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Liverpool Sound City Day One May 21 2010 10:11 am, Mike Doherty

The first night of Liverpool¶s Sound City festival seems to have come by so quickly since the last one. It doesn¶t seem like a year ago since the Fly was running all over the city centre to catch local and international showcases as well as gigs in converted churches and former morgues. Last night was the first of a four-day stretch of gigs and music industry conferences, but the festival was launched officially at the end of April when Gil Scott-Heron graced the city with his elder statesman of hip hop presence, the years of drug abuse and the recent prison sentence evidently taking toll on his body (think Morgan Freeman crossed with a skeleton). Last night saw an all-Lancashire line up at the Academy. Hit-or-miss electro boys Delphic (they definitely hit) were supported by the much hyped (all of it entirely justified) Egyptian Hip Hop and (not so justified) Everything Everything, while downstairs saw Mark E. Smith¶s The Fall (as indecipherable as ever) supported by the only Liverpool bands at the Academy - The Temps (youthful, fascinating to watch and with lyrics as razor-sharp as the riffs) and Pete Bentham & The Dinner Ladies (whatever you think of a middle-aged man playing punk standards, Pete is always an entertaining frontman). Then, as the crowds rolled out of the Academy, they were greeted with some pretty ballsy buskers from Manchester called Shoshin, who pulled off a 20 minute set in the street even after being threatened with getting arrested. On the other side of the city, the ever eccentric Cumbrians British Sea Power headlined the Masque Theatre and were supported by the early R.E.M. coolness of Bicycle Thieves and the idea-filled indie of Dire Wolfe, who later played a secret midnight show. Just round the corner, experimental electro duo Capac brought their post rock beats to brand new venue the Shipping Forecast. All things considered it¶s been a great start to the festival. E-mail

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