Our first featured gig of the week for 2019 is alternative rockers I Digress’ show tonight at The Bunkhouse to celebrate the release of their debut EP ‘Haunting Me’. Tonight is a must for rock fans in Swansea - I Digress have been tearing up the scene with their high energy sets and great sound for the last year. Joining them are Port Talbot rockers I Am Gravity and Llanelli band Beyond The Break.
Don’t miss this! Tickets are £3.00 in advance and more on the door!
Happy New Year! After what we can safely say was an incredibly exciting 2018 for the Swansea music scene, we’re beyond excited for what this year will bring! After weeks of discussions, lots of conversations and opinions of those around the city, we’ve done our best to compile a list of 10 acts that we’re really excited about for 2019. The list genuinely could have been twice as long, which shows the strength of the acts coming out of Swansea right now - but here are our 10 shortlisted acts to get excited about this year…
It’s hard to ignore how far AidenKeryn has come in the last year. Still in sixth form, Aiden’s been putting an almighty shift in - gigging extensively and writing/releasing tunes that show how much of a talent she really is for someone so young!
With new music undoubtably on the horizon and a slot already secured at this year’s FOCUS Wales showcase festival in Wrexham (who, as a festival, might we add, don’t mess around with selecting the best in up & coming talent) 2019 is set to be huge for Aiden!
All Dead, All Dead
What a year All Dead, All Dead had last year - they’ve achieved a ridiculous amount in such a short space of time! With shows in Kiev, Amsterdam and closer to home (including headlining The Bunkhouse for the Swansea Fringe Festivals) and with 3 incredible releases already under their belt, we are super excited about these guys and what’s to come!
Country/Pop queen of Swansea Eleri Angharad is a credit to our music scene. Forever supporting other artists & gigs but also working ridiculously hard to record and release her own stuff! With an album coming out in 2019 & a special tour in the works, this year is going to be huge for Eleri!
News From Nowhere
Psychedelic indie / art rockers News From Nowhere are set to have a very exciting 2019. Every show they play and every tune they release always stop us in our tracks - high musicianship, well thought out compositions and just a really great band. Fingers crossed we’ll have some new music from them in 2019 - they’re album “...and the human had half” is one of our favourite albums to come out of Swansea - definitely check it out.
Only Fools and Corpses
In late November we were sent a link to “Support Your Local Scene” by Only Fools and Corpses - grabbed immediately by the title of the track and the name of the band we eagerly went to watch the video. What we were greeted with was a cacophony of noisy, angry punk matched with a superb video and we absolutely loved it. More of this in 2019 please boys!
It’s very hard to ignore the stamp that Pastel have left on the music scene in 2018. With their shoegazy rock n roll that channels all your favourite Britpop bands, Pastel are set to have a monumental 2019 starting off with a headline show in the Bunkhouse late January.
There’s lots to be excited about for Lost Tuesday Society front woman Sarah Birch and her solo stuff! With an album on the way and plenty of live shows we’re certain this year is going to be huge for Sarah! If her single “The Rain Dance” is anything to go off - we’re all in for a very special treat!
Gorgeous psychedelic soundscapes & a superb live show. This is the impression that we have from Soundwire after we booked them for the Swansea Fringe Festival last year. What a band!! With their self titled album due out on February 4th, 2019 is undoubtably going to be huge for these guys - and we can’t wait!
We caught String Theory three times in 2018, and each time we did we were totally blown away - not only by their superb sound but by the consistent reaction of their fans - who all go mental for every show! With two great singles “I’m here” and “17” under their belt, we’re excited for more from these young alternative / indie rockers!
One of Swansea’s favourite young indie party bands Vanilla have had a storming 2018 - and we cannot wait to hear more from them in 2019. A huge number of shows (each one we’ve been to has been mental, sweaty and showcases some of the finest crowd surfing we’ve seen!) and a superb debut single have made Vanilla a force to be reckoned with. More of the same this year we hope!
Written by Simon Parton
TRAMPOLENE (SOLD OUT) // THE BUNKHOUSE, SWANSEA // 7.12.18
The long awaited return of Swansea’s own Trampolene finally hit The Bunkhouse on the 7th of December, and the boys did not disappoint, giving us all a night to remember. As the floor quickly filled, seconds before the band were due to hit the stage, voices simmered as a violinist played the Welsh national anthem, a perfect way to start this massive homecoming show. Soon after, through the swarming crowd, singer and guitarist Jack Jones struts on past with a grin on his face, his own recital of teenage experiences in ‘Artwork of Youth’ blearing through the speakers. Wearing the iconic monster-like fur coat that loyal Trampolene fans would recognise, he joins his fellow partners in crime, bassist and vocalist Wayne Thomas, and drummer Rob Steele onstage.
The boys begin thrashing through their chaos-bringing anthems, amongst which is ‘It’s Not Rock & Roll’, the relentless opener of their second album ‘Pick a Pocket or Two’. The front are sent into a thrashing of their own, bouncing away to the sound of the energetic riffs and driving drums. Greeting his adoring fans, Jones embraces the arms that are flinging towards him, standing proudly sporting the shirt of his native Swansea City’s football team.
To the right, Thomas is belting the lyrics to the catchy choruses passionately into the mic. Behind the swinging guitars and flying sweat, sits Steele, calmly but loudly bashing in harmony with the storm of noise, the Welsh flag draped over the bass drum.
The ever so humble Jones pours his heart out as his almost tearful expression shows it, grateful for the lively response of his hometown, shaking the hands of everyone in his sight. But there’s no time for being sentimental. Jones quickly returns to the mic and screams ‘Tom Hardy’ into the sea people packed into the small venue, once again sending bodies crashing into a frenzy. When he brought out the acoustic guitar, the crowd knew that the band’s latest release, ‘The One Who Loves You’ was coming up, everyone singing along with Thomas’ backing vocals in the choruses - but nobody was expecting the very festive rendition of ‘Merry Christmas Everybody’.
As the band draw near to the end of the set, they also cover the fitting ‘Friday I’m In Love’ by The Cure, which had the whole place singing. As a cloud of smoke fills the stage, lights strobing through the mist, it is clearly time for their last tune, ‘Storm Heaven’. The chaos of the song sends Jones crowdsurfing, and he perfects the solo when he lands back onstage, bending the strings with his teeth. He pumps his hand into the air as the show comes to an end, screaming triumphantly. The evening finishes with the popular spoken track ‘Pound Land’ (because it would be rude not to) and the crowd recite back every single word. Trampolene disappear backstage, having proved again to be one of Wales’ finest up and coming bands.
What a treat for you #SwanseaMusic fans this week! With lots going on, there’s a lot to choose from, but one stand out for us is this display of talent at Cinema & Co on FRIDAY night. If you’re into your Post Rock, you MUST NOT MISS THIS! It’ll likely be your gig of the year!!
Describing themselves as “POST MARSH ROCK FROM NORTH GOWER SCOUNDRELS” Estuary Blacks have just released their stunning self titled debut on CD and vinyl (which will no doubt be available this weekend) Listen below:
And with new music on the horizon, Cities will be showcasing tracks from their new release, as well as picks from their debut EP Manning Alaska - if you saw their set at the Swansea Fringe Festival this year, you know it’s one not to miss!
Aside from being an all round nice guy and absolute legend, Paul Hazel is a composer, musician, record producer and film maker from Swansea. It was a pleasure to have Paul headline a special show for us at this year’s Swansea Fringe Festival at Cinema & Co where he launched his newest release, ‘Test Pattern Redux’, and further proved why Paul is a force to be reckoned within the wider electronic music scene.
Paul moved to Wales from London in 2003 and lectured at Swansea College of Art for 14 years. During this time, he co-founded the Swansea Laptop Orchestra, who if you haven’t experienced before you definitely should.
The music that Paul creates is multi-disciplinary, thought provoking and really clever. This was translated during his set at the Swansea Fringe festival, which I was really lucky to catch (after a volunteer forced me to stop panicking and sit and enjoy Paul’s music).
It was an incredible experience - I went from being ridiculously stressed to be completely immersed in Paul’s set, forgetting, almost instantly everything else in the world. The sounds Paul produced were hypnotic, textured and consistently interesting - this, matched with the visuals behind him, made it (for me) the perfect live show.
It’s interesting to read Paul’s three basic principles that he has for his creations after experiencing it, it really makes sense and is working well. His basic principles are: 1) achieve the most possible with the least: “less is more”. 2) each piece of work is an attempt to question the assumptions on which it is built 3) striving for art that “performs the possibilities it promotes”.
Paul also runs his own record label, Bamboo Radical, where you can listen to his tunes - I highly recommend that you do. His most recent release (also available on 12” vinyl) Test Pattern Redux (2018) is an absolute techno classic and the EP Dreaming Detroit (2018) matches this quality and showcase the range of influences that Paul has on his music.
His website is also worth a read - you can find out about all of Paul’s work, including his really interesting trip to Japan. On this note, check out his most recent offering: “Kyoto Air Conditioner Dub”
Sarah Birch is as much of a musical enigma, in her solo-guise, as you might find around these here parts.
From her ongoing tenure with Swansea legends Lost Tuesday Society, to guest featuring with other local artists on record (see Greenmailer's newest release 'Luluna' for an example) or live.
Here is a musician who has worked over the last few years to hone her effortless talent into a force to be reckoned with. Seeing her performing live "as herself" - and that's the only way at the moment you can glimpse her solo material - or in guest-spots with other artists, you can see this.
Hers is a natural, in-grown talent, with a real knack for composing melodies that are hypnotic, pure and dignified and that show a mastery of her own voice that floats effortlessly between a pop-sensibility and a sublime, ferocious jazz-blues styling in her delicate sensitivity for what the situation requires.
Sarah's work with alt-folk outfit, Lost Tuesday Society, has always created material out of left field - in the best sense of the term - and her solo material, which we've heard a number of times live, builds on this, with eclectic instrumentation and graceful arrangements ranging from the gentlest of intimate moments, to the audience weathering a beautiful maelstrom of musical mayhem in the form of trumpets, additional guitars, percussion and anything else she can fill the stage up (and keep the sound engineer on their toes) with.
There's even rumblings of string quartets on the horizon and by rumblings, I mean rumours that are entirely substantiated and verified by her Facebook posts...
If history says anything about Sarah Birch, then her upcoming debut album is sure to be a majestic tour-de-force from this home-spun songstress. Keep an eye out for shows near you in the near future, and make sure you keep up-to-date with her social media platforms for updates.
I know I will be.
Written by Joe Bayliss
A right royal knees up is what you’ll get at our gig of the week this week. Celtic / Bluegrass / Alt Country / Indie band The Orange Circus will be taking over The Garage for their single launch of latest track “I Miss You” - a band with roots in Wales, Cornwall, England and Virginia They have a hand in traditional roots music, but they produce wholly unique, contemporary sound. We had them play at our show in Cinema & Co alongside Professor Elemental & they were really great.
Also joining them are Swansea favourites The Lost Tuesday Society, with a special acoustic set.
We look to Cinema & Co for our gig of the week this week, as two of Swansea’s finest punk bands play a special show to raise funds for the Langland Loco!
The Langland Loco will be a surf contest held during the waiting period of the 12th November to the 3rd of December on a Saturday with the best conditions. The contest will be a fun, alternative, leave the ego at home vibe with a completely different aspect to any normal contest.
We LOVE this idea - surfing, the culture and it’s scene is such an important part of Swansea’s identity and we’re totally behind this idea!
So by going to Cinema & Co this Saturday, not only will you be helping to raise funds for a totally ace local, grass-roots surfing competition but you’ll also get the chance to:
See two short films by Globe
Check out and purchase work created by local artists
Get some delicious food from Hoogah
Get some specially made delicious beer from Beer Riff
Check out two rare performances by two of Swansea’s finest punk bands:
“Ssssnakes are a band that sing songs about girls, skateboards, friends and sticking it to the man.”
They’re well good fun. Trust us. We’ve seen them before.
Chineapple Punks are a Welsh punk rock outfit formed in Swansea circa 2002. Party music with punchy hooks and sing-along choruses. These boys never disappoint, leaving the dance floor jumping and your adrenaline pumping!
Tickets are £10.00 on the door and £10 tickets all proceeds go towards the contest and the set up of the Langland Loco.
Supported by: RVCA, GLOBE, LBR & CLOSEOUT STORE
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!
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
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!!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Music is Important
Some bands are timeless, others burn out, creatively, like a flash in the pan. It takes something truly special to stand the test of time, and there are few, if any, acts in Swansea who have remained as vital, vibrant and relevant as The Groundnuts & Independents - they are a constant, perpetual and necessary force of nature.
The Groundnuts & Independents are Greg Fabb and Jason Williams, playing bass and guitar respectively, who share vocal duties throughout, finishing off the trio with Lee Thomas beating the skins.
They’ve a healthy (for the soul, if not for the ears) menu of releases on Bandcamp - something that always excites me, so I dove right in to Hellish Tidy with wild abandon. Hellish Tidy is a solid collection of traditional punk tunes with a few quirks that exemplify what make The Groundnuts & Independents such a lasting exponent of Swansea music.
Album (for lack of a better term - with Hellish Tidy clocking in at a metronome defying 13.82 minutes long) opener ‘Oh Shit’ lulls you into a false sense of security with it’s ‘found audio’ introduction before launching into a ferocious, musically manic audio assault that doesn’t let up throughout ‘Spread The Word’ and ‘Draw The Line’. ’Bosina No. 3’’ is perfectly timed within the collection for a small reprieve from the carnage with it’s central riff that beautifully bastardises ‘60s surf melodies before launching back in to the unflinching ‘FBR’. ‘Cock Rock’ is a modern day ‘King Rocker’ whilst ‘One Shot’’s acoustic introduction and half-time rhythms caught me off guard before launching into a solid, neatly-worked album closer that left me wanting more!
Bite size releases, perfectly penned with production that’s snappy, in no way convoluted and captures the essence of the act. Full marks from me!
Something a little different for our featured gig this week, but something we feel very passionate about supporting - the Swansea Hip Hop Scene.
If someone asked me about the hip hop scene in Swansea before we started the Swansea Music Hub - I would have answered with "little to non existent", but the fact is, there is a really strong underground hip hop scene in the city that needs to be celebrated & supported by a wider audience. With acts and producers like Craze The Jack, Rufus Mufasa, Ananas, T-Rev, F Dot Xtra, Lewis Cullen & Neezo listed on our artist directory and leading the way, you immediately get a sense that our city's hip hop scene is thriving. (I'm sure there's so many more amazing acts missing here too - if so get in touch & let us know!!)
And what better way to celebrate and support it then by heading to Cinema & Co this Saturday evening! With live performances from the artists at the forefront of the scene - Rufus Mufasa & Craze The Jack, this is one night not to miss.
Your ticket will not only provide you with live sets from these two, but there's also
- a graffiti exhibition featuring the works of Smak, Skroe, Over, Sadsak, Unity & friends
- Breakdance from B-boy 'Rickie the Spin' & friends
- a screening of STYLE WARS: THE ORIGINAL HIP HOP DOCUMENTARY (1983)
Tickets available here:
Doors open at 19.00
**Age Restriction: 12 and up**
What a weekend last weekend was for Swansea the wider music scene. We've only just recovered (hence the late in the week gig feature) but across the board it was an incredible weekend for Swansea. Whilst megastars like Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran, Florence & the Machine & Sam Smith graced the main stage at Singleton park, the Introducing stage saw the likes of Swansea's own Rachel K Collier & Trampolene play to a huge crowd at the festival!
For those not lucky enough to have a ticket, there was lots going on elsewhere in the city - like in Creature Sound, where the Punks 4 Mental Health Festival took place, featuring local bands like Godkilla, World Vs World, Windshake, Lost Tuesday Society, Ben Luc, King Goon and so many more. A truly special weekend for #SwanseaMusic.
Now this is where we need to step up & keep the momentum of our music scene going. And what better way than to come party with Dream State at Sin City tomorrow night! (Also, Ed Sheeran name dropped Sin City twice on stage and twice in a backstage interview - so you know it's the place to be...)
Celebrating the release of their EP 'Recovery', Dream State play a very special homecoming show before they head to Donington Park later in the year to play Download. After that (at their current rate) we expect they'll be taking over the world.
The band have been tipped by Radio One's own Huw Stephens & Annie Mac as well as Kerrang, Rocksound & more. I also caught them play FOCUS Wales earlier this month and was totally blown away. We really recommend this one.
Not only that, they're joined by a top notch bunch of bands in support including Bridgend's Breathe In Silence, Cardiff based Winchester and Swansea's own I Digress.
Tickets are £6.00 (£7.50 with booking fee) and available here.
Swansea University musicians are taking over Creature Sound tomorrow night as funk/folk/rock 5 piece Part Time Models host what will be a great night of live music! The grooviness of The Mahogany Men will be kicking off the night, followed by your hosts, Part Time Models, with FNKD (from Polymer) sealing the deal with a funky DJ set.
Tickets are available here & you can support Creature Sound by checking out their share sale here.