Swn Festival 2016
This event has been and gone.
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A British electronic duo from Nottingham consisting of Alex Noble (vocals, guitars, keyboards) and Charlie Burley (production, samples, guitars, keyboards), April Towers combine intelligent pop hooks reminiscent of Pet Shop Boys and Hot Chip with the electronic nuances of New Order and LCD Soundsystem - creating a synth-pop sound full of vibrancy and immediacy.
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Brixton-based girl and an electric guitar singing fierce and vulnerable songs. With influences from PJ Harvey and Ben Howard, Bryde flickers between powerful guitar riffs and smooth melancholy acoustic sounds.
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A band from Silvi from Mikrofisch. Chorusgirl is a more jangly indie guitar-based project than the electropop of Mikrofisch.
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A band who have toured with SFA, Catatonia, The Mynci and Grandaddy, and who have received excellent critical acclaim and reviews in NME and Melody Maker.
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North Wales rock four-piece influenced by the likes of Pulled Apart By Horses, Future Of The Left and Mother Of Six.
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Bristol-based singer-songwriter delivering alt folk songs of love and loss that have won fans across the South West. Being discouraged from watching TV as a child was integral to the development of Fenne Lily’s musicality, as instead much of her time was spent writing songs and honing both instrumental and lyrical skill. Her folk-tinged music is woven with integrity and sincerity; grit and soft understatement in equal measures. At the age of 17 she began travelling to Bristol from her home in Dorset, and within a year found herself supporting the likes of Marika Hackman, KT Tunstall, C Duncan, Eaves and Palace, among many more.
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Field Studies are an ambient alt-rock band from Nottingham.
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Wrexham noise makers with their brand of cosmic rocktronica. Voted as Clash Magazine's ones to watch.
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A welcome female addition to the usual boys club of Electronic producers, Bristol based musician, producer and visual artist Kayla Painter has spent the last few years carving a solid reputation herself around Bristol and the South West with her distinctive, layered soundscapes and compositions.
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Solo venture for the former lead singer of quirky Welsh band Race Horses, now venturing into the world of Baroque Pop.
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Indie rock band favoured by John Peel. While comparisons with Catatonia are inevitable, Welsh indie pop band Melys plough a more graceful, measured furrow, producing a sound like St. Etienne but with tougher guitars.
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MiNNETONKA is Manchester singer / songwriter Emma Leatherbarrow who creates dreamy pop.
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This Berkshire five-piece have carved out their own distinct niche with blues-driven anthems and glorious four-part harmonies, marrying slick guitar lines and turning up their thick bass-induced grooves to 11. Undeniably cool and essentially timeless, Tail Feather continue to blaze their own distinct trail in today's music scene with their retro-induced time vessel of euphoric hooks and blissful harmonies.
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We're No Heroes
We're No Heroes are a three-piece band from Cardiff. They have been likened to 80s bands such as Spandau Ballet and The Whitest Boy Alive amongst others. During the past year the band have been showcased on BBC Radio 1 with Jen Long, BBC 6 Music with Tom Robinson & BBC Radio Wales with Bethan Elfyn & Adam Walton. The band then gained further attention from TopShop, who included all of their current tracks on their playlist, reaching in excess of 300 stores across the UK for over 3 months.
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Wolf Girl are a DIY noisy pop four-piece based in South London. Through crunching guitar lines and hooky pop melodies, their songs explore the themes of sexuality, gender identity and anxiety.
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Described in their publicity as a mixture of 'Abba laced with Yello'.
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ALL TVVINS (Pronounced Twins) are Dublin duo Conor Adams and Lar Kaye. The duo started making robotic interstellar synth-pop music together in the summer of 2013. Stemming from two heavyweight Irish acts, this is the kind of musical super-group collaboration fans might have envisioned.
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Amber Arcades is the moniker of Dutch musician Annelotte de Graaf. Over the last few years she’s traded in the kind of worn-in beauty that makes for very the best heart-breaking pop: Drowsy, yearning lovelorn songs over sparse instrumentation. But in 2015, after flying out to New York and teaming up with producer Ben Greenberg, a new sound emerged. The result is brooding vocals laid over a bed of pulsating motorik rhythms and floating pop melodies. It’s coloured in pop and it’s brilliant.
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Hailing from the council estates of Stevenage, Bad Breeding have gained a reputation for their noisy, explicit punk sounds and their incendiary live shows. The British punk quartet have been described by The Guardian as one of “the best new punk bands in Britain” expressing themselves and what they stand for through the music they play. Their explosive, gritty live show is one to remember.
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Chelou is a mysterious artist from London whose lush musical style spans acoustics and electronics.
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Crows are an alt rock band from London who formed in 2015, and have since built a considerable following for the intensity of their live shows which have seen the band members break bones as well as instruments.
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Now living in Cardiff, David Roberts is a folk guitarist and singer from Herefordshire. His music draws on influences such as John Martyn, Nick Drake and Bert Jansch.
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Two drummers, three bass players, a demon ukulele and a larynx crumbling frontman – this chaotic 8 piece are hard to define but nestle somewhere between post-rock and indie pop.
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Dream Wife started out as a fantasy… literally. Icelandic singer Rakel and British musicians Alice and Bella played their first show as part of a performance project at art school in Brighton. Stuck in dreams of 90s club kid nostalgia they continue on making music, embracing their love for edgy pop. Dream Wife name David Lynch's women as a big influence; 'powerful and seriously f***ed up'. They play with the aesthetics of the 1960's yé-yé girls movement, along with current influences such as Sleigh Bells, Le Tigre and Grimes. Dream Wife ooze with girl power; infecting the crowd with their trademark 'poolside pop with a bite.' The music juxtaposes simple pop hooks, beats, cutting riffs and dreamy vocals.
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Drowners are an American alternative rock band formed in New York in 2011 by Matthew Hitt (lead vocals, guitar), Jack Ridley III (lead guitar), Erik Lee Snyder (bass) and Lakis Pavlou (drums). Their first release was the EP Between Us Girls which appeared in early 2013. In January 2014 their eponymous debut album was released worldwide. Drowners are said by some to be part of the ongoing Britpop renaissance (Blur and Pulp reforming, new bands like Blackeye forming), but really they have more in common with the early-noughties CBGBs revival. Their music has as much in common with the late-70s UK new wave era as it does the US one, and their songs recall punk at its most pop!
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Ellie Makes Music
Aka Ellie James, a Cardiff based acousic singer-songwriter, tipped as “one to watch” in the Western Mail. Since her debut performance at Swn Festival 2009, she has gone on to support many artists and regularly performs at venues around the city.
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Gwenno Saunders is a Welsh musician and dancer best known as a singer and keyboardist with The Pipettes, where she was known by the name Gwenno Pipette. She now performs as a solo artist.
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Hidden Charms - barely out of their teens - have fast created waves amongst the U.K press, industry and music fans since uploading their first track titled "Sunny Side" (produced by Nick Waterhouse) onto their Soundcloud. The band's debut 7" release "Dreaming Of Another Girl" has been produced by legendary producer Shel Talmy (responsible for The Who's "MY Generation" & The Kinks' "You Really Got Me") and will be released in mid-June on Deltasonic Records in the UK and B3SCI Records in the US.
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London four-piece ISLAND are an alternative guitar band whose history is characterised by old friendships, close bonds, and an almost telepathic mutual understanding. Forming as teenagers when frontman Rollo Doherty’s acoustic bedroom project was treated to the boisterous backing of guitarist Jack Raeder, bassist James Wolfe and drummer Toby Richards in a dingy windowless practice room where they began to painstakingly shape a sound which combined darkly twisting instrumental with a sweetly melodic song-writing nous that belied their age. The band’s live show is fearsomely tight and effervescently energetic through years of playing together week in, week out since their youth.
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A Cardiff/Bristol band based around the 1970s folk and blues styled confessional songs of Ivan Moult. Callum Duggan - double bass and vocals, Richard Chitty - drums and Ivan Moult - guitars and vocals.
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Guitar player from Mid Wales. 'Superb contemporary folk-baroque guitar from a young player who's already mastered the style'
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Singer/Songwriter Jordan Mackampa is often described as a troubadour, an artist with timeless soul and lyrics drenched in heart felt empathy. As a man who was born in Kinshasa, grew up in London and became an artist in Coventry, Jordan’s music is swimming in the sounds and stories of the cities he’s inhabited over the years. His critically acclaimed debut EP “Physics” was celebrated for its unique combination of jazz soaked beats, folk melodies and effortless gospel harmonies as well as his poet like lyricism exploring love, longing and loss by the likes of NME, The 405, Julie Adengua and Clash Magazine
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Rock from London.
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Let's Eat Grandma
Let’s Eat Grandma are Norwich duo and best friends since the age of four, Rosa and Jenny. They create imaginative and original music that crosses the worlds of experimental pop and progressive weirdness. Or in their own words, they create "psychedelic sludge pop".
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Little Arrow are a West Wales folk band whose debut album is full of enchanting songs of hope.
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A rock four-piece from Brighton and Glasgow.
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Maddie Jones, a singer and songwriter from South Wales, has made her mark on the live music scenes in Cardiff, Bristol and London. Influenced by everything - from folk to funk, to life itself - her music is eclectic and contrasting.
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Glitchy, lo-fi, minimal pop.
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Matt Maltese is a young acoustic singer-songwriter from Reading, now based in South London. Musically, Matt takes cues from a range of influences from Leonard Cohen to French musician Francoise Hardy. His evocative lyrics, which are full of rich imagery as he observes London life occurring around him, offer a glimpse into the maturity of his creativity, whilst his melodies maintain an undeniable and accessible appeal.
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My Name Is Ian
My Name Is Ian creates beautiful, heartbreaking anti-garage awesomeness. Specific, prolific and terrific, he has said he is influenced by “the animals of farthing wood” and losing the love of his life.
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Palace Winter are Copenhagen-based Australian Carl Coleman and Dane Caspar Hesselager. Having played in bands separately for years, a mutual respect for each other’s styles encouraged them to start writing together. Carl coming from a song-writing background. Caspar, a producer and classically trained pianist. Both, however, appreciate a strong melody, which is evident throughout the atmospheric dark-pop they create.
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Featuring an all-girl line-up of Jessica Branney, Rachel Williams and Carleia Balbenta, three piece indie-pop band Peaness formed in Chester in late 2014. The trio have gigged extensively up and down the country with their unique and upbeat brand of indie pop that has more hooks, charm and depth than a dozen identikit indie-boy bores. The band have won the hearts of unsuspecting listeners across the length and breadth of the DIY scene, right through to BBC Radio 1’s Huw Stephens. Expect effortless breezy melodies, catchy hooks, even catchier choruses and lyrics that come with a cheeky wink and tongue in cheek innocence. Once you put it all together you’re left with what fans are christening Pea-Pop.
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Quiet Maurader's alt folk stylings are both amusing and disturbing. This is one for fans of using kitchen utensils as musical instruments. Their music veers between synthscapes, pop-folk balladry, post-ironic show tunes and shuffling indie-rock. Intertwining the complex high-concepts and broad instrumentation of Arcade Fire, with the warm, spiky melodicism of The Wave Pictures and the wide-eyed, quick-witted lyricism of Vivian Stanshall (Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band).
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Right Hand Left Hand
Despite their unerring ability to sonically pulverise your eardrums, Right Hand Left Hand are a two-piece band. Comprising Andrew Plain (drums/guitars) and Rhodri Viney (guitars/ vocals/ drums) from Cardiff Wales. 2 members playing 2 guitars, 2 drum kits, centred around a loop station.
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Scott & Charlene's Wedding
Fronted by Craig Dermody, Scott & Charlene's Wedding are unsurprisingly from the home of Neighbours; Melbourne. Their music is sludgy, hypnotic and true, blending the psychedelic swagger of the Velvet Underground by way of Spacemen 3 with the underlying pop sensibility of the Go Betweens.
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Five-piece from South London. Bursting at the seams with punk energy, with the patter of the Streets, the spittle of Mark E. Smith, and the underground spirit of Eddy Current Suppression Ring, combined with the frenzy, rage and exasperation of their youth. Their reputation as one of the best new live bands in London is cemented following tours with The Garden and Fat White Family and shows with The Fall, King Gizzard, Slaves and more.
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She Drew The Gun
Lo-fi lyrical journeys through a glacial lullaby-blues, She Drew the Gun is an artist getting used to being compared to those in the literary world as much as those in the music world. Fronted by songwriter Louisa Roach, the band offer dreamy lyrical psych-pop from the banks of the Mersey.
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Surf pop rhythms and garage-rock from this Manchester five-piece. With so much energy, it's like five people screaming down the microphone at once. The NME compared them to Black Lips at their most rancid moments.
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A Liverpool-based trio that play alternative folk pop with delicate harmonies, medieval synths and drones, hypnotic beats, and spiraling whammy guitars.
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Strong Asian Mothers
Best friends since their early years, London trio Amer Chadha Patel, Josh Stadlen, and Kalim Patel (KHUSHI) have played in bands together throughout their childhoods but it is under Strong Asian Mothers that they have really found their strength. Their blend of styles, drawing inspiration from hip-hop, R&B and electro, and their emphatic live shows have been making waves on London's underground gig scene for a while, with the band ready to step firmly into the limelight.
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Incorporating the raucous energy of The Fall, Pixies or The Damned, the irresistible pop sensibilities of Supergrass or Blur, the impish sense of humour of Half Man Half Biscuit and the heavenly close harmonies of The Beach Boys, their sound is instantly and deeply infectious.
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“A very rare talent” - Rick Wakeman “He’s Exceptional” - MOJO “A refreshing whiff of anarchy” - Classic Rock "Creative Genius" - Vive le Rock With the release of his latest album Deathrow Disco, Tensheds set's out on tour this winter supporting, and playing with cult folk hero Beans On Toast on a mammoth 27 UK Tour. This will run straight into Tensheds headline tour throughout March. In 2017, following the release of his 3rd album, Tensheds was awarded the Discretional Rock Award at a ceremony held at the House Of Lords. The award was presented by rock piano legend Rick Wakeman. who spoke at great length about the similarities between himself and Tensheds - having both hailed from a classical background. It was a crowning achievement that marked ten years since Matt Millership - aka Tensheds, left the Royal Scottish Academy of Music in search of the Rock n Roll dream. Since then, the world of Tensheds has been anything but ordinary. Album ‘The Dandy Punk Prince’ marked a milestone in his development as an artist. Doing away with all instruments except piano and drums, he set about re-defining the ‘Piano Album’ and in the process created a genre all for himself which he calls ‘21st Century Blues’. Not only had no rock record ever been made with such instrumental limitation, Tensheds instructed his engineer that this must be a hard, gritty, base heavy punkblues record, oh and that it was to be recorded on his near 200 year old grand piano! Having already set the bar high, Tensheds then moved himself, drummer and engineer into Leicester Square Theatre in Soho for seven nights to record the drums – he wanted the largest space possible but unfortunately his 1835 grand piano was too fragile to move. So following their Seven Nights In Soho, Tensheds and engineer Simon Kitts then relocated to his Sussex Square home in Brighton, turning the entire house into a recording studio to finish the record. Tensheds attention to detail and crazy ambitions certainly paid off when the record won critical acclaim across the board from the likes of Classic Rock, MOJO, UNCUT, Maverick, R2, Vive Le Rock, BBC Radio. Praise certainly doesn’t come higher than Liverpool Sound & Vision declaring “A New Spectrum of Music”, well maybe from Penny Black Music “Settle back andinhale his Genius”. However, Tensheds real magic lies in his live performances. His audacious showmanship and Rachmaninoff style piano skills, deftly delivers a brand of gritty, heavy, edgy blues/punk, which incorporate elements of this classical background. Honing his craft in the time-honoured tradition, hoboing the road. Most recently touring the UK supporting Beans On Toast, while over the years Tensheds has had the honour of opening for legends; John Mayall, Mick Taylor, Hazel O’Connor, Paul Young, Roger Chapman, Spear Of Destiny, Blockheads, Paul Kelly, and James Burton. Not to mention his touring commitments with Beans On Toast and Jim Jones And The Righteous Mind as fulltime keyboard player. Is it any wonder he’s been labelled “Jerry Lee Lewis and Tom Waits’ love child”. Get Ready To Rock – “Nick Cave meets Lady Gaga” Viva Le Rock “Genius” Louder Than War - "Unique talent and Creative Genius" Cat On The Wall - "A work of perfectionism, perhaps obsession" Penny Black Music - "Settle in and inhale his Genius" UNCUT - "Great Depth & Wit" Music News - "One of the mostPowerful albums of the year" Rock n Reel - "Most Unique" Liverpool Sound & Vision - "A New Spectrum of Music Blues Matters "A Stunning Album" Gig Guide "Prepare To Be Transfixed" Pure Rawk - "A very unique sounding album" Buzz Mag - "Imagine if Waits had formed the White Stripes"
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The Gentle Good
Inspired by nearly forgotten traditional Welsh songs and the music of the 60s folk revival The Gentle Good create intricate yet beautiful modern folk music tinted with psychedelic edges. Based around the song-writing of Gareth Bonello, Cardiff's The Gentle Good enchant audiences with a spell of beautiful melodies and dark stories.
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The Vryll Society
This Liverpool psych-pop quintet’s unique eclectic sound has already seen them heavily tipped by BBC Introducing and championed by the likes of Huw Stephens (Radio 1), Phil Taggart (Radio 1) and Steve Lamacq (BBC 6 Music),
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Truckers Of Husk
Cardiff instrumental rockers.
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Alun Gaffey, Ani Glass, Giorgio Tuma, Girl Ray, Himalayas, Mandy, Mumbleman, Silent Forum, Sports Team, Tigana, Winter Coat, Yan Hender, Adverse Camber , Ailsa Tully, Atterbury & Gibbz , Bad Vibes, Duski, Garden Centre, Grace , Jim Ghedi, Love Of Everything, Lovers Open Fire, Lush Purr, Matt Davies & The Secret Show, Rews, Rhian, Soul Structure