Liverpool

Dave Monks previews Liverpool Sound City

Sounds of Guns
Image caption Sounds of Guns will play at St George's Hall during the festival

Thursday, 19 May is the start of Liverpool Sound City 2011 - a huge musical event taking place at various city centre venues and unusual locations and includes gigs, street events, label parties, films and music conferences.

Now in its fourth year, there is a lot of great music to take in over the next three days and nights across the city.

Festival Director David Pichilingi calls his music extravaganza 'Glastonbury without the Wellies'.

In preparation for the event he said, "We have about 80 people working on the festival in order to deliver it all.

"The last few days have just been about briefing everyone and going though all processes to make sure everything runs smoothly."

Emerging talent

The last twelve months of planning will come to fruition this week and the excitement is building as Dave Pichilingi says, "I guess the big one in terms of gigs is the announcement of the Kooks, where really pleased they have chosen Sound City to preview their new album.

"The fact we are doing this in the 'bombed out' church makes this one of the special events."

Alongside the inclusion of some of the UK's more established names, the major objective has been to champion Merseyside's emerging talent.

The last couple of weeks have see quality album releases from the likes of Delta Maid, The Wombats, and Miles Kane and it will be great to see Miles and Delta Maid perform during the festival.

Image caption Bird feature as part of a special showcase at The Krazyhouse

Other 'must sees' include; Cast, playing the Crypt underneath the Metropolitan Cathedral on Saturday, The Deltasonic night at Leaf Bar on Bold Street on Friday, Sound of Guns and Fly with Vampires at St Georges Hall on Saturday, Wave Machines at Static and Pop Levi and Owls at The Kazimier on Friday.

I am also hosting two local showcases, one on Friday at the Krazyhouse and then Saturday at the Picket. Friday night will see The Fallows, Bird and electronic outfit Filter Distortion on stage while Saturday's highlights including Strawhouses, Killaflaw, Nick Ellis and young Paislie Reid.

One final highlight (another success story from the BBC Introducing programme) is Luke Fenlon who, after recording a session for the programme found his track on the Radio One playlist.

He then went on to represent Liverpool at Musexpo in Los Angeles. Catch him at the Picket on Saturday 21st and then again supporting Steve Mason at the Masque venue tonight.

Series of conferences

This year Sound City has reached out internationally to music communities on a global level as Dave says, "This year we are doing parties with over 23 different countries from all over the world including Poland - the first time they have done anything with us at Sound City.

"We are premiering a film called 'Beats of Freedom', which is the story of the rise of punk music through the communist regime in the 70s and 80s".

In contrast to the traditional club venues, Sound City also hosts a series of conferences in the plush surroundings of the Hilton Hotel.

Dave says his own highlight is Peter Hook from New Order/Joy Division in conversation with music photographer Kevin Cummins. "That is going to be hilarious in itself," he says, "it should be a really good debate."

The main problem with an event like this is, not the weather (the majority of gigs are indoors) not the cost (once you purchase a wristband you can get in to the whole programme) and not the accommodation (unlike the summer festivals there is no need to resort to sleeping in dodgy tents), it is getting to see everything on your wish list!

There really is so much to experience so, good luck and enjoy the festival. I will report back with reaction on Sunday night's programme.

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