Jim Carroll

Music, Life and everything else

OTR at ITC – first gig reports

OTR has finally made it to Manchester for In the City. I’ve been meaning to get over here for the annual conference and live festival for years – the festival did call to Dublin in 1996 and that was probably …

Thu, Oct 14, 2010, 11:34

   

OTR has finally made it to Manchester for In the City. I’ve been meaning to get over here for the annual conference and live festival for years – the festival did call to Dublin in 1996 and that was probably the best ever music conference to grace our shores – but I never got around to the trip (one with bends for 166 miles) across the Irish Sea until now.

Founded by the late, great Factory Records’ chief Tony Wilson and his partner Yvette Livesey back in 1992, In the City has always had a good rep for lively panel discussions by day and grandstanding new bands by night. However, given the fact that record labels signing new acts are a little thin on the ground (the days of a band’s ITC appearance leading to something are well and truly over, especially as scouts have umpteen other opportunities to check prospective signings out), ITC has had to move on.

Undeniably too, events like Brighton’s Great Escape and Liverpool’s Sound City have stolen some of their thunder in recent years so there appears to be a move on to reposition ITC as more of a consumer than an industry event. That probably explains a booking policy which is as much about semi-established acts (No Age were last night’s big draw, for instance) as new bands.

The big winner for me on last night’s rounds were London three-piece Factory Floor, who were just immense on every possible level. It was an amazing racket, all throbbing, thumping grooves, subsonic earthquake basslines, sharp-as-a-tack beats and huge waves of psychedelic shock and awe. It’s abrasive, intense and incredibly mesmerising. The band had to be pulled off the stage by venue personnel at the end – the band kept on playing even though the PA has been turned off and the lights were on. They seemed to be in as much of a daze as the audience. Youtube and Soundcloud clips below. And, good news, they’re touring Ireland with Mogwai next February.

Other acts caught and enjoyed last night: O Children (brilliantly moody and broody goth-pop with enough post-punk shapes to keep it from dirgedom), Mazes (likable, nostalgic slacker-rock with a distinct sense of the Pavement gene-pool here and nods to Teenage Fanclub when they were good there), Team Ghost (hugely alluring electro-fried beeps and big guitar shapes from combo featuring M83 founding member), Electricity In Our Homes (everything and the post-punk, Talking Heads’ funk, Pere Ubu weirdness kitchen sink from a band recently signed to 4AD), Still Corners (dreamy, hazy, post-romantic bliss with some delightful atmospheric guitars) and Tim & Sam (blissful, understated folk tunes with a lovely pop hum to them).

The gigging recommences tonight with Kisses first on my to-see list.

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