Discovering Ipswich's coolest new music venues through Sound City

Sound City on the Cornhill in Ipswich Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Sound City on the Cornhill in Ipswich. - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND

Gliding through Ipswich's multivenue music festival reveals how lucky the town is to have such incredible architecture and spaces. 

Seeing Medieval St Stephen's Church lit up on the first night of Sound City, Friday, October 1, made it feel like the two bands I saw were almost preaching "enjoy yourself" and "you deserve this" after the lockdowns. 

Sound City on the Cornhill in Ipswich Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Sound City on the Cornhill in Ipswich. - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND

Los Bitchos, an instrumental Latin American folk band, and hardcore punks Chubby and the Gang are the first live music I, and many of the crowd will have seen, aside from the occasional busker on the street, since the pandemic began. And it felt normal. 

Councillor Colin. Sound City on the Cornhill in Ipswich Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Councillor Colin Kreidewolf at Sound City on the Cornhill in Ipswich - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND

Once again I saw the universal scenes you see whenever you go to a gig, which I admit I have missed. There were the people dancing like crazy to the music, there were older guys with faded merch T-shirts, who have rocked out since the 1970s and are not done yet, and the young people who just couldn't stop smiling at something they have never done before. 

There was also space off to the side of the church if you felt you still needed some social distancing and everyone who attended was asked to provide proof of double vaccination or a negative Covid test result.

Joe Bailey festival director. Sound City on the Cornhill in Ipswich Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Joe Bailey, festival director at Sound City, on the Cornhill in Ipswich. - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND


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I could have stayed there all night but I want to see where Led Zeppelin had played so I took a short 10-minute walk to the Baths in Civic Drive. Along the way, It felt like a real atmosphere had returned with Sound City patrons queuing for kebabs and moving through the town to discover its hidden depths. 

At the old St Matthew's Baths Hall, most recently used as offices and a gym, I just had time to see the end of Marlowe's set, a sort of hip-hop-inspired punchy beat. 

The space, which can hold 300 people, does not seem like much from the outside as it's tucked away behind two buildings, but when you are inside it's like an office has become an underground rave venue.

Sound City on the Cornhill in Ipswich Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Sound City on the Cornhill in Ipswich. - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND

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Knowing I was short on time, I returned to the festival hub at the Corn Exchange. I've been to Ipswich Film Theatre here a few times and that part of the building is small and modern. 

But heading upstairs to see Warmduscher was a real treat with a big stage and a huge crowd of hundreds of people signalling that music has returned. 

The Cornhill and Smokehouse are other venues being used by Sound City. 

Sound City on the Cornhill in Ipswich Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Sound City on the Cornhill in Ipswich. - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND

Tickets are available on the door and you can get your wristbands at the Box Office at The Corn Exchange.

For full details visit the website.

Line-up

Saturday, October 2

The Corn Exchange

5.15pm-5.45pm: Falle Nioke

6.05pm-6.35pm: Pregoblin

6.55pm-7.25pm: Billie Marten

7.45pm-8.30pm: Alabaster DePlume

9pm-9.30pm: Oscar #Worldpeace

10pm-10.50pm: Working Men’s Club

The Baths

3.25pm-3.55pm: Our Quiet Friends

4.15pm-4.45pm: Anorak Patch

5.05pm-5.35pm: Monster Florence

5.55pm-6.45pm: Ren Harvieu

6.45pm-7.15pm: Ebi Soda

7.35pm-8.05pm: Goya Gumbani

8.35pm-8.55pm: Narst

9.15pm-9.45pm: Jelani Blackman

10.05pm-10.50pm: Billy Nomates

11pm-12.30am: Tom Ravenscroft

12.30am: Finish DJs 

St Stephen’s Church

2.20pm-2.40pm: Georgie

3pm-3.30pm: Ayo

3.50pm-4.20pm: She's in Parties

4.40pm-5.10pm: Bug Teeth

5.30pm-6pm: Floral Image

6.20pm-6.50pm: Deep Tan

7.10pm-7.40pm: Khazali

8pm-8.30pm: Grove

8.50pm-9.20pm: TV Priest

9.40pm-10.10pm: The Cool Greenhouse   

10.30pm-11pm: PVA

11pm: Finish DJs 

The Smokehouse

7pm-7.30pm: Roscoe Roscoe

8.15pm-8.45pm: Holiday Ghosts

9.15pm-10pm: White Flowers  

The Cornhill

1.10pm-1.40pm: The Marajanovic

2pm-2.30pm: Oliver Say

2.50pm-3.20pm: Alysha Ramos

3.40pm-4.10pm: Gabby Rivers

4.30pm-5pm: Native James

5.20pm-5.50pm Brayden Jay

6.10pm-6.40pm: Young Max

7pm-7.30pm: Damp Matches

7.50pm-8.20pm: Sophie Mahon

8.40pm-9.10pm: Fishclaw

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