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 - 09.05.19
1 month 1 week ago

Matt Harp - 'Follow Me'

Flamingods - 'Levitation'
1 month 1 week ago

7/10

NEW MUSIC DISCOVERY - 08.05.19
1 month 1 week ago

Emily Chambers - 'Real Talk'

Filthy Friends - 'Emerald Valley'
1 month 1 week ago

6/10

SYML - 'SYML'
1 month 1 week ago

9/10

NEW MUSIC DISCOVERY - 07.05.19
1 month 1 week ago

Preston Lovinggood - 'Taken In The Night'

Editors - 'The Blanck Mass Sessions'
1 month 1 week ago

7/10

NEW MUSIC DISCOVERY - 06.05.19
1 month 1 week ago

Conner Youngblood - 'Pink Lemonade'

More News

Charli XCX and Lizzo collaborate on new single 'Blame It On Your Love'

With Lizzo still riding a wave of buzz since the release of her latest album 'Cuz I Love You' last month, the frontwoman has now joined Charli XCX on... 1 month 2 days ago

Dizzy unveil new single 'Twist'

After releasing their much-loved debut album 'Milk Teeth' last year, Dizzy have now returned to announce their plans for a new EP and have shared the... 1 month 2 days ago

Passion Pit collaborates with Galantis on new single 'I Found U'

Having already announced his plans to start The Wishart Group, a company founded to provide legal support for emerging musicians, Passion Pit's... 1 month 3 days ago

Feeder share new single 'Youth'

With their eagerly-awaited new album set to arrive later this year, Feeder have now dropped the next cut to be lifted from their forthcoming full-... 1 month 3 days ago

Kasabian's Serge Pizzorno collaborates with Little Simz on new single 'Favourite'

With his formative group Kasabian undergoing a year-long hiatus, the band's guitarist Serge Pizzorno has been busy working on his new solo project... 1 month 3 days ago

The Strokes debut new song 'The Adults Are Talking'

With their headline performance at this year's All Points East coming later this month, it looks like The Strokes are ready to make a comeback after... 1 month 4 days ago

Tyler, The Creator teases new track 'a boy is a gun*'

With his highly-anticipated new album dropping later this week, Tyler, The Creator has now unveiled another teaser from his upcoming full-length.... 1 month 4 days ago

The Borderline set to close this summer

It has been a familiar story for the last few years, and now another one of the UK's most iconic venues has announced that it will be shutting for... 1 month 4 days ago

The National unveil 'I Am Easy To Find' short film

With their highly-anticipated new album dropping later this week, The National have now unveiled a new short film to accompany the release. The... 1 month 5 days ago