Posts tagged Swansea Music hub
Artist of the Week: Paul Hazel
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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
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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
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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

Artists of the week: Vanilla
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Since we started the Swansea Music Hub, it’s been really great for us to watch the progress of young bands over the last year. One that we’ve had a keen eye on from the start is Vanilla and it’s been really encouraging to see them go from strength to strength over the last year or so.

The band released their official debut single ‘See’ last week - one that will be familiar to those of you that have seen the band live, it is an absolute indie banger. Championed already by Adam Walton on the BBC Wales Introducing show it proves that the future is certainly bright for the young band.

They’re a great band to see live - we went to their headline show at Sin City earlier this year and it went off! Really fun, energetic and their crowd surfing abilities were top notch.

They’re also really sound lads & are forever supporting the music scene here in Swansea - you’ll notice guitarist Keiran’s sweet Swansea Fringe Festival volunteer t shirt in the single artwork. They’re always at others’ gigs, always really positive about the scene and just all round top guys.

Vanilla Facebook | Vanilla Twitter | Vanilla Spotify | Vanilla Instagram

Written by Simon Parton

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

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: 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: 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

Gig of the week: News from Nowhere at Creature Sound
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The spotlight is on Creature Sound this week for our gig of the week. Presented by Welsh Connections, we're treated to a superb line up featuring News From Nowhere, Bandicoot and Hobglin.

After their amazing debut album "...and the human had half" (released in December 2016), we're looking forward to catching News From Nowhere play some new material this Thursday! Joining them is a double whammy of superb support acts.

Bandicoot (who we hear have also been cooking up some new sounds) bring their party indie/alternative vibes alongside the heavy, funky, bluesy boys from Hobgoblin. 

Tickets can be purchased from Derrick's Records, Swansea or from Welsh Connections and Creature Sound.