Ibibio Sound Machine & More Announced For Sound City 2018

By Shaun Ponsonby
Thu 23 November, 2017

Sound City announce the first wave of acts for their 2018 edition, but there is one band exciting Planet Slop head and shoulders above the rest.

Liverpool Sound City has announced the first wave of acts for the 2018 festival, with a total of nine artists lined up for their 11th edition.

Of all the artists announced for Sound City 2018, it is Ibibio Sound Machine that truly excites Planet Slop.

Fronted by London-born Nigerian singer Eno Williams, they were initially formed in London in 2010 by producers Max Grunhard, Leon Brichard and Benji Bouton. The idea was simple; fusing 80s afrobeat with 90s drum and bass, with Williams approached to handle lead vocals. They are equally inspired by the golden era of West-African funk and disco, as well as western post-punk and electronic music. All brought together, they generate a true culture clash, easily fitting alongside the Pet Shop Boys as they would Manu Dibango.

Lyrically, they dynamic Williams was inspired by Ibibio, the language spoken by her mother, who would recount African folk stories to Eno as a child. When she started making music, Williams naturally wanted to weave this evocative Nigerian imagery into the music, which she achieves by often singing in Ibibio.

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The full band has now swelled to eight members, and is truly multicultural, with Ghanaian guitarist Alfred Bannerman and Brazilian percussionist Anselmo Netto joining the ranks.

They released their self-titled debut album in 2014, but their more socially conscious current album Uyai shows that the band have truly arrived. As thought provoking as it is danceable, they have been tearing up venues all over the world, and their performance and Sound City will undoubtedly be the major highlight of the festival.

Joining Ibibio Sound Machine will be; headliners Peace, guitar-electro poppers Slow Readers Club, the eclectically funny Baxter Dury, arch social commentators Idles, indie from Jaws and The Orielles, the colourful Low Island, the calypso-flavoured Cassia and enigmatic pop-rocker Zuzu.

More acts are to be announced, and Sound City have announced that they are working with a host of Liverpool’s cultural organisations on perfecting the line-up, including Planet Slop.

The festival, which will run during the first spring bank holiday (Saturday 5th – Sunday 6th May), is returning to its roots by taking over the city, specifically the Baltic Triangle and Cains Brewery.

They promise to focus on discovering an abundance of emerging new talent for everyone to savour whilst experiencing many iconic artists in intimate spaces. More than 250 bands will perform across the festival.

Becky Ayres, Sound City’s COO, explains: “We wanted to lay down a marker for what everyone can expect from our festival’s return to its roots, and we hope that the range and dynamism of these opening ten names reflects where we are taking Sound City for next year and far beyond. Seeing these guys performing up close and personal across a wide spectrum of locations is going to be really special. And of course, there is plenty more to come too as we enter the new year – this is just the beginning!