12 October 2010

Sŵn for Beginners (and foreigners): Friday

Continuing with the main aim of introducing Sŵn festival 2010 go'ers to Cardiff bands that they might not be so aware of, Friday's guide is here. Such is the strength of Sŵn festival, and indeed Cardiff’s music scene, that Friday also has a fair few local bands worth catching live.

For the first Cardiff band of the night, head to Undertone (apparently this is below Ten Feet Tall, which is just off St Mary’s Street, and might be a good break between Buffalo and Clwb) at 1900 (finishing 1930) where you’ll find Lucky Delucci. If you find yourself hungover, which, on past experience, I suggest is a strong possibility, then this six-piece should be a pleasant and soothing remedy. Expect soft boy-girl vocals, a chilled out folk-y indie pop sound, and some glockenspiel.

Less suited to the hungover, Brandyman (MySpace-less, but free session downloads available here) play upstairs of Clwb Ifor Bach from 1915-1945. Featuring ex-members of the likes of Truckers of Husk and Joy of Sex, Brandyman make heavy and complex rock music with dark, semi-spoken word vocals (which remind me a little of Tom Waits). They aren’t an instrumental band, but they’re musical is technical enough that it could be. I’m not really sure who they sound like, so… yeah, heavy and complex. Time changes and heavy riffs and the like. Fans of these things will enjoy.

Up directly after Brandyman in Clwb are Truckers of Husk (2030-2115), recently boosted by new member Kelson, the recently ex-Future of the Left bassist and not-o-recently ex-Jarcrew frontman. The band have been doing their thing so to say for a while now (they formed in 2006) – their thing being a wide range of things really, mostly of the instrumental kind. Electro beats; guitar lines ranging from the typically ‘math’ tap-and-slide, to the pop-leaning Afro-influenced, to the post-rock and prog riffing; sample and glitchy computer-ness; fast paced and pounding technical drumming – a wide range indeed. I wouldn’t be sure what to expect either.

Also at 2030, only at Chapter Arts Centre, are Wickes, bringing together Steve/Sweet Baboo, Huw/H Hawkline, and Rob of Voluntary Butler Scheme in one musical place. Describing their music as "spaz pop", and taking influence from Weezer and The Beatles, this is some highly enjoyable lo-fi pop, arguably combining all of the individual members best traits.

And up at 2130, directly after Wickes at Chapter are The Victorian English Gentlemens Club, who, last year, kicked off proceedings at Sŵn festival with a performance at Cardiff museum, which was a lovely if slightly odd experience. This year’s performance will be, I’m sure, equally as good. They describe their sound as ‘pop’, but it’s a lot more snarly, antisocial, and frankly more difficult to describe than that. They continue to make some of the most interesting and unusual music in Cardiff; bringing together a wide range of influences (punk, ‘art-rock’, blues, post-punk etc) and refusing to stick to the musical rule book, which is obviously a good thing. You’ll likely even be treated to lots of the band’s new material, what with them apparently writing and recording lots over the past few months.

Not quite such quantity Cardiff talent to marvel at on this day, but you’ll agree the quality will more than make up for that. Plus, there’s plenty, plenty more to look forward to on the Saturday.

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