Horizons Launchpad Fund - Applications now open!

There’s a fantastic opportunity available through Horizons open at the moment as the Launchpad Fund is open and taking applications until the 16th November.

Horizons, for those of you unaware, is a scheme delivered by BBC Cymru Wales in partnership with Arts Council Wales to develop new, independent contemporary music in Wales.

The Launchpad Fund is a resource which helps talented artists or bands in Wales to further their music careers by providing them with vital access to finance. They’re awarding grants of up to £2,000 to fund projects for musicians / bands that are starting out on their musical journey, at a crucial point in their development.

Examples of artists / bands that have been awarded grants in the past include:

Successful applicants will be able to demonstrate and apply for things that they think will take their music careers ‘to the next level’. 

If you have a project in mind and think that the Launchpad fund is for you and/or your band we definitely recommend applying. Even if you’re not successful, it’s a great opportunity to think about projects and how to finance them.

To apply, you’ll need to fill in an application form, and answer all of the questions - then submit (via email) back to Horizons. The deadline for applications is midnight on the 16th November. Don’t miss out!

Here are some useful links for those thinking about applying:

Good luck! We hope that lots of you will apply & look forward to seeing what the successful applicants will be doing with their money!

Gig of the Week: I See Rivers & Eädyth (Libraries Live)
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We’re delighted that Horizons & Y Selar have rescheduled their Libraries Week gig featuring two of Wales’ most exciting artists after it was “stormed off” last month.

In the somewhat unconventional setting of the South Wales Miners Library, Horizons & Y Selar present I See Rivers & Eädyth for what will be a magical afternoon of live music. Best of all it’s FREE!

I See Rivers are Lill, Eline & Gøril - three girls originally hailing from the Northern, Southern and Western parts of Norway. Now based in Tenby, I See Rivers’ music is beautiful. Dubbed ‘Float Folk’ their memorable melodies and untraditional vocal harmonies their soundscape can be associated with artists such as Fleet Foxes, Sufjan Stevens and Feist. 

Joining them is one of South Wales’ most exciting young musicians: Eädyth. With a stunning sound evoking influences from electronic music, RnB and soul.

Libraries Week (8-13 October) is the annual showcase of all the creative, innovative and diverse activities that libraries have to offer and this year, with a focus on wellbeing, they will showcase how they bring communities together, combat loneliness, provide a space for reading and creativity and support people with their mental health.

Don’t sleep on this one. It’ll be one to remember. Grab your free tickets from eventbrite now.

Artist of the Week: Helldown
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Furious, monolithic riffs and intense, unrelenting rhythm underpins each track dropped by Swansea-band Helldown.

Formed in 2013 by brothers Ben and Matt Evans (Bass/Vocals and Guitarist, respectively), the lineup was completed with drummer Ross Thomas and lead guitarist Chris Driscoll soon after.

 
 

Their debut release, a self-titled, 2015, EP displayed an already refined approach to songcraft, building on elements of classic metal and thrash and infusing their creations with a personal twist that at times challenges, and at other times perfectly play into, Thrash tradition. Have a listen to 'Thrive In Violence', a brutal track that, on first listen, reminded me of Thrash icons Slayer - I had that same reaction the first time I heard Slayer's 2015 Repentless - with its uncompromising, truculent rhythms driving the track to its ferocious climax.

2017's 'The Watchers' displays the craft of a band who have worked tirelessly to refine their sound through experience and practice. The traits from their earlier debut are still there, but now more developed and sculpted, the production value has been upped and they're now a real force to be reckoned with.

With gigs all over the UK, catch them when they're nearby. Make sure you take your most trusty earplugs though...

Written by Joe Bayliss

Gig of the week: Democratus, Helldown + more at The Bunkhouse
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We take a look at The Bunkhouse again this week for our highlighted Swansea gig of the week, and this week, the South Wales Metal Scene is taking over!

Four ace bands who are leading the way in the local metal scene all play The Bunkhouse this Wednesday. Headliners are Cardiff’s melodic death metal band Democratus and they’ll be joined by Swansea’s own Helldown & Cacadus plus Cardiff’s The Devolved. Check them out below and head to The Bunkhouse for 19:00 on Wednesday - it’s only £3.00 on the door!

Artist of the Week: All Dead, All Dead
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After what was an incredible weekend for the Swansea Music Scene a couple of weeks ago at the Swansea Fringe Festival there are so many standout performances (which I would love to single out and write about, but I just don’t have time!), but one that really sticks in my mind as a highlight is All Dead, All Dead’s headline slot on the Libertino stage at The Bunkhouse on Saturday night. 

 
 

All Dead, All Dead (FKA Suns) are made up of Jamie Morgan (Vox / Bass), Gareth Goss (Guitar / BVs) & Jack Rees (Drums) and are one of those bands who, when you see them live, stick in your head as a band that you know are destined for bigger things. For me, this happened even before I caught them live! I got sent a video from a friend in Cardiff a couple of years ago with a message along the lines of “HAVE YOU HEARD THIS BAND?!? THEY ARE FROM SWANSEA AND F*****G AMAZING!”.

He wasn’t wrong. I think I watched the video about 5 times in a row, thinking something different everytime. “Jesus that effect he has on his vocal is amazing” / “Where the hell is that arpeggiated synth line coming from” / “That drummer is amazing” / “RIFFING HELL THIS IS CRAZY” / “HOW HAVE I NOT HEARD THIS BAND LIVE!?!”

When it came to planning this year’s fringe festival, they were a band Joe and I were really keen to get on the bill, and when an opportunity came to headline the Saturday night at the bunkhouse, we were delighted to offer it to these guys. They did not disappoint. [Oh yeah, and since the Fringe they’ve also been to Kiev to play a show!]

Their debut single “Are We Lucky” is a certified banger. It’s well thought out (both compositionally & lyrically), it cannot be listened to quietly and it made me think - how are they going to replicate this huge sound live!? When I was at The Bunkhouse a couple of weeks ago I was blown away - I kept thinking how can 3 people make this much noise?! So good. 

Keep an eye on these guys. Go and see them live. Listen to their music. 

They’ve got something new coming out tomorrow too… Keep your eyes & ears peeled. 

Written by Simon Parton

Professor Elemental's Swansea Day Out

Written by Joe Bayliss

I am an unabashed geek.

I also love music.

So, when an opportunity arose to not only marry those two loves of mine, but to work together with two close friends that have recently opened up their own restaurant in Mumbles, I would have been stupid to turn it down.

I first encountered Professor Elemental with Ben Cripwell (the culinary side of the dynamic duo behind The Front Room, Mumbles) at a show a number of years ago and was bowled over by his flair, his wit and his amiable nature.

Professor Elemental, alongside his arch-nemesis Mr. B, has pioneered his own brand of ‘chap-hop’ over the last decade or so, fusing geek-inspired theatrics and lyrical-work with lively, light-hearted and immersive performance.

What’s more, we wanted to make the most of the Professor’s trip to ‘sunny’ Swansea, so we’ve invited him to The Front Room in Mumbles where, before the evening’s entertainment, he’ll be hosting a special High Tea. Honestly, the entertainment is just the “icing on the cake” - the food is terrifyingly good.

Joining the Professor for the evening’s performance in Cinema & Co. we have two acts that both Si and I absolutely adore.

Curious Orange are a high-octane band who effortlessly fill the room with joyous noise, perfectly blending up-beat covers and humorous, anecdotal originals whilst The Orange Circus are a riotous whirlwind of bluegrass and country that are set to kick the night off in true, knee-stomping style.

* Tickets *

CLICK HERE

An Evening with the Professor | £8 ADV

*** SOLD OUT *** Afternoon Tea with the Professor | £20

*** SOLD OUT *** The Full Package | £25

Gig of the week: The Anti-Social #2
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For our first featured gig of the week at The Bunkhouse (if you don’t know about these guys / been the venue yet - you’re missing out!!) we focus in on the underground / hip hop scene / grime scene of Swansea, as T-Rev and friends takeover for The Anti-Social #2.

We heard nothing but great things from their first event at The Last Resort, and love the ethos behind the events:

“A Night dedicated to showcasing the talent that's left out of the main stream, the talent that's too offensive for radio and the talent that we believe deserves to be pushed out there and shown your support. No Egos. No Troublemakers. A night for the people, By the people.”

And there’s a plethora of local talent on show too (some so underground that we can’t even find links to them online!) Check these hyperlinks for more of what to expect - T-Rev / Don Jon / Hashjams / Native / Big Rick / Dead Crow / Luke RV / CrazeTheJack

Doors at 8pm till very late and it’s just £3.00!!

Gig of the week [update]: Iron Gosling, Low Blows & more at The Garage

Our original gig of the week has unfortunately been postponed due to severe weather warnings! But if you’re brave enough to battle the elements & head out tonight for a few drinks, we highly recommend heading to The Garage for this special charity gig.

A stellar lineup of local punk/rock bands brings Iron Gosling, Low Blows, X Twenty-Two & Hangmen to The Garage - all of whom are guaranteed to make you believe that Swansea produces the best punk/rock bands in the UK.

Whether you're looking for a fun Friday night out, or a chance to help contribute to something bigger, this gig will guarantee you a great night of music and dance. This is a punk/rock charity gig trying to raise money for Oxfam.

Bradley, the organiser, will be climbing Mount Kilimanjaro on October 19th, so this gig acts as both a send-off for him and a chance to raise some more money for Oxfam. Even if you can't attend but still want to contribute, you can donate to Bradley's JustGiving page: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/helpendpoverty 

Gig of the Week: I See Rivers & Eädyth (POSTPONED!!)

UPDATE (11:06am 12.10.18) - PLEASE BE AWARE THIS SHOW HAS BEEN POSTPONED DUE TO SEVERE WEATHER WARNINGS.

As soon as we hear a rescheduled date we’ll let you know!

What a weekend we’ve just had. For those unaware, Simon & Joe (Swansea Music Hub) organised the second instalment of the Swansea Fringe Festival last weekend & we’re only just about recovering. But we cannot think of any better way of capping off a week of reflection, relaxation & recovery than by seeing two of Wales’ most exciting artists as part of Libraries Week.

In the somewhat unconventional setting of the South Wales Miners Library, Horizons & Y Selar present I See Rivers & Eädyth for what will be a magical afternoon of live music. Best of all it’s FREE!

I See Rivers are Lill, Eline & Gøril - three girls originally hailing from the Northern, Southern and Western parts of Norway. Now based in Tenby, I See Rivers’ music is beautiful. Dubbed ‘Float Folk’ their memorable melodies and untraditional vocal harmonies their soundscape can be associated with artists such as Fleet Foxes, Sufjan Stevens and Feist. 

Joining them is one of South Wales’ most exciting young musicians: Eädyth. With a stunning sound evoking influences from electronic music, RnB and soul.

Libraries Week (8-13 October) is the annual showcase of all the creative, innovative and diverse activities that libraries have to offer and this year, with a focus on wellbeing, they will showcase how they bring communities together, combat loneliness, provide a space for reading and creativity and support people with their mental health.

Don’t sleep on this one. It’ll be one to remember. Grab your free tickets from eventbrite now.

Gig of the Week: Mallory Knox at Sin City
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In the week prior to the second Swansea Fringe Festival - things at SwanseaMusic Hub are pretty mental in preparation for that - but we couldn’t ignore this HUGE show at Sin City tomorrow night (sorry it’s late in the week!!)

Melodic Rock/Punk quartet Mallory Knox head to Sin City for a special intimate show that will be one hard to forget we’re sure! Joining them are a trio of the finest alternative rock bands on the UK music scene at the moment: All Ears Avow, Hide Your Eyes and one of Swansea’s finest alternative rock bands The Effect make a strong return (check out their latest single below!).

Tickets are £12.50 adv but will be more on the door.

Gig of the week: Fireside Family at Cinema & Co
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Described at Wales’ best kept secret, The Fireside Family from Llandrindod Wells play a special intimate show at Cinema & Co (hosted by Welsh Connections) this Friday.

Joining them are two of Swansea’s most cherished singer songwriters, Lost Tuesday Society’s Sarah Birch (who’s album we’re all eagerly waiting to hear!) & Tansy! Head to Cinema & Co this Friday! £5.00 entry / £3.50 with a valid NUS card!

GIG OF THE WEEK: PEARLER AT CROWLEYS ROCK BAR
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Rock / metal fans assemble! There's something for everyone for our featured gig of the week this week.

Head to Crowleys Rock Bar this Friday for a night of the finest hard rock / metal / punk music Swansea has to offer. Swansea rock/metal legends Pearler headline and will undoubtably bring the party and tear up the stage. 

Joining them are hardcore punk outfit State of Decay & doom metal band Godkilla. 

An ace lineup of Swansea's finest and best of all - it's free entry!! 

Artist of the week: Mikki James
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One of my favourite thing about doing stuff for the Swansea Music Hub is discovery. Discovering new artists is exciting, but when you discover whole scenes within the wider Swansea music scene it's amazing. 

The Swansea underground house / techno is one of these scenes I've come across and it is thriving - and at the forefront of the this scene is Electronic / Techno / Minimal / Acid House DJ & producer Mikki James

A resident of (almost) 9 year old underground house and techno party Dogruff, Mikki has a wealth of experience and has perfected her craft as a DJ and producer. I'll have to admit that techno, house and acid isn't at the forefront of my musical tastes but Mikki's tunes really resonate with me and as a fan of other sub-genres of electronic music I can really appreciate the tracks that she's made. 

We're lucky enough to have Dogruff DJing at this year's Swansea Fringe Festival and we've featured a Dogruff party as gig of the week before - which subsequently put me onto Mikki's music and her most recent offering is my favourite. 

Hypnotic beats, lush textures and really nicely selected samples that wash over you as - I've also noticed that in the 6minutes that I've already listened to I haven't stopped tapping my feet and grooving in at my desk. There's a vocal sample cleverly placed just after the first third of the track and I was willing for it to return; (perhaps intentionally) it doesn't and that made me really appreciate the deeper textures and sounds within the track. 

Before this gets too much like a musicology assignment of me deconstructing Mikki's tune, I'll move on to two more tracks I'd like to highlight.

I guess it was the titles of these that drew me in to listening to these (in amongst Mikki's vast collection on her Soundcloud). I'm not sure if they're linked in anyway (the titles suggest that they are & there are lots of deep musical things I could say to delve into it - I won't...!) but I lost myself in both - definitely check them both out. 

Like I said at the start, I don't consider myself an expert in techno / house / minimal / acid - but I really enjoyed working my way through Mikki's stuff. The mix that she has up up on her Mixcloud is also superb - highlighting that Mikki's skills & selections as a DJ are also ace. 

Catch Mikki DJing at Dogruff's 9th birthday party - you can also catch a Dogruff party this weekend at the Last Resort or see them DJing at The Swansea Fringe Festival alongside Roughion on Friday 5th October. 

Mikki James Facebook | Mikki James Soundcloud | Mikki James Mixcloud

Written by Simon Parton

Gig of the week: The Groundnuts & Independents at Creature Sound
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We focus on Creature Sound this week for an absolute master class in local punk music this week. Swansea legends (and former Swansea artist of the week) The Groundnuts & Independents headline a show brought to you by ERECT Music & Biscuit Bookings). 

The Groundnuts & Independents have been together since 1991, and if you’re ever seen them live, you can certainly tell. 

They’ll be joined by X Twenty-Two, described as “your favourite worst punk band ever”, South Wales punk rockers ILL FATE & Cardiff rock/punk band Throwing Knives

Listen to all four below & head to Creature Sound this Friday for 19:00! £3.00 entry.

Gig of the Week: Vanilla at Sin City
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There's been an absolute feast of local bands playing Sin City over the last month or so (massive big up to Gary and the team at Sin for this & for forever supporting the Swansea music scene) - and this weekend see's a proper good showcase of the young, up & coming talent in the city. 

Vanilla are one of the most exciting young bands we've come across over the last year. Their shows are always packed full of energy, sweaty and really good fun. Vanilla are Dan, Keiran, Osian and newly appointed bassist James and will be playing their first (and probably not their last at the rate they're going) headline show at Sin City. Check out their live recording of "See" below, recorded at Creature Sound. 

Joining them are previous artist of week String Theory, another young band we're really excited about, alternative South Wales Valley rockers Sssnakes (not to be confused with Swansea's Ssssnakes) and new female fronted band Vain

Artist of the week: Dream State
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Over the years Swansea has produced some real gems that have grown out of our small but thriving music scene to go on to bigger things and our artist of the week this week is no exception. Dream State have had an ridiculous 2018 so far and rightly so, as they're absolutely amazing. 

I grew up listening to bands like Funeral For a Friend, Alexisonfire, BMTH etc... and now only really pay attention to similar bands that are really a cut above. After we started compiling artists for our artists directory back in December of last year, I contacted a few people to get their suggestions and BBC Radio Wales DJ Bethan Elfyn emailed me linking me to Dream State.

I then proceeded to check them out and was not disappointed. I thought to myself, this band MUST have a huge future ahead of them - every song I listened to I was like "that is a certified BANGER". 

And it seems like the WORLD agrees. Their track "White Lies has now reached a whopping 6+million views on YouTube and their recent EP 'Recovery' has received the highest of praise worldwide. 

I was lucky enough to have the chance to see Dream State at FOCUS Wales earlier this year.  In fact in a weekend of incredible bands (from all over the world and across many genres) it was genuinely the best sets I saw that weekend (and one of the best I think I've ever seen).

It was a busy room filled with hard core Dream State fans and front woman CJ Gilpin made sure it was an unforgettable night. She spent the majority of the set in amongst the crowds and mosh pits, singing along cheek to cheek with fans, whilst the rest of the band played flawlessly (often resorting to maintaining the high energy by running around the room whilst playing complex riffs). CJ & the band then made a point of sticking around post show at the merch stand to sign autographs, take selfies and chat to the bands' fans. 

Their was so much love in the room and a real sense of togetherness and this appears to be present at every Dream State show.

I unfortunately missed their homecoming show at Sin City, but I've had multiple reports that the same love and energy was present (see the above video), with many saying it was the best gig they'd been to in our city. 

Their currently on a whopping European & UK tour with The Amity Affliction, they've just been on the road with Babymetal, they've been signed a worldwide deal with heavy music label legends UNFD , won a Kerrang Award for best breakthrough artist and have been putting and unbelievable shift in with music videos, live shows and more. But for CJ, guitarists Aled and Rhys, bassist Danny and drummer Jamie, this is definitely only the beginning.

Gig of the week: The Penny Drops, The Zinvandels & The Riff at The Vault
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A little later than usual this week (sorry Joe's been busy busy busy preparing for the Swansea Fringe Festival and Simon's been in Berlin for 37d03d festival and his stag do) but we're back with an absolutely massive gig of the week, this week at The Vault

Three absolute giants in the Swansea indie / rock n roll scene - The Penny Drops, The Zinvandels and The Riff will be providing you with a superb night of original music from 20:00. Tickets are also an absolute steal at just £3.00 - which you can grab from No Sign Wine Bar. 

What better way to spend your bank holiday!! 

Gig of the week: SOUTH WEST FEST!!
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We're super excited about this one. The guys in Picsel have organised an absolute whopper of a one day festival at Cinema & Co this weekend - expect awesome music, great beer & great burgers (from Exist) this Saturday - and better still you can bag yourself a ticket now for just £5.00

So! Let's take you through the line up:

Picsel

Organisers of the event & noisey pop punk quartet Picsel have made a huge impact on the Swansea music scene after releasing only 3 tunes. Their songwriting game is superb, their live game is superb & they're the nicest guys too! Check out their latest video for "Alcohol & Drugs" filmed at Cinema & Co below:

People & Other Diseases

Noisey, post-punk, garagey, grungey Swansea legends People & Other Diseases will be making a wonderful racket too at Cinema & Co this Saturday. They were one of our highlights from last year's Swansea Fringe festival, and they were really ace supporting The Wytches at Sin City - we're super excited to see them again this weekend! 

French Alps Tiger

We caught French Alps Tiger at Cinema & Co back in April and we were blown away! Check out their tune The Floor is Lava below - proper good punky, post rock goodness that wouldn't be out of place on a Tony Hawks Pro Skater Soundtrack!! 

Luv Dot Got (NYC)

We'll also be graced with chunky guitars, sweet melodies & pop-punk bangers from New York this Saturday! Luv Dot Gov will be stopping by Swansea to deliver some top notch tunes and after listening to their latest release 'At Least We've Got This Madness', we're really excited! 

William Poyer

After a superb headliner show at Cinema & Co, Will's back for another stunning set at South West Fest this Saturday! Superbly written songs from this Welshman (via Mexico). His songs perfectly combine storytelling, strong rhythms and melodic hooks all wrapped in a unique blend of folk & americana.

Emilie Merry

Ahead of her EP release later this month, Emilie joins the lineup to deliver her stunning compositions. Her EP 'Not Your One' comes out soon and if the recent release 'Different' which was played on Adam Walton's show a couple of weeks ago is anything to go off, we're super excited to hear more! Here's an old one from Emilie that showcases her superb talents: 

Ben Luc

Completing this stunning line up is non other than former artist of the week and #SwanseaMusic legend Ben Luc. Expect wicked tunes draped in lusheous soundscapes, drenched in reverb, delay and all through Ben's awesome ability with his looping pedals. His ability as a producer is also superb: check out his most recent release Frequencies below: 

If you're not convinced that Cinema & Co is the place to be this Saturday I'm not sure what else you'd want!! Make sure you bag yourself a ticket early too because it'll be more expensive on the door! 

Gig of the Week: Static Fires 'Thirteen' Album Launch
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We're back at Sin City this week for our featured gig of the week as Swansea band Static Fires release their album 'Thirteen' following their 2016 debut EP. 

We really enjoyed the lead single from their album entitled 'Black Velvet' (that we suggest you listen to below) and couldn't ignore the lineup they've put together for what will be a great night of original live music - and for just £3.00 it's an absolute steal for your Friday night this week! 

Joining them are South Wales based The Caspiens, Swansea rockers In With The Jellyfish and last week's artist of the week String Theory

Music is Important

#SwanseaMusic 

Artist of the week: String Theory
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Having a browse through String Theory's Soundcloud back catalogue is unbelievably reassuring; five tracks that show a consistent ability to develop their craft, their approach and their style while maintaining a core sound that is vibrant, relentless and exhilarating.

Their most recent offering is a noticeable step up in production quality from the more garage'y demos previously released, and it's here that you see these four "millennials from Swansea" really coming into their own.

'17' is a pounding journey through adolescence and tackles the burgeoning decent into adulthood with a rather apt hypnotic quality to the weaving, repetitive guitar lines and gruelling rhythm throughout - the latter of which is beautifully captured too. Kudos to the producer - whoever they may be!

There's a sneering quality about the track that is reminiscent of their contemporaries Pretty Vicious and a toying, playful bent throughout à la 'Dookie'-era Green Day. Going off on a slight tangent, but I find something in '17' that's comforting; in much the same way I might feel when listening to tracks I've grown up with - like a big, warm musical hug...

Back on track.

Simply put; String Theory make me excited about young music coming out of Swansea.

String Theory Soundcloud | String Theory Facebook | String Theory Twitter | String Theory Instagram

Written by: Joe Bayliss