Liverpool Sound City – Raleigh Ritchie

I continue to write up my review of Liverpool Sound City for eFestivals. I’ve made a great dent into the review this evening whilst watching the first semi final of the Eurovision. I am gutted that the Latvian entry about baking cakes didn’t proceed. 

There were 26 venues at Sound City and I tried to get to most of them over the few days of the festival.. I’m trying hard for my review not to simply be a long and drawn out list of the things I did…

And then I went here…

And then I went here….


I interviewed Raleigh Ritchie this weekend and a full transcript of that will appear in good time on eFestivals. But, I’m happy to say that he was a charming man. He openly admits that he’s something of a contradiction; that his album might well be difficult to pin down because it will cross styles. He’s a perfectionist spending hours getting a bass to sound exactly as he wants. I’m left wondering if his album will ever come out. 

We talked about Wireless as he’s been announced to perform alongside Kanye and the like – but he also said that there’s more festivals coming that he can’t announce as yet. My money’s on Glastonbury as one of them. Surprisingly, Raleigh/Jacob also revealed that his first ever mosh pit experience was at a Kasabian gig. 

He thinks – and I’m inclined to agree – that he’s only compared to the Trip Hop sound of Massive Attack, Tricky and all because of his Bristolian roots.

We touched on the distinction between acting and music. Raleigh’s focus for the foreseeable is on music though he wouldn’t be averse to another Game Of Thrones series if offered. I deduce from that that he doesn’t lose his head in series 3. I steered away from questions about genitals and lack of them (in Game of Thrones)… 

I wanted to post the tune ‘Bloodsport’ in full from Soundcloud but it’s been removed and replaced with a clip. Oh well, never mind – here’s clips from all of the tracks on Raleigh’s Black and Blue EP.


Liverpool Sound City – Breakfast Monkey

So, I’ve arrived in Liverpool. It’s much how I remember it.

Yesterday was a fine day. I had free beer and free Falafel. I wandered into venues I’d not been into last year. There is still much to see.

Whilst having a free beer (paid for with a piece of jigsaw) I got talking to the most wide-eyed and charming band ever. Breakfast Monkey brought seven promotional CD’s to a networking event. Here’s a band with no press pack and no staged pics. Breakfast Monkey were asked to pitch their band in  30 seconds by senior promoters and festival organisers – and beautifully, they struggled to do so.

Instead, they waffled. And they enthused. They didn’t have a clue about the ‘people’ they might meet at Liverpool Sound City. That’s not to say they didn’t care. They were attentively taking on board advice from everybody who cared to offer it. They are all based in Liverpool at University.

Breakfast Monkey are playing Sound City at half past nine on Saturday in Sound Food and Drink. Clubs from Leicester play the same venue earlier in the day. The story they tell about how they were chosen to play is as charming as the band. They played a gig at which somebody from Sound City was present. That person came up to them at the end of the gig and said they wanted them to play the festival. Breakfast Monkey heard nothing for months until an E-Mail arrived in their inbox confirming the Sound Food And Drink gig. Simples..

Those people from Sound City are no fools. They know a good live act when they see one so I’d suggest that Breakfast Monkey’s understated confidence is misplaced.

Amongst acts who are desperately attempting to get profile through elaborate social media stunts, this morning I give you the simple, uncomplicated approach. This is rock rap. This is a Breakfast Monkey. 




Liverpool Sound City – Clubs

I’m running out of days to preview the great acts that are going to be playing Liverpool Sound City this year (the brilliant Kagoule are getting Radio One airplay this week so their stock is rising) – but it’d be wrong to get on my train tomorrow from Leicester having not mentioned THE Leicester based band that are on the bill.

I have to make a terrible confession. Although Clubs have been making considerable noise around these parts, I’ve yet to catch one of their live shows. Friends who have touched upon their considerable power tell me that I’m a fool for doing so.

Subscribing to the google game of awkward searches discussed when I profiled Movie, I’m aware of previous incarnations of Clubs. I understand the sound is different now with an increased pop sensibility replacing the more angular guitars of Panda Youth but even a casual gig goer could have seen that in lead singer, CJ Pandit, here’s a band that would turn heads.

They seem to delight in projecting a mysterious presence. Other acts listed to play this weekend provide complicated press releases detailing what their Grandparents like for breakfast (mostly porridge) whereas Clubs simply say ‘Progressive: Patience Is A Virtue.’ And their Soundcloud account isn’t cluttered with remixes or tracks released 5 years ago that give no indication of what we’re about to see. Instead, we just get this one track, Bleed. ‘Heavy pop’, they describe it as and they’re not wrong. It’s a fine tune with which to beckon in these longer daylight hours. It pop peppered with pollen. Full of muggy, fuzzy warmth, it could provide us with this Summer’s soundtrack… And there’s more to come.



Clubs play ‘Sound Food And Drink’ at half past 6 on Saturday evening. If this is your first opportunity to see them, take it.