Review: City Sound Project

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By Jodie Stringer on 24.10.2023

Review: City Sound Project

Sunday 21st October welcomed the City Sound Project into Canterbury for the first time. It was the fringe of Canterbury arts festival, solely dedicated to celebrate and showcase modern British sound. The idea was for an inner-city music festival to host live gigs and DJ sets in local venues across the city.

The event was catagorised into different ‘sounds’, hosted from day and night and covered a wide range of genres and sub-genres; Electronic sounds, Indie sounds, House sounds, Acoustic sounds, Bass sounds, Hip-Hop sounds, Retro sounds, Urban sounds and Live sounds. In each sound a local artist as well as a well-known international act featured, showing the potential for success in each genre.

Exclusively reserved wrist-banded entry, allowed the wristband holders to flow around from gig to gig without feeling obliged to stay in one place. This also gave people the ability to sample the different genres and taste the freshness of the local talent.



The Jolly Sailor housed indie and retro sounds with great potential such as L’enfant Terrible who’s music was a layering of Katie Mellower and Pulp. There was little room for pretension as a marquee (resembling what looked like an old disco tent once used for a drunken garden party) produced a bar flowing with snakebites – something Billy Idol would be proud of. There was a little confusion at the beginning, as the unique Tommy and the Guns failed to turn up (it was later discovered that the band had over-slept). Their incredibly rock ‘n’ roll attitude sadly cost them their gig but despite this, they have an enormity of talent and are sure to go far.

Sadly the weather decided not to work alongside the festival, so cover from the rain was limited, however this did add to the intimacy of the event. The unfortunate rain caused people to dash from one place to another which may have added to the excitement of getting a seat that was equidistant between the stage and the bar – a very crucial aspect of the seating arrangement and being an important part of the festival itself.



The atmosphere in Picture House was a little awkward, as Electrosexual drew the short straw for their slot timing. A heavy bass-line just isn’t suited to 3pm on a Sunday afternoon. However, this soon changed as the evening closed in, people seemed to accept the music and allowed their bodies to course with the rhythm.

The Penny Theatre proved an embarrassing hiccup, as the infamous Bastille were an hour late to their own set. The details are unknown as to why they were so hideously late, however they eventually arrived and stole the show away after great anticipation from screaming fans.

A first attempt of an inner city music festival proved not to be a huge failure but in fact an achievement, in the way of celebrating what Canterbury has to offer musically.



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