The Salford Music Co-operative exploded into reality last night with their first music fest - all part of Sounds from the Other City. Someone forgot about Salford bands when they organised this festival, so the Co-op stepped in.
The Co-op started in March when a few DJ's, musicians and promoters got together to big up Salford talent and to put on regular gigs in our underused venues. And the quality of music here at the packed Rovers Return was awesome.
Expertly MC'd by John Herring, first on was Kingfishers Catch Fire, dramatic and sombre, tending towards an operatic Jeff Buckley. Then (still unsigned) Death to the Strange played, led by the iconic Clarkey who introduced the first song thus: 'This is the song you write when your mum kicks you out!' Folky tunes with a weird electronic backing.
Next up - Black Knights, unleashing their primal brand of voodoo trash/blues and astounding the Rovers Return with purple suit and loads of eye-make-up. 'How can I follow that?' said John Herring as he got up to play. But he quickly lulled the crowd into submission with his emotive protest songs such as 'Urban Decay' and 'Home', written about his beloved Langworthy. His mum was sat by the sound desk, to oversee proceedings. Another famous audience member was John Hanley, ex-Fall ('Who hasn't been in the Fall?', you might ask)
Last on, but not 'headlining' (this is a co-operative!) was telecaster-wielding Lennie Butler and Sandbox. An athletic performance by Lennie, who carried on even when her voice started to go. Likened to Blondie and Polly Harvey - but Sandbox are of course unique.
The whole evening was uniquely Salford - thanks to the Rovers Return, thanks to the amazing talent and thanks to the Coronation Street Bitter.
Review and photos by Suzi Hoffmann
You can hear Suzi at www.salfordcityradio.org 10am Mondays