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Sounds From The Other City 2024 review – proving DIY is truly alive and thriving

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Featured image and gallery: @sineadshoots

It’s that time of year again, where fans of finding the next big thing make their annual pilgrimage over the River Irwell for Sounds From The Other City (SFTOC). What better way to spend their May bank holiday weekend strolling between venues, where there are 70 acts to choose from.

With bright yellow wristbands in place, it’s time to make the most of the glorious Salford sunshine on The Green. Deckchairs are out alongside street food vendors, a DJ playing club classics, and even a temporary tattoo studio, with an anarchic appearance from the FVCK Pigs, SFTOC were really giving the festival vibes this year. 

Heading over to Maxwell Hall, with a programme organised by Manchester’s very own Now Wave, it’s time for Cardiff’s Melin Melyn to open the stage. With their matching outfits and 70s aesthetic, they brilliantly blend psychedelia with pop, each song captivating the earlybirds. With their synchronised moves and funny anecdotes, they have a charming stage presence, peppering their set with multilingual Anglo-Welsh tunes. ‘I Paint Dogs’ is a particular favourite, even persuading the crowd to bark like them – and it’s only 3:30pm.

After enjoying more of the atmosphere at The Green, it’s time to head back into the Maxwell Hall to catch TTSSFU. Earlier this year, Tasmin released their hauntingly beautiful EP Me, Jed and Andy, a collection of seven whirling dream pop tracks inspired by Jed Johnson and Andy Warhol. Tasmin’s voice is as enchanting live as it is on record, casting a spell on the audience who sway hypnotically. ‘I Hope You Die’ and the ever-so dreamy ‘Studio 54’ are the undoubted highlights. 

Moving on to the legendary Old Pint Pot, which is packed out for the electric duo jellyskin. Their abrasive techno and industrial beats has the room moving from wall to wall, with ‘Bringer Of Brine’ sending the crowd into a frenzy. The set may have been better suited to Islington Mill but it’s fun nonetheless.  

Heading over to the stunning St Philips Church, with the line-up curated by Heavenly Recordings and Strange Days, where we step into Halo Maud’s synthy indie-pop dreamscape. Having released her sophomore album Celebrate back in March, there’s a buzz among the crowd to hear the new songs live, and there’s no better place to do it than here, with the stained glass windows glowing in the late evening’s golden hour. ‘My Desire is Pure’ is a fan favourite, as the undulating synth lines echo around the room to beautifully match the vocals. 

Next up is the most anticipated set of the day, karaoke hosted by Teegs, over at the Deli Lama, a wholefood shop and cafe in Islington Mill, the perfect place for SFTOC to have a karaoke hour. Nothing is more fun than watching strangers sing classic songs like ‘Man! I Feel Like a Woman!’, ‘I Write Sins Not Tragedies’, and finishing on ‘Teenage Dirtbag’ with a feature from Teegs on the mic. The ultimate chaotic bonding experience at a festival and a great way to end the day before having a pint and chatting with friends over at Bexley Square. 

Sounds From The Other City is truly a unique experience, it proves DIY is truly alive and thriving, and vitally supports upcoming artists from Salford, Manchester and beyond, as well as the independent venues and talented local promoters and labels. SFTOC is welcoming, unique, homely and beautifully run. We can’t wait for next year.

About the author / 

Georgina Hurdsfield

Masters student in Psychological Wellbeing in Clinical Practice at Manchester Metropolitan University. Keen photographer and music enthusiast.

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