbury John Peel, toured Japan and Korea and done an arena tour & walked catwalks in Milan. But in honesty it’s those really small moments that make it for me. My band keep me out of trouble and sometimes it’s just having a big fry up with the whole squad round the table after a great show that does it for me.
Black Honey are constantly compared to Quentin Tarantino's works, what would you say if QT himself wanted you to do the soundtrack for his next movie? Or what movie would you have loved to have played on?
I'd say yes probably drink my body weight in tequila then buy a cowboy hat. I’d love to play Alabama in True Romance. (Though he only wrote that.)
The whole band seem like one big family, what do you guys get up to off-stage?
We like drinking and play a lot of pool. So if we’re not down the pub you will probably find us at a gig, cinema or maybe bowling.
Describe Black Honey in three words?
Bad weird romance.
Then one word?
Expect Sound City to dig deep down into the cultural roots of Liverpool and its underground music scene, bringing the core of brilliant music to the city who's legacy stands on its musical history. Tickets are available through See Tickets.