Monday, 25 October 2010

SWN 2010 - DAY 2

After an impressive start to the festival day two continued the trend with even more great performances. Highlights from the second day include uber cool band TEETH and folk group Young Rebel Set providing just a snippet of the amazing gigs going on the Friday.

After playing a great set at last years festival TEETH returned in fine form to play an impressive set at Buffalo Bar.

Proving just why they left such a big impression last year the trio put on an energetic performance, melding synth heavy electro with lively vocals from singer Vero
nica So.

So held the attention of the audience throughout, dancing madly and at one stage wrestling with an audience member. The singer even managed to include some audience participation to the set in the form of demanding a member to pop a balloon tied to her wrist.

The band played some of their most well known songs, including See Spaces and Time Changes. Both are available for a list
en on their myspace page. Another great performance on the Swn Festival stage from a band who's live shows never disappoint. Take a look at them play in this video I recorded.

Moving on now to Young Rebel Set who brought their brand of melodic folk to Dempseys, proving popular a hit with the audience there.

The seven strong band created a sound which was both rustic (one member even playing a ukulele) and distinctly urban. The urban feel of their music came from a lead vocalist who sings with a gravelly voice that likens him to a Yorkshire version of Shane MacGowan.

The influences of bands like The Pogues is very apparent in Young Rebel Set's music but with a more contemporary feel. Their songs are rousing and melodic, capturing the full attention of the audience throughout their set. These uplifting melodies likening them to bands such as Mumford and Sons. Despite this their songs also contain a melancholic edge, something which sets them apart from their contemporaries.

This band easily upstaged the next act who played. Their unassuming and modest performance contrasted heavily with that of Peter Lawrie who's massive ego completely overshadowed his music.

Friday, 22 October 2010

SWN 2010 - DAY 1

It's that time of year again when the best new music acts descend upon Cardiff to give us a weekend of great gigs.

Day one of the festival didn't fail to disappoint with personal highlights coming from Among Brothers, Arabrot and White Ring.

Brighton band Among Brothers played a storming set on the Barely Regal stage in Dempseys. The group mixed energetic drum playing with delicate vocals topped off with some melancholic violin playing to create a sound which sets them well apart from your average band. The group's experimental edge was intensified with their use of laptop produced melodies which threw up some similarities to bands like Radiohead. However, they most certainly had their own distinct sound which stood out from other new and upcoming bands. Great gig from a band who deserve more recognition.

Moving on now to a group who were totally different, (showing the diverse range of music showcased during swn) my next highlight was Norwegian noise-rockers Arabrot who rocked The Model Inn last night.

Mixing together eerie backing tracks with harsh vocals to create a sound which was both unique and unsettling the group had the audience gripped during their performance. The dark elements to the groups music were embellished further through the band's insistence that the lights were turned off during their set.

The group played an impressive set, playing alongside backing tracks which featured disembodied voices and other strange noises. Metal fans will definitely see similarities between Arabrot and other metal favourites such as Anthrax and Megadeth but with something new and fresh to their sound. It was clear from their gig why this band have been nominated for a Grammy Award in their home country.

Finally, creating the most surreal atmosphere of any gig that night were slo-mo synth duo White Ring who transformed Undertone into a creepy and claustrophobic place through their excessive use of a smoke machine.

The band were barely visible through the smoky mist that descended, adding to the fittingly dubbed 'witch house' sound the duo produced. Their use of echoed vocals and droning synth created a haunting sound that felt like they had been inspired by drugged induced hallucinations or scenes from a Wes Craven film.

Obvious comparisons would be to Crystal Castles, but White Ring were much less energetic and noisy, focusing instead on slow and ethereal melodies. A great, if not very strange, gig!

Swn festival continues today and tomorrow for anyone interested in buying a day ticket. Personal recommendations include TEETH who will be playing Buffolo Bar tonight at 8.15pm and Cate Le Bon who will be playing Buffolo Bar on Saturday at 8.00pm!

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Bang Bang Eche. 28th July - Cardiff Arts Institute, Cardiff

New Zealand band Bang Bang Eche will make their first appearance in Cardiff when they play at Cardiff Arts Institute this July.

The self dubbed 'dance punk' group who were chosen by MTV as one the 25 best new bands of 2010 are hoping their success spreads to the UK.

Best noted for their high energy live shows the band mix together synth and guitar to create a sound which is supposedly a mashing together of rave and punk. Innovative, much?

Can't imagine how it's all going to sound though? Well just think of them as the Kiwi version of Hadouken, something which will either have you wetting yourself in excitement or running away screaming.

If you feel you can stomach it this gig is free of charge. Yay!

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Moon Duo. 22nd July - Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff

Psychedelic rockers Moon Duo will be delighting fans with a gig at Clwb Ifor Bach this July.

The American duo bring with them a sound which is distinctly sixties, meshing together epic guitar riffs with tinny keyboard melodies. Vocals from frontman Erik Johnson complete the band's decidedly retro sound.

With music which falls somewhere between the classic sixties sound of The Doors and the wildly experimental music of Gong, Moon Duo manage to reach a happy medium.

Fans of music from this era will love the chilled sound of songs like 'Ripples' and the energetic sixties rock heard in songs like 'Stumbling Down 22nd Street.' Definitely a gig worth seeing.

Tickets are priced at £6.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

The Strange Boys. 27th June - The Globe, Cardiff

The Strange Boys will be making a welcome appearance at The Globe on the 27th of June, bringing with them their unique blend of 60's tinged rock music.

Despite their age, the band have managed to reincarnate the vibrancy of bands like The Kinks and create a sound which is nostalgic but relevant and new.

With vocals reminiscent of Kings of Leon's Kaleb Followill, Ryan Sambol adds to the stripped down instrumentation to create highly raw emotional sound.

The release of their excellent new album 'Be Brave' sees the band expand on their simplistic sound while adding tinges of country to the mix with songs such as 'I See' and 'Friendly in Paris'.

This band is definitely well worth checking out! Ticket's are a very reasonable £6

Mykal Rose. 21st June - Millennium Music Hall, Cardiff

Reggae legend Mykal Rose will be performing at the Millennium Music Hall on the 21st June.

Best known as the front man of Black Uhuru, one of first Reggae bands to win a Grammy award, Mykal Rose helped introduce the genre to a mainstream audience.

Retiring from Black Uhuru into relative obscurity Mykal spent the time refining his unique blend of often politically charged Reggae to emerge as a solo artist with the talent and originality to maintain a career in music spanning almost 30 years.

With distinct vocals that have inspired many young artists over the years he boasts a catalogue of songs including the recent number one, 'Shoot Out', proving the singer's continued appeal.

A definite must-see gig for anyone looking for a chilled night of music from a true veteran of Reggae!

Tickets are priced at £16

Friday, 14 May 2010

Wheatus. 7th June - Barfly, Cardiff

Wheatus will be dishing out a serious dose of nostalgia on a special 10th anniversary tour which includes a gig at Barfly on 7th June.

The pop punk group which had a whole generation of teenagers chanting along to angst fuelled classics such as 'A Little Respect' and 'Teenage Dirtbag' are sure to attract a huge crowd of those desperate to relive those adolescent years.

They'll also be introducing fans to some relatively new tracks from their seasonal 'Pop, Songs & Death' EPs hoping to attract attention from a brand new generation of listeners.

Tickets are a respectable £10, which is well worth the money just to experience the joys of those hormone crazed teenage years once again.