Sounds From The Other City

May 3, 2019

2 DAYS TIL SFTOC | A look at Life at Large – It’s All Gone To Shit

Toilets: we all need them, we all use them. A fact of life, much like the queue to use one at a festival being the most boring part of any day. Minutes spent waiting, while you could be off doing something else, something fun, something exciting. Naturally, spotting a section of SFTOC that was sub-optimal, we have taken decisive action for this Quindecennial year: and we’re happy that L.A.L (or, Life At Large) have accepted the roles of Portaloo attendants for this special edition of the festival.

As well as undertaking all the usual, not so glamorous tasks that you’d expect of the position, the L.A.L. team – artists Amy Pennington & Kevin Clarke – will be on hand to make sure that not a moment of the day is wasted, bringing fun and wonder to the obligation of waiting to have a wee. Expect Karaoke, make-overs, and a million other things beside: there’s every chance the bogs are going to be the most exciting spot at the entire festival. You can find out more over on Instagram, where we’ve given the L.A.L. team carte blanche to do whatever they’d like with our Stories for the day. Follow in full here:

Life At Large have just come off the back of a hugely successful spell of running their own Health Spa Retreat at Islington Mill, which promised to “Take your mind of the woes of the world and come to our non for profit but for profit FEEL GOOD health spa. Here at FEELGOOD we do exactly that while you watch us. There is plenty of opportunity at Feel good to talk out any issues, get a makeover, dance, feel isolated, start a new hobby”. You can see their promo material for it below.

More about L.A.L.

L.A.L is a queer-led performance duo using satire & comedy to create performance, video & print. By subverting the language of wellness our work critiques mental health rhetoric under capitalism. We create interactive performance environments temporarily queering the galleries, institutions & community spaces we inhabit: challenging power structures & questioning who gets to feel good, when & how.

Our workshops and interactive performances are designed to be all inclusive for our participants and co-creators. Our aim is to create a safe space which encourages creativity and play to take place.

L.A.L is a long term collaboration between artists Amy Pennington & Kevin Clarke who have worked with Duckie Queer Fun 2017, Camberwell Arts Festival 2018, Islington Mill 2018, Strange Perfume South London Gallery 2018, Manchester Contemporary 2018, Planes & Perverts LGSMigrants fundraiser 2019.

May 2, 2019

3 DAYS TO GO | Frank N Hank Instagram Takeover

In our final Instagram takeover before the big day (3 days to go!), we’re handing the keys over to Frank N Hank – who were involved in creating the vision for our 2015 festival with their MICRO COSMIC DELIRIUM. Find out more about what to expect from them below, as well as reading an exclusive interview on their plans for the big day too! Follow the carnage over on Instagram here:

Tickets are now SOLD OUT – however, resale is available through Skiddle. If you need to sell a ticket you can’t use any more, or buy a ticket, you can find out more via our post here:

👑Drawing on and re interpreting traditional May Day celebrations, participating dancers will take part in a choreographed chaos dance to bless and celebrate the new site. A Queen Big Wig will be chosen and, garlanded in finery to become guardian of the good party vibes, holding court until the next festival. ⁣

Frances Heap and Hannah Bitowski really made their mark when they joined us as part of the 2015 art direction team. Under the name Costumologist x Faux Queens they created ‘Microcosmic Delirium’ ☄️- the party spirit in its most viral form, embodied by costume, installation and performance. Then they set it loose on our festival – letting it spread across venues to infect the audience something terrible. This year we’ve invited them back – and given them carte blanche to wreak havoc on on our Quindecennial.💥⁣

You were part of our artistic director team for SFTOC 2015 – what have you been up to since then?

Since 2015,we’ve gone in different directions, Amy and Hannah’s highlight (Faux Queens) was supporting Peaches as their last show before Amy moved away to Japan, another big change to the group.  Some of us have moved town, done residencies, started a family, live on a boat, but we’re all still creating in one form or another.

What are your memories of that day? Personally, I remember the colour and the energy that you brought to the festival: turning up outside the Mill and immediately being blown away by how vibrant everything was

Our memory from 2015 is a kind of manic energy, non-stop whirlwind, free roaming  around Salford and all the unique interactions we had along the way, especially related to the gift giving cat bum handbag, which will be rekindled this year! 

Top memories include randomly gate crashing a kids birthday party (non Sounds associated) just round the corner from the Mill in the housing estate. The big balloon disco dancing explosions in First Chop and the big pinata smashing procession with Barberos are all highlights for us. The general memory of the day was electric, colourful and excited, one we will never forget.

Could you give us an idea of what to expect from yourself this time out?

This year we are bringing a Maypole to sounds, and we invite the audience to dance and bless the new festival site with us, whilst crowning some queens with ‘big wigs’ in the process, so expect more colour  from us and some loosely organised fun and dancing!

Finally – is there anything you’re particularly looking forward to on the day?

We’re both especially looking forward to seeing what all the other art directors are up to and generally seeing the magic of all the creations together in the new space, and of course, seeing the maypole in action!

May 1, 2019

SFTOC Fringe Event | VAM Street Party

As well as our Quindecennial at Regent’s Trading Estate, we’re sure that SFTOC goers will be heading round to some of their favourite Salford haunts for a couple of drinks. As previously mentioned, wristband holders can come and go as they please – and we’re certain that many will be making the small walk over to The Eagle Inn, where VAM are holding a Sounds Fringe Street Party.

Free entry for SFTOC ticket holders and the general public alike, the line-up features some Sounds legends and is certain to be a fine addition to the Quindecennial vibes.

Line up:
Hesska b2b Clemency – DJ
Madame Zhou
Daniel Ruane (DJ)
Jüngle Julia
Sid Quirk
Izzy Bolt
Howl Creative

Address: Eagle Inn, 19 Collier St, Greengate, Salford M3 7DW

Facebook event:

More about VAM

VAM is a collective group set up as a platform for visual artists, musicians, and audience to share and experience creative ideas. The collective encourages artist to perform and collaborate at events without promoter restriction such as a set genre. VAM events are opening up a space for live visuals and electronic music in Manchester. Whether you’re interested in performing or supporting, come join the vamily!

More about The Eagle Inn

Located in Salford just a stone’s throw from Deansgate and Victoria train station, The Eagle Inn is a friendly, relaxed and traditional local pub with a long history dating all the way back to 1848.
But there’s much more to The Eagle Inn than just the traditional bar. In 2014 a terraced house that stood empty next door to the pub was converted into a bespoke, fully functioning 80 capacity venue complete with raised stage and balcony, all the while retaining some of the house’s original features (look out for the fireplace – you’ll know it when you see it).
As well as working with established and longstanding promoters from Greater Manchester and beyond, The Eagle Inn prides itself on being a welcoming, supportive space and a creative hub for the area’s grassroots artistic communities; with many now successful bands, artists, performers and promoters cutting their teeth within its walls.
Thanks to this rare combination of space, attitude and approach, The Eagle Inn is able to accommodate a full calendar of live music, spoken word, comedy, theatre, film screenings, exhibitions and much more on almost every night of the week.

April 30, 2019

SFTOC Quindecennial Sundance

For the last 6 years, we’ve had warmth guaranteed at Sounds thanks to one mysterious force: former Common legend/current Siop Shop supremo Iwan Roberts, and his annual Sundance. In the past, he’s burnt favourite toys from his childhood to appease the sun gods, become a giant and summoned the rays, and become a member of a cult in order to make sure that festival goers are blessed with rays.

After his BEST EVER performance last year – during which he had a little dance with the SoundsTown Crazy Arms Guy, he’s back once again to ensure summer in Salford this Sunday, with the little help of a shooting star. It is going to be glooooooorious! 5 days to go!

April 29, 2019

6 DAYS TIL #SFTOC | HimHallows Instagram takeover

Now we’re on the final strait and the Quindecennial is in sight, there’s only one way to celebrate: by handing over the Insta keys to a certified Sounds legend. HimHallows was done it all at SFTOC – worked behind the bar at Islington Mill Engine House, danced until sun-up (most years), helped clear-up the day after, and everything in between. Most notably, he was our artistic director back in 2016, having made himself a highly memorable custom the year before just to have a lovely time at Sounds in as part of the Volkov Commanders Parade. He’s back this year, of course, and we’re honoured that he’s letting you into his world with an all-day Instagram takeover. Follow all the action at

We’re down to about 50 tickets, which we reckon might be gone by the end of the day. Once they’re gone, they’re gone – we’ll have none on the door at this year’s festival thanks to our super-limited capacity. Don’t miss out:

HIMHALLOWS presents…⁣
On The Shores Of The Strange🌊⁣

Foggy heads and rocky souls are a combination for disaster, so this year himHallows has enlisted the lighthouse keeper to shine their beam, ensuring your course remains sure and true. In layman’s terms, that means he’ll be trying to keep you somewhat on the straight and narrow – or at least get you to the afterparties in one piece. So join the keeper on the Shores Of The Strange, feel the good energy of the lighthouse’s energising rays… and yell Land Ahoy! ⛵️💡⁣

The working name of Paul Hallows, himHallows is a mancunian artist and illustrator who’s obsessions range from dark films to concrete buildings and culinary design. From his base at the Engine House right here in Sunny Salford, Paul mostly illustrates and designs – but when he’s not doing that, he also likes to build things out of cardboard. He welcomed us to ‘The New Occult’ in 2016 when he Art Directed the festival. 👀📦⁣\