Angela Lewis on pop music

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The Independent Culture
Take one city, watch the London-centric music biz converge on its patch for one week and you've got Sound City. The Bluetones (below right) are just one of more than a dozen indie guitar chart acts who'll get tills ringing at the Leeds Town & Country Club during the event, and what with Radio One in tow to broadcast gig proceedings, a chock-a-block time of rock debauchery seems tantalisingly on the menu. But there's something a bit patronising about the whole idea of Sound City. It's almost the music industry saying, "Okay, we've ignored your city for 51 weeks of the year, but for these few days, we'll look after you."

You could argue that the Radio One fringe will help highlight 90 local bands, but the lion's share of airtime and press column inches will go to the likes of Orbital, Manic Street Preachers and Wildhearts. Let's hope the fledgling acts appearing at The Packhorse, including Hood, Tunic and Lung Leg will draw the punters as well - they deserve to. The grassroots bands will be there when Garbage, Sleeper and Dodgy et al have shifted on to other cities. They have little to do with Leeds. Doubtless, later on in the year, they'll be at the next territory Sound City sees fit to conquer.

Along with gigs, there are seminars and workshops. One debate planned is on "The State of the Music Biz". Hopefully someone will ask panellists for ideas on how to stop industry types treating the world outside London like it's some god-forsaken wilderness most of the time.

Sound City, Leeds Town & Country Club, (0113 280 0100), Leeds The Packhorse (0113 245 3980) 7-12 April

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