Focus Wales is back and will take place over 7th-9th May 2020!
Focus Wales is a multi-venue international showcase festival taking place in Wrexham, North Wales, which places the music industry spotlight firmly on the emerging talent that Wales has to offer the world, alongside the best new acts from across the globe.
Focus Wales 2020 will mark the festival's 10th edition, and will welcome over 15,000 people to the town, building upon 2019?s record attendance across a jam-packed weekend of events. There's no place like Wrexham during Focus Wales, as they showcase 250+ bands, fill out a variety of spaces and music venues, using 20 stages, and hosting a full schedule of Interactive Industry Sessions, Arts events, and Film screenings, throughout the festival.
Please visit www.focuswales.com for more information.
Adwaith are Gwenllian, Hollie, Eva and Heledd from Carmarthen. BBC Music Introducing in Wales have supported them since they first uploaded their music in 2016. They are inspired by artists like The Slits, Happy Mondays and The Velvet Underground, and have been described as “the Welsh Slits playing Johnny Cash songs.”
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Art School Girlfriend
'There's a lengthy creative thread running through Art School Girlfriend. Raised in Wrexham, North Wales, she then spent five years in London before eloping the calmer creative climes of Margate. Different projects, different guises have followed, before this young artist settled on her current moniker. A perfectionist, the material on upcoming EP 'Measures' - released on Paul Epworth's Wolf Tone label - has been in the works for some time, a laborious, exacting process. But it's all been worth it. 'Measures' is led out by new song 'Bending Back', an entrancing piece of electronic pop music that cuts a little deeper. The billowing, continually evolving production forms a soft bed for Art School Girlfriend's vocal to relax into, a striking, direct, yet playfully experimental performance.'
See 8 tour dates featuring Art School Girlfriend
Say Hello to Baby Brave, Wrexham’s lethal injection of sunshine. Emmi Manteau (Guitar/Vocals), Steve Nicholls (Guitar), Mike Jones (Drums), and Sian O (Bass) got together two years ago and quickly began creating classic pop songs drenched in droning, distorted, feedback. The end result is a sound as reminiscent of Tilly and The Wall and B52’s, as it is My Bloody Valentine and St. Vincent.
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Young country-pop singer songwriter from South Wales with a soulful and powerful voice way beyond her years. She has worked with producers and songwriters like Charlie Francis (High Llamas, R.E.M.), Amy Wadge (Lewis Watson, Ed Sheeran) and Rick Wakeman.
See Bryony Sier tour dates
Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard
Cardiff band making indie dream pop with songs that explore weighty concepts of time, money, politics and vanity.
See 2 tour dates featuring Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard
Llangollen / Chester-based 5 piece, Campfire Social, create incandescent, melodic songs that take the intimate heartbreak of Elliott Smith and embellish with golden harmonies borrowed from The Beach Boys. Campfire Social grew out of the ashes of the very highly regarded and much lamented Shy & the Fight.
See 4 tour dates featuring Campfire Social
Catrin Finch is one of the harp's primary exponents and has brought a new audience to the intricate and beautiful instrument through her boundless energy and enthusiasm. Described as 'The Queen Of Harps’, she's enjoyed a phenomenal career thus far, has performed across the globe and in the Royal Palaces and played to Royalty from around the world as part of her appointment to The Prince Of Wales and was recently nominated for a Classical Brit Award.
See 25 tour dates featuring Catrin Finch
A potent cocktail of spiritual Afro-Mandinka music with a twist of jazz composed by a Sekou Keita, a griot and international Kora player with a fantastic musical family pedigree. Respecting a musical tradition that stretches back to the 13th Century and the Mandinka Empire of West Africa, Seckou is an established contemporary master of the Kora, the 21-stringed African harp. With his feet firmly rooted in the 21st century and the identity of his heritage clear, Seckou is keen to experiment and develop fresh ideas. '... an inspired exponent of the Kora' (The Guardian).
See 20 tour dates featuring Seckou Keita
"... a glittering, spacious soundscape– mystical, but never twee." The Line of Best Fit "A vivid talent."- Clash Magazine Bristol based singer songwriter / producer Emily Magpie released her sophomore EP 'The Witching Hour' in November 2017. A bewitching collection of tracks juxtaposing an ethereal splendour with driving electronics, The EP is a reflection on the magic of the everyday and of being human. Co-produced with Anuj Robin, it is inspired by a trip to South America and draws on the empowering feeling of freedom when travelling, where Emily enjoyed chance encounters such as being invited to work with Diego Ubierna (of Adammo, Grammy and MTV Award winner and nominee). The Witching Hour has been received to rave reviews from press including The Line of Best Fit, Tap the Feed, DIY & Clash as well as plays on BBC Introducing and Hoxton Radio. Recent gigs include Green Man Festival, Ronnie Scotts, Sofar Sounds, The Louisiana and The Islington. Emily will be playing more dates in 2018 including as support for This is the Kit. "Intense, vital energy" - DIY Magazine "We are all in love with her hypnotic voice." - Sofar Sounds Guayaquil.
See 2 tour dates featuring Emily Magpie
Encompassing the spirit of Joni Mitchell and Laura Marling, acoustic folk artist Eve Goodman brings a perfect mix of contemporary and classic.
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A genre-defying tribal pop/experimental worldbeat outfit with roots in both England and Bahrain, Flamingods' dizzying blend of traditional African and Middle Eastern music, psych-folk, and prog falls somewhere in between the Avalanches, Konono Nº1, Animal Collective, and Goat. Formed in Bahrain in 2010 by Kamal Rasool, Sam Rowe, Charles Prest, Karthik Poduval, and Craig Doporto, the group issued a series of EPs before releasing its debut full-length album, Sun, in 2013 via English indie Art Is Hard. A change in UK visa laws resulted in Rasool being forced to move back to Bahrain shortly after graduating from university, so the quintet began working remotely, communicating their ideas via samples and snippets on the Internet. The results from those exchanges appeared on their 2014 sophomore outing, Hyperborea.
See 2 tour dates featuring Flamingods
Wrexham noise makers with their brand of cosmic rocktronica. Voted as Clash Magazine's ones to watch.
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An addictive blend of soul, jazz, folk and hip-hop, influenced by the melancholy beauty of the Anne Briggs, Joan Baez and Joni Mitchell songs found in her mother's record collection. She is a highly talented harpist too. Raised bilingually in Aberystwyth, Wales, Georgia’s haunting voice has earned her favourable comparisons with the melancholy folk sirens of the late 60s. Her unusual harp playing was inspired more by the guitar on Bert Jansch, Meic Stevens and old folk revivalist records than by the classical method she was taught as a child. She has performed at Glastonbury, Green Man Festival, SWN and several other festivals
See 4 tour dates featuring Georgia Ruth
Golden Fableare Tim McIver and Rebecca Palin who were the driving force behind Tim And Sam's Tim And The Sam Band With Tim And Sam. Quirky beats and percussion introduce multi-layered synths, acoustic guitars and Rebecca's choral vocal style, which bubbles up to a crescendo of electric guitars and duetting vocals. This is lo-fi, folk-tinged pop that picks you up and takes you to another place.
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Four-piece from Toronto, Goodbye Honolulu evoke a 90's slacker vibe, mixing vintage garage rock 'n' roll history with modern elements, appealing to fans of Black Lips, Cage The Elephant and Ty Segall. They make for an amazing live experience. Whether it’s Emmett’s fuzz-layered guitar, Jacob’s gnarly vocals, Fox’s Bowie-inspired vocal inflections or Max beating his drum kit to death, Goodbye Honolulu make their audience the VIP guests to their rock n roll party.
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Gruff Rhys is a prolific and inventive Welsh musician whose music encompasses a range of styles, including psychedelia, folk and electro-pop. His third album, Hotel Shampoo, won the Artrocker Album of the Year award and the Welsh Music Prize in 2011. Gruff is well known as the singer and main songwriter for Super Furry Animals, and he also formed Neon Neon, the electro-pop collaborative project with Boom Bip. In 2014, Gruff released American Interior, an album, book, film and app, exploring the life of John Evans, who left Wales for north America in 1792 in search of a lost tribe of Welsh-speaking Native Americans. Then in 2016, despite a busy schedule touring again with the Super Furries, he found time to compose the soundtrack album for Andy Goddard's film Set Fire To The Stars. His most recent release, 2018's Babelsberg, was recorded with the 72 piece BBC National Orchestra of Wales.
See 9 tour dates featuring Gruff Rhys
Kidsmoke are a four piece band from Wrexham, North Wales. Formed in 2013, the band play indie-pop inspired by The Smiths, Joy Division and more contemporary bands like Wild Nothing, Real Estate and Deerhunter.
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With Damian Rice, Gomez, Liam Frost and Suzanne Vega amongst her biggest influences, Natalie's sound is a warmth of heavenly vocals and engrossing lyrics over a backdrop of masterful guitar playing. Natalie appeared on T4's 'Mobile Act Unsigned' with band Kalorie, gaining many fans, and won the 2007 'Make It Break It' songwriters competition. The track 'Anchor Down', which was written, arranged and performed by Natalie was judged by Chris Martin and Mark Radcliffe, and scooped the top prize.
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Occupying the rather niche genre of post-teddycore, Seazoo are a five-piece from North Wales. Think Gorky’s, SFA, Yo La Tengo and Pavement. All underpinned with the home-recording ethic of Granddaddy.
See 7 tour dates featuring Seazoo
She's Got Spies
Indie pop from Cardiff.
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The Besiders are a four piece art rock band from Chester with a refined and unique sound. Expect Immediate songs composed of groovy bass lines, strong vocals and eclectic guitar riffs that give this band an electronic edge.
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The Breath is Stuart McCallum (ex-guitarist of The Cinematic Orchestra), Irish singer Rioghnach Connolly and McCallum’s fellow Cinematic alumnus pianist John Ellis, along with drummer Elliot Bennett. Born out of Manchester’s fertile music scene they mix Irish folk influences with mesmerizing guitar riffs, anthemic themes and powerful hooks.
See 5 tour dates featuring The Breath
Four piece Indie/Rock band from west london, merging energetic music with a lively perfomance.
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Trials Of Cato
The Trials of Cato formed in Beirut in the summer of 2015 and spent a formative year performing traditional music on the Lebanese music scene and developing their sound. Following their debut at Radio Beirut in September 2015, they went on to regularly fill some of Beirut’s foremost music venues. Since returning to the UK, their feet have hardly touched the ground as they are booked up at folk clubs and festivals across the country thanks to a formidable live reputation.
See 21 tour dates featuring Trials Of Cato
Vishtèn are an Acadian multi-instrumentalist trio comprising twin sisters Pastelle and Emmanuelle LeBlanc and Pastelle’s husband Pascal Miousse who hails from the neighbouring Magdalen Islands. The sisters are also expert exponents of a French Canadian phenomenon “podorythmie” or foot percussion.
See 16 tour dates featuring Vishtèn
Wolf & Moon
Traveling duo making folky pop with electronic sprinkles. Wolf and Moon paint a colourful picture between vision and reality. Their music stands for motion and progress. With their emotionally strong live performances and their authentic behaviour, the band is not only predestined for travelling the world with their music, but also they accompany us on our trips with an inspiring, miraculous and powerful sound.
See 2 tour dates featuring Wolf & Moon
Previously performing under the name ‘CaStLeS’, Worldcub are an alt-rock band from Snowdonia, North Wales, featuring brothers Cynyr and Dion Hamer.
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Altin Gün offer an exciting mix of Turkish folk, psychedelia, funk and rock. After performing in Istanbul with Jacco Gardner, bassist Jasper Verhulst became fascinated by the Turkish sound of the 70s. At that time, artists like Selda, Baris Manço and Erkin Koray combined traditional music with western rock influences.
See 5 tour dates featuring Altin Gün
A Liverpool-based trio that play alternative folk pop with delicate harmonies, medieval synths and drones, hypnotic beats, and spiraling whammy guitars.
See 4 tour dates featuring Stealing Sheep
Being described as being a mix of Bjork and Kate Bush may seem absurd for some artists, but Heledd Watkins, the lead of Cardiff's HMS Morris, demands attention with her “Pulsing, brooding, decadent and ornate cinematic electro pop” and an arrestingly captivating voice.
See 2 tour dates featuring HMS Morris
Reformed '77 post-punk band, featuring Goldblade's John Robb. A key influence on bands like Big Black and the US underground, The Membranes are a melting pot of post punk, psychedelic rock, noise and drone, and neo classical pieces. The band claim they are "not a rock n roll project, but a high decibel orchestra playing discordant death disco symphonies about life and the universe and beyond. With music that varies from classic Membranes discordant noise, to drone rock epics, to neo classical orchestrated pieces to psych outs, to a walk on the dark side exercise in post punk with dark dub exercises…”
See 2 tour dates featuring The Membranes
See 2 tour dates featuring Chinatown Slalom
Chroma is an Alt-Rock trio from Rhondda Cynon Taff, the centre of the Valleys. The band is comprised of the lead singer Katie, providing a belting high end lead vocal in Welsh and English. Providing the middle sounds with Guitar and Bass is Liam and his distorted octave tones. The sound is the completed with Zac's diverse and unique drumming styles. Between only the three of them, they've managed to achieve an intense sound that's full of colour, and they're ready to offer a new blend of Alternative Rock on the local scene.
See 2 tour dates featuring Chroma
Karima has toured the UK and Europe extensively with her captivating performances – She has graced the major stages supporting such artists as Paul Simon/ The Stereophonics / Jack Savoretti / Patti Smith and Amy Winehouse Having begun playing drums at 13, Karima Francis self-taught guitar and songwriting at the age of 18. Not long after, her legendary debut The Author was released on independent record label Kitchenware Records, produced by the gifted Ken Nelson (Coldplay, Paulo Nutini). She was named as a number one act to watch in 2009 by the Observer. The Author effortlessly found common ground with Francis’s audiences. It’s a song-driven album, entwined with melodic textures and innovative musical progressions. This emotionally rich album was met with critical acclaim for both her vocals and songwriting. Francis’s performance on BBC’s iconic music show ‘Later with Jools Holland’ in 2010, was the icing on the cake for the Author’s success. In 2012 Francis returned with her second album ‘The Remedy’ produced by Flood (U2, PJ Harvey, Smashing Pumpkins). Prior to the release, Francis spent some time in LA where she wrote her most crowd-pleasing single ‘Wherever I go’ with the likes of Linda Perry. Released on Vertigo records, the Remedy’s betterment proved just how prolific Francis is as an artist. Karima Francis self-released her third album ‘Black’ in 2015 produced by Dan Austin [Doves / Cherry Ghost / Kid Wave]. Black’s ambient sounds went hand in hand with Francis’s astonishing vocals. Francis is now experimenting with new sonics and wider musical arrangements, whilst in focus on production and writing her fourth album, making us all eager of what's yet to come… ‘Songs will always be the passion and expression in my work but I’m exploring the sounds and sonic further now and it feels like I am working with a new canvas, some of the more traditional framings have been expanded’ - Karima Francis '17
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Drinking Boys And Girls Choir
Skate-Punk trio from Daegu City, Korea inspired by Sum41, NOFX and Daegu's 90s-00s hardcore punk/indie-rock scene. They formed in 2013 when two drummers MJ and Meena shared a rehearsal space, and decided to form a band. Meena switched to Bass and guitarist Bondu (who had just finished his military service) answered their ad. They bonded over a shared love of drinking, skating and punk.
See 5 tour dates featuring Drinking Boys And Girls Choir
Cardiff based Meilir's distinctive approach to his craft creates interesting melody driven songs with experimental elements. Adopting an innovative approach to making live performances interesting he uses unconventional instrumentation as accompaniment such as a box of gravel, singing wine glasses and a thumb piano. The result is an awe inspiring and ethereal sound, which once experienced will never be forgotten.
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Tim and Sam's Tim and Sam Band
With melodies firmly in the realm of the post-rock. 'Tim and Sam make music for the entrance foyer of heaven' -Meghan Vaughan.
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Drawing on influences such as Talking Heads, XTC, Syd Arthur, Talk Talk, Cowtown and Elbow, Port Erin are a band the simply won't be constrained by genre or style, their music speaks for itself. " Port Erin are a perfectly weighted three-piece dispensing precision rock full of space and dynamics with liquid, ringing guitar, fat authoritative bass a superb drummer delivering delicious hi-hat. " - Venue Mag.
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A guitarist's guitarist who has played with the likes of Pulp, Longpigs and Robbie Williams, now out on his own with a repertoire of original songs melding classic Americana with true grit Northern Britain. He has twice been nominated for the much coveted Mercury Prize award.
See 7 tour dates featuring Richard Hawley
Graeme Park has been DJing for over 25 years. He was there before it all started, and hes still there, still rocking it, years later longer than some of the people on the dancefloor have been on the planet! Expect to hear the A to Z of dance music, with plenty of classics mixed with lots of current tunes!
See 2 tour dates featuring Graeme Park
A pop / rock singer and YouTuber from the Wirral who won American TV and radio star, Ryan Seacrest's Worldwide Cover Song Contest in October 2014. She supported Little Mix on the first date of their 2017 Glory Days stadium tour.
See 3 tour dates featuring Bronnie
Hailing from Cardiff, Rosehip Teahouse, started life back in 2015 as the bedroom-pop project of guitarist and vocalist, Faye Rogers. Now expanded into a full-band, they have impressed with their sparkling take on DIY-pop, which has seen the band pack out their own headline tour and bag a high profile slot at Indietracks. Musically, Rosehip Teahouse inhabit a world of melancholic beauty. Recalling the likes of Let’s Buy Happiness or a less frenetic Mothers. A band in that thrilling early stage; full of creativity and fearlessness, simultaneously making you long to hear what comes next and simply enjoy where they already are.
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Band Pres Llareggub Brass Band
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Accü, Blind Wilkie McEnroe, Cara Hammond, Chupa Cabra, Delta Radio, Dienw, Eitha Da, Elis Derby, Evie Moran, Flamingo House, Geraint Lovgreen a’r Enw Da, Hannah Willwood, Hellfire Devilles, Jack Found, Junior Brother, Melin Melyn, Mountainface, Panic Shack, PINT+BLISTER, The Cazales, The Royston Club, The Zangwills, Ynys, Casi, Jacob Elwy A'R Trwbz, Hyll, Art D'Ecco, Begonia, Sunglaciers, The FAPS, Michah Erenberg, Alexandria Maillot, Port Juvee, Jennah Barry, The Brood, Villages
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