By Steven Oldham
Sounds From The Other City returns to Salford on May 1st, promising to be ‘bigger and better than ever’.
The music festival, now in its seventh year, will be taking over a host of locations on and around Chapel Street as 78 live bands, duos and soloists make this year’s event the largest so far.
The festival is progressively growing year on year and 2011 will see a record 13 venues taking part. Whilst over 2,000 people are expected this year, the festival began humbly in 2005, attracting a modest 400 visitors.
Mark Carlin, who co-founded the festival with his brother Maurice, is looking forward to the diverse line up.
He said: “We have such a wide range of acts on it should be great. If you want something lighter there’s These Dancing Days. If you like something a bit more out there and mental, Action Beats are for you.”
Mark is expecting the crowd to have open minds when they get to the festival.
He said: “We find people tend to treat SFTOC as a day out. There’s certainly a spirit of discovery. This helps contribute to a real holiday atmosphere.”
He puts this down to people enjoying going to venues which don’t normally host live music.
“These underused, interesting locations have been good to us over the years. We’ve built up good relations with long standing partners such as The King’s Arms.”
Islington Mill will also once again be hosting live music.
Mark explained: “It’s our home really. We’re based here before and during the festival and have been here for 7 years and counting.”
When asked about his active role on the day, Mark is looking for a relatively easy ride.
He said: “On the day hopefully I won’t have to do too much! There will inevitably be problems that I will need to sort out but everything tends to run pretty smoothly. In the first couple of years it was a bit more hectic with Maurice and I doing most of the running. As we’ve grown we’ve been able to delegate.”
Acts who have appeared here in the past include The Ting Tings, Marina and the Diamonds and The Whip. Hotly anticipated sets this year come from ambient trance act D/R/U/G/S and singer-songwriter Darren Hayman.
Callum Wright, of D/R/U/G/S, is looking forward to playing at Islington Mill.
He said: “I don’t get to play Manchester very often so I was glad to accept the invite,” before adding, “I’m looking forward to seeing Fivers – I’ve just done a remix for them so I’m going to check them out.”
Sounds From The Other City is the start of a pakced festival season for D/R/U/G/S, who are playing at Glastonbury, Bestival, Reading & Leeds amongst others with even more dates set to be announced.
Hannah Bayfield is co-curating the ‘Postcards from Manchester’ stage upstairs at the Old Pint Pot pub on Adelphi Street.
She said: “We became involved after hosting a Postcards from Manchester all dayer at Saki back in September 2009. Duncan Sime, one of the organisers of SFTOC liked what we did and asked us to get involved.”
Acts on their stage this year include Young British Artists, Weird Era and Tigercats.
With this year being the biggest yet, it seems the only way is up for Salford’s rapidly expanding festival.
D/R/U/G/S release their new single Love/Lust on 12” vinyl next week. They’re holding the launch party at Venus Club, Blackfriars on May 4.
Tickets cost £18 and are available from Islington Mill, The King’s Arms and Common. Tickets are also available at Piccadilly Records, Fopp, Quay Tickets and Skiddle but expect to pay a small booking fee. The event starts at 3pm on May 1 and runs until late.