Sound City Ipswich  2021 – live review

Sound City Ipswich, various venues
1st-2nd October 2021

Keith Goldhanger begins a month of venue-hopping activities across various cities hosting multi-venue events. Ipswich held its second Sound City event following its debut two years ago.

Having traveled east for an hour on a fast train from the capital where there’s no need for petrol, the pints are half the price than we’ve been used to paying and the weather seems to be warmer, we hit our pillows at the end of the first seven-and-a-bit hours, having tapped our toes to the disco beats of Lynks, the Disco Biscuits of Warmduscher and moaned non-stop about not getting the chance to tap our toes and show off our skill for learning all the words to the middle bit of Peanuts by Yard Act.

We’re back in Ipswich and day one of the two-day festival is a banger. LYNKS arriving at 5pm will always seem like a dozen hours too late or too early, but later nights with the soundtrack of Lynks’ music will soon come just as the hits keep coming our way with regularity at the moment. New tune BBB came out this week – it’s as huge as everything else that’s come this way from the masked man who continues to capture the listener’s attention line after line after line. Synchronised dancing from a trio he tells us are called ‘Lynks bubble bath’ helps to make this the greatest show any festival could open with.

Sound City Ipswich  2021 – live review

A few House of Love tunes through the PA later, we witness BDRMM from Hull who have reintroduced many of us to shoegazing and, more importantly, why this genre was so good in the first place. Loud guitars, plodding drums, a wall of noise with vocals hidden but still audible are a delight to witness. Crashing riffs louder than Radiohead but quieter than My Bloody Valentine, instrumental breaks and distorted Cure-like riffs duck and dive, twist and turn and clear our heads from the earlier beats from the previous act, and remind us that guitars through dozens of effects pedals sound fabulous as long as they don’t go on forever. Those at the front are watching the shoes on stage in the 21st century as songs increase and decrease in velocity every few seconds controlled by the feet of the men with guitars. Bdrmm are loud, refreshing and joyous and our first evening in Suffolk is off to a flyer.

BIG JOANIE have a stand up drummer and this always gets the thumbs up from some of us who could argue for days about how every band with a stand up drummer is always worth spending time listening to. Short sweet slow Ramones or feedback-free Mary Chain riffs and vocals from all three female members maintain our interest before we learn that Porridge Radio aren’t showing up today, therefore allowing us to have a quick peep again at the fabulous energetic POM POKO whizzing through their final gig of a short tour before returning to their home country.

Sound City Ipswich  2021 – live review
BC Camplight

YARD ACT are fabulous of course. The band of 2021 for many of us, despite the exclusion of Dark Days and Peanuts tonight but with a cameo from Katie J Pearson half way though to make up for it. If you haven’t seen them yet then you’re missing out. It’s not just the fabulous tunes these four chaps have written but the lyrics will hold your attention and keep you amused. BC CAMPLIGHT sits behind a big piano and backed by an array of musicians, drinks his way through the tunes from recent Shortly After Take Off album including I’m Alright In The World which is surely up there on many peoples list of tunes that highlight 2021.

WARMDUCHER‘s Clams Baker Jr has decided to go for the large baseball hat today, to avoid any Stetson clashes backstage with the previous act we imagine. It’s a fabulous show, despite the sound swimming around the roof of the building before landing in our ears. The front man’s whoops and yells are like a deranged John Spencer over a Fat White Family backing track, as the band go through the tunes we remember falling in love with before our evenings were taken over by Netflix.

Sound City Ipswich  2021 – live review

Day one at Sound City Ipswich reminded us how equally great the one day was two years ago. We wanted an additional day after that, and this year we get it. The line up may not have been as jam packed as planned on day two as the weather turned rotten for those wanting to zip in between venues, however we begin the day with a couple of Colchester acts.

ANORAK PATCH pull a decent crowd as they fly through songs that are so tight they must have been playing them since primary school (the guitarist is celebrating his 18th birthday today), and six piece hip hop act MONSTER FLORENCE tear up The Baths venue early in the evening before we step outside and rearrange our schedules in the torrential rain.

PREGOBLIN over at the Corn Exchange seem to have a completely different arrangement in personnel every time we see them. No Jessica Winter around to share the vocal duties with Alex Sebley today, but we get a few familiar tunes from the foursome, aided by simple drum machine beats and multi-laid back vocals by all four people on stage. TV PRIEST over at St Stephen’s Church provide us with the first big queue of the weekend and are well worth catching for anyone that enjoys fabulous hollering and loud stomping drums and even louder guitars. This four piece fit perfectly into today’s musical climate, a bit like Idles, a bit like The Birthday Party and is a band that are responsible for a raucous reaction inside the tine venue. It’s Saturday night and despite the wet clothes the weekend ends with WORKING MENS CLUB, who turn up the heat with their electronic hip-shaking drum machine-lead pieces of music that anyone will love after a couple of days non-stop entertainment that lead up to the finale.

Sound City Ipswich  2021 – live review

Sound City Ipswich has proved to be another successful event this year. Unfortunately one or two of us still haven’t ventured out to The Smokehouse venue yet and we miss seeing the The Manor Ballroom on the list of venues involved this year. New venue The Baths is rumoured to soon be an established venue for future events, that those who visited this weekend will agree is more than a decent small venue. The outside Cornhill stage, featuring local acts over the two days, also added a sense of occasion to the event as we walked between venues, even though this stage was eventually beaten by the weather before Saturday night arrived.

With a great array of original and eclectic bands on display Sound City Ipswich appears to be on the radar for those of us happy to cram as much musical entertainment in a weekend as physically possible. Even though some are still out of shape and the weather turned horrible on day two, it was still worth the time away from the comfort of our sofas and gave many attendees some more new music to investigate until the chance comes around to witness repeat performances.


Words and photos by Keith Goldhanger. More writing by Keith on Louder Than War can be found at his author’s archive. You can also find Keith on Facebook and Twitter (@HIDEOUSWHEELINV).

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Keith Goldhanger -- Spent the '90s as a frontman with London noise merchants HEADBUTT - spent the '80s in 'Peel favourites' BASTARD KESTREL. Spent a few years mashing up tunes and remixing bands as HIDEOUS WHEEL INVENTION. Is often out and about getting in the way of things and bumping his head on low ceilings - Will give your band the time of day but will dislike any band that balances full pints of alcohol on the top of guitar amps (Not keen on lead singers that wear hats either).


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