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Creative Writing student Lucy Barrett took advantage of a free ticket to Sound City, courtesy of EHU, to get a sneak preview of the UK music scene’s future chart-toppers. “I always think it’s best to tell a story when it’s fresh in your mind; so, I’m sat on the platform of Liverpool Central ready to come home after a culture-shocking day, poised with a notepad and pen. “I hadn’t been to Sound City before, but from what everyone’s been telling me, the aesthetic seemed much different this time around. This year SC was held in the Baltic Triangle and Cains Brewery district, scattered throughout quirky bars and venues – really representing the regeneration that the area has undergone in the last decade. It was a refreshing change to go somewhere in Liverpool that wasn’t strictly touristy. And although I got lost more times than I could count, it’s a great place to be lost because I always found something more exciting. “24 Kitchen Street has an original, quirky vibe that I’d never gotten from a venue before; I’m not sure if it was from the vibrant graffiti glittering the outside walls or the intimate plainness on the inside. A perfect place for The Label Recordings Takeover, methinks, hosting relatively unknown, but fantastically eclectic and talented acts. Despite being a summery, sweaty day, there was a consistently impressive crowd throughout. I purposely didn’t want to know much about the artists before I saw them (yes, I know that’s a bit weird, but I didn’t want pre-set expectations), and I definitely stand by this. “The stage was kicked off by Liverpool-based indie-rock band, AZTEX, combining sultry vocals and provocative lyrics, particularly on one of their latest singles, ‘Promise’, with a mesmerising beat that echoes through you long after it’s finished. Next was Ceemax (top), a grime artist whose music transcends this descriptive pigeon-hole, and I spotted a good few spectators starting to dance. My bar was set high after the first act, but he smashed it with a fantastically fresh sound, a visual spectacle with featured dancers, and an edgy duet with The Voice’s Holly Ellison.
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Oranj Son (above) were the last Label Recordings act to take the stage, and what a way to end the takeover. The indie-rock band, who were somewhat reminiscent of The Smiths (one of my favourites), emerged on stage with smooth 80s-inspired melodies, drawing a particularly large crowd.
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“I snuck away from Kitchen Street and headed for a beer and a surprisingly reasonably-priced gourmet burger and headed to the much bigger (and more crammed) Camp and Furnace [Cramp and Furnace? – Lame Pun Editor], awaiting the Stealing Sheep (above) Suffragette Tribute. Even though I was acquainted with the wonderful weirdness of the trio, I was still overwhelmed by them! Not crammed onto a stage, the massive cast of talented musicians and dancers flooded into the audience, with fantastical, bright outfits, sometimes with a Pussy Riot vibe, a perfectly fitting tribute for the centenary of the women’s vote, methinks. It was an aural and visual feast. I, and a horde of others, followed the ensemble in a procession down the street, grabbing snacks and watching all the unaware people sat in bars looking on in bemusement. Of course, there was a host of drunks heckling the dancers, but they gracefully continued unabashed. The procession reached its destination, the Blade Factory, with the crowd spilling halfway out the building, and I was stood so far back I was on my tip-toes trying to catch a glimpse. “My train has just pulled up to the platform, drawing the Saturday of Sound City 2018 to a close, and I’m already excited about going back next year, as I can imagine it won’t be at all the same.”