Viva Sounds 2018 Review

We were lucky enough to be invited for the inauguration of VIVA Sounds Festival and Conference in December, so I’ve decided to pen some thoughts on the whole experience.

My first time in Gothenburg, I’ve been told it was somewhere west of Stockholm when in actual fact it’s on the other side of Sweden. Three hours passed fairly quickly on a smooth Swedish train, which made a mockery as most trains do in Europe, of the shambles we have in comparison to ride in the UK. Another fine example of how Brexit won’t make things better, Europe is already prospering without us and if we can’t run our trains properly then what hope have we got? Hmmm…

Anyway, Brexit dig out of the way. Friday night:

When invited for food I was worried my found flexitarianism would struggle to be upheld, as it is at most conference/festivals I found myself in (Would you like the burger or the steak today, sir?) but to my utter surprise, in typical Swedish style, we started in a vegetarian restaurant called Solrosen to get some pre-music food. I was strongly recommended the lasagne, so of course went for something else. Mushroom stew with rice, it was delicious and such a great little find.

Enough about food, this is a music blog. Off to see the bands, that’s why we’re here after all. First band up was an aggressive shock to the senses, in a hardcore, yet satisfying manner, watching Bottlecap jump around at The Abyss. We were then dragged off in the pouring rain (apparently it rains a lot in Gothenburg, it didn’t disappoint to demonstrate) towards Hängmattan. And it’s here I spent the rest of the evening, watching three great local acts. Lavette opened up, a 5-piece band with 4 women running the show and a sole male timekeeper on drums, really entertaining. I drunkenly recall naming them a Swedish version of Hinds to my good mate Austin Maloney (who tipped them as a must-watch), and I stand by this now in sobriety. Beverly Kills followed, they were excellent, brooding, alternative and led by the fantastic vocals of a singer called Alma who I met the next day. Hope to hear more from these guys soon. Closing the show were Baby Jesus, performing what I could only describe as 60s inspired psych rock, and dressed to match. It was a fitting end, to a fitting night. At least that was the plan at 1am.

Saturday:

Stupidly, Mattias Tell and I convinced each other it was worth staying out drinking until 4am in a nearby bar listening to Robbie Williams of all things in Sweden. Thus making me late for my speed meetings and missing the complementary breakfast in true conference style. Luckily it’s a quick walk down to Pustervik where the conference was in full swing without me. I spent the next 6 hours meeting, chatting with local bands and industry, it was absolutely fucking brilliant and felt very interpersonal, unlike a lot of the more ‘commercial’ music conferences (SXSW eat your heart out). VIVA Sounds was actually very useful for me and enjoyable it seemed for everyone taking part.

Post-conference began with more vegetarian food (Risotto this time) at a fine restaurant called Byns Bistro, before we were whisked away to watch another night of music. I ended up in Oceanen and had the pleasure of watching Melby, Sic Nis (from Birmingham UK of all places!) and a German act called Capitano. I was a fan of Melby before this and walked out even more impressed by a great live performance, whilst Capitano and Sic’Nis were both great examples of talent imported from other countries and both put on a stellar performance in their own unique ways.

After missing the Closing Party watching the talent at Oceanen, Pale Honey (pictured) showed everyone why they were closing the festival with a solid and assured performance from a band clearly destined for big things. Their take on proggy, grunge infused alternative rock was breath-taking at times, and damn enjoyable throughout. A fine export from a fine city - who said Stockholm carried all the cards in Sweden? Go to Gothenburg if you get the chance, live a little.

Check out the music on show in this well-thought playlist:

More Reviews

NEW MUSIC DISCOVERY - 18.09.19
15 hours 49 min ago

MONOWHALES - 'RWLYD (Really Wanna Let You Down)'

Sampa The Great - 'The Return'
1 day 12 hours ago

8/10

NEW MUSIC DISCOVERY - 17.09.19
1 day 15 hours ago

Harley Small - 'Apartments'

Sam Fender - 'Hypersonic Missiles'
1 day 16 hours ago

8/10

NEW MUSIC DISCOVERY - 16.09.19
2 days 15 hours ago

Serendipity - 'My Own Queen'

Metronomy - 'Metronomy Forever'
2 days 16 hours ago

8/10

Pixies - 'Beneath The Eyrie'
5 days 12 hours ago

7/10

More News

DIIV deliver new single 'Blackenship'

With their highly-anticipated new album set to arrive in a matter of weeks, DIIV have now unveiled the next cut to be lifted from their forthcoming... 11 hours 16 min ago

HMLTD return with new single 'Loaded'

After an impressive run of singles throughout last year, much-hyped outfit HMLTD have now returned to deliver their first cut of 2019. The new... 15 hours 29 min ago

Hannah Diamond collaborates with Danny L Harle on new single 'Part Of Me'

Having been largely quiet since the release of her brilliant 2018 single 'True', Hannah Diamond has now returned with her first new single of this... 17 hours 11 min ago

Danny Brown unveils new single 'Best Life'

With his highly-anticipated new studio album now just a couple of weeks away, Danny Brown has now unveiled the next cut to be lifted from his... 1 day 11 hours ago

Another Sky deliver new single 'Capable Of Love'

Following on from the release of their heavily-praised sophomore EP ‘Life Was Coming In Through The Blinds’ earlier this year, Another Sky have now... 1 day 15 hours ago

Half Moon Run announce new album 'A Blemish In The Great Light'

After returning last month to share their long-awaited comeback single 'Then Again', Half Moon Run are back once again to announce the details behind... 1 day 17 hours ago

Perfume Genius shares new single 'Eye In The Wall'

After announcing earlier this year that he was collaborating with choreographer Kate Wallich and the dance company The YC on the new contemporary... 2 days 11 hours ago

Cosmo Sheldrake returns with new singles 'Orby' and 'Prefusify'

Having kept himself fairly in the loop since the release his stunning debut album 'The Much Much How How and I' last year, Cosmo Sheldrake has now... 2 days 15 hours ago

Stormzy delivers new track 'Wiley Flow'

Despite only returning last week to deliver his latest single 'Sounds Of The Skeng', Stormzy is already back on it with a brand new cut. The new... 2 days 16 hours ago