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City Sound Project Summer 2013 Review

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 The City Sound Project is a festival in Canterbury showcasing a bunch of local as well as national bands in pubs and bars around the city. The festival is good news for the Canterbury music scene, says Chad Greggor, Newspaper Entertainment Editor.

City Sound Project this week was a massive success. For evidence of this, see the hordes of people who lined up outside the Picturehouse on sunny Sunday 5th May to buy what had become quite expensive on-the-door tickets. And this is only the second run of the inner-city festival, which books a number of local and national acts to perform in venues around Canterbury.

Punters this year had to choose between headliners such as Swiss Lips, Is Tropical, Benjamin Francis Leftwich, B Traits and Duke Dumont: the man who pipped Ding-Dong the Witch is Dead to top the UK charts. First on InQuire’s list of must see acts was a secret gig in the much recommended Brown’s coffee house, where none other than Benjamin Francis Leftwich (who will from this point be referred as BFL, for reason of having a ridiculously lengthy and Victorian name) was performing.

He delivered his admittedly twee, but nevertheless lovely lullabies to a packed crowd in an extremely vulnerable, intimate setting. Wolf Alice performed for another secret gig to an undeservedly slimmer crowd. The setting was about as candid and awkward as you could want, with a handful of fans sat around the two members of the band playing unplugged.

Lead singer Ellie Roswell began laughing uncontrollably during their second song, White Leather, which let off a wave of good natured laughter in the small audience. What might have gone down as embarrassing in a high-stakes stage performance in this case only accented the intimacy of the gig.

We had the chance to see Wolf Alice’s electric set later on in CCCU’s The Lounge. The band have a knack for making folk-y vocals work over distinctively grungy, leaning towards indie sounding rock. They look like they live on a diet of only biscuits and skimmed-milk, wear leather jackets, and just have that attitude of bohemian nonchalance that make them seem so damn cool.

Swiss Lips performed in the same venue. The band from Manchester opened with DANZ, the spelling and all-capital typeface of this song perfectly encapsulating their hip Shoreditch-like punk-hipster-rockapocalypse image and sound. Their dancey electro rock topped with nasal vocals soon got the sun-glazed and bank holiday booze soaked crowd into a frenzy. A near studio-perfect performance.

After witnessing the enjoyably sludgy garage rock of Canterbury trio The Gang, and the afore mentioned Wolf Alice set, Benjamin Frances Leftwich came on to bring us down to earth. Dedicating one song ‘to anyone who has taken a walk in a field and then gone to dinner with their mother-in-law and [continued, incomprehensible clauses…]’ the folk maestro treated our tired ears to his most lyrically heartfelt and nostalgic songs.

There were several after-parties and headliners to the City Sound Festival but, being only one reviewer, I wasn’t physically able to witness it in its magnificent entirety. The whole enterprise is great news for a blossoming Canterbury music scene.

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