One of the things that has kept Sounds from the Other City fresh over the years has been the unique way that the festival has been programmed: by getting the best promoters from Manchester and beyond to select the acts, there has been a constant regeneration at SFTOC. This has meant that we’ve managed to nab many exciting bands at the start of their careers and created some truly memorable occasions – the time that future Mercury award winners Alt-J and Sampha both shared a stage at The Old Pint Pot being one particularly prime example.
Given this is our 15th anniversary and the unique format of this Quindecennial celebration, we’ve allowed ourselves the small extravagance of booking two acts ourselves to play SFTOC. We’ve picked bands that reflect two of the many sides of the festival – both anarchic and danceable, various shades of light and dark. With only two weeks left until the festival (yep – it is two weeks today: get your tickets here, quick: https://www.skiddle.com/festivals/sounds-from-the-other-city/), we thought we’d take a look at them both.
First up, we’re pleased to welcome See Thru Hands to Sounds. Formed from the ashes of Silverclub, Sirconical and The Pipettes, See Thru Hands channel the angularity of Prince, the left leaning spirit of Talking Heads, the pop suss of Hot Chip and the funk elements of A Certain Ratio to create utter dance floor delirium. They’ve drawn praise from Bootsy Collins (“Radiophonic border line Funk that makes a mutha smile”), been picked out by Everything Everything as a tip for future, and had Manchester Evening News write: “we guarantee you, will surely have the whole city raving in unison come the end of the year.”
You can see them playing live for our friends at Band on the Wall below, while we’ve also got a little bonus interview where they talk about the origins of their band name at the bottom of this piece. We can wait to have them at Sounds, and we’re sure you’re going to love them just as much as we do.
Our second pick are returning heroes, having played the festival first back in 2013. We’re proud to ILL back at Sounds, where they’re sure to add to their SFTOC legacy in emphatic style. Celebrated by Loud & Quiet for creating liberation through disobedient noise, ILL is a genre-evading band which believes in the power of delinquency. Boasting a repertoire of precarious pop songs and frequent improvised departures, ILL revel in the right to be weird whilst exploring the borders between the funny and the sinister, and the mundane and the surreal. The Quietus’ review of their spectacular album We Are Ill sums them up particularly well: “We Are ILL takes their SCUM-punk manifesto and pushes it to the next level as their songs blast out of the speakers in a ruckus of boots, glitter, maladjusted face-paint and vicious pop noise… ILL are a band of happy nihilists and pisstakers, but still the anger on We Are ILL is personal, political and heartfelt.”
A quintessential SFTOC band for our Quindecennial, we couldn’t think of anyone more apt as a house pick for this special edition of the festival.
Aside from our picks, the SFTOC line-up this year is magnificent – you can see it in full here, listen and subscribe to our Spotify playlist here, or watch our exclusive clip with See Thru Hands below