31 July 2010


Riff heavy Mclusky influenced tongue-in-cheek alternative rock. What could go wrong? Okay, lots could go wrong. But Kutosis do it right. The Cardiff-based trio are loved by their hometown - especially for their live shows - and they're rapdily growing on me too.

They've just released an EP (named "We Are The Animal, You Are The City") through the Cardiff-based label Twisted By Design (who also run a great regular alternative club night in Cardiff and have a compilation of Cardiff bands knocking around from a few years back) and they are also featured on Barely Regal Records' recent compilation. Their track "Small Cities" (which can be found on the Barely Regal compilation, or on the We Are The Animal... EP) is well worth a listen. The guitar parts are really heavy sounding, yet it manages to still be catchy - and the lyrics are worth listening to properly, too.

"Joseph" is available on Last FM as a free download. We Are The Animal, You Are The City is available on iTunes or from the band's online shop, where you'll also find some older releases. You can also watch "Blinking Psychos" peformed live at Reading Festival's Introducing stage below (apologies for the size, I completely fail at HTML editing). They also play Swn Festival in October - another reason to go.

30 July 2010


I've been thinking of things that might improve this blog, and I thought it might be fun to run an interactive music recommendation service.

Okay, that makes it sound a little more glamorous than what it really is. It's essentially an idea stolen from Radio 1 and their music generator, only without the trauma of speaking to Fearne Cotton. If you leave a comment in the box on the right if you would prefer to email me then that is fine too), below the picture of those snazzy looking kids, with a few of your favourite bands, or your favourite genres, or simply the sort of band you are looking to discover (as well as someway for me to get back to you)I will give your commens some thought and will recommend you a new (or maybe old) band that I think you'll love (and hopefully one that you haven't heard of!).

It's not a service that most blogs run, so hopefully it can be succesful and help you find a new musical love. I might even find a few bands that I think you'll love, and might be able to source you a few legal downloads or sources to purchase their stuff.

Also, if you know of a better comments box than the one on the right which might do a better job, let me know.

Get commenting!

29 July 2010

Swn Festival 2010 - First Announcements

Cardiff's multi-venue three-day musical holiday, Swn Festival, returns to the Welsh capital for its fourth outing, from Thursday 21st to Saturday 23rd October 2010 - and the first set of confirmed bands has been announced; including the likes of Spectrals, Perfume Genius, Y Niwl (recently featured on this very blog), Standard Fare and Happy Birthday.

The festival has been increasingly popular year after year, exciting the locals and attracting those from further away to make the journey to Cardiff city centre to catch some of the UK's and the world's brightest emerging talents, as well as plenty of music seminars, Q&A's and talks.

Swn is organised by local promoter John Rostron with Radio 1 DJ Huw Stephens, and is helped along the way by other independent promoters and labels from Cardiff and around the UK. 2010 will see the usual emphasis on smaller bands (previous years have seen the likes of Girls, The Big Pink, and The Drums in their early days playing tiny venues), but will also be more accommodating for those with a heavier musical persuasion, teaming up this year with Cardiff-based GRAB Promotions.

The full list of confirmed bands so far is:


Available to purchase now (from places such as Spiller's Records or WeGotTickets) are a range of different wristbands. Weekend wristbands are priced at £45, Thursday only wristbands at £10, Friday only wristbands at £15, and Saturday only wristbands at £25.

Keep up to date with Swn happenings, including the announcement of another 80 (ish) bands to play, on Facebook or Twitter.

28 July 2010

Y Niwl

Festivals are good fun for many reasons. They provide you with places to drink mere stumbling distance from places to sleep, they collate some of your favourite bands and allow you to see loads of them in the space of six hours, and, probably my favourite part, they introduce you to bands which you have not heard before.

Indeed, this is how I came across North Wales-based Y Niwl (which translates to "the mist", I think). They played one of the best, if not the best, sets at Latitude this year and it was a real joy to watch their instrumental surf rock; so chilled out and smile-inducing.

I wrote a few words about them and Latitude as a whole on this blog not long back, and the band contacted me the same day with a link to download their upcoming album. I was a little apprehensive that their songs wouldn't have quite the same effect as they did listening to them in the sunshine with a beer in hand. I needn't have worried, though, as it's a really strong and really enjoyable release - listening to it, you'll struggle not to sway to the surf-styled guitar twangs, and the tempo changes are super enjoyable. "Ten tracks of instrumental surf rock, surely it gets a little samey?" Somehow it doesn't. Two guitarists allows for some good to-ing and fro-ing, and some 60s styled keys brings a different sound and feel to tracks, like on "Deg" where it takes over the lead role - the vocal role, almost - from the guitar. Some tracks sway in the wind whereas others have a real driving forwards feel. I could imagine it on Sega Mega Drive's Road Rash, for sure.

Unfortunately for you, their debut album isn't released until November. You can find info about their debut EP, released earlier this year, from their MySpace page, though, or you can read a little about it at The Joy Collective. You can also catch one of their songs on an upcoming Wichita compilation. Or just listen to a stream of the great "Undegpedwar" below.

Y Niwl - Undegpedwar

22 July 2010

Saturday's Kids Update

You might not recall, but I first wrote about Saturday's Kids on here back in March. I pretty much said they were great, told you to check out their 5-track demo EP and urged you to see them live.

Luckily for you, the four-piece post-punk band from Abergavenny, South Wales, are back on a tour of the UK, this time with friends Wooderson, heading to the northern heights of Leeds, the southern depths of Plymouth, and lots of places in between. They put on a really good live show, and you can check their tour dates in full on their MySpace, or on the funky little poster above (though it is missing a few gigs, I think). They will be making some groovy noises and some scary noises and some noisy noises in pubs, basements, and houses all over the UK.

Excitingly, the band also have a new release - a three-track 7" with homemade sleeve - which will be available in the not too distant future. It hears the band leaning towards directions that they have no previously leaned, and it's a really good release, with hints of Sonic Youth and Nirvana.

If you, per chance, own an independent record label in the UK (or the world, actually), or maybe a record store, or just feel like helping out with the release in any way, Saturday's Kids would be more than happy for you to get in touch. Either contact them on their MySpace, or email me (email address top right) and I will pass it onto them. I'm sure they'd be delighted to hear from you.

21 July 2010

Latitude 2010

I spent last weekend in a tent at Latitude festival, and it was an experience I highly enjoyed. I've written a pretty darn lengthy diary of my whole experience, which is soon to feature on Neu Magazine (complete with poorly taken photos from a Boots disposable camera), but for now here is a short summary of some of my favourite bands this year.

Spectrals put on a really great show, completely doing justice to their deliciously fuzzy surfy pop songs. They're just about to put out a release on Moshi Moshi, which will undoubtedly be great and will probably/hopefully make them huge. Go to see these live.

Dirty Projectors, although disgustingly under-watched by the main stage crowd, played a strong set of songs from a range of albums. The three girls' harmonies were a truely incredible spectacle, and "Stillness In The Move" sounded great - though some of the guitar parts were slightly off.

I was impressed by Yuck, especially the strength of the male vocal parts. I wasn't expecting him to sound so 'big'. Can certainly imagine these playing a big stage pretty soon.

Grizzly Bear finished off the festival nicely. They played stuff from a few of their different albums, and the songs came across 'bigger' (I apologise for this shit word) than they sound on the albums. I feel like I'll appreciate their recorded stuff even more now.

Connan Mockasin played on this weird small stage where everyone was sat down (apart from me). It wasn't the best I'd ever seen him live (he seemed more interested in making friends with some of the females in the crowd rather than playing to everyone), but it was still enjoyable to hear his weird psychedelic pop live for a third time.

My biggest surprise and favourite set of the weekend came from Y Niwl, a band I only saw because they followed after another that I had planned to see. Their instrumental surf rock was incredibly catchy (especially the guitar and Booker T styled keys) and it was just brilliant to listen to. Apparently they have just released an EP ,which I am definitely going to try my hands on and would urge you to also.