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Sounds From The Other City 2018

“You could get married here.” Well, it’s a long time since I’ve heard an offer like that (Vegas, if you must ask), but it’s completely in line with the unexpectedness that Sounds From The Other City regularly produces. Now in its 14th year, it’s the present that keeps on giving.

SoundsTown by Ged Camera

Amid the wackiness, there were plenty of doctors and medics patrolling this year’s event, although I think I’d go for a second opinion before accepting a diagnosis from them. Plenty of guinea pigs did accept the refreshments being offered via syringes.

There are new venues each year on the SFTOC agenda, as it’s one amongst several ways of ensuring an infusion of new creativity. This year, they tended to move the focus more towards the rapidly developing creative heart of Salford. Venues were retitled for one day only. For instance, the CAR WASH housed three performance areas featuring up and coming artists, such as rhythm and dance performer Chrystal, the soulful trio led by Alxndr London, and spoken work courtesy of Joey Francis. It also housed a paddling pool, bar and luxurious leather seats.

SFTOC colours by Ged Camera

Similarly, the Hot Press building looked like a typical 1970s brick-built rectangle, incongruous when compared to the rapidly rising housing development emerging 20 yards away. It played host to a Liverpool-based outfit, Yammerers, who delivered a caustic blast of anger and energy.

The sun glistened on brightly coloured foil that had been attached to fences, but soon adorned revellers’ various body parts as they wandered lazily up and down Chapel Street. Many savoured the fine weather by hovering around the tents conveniently located next to a bar, such as the one at Bexley Square, or those within a short stagger of an off licence. Others decided to venture into darkened, sweat-stained rooms, where the temperature felt beyond three figure sums. Cattle, appearing at the incongruously named Angel Centre with its inferno-like heat, packed out the venue and were rapturously received. Similarly, Mold at the Old Pint Pot held their audience captive.

Cattle SFTOC by Ged Camera

The main hub of the event centred around the large warehouses on the Regent Road estate. Named SoundsTown for the day, the expansive open area was an ideal spot to park oneself down to digest numerous street traders’ foods, while listening to DJs and perusing the diverse nature of the programme to work out next steps.

You could enter the Psychic’s Snug for a reading or simply watch someone crank up the bubble blowing machine. Some nipped to Salford Cathedral to catch the BBC Philharmonic perform with Lauren Bowler and Rachel Goodyear. Whatever choices you make, there will always be something else that, “You should have seen…” but you will also have plenty of your own golden moments. The vital thing was just to be there.

SFTOC Party Police by Ged Camera

All the while, the party police were on hand to make sure you were enjoying yourself, though I’m not sure how many pairs of handcuffs they had left by the end of the night. The face paint and glitter may have smudged a bit by the time the event evolves into the clubbing elements, with a series of parties continuing well into Bank Holiday Monday with packed dance floors.

Sounds From The Other City 2019 will take place on Sunday 5 May. You can help to shape next year’s event by answering the official survey.

All photos inset by Ged Camera.

Next article in issue 55

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