Who are the top acts at Sound City Ipswich?

Los Bitchos the all-female party band who will perform at Sound City Ipswich

Los Bitchos will bring a happy, upbeat feel to Sound City Ipswich 2021 - Credit: Los Bitchos

Sound City, the major music festival which blends national and local acts, returns to Ipswich next week to recognize the wealth of creativity and local talent which continues to flourish in this country.

Music fans will have the opportunity on Friday and Saturday October1-2 to see 60 bands perform at venues across the town including the revamped The Baths Hall in Civic Drive which once played host to iconic bands such as Led Zeppelin, John Mayall’s Bluebreakers and Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac.

Sound City will present a hand-picked multicultural mix of upcoming and established bands and includes an industry conference on the Friday.

Joe Bailey, Sound City Ipswich’s festival director, has been instrumental in reshaping the music scene in Ipswich since 2009 when he established the recording and rehearsal facility Punch Studios. In 2014 he set up ‘Out Loud Music CIC’, the not-for-profit organisation, which runs Sound City Ipswich, to create musical opportunities for young people with additional needs. 

As the organisation expanded Joe saw there wasn’t a dedicated live music venue for original music in town. With a mixture of grant funding, determination and a strong DIY ethic he established The Smokehouse in September 2016 as a technically superb micro venue which hosts around 12 gigs a month put on by local artists and promoters as well as a wide selection of touring bands.

Sound City Ipswich director Joe Bailey in the Smokehouse venue bar

Joe Bailey, festival director of Sound City Ipswich, who has chosen his top acts for the event happening on October 1-2, 2021 - Credit: Dave Langdon

On the run up to Sound City 2021 Joe Bailey was asked to pick the top five acts he is most looking forward to seeing during the two day festival.

He said: “Choosing my top five picks is really difficult as there are so many great artists I would love to see over the weekend. My ears and mind have been opened to so many new, quality artists by our programmer Marcus however I’ll plump for the ones I leaned on him the most to get.”

Working Men’s Club - Ipswich Corn Exchange - Saturday 10pm 
“Working Men’s Club is my top pick for SCI and I’m sure they will blow the roof off the Corn Exchange. I was fortunate to see them three times at Eurosonic in January 2020 and each time was encapsulating and euphoric. Expect mind splitting drum machines, attitude, crazy hooks and the feeling you should be seeing them in a muddy field in the middle of nowhere in 1990.  They’re touring this winter and have just come off the back of supporting New Order at Heaton Park, Manchester. Not a bad start to their career. 

Working Men's Club who are one of the top picks for Sound City Ipswich on October 1-2 2021

Working Men's Club who are one of director Joe Bailey's top picks for Sound City Ipswich 2021 - Credit: Andy Nichols

Katy J Pearson - The Baths - Friday 7pm
“2020’s album Return was one of my highlights in such a tough year. Whenever my mood of impending doom got too real, or I was at my wits end wondering how and when live music could start up again, I would turn to this record. It’s such a joyful listen, a total breeze and a breath of fresh air full of instantly loveable earworms. Katy’s songs are full of country-tinged melodies and I’m sure you’ll be humming Tonight and Take Back The Radio when you awake slightly bleary-eyed on Saturday morning. 

Katy J Pearson is one of the top acts at Sound City Ipswich on October 1-2

Katy J Pearson who is one of director Joe Bailey's top picks for Sound City Ipswich 2021 - Credit: Seren Carys

Monster Florence - The Baths - Saturday 5.05pm
“Alongside Soundscape Green, Monster Florence are my favourite Hip hop artists from this region. Based in Colchester, Monster Florence have been ripping up stages and creating spine tingling, genre hopping music since 2014. We were proud to witness this first-hand at

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"The Smokehouse for Independent Venue Week in 2019. With three equally distinct voices at the front of stage blending a heady mix of Hip hop, Rap, Punk and Grime, coupled with incredible production and musicality, these guys are not to be missed. 

Monster Florence who are playing Sound City Ipswich 2021

Monster Florence will be looking to gain new fans at Sound City Ipswich which runs from October 1-2 - Credit: James Kelly

BC Camplight - The Corn Exchange - Friday 9pm 
“BC Camplight’s tracks I’m In a Weird Place Now and I’m Desperate made it onto most of my playlists in 2018 with its nods to Mercury Rev, Flaming Lips and general oddness really grabbed my attention.

"The album Deportation Blues was followed up with 2020’s Shortly After Take Off which continued to embed BC’s work into my everyday existence. We had BC Camplight booked for the aborted IVW2021 shows at The Smokehouse so I’m so excited that we can be bringing one of my favourite artists of the last few years here to The Corn Exchange in Ipswich! 

Los Bitchos - St Stephen’s Church - Friday 9.10pm
“I’m going to have to split myself in two to catch this amazing party band as BC Camplight will be in The Corn Exchange. This is what I love about this festival, you have to make a choice and commit to who you want to see, however, if you want your vibe to change at any point, it’s easily done. If you’re one of the lucky ones to get into this 120 capacity venue you’ll get to see an encapsulating, smile inducing, all female, instrumental, Cumbria party band. I’ll dare you not to grin from ear to ear and dance for the whole set! 

“There are so many other amazing acts such as Pinty, TV Priest , PVA, Chubby and The Gang, Lynks, BDRMM, Soundscape Green and Marlowe that I would love to see however I’m sure I’ll be too busy firefighting (not literally) and running around to take the all in. Whatever happens and whoever you see, it’s going to be a blast!”