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Friday night at Cardiff Big Weekend, 5 August 2011

August 11, 2011 Leave a comment

Friday night is traditionally Welsh bands night at the Big Weekend in Cardiff, and 2011 was no exception.

For the lack of a tame writer to make your synapses scintillate with their atmospheric description of the evening, you’ll have to make do with me and a few images. Sorry about that.

The first band on, Death Before Sunrise, got there by merit of being Admiral employees (no more said).

Half an hour later, OK took to the stage and played an entertaining set of a curious number of different styles, but hey who cares. They were good and the crowd even had a bit of a mosh.

OK

OK

Attack! Attack! caused the security guys some serious consternation when they encouraged the crowd to have a go at a wall of death. They played a great set, although I admit to being biased. Their CD has been in my car for a long time and the songs are burned indelibly into my brain.

Attack! Attack!

Attack! Attack!

Funeral For A Friend – headlining, shouty (too shouty for some). Excellent.

Funeral For A Friend

Funeral For A Friend

All images by James McLaren. See more on Flickr

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Categories: Gig reviews

Vintage Trouble – Cardiff Big Weekend Saturday 6th August 2011

August 10, 2011 Leave a comment

Pictures & Review by Seun Babatola

It’s around 8pm. Up come four suited and booted men who can only be American, from the self-confident swagger to the massive, cheesy grins.

The crowd are prepared to be unkind. Especially since no one’s ever heard of these guys.  Behind me I can hear three girls laughing and singing ‘Scha Mon’ – in honour of Bo! Selecta’s impressions of black american singers.

But when Vintage trouble start to play, they go all out. ‘Nancy Lee’ is an uptempo ballad with a rock edge.  They move seamlessly from the stadium filler to pure old school soul songs like ‘Gracefully’ and ‘Not Alright By Me’.  They unashamedly pull out guitar solo after guitar solo, and in between the songs front man  Ty Taylor yells at the crowd in his good humoured, Southern US drawl, telling us that the next song is, inevitably, about making love.

The memory of the performance lingers long after they’ve smashed through their final song and Ty has spun on the spot like a whirling dervish.

The truth is, they’re not my cup of tea, but even my jaded self couldn’t help by shake my ‘thang’ at Tyler’s frenetic showmanship.

Vintage trouble provided an object lesson in how to work a crowd, and it’s a lesson Cardiff isn’t likely to forget anytime soon.

http://www.vintagetrouble.com

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Shona Foster – Gwdihw, Sunday 5th June 2011

August 4, 2011 Leave a comment

Pictures & Review by Seun Babatola

Shona Foster is sexy, stunning and has a beautiful voice.  All of these things are true, and yet it is none of the those things that explain the mesmeric hold she has on an audience.

On a quiet welsh evening in the intimate atmosphere of Cardiff’s quirky venue; Gwdihw; Shona Foster entertained a small but appreciative crowd with her brand of genre-defying music.  I won’t bother trying to explain or define the music, its best if you have a listen for yourself.  What I will say is that i enjoyed the rare treat of accomplished musician combined with crafted lyricism.

From the softly-softly introduction of the ‘Bad Intentions’ (reminiscent of Tainted Love’) to the conversational tone of ‘Hard Work’  The songs allow her voice to breath, to fill the little spaces deliberately left by an impressive range of clever little instruments.

Would I recommend her?  Hell yes.  Shona Foster is unique in that what you hear on the album is not massively different from what you here live.  The quality of her voice shines on any and every stage.

If you get a chance, pop along and watch her.  The music is great, but your eyes will be held by a slightly ethereal, quietly provocative beauty who weaves her voice around you like some aural thread.

Be prepared to be enchanted.

http://shonafoster.com

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