If you haven’t listened to Talk Show yet, then you seriously need to. The bands brand new EP ‘These People’ is out today, and is available to stream on all platforms. It contains four singles, that will stir your subconscious and invade your mind.
On this punchy new release, Talk Show simmer to boiling point with their edgy punk sound and lyrics that snare your senses. I have been eagerly waiting the EP since we were graced with our first taste back in January. The initial single Banshee quickly entranced me, and was a stark reminder of the incredible capabilities this band possess.
Talk Show relish in a madness that is able to function absurdly well.
Talk Show are a fascinating enigma to behold, and their onstage presence is unlike anything I have ever witnessed before. Blending edgy punk with something far darker, their latest EP is a glowing example of how they cleverly clash genres and sounds, to create a form of punk that is in many ways a breed of their own. Their songs are eery and distorted in their lyrical approach which knocks you off balance in a woozy bliss, but as quickly as you are lost are you then swept back up again and thrown into the frantic, chaotic frenzy of their fast paced, energetic tempo. Instruments collide and screech in this fuelled riot, with vocals tearing through in a crazed harmony that I can’t imagine any other band fusing together so well. Talk Show relish in a madness that is able to function absurdly well.
My personal favourite from ‘These People’ is Petrolhead. Talk Show always have a way of building their songs up brilliantly, but Petrolhead is nothing shy of an explosion. It’s charged and gloriously angry, and I cannot wait to hear it live.
You can catch Talk Show on their headline tour in September. They are also going to be playing across Wales for IVW with Panic Shack, postponed tour dates are yet to be confirmed.
Keep up to date by following Talk Show on their socials:
What better way to relax and unwind, than putting your feet up and watching a good film?
Seeming as we’re all music lovers here, I thought I’d compile a Music Film Guide for you all.
Here are 5 films about bands and musicians, that I think are definitely worth watching.
1. The Dirt
A must see for anyone who loves rock and roll. The Dirt is based on notorious 80s rock icons Mötley Crüe, and their rise to fame from then until the present day. The film is centred around the highs and lows of their music career, and their personal lives. It’s a rollercoaster of emotion from start to finish but is definitely worth watching. I’ve seen this film countless times now and it just gets better with every watch. It’s gritty and raw which doesn’t always make for easy viewing, but it shows Mötley Crüe in all their glory, providing one hell of a story. Through The Dirt, we experience the incredible times they’ve shared together and it feels like you’re right there with them. The actors are superbly alike to Mötley Crüe themselves which makes The Dirt even more fantastic to watch.
Supersonic is a rockumentary film that takes us on the journey of Oasis’ immense rise to fame. It is incredibly interesting to watch. The whole concept is so well put together, I really got lost within it from start to finish. Supersonic is constructed beautifully through series of recorded footage and pictures dating back to the bands conception, which take us down the winding path of Oasis’ memory lane, with all of the twists and turns along the way making it a bumpy ride. We witness never before seen interviews and backstage footage which come together to create a remarkable picture of Oasis from the very beginning until now. I found this documentary film an absolute joy to watch, I learnt so much about Oasis and it gave me a far deeper insight than I’ve ever had before. This is definitely worth watching even if you’ve only heard the classic songs, as you’ll discover so much more about their personalities and their story.
3. Bohemian Rhapsody
This film is incredible. If you love the band Queen, or even if you don’t, then you still need to watch Bohemian Rhapsody. It is one of the most moving, powerful pieces of screenplay that I have ever seen, and captures front-man Freddie Mercury’s life exquisitely well. The actors that portray each member of Queen bear such an uncanny resemblance to them in real life. In particular the actor who plays Brian May looks so alike to him, that it led me to think they could actually be related. Everything about this film is phenomenal. It tells the story of how Queen became the band we know and love today, and follows their journey from formation to stardom, and the infamous Live Aid Concert. All whilst showing us glimpses of what we didn’t see before in their personal lives, which provides a fascinating insight into their existence, behind all of the fame. Bohemian Rhapsody is a glorious tribute to and celebration of Freddie Mercury’s life. Captured forever through film, which can be cherished for generations to come.
4. Rocket Man
Rocket Man soars into the stars, showing us the immense rise to fame of musician Elton John. I will warn you, the start of this film is VERY cheesy, as it follows the setup of any cliché musical, but please stick with it. I promise you, the film blooms to become something that will shake you to your very core as the story unfolds. Through a fantastic portrayal by actor Taron Egerton, Elton John allows us the privilege of an incredible look back at his life from childhood onwards. Rocket Man is a fiercely brave and bold film, that hides no aspect of the stars personality. Through Rocket Man, Elton John bares his all with us; from family quarrels, to his battles with substance abuse, and his private love life. The film is truthful and intriguing, and overall fascinating to watch. A celebration of his wonderful career, and life.
5. A Star Is Born
I know this film isn’t technically related to a real-life band or musician, but it does feature the incredible acting and vocal talent of Lady Gaga which I think is good enough to count. Although A Star is Born is fictitious, the story and message it conveys about the music industry is staggering. Particularly the pressures which artists can face. I would urge anyone who has a passion and love for music to watch this film, it embodies both dreams and nightmares that are very real within the industry. Asides from this, the story is also wonderful and romantic. A Star is Born follows the rise of Allie (Lady Gaga) to stardom after she meets a famous musician (Bradley Cooper) by chance, at a bar she sings in. The film features original songs performed by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper (who knew he could sing?) that are brilliant and the soundtrack to this film is amazing on its own. I adore A Star is Born, and could watch it over and over again, and never tire of it! I’d love to know what you think!
I hope you enjoy watching my film suggestions above. All of them are available for you to stream online!
Make sure to eat plenty of popcorn, and escape into another world, just for a little while.
Let me know if you adore any of the films I’ve mentioned, or if you have any music film suggestions for me, please let me know by leaving a comment below. I always love having new films to watch, especially if they’re about a band or musician.
A fresh burst of talent, Dan Burridge, is a young indie sensation and I absolutely adore his sound . He has a very distinct tone to his voice that you won’t be able to get enough of. I feel there is something unique about it that quickly sets him apart from others. I can picture him wrapped around a microphone, balancing off the edge of a stage, with a euphoric energy. Think an early edgy Alex Turner meets the indie pop-fizz of the likes of Declan McKenna. I have a strong inkling this guy will bring so much joy to a music hungry crowd.
‘Just Fooling Around’ is a single that will shake you up and make you feel good again. It possesses everything a great indie track should. A shredding guitar riff, a punchy bass, and a superb vocalist. I cannot big Dan’s vocals up enough on this track. Asides from that though, the instrumental backing to this song sounds tremendous, and it’s made me think that as well as being a solo artist, Dan could also slot perfectly into the role of front man in an indie-rock band if he so wished.
Previously Dan has gigged around South Wales playing acoustic sets, so ‘Just Fooling Around’ is our first taste of hearing him performing with a full band incorporated into the mix. Personally, I feel it suits him exceptionally well. Having that extra flair and spark to the music really drives not only his vocals, but his whole unique sound and style forward, and defines his music fantastically. I’ll be very interested to see how Dan develops musically, and would say he’s certainly a growing artist we should all keep in mind.
A new voice emerging in the Welsh music scene. Dark-pop artist Foxxglove has a gorgeous gift of allowing her accent to flow beautifully within her music. Embracing an alternative, grungy edge to both her vocals and overall style. Foxxglove’s unique persona really helps push her music forward, and showcases her as more than just your average pop act. There’s something so wonderfully different about her sound, and Foxxglove’s moody vibes within her music are entrancing.
Her latest single ‘City’ is a snapshot of her mind, embodying all of the feelings and emotions she experienced during a complicated and hurtful time in her life, inflicted on her by the cruel intentions of another. I find myself instinctively drawn to music within which an artist openly expresses themselves. Foxxglove certainly delivers this and more. ‘City’ is heartfelt and real. A peek through the window of her life and a very brave offering to her listeners. It is rarely an easy task to be completely bare and bold with self-expression, however Foxxglove’s canvass of reflection is wonderous to behold.
A brave new artist capable of unflinching honesty who is certainly worth listening to. Foxxglove has written and created a debut single that is completely captivating. Her voice is soothing but in no way shy, the Welsh lullaby tones I remarked upon earlier are present, but she has laced her vocal chords with a grit which tears through. There isn’t a single waiver, break, or lack of confidence present at all within her voice. This is boldly intriguing, especially given the raw nature of the lyrics. Any nerves she may hold close in everyday life seem to seep away when graced with her musical capabilities, and this is commendable.
Speaking about the track herself, Foxxglove exclaims ‘City is about the state of mind, and talks about my experience with moving from my hometown to the city. It’s about feeling hopeful and free but also lonely, it’s about finding yourself and not letting the past define who you are.’ City is enveloped by equally as moody guitar playing and backing tones which build up to the songs climatic chorus, in which Foxxglove’s freedom explodes both lyrically and vocally. The music video to accompany this single is also gorgeous, and suits the tone of the song so well.
‘City’ is a means of escapism for Foxxglove and the listener alike.
Music has been a saviour for so many. Now it is our turn to save music.
I don’t know where to start with this. All I know is that I hold an immense passion for music and I want to help in this pressing time. I hope that through writing, I will be able to do so.
Sadly, unless you have been living under a rock for the last few months, you will be more than aware of the current health crisis our world is facing. It is without doubt that this is a worrying and uncertain time for almost everyone, and honestly I am struggling to process it all myself. It feels as though we are in some dystopian universe. Unfortunately however, I am more than aware that this is indeed real. I am continually trying my best to remain positive amongst all of this chaos, but it isn’t proving to be an easy task.
Almost everywhere you look COVID-19, otherwise known as the Coronavirus, is being talked about. It has sent our world into a state of panic, and has had an impact on each of our day to day lives. In particular, a part of our world that I hold very close to my heart is being hit hard. The music industry, and at its very core, our independent venues and emerging musicians.
Many independent music venues exist as small businesses. With mass gatherings such as gigs being discouraged for the time being, they will struggle to survive. Recently many of them have made the completely selfless decision to close amid this health scare. They have put the health and safety of everyone above their businesses.
Other venues have no choice but to stay open, not for thoughtless reasons, but because heartbreakingly they have no other option for their future to remain intact. Officially the government haven’t yet forced music venues to close, which means that by closing, many will not be covered by insurance. They have been placed in a very awkward situation. Anger and vengeance are being directed towards venues if they close, and if they stay open, which is awful to witness.
Whether these venues close or stay open, is not what I want to dwell upon in this post, as I know this is currently a topic for debate. However, I urge that from reading this, you join myself and many others in helping to support these venues and emerging bands in whatever way we can. We are all music lovers, and when this all hopefully comes to an end, we have to ask ourselves – how will we feel if these venues cease to exist? Without venues there will be limited spaces for our emerging artists to flourish and we could lose a very big part of our culture too. That could be the harsh reality we are potentially looking at in the not so distant future.
Organisation such as the Music Venue Trust and Independent Venue Week are posting regular updates and information on how you can support venues at such a crucial stage. Each venue in your local area will also be keeping everyone up to date via social media too. It is worth keeping an eye on your favourite bands too, as they may be feeling a little lost, especially if they had a tour planned.
I have been scouring the internet and my brain for ways to help, and have compiled a little list of some ideas which we could try, to reach out and support music venues so that they remain loved and looked after during this difficult time. Likewise many bands have had their tours postponed too, so they will need lots of love and encouragement. Please use these tips for both.
♡ Follow, share and like their social media posts. Build up future audiences. Keep the momentum and love for live music going
♡ Look out for online gig streaming. Many local venues and bands are now looking towards this as an alternative to real life gigs
♡ Keep hold of tickets for shows that have been cancelled and rescheduled for a later date, instead of requesting a refund
♡ Sign the MVT Petition for our government to force music venues to close so that they will have further financial support
♡ If you can afford to and fancy an addition to your wardrobe, buy their merch. Many of your favourite music hubs have t-shirts and merchandise you may never have known about. Now is the time to look. Bands will have vinyls and all sorts online too, so check out their websites.
♡ Organise or contribute to a fundraiser, again this one is only if you are financially happy to. Don’t feel pressurised.
♡ Keep talking about our live venues, don’t let them fade away into the background. Future dates outside of March/April are still in place for now. Hype up your favourite bands and music venues on social media! They will still have tickets to sell online.
♡ Love and support one another. If you don’t agree with a venues choice to close or stay open, then sending a torrent of abuse their way certainly won’t help anything. Support and encourage bands to keep writing and recording songs. We will never stop listening.
Always be kind.
♡ Blast your favourite music out LOUD! By doing this you are also supporting musicians in a huge way! We may not be able to go to a gig, but we can cheer ourselves up all the same.
Music is a powerful message.
Basically I am of the belief that we’re better solving this together than apart, despite the social distancing of course. We’re all going to need each other in this situation. Music Venues, Venue Staff, Gig Promoters, Musicians… the list goes on. The Music Industry as a whole and fans alike, I’m talking to you. We all require our wonderful music community more so now than ever, so let’s remain a glorious crowd.
Music has been a saviour for so many. Now it is our turn to save music.
If you have any further suggestions on ways we can all help, please comment below. I kindly ask you to share this post far and wide.
Every Bad, Porridge Radio’s second album is in many ways their debut. Their previously quiet, bedroom recordings have paved the way by allowing them to flourish on stage. Captivating their audiences and myself. Their sound has blossomed into music so pure, lead singer and songwriter Dana Margolin’s voice is something I can only describe as incredible. No longer do Porridge Radio hide behind a hushed, whimsical ghost of their former sound. Today Porridge Radio are a reflection of the hurricane we behold on stage, and the storm is phenomenal.
Following their signing to Secretly Canadian, Porridge Radio have toured relentlessly, enabling their music to be heard across the globe, and in turn gaining a wave of new fans. I have been a fan of theirs for the last couple of years now and was lucky enough to see them first performing in a room of no more than 20 people. Dana’s voice captivated me then with intensely driven songs, and deep down I knew that one day the band may skyrocket. It looks as though that day has come.
‘Every Bad’ is in no uncertain terms, an exquisite album. The eccentrically beautiful collection of jarring songs, somehow compliment one another in the most gorgeous way possible. Lyrically each is home to their own unique message, but intertwine to become a screaming ode to and advocate of mental health, both for the individual and humanity as a collective.
Their album is raw and honest, nothing is hidden. We are graced with truths in their purest forms; hurt is shown to us, shame is shown to us, denial, loss, indescribable self loathing and agony are shown to us, however we are also gifted with self-belief, love, acceptance and strength. We as humans may hold anxiety, depression and worries inside of us, but Porridge Radio sing of how rather than constantly battling with these sufferings, we can learn to accept them, and how by doing so we are so incredibly brave.
Dana has written the album drawing vastly on her own experiences and emotions in life. This is what I believe gives ‘Every Bad’ an incredibly human aspect that can be clearly heard. There isn’t a single song that is anything short of mesmerising. Every detail knitted and woven into each has been carefully stitched, creating an album crafted to evoke feeling. The lyrics are haunting and resonate deeply. Sung with such passion that you are moved from within your very core. ‘Every Bad’ wraps itself around your heart, and lingers longingly in your mind.
Not a single fragment of Porridge Radio’s powerful live sound is lost within it. It is undeniable that as an album ‘Every Bad’ is groundbreaking, which I must confess was not a secret to me, as I could see that each single release alone was sensational. I have relished in and written about every offering we were provided in the lead up to this album release, and in many ways I feel that Porridge Radio have allowed us to travel on this journey with them. ‘Every Bad’ is an album that will hold different emotions and different outlooks for each listener. Although the musical and lyrical content of each song will not change, how we perceive it based on our own mindset will vary. Although do not believe that Porridge Radio do not know this. I firmly believe that the album was written for this very reason. ‘Every Bad’ is an experience of reflection, growth and acceptance for each listener it pours upon, from the start to the very finish. A gift in the form of unwavering, brutal honesty. What better way to experience such an intense emotional outpouring, than through the medium of music?
I have to echo my past thoughts, and say that my standout favourites on the album remain to be ‘Circling’ and ‘Sweet’. Circling for its unwashed beauty and clarity. The single is just homely to me and fills me with daydreams of the sea and becoming lost within my own thoughts, in a blessed way. Sweet is a favourite for its sheer impact and the intensity of it, the sound is hard-hitting and raw. Both songs possess the most captivating lyrics for different reasons. Circling embodies emotions such as love, longing and escapism, whereas Sweet draws on feelings of anger, confusion and denial, but in the end these emotions are relinquished and in time we perceive self-love and acceptance instead.
I was also pleasantly surprised to find a re-recorded version of an old favourite of mine, ‘Born Confused’, opening the album. This song was at home in my online music library for a while, until one day it disappeared. I was heartbroken at it being pulled, but believed it could be due to record label reasons. It was a joy to rediscover the song on ‘Every Bad’, with a slightly different sound but remaining still as mesmerising as ever. As is the same for the emergence again of older material, in the form of ‘Give/Take’ and ‘Don’t Ask Me Twice’, both of which Porridge Radio fans will already be familiar with.
This familiarity and inclusion of older material on the album, envelopes what I have been saying throughout. Porridge Radio are nothing if not true to themselves. Older songs have allowed them to bloom and remain a part of them. Therefore their places on the album are cherished nods to the bands past and I admire them greatly for this.
‘Every Bad’ is a journey for Porridge Radio and the listener alike. A kaleidoscope of emotions and feelings which can expand the horizons of your sight and sound, allowing for a sense of awakening. The album has been created using a variety of instruments and each song is curated with its own blend of music. The album pushes Porridge Radio to showcase every aspect of their incredible talent. This talent is always seen on the stage, but now it is in our hands. We can immerse ourselves in their glorious music whenever we need to.
This weekend, I returned to Tramshed in Cardiff, excited and ready to see my absolute favourite band again. There is always something so special about seeing Welsh indie rockers Trampolene on home soil, they have such a magical connection with the crowd, and in truth it is where you will see front man Jack Jones really thrive. His energy levels seem to peak, and chaos normally ensues. There is always a warmth and friendliness surrounding Trampolene, but at home this warmth glows to burning flames, and the band really catch on fire. This time around, Trampolene were set to support The Sherlocks, a band I have listened to but had yet to see live before, so I was curious to see what they were all about. Supporting The Sherlocks alongside Trampolene were fellow Welsh band Al Moses.
Al Moses took to the stage first and they were an exciting ball of energy. Very loud and very fast paced. Their music gripped the crowd and threw them full throttle into the evening. A young band with an old-school rock and roll twist to their edgy sound, I really enjoyed their set. Something that was cool and unique about this band was the way that they were able to switch between vocalists seamlessly, and also sing together without it having that boy band sound. Al Moses instead nip at the heels of indie rock greatness. A band with an awful lot of potential, I’d say they’re certainly ones to watch in the future, with their next gig in Cardiff taking place at Clwb Ifor Bach in April.
Next up were Trampolene, and I was beyond excited. In his abnormal fashion, Trampolene’s Jack Jones took to the stage in style. Sporting a fur jacket as per usual, this time his look was complete with a rather unusual coronavirus mask for protection from the crowd, given our current world health problems. Always at the centre of some kind of controversy is our beloved Mr Jones. After jeers from everyone it wasn’t long before Jack ripped the accessory from his face and thew it into the eagerly waiting crowd. Jack Jones germs obviously didn’t concern anyone, and if you thought that was the end to his antics, then you’d be wrong. As of course Jack had yet another trick up his sleeve for us. Or should I say, in his pants. Pretending as though he’d left his fly open, Jack proceeded to start pulling something out from his pants. Now before you stop reading, it’s not as naughty as I’m implying. Although I wouldn’t put that past him. It quickly became apparent that Jack had the welsh flag flying out from his fly. No Trampolene gig would be complete without a welsh flag appearing from somewhere or other. However maybe people didn’t expect one to be strewn at them from such an intimate area. That’s Trampolene for you though. Certainly not tame by any means. I rolled my eyes and smiled, as I know him well by now. I knew he couldn’t pass a home gig by without doing something special. That’s what makes me love them though. They’re unpredictable, far from boring and will do almost anything to bring fun and laughter to their fans. Their set hadn’t even started yet, and already the crowd were wild for them.
Trampolene revved up the stage by opening straight into It’s Not Rock & Roll. This song really gives any newbie a flavour of what Trampolene are all about, and allows Jack to prepare himself for the onslaught of You Do Nothing For Me and crowd favourite Alcohol Kiss. If you want to see any crowd come to life, it’s certain that this song will be the one to do it. As Alcohol Kiss blared out, Trampolene’s true spirit and madness took hold. It was at this point that I realised there certainly were a number of people in the room, who were only there for one reason, as was I. Trampolene had dedicated fans present and they were clear to spot. I was lucky enough to have secured my space in front of Jack, and despite a boisterous fan attempting to move me, it wasn’t happening. I can hold my own in a Trampolene gig, that’s for sure.
Scattered in amongst their favourites, Trampolene also shared some new songs with us, which were amazing to hear. Different to what I expected, the sound is more calmer than their usual style but certainly catchy, and I’m sure I will love them just as much. I was certain that Trampolene gained a few extra fans that night, as I heard someone to the side of me exclaim with glee “What band was that?!” Trampolene’s fun energy was certainly contagious and it was fantastic to see them again.
Following Trampolene’s set the music from the speakers started up again. Indie bangers from the likes of Arctic Monkeys, Gerry Cinnamon and Catfish and the Bottlemen sent younger fans into meltdown as they danced and sang loudly in their groups. Yet again Trampolene had the satisfaction of knowing they’d turned what was a relatively calm crowd into chaos, and I’m sure Jack, Wayne and Jay were smiling as they watched from the balcony. Spotted with the falling pint which soaked those below, typical Trampolene.
As I wasn’t sure what to expect from The Sherlocks, I decided to move to the side shortly before their set began to let someone else get closer to the front instead. As The Sherlocks took to the stage, their professionalism was clear to see. They greeted their crowd politely and began their performance amongst the cheers. I listened and watched intently. Waiting for a killer song or a burst of energy to really kick this set into life. Those around me were singing and smiling. Unfortunately though, I have to say that I found myself underwhelmed. The night had so much energy and so much potential, but I just didn’t enjoy the music as much as I wanted to. There was no doubting that as a band they are talented and clearly adored by their fans, but I found that each song blended into the next. Which was a shame. There just wasn’t that spark there to really excite me. I found myself feeling slightly dazed and lost, the stage was washed in bright neon lights which made the band hard to see, and I wished I hadn’t moved. I wondered, maybe if I had remained in the heart of the crowd, would I have appreciated them more?
The Sherlocks have clearly toured a great deal, I could see it reflected in their clean-cut show. There are no stumbles, or mess ups in their playing. All of that character must have been ironed out in their early days, and personally I’d love to see a little bit of it brought back. There was barely any crowd interaction, and I’d have really liked to see more of their personality shine through. If I had been a long standing fan of their music who had grown with them, then I’m sure I would be writing a more positive review as I’d have experienced those crazy days with them. As a newbie to their live shows now though, I’d say that asides from their music and a fantastic Beatles cover mid-set, there isn’t a lot else on offer, and it makes me sad to write that. They played their instruments well and sang, and that was about it.
Undoubtedly there were a great number of people there who were enjoying the set, and their style of music was clearly appreciated by their fans. However being someone who only knew a handful of songs, there just wasn’t that onstage presence to carry me through to saying this was an amazing gig. I strive to be honest with my writing, and I didn’t feel that they utilised the stage to its full potential, which meant their performance fell rather flat for me. Given the crowd, genre, and previous support acts, I expected a rowdy gig, but this just wasn’t delivered. The Sherlocks today are the perfect indie poster boys, their performances are respectful and composed, and I do admire their ability to deliver a show that their fans still love, without any theatrics. It just wasn’t love at first sight for me though.
If I’m being honest and fair to The Sherlocks, I think in my eyes any band performing after Trampolene would have had a job to really impress me. Trampolene are an enigma and so lively on stage, I think this is part of the reason why The Sherlocks performance didn’t make me scream with happiness. Overall I really enjoyed the night though, the gig provided me with a great Saturday night out, and I always enjoy visiting Tramshed.
I hope you can respect my honesty here. I’d never want to hurt a band as I know how hard they all work and I appreciate that massively, but I cannot write a glowing review when I was not set alight. I’d love to see The Sherlocks really have fun and enjoy being on stage again!
Since becoming more involved in my local music scene than ever before, I have been introduced to an expansive array of musical genres and styles. It has been no secret that I am a lover of indie rock music and that type of sound. However, I am not ignorant to other genres, and given the chance, will always consider and explore new music in whatever format it may be. Whether I like it or not, would be a personal preference. However shaking my music tastes up has always been intriguing to me. Therefore, when I had the chance to attend the Horizons variety gig as a part of IVW. It was a chance for me to see an array of talented musicians and performances, outside of my usual go to indie rock bracket.
One of the bands I was lucky to catch that night, were Codewalkers. A reggae, rap and rock fusion, mashed together to create an immersive, fresh and exciting sound that explodes during their live performances. Codewalkers absolutely blew the room up that night, with their energetic and vibrant set. This band commanded their crowd brilliantly well and got everyone dancing and enjoying themselves in no time, including myself. No matter what style of music you’re in to, I challenge you to watch Codewalkers live, and not end up having a smile on your face.
Codewalkers pick-a-mix style of music is superb to behold, and their personalities shine through beautifully. I always love watching a band with such character and passion performing. Codewalkers bring fun, laughter and an insane amount of energy, which shed a different light on rap, reggae and hip hop for me. They infused the genres with rock and electro-pop, creating a blend of music to suit almost everyone they possibly could.
Their latest single remix is a different take on their 2019 track Roadman. The single remix was born from a collaboration with New York Producer, King Ital Rebel. Originally hailing from Jamaica and working on a number of reggae tracks, Ital was the perfect match for Codewalkers front man Seun Babatola who has roots in Nigeria, their musical styles compliment one another and they had a lot of fun working on this latest single release.
With the remixed version of Roadman, Codewalkers are delving further again into their expansive genre collection, this time taking on the popular dancehall style, with touches of dub thrown in. Whilst I appreciate this style of music is on the rise, it is still very new to me. I can say that the sound is different and certainly interesting, but I won’t embarrass myself by attempting be the expert on it.
I’ll let you discover Codewalkers energetic sound on their latest single for yourself, if you like it, please let me and them know! The original Roadman track is definitely worth a listen too, personally I prefer this track as I’m not a huge fan of dance music. However, I can say with certain assurance that Codewalkers are definitely something special to behold live. If you get the chance, definitely go and check them out.
Codewalkers Remix of Roadman feat. King Ital Rebel is available for you to steam on all platforms NOW!
Today is International Women’s Day. A day on which everything about our female personalities, spirit, nature and beauty in whatever form it may be, is celebrated across the globe. A day for women to support, empower and encourage one another, and take action for gender equality, whilst celebrating our achievements.
I am choosing to celebrate incredibly talented women in music today. I have chosen to celebrate these women because they have encouraged and inspired me over the years with their music. Each one is beautifully talented in their own rights and I hope they will empower you with their music too.
Soft dreamy vocals, with lyrics to give strength to any woman. Phoebe does not shy away in expressing her feelings through her music. Phoebe Green self-released her debut album 02:00am, with songs written at just 16 years of age. Phoebe encapsulates raw, honest truths and emotions within her music. Exploring every aspect of our personalities, by sharing her own experiences with us. Her lyrics speak of the frailty of heart and mind. As Phoebe’s music is so open and honest, we are entrusted with a true reflection of her inner most thoughts, and the bravery in which she has freely shared these with us, is truly commendable and inspiring. Phoebe’s songs have accompanied me through many a sleepless night, and I’d like to thank her. Songs which can reverberate with anyone who has ever loved and lost someone, gifted to us through a kaleidoscope of emotional outlooks. Her music encourages us all to feel what we are within our every rights as women to feel. I hope you can find both bravery and solace within Phoebe Green.
Raw, powerful and beautiful in her uniqueness. Dana is an exquisitely gorgeous and strong woman, evoking such passion and strength with her music. A singer and songwriter who possesses the ability to silence a room with her voice alone. Dana is the lead vocalist of band Porridge Radio, who thrives on stage. What was initially a bedroom project for her, she has nurtured and flourished into an internationally recognised, emerging band. Within merely a few years, Dana has had her band signed and they have toured across the UK, with an upcoming tour in the US due very soon. Dana has one of the most incredible voices I have ever heard; she is able to sing with softness in one breath and then absolutely scream her vocals out from her very core, with pure strength and passion in the next. As a lyricist Dana is remarkably brave in writing about fragile topics, and expressing them fearlessly within her music, she delivers her lyrics with unrelenting power. Vocal and lyrically Dana complementing one another to create music that is unquestionably beautiful, and a true reflection of herself.
True bravery. A female soul who is braver than any I have encountered before. Alice Boman hides nothing within her lyrics, her heart is laid out bare for us all to behold. Unwavering honesty and clarity exists within her music. Every intimate detail of her love, every pain, hurt and agonised thought she has suffered, is naked in front of us. Alice expresses heartbreak in its purest form. Women are deep and emotional creatures, we may hide this with a strong outer shell, but inside we are soft and often wounded. Alice Boman has no outer shell, her music is women truly as we are. Nothing is buried within her, Alice is open and exposed, showing us the strength within her emotions. A Swedish born singer, her music has no language barriers, with Alice’s exposed truths and honesty that are woven within her songs, having attracting fans from across the globe. A musician who can resonate hauntingly with anyone who has ever experienced any form of longing. Her vulnerability is what makes her, in my eyes, one of the most talented song writers and performers I have ever discovered.
With beauty in her wilderness, Kate Stables is a force of nature to be reckoned with. A multi-instrumentalist and vocalist, who shines on stage with her raw lyrics and mesmerising vocals. Kate Stables blooms within many musical projects and features, however her home is within her finest creation, the diverse indie-folk This is the Kit. Free spirited, weathered and gorgeously flowing, Kate Stables capabilities seem endless, as though she is a waterfall forever flowing out to sea. A fascinating female icon, who is an inspiration to bohemian and earthly spirits. Kate has acquired a dedicated following, by entrancing them with her gorgeous vocals and instrument playing. Kate’s strength lies within her personality and her music, which entwine together to become her. Mesmerising as a lyricist and as a performer, it becomes quickly apparent that Kate’s music is an expression of her soul, and a platform for her to celebrate those around her, as freely as herself.
A rock and roll icon, and strength in its ultimate form. Amy Taylor is a powerhouse of raw female sexuality, who fronts one of the craziest, most energetic punk bands of our time, Amyl and The Sniffers. Amy expresses herself as sheer strength and bravery, proving that female equality is certainly something we are capable of achieving. Amy is an inspiration to any and all women, no matter what your music tastes may be, as she is not shy in being who she truly is. Amy is a captivating and unbelievably talented front woman, who can command a crowd in the most beautiful way I have ever seen. A woman who has the strength to take on the world on stage, is wrapped within a beautiful soul, with such a charm and girlish nature. Overlapping female clichés of girlish norms with tomboy fierceness, Amy thrives in being herself, and makes no apologies for it. An example for many women in music to follow.
Why I am celebrating these women, is not only for their vocal or musical capabilities alone. I hope it has become clear that I am celebrating them for their strength, for their unwavering bravery in their lyrics, and their unflinching honesty in truly expressing themselves through their music. These women have all shown incredible determination in sharing with us something they have worked so hard for. If you are reserved about your talents and worried about what others may think, seek inspiration from these powerful female figures. I myself hid from writing for years over concerns of having lost my capabilities, and worrying what others might think of me. I was scared at being laughed at. However, for the most part now I have found strength in putting those fears aside. I’ve combined my love for music, with something that has swelled within my heart for as long as I can remember. Writing has always been my true calling in life, and I am proud that through music, I have been able to realise that again. I hope you to can be brave and be who YOU truly are as women and men alike, don’t hide away anymore. Find your strength, and showcase your talents.
Just Drive are a brand new rock band emerging from Bridgend, in South Wales. Their music comprises of heavy guitar riffs and fast paced, hard hitting vocals. Their latest single ‘Something For The Weekend’ caught my attention within the first 5 seconds of hearing it. The intro knocked me off my feet and I’m sure it will do the same thing to you too. Definitely something to get excited about. If you’re a fan of bands like Saytr Play and The Himalayas then Just Drive will be right up your street.
‘Something For The Weekend’ is an incredibly catchy new single, and quickly becomes one of those songs that gets stuck in your head, in the best way possible. The lyrics aren’t too intense but instead tell the tale of a reckless drunken night out, from booze to lust and every thing in between. All twisted together with just the right amount of bass, guitar and drum playing that really packs a punch. The instruments blare in perfect harmony with the vocals, which really gives this song a bite you can’t shake off.
I always love supporting new and emerging bands, but this band are really ones that I couldn’t believe I was actually lucky enough to be hearing this early on in their musical career. Just Drive only formed as a band in late 2018, and so far they have already supported well-known band Mallory Knox and performed on stages such as the 02 in Birmingham, as well as playing a string of local shows. I have a feeling it won’t be long until this band are headlining for themselves. Indie rock and rock music is growing phenomenally well, and there is definitely a slot for Just Drive on my radar.
Just Drive are made up of lead vocalist Ryan David, who also plays rhythm guitar for the band. Christian Bowen is on lead guitar. Daniel Goodall plays bass. Lastly, completing the lineup is James Orwin on Drums, who also provides backing vocals for the band.
Just Drive although just starting out, are certainly not a band to be underestimated by any means. I firmly believe, along with the likes of Indie Pulse, Mystic Sons and BBC Radio’s Adam Walton that the four-piece have a brilliant career ahead of them. Local radio stations are already sitting up and noticing them, as are newspapers. The band have also had airplay from the likes of BBC Wales and BBC Introducing.
Give their latest single ‘Something For The Weekend’ a listen and let me know what you think by leaving a comment below or by tweeting me @beckyandtheband.
Circling is beautiful, raw and emotional, and what pours from it is nothing shy of exquisite.
With their album ‘Every Bad’ due to be released next week, Porridge Radio have shared another new single with us today, as anticipation builds. I have been eagerly awaiting their album release for a long time, purely for one song alone. That song was shared with us today and with it, I was awash with a tidal wave of emotion. I completely adore ‘Circling’, having heard it live for the first time last year. I became obsessed from the very start. Having held my live recording dearly for such a while, to finally hear the studio recorded version was completely mesmerising.
I look at this song through two channels. When I’m struggling I can see it through the eyes of someone with thoughts swirling and rattling through their brain, desperately reassuring themselves that everything is ok. Nothing is wrong, everything is fine. In repeating waves with increasing intensity, swaying with desperation in the longing for everything to actually be ok. When I am happy and content, this song is safety, a comfort blanket and homely, and I love it dearly. The song reminds me of summer and happiness, of being wrapped in the arms of the person I adore. When I listen to the lyrics I am content and safe, and nothing is wrong and everything is fine.
Isn’t it peculiar, how we can perceive songs differently depending on our state of minds, our moods and our feelings. This is honestly what I believe Dana and Porridge Radio have tuned into. Their songs are deep swells of heart wrenching emotion, happy and sad, in equal measures. The songs are an ode to and an advocate of mental health, and are deeply rooted in both emotional agony and emotional wellbeing. Porridge Radio sing in lulls suffering and recovery, and it is honestly glorious to behold. Lyrically and vocally the band are absolutely blooming in the most beautiful way. Each time I’ve seen them they just get better and better. Dana’s voice is unbelievable, a beacon of passion and power, that delivers her message in the most sublimely gorgeous setting.
Through Instagram, Dana describes the song, ahead of their upcoming album release. ‘A lot of the songs on Every Bad are centred around the sea, and Circling was one of the last songs focused on water that I wrote about for the album. I was thinking on the idea of willing things to be ok by repeating that they are, because I need them to be. I tried to follow the flow of waves, and how they keep coming in endlessly, washing everything away, without judgement, and then bringing it back again.’
Usually in my single reviews I will tear a song apart, dissecting it piece by piece, and share with you its sound, style and everything in between, but honestly I don’t feel that is needed here. Circling is beautiful, raw and emotional, and what pours from it is nothing shy of exquisite. Both your heart and your mind are invoked and awakened, as the tide rushes in.
We all need to go inside the sea sometimes.
If you doubt me, listen for yourself.
Porridge Radio’s album‘Every Bad’ is due to be released on 13th March.
See Porridge Radio perform for yourself at one of the following dates (or all of them):
Panic Shack absolutely rocked Clwb Ifor Bach with an immense performance.
On what was possibly the most chaotic night of weather this year, Clwb Ifor Bach was gearing up for its most chaotic gig. Smashing into the music scene last year, PanicShack have quickly made a name for themselves and are storming Cardiff with their live music. Following the recent release of their debut single ‘Who’s Got My Lighter?’ next up for Panic Shack was their very first headline show, and to say I was excited would be a major understatement. Battling through the rain, I made my way to Clwb Ifor Bach, fuelled by the swirling storm and adrenaline. For this sold out gig, we were all going to be packed into the downstairs room of Clwb, which I knew would provide such an intimate gig experience. Perfect for Panic Shack.
I walked in just as first support The Mudd Club were starting their set. A punk-rock wonder to behold, lead singer Sadie was a gothic dream with fired up vocals that charged their music. I was really impressed by their sound, and even more so when I spotted their drummer. For his age this young man is insanely talented, and insanely cute too. I would describe The Mudd Club as a blend between an early Siouxsie and The Banshees meets Joan Jett. Listen to them live, and I’m sure you will see what I mean. The crowd quickly gathered as their music filled the downstairs room of Clwb, and already I could see that people were dancing and enjoying the evening. The Mudd Club were a fantastic first support, who ramped up the night with their punk-rock energy. Little did I know, they are actually siblings, which makes this band even more heartfelt and special in my opinion.
Next up, were Grandma’s House. A band that completely blew me away. I didn’t expect the sound I heard from them at all, but it was such an intensely riveting surprise. Lead Singer Yas posseses a deep coarse grit within her vocals, that tears apart your senses and enthrals you in their music. This contrasts beautifully with the vocals of drummer Poppy, adding a slight sweetness to this heavy punk infusion. The trio blend together with shredding guitar riffs and drums to provide a truly unique sound, that is unlike anything I have ever heard before. For this alone, I would say they are worth seeing live as they really will scorch themselves into your brain and leave you wanting to know more about them. Their appearance did not match their sound at all, so in this case I would say never to judge a book by its cover is certainly a statement to uphold. It was their first live performance in Cardiff last night, and the trio hail from Bristol, but hopefully they will be back on Welsh soil very soon.
The atmosphere in Clwb was electric at this point. The downstairs room was packed from wall to wall, and there was so much laughter and energy present. Whilst waiting for Panic Shack to perform I caught up with Minty from Minty’s Gig Guide, and lovely readers of my blog Sarah and Louise who came over to say hello and watch the gig with me, which was so incredibly kind and sweet. I know I say it a lot, but honestly it really does mean the absolute world to me that you are taking the time to read my writing. I love getting to meet you when I’m at gigs, so please if you see me out and about, don’t be afraid to cover over and say hello.
It wasn’t long before our headliners Panic Shack took to the stage. At this point, the crowd went wild. It was clear that there was such an overwhelming amount of love for them squeezed into that room, and they are so deserving of it. Panic Shack’s fantastically fun, tongue in cheek lyrics and catchy music brings so much happiness and excitement to wherever they perform, it really is uplifting to witness. The first time I saw them when they supported Amyl and The Sniffers in November, they brought the night alive for the crowd and me, with an exhilarating burst of energy from their wonderful persona. With an amazing atmosphere from the start of their headline set, it was no surprise that the crowd swirled and drank in the madness from the get-go. It wasn’t long before I spotted the first crowd surfer, and with craziness and glee we all danced and sang.
Panic Shack’s music is energetic-punk, consisting of humorous spoken dialogue wrapped within their songs. You feel as though you’re in that dodgy party, drinking that cheap Lambrini right there with them, as they slur and chant their chaotically fun stories back to us all. Each band member in their own rights is such an essential part of this band, that I cannot imagine Panic Shack ever existing without any one of them. They are not only friends, but give out vibes of a family. With their inseparable bond and onstage presence that is so infectious within the crowd, you feel as though you’re a part of Panic Shack too.
A fabulously fun band, that take the seriousness out of the Punk genre, by injecting vibrance and colour. With their quirky style and welcoming approach, they’re a band you can’t help but want to be friends with. Panic Shack treated us to songs such as Jujitsu Bitch, The Ick and a song all about a Tesco Meal Deal, which made everyone laugh. Lead singer Sarah reckons you can know a lot about a person by their meal deal choices, and being honest it’s probably true. The band involved the crowd by asking what’s your favourite sandwich, side and drink. For anyone curious, I’m a chicken and sweetcorn kind of girl. Needless to say though, it’s these fantastic silly little touches that make Panic Shack so brilliant and special. So many bands are agonisingly serious, but Panic Shack can laugh at themselves and have fun. Which believe it or not is a rare quality. In my eyes, and many others, this makes a Panic Shack gig an instant hit with any crowd.
To close their show, Panic Shack absolutely rocked Clwb Ifor Bach with an immense performance of their debut single, ‘Who’s Got My Lighter’. This song has always been a crowd-favourite at a Panic Shack gig, but this time there was an insane amount of energy from both the band and their audience. Honestly the place exploded. I can’t even describe how amazing it was. I could feel the floor moving beneath my feet, as the crowd went mental for this screamer of a song. Panic Shack gave it their all, blaring vocals into the crowd and playing their instruments wildly. The room swallowed the song up and the band and the crowd were at one. It was magical to be a part of.
There was no shadow of a doubt that an encore would be demanded, and our pleas were answered with a cover of a Jaxx song. As an added bonus we also had a guest drummer for this one, as Tom from Buzzard Buzzard Buzzardburst on to the stage out of nowhere, after Panic Shack asked if there were any drummers wanting to play. For one, I didn’t know he could play drums, and two he’s a very good drummer also. Seeing his face beam across the stage made me so happy, as you know I adore Buzzard’s music so this was such a nice surprise. A Panic Shack and Buzzard combination was truly dreamy.
The set came to an end, and I can honestly say no one wanted it to end, as hardly a soul left the room once the gig finished. Panic Shack had absolutely smashed their headline gig, and it was so lovely to have been there and seen it for myself. I’m sure this will be a gig in a few years time, that I look back on and think ‘Wow, I can’t believe I was lucky enough to see their first headline gig, look at them now.’ I am certain that Panic Shack are going to completely dominate live music, as they are already in my eyes. If you are yet to see Panic Shack live, you can catch them along with Buzzard at G39 in Cardiff for The Rat Trap closing party on 28th March, shortly after this they are also supporting fellow-punks Talk Show in venues across Wales. I will link the tour posters and tickets below for you if you want to grab them whilst you can. I just wanted to say a special thank you to the lovely Emily from Panic Shack who went out of her way to say hello and give me a hug last night. Panic Shack were the band that first inspired me to write on my very first blog post, and they have been so incredibly supportive since. It was very special for me to see them performing their first headliner last night, like I said, they really are not only wonderfully talented but are so friendly and such a lovely band too. Congratulations on a truly special gig, Panic Shack.
Following the release of their debut album in November of last year, TJ Roberts are a band on the rise. Breaking out of Cardiff’s thriving music scene, TJ Roberts mash up indie and rock to create their own truly unique sound. Championed by Libertino Records who also support award-winning Welsh band, Adwaith. TJ Roberts are certainly in safe hands, and I have no doubt that their growth as a band will be sublime.
‘True Secret to a Happy Life’ is the first of many new songs that we can expect to be released by TJ Roberts this year. It is also anticipated that these songs will culminate to form an upcoming second album release for 2020, which is seriously impressive considering their first album came out just 3 months ago. This makes TJ Roberts a hot new band that you’ll certainly want to keep your eyes on over the next few months.
Their latest single begins with a steady guitar riff that captures your attention from the offset. We are then met with a head-banging indie song that progresses in really drawing you in. You’ll be singing it in the shower, humming it at your desk in work and blaring it out of your car windows in no time, I assure you. The verses are charged with varying vocal and instrument tempos that really make your ears prick up, and clearly emphasise the capabilities of lead singer Tom, as well as the rest of the band. With a catchy chorus to follow, it’s honestly difficult not to like this song.
Lyrically, I got the initial impression that the songs delves into relationship issues and how they can affect an individual over a long period of time, however as the song develops I believe the lyrics delve into the bigger picture, as though these problems are a reflection on our current society at large.
The single is a brilliant new offering from TJ Roberts, after what has been a period of change and transition for them. ‘True Secrets to a Happy Life’ has given us a wonderful flavour of what we can expect from their album next release.
I have yet to see TJ Roberts perform live, but I’m sure that if not already, then following this new single they are not only on mine, but also many others’ radar.
‘True Secret to a Happy Life’ is available to stream on all platforms NOW
You can catch TJ Roberts performing live on the following dates:
A synthy pop swirl, that first struck me as being nostalgic and dream-like. The song is one that I quickly found myself becoming lost in.
Led by singer and multi-instrumentalist Alex McConnachie. Twin Stranger are an emerging indie-pop band from South Wales.
Initially a bedroom recording project started by Alex, to become Twin Stranger as we know them today, Alex enlisted his brother Liam, as well as friends, Josh Newington on bass, Joe Tobin on keyboards and drummer Eric Karvik.
Twin Stranger have started out performing across South Wales, and the South West. I was lucky enough to catch them supporting Apostle recently in Cardiff, and was overjoyed to hear their unique sound, which blossomed in confidence as their set progressed. For a young, new emerging band, Twin Stranger certainly left an impression on me, and I found myself eager to hear more.
‘Tears of Joy’ is their debut single, released today. A synthy pop swirl, that first struck me as being nostalgic and dream-like. The song is one that I quickly found myself becoming lost in. The lyrics reflecting memories and daydreams, are encapsulated gorgeously by Alex’s soft but charged vocals, with the buzz of the guitar, drums and keyboard ensuring you stay awake. The single is a tune which you can dance to, all whilst being lost in flashbacks of your life. Scorching images of a breezy, summers day drive, with the windows rolled down, suits this song perfectly in my eyes.
Speaking of their debut release, lead singer Alex expresses that “Tears of Joy was written from the point of view of a couple in the not so distant future, looking through a scrapbook of their lives with fond but hazy distant memories of first loves and exploring the world together. It’s about not taking things for granted, what might seem like the mundane 9-5 grind now, could turn out to be some of the best moments of your life. It’s about not wishing those moments away.”
Twin Stranger have sought influence from the likes of seventies Big Pop, and nineties Stereolab. For a modern comparison though, I would say they are a mixture of Mayday Parade meets Barns Courtney, with just a little hint of Cavetown. Through their live shows I saw soothing, sad emo-pop ballads, but debut single ‘Tears of Joy’ has hurtled me into the realms of English-American Barns Courtney, with it’s synthy-alternative twist. Cavetown is simply a mirror image of the incredible talent showcased within their youth.
Twin Stranger are a band you need to get to know.
You can stream their debut single ‘Tears of Joy’ on all platforms now.
To read my live review of Twin Stranger at their gig with Apostle, click here.
Usually on my blog, you will see me reviewing gigs from emerging bands in smaller venues. Here is my first take on an arena gig review, and what other band to break that in, than The 1975.
The 1975, led by frontman Matty Healy, are passionate about not only music and their fans, but about the world we live in, and a multitude of related important topics. A band that voice their concerns via their music and use their platform to harness change for the better. Their headline set at Reading last year allowed them to express great concern over global warming, in collaboration with young climate change activist Greta Thunberg. The 1975 are a band, but they’re a band that care, as well as enjoying their rock and roll lifestyle too of course.
I have seen The 1975 before in Cardiff, however on that occasion I was stood so far at the back of the room I couldn’t see a thing that was happening on stage. This time around, I was determined to be closer to the front. Arriving at the Motorpoint Arena, I made my way to the side of the stage. Thankfully, to my relief my view was incredible. I couldn’t believe my luck.
The atmosphere whilst waiting for the band to come on was electric. The 1975 have a dedicated fan base, who love their music and them wholeheartedly. There was such giddy excitement filling the room. When lights out came, the darkness ensued a wave of screaming.
The 1975 stormed on to the stage, with a blaring opening of their latest debut single People. The heaviest and fastest paced of their offerings to date, it charged the crowd ready for the rest of the set. With the band on stage, the arena was more alive than ever, it was busy but the atmosphere never faltered.
Matty introduced himself and the band to us before delving into the second song, one of their very first hits, Sex. A classic, that will always be loved by fans. I absolutely adore hearing this song live, as it’s one where not a soul in the room mistakes the lyrics, everyone sings back to the band in harmony and it really brings home why we all love The 1975 so much. Their controversial lyrics and catchy melodies make for fantastic music.
The set continued as Matty danced his way through song after song. The 1975 have a way of producing singles that are instant hits, and this is apparent when you watch them performing live. Popular songs such as Chocolate, Give Yourself A Try, and Somebody Else made everyone dance and sing along with him. It was overwhelming to see just how many singles The 1975 have that are so popular and loved by myself and fellow fans, spanning across all three of their existing albums. Newest singles from their upcoming fourth album, including Me and You Together Song and Birthday Party also went down immensely well with the crowd.
As a treat, Matty and The 1975 also decided to play some of their older songs, such as Undo and Me. Some of these, people clearly never expected to hear live, as cheers reverberated around the room at the announcement they would be played. Matty himself admitted he wasn’t sure how performing them live was going to go. There was no mistaking though, that their older songs proved to be as loved now as they were back then.
On the other end of the spectrum, The 1975 also played us unreleased songs from their upcoming album Notes on a Conditional Form, which is due in April. One song which I believe is called Guys, included a gorgeous montage video played across the screens behind the band. It featured their own recorded clips of them throughout their life as a band. We saw a very young Matty, George, Ross and Adam through their own eyes. It was such a lovely song, with touching lyrics, that really resonated through the crowd.
As well as performing their songs on stage, there was a moment where Matty asked for complete silence from the audience. We were played their spoken track recording, entitled The 1975, which features climate change activist Greta Thunberg, whom I mentioned previously. The track expresses deep concerns over climate change, and played out to the audience, stressed how we can all make a difference and help stop global warming. In an arena environment which is usually chaotic and loud, it was emotional to see everyone completely silent and respectful of what was being shown to them. The recording being played during the gig expressed to me that The 1975 care enough to voice their concerns clearly. The issue was not woven into lyrics and played via a song during the set. Instead the band chose to set aside a portion of their performing time, to highlight extreme worries and fears, which are fundamentally important. The 1975 have a young following, and their urge for us to help in any way we can, was clearly manifested. Everyone listened.
After the spoken segment finished, the set continued with The 1975s rebellious track Love It If We Made It, which tied in brilliantly. The track is an anthem of non-conformance to society as we know it. The band came back with a fresh energy, and threw everyone into the moment and into the music. The 1975 really had made an incredible statement. Their performances were flawless, with Matty’s vocals proving to be as good if not better than the album standard. Regardless of them having toured relentlessly. Before Cardiff they had a run of two nights in London, Matty did admit the set list for Cardiff had to change slightly due to tiredness, but the band never wanted to let any fans down, and still delivered a beautiful show.
Asides from the music, The 1975 sent across a clear message regarding climate change, and spoke to their fans in a way that was different to any band I had seen before. The gig was moving and emotional, and it is undeniable that there is a huge amount of passion and genuine care driving this band forward. For every ticket sold on their tour, The 1975 have pledged that a tree would be planted for each one. Many criticise this band for their music and for mistakes they may have made in the past, but asides from all of that, for now and for the foreseeable future they are trying to make a difference to this world. For that alone they deserve a huge amount of respect and recognition.
The 1975 brought music and heart to Cardiff last night. Their performance was sublime, the stage aesthetics and lighting were as gorgeous as ever. Their love for performing and for their fans shone effortlessly. I absolutely loved seeing them live again. I heard songs I adore, sang, danced and had a brilliant time. A few of my favourite tracks even found their way onto the setlist, such as Robbers and I Always Wanna Die.
I also listened, took in a very important message and reflected as the night went on. Music is a message, and it is wonderful to see bands such as The 1975 using their platform for positive change. Music and political messages have gone hand in hand for decades, but in this day and age, The 1975 are really giving us something to wake up and think about.
Panic Shack are taking Cardiff’s live music scene by storm.
Oh my, am I excited to see that Panic Shack have released their debut single ‘Who’s Got My Lighter?’ A female-fronted punk band, packing a major amount of energy. It has been no secret that Panic Shack are taking Cardiff’s live music scene by storm. I assure you that it won’t be long until they are known across the UK and further still. I have had the pleasure of seeing them when they supported Amyl and The Sniffers in November, and they blew me away then.
Panic Shack possess an edgy but fun sound, with their play on lyrics. They don’t take themselves too seriously, which I love. A real down to earth band that are a lot of fun, all whilst being very talented too. ‘Who’s Got My Lighter?’ doesn’t hold back in showing us exactly what Panic Shack have to offer. Fantastic instrument playing with Sarah’s powerful vocals driving the song throughout. What’s not to like?
‘Who’s Got My Lighter?’ grabs your attention straight away with heavy drums and guitar playing. The song is cheeky and fun in its lyrical content, but is by no means a joke of a single. Panic Shack are seriously making a name for themselves, and they already have me as a fan that’s for sure. I cannot wait to see them on their upcoming headline show at Clwb Ifor Bach on February 28th. Panic Shack are also supporting fellow punk band Talk Show on their tour in March. You can catch them at Le Pub in Newport on 29th or at The Bunkhouse in Swansea on 30th March, besides other dates.
Panic Shack are definitely ones you need to watch, trust me.
So, last night I had the incredible privilege of attending The Brit Awards with my best friend Charlotte. We were lucky enough to nab tickets as a result of Charlotte winning a competition, and she wanted me to go with her! After I was told the good news, I was completely overwhelmed and excited about the prospect of heading to London to attend this incredible awards night. We didn’t have long to plan everything so we booked the most affordable hotel we could find near the 02 and booked the mega bus to take us from Cardiff to London. This would be the first time either of us had attended such a well known, famous event. The build up to going alone was surreal, and even as I was packing to take things with me, it still didn’t sink in that this was actually happening. Going to The Brits was something that before I had only ever dreamed about, and to think that soon it would be a reality was completely crazy but so exciting.
The night before we were due to leave, Charlotte stayed with me and we had a typical girls pamper night, making sure our outfits were as perfect as they could be, painting our nails, and preening our skincare routines, as you do. We were both so eager to go, that concentrating on anything other than London and The Brits was impossible. Both of us felt as though we were in another world that evening.
The next morning, following a short train journey to Cardiff and breakfast, we were eagerly awaiting our mega bus to pick us up and take us to London. The journey went by in an ecstatic blur. Normally, a long bus journey would leave me tired but not this time, as we approached the capital, I could feel adrenaline building inside of me. We were in London, this was real, this was happening.
Arriving into Victoria Coach Station, we made our way to the tubes, catching the DLR to our hotel in Woolwich. I think catching the tubes has always been one of my favourite parts about London. I know it is cliché and I probably sound like such a tourist, but there’s just something so fun about taking the tube around the city centre over any other means of transport. It’s a novelty for me.
Arriving at our hotel, we were both on such a high. Getting ready is always the best part of any night out, let alone when you know you’re getting ready to go to The Brits. I’m not a super glam person, no matter how hard I try to be, so I opted for a lacy black skirt and a little black top, with my statement chunky boots for my outfit. All wrapped up with a black leather jacket of course. Heels, although appropriate for The Brits, are really just not me. On a night which I knew was going to be one of the most memorable and coolest of my life, I decided I wanted to be comfy and enjoy myself, rather than worrying over my feet being in agony all night with burning stilettos. In my case, beauty is certainly not pain.
I was pleased I’d actually pulled off looking as glam as was suited to me, without losing the little bit of flair and spark that makes me myself. Charlotte has her own unique style too, and she showcased that in a gorgeous floaty black tutu, with a slinky lace bralette. Getting ready to our beloved music, a few pre-drinks and laughter. We swirled and danced our way around our hotel room, until time danced away from us. Always fashionably late, we cut it fine to get from our hotel to meet the competition representatives at the 02. It was fine though, don’t panic, we always do this to ourselves so we’re used to just rolling with it by now. Catching a taxi to the 02, thankfully the traffic was kind and our driver was an angel, dropping us as close as possible to our destination, in the chaos of London preparing for The Brits.
Getting out of our taxi, and making our way across to the 02, it was only then that it really sunk in with me that this was real. I was so excited I was shaking, and a smile beamed on my face. I’d never been to the 02 before so I didn’t know what to expect, but it was honestly amazing. The trees that flank the path on the walkway, are all lit up with fairy lights, and the venue stands proudly in the background. The 02 tent has become an iconic element of London’s skyline now, so to see it before our eyes was mesmerising. It was a gorgeous twilight too, so everything looked even more beautiful. The 02 was decorated for The Brits both outside and inside, with huge banners everywhere, and not to mention a red carpet to greet us.
Walking into the venue was absolutely mesmerising. I can’t tell you whether the 02 always looks that way, but it seemed to me that there was definitely something special about it that night. The red carpet was superb to walk down, and it really made us feel like celebrities, before we’d even witnessed the event. The atmosphere was electric. The bars and restaurants inside the 02 were full of life, with people drinking, laughing and enjoying themselves. Members of the production team, event coordinators and staff from the 02 and The Brits mingled in with the crowds. Everyone was eagerly anticipating the night ahead. We met with the representatives who handed us our tickets and told us to enjoy the night. With that we were left to our own devices which was lovely as we had space to do what we wanted. The reps told us we had good seats and to expect a surprise, little did we know how good it was all going to be.
After lingering around in the foyer and having our photographs taken against the Brits infamous backdrop. We made our way to the lounge where we were would await to be seated. We expected to be in a room full to the brim with other people, or shown to our seats hurriedly, but this was not the case at all. Instead, we saw the gate for our tickets was not on the floor where everyone else seemed to be heading to. Instead, we had to disembark the elevator early, and made our way on to a balcony, which had a private bar. Both of us were astonished, and for a puzzled second thought we may have stumbled into the wrong section, as the crowds continued to make their way up on the escalators, but as kind staff assured us we were in the right area and we settled in, to our amazement for an hour or so we had our own luxury area. The bar was huge, and the balcony overlooked the whole foyer of the 02. We stood with our drinks, just looking at eachother in disbelief that this was real. It felt so much like a dream.
We were on such a high. The euphoria spread through us both, how lucky we were to not only be attending The Brits, but to have this experience. I’d say that our time in that lounge, was as amazing as the show itself. It was so luxurious and sophisticated, as more people joined us in this little almost VIP area, it wasn’t long before we were able to take our seats for the evening.
Walking from the gate down the stairs of the 02, I almost felt my heart skip a beat. The seats weren’t just good, they were incredible. We were seated just above where the stage is, merely a few rows from the front. We could see the stage as clear as day to the left of us, and to the right were all of the circular tables, filled to the brim with celebraties. From where we were sat, we could clearly see celebrities such as Harry Styles, Paloma Faith and Lizzo at their tables, to name a few.
It was so bizzarely brilliant to have this behind the scenes peak that you don’t normally see on the television. The atmosphere is built up with loud music pumping through the arena, getting people in the mood to party as they take their seats. We are told to enjoy ourselves and have fun, with a countdown every so often of how long we have left before the show is aired live for the nation to watch at home.
The Brits began with such a vibrant introduction. Jack Whitehall hosted the 40th Show in his usual hilarious fashion, and we were thrown straight into the live performances. Vibrant pop songs from the likes of Mable and Lizzo blew up the stage in flashes of colour. Harry Styles and Lewis Capaldi brought slower, powerful performances, and I don’t think there was a dry eye in the room after Lewis had sung ‘Someone You Loved’. Stormzy and Dave graced us with fantastic rap and hip hop performances. As well as smooth, heart wrenching songs from Billie Eilish and Celeste. Honestly to be in the same room as all of these celebrities and to hear such an array of immensely talented individuals performing was completely mind-blowing. The energy in the room was monumental, and there were swirls of laughter and joy throughout the evening. Despite The Brits having such a high-profile and being televised, I was pleasantly surprised by how relaxed the atmosphere was. It is apparent when you’re there, watching everything unfold, how incredibly well organised and structured this event is. The whole night runs so smoothly, there is barely a hiccup. During the breaks where there would be adverts on television, in the arena we are still treated to further live performances and interviews between the stars and host Jack Whitehall that are so brilliantly relaxed and very funny. It’s wonderful to see all of the celebrities mingling with eachother, and there is so much fun to be had in going to The Brits. To be honest, you really do feel like a part of it. In the sense, that you’re more than just a spectator of a show. The audience are hugely encouraged to be involved throughout the night, in a way I didn’t realise before. The behind the scenes look is seriously impressive, you are treated like a VIP from the moment you arrive at the 02 and at no point did the evening ever fall short of my expectations.
The Brits is a fantastic celebration of music, conducted with the upmost professionalism, all whilst having such a captivating comedic element and charm about it. Being in the arena itself, you really are able to capture and behold the awkward human moments of the celebrities, as you see them stumbling from their seats to the stage to collect awards, those presenting the awards chatting to production staff whilst the nomination tapes are being played on screen, and people making their way off the stage in fabulous, flawed fashion. It brings home that despite the glitz and glam of The Brits, there is such a strikingly lovely human side to the show, that makes it so special.
Last but not least, the show was closed with a performance from Rod Stewart and Ronnie Wood, the chaos of the evening calmed down as the ceremony came to an end. The room started to empty, as we all poured into the nightlife of London. Myself and Charlotte were on a complete rush, the event we had waited for so eagerly was over, but we were left with memories and moments that we are to treasure for a lifetime. The buzz and absolute euphoria of being at The Brits was unlike anything I have ever experienced before. It wasn’t a gig, but it wasn’t an awards show either, it was something so much more special and magical. I am so grateful to Charlotte for taking me on the incredible journey with her. What a night we had!
If you follow me on my social media pages, you will probably have seen that I shared a lot of clips from the night with you all. However, if you’re not yet following me, I will be including my stories from the night as a highlight on my Instagram page.
Recently I’ve received an incredible surprise from my friend Charlotte, she has only gone and won us both tickets to The Brits! At first when she called to tell me the news, I honestly thought it was some kind of a joke. I just couldn’t comprehend that it was actually happening. The Brits is one of the biggest musical awards shows in the UK, celebrating the songs, albums and artists that are most loved by our country. Hosted in the capital city of London, The Brits is a night of glitz and glam, an award show also featuring incredible live performances. A hoard of celebrities attend and to think that we will be in amongst them is completely mind-blowing. This year the ceremony is being hosted by Jack Whitehall and will feature live performances from the likes of Lewis Capaldi, Stormzy, Billie Eilish, Harry Styles, and more. To say I am excited, would be such an understatement. It almost feels ironic that just after starting my music blog, I am lucky enough to be attending the biggest music celebration in our country. I am so grateful.
After the initial shock wore off, my mind turned to actually organising this. Asides from the amazing event that I was soon to experience, I was only consumed by one attention to detail, and that of course was what on earth was I going to wear? Being a lover of indie rock music and in turn all things alternative, I have to confess a glittery dress and high heels isn’t my usual go-to outfit for a night out. Scrolling through pictures of attendees from previous years only fuelled my worries further. Was I going to be too dressed up, under-dressed, so many thoughts swirled through my head. The idea of walking through central London in stilettos was not ideal. Luckily, myself and Charlotte, who shares a similar style to me, found solace in the incredible YouTuber and Influencer Helen Anderson, who has attended The Brits on a few occasions in the past. Helen has successfully managed to look glam, all whilst keeping her outfit quirky and low-key, with her own unique flair. Seeing the confidence Helen had made me realise I could rock my own style at an event like The Brits, and not be afraid to do so. Outfit, done.
Next, I started thinking about where we would stay. Charlotte and I wanted somewhere close to The 02 where The Brits is taking place, but didn’t want it to cost the earth. Luckily, we have found a reasonably priced hotel, and are travelling in style from Cardiff to London on the Megabus. Brits on a budget, and we are working it! Neither of us are too showy or flash, so as long as we go and have an amazing time together, we won’t mind. Providing of course we both love our outfits, which is obviously the best part asides from the event.
I’ve spent the last few days packing bits I want to take, all whilst trying to keep my stress levels to a minimum. I know its an AMAZING opportunity, and I’m so excited to go. However, I know I won’t be alone when I say that such a high-profile event, with TV coverage, a red carpet, and all the rest, is bound to bring on just a little bit of anxiety. My excitement is swirled with nerves too, but I know that we’re going to have such an unbelievable experience, and I really can’t wait. Being a music lover, having a chance to go to The Brits is so surreal. Something I certainly never envisaged happening in my lifetime. I can’t believe how fortunate we are, and I can’t even begin to explain how happy I am that Charlotte is giving me this wonderful gift. We’re the closest of friends, so having this happen together is going to be so lovely. Charlotte is one of those friends that can make me laugh on any occasion, and she never fails to cheer me up. We always have so much fun together, so expect a lot of silly photos and shenanigans to come.
Only time and a short trip to London stands between us and The Brits now. 2 days and counting.
I will keep you all up to date on this amazing experience, through Instagram and Twitter during the day and night. Of course, once I am home there will be a blog post to follow, so keep your eyes peeled.
Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard are back with their latest single ‘John Lennon Is My Jesus Christ’. Having toured the UK extensively, fresh off the back of their own tour, and from supporting the likes of The Mysterines and The Magic Gang. Buzzard have been very busy, even making appearances in countries such as Canada. The band are also due to fly to Texas in March for SXSW 2020, alongside other Welsh artists including Rosehip Teahouse and Dan Bettridge. It’s safe to say that Buzzard have been teasing us with a lot of new content during live shows, which has been very exciting. However, as far as released music is concerned, I’ve survived by replaying their three singles ‘Double Denim Hop’, ‘Love Forever’ and ‘Late Night City’ on repeat for the last year. Therefore I have to confess that I am delighted to have another single to devour, and that is not even the best part. Alongside their new single release, Buzzard are celebrating the announcement of their signing to UK/US based record label Communion. Easily one of the best emerging bands to breakout in Wales’ music circuit over recent years, the signing is such an amazing achievement for them. Buzzard have done themselves and Wales proud. I am overjoyed to see that they have signed a record deal, and am so glad that they will be getting the recognition they deserve.
If you’re wondering what Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard sound like. I would describe them as retro rock, with a modern twist. Channelling the likes of early Queen and Supertramp for inspiration, their music encapsulates a wonderful nod to the 70s. A nostalgic sound delivered with fantastic flair and passion, ensures that they certainly make their own unique stamp on our modern music scene. Their latest single ‘John Lennon Is My Jesus Christ’, is another triumphant release for them. I have heard it live already, but the crisp album recording is certainly rather special. The new single is as catchy and energy-filled as I could have dreamed. An ode to idolising various musical figures as though music is a religion, with the central protagonist being John Lennon. Lead singer Tom Rees expresses how the song “developed into a conversation around idolisation, and how fandom, servitude and dedication to certain characters is universal, and not limited to any particular religion or art form.”
Lyrically the song is captivating, and provides quirky storytelling throughout by taking us through the many musical loves in their lives, and showing how they worship them all. Musically the song is driven in the usual Buzzard style, which certainly does not disappoint. ‘John Lennon Is My Jesus Christ’ is a short song, at just over two minutes long, but Buzzard’s return single does the job by providing just enough flavour of what we can expect from their hopefully impending album.
The music video for ‘John Lennon Is My Jesus Christ’ on the other hand is very long. The contrast shows us Buzzard’s desire for chaos and uncertainty, as just as you think the music video is coming to an end, we are treated to an organ rendition of the song by Tom. Following this is a comical car scene with the band, concluding with them performing the single again, with the band replacing the dancers that graced the video initially. Over eight minutes long, the video is definitely a treat, and is essentially four different music videos for the single mashed together. However, it works brilliantly well, and showcases all aspects of Buzzard’s personality beautifully, with a little bit of craziness and fantasy thrown in of course.
There is certainly no falter in their fun, colourful characteristics as a band, and I’m certain their debut album will be everything us fans want and more. Full of songs with charging lyrics about politics, religion, love and history, all wrapped in Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard’s fabulous sound and style frenzy. I for one cannot wait. It’s absolutely no secret that I adore the flamboyant and chaotic performances that Buzzard bring, and I am dying to see them perform again soon, hopefully in their hometown of Cardiff.
Independent Music Venues that I adore, and I know you will too
Through my last two posts, I have shared with you the reasons why I love going to gigs in independent music venues, I have spoken about the wonderful music community ensuring their survival, and have hopefully inspired you to visit to your local independent venues too.
For my last post in this series, I’d like to introduce you to some venues local to me that I absolutely adore.
This article is going to involve venues in South Wales, so if you are not from this area, think of this as your handy little guide to some independent venues in South Wales. Hopefully I can persuade you to pay us a visit sometime, and when you do it will be well worth you knowing where you should check out, for some amazing gigs and nightlife.
Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff
The venue that really takes the crown for me, is Cardiff’s Clwb Ifor Bach. Situated in the heart of Womanby Steet, a music hub in Cardiff, home to an array of similar music venues and bars. Clwb is a venue that I truly feel most comfortable and at home in, if I could only choose one venue to attend for the rest of my life, then this would be it. Clwb may be small in size, but they host mighty gigs. Brilliant artists perform here, including well-established musicians, as well as emerging talent. I have seen so many bands and have made some fantastic memories along the way. Clwb really holds a special place in my heart, by being the place that ignited my love for independent music venues.
The venue currently has two rooms, allowing gigs to be hosted both upstairs and downstairs. The downstairs room has a lush, cwtchy atmosphere. There isn’t a stage as such, rather a performing area, so bands are at floor-level which provides a wonderfully intimate gig-experience. This is really rare, and strips music back to it’s roots entirely, allowing bands to connect with their audiences on a much closer level. There are no barriers, or a gap between the crowd and the stage. This setup allows for some truly incredible moments.
The upstairs room at Clwb is a little bit larger, and is the main room for bands to perform in. This is the part of Clwb I have visited the most, and being honest I just love everything about it. From the exposed brickwork, to the layout. The room is the perfect size, so that you don’t have a bad view wherever you’re standing. There are no pillars or barriers blocking your view, and the room is the ideal width and height to be small and intimate, without being claustrophobic. The bar is in a separate room, which reduces the problem of noise often experienced in gigs. As a live music venue, Clwb Ifor Bach really is the reigning champion in my eyes, and I’m sure many others too.
Clwb is also set to expand in the future too, with recent rebranding suggesting this won’t be too far away. The venue plans to make use of the derelict building next door, with plans for a 500 capacity venue downstairs and a 300 capacity one upstairs. The 1980s venue we have all come to know and love a lot, is going to be changing, but hopefully its 21st century makeover will bring an even better era for our beloved Clwb Ifor Bach.
The Moon, Cardiff
The Moon is Cardiff’s pint sized music venue. Again, this venue can be found nestled amongst Womanby Street, opposite Clwb Ifor Bach. Here you will receive a warm welcome. The entrance is wrapped in cute fairy lights. As you make your way into the basement venue, in no way does it feel encroaching, instead bunting, string lights and colour decorate this vibrant venue. The Moon is tiny, but being so small gives the space a unique charm, with the stage nestled in the corner. A miniature venue, with a huge amount of charm.
The Moon is a space for emerging bands to showcase their talent. However, if you head downstairs in this venue then there are old gig posters plastered all over the walls, as if they were wallpaper. The posters show that some pretty well known bands such have all started out playing gigs here. The Moon has an incredible catalogue of very successful bands having began their very first tours here! Boasting that The Moon has been home to some renowned initial gigs, means that the venue clearly provides bands a wonderful platform to boost their musical careers. The posters themselves are incredible to behold. When I first visited the moon honestly I spent quite a bit of time just looking at all of them. Whoever came up with the idea of decorating the walls with these posters deserves a medal. It makes for incredibly cool decor, giving the moon a quirky individual style all whilst showcasing past gigs.
Decor aside, The Moon is also a brilliant venue to watch bands performing in. Again the size of the venue works in their favour and means there isn’t a bad place to stand in the room (minding the poles that support the ceiling of course). The bar is in the same place, however people tend to remain respectful when gigs are on from what I’ve seen, meaning that drinks being served doesn’t interfere with the music. I really enjoy watching bands perform in the venue, and The Moon is a wonderful little venue for music, certainly not one to be overlooked on your trip down Womanby Street.
The Globe, Cardiff
Located just outside of the City Centre of Cardiff, The Globe is a wonderfully unique music venue, although it may not be what you’d expect. The Globe is an old cinema, dating back to as early as 1914. Therefore as a music venue, it makes fantastic use of beautiful historical features. The stage is very grand, but also unkempt enough to provide an edgy-punk vibe. A lot of the original features within the room have also been kept and harnessed, despite the seating having been cleared, I expect the building has been mostly unchanged from what it would have been originally. It really is fascinating and brilliant to see The Globe standing proudly as a music venue. Of course the room is designed to enhance sound to an audience, so the purpose compliments the building perfectly well.
The Globe is a fantastic gig environment, which gives you a cultural experience as an added bonus. Initially you feel the room is small when you walk in, but the space is very wide, which means you’re closer to the stage than you would be in a lot of other venues. The Globe also has a brilliant balcony area, which you can choose to watch bands from if you don’t feel like standing. This gives a vastly different viewpoint, not often found in many venues asides from arenas. Whereas on arena balconies you’d be metres away from the stage, but not in The Globe, as the balcony overlaps the standing area.
The Globe provides a mix of music and comedy, and is an eccentric, but wonderfully different music venue to pay a visit to. With an array of acts performing there, you never know shows The Globe is going to advertise next, and this adds an intriguing element that makes you keep your eye on who is going to be playing there. Following in the footsteps of Clwb and The Moon. The Globe also has an impressive list of acts who have previously performed there, and my guess is that there will be many more great names to come.
The Tramshed, Cardiff
The largest venue on my list is The Tramshed. However despite its medium size, this venue does not lose charm as an independent venue. I’ve been to a few gigs in The Tramshed now, and every time I’ve been blown away by the professional, quality of music delivered from this venue. From the sound to the stage, they really do have the art of delivering a live music performance spot on, regardless of whatever band graces the stage. That list is impressive enough by itself. I have stood at the barrier of Tramshed, and I have stood at the bar at the back of the room. Either location provided me with an equally as satisfying gig experience, which tells me this venue knows exactly what they are doing, with confidence.
The Tramshed is a cool, industrial space. It’s origins as a Tram Depot, mean it is exactly what it says on the tin. The outside of the venue is fascinating before you even step foot in the door, consisting of bright, red brickwork and semi-circular windows. The building itself dates back to 1902, and was categorised as a listed building in 1997. The Tramshed as we know it now, opened in 2015.
Hosting an array of gigs, with a large number of bands playing there. The Tramshed has quickly risen to become one of Cardiff’s finest music venues. As I’ve said their monthly range of gigs is seriously impressive, with the venue hosting a number of well-known musicians and bands, as well as tribute acts that are so convincing you’d swear they were the real thing. I’d also like to praise their marketing team, as whenever I’m looking up gigs at The Tramshed, there is always an organised list of who is playing there over the next few months available. Despite advances in social media, a lot of music venues do still just rely on posters, so for The Tramshed to be actively encouraging a larger audience in this way so efficiently, makes me realise how they have established themselves in the scene very successfully over a short time period. A huge well done to all of their staff!
The Bunkhouse, Swansea
Located in the city centre of Swansea, The Bunkhouse is a small, passionate independent music venue that packs a punch with the quality of music it delivers. The venue has only been open for just over a year, but has already been awarded ‘The Best Music Venue of 2019’ from the Swansea Bay Tourism Awards. The Bunkhouse has done incredibly well, and their staff should write the book on how to successfully launch a music venue from scratch. Welcoming emerging talent from Swansea and further afield, The Bunkhouse primarily provides a mixture of rock and indie music, but has a variety of genres on offer. It is a brilliant vibrant fast-paced music venue hosting some of Swansea‘s finest bands, along with a few more famous names thrown in.
As well as gigs, like many other venues on this list, The Bunkhouse is also home to club nights, following in the footsteps of Clwb and The Moon on this front. More excitedly though, The Bunkhouse also has even bigger plans up their sleeve. As their title suggests, a gig venue isn’t all we can expect from this vastly growing little music hub. The Bunkhouse, as their name suggests, also has plans to provide accommodation in their form of an upstairs hostel. This will provide accommodation for bands on tour, gig-goers or anyone wishing to stay at a reasonable price within Swansea city Centre. If this wasn’t enough, The Bunkhouse also announced recently that below their music venue and bar, lies a basement spanning the entire floor length of their existing bar and music venue. The Bunkhouse have obtained planning permission to convert this space into a 500-capacity music venue, which will enable them to host even bigger gigs.
The question is, which will they do first? The Bunkhouse may be a small venue now, but their sights for the future are very huge indeed.
I hope you’ve enjoyed discovering a little bit more about some of my favourite Independent Music Venues in the South Wales music scene. I’d like to thank you as always for taking the time to read my writing, and I hope I’ve inspired you to pay a visit to your nearest music hub. Independent venues, wherever they may be across the UK, all host a fantastic range of gigs from incredible emerging acts. If you have a particular venue that you adore, please let me know. I’m always looking to broaden my music horizons! I have trips to Bristol and Bath coming up in March, so any suggestions are warmly welcome!
Writing this series ‘Indepedent Venues: The Heart of Music’ has been incredibly meaningful to me. I’m passionate about attending and in turn supporting Independent Venues, and along with many others, I hope to strive to do all that I can to ensure their survival. These venues are all so unique, and full of character. They are run by passionate music lovers, and adored by fans and bands alike. A fundamental core of any music scene. With all of us continuing to show our love and dedication for them, I hope they will remain with us forever.
You can read the other two parts of this post series here: