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- 4GOOD COMEDIANS : PHIL CHAPMAN STORMS THE BLUE SKY
Bangor's first-rate comedy club held at the Blue Sky, 4Good Comedians, presented a night of four contrasting acts last Friday (22.09), each with enormous merit. Stealing the show, headliner Phil Chapman offered an irrepresible rush of humour - and set the venue up for an equally promising bill next time, led by Noel James & Ignacio Lopez (Friday December 1st). Read the review.
- NEWS : CAMPFIRE SOCIAL SOUTH KOREA BOUND
As it approaches its eighth edition, Wrexham based event FOCUS Wales' building of international relationships is starting to pay a real dividend. This is manifest both in the bands coming to perform at its annual showcases, and opportunities for Welsh artists. The latter is becoming as important as the former - next week will see the first international showcase arranged directly by FOCUS Wales (assisted by Wales Arts International's International Opportunities Scheme).
Benefiting from this development is North East Wales' Campfire Social, who are going to Zandari Festa, in Seoul, South Korea. Campfire Social have earned the opportunity through the live impact of their uplifting, warm, melodic music - formed under an eclectic mix of influences, including Elliot Smith, The Beach Boys and (to our certain ears at least) Deacon Blue. Their recent debut EP, Wellbeing, confirmed their potential.
Campfire Social play Zandari Festa on Sunday 1st October, 21:30 (KST) at Club Freebird. FOCUS Wales' Co-Founder Andy Jones will be joining the band in Seoul. As well as arranging networking opportunities for them, he will also be participating as a delegate and speaker at both MU:Con and Zandari Festa.[ More on Campfire Social : Facebook I SoundCloud I Bandcamp I Twitter ]
- NORTH WALES : AUTUMN GIGs
A select list of music and comedy events in North Wales up to the end of the year. There are a few more in the pipeline to add, but please let us know of any other dates we have missed:
- Fri 29 SEP : Bob Delyn a'r Ebillion / Bwncath : Pontio [Bangor] 8pm / £14
- Thu 05 OCT : Danny McLoughlin / Nina Gilligan : Theatr Clwyd [Mold] 8pm / £10 (adv) or £12 (door)
- Thu 12 OCT : The Goat Roper Rodeo Band : Blue Sky Cafe [Bangor] 7pm / £10
- Fri 13 OCT : The Immediate : Telford's Warehouse [Chester] Free entry before 9pm
- Fri 20 OCT : Campfire Social : Telford's Warehouse [Chester] Free entry before 9pm
- Sat 21 OCT : Y Niwl / Omaloma / Pasta Hull / Ffracas : Pontio [Bangor] 8pm / £10 (adv) or £12 (door)
- Fri 27 OCT : The Goat Roper Rodeo Band / Ned Roberts : 3rd Space [Llandudno]
- Fri 10 NOV : Amy Wadge / Luke Jackson : Theatr Clwyd [Mold] 7.30pm / £10 or £8 (concs)
- Fri 01 DEC : 4Good Comedians : Noel James / Rachel Fairburn / Ignacio Lopez (MC) / Kevin Caswell-Jones : Blue Sky Cafe [Bangor] 8pm / £9 & £7 (NUS)
- Sun 31 DEC : Band Pres Llareggub / Patrobas & More : Nant Gwrtheyrn [Pwllheli] 7.30pm / Ticket details
- BENJAMIN MASON : I ASKED MY FRIENDS TO COVER MY SONGS AND THIS IS WHAT THEY CAME UP WITH
Songwriter and musician Benjamin Mason asked his friends to cover his songs for a compilation to benefit the Thorne Mason Trust; the result ranges from the lo-fi to the ethereal, covering most stops between, and is one of the most interesting things you will hear all year - a steal for £5 DL / £10 CD - Read the full review.
- PREVIEW : SŴN 2017 : SEP 22 - OCT 21 [Cardiff]
An in-depth preview of this year's Sŵn festival explains how the event has been carefully refashioned into a month long celebration of new music. Written by special guest contributor Kevin McGrath, the article also teases out the seven unmissable acts from this year's line up; Liverpool's brilliant She Drew the Gun (see below) are one of his picks. Read the full preview.
- POLITICS : DESOLATION RADIO : WHY WALES NEVER WAS
Desolation Radio is a fantastic resource - monthly podcasts covering Welsh political issues in-depth, often through thought provoking interview. This edition (below) is a discussion between the presenters and Simon Brooks, developing the political and cultural themes of his book Why Wales Never Was : The Failure of Welsh Nationalism. More podcasts can be found here, they are all worth a listen.
- COMING SOON ...
We will be uploading the following to the site in the next ten days: a guest preview of this year's Sŵn Festival written by Kevin McGrath, a detailed review of Benjamin Mason's self-explanatory and superb compilation album, I Asked My Friends To Cover My Songs And This Is What They Came Up With, as well as two interviews; the first with YesCymru's Vice Chair Rhydian Hughes, about the path to Welsh Independence, and the second with Plaid Cymru Cllr. Aaron Wynne about the motivations of politics at its grassroots.
- SŴN DISCOVERY DAY : FINAL LINE UP : SAT 21 OCT [Cardiff]
A clutch of exciting Libertino Records' artists (Adwaith, ARGRPH, La Forme, Los Blancos & The Tates), an energised Yr Eira and the sharp, assertive alt. rock of Cardiff's Himalayas are part of a 45 act bill for Sŵn's Discovery Day on Saturday 21 October. A £30 (advance price) wristband is all that is needed to enter the festival's venues across the city centre; they are available from swnfest.com. The full line up is listed here.
- YSGOL SUL : EVENTIDE EP
Due out at the end of this month (September 30th), a new five track release from Llandeilo's Ysgol Sul shows they have continued to develop rapidly from the self-labelled 'dream-indie' of their first EP, Huno. Read the full review.
LLAWN05 : TRUE STORIES LIVE : FRI 15 SEP [Llandudno]
Just one item from a basket of delights, True Stories Live is a storytelling event (with an intimacy described as "like eavesdropping into people’s stories in the pub") that forms part of this year's Llawn Arts Festival. It mixes professional and amateur storytellers - with participants including Rachel Mars (Our Carnal Hearts) and Louise Mothersole of the award-winning Sh!t Theatre. The whole evening, held at Dylan's, Llandudno, will be coaxed into life and compèred by poet / scriptwriter Molly Naylor; there are more details here. As with almost every other element of the Llawn05 programme, True Stories is free. Curated by Lisa Heledd Jones & John Rostron, the rest of the festival runs over the weekend of 15 - 17th September, and tickets can be reserved through the event's website.
- GORJYS SECRETS MUSIC FESTIVAL 2017 : 15-16 SEP [Conwy Valley]
Gorjys Secrets, a Conwy Valley music festival delivering its second edition on September 15th & 16th. The singer songwriter festival is held in a location that is postcard perfect; this preview of the event outlines its attractions.
[Reposted : 12.09.17]
- 4GOOD COMEDIANS : PHIL CHAPMAN / CALLUM OAKLEY / KATE McCABE : FRI 22 SEP [Bangor]
The 4Good Comedians comedy club held regularly at the Blue Sky Cafe is remarkable for the consistency of its acts, the relaxed atmosphere (it is one of the friendliest clubs you will find) and the fact it nearly always sells out. This month should be no different, with Phil Chapman headlining ("An instant hit" - Liverpool Echo), former BGT semi-finalist Callum Oakley opening and American comedienne Kate McCabe as MC. Tickets are £10/9 (NUS), available in advance in person at the Cafe, or on the door on the night (don't leave it too late). Food is available by booking a minimum of 24hrs in advance only (Tel 01248 355444). Early bird doors - 6.30pm, the comedy starts at 9pm. More details from the Blue Sky website.
[Reposted : 12.09.17]
- DEBUT ALBUM FROM FARM HAND : 03 NOV
Farm Hand is the solo guise of Islet member and Shape Records founder Mark Daman Thomas. His debut album, International Dreams, is a 'reset to factory settings' following a move back to rural mid-Wales from Cardiff. The title track (see below) is a somewhat transfixing incantation, inspired by, as Farm Hand reveals: "...my continued desire (now in its 34th year) and preparedness to play international football for Wales." The album can be pre-ordered here, including in a limited edition vinyl format. A live show at Spillers Records will mark the release on November 4th. [ More : Farm Hand Website I Twitter ]
- THE FUGITIVES PLAY 3rd SPACE : SUN 8 OCT [Llandudno]
Acclaimed Canadian folk band The Fugitives are to perform in Llandudno on Sunday October 8th, as part of a wider UK tour. Previously described as "the missing link between Leonard Cohen and The Pogues", the choice of the intimate, brewery attached venue may be partly explained by their love of craft beer. Advance tickets are £10 - available here.
- SEPTEMBER ALBUM OF THE MONTH / I : YR EIRA : TODDI
Bangor's Yr Eira have released an album on I Ka Ching with a new producer at the controls, that suggests a new, significant trajectory for their music. A potent mix of indie, pop and rock, Toddi is lyrically engaged with transitions, but musically is all about transformation. Read more.
- SEPTEMBER ALBUM OF THE MONTH / II : TOBY HAY : THE GATHERING
Released in March this year, guitarist Toby Hay's debut album confirms he is emerging as a significant figure; The Gathering extends the musical heritage that runs all the way from Davey Graham and Bert Jansch with a compelling, creative further step forward. Read the review.
- SEPTEMBER : Elfen Interview & Profile, Ummagma LCD EP Review, Griff Lynch Singles / Profile, Colorama : Some Things Just Take Time Review, September Playlist
- AUGUST : Galw : The Lion & The Wolves, Patrobas Dates, Benjamin Mason Covers LP, Serol Serol Single, Colorama Single Review, Gig of the Month III: The Immediate / Kidsmoke / Cull, Ffracas Video, Festival No6, Goat Roper Rodeo Band Live, Lee Southall Live Review, Politics : Interview with Siân Gwenllian AM, Introducing : Ffracas, August Playlist II, Welsh Language Album Winner, Brython Shag Single, Welsh Language Album of the Year Shortlist, The Minerals Single, Monico Blonde video : Love is an Only Child, Politics : Housing, Gig of the Month II : The Goat Roper Rodeo Band / Lee Southall, Los Blancos : Mae'n Anodd Deffro Un, Community Music Wales Tutor Training, Names : Backs Turned, August Playlist I, Gig of the Month II : Llechi
- JULY : Gorjys Secrets Preview, Lee Southall : Iron in the Fire, Monico Blonde, Tusk : _Vitamin, Adwaith Single, Lewis & Leigh Live, Climbing Trees Live, Sesiwn Fawr Review, Alys Williams, Patrobas Live, Aled Hughes Single, Courteous Thief EP, Gwilym Bowen Rhys Live
- JUNE : Gai Tom's Gwalia, New Patrobas Videos & Debut Album, Chris Jones / Eve Goodman Video, Katey Brooks Live, Oblong : Briliant .... Gwd Review, HMS Morris single, Tudur Owen Live, Goat Roper Rodeo Band Live, The Immediate Album Review
- MAY : Red or Dead Live, Bendith EP Review, Sera Live, Silky at the Pontio, Lastigband : Torpido EP
Archived PostsClick on the month for all the posts from that period, or the article description to go straight to it.
New Articles & Interviews
- FtM 2017 WATCHLIST
Monico Blonde and Adwaith feature in the set of 13 pre-debut album bands we think will make exactly the right noise in 2017.
See the full list.