Perfume Genius, Fiction, Islet, VVOLVES, John Mouse - Preview: SWN 2010

Bill Cummings & Rhian Daly 21/10/2010

So the extended and sprawling Cardiff music shindig Swn, kicks off tonight, a localised stab at being our ITC, organised by local movers and sometime shakers Huw Stevens( radio one) and John Rostrom(Swn). Various artists play at local venues across for three days from the Thursday 21st of October to the Saturday 24th. We're not going to flannel you here at GIITTV zine, now in its fourth year Swn festival has a good history of supporting local talent with the usual sprinkling of buzz bands from out of town. But its choices for headliners this year are somewhat questionable former Beautiful South man Paul Heaton plays a separately ticketed event that most with wristbands will not be able to gain access too. While forgotten post punks Swans pitch up in support of their rather dubious new album. One has to question the idea of having separate gigs and wonder whether they are money-spinners to keep Swn on the go throughout the year?

Nevertheless if you are prepared to hop from venue to venue, there's little doubt though that there will be some awesome up and coming talent playing in the next few days. We just question some of the choices made in terms of the organisation and line up this year. Here are some of our picks for the long weekend kicking off tonight(Thursday).

Whoever you're seeing this year, we really hope you do enjoy Swn!(Bill Cummings)

Bill's picks in (Bold)
Rhian's picks in (italics)


Until this year Kutosis were a criminally over looked Cardiff based new wave-cum-post punk three piece. Their recent ep on Twisted by Design 'we are the animal, you are the city' has changed all that seeing them step up a level and gaining them good attention across the water. They follow in the line of other twisted noisy South Wales heroes like Mclusky, their offshoot Future of the Left, The Victorian English Gentlemen's Club and more recently Strange News From Another Star. Kutosis produce smart, shouty, sneering post punk of the kind that judders with frantic rhythms and 100mph riffage their live shows are ferocious and energetic they'll certainly perk you up in the early evening! (Dempseys: 7.30pm)

I was amazed to learn that Spectrals aka Louis Jones is awkward ginger lad from Leeds, such is his grasp of American dreamy melodies and 60s jangle. Brought up of a mixture motown and doo-wop, Spectrals' influences include Phil Spector (hence the name), The Supremes, The Isley Brothers alongside contemporary garage rock. Their rather splendid debut EP 'Spectrals Extended Play' is out on Moshi Moshi now catch them before they float out of your orbit!(Clwb Ifor Bach: 8.30pm)

London's Nedry are my wildcard for the evening gloomy dubstep experimentation snaked through by singer Ayu's unique vocal styling that bring to mind Liz Fraser of the Cocteau Twins. Their debut album 'Condors' is slowly creeping up my best of 2010 albums list, this show should be special!(CAI: 9.30pm)

Talons play the BSM showcase in Y Fuwch Goch across the road from Clwb alongside label mates Mimas and Tallships, their awesome instrumental odysseys have caught many listener into their unstoppable sonic web, thudding at your solar plexus and causing you to make involuntary head banging movements with your upper body. This should be an awesome, sweaty end to the evening!(Y Fuwch Goch: 11.15pm)

Brown Brogues
Hip-shaking blues rock duo Brown Brogues might be the polar opposites of each other in terms of size and appearance but musically, they fit together in perfect harmony to create a kind of bone-rattling brilliance that demands attention.(Undertone: 7.15pm)

Formerly known as Books, Manchester's Youth promise epic dreamscapes and heart-on-sleeve fragility.(Undertone:8.30pm)

Replacing Clinic, Leeds' Eagulls might not come to Swn dressed as surgeons a la the cult post-punkers but what they lack in fancy dress, they sure make up for in scratchy garage rock tunes.(Clwb:9.15pm)

Dutch Uncles
Big in Germany (they've released an album there already), Dutch Uncles are now starting to brew up a storm in their home nation. They've shared stages with Everything Everything, Bombay Bicycle Club and Dananananaykroyd, and are bound to ignite imaginations in much the same way.(Undertone: 9.45pm


Brandyman are a side project of players from Gindrinker, Joy of Sex, and Truckers of Husk they create frankly barking music that mixes ZZ top, hair metal and Mark E Smith into a urgent concoction!(Clwb Ifor Bach: 7.15pm)

Dry The River
Over at Quench Liveā€¦ you can witness the folk tinged wistfulness of Dry The River, a new name to me their sound is effortless and timeless and the perfect comedown to the white noise of Bradyman. Nicceee (Dempseys: 915pm)

Take Sweet Babboo's Steve, add members of The Voluntary Butler Scheme, H.Hawkline stir what do you get? Their orchestral sound is deconstructed by infectious bite size fuzz strums and wonky rhythms: that house trembling hearted melodies. How's about that then!?(Chapter: 8.30pm)

Young and exciting Londoners Fiction impressed at last year's Swn and, thus, have been invited back. They're on at 6:30 so get down early for a chance to see why NME froth at the mouth every time they're mentioned and why Offset made them the first signings to their new label.(Clwb Ifor Bach: 6.30pm)

"Y'all think we care but we don't", Veronica So will undoubtedly purr at some point during Teeth's set. They might not take their chaotic blend of dance-punk all that seriously but you definitely should.(Buffalo: 8.15pm)

Gwylim Gold
Sometime Burberry model, Golden Silver and Bronze Club host, if Gwylim Gold's solo output is half as cool as his CV, his set will be one of the highlights of the weekend.(Undertone: 9.45pm)

Bristol scamps Wilder might still be taking their first steps as a band but, as a support tour with Julian Casablancas and debut single Girls vs Boys will attest to, they're fun, youthful and on their way to making something special. Potential? They've got truckloads of it.(The Model Inn: 11.30pm)


John Mouse
An underrated anti folk legend and concert promoter, John Mouse' album 'Humber Dogger Forties' is one of the most imaginative, eclectic and enjoyable long players released this year! Even though he's on hideously early in the day and stuck in a pretty poor venue it would be criminal to miss his set! (Undertone: 3pm)

Juddering, catchy and intelligent, Cardiff based VVOLVES are the meeting point between the anthemic electro of Toykyo Police Club and the unhinged intellect of LCD Soundsystem. Grab hold of their 'Birds In Berlin EP' & 'Vogue EP for nowt, and watch them take orbit at the Buffalo Bar(Buffalo: 41.5pm)

Evening Chorus
Wonderful folk tinged, local based rootsy five piece that will have your toes tapping, and your hands clapping along to their hoedowns, and your heart swooning to their rich communal harmonisations that deal with hope, joy and sadness in a catchy old time way that's rooted in Americana. EC's songs give you that warm feeling inside like a great big bear hug. Just don't mention Mumford and Sons ok?! They were captivating at Chapter supporting Alessi's Ark, so get yourself on down to their set on the last day of Swn!(Chapter: 7pm)

Notoriously evasive online, Welsh rockers Islet have found themselvs thrust into the limelight regardless of late, not least owing to their eclectic tapestries of fuzzy light and shade. Expect multiple swapping of instruments, shouting, hollering, handclapping, and two drum sets banging sewn with insidious vocal sparring that worms its way into your brain! Islet are super live, a total must see of the weekend!(The Model Inn: 11.15pm)

The Vaccines
The Vaccines' debut single Wreckin' Bar (Ra Ra Ra) might only be one and a bit minutes long but they've already got the whole blimmin' industry falling over itself to catch a glimpse. Certain to be on the all the tip lists for 2011, Jay Jay Pistolet's new band are bound to be one of the most talked about bands of the weekend.(Dempseys: 7pm)

Egyptian Hip Hop
Precocious youngsters Egyptian Hip Hop bring their 21st century take on The Cure and New Order for a show that's bound to be one long dance-athon.(Dempseys: 8pm)

Perfume Genius
Devastatingly beautiful, awkward and creator of one of 2010's most perfect albums, Mike Hadreas aka Perfume Genius performs with a disarming fragility that is guaranteed to open up the floodgates and leave his whole audience a sobbing wreck. Don't forget the Kleenex.(Chapter: 9.30pm)

Free Swn & Welsh music foundation seminars across Friday and Saturday at Chapter Arts centre Cardiff.

If you haven't already purchased your tickets, 3 day Swn wristbands have gone up from £58 from £45.