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

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.

Gig of the week: The Orange Circus at The Garage
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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.

Artist of the week: Ssssnakes
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Last weekend I had the pleasure of experiencing elusive Swansea punk legends Ssssnakes at the Langland Loco fundraiser at Cinema & Co - and I wasn’t disappointed! As a band that I’ve been following since their first release Kissss Thisss in 2011 I was super excited and wondered if they were able to match the energy on their studio recordings live on stage. They were able to multiply this energy by 100 on stage. It was insane.

 
 

You couldn’t take your eyes off them - however this may be due to bassist Rhys’ magnificent outfit consisting of the finest crop top, cowboy boots, cowboy hat, hot pants & neckerchief. Their first time live as a band in Swansea for a while, you could tell that the crowd were super excited - multiple cries of “WE WANT SSSSNAKES” over the raffle that preceded their set.

Their set started with (and maintained) this crazy energy - the crowd going mental and finished with front man Jamie diving into the drummer to finish. Definitely one of the best shows I’ve seen in Swansea.

For those of you that haven’t listened to or even heard of Ssssnakes, they are (in their own words) : “a band that sing songs about girls, skateboards, friends and sticking it to the man.”

Their first release “Kissss Thisss” (2011) opens with “Don’t Tread on Us” - a powerful punk rock banger. I remember one of the first tunes I heard on the album was the 9 second “Donald Trump” - written back in 2011 - I guess they had some sort of premonition of things to come with the lyrics: “Think Big! Kick Ass! … Donald Trump”. The track “Ssssnake or Die” is a personal favourite off the album - everything you want in an angry punk tune.

Their latest release, EP “Love Eggssss” (2017) continues where the Ssssnakes left off and maintains their reputation as one of the finest punk bands Swansea has produced. Cabello is a personal favourite off this one. Check it out.

If you get the chance to see Ssssnakes, do it - and when you do, buy them a beer. You definitely won’t be disappointed. They’ve played two mega shows in the last week in Swansea - The Langland Loco last Saturday at Cinema & Co and a super secret punk show above Broadside Tattoo (which I was gutted to miss - it looked wicked).

We approached Rhys from Ssssnakes for a comment on being Swansea Music Hub’s artist of the week, he replied:

“Ssssnakes rule, buy me a beer”

Swansea MusicHub
Gig of the week: WINDSHAKE, The Pitchforks & more at Creature Sound
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Creature Sound host our spotlighted gig of the week this week as some of South Wales’ finest young rock bands take over on Friday evening.

Headliners WINDSHAKE bring their superb psychedelic rock and roll sound in what is always a standout live set. We’ve really been enjoying what they’ve releasing and caught these guys a couple of times - really worth checking out if you haven’t already!

After recently sharing a stage with WINDSHAKE at the YMCA for this year’s Swansea Fringe Festival it’s great to welcome Rhodda’s The Pitchforks back to Swansea! One of the Horizons 12, The Pitchforks are one of the most exciting young Welsh bands on the scene at the moment!

Newport alt rockers Finding Aurora also join the lineup: their 90s and 80s Alt Rock influenced sound makes them a really exciting young band to watch. And completing the line up are Swansea three piece punk band White Riot - another one we’ve been really impressed with in the short time they’ve been together!

It’s just £4.00 on the door - what better way to spend your Friday evening than to support young, emerging talent from South Wales!

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: Langland Loco (Fundraiser)
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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

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

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 

Artist of the week: Eleri Angharad
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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

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!!