Posts tagged Swansea Music Scene
Gig of the week: I Digress 'Haunting Me' EP Release show
 
53 I Digress.jpg
 

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!

Ones to watch 2019
ONES.jpg

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…

 
Ones to Watch.jpg

AidenKeryn

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.jpg

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!

 

 
Eleri Angharad.jpg

Eleri Angharad

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.jpg

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.jpg

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!

 

 
Pastel.jpg

Pastel

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.

 


 
Sarah Birch.jpg

Sarah Birch

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!

 

 

Soundwire

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!

 

 
String Theory.jpg

String Theory

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!

 

 

Vanilla

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

Ones to watch 2018 - A look back

On the first of January this year we announced 10 acts that we thought would have a big 2018 - so before we announce our next acts for 2019, we thought it’d be nice to look back and dig deeper into what our 10 got up to this year!

Bandicoot

 
Bandicoot18.jpg
 

2018 proved to be a very very busy and exciting year for Bandicoot. They’ve released three tunes - ‘Stuck in Space’, ‘Being Erased’ & ‘House of Fame’, and gigged extensively including support slots for Spring King at Sin City, Al Moses in Clwb (Cardiff) and Estrons in The Parrot (Carmarthen).

As part of Radio One’s Biggest Weekend, the boys played a special showcase show for Horizons, went on to headline the Swansea Fringe Festival at Sin City and played Swn Festival in Cardiff. If that wasn’t enough, the boys ended their year by selling out the Bunkhouse, for a very special hometown show. Do not sleep on this band - they’ve got a massive 2019 ahead!


King Goon

 
King Goon 18.jpg
 

The Goons have been very busy in the studio this year, preparing to unleash their long awaiting album to the world. As always, the boys have brought the party to multiple venues in the city including Creature Sound and Sin City (twice - once as part of the Swansea Fringe Festival) and also provided the BBC Academy with a special acoustic set as part of the Biggest Weekend!

We’re all waiting eagerly for that album (hopefully due out 2019) and we’re even more excited about the party that’ll accompany it’s release!


The Zinvandels

 
34473707_636331896707978_8078356802535686144_n.jpg
 

Swansea’s favourite rock n rollers spent a lot of time in the studio this year - and released their latest single “Liars” in November. With lots of packed hometown shows including at Cinema & Co and The Bunkhouse the boys also headlined a special Horizons x Swansea Music Hub showcase at Unit Nineteen for the Biggest Weekend back in May.

These guys are going from strength to strength both in their songwriting and in their live shows - we can’t wait for what 2019 will bring them!


Emilie Merry

Emilie+Merry+18.jpg

Emilie released her debut EP “Not Your One” back in August and rumour has it she’s back in the studio creating her next batch of tunes! Emilie’s also played lots of shows, wowing audiences with her soulful poppy tunes and played a special full band show for the Radio One Academy during the Biggest Weekend in May.

If her next release is anything like her EP, we’re in for something very special from Emilie!


CrazeTheJack

 
CTJ.jpg
 

2018 has been a massive year for CrazeTheJack - lots of gigs and festivals, including The Biggest Weekend Fringe, FOCUS Wales and the Swansea Fringe Festival matched with the release of his long awaited album “Kaleidoscope”. He also provided an insane verse for Rachel K Collier’s cover of Badfingers’ ‘Come & Get It” - created for Horizons in celebration of the Biggest Weekend.

Big things are coming for Craze next year!!


Cities

 
edited.jpg
 

Cities have been very busy in the studio this year, putting the finishing touches to their next release (that we’re so so excited about) as well as a storming end of year show in Cinema & Co alongside. They played at the Bunkhouse for the Swansea Fringe and provided us with one of our favourite moments of the festival.

2019 is set to be huge for the band - we can’t wait to hear what they’ve been doing!


Geraint Rhys

 
GRhys.jpg
 

Geraint’s had a very impressive 2018 with a host of super cool achievements. He created a short documentary on the role of music during the Catalan independence struggle and won awards for it! He played for us at the Swansea Fringe Festival for Folk at the Fringe in Unit Nineteen and his latest single Dilyn was released in November!

With new collaborations and creative journeys set for 2019, we’re very excited for what the future holds for Geraint!


The Riff

 
48388784_1330991530376419_5172660621899988992_o.jpg

A very busy year for the boys in The Riff - with a whole host of gigs! Most notably, the boys sold out the Bunkhouse this month and blew the roof off! They headlined the Swansea Fringe Festival at Sin City, played a headline show at Sin earlier in the year and also played a special set for the Radio One Academy as part of the Biggest Weekend!

Favourites of the Swansea Music Hub, we can’t wait to see what they’ve got planned for 2019!

 

Picsel

 
40467982_428759517648064_7652087556175036416_o.jpg
 

Picsel are another band who have been busy in the studio this year (their album is due out next year and we cannot wait!!). This year they released their single Alcohol and Drugs, played a bunch of exciting (and sweaty) shows including South West Fest in Cinema & Co and headlining The Bunkhouse for the Swansea Fringe Festival.

Next year is set to be their biggest yet - do not miss out & make sure you listen to their music and catch them playing live!


Little Folk

 
LF18.jpg
 

Little Folk have had a ridiculously busy year. They’ve played so many gigs and festivals including the Biggest Weekend Fringe Festival, Hub Festival, the Swansea Fringe Festival, the Wales’ Airshow, Americana Fest, Live on the Wye, Countryfile Live and The Longroad Festival for BBC Introducing!

Their single Heading South was released earlier this year and is an absolute banger (we seriously recommend you check it out!). If 2018 is anything to go off, this band has got a very exciting year ahead of them!


Words by Simon Parton

GIG REVIEW: TRAMPOLENE LIVE AT THE BUNKHOUSE (SOLD OUT)

TRAMPOLENE (SOLD OUT) // THE BUNKHOUSE, SWANSEA // 7.12.18

 
Photo by Jacob Winter

Photo by Jacob Winter

 

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.

 
SMH Trampolene Banner SOLD OUT.jpg
 

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.

Uppa Swans.

Support came from The Sandinistas, Zepher & Pastel

 
 

Words: Billy Stillman / Photos (Colour): Billy Stillman / Photos (B&W): Jacob Winter

Gig of the week: String Theory & friends at Sin City
 
51 String Theory.jpg
 

String Theory are taking over Sin City this Wednesday to celebrate the release of their storming new single “I’m Here” (LISTEN HERE) and their bringing their mates, curating a top notch evening of live music. The last time I caught String Theory, it was with a very similar line up in Sin City when Vanilla headlined - and it went OFF!

There was crowd surfing, sweat, bouncing crowds, sweat, a display of raucous noise & energy and more sweat. It was certainly a night to remember, and we’re sure that this one will be no different.

Vanilla will bring the indie vibes, Valley boys & recently announced as part of Forté 2019 Sssnakes will bring their high energy alternative sound & completing the lineup bringing their exciting indie sounds is The Furns.

It’s only £3. What else would you be doing on a Wednesday night that beats doing this!? Go party with the best in upcoming music in Swansea & South Wales.

Artist of the Week: Paul Hazel
Paul Hazel.jpg

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”

Even if Techno or Electronic music isn’t your bag, I implore you to give Paul’s stuff a go. I bet you’ll find yourself lost in his sounds, leaving everything behind and coming out the other end thinking “I can’t wait to do that again…”

Written by Simon Parton

Gig of the week: King Of Despair + guests at Cinema & Co
49 King of Despair.jpg

An elusive and sadly short-lived musical projects returns this Saturday night as King of Despair take to the stage at Cinema & Co. for an evening of Alt-Folk and Alt-Rock that is bound to be unforgettable.

Playing tunes from their posthumously released album, 'Harpoon', King of Despair is made up of a heap of #SwanseaMusic luminaries - Paul Battenbough, Huw Rees, David Godwin and Darren Beale.

Joining them on the night are Swansea Music Hub favourites, The Zinvandels and, if you needed even more of a reason to nip along, the stellar lineup of local acts is completed by hometown boy Josh Ace.

Artist of the week: Sarah Birch
Sarah Birch.jpg

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

Gig of the Week: White Riot at Hangar 18

There’s a great lineup of young local talent this Saturday as White Riot & friends take over! Celebrating the release of their second single ‘Ghost Town’, White Riot’s live sets are already renowned to be one not to miss - and if their first single ‘Sid’ is anything to go off, their second will no doubt be another absolute banger!

Joining them are young indie rock / alternative band The Furns, (who we like to keep an eye on - they seem to be going from strength to strength) and newly formed The Stray Pursuit, who' we’ve heard great things about so far!!

Tickets are just the precise £2.97 available here via SeeTickets.

Artist of the week: Eleri Angharad
Eleri Angharad.jpg

Happy Halloween! Someone who’s certainly not spooky in the slightest and someone who we’re big fans of here at the Swansea Music Hub is Eleri Angharad. We’ve highlighted musicians in the past who go above and beyond for the music scene in Swansea and Eleri is no exception.

It’s highly likely that you’ve seen Eleri play live - she’s definitely one of the most dedicated Swansea musicians when it comes to gigging and often can be seen at others’ gigs, offering further support to the scene! Inspired by a North American road trip she took as a teenager, Eleri perfectly blends US country influenced tunes, with Welsh folk and catchy pop melodies.

Last Friday, Eleri released her newest single ‘This Ship’ - which to be fair I’ve listened to three times in a row because it’s so good. There are so many lush layers to it, the lyrics are really well thought out and clearly shows her influence of US Country Music (drawing on the likes of James Taylor, Kacey Musgraves & early Taylor Swift).

Her early releases are also really great, catchy country/pop tunes. One that stood out for me (and I remember loving at the time of it’s release) is ‘Stuck on You’. I particularly love the lap steel & the organ - pure country vibes.

Eleri time and time again proves that she is on top of her game when it comes to songwriting and playing live. We’re super excited to hear her album ‘Earthbound’ which you can follow the progress of on her blog & we’re super excited for what the future holds for Eleri!

Written by: Simon Parton

Artist of the Week: Helldown
Helldown.jpg

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
43 Democratus.jpg

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!

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
40 Mallory KNox.jpg

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
39 Fireside Family.jpg

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
38 PEARLER.jpg

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
Mikki James.jpg

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: Vanilla at Sin City
36 Vanilla.jpg

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
Dream State.jpg

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.