While festivals can increasingly feel faceless or corporate, the SFTOC all-dayer is an idiosyncratic, anarchic, genuine labour of love – a haven for the twin city’s underground DIY-creatives. There’s no central booking; instead, it acts as an eclectic showcase for local promoters like Now Wave and Hey! Manchester, while its commitment to art means you’re never sure what’s around the corner – NME
Now, I can’t really hide my affiliation with SFTOC, having been involved with it in some capacity for the best part of a decade, booking artists such as IAMDDB, Children of Zeus, Babii and Flohio, the community spirited festival remains one of the most important dates on my calendar. This time round I’m excited to be amongst the crowd and seeing things from a different perspective. Returning to Salford for its 17th year, I’ve been digging through a lovingly curated line-up to find the very best of what Sounds has to offer!
Jessica Winter – Now Wave x YES @ fivefourstudios #2
Jessica Winter sits outside genre or scene, defined not by sound but by song. Much of her childhood was spent in isolation, looking out the window from a hospital bed – and from here, vivid imagination flowered into a creative universe that traverses sounds from the 80s, trap, indie, chanteuse, and unadulterated pop.
Sister Wives – Heavenly Recordings x Strange Days @ St Philip’s Church
Sister Wives conceive wild tales that flit between English and Welsh, heavily inspired by the mythology of the valleys. Threaded throughout with a cavernous mix of psychedelia, folk, post-punk, garage and 70s glam rock, debut album, Y Gawres is a reclamation – stamping a space for anyone pushing against patriarchal norms in the folklore of the past or right here, right now.
PRNCSS THa BAd Messiah – Fat Out x Bollox @ Partisan Club at Islington Mill
PRNCSS THa BAd Messiah is a multi-disciplinary artist, producer, and DJ. Born in Zimbabwe and raised in Dublin, Ireland and currently based in London, her art is influenced by the many cultures she has experienced. Experimenting with heavy bass music entwined with African rhythms, she’s a trailblazer in the Afrofuturism music space.
ASJ – Grey Lantern x The Beauty Witch x The White Hotel presents @ The White Hotel
ASJ refers to ‘A Spiritual Journey’ – the concept of the mind, a force beyond the physical, emotional and perceptive driven. She’s performed across Asia, Europe, and the UK at various music festivals like Clockenflap, Sonar, CTM, Unsound, and venues including Berghain, Razzmatazz, and QuaI De Bourbon.
The Faux Faux – Hey! Manchester @ The Old Pint Pot Upstairs
Faith Vern – formerly of PINS – released the menacing, smoky, swaggering, Cold Hearted Woman, in February 2023 complete with a music video depicting what she calls a love letter to the North of England. This first offering comes just ahead of a solo slot at SFTOC .
Caitlin LM – FLUFF x Tales From Other Worlds @ The Old Pint Pot Downstairs
Taking inspiration from Bonobo, Jon Hopkins and Thom Yorke, Caitlin LM flows from vulnerability to defiance – melding ethereal vocals and live instruments with pulsating synths and undulating beats to create a powerful yet intimate sound world.
Currentmoodgirl – Alphaville x FAIR PLAY @ Regent Trading Estate – Unit 2
Current mood? Dark experimental pop music with a twist of insanity. Utilising industrial beats, a choir of textured vocal melodies, and anchoring basslines in an engrossing study of the female self, CURRENTMOODGIRL embraces the extreme to deliver high-octane performances not to be forgotten in a hurry.
Vindya – Off with their Heads @ Partisan Club at Islington Mill
Vinthya Perinpanathan is a London-based composer, violinist, and DJ combining Western and South Asian music traditions. Flourishing in the UK dance music scene under the alias Vindya, she’s known for pristine, floor-filling techno selections – and in the premiere of her Samarbeta residency will work with a Konnokol artist to create a live performance-based piece melding two sound-worlds.
SFOTC takes place this sunday April 30 – remaing tickets available here: https://soundsfromtheothercity.com/tickets/