Get in your time machine it’s time to rock! Entering The Earl Haig Club was like stepping back in time, Meat raffle and Sunday Strippers (only joking but that’s the style of this out-of-town workies club do) The place was pretty busy and the support band The Pearl Harts were on stage doing their distorted blues thang a la White Stripes but two females but you get the kinda vibe. They put in a whole hearted set but it didn’t help with the large room and seating around the three sides and the bar at the back but all in all the audience who did watch were suitably warmed up.

By the time Jim Jones All Stars were hitting the stage the place was pretty busy to be fair and for a school night things were looking promising as Jim and his masterful musical ensemble took to the stage with one thing on their mind and that was to cast a spell over this impressive turnout and spent the next ninety minutes well and truly kicking their backsides with a perfect blend of good-time garage rock n fuckin greasy roll.

The volume was suitably impressively loud and the no nonsense aproach from the All Stars is a thing of beauty when they’re in full flight and pumped up and tonight boys and girls they rose to the challenge and gave this up for it audience a seriously really good time.

With a seriously good new record in tow and a back catalogue that goes all the way back to Thee Hypnotics there is an overflowing well of top tunes to turn to should they need to turn the heat up or take it down a notch or two from the unbelievably good ‘Burning Your House Down’ through ‘It’s Your Voodoo Working’ it was horn-honking-tactic as the band hit their groove right from the off and just cruised through the gears with songs like ‘Cement Mixer’ turning into an even bigger snarling beast with the saxophones adding another dimension to the already exhilarating sound. As far as live bands go this is only my second time seeing the All-Stars and my umpteenth time seeing Jim Jones kick out the jams over the decades and hand on heart this is on another level. When he broke up the Revue to pursue other things I was gutted but every shuffle of the pack has been a twist and a shake-down that’s had me on my feet cheering for more. Man, ‘Rock n Roll Psychosis’, and ‘Princess And The Frog’ were immense endings with t eh horns but finishing on ‘Shakedown’ this is how thee Hypnotics were meant to sound and I went home yet again wondering how they could possibly top that.

Of the new songs the band were in their groove and properly gig worn in ‘Troglodyte’ was the cream of the crop whilst their cover of ‘Run Run Run’ was loose baby and was hypnotically casting a spell on the room. If you get the chance I urge you not to pass it up and take full advantage of seeing one of the finest live bands anywhere on the planet. ‘Gimme The Grease’ was an early set warmer upper with a phenominal groove.

Jim Jones All-Stars have the perfect name, to sum up, their evil powers called Rock n Roll. Boundless energy an explosive songs one after another dropping sonic bombs that are equal partsdevastatingg and joyful. Simply superb. Go get yourself shakendown. Amen Brothers and sisters, Afuckinmen! The sermon has been delivered and Cardiff was served. Bosh!

Author: Dom Daley

Like London busses Stevie is dorment for ages then several albums rock up in a short space of time. The title track breaks through the silence with its thick throbbing bass line and some overdriven hacking and slashing Rock n Rolling guitars and kicks over the stack before blowing up the speakers.

Its trashy and dripping in sleazy Rock n Roll Back in 2003, Steve had the chance to go back out and play with Faster Pussycat on a UK Tour and managed to pull together a band of musical acquaintances soon to run by the name The X-iDolls. Initially it was planned to do the tour and cut n run. Like a runaway train and musicians enjoying the trip quickly get down to writing and an album’s worth of material soon came together. After a host of other shows supporting Tuuli and The Quireboysit lived and breathed for a while longer than anticipated.

An EP was recorded early on with the album put together in late Summer 2003 but sadly the band was never destined to last and disintegrated before the end of that year, with the album never to see the light of day until now. ‘Some Things Never Fall’ is a Lords bassline borrowed and kicked around the seedy soho backstreets and clothed in some punky attitude its an enjoyable stomp. I like the energy Stevie puts into his music and its clear he believes in what he does and that energy is none more evident than ‘Smashed’ comple with nice gob iron blasts to add texture to the Rock n Roll.

‘For You’ has groove whilst ‘Cherry Bomb’ has a tonne of energy and would be great to hear live as Stevie kicks out his jams. ‘Cry’ is one of those hard soft(er) songs from the picked intro and harmonica wheeze and the shimmering first verse before building through its near six minutes. I like it and it has plenty of charm theres an honesty and lived in feel happening and Stevie does it really well.

This album isn’t polished and has a live energy and authenticity about it thats traceable throughout the seventies and eighties and has that very honest DNA coursing through its songs. The band motors through the latter part of the album from the sing a long of ‘Sixty Six Sick Chicks’ through the party anthem that is ‘Looking At You’ if the party consisted of twenty lucky strikes no filter and a watneys party seven and a bottle of blue and red thunderbird (the true drink of champions) a bevvy of beautiful women and your best mates all having the time of your lives and this pumping on your stereo. ‘Out With A Bang’ is what it says on the tin. A collection of really good tunes from The X-iDolls who do this sleazy punk n roll as good as anyone out there and have better shoes whilst doing it as well #Fact.

Buy Here

Author: Dom Daley

Bernie Tormé was one of my first ever guitar heroes. He in some way took the genres of punk and hard rock and made the songs he played on sound like something altogether different, then when it came to his image Bernie looked like no one else on the rock scene back in in the early eighties, in fact he looked more like a cast member of The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy than a bullet belted jeans and t shirt rocker. And in my teenage mind this meant everything. Bernie Tormé (as some singer would later declare on live TV) really was a STAR.

When I caught up with Bernie for a chat at the very first Hard Rock Hell festival all the way back in 2007 that tired old adage of “never meet your heroes” never entered into my head, being introduced to the man by his then fellow GMT band mate John McCoy (yup THE John McCoy) with strict prior instructions to tell Bernie just how much his music and playing had meant to me growing up. I soon found that the cocksure Wild Irish six stringer I’d only ever previously seen flaunting his insane talent on stage was anything but that off it. Bernie was initially shy and oh so humble in my presence, but once he’d relaxed into our conversation he opened up about his time being the hippy on the punk scene and playing the Vortex, then becoming the punk in the hard rock band Gillan, before then regaling me with tales of his brief time with Ozzy, his (in my eyes at least) perhaps finest hour in Tormé (with Phil Lewis) and then his time with Dee Snider and Clive Burr in metal supergroup Desperado.

I’m, getting ahead of myself here though, because this four CD box set released via HNE Recordings/Cherry Red Records (the first in a series of such Bernie boxes I’m lead to believe) covers the years 1982 to 1983 and includes the two studio albums Bernie released during this time, initially solo whilst he was still a member of Gillan and then following his departure from that band alongside his bandmates as the Electric Gypsies. Together with these discs we also get two live albums from 1983. It was around that time I also saw Bernie live for the very first time and his ferocious playing that night saw him not only cut his hand but also bleed all over my Wrangler jacket, something that in 2007 Bernie not only apologised for but also offered to pay to get cleaned. A sincere gesture that still makes me smile to this very day.

Something that also makes me smile (a hell of a lot) is the album that kick starts this box set, 1982’s ‘Turn Out The Lights’. It’s a record that at the time confused quite a few of us hard rockers, not least because after the initial Gillan-esque bluster of the opening title track and the album’s only single, up next was a tune most of us had grown up knowing as being by Boney M. All these years on of course I now know ‘Painter Man’ was originally a ‘60s hit for The Creation, but there’s nothing quite like hearing your guitar hero in an all-new context to shake up the senses. Looking back now I can see it was really no different to what Gillan had been doing with their series of cover versions something that had provided them with UK chart hits and saw the band making several appearances on Top Of The Pops. Elsewhere, ‘Turn Out The Lights’ is an interesting mix of up-tempo hard rockers like ‘America’ and ‘Lies’ mixed up with the more elaborate songwriting of ‘Possession’ (which is still my favourite song on the record) and then there’s the brooding instrumental ‘Inda’. I do wonder what Gillan (the band) might have done with some of these songs and what Ian himself might have made of covering the Velvet Underground/Nico’s ‘Chelsea Girls’.

The version of ‘Turn Out The Lights’ included here not only contains the three bonus ‘Back With The Boys’ tracks that were included on Bernie’s very own Retrowrek Records’ version of the album but also adds a live rehearsal of ‘Chelsea Girls’ from 1982 alongside an also previously unreleased version of ‘Boney Maroney’ from 1979?, which I’m actually quite happy to turn a blind eye to timeline wise as it’s a top notch version.

Moving on to the box set’s second disc and 1983’s ‘Electric Gypsies’ album, and where ‘Turn Out The Lights’ had been an album recorded during Gillan downtime with the help of friends like Phil Spalding and Nigel Glockler, the nine tracks that make up this record were songs that the band had fully road tested before entering the studio. The Electric Gypsies at this point featuring one time Def Leppard and soon to be Waysted drummer Frank Noon alongside ex-Bethnal bassist Everton Williams, along with Bernie once again mashing up the musical genres to deliver his music vision. So, from the dive-bombing guitar histrionics of ‘Wild West’ through to pounding album closer ‘Go Go’ (which reminds me of something Gene Simmons would have written for KISS around the same time) ‘Electric Gypsies’ is much more a straight up hard rock record than its predecessor. With just the cover of The Troggs ‘I Can’t Control Myself’ and the acoustic ‘Presences’ proving to be the albums only musical curveballs this time around.

There’s a few nice surprises contained within this CD’s bonus tracks though, with this release adding two previously unreleased live cuts (a cover of the Stooges ‘Search & Destroy’ along with Bernie’s original version of the amazing ‘Star’) recorded in Paris back in 1982 to the already expanded Retrowrek Records’ version of the album that added five additional studio cuts to the running order, the pick of these for me being the much more poppy ‘New World’ which underlines the real depth of Bernie’s songwriting talents when he wasn’t just penning bluesy hard rockin’ anthems.

Just when things were really looking up for the Electric Gypsies a little thing called record company politics would soon rear its ugly head to put a stop to the band ultimately taking the next step up, something that would not only see the record delayed by a year before finally being released on a different label, but also see the band’s line up slowly disintegrate, something that saw the record also move from being promoted as a band record to being a Bernie Tormé solo album.    

With a series of live dates already booked Bernie urgently needed to find a new rhythm section to tour his new record so calling upon the talents of Stampede bassist Colin Bond and one time Iron Maiden drummer Ronnie Rebel this stop gap line up set off on a two week whirlwind trip around the UK and here on discs three and four we get to experience them in all their ragged glory.

CD three in this box set was originally released as ‘Bernie Tormé Live’ via Zebra Records back in 1984, but here it has its track listing expanded from seven to eleven tracks whilst CD four captures the same line up live at Sheffield Octagon, and this boasts the same thirteen song track listing as the version previously released digitally via Bernie’s Bandcamp page.

Both CDs are solid live accounts of the Bernie Tormé band back in 1983, and the bonus tracks tagged to the end of CD three are of particular interest to me, having never previously heard these versions before.

‘Lightning Strikes – Volume One (1982-1983)’ comes complete with the usual high-quality booklet/sleeve notes that you expect from HNE Recordings/Cherry Red Records releases, this one containing some stunning archive photography too.

This box set really set the bar high for any subsequent releases in this reappraisal of Bernie Tormé’s solo career go grab yourselves a copy when it hits the shelves on October 27th.      

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Author: Johnny Hayward

First up this cold and wet UK morning is Autogramm, a synth-driven power-pop band from Seattle, Chicago and Vancouver. They have just announced their latest LP ‘Music That Humans Can Play’ with an advance single and video for the track “Plastic Punx”.

Their first album in over two years will be released on vinyl and digital formats world-wide on November 17th via Stomp Records and Beluga Records EU.

Autogramme – Bandcamp

New York City guitarist, singer-songwriter Steve Conte has released the music video for his latest single “Girl With No Name.”

The clip was shot on the streets of NYC & in studio by Natborn Productions’ Peter Perenyi & son Orion Perenyi, with motion graphics, lyrics & final touches by David Provan at 12 Inch Media.

The song follows the summer release of his single “Fourth Of July” (co-written with Andy Partridge of XTC).

Conte says, “This is a song of regret…about missed opportunity and lack of skills in meeting someone you’re attracted to.

When putting my new album together, I was looking for songs that would fit nicely alongside the songs that Andy Partridge and I had written for it and I kept thinking of this one. I wrote it back in 1984 and never forgot it – which was a good sign.

Because it came to me so long ago I can’t exactly remember my process for writing it, except that since I was young & single at that time I was probably experiencing these kinds of situations & feelings on a daily basis!

Musically, I can hear what was influencing me back then; mid 60s Beatles, mid 80s XTC, and that beloved Motown groove from a certain Diana Ross & The Supremes song…”

A follow-up LP to Conte’s acclaimed 2021 solo album Bronx Cheer, is expected in Spring 2024 via Steven Van Zandt’s Wicked Cool Records.

Phil Campbell has seemingly come full circle since leaving both The Temperance Movement and The Byson Family, by continuing on the singer/songwriter solo journey he started before joining one of the UK’s new breed of bluesy classic rock artists back in 2011.

While it’s a shame The Temperance Movement never reached the dizzy heights their early material and magical live gigs promised, the singer seems comfortable and content with his current status, and the release of his first solo album under the name Philip Seth Campbell.

Playing more intimate venues than he has been used to for many years, Philip is promoting ‘City Lights’ with a series of low-key dates, just the man and his guitar, with just a bassist and a keyboard player backing him.

Taking to the stage of the smaller community room at The Brudenell Social club, on this the second date of a UK tour, you would be forgiven for thinking the Glaswegian singer had come straight from a do. Wearing an open dress shirt, trousers and trainers Philip Seth Campbell looks like the dishevelled, cool uncle at a family wedding. He and his band then proceed to run through a selection of choice cuts from the new album, older solo material and a couple of tracks each from his former bands.

Opener ‘Magical West’ was the euphoric first single released, and it loses none of its power in this stripped back format. The ever-animated Campbell may be restricted in his movements with a guitar strapped on, but his voice is on point, full of vigour and soul as he rasps his way through each high energy chorus. By the time the trio hit the gospel-tinged third track ‘Revelation’ his voice and the sound mix has certainly hit the sweet spot.

Yet there’s a sense that the singer must work for it tonight, he is certainly not going through the motions. Starting fresh, playing new songs to an audience who may be unfamiliar with the material can be a trial by fire, and while the meagre and polite audience need some well-spirited goading from the singer into breaking the unnerving silence between songs, the whole thing seems to go swimmingly well. He certainly has the stagecraft, the songs and the voice to carry them. But it is nice to see a performer who is nervous and doesn’t know what to expect, deliver in spades.

The anthemic Springsteen vibes of ‘Hasta Luego’ shine strong in a live environment, and the slower soulful moments such as the autobiographical ‘Sober Boy’ sound great. The new songs all fit well with the older material whether that be The Temperance Movement, The Byson Family or older solo stuff such as the sweet ‘Wrecking Ball Nights’, a song he introduces while strumming the opening chords

“Sometimes there’s nothing else for it but to get fucked up!” he declares. He may be a sober and happier boy these days, but he reminds us that things can easily change.

It was a bit of a surprise to hear him break into ‘Chinese Lanterns’. To be fair, I wasn’t really expecting that. It’s always been a favourite TM track since those early shows where Philip would sing it acapella, off-mic to a stunned crowd. Tonight, with an acoustic guitar as accompaniment it is just as special. Another TM classic ‘Lovers & Fighters’ closes a sweet set that satisfies fans both old and new.

I saw The Temperance Movement in this very same venue 10 years ago on their way up, and now it seems quite fitting to see their ex-singer continue his musical journey in fine form. A mesmerising and rewarding set from one of the best singer/songwriters we have to offer and one of the best gigs of the year for me. This could be the start of something special.

Author: Ben Hughes

‘All Quiet On The Eastern Esplanade’ (8th March)

NEW SINGLERun, Run, Run (Out Now)

Plus intimate shows in Margate (9th/10th December)  

If you want the night to lastThe Libertines are excited to announce the release of their fourth studio album entitled, All Quiet On The Eastern Esplanade out 8th March 2024. The release marks the band’s first new album in nine years and opens with the infectious new single, Run Run Run out today Listen Here.

All Quiet On The Eastern Esplanade’ is available to preorder from:
Anyone who preorders the album will be offered the chance to purchase tickets for “All Quiet On The Eastern Esplanade’ two days of special acoustic & electric live shows by The Libertines, at the 500 capacity Lido in Margate on Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th December. Also available both nights are VIP after party tickets at the Albion Rooms and Justine’s nightclub, which will include full band DJ sets.

Opening All Quiet On The Eastern Esplanade is the firstsingle Run, Run, Run, a huge singalong punk rock anthem, Carl says, “It’s about being trapped, and trying to escape your dismal life, a bit like the man in Bukowski’s ‘Post Office’. The worst thing for The Libertines would be to get stuck in a ‘Run-run-run’ rut, constantly trying to relive our past.”

On All Quiet On The Eastern Esplanade, the quartet of unlikely lads have gathered from their new-found homes in France, Denmark, Margate and London to solder a strongest-ever internal bond, and scale new creative heights resulting in the best music of their extraordinary career so far.
Featuring eleven new sparkling Libertines songs with songwriting credits shared among the four band members, the album was produced by Grammy-nominated producer Dimitri Tikovoï (The Horrors/Charli XCX/Becky Hill) and recorded at The Albion Rooms in Margate. Recorded in just four weeks earlier this year during February and March and finished over seven days at La Ferme de Gestein Studios in Normandy, with additional production and mixed by Dan Grech-Marguerat (Lana Del Rey/Liam Gallagher/Paul McCartney).

The story of the making of All Quiet On The EasternEsplanade goes like this – in September ’22 Libs glimmer twins Doherty and Barât decamped to Geejam in Port Antonio, Jamaica. Away from any distraction the chemistry between the infamous songwriting partnership began to bubble in earnest.
Fast forward to February ’23 and Peter and Carl regrouped with rock solid knaves to the rhythm, John and Gary, at The Albion Rooms, and, says Doherty“we really came together as a band. It was a moment of rare peace and unity, with all the members contributing.”For Carl, the whole Libertines journey has been leading to this moment. “Our first record was born out of panic, and disbelief that we were actually allowed to be in a studio; the second was born of total strife and misery; the third was born of complexity; this one feels like we were all actually in the same place, at the same speed, and we really connected.”
Peter proclaims: “We’re over the moon, and the ball is in the back of the net… and I’m chuffed for the lads!” He adds, more seriously, “I feel like we’ve completed a cycle of some kind as a band, and finally now we can add these songs to the set list, because we’ve got some bangers in there. Now we’ve opened the hotel and used the studio ourselves and it’s all worked out – more Libertines records? I should hope so!”
The album – named All Quiet On The Eastern Esplanade as a nod to their hotel’s street address and their enduring love of Erich Maria Remarque’s landmark anti-war novel – is an unequivocal triumph.
All Quiet On The Eastern Esplanade will be available on CD, deluxe CD, 12” vinyl in limited edition coloured variants, deluxe double vinyl cassette and digital download.

Pic courtesy of Ed Cook

Listen to ‘Oblivion’ Here

Edinburgh, ScotlandOctober 06, 2023 – Following up the announcement of BILLY LIAR’s new album “Oblivion,” he has just dropped his first single “Oblivion” on all streaming platforms! CLICK HERE to listen to the song. Additionally, his album “Crisis Actor” is available for pre-order on the Pirates Press Records website.

“Billy Liar is one of my favorite songwriters. Powerful and honest.” – Tim Armstrong (Rancid)

That’s one hell of a statement coming from Armstrong, a guy who knows his way around a tune as one of the most beloved songwriters in punk rock history.

A single listen to Billy Liar’s new album “Crisis Actor” will have any listener agree with Armstrong. With this album, Billy Liar showcases his outstanding talent for storytelling and his ability to capture raw, unfiltered emotions that resonate with listeners on a deeply personal level. These songs are bold, brash, and destined to be played loud in any size venue Billy steps into, from a solo show at a DIY space to a full-band set on a giant festival stage and everywhere in between…all with fans screaming back every word!

From the outset of “Crisis Actor,” Billy Liar commands the listener’s attention. From the opening track “Oblivion,” he pulls no punches when he sings “The only way I win is by not giving in to oblivion.”

Throughout the album, Billy intricately weaves anecdotes, scathing social commentary, and self-realization to craft a record that will please old and new punks alike. Drawing the inevitable comparison to the legendary punk troubadour Billy, Mr. Liar shares Mr. Bragg’s ability to address society, politics, and the world at large through the lens of lived experience and deeply personal, confessional emotion.

And just to put “Crisis Actor” over the top, a friend turns up to lend his familiar voice to one of the record’s highlights: the one and only Frank Turner joins Billy on “Negroni,” adding his trademark powerhouse grit to Liar’s boundless, exuberant energy.

With “Crisis Actor,” Billy Liar is poised to step up as a central voice in a new wave of singer-songwriters ready to tell their tales to listeners across the world. Clocking in at just 28 minutes, this album is a proverbial uppercut to the jaw. It hits you hard and fast, but it is intricate enough to reward close repeat listens. This is fortunate, because you’ll find yourself dropping the needle on this one again and again!

Whether armed only with his guitar or backed by a full band, Billy Liar will be traveling the globe, commanding stages of pubs, clubs, and arenas alike with this new set of tunes ready to catapult him into the hearts – and record collections – of punks worldwide!

For more information on Billy Liar:

John J. Presley announces UK headline tour dates for February 2024

Tickets available HERE:

New album ‘Chaos and Calypso’ due October 20th via God Unknown Records

Album launch show confirmed for October 18th at Third Man Records, Blue Basement in Soho, London. Tickets HERE:

Pre-order the album

Listen to new single ‘Silhouettes’ HERE:

“This is so good, a brooding, bluesy work out which would sound quite good in a Peaky Blinders-esque epic, perhaps we should also pass that on to that nice Cillian Murphy fellow…” Steve Lamacq, BBC6 Music

“What a return, sounding so good…superb stuff.” John Kennedy, Radio X

“Beauty in the songwriting, with John J. Presley displaying Nick Cave-esque levels of vocal intensity.” CLASH

“A ferocious, belly-deep sound, but somehow tender with it.” The Guardian (Laura Barton)

Brighton based multi-instrumentalist John J. Presley returns with a new album ‘Chaos and Calypso’, due October 20th via God Unknown Records. Following a period of activity in May of this year, John broke a three-year hiatus with the brooding, hypnotic single ‘Sinnerman’ (a collaboration with friend Laura-Marty Carter from Blood Red Shoes), and live shows with Radiohead’s Philip Selway and Gaz Coombes (Supergrass).

‘Chaos and Calypso’ features the first new music from Presley since his debut album ‘As The Night Draws In’ in 2019 and the vinyl only lockdown release ‘Albany Sessions’, which were both released to great acclaim. Presley’s music is hard to categorize but that is its strength – from folk blues noir moments to tasteful post rock walls of sound, – classic songwriting to improvised, experimental moments, Presley is constantly creating a tapestry that will engage, challenge, and inspire.

A diary piece that echoes a period of ill health, of spiralling vertigo and misdiagnoses, ‘Chaos and Calypso’ shows Presley’s trademark guitar tone in full effect with enough space in the mix to weave in a new palette of textures from drum machines and synths throughout. Presley plays guitar, bass and pedal steel on the new record and is an in-demand player too – Nadine Shah, Duke Garwood, Laura-Mary Carter, Juanita Stein and Smoke Fairies have all had him join their line ups.

Finally free of the confines of the studio, Presley is ready to bring ‘Chaos and Calypso’ to life in venues across the UK and following a special album launch show at Third Man in London on October 18th, will undertake a headline UK tour in February 2024.

Tickets are available HERE:

Full dates below:

18th October Third Man, London (special album launch show)

31st October The Prince Albert, Brighton


1st February Edge of the Wedge, Portsmouth

4th February Strings Bar and Venue, Isle of Wight

9th February Ramsgate Music Hall, Ramsgate

22nd February Adelphi, Hull

23rd February The Golden Lion, Todmorden

24th February Le Pub, Newport

25th February Hare and Hounds, Birmingham

‘Chaos and Calypso’ album launch show confirmed for October 18th at Third Man Records, Blue Basement in Soho, London. Tickets HERE:

Pre-order ‘Chaos and Calypso’ HERE:

Follow John J. Presley online:








ON-SALE NOW:“There’s something for everyone at this charming festival – the only problem is deciding who to watch.” – The Guardian, 4/5

“Sŵn Festival is setting the benchmark for festival line-ups and really hammers in a ‘no more excuses’ approach when it comes to diversity on line-ups… A perfectly run event, glued together by beautiful, kind and community-driven people.” – Clash
Hot off the heels of the successes of its 2022 edition – and the announcement of their 20 For 23 highlighted artists earlier this year – Sŵn Festival today shares the latest and final batch of additions to complete the line-up for this year’s event, taking place across multiple venues in Cardiff from October 20th-22nd. An unmissable highlight of the live calendar, the award-winning tastemaker festival once again returns with a jam-packed bill full of established and upcoming artists, a celebration of the diverse, exciting nature of both British and Welsh music and beyond. It promises to be another year of nurturing the best local, national and international artists and offering a platform to bigger and better things.

Bringing the kitchen-sink realism of working-class life on the Isle of Dogs to the Welsh Capital is Hak Baker. The East London troubadour, with his street-level stories and confessionals of youthful nihilism and male vulnerability, has been described by Vice as “subverting what a British folk singer can be“. A vital, inimitable voice for those often denied one, Baker’s set promises to be a life-affirming wonder brought to you from the edge of armageddon.

Making a colossal entrance into the music scene – and what will be an even greater entrance into the streets of Cardiff – is the widely-lauded Picture Parlour. Observing their ravenously watchable live set that is fast becoming one of the hottest tickets in their native London, you might wonder if you’ve found yourself back in July 1976 awaiting a neo-noir screening. Be prepared for an interlude of mini motion pictures that vow to lure audiences with the lyrics of a born thespian, accompanied by a generous dose of spellbinding guitar and sleazy bass lines.Joining them for this year’s line-up is Acid Klaus, the moniker of cultural agitator and electronic innovator Adrian Flanagan – the man behind the curtain of The Moonlandingz and Eccentronic Research Council, and many more trailblazing sounds born from the North of England. Acid Klaus’ performance celebrates the “conceptual, alter ego-driven spectacular” (Loud and Quiet) that is his second album, Step On My Travelator: The Imagined Career Trajectory of Superstar DJ & Dance-Pop Producer, Melvin Harris. It’s a phenomenal vortex of excess, hedonism and vampires of clubland culture, and in Cardiff it all awaits you. 

A firm favourite on the festival circuit across the UK and Europe, London quartet Flamingods are in town bringing with them their distinctive take on psychedelia, new wave, electronica and punk, blending in influences from their unique cultural heritages and a shared penchant for 70s British rock ‘n’ roll. As The Guardian aptly put it when writing about them recently: “prepare to be bombarded with bliss!”

William Doyle, fka East India Youth, comes to town with one of the most critically acclaimed back catalogues of the last decade in his pocket. From his 2014 Mercury-nominated debut album, Total Strife Forever, right through to his 2021 art-pop masterpiece Great Spans of Muddy Time, Doyle has been one of the most innovative sonic auteurs in British music in recent memory. Expect a suitably wondrous set from him in Cardiff.

Immensely charming, folk-tinged sextet – and recent Heavenly signings – Tapir! join in the festivities and promise to bring a touch of whimsy to proceedings, while LA’s Zzzahara – a frequent collaborator with Eyedress – will scratch the itch for anyone in need of reverb-laced break-up bangers. In the mood for some grunge-tinged dynamism? Brighton trio Our Girl have you covered. Psychedelic, motorik meanderings that clash with techno-tinged beats? You’ll be wanting to catch the inimitable The Utopia Strong. Alt-pop full of hefty guitar lines and infectious RnB energy, that’s as influenced by Fugazi as it is Frank Ocean? Rising Speedy Wunderground artist Viji might just be the one for you.

Today’s additions join an already jam-packed line-up that includes the abundantly hyped The Last Dinner Party, the one-man maelstrom that is Skinny Pelembe, British indie treasure Bill Ryder-Jones, brutally abrasive post-punk noire crew Mandy, Indiana, Manchester-via-New-Jersey auteur BC Camplight, filth-funk merchants Opus Kink, explorative Turkish-Sri Lankan experimental pop game-changer BODUR, Nottingham indie heavyweights and new Gravity/EMI signees Divorce, futuristic rock ‘n’ roll quintet Fat Dog, Dutch singer-songwriter Pip Blom, YALA! mainstay and much-loved indie staple Willie J Healey, and London mutant disco meets post-punk trio MADMADMAD.

Earlier this year, the festival announced their 20 For 23, in which Sŵn highlighted a selection of the country’s most promising newcomers in its first line-up reveal of the year.

Artists announced as part of 20 For 23 included pop disruptor Jessica Winter who crafts a world of gothic, dance-driven cabaret, the near-mythical Lynks whose your hook-up for ear-splitting bass with a queer punk ethos, subversive alt-pop visionary Ethan P. Flynn and the ever-fascinating Westerman, as well as hotly-tipped local talent including the romantic, driving post-punk of Slate and ascendant rapper Luke RV, a real gem at the centre of Wales’ burgeoning hip-hop scene.Speaking on the latest batch of names to join the 2023 edition of the festivalSŵn head of music Adam Williams shares“One thing that makes Sŵn so special and exciting to us is that we’re able to book the artists across the course of a full year. It means by wave three the focus is on those artists who have emerged in the past few months leading up to the festival like Viji, Picture Parlour, Trout and Flip Top Head. We also welcome better-known artists like Our Girl who make their long-awaited Sŵn Festival debut.”Keep your eyes peeled for more from Sŵn Festival as October approaches, but for now head to for more information and ticket pricing options. From today, single day tickets as well as two-day ticket bundles are available at the following prices: Friday – £20, Saturday – £40, Sunday – £30, Friday + Saturday – £55, Saturday + Sunday – £65. Early bird and tier one weekend tickets sold out before a single artist was announced, with tier two weekend tickets still on-sale.

Sŵn Festival is an award-winning multi-venue music festival based entirely in Cardiff’s city centre, which has been running since 2007. Since its inception, the festival has been focused on new music, emerging artists and homegrown acts.
Sŵn Festival – 2023 line-up (so far):Acid Klaus | Alaw | Alffa | Ani Glass | Artshawty | Baba Ali | Babymorocco | Banshi | BC Camplight | Bill Ryder-Jones | BODUR | Bonny Doon | Butch Kassidy | Car Boot Sale | CATTY | Cerys Hafana | Chilli Jesson | CHROMA | Cloth | Corella | Conchúr White | Crimewave | DasRADIAL | Death Cult Electric | Divorce | Elanor Moss | Ella Lockert | Ellur | Esther | Ethan P. Flynn | The Family Battenberg | Fat Dog | Ffenest | Flamingods | Flip Top Head | Frozemode | Getdown Services | Gillie | Grey FLX | Gwcci | Hak Baker | Half Happy | Hands Off | Hemes | Hex Girlfriend | Honesty | Hyll | The Itch | Jack Valero | Jasmine Jethwa | Jessica Winter | KEG | Lande Hekt | The Last Dinner Party | Living Body | Los Blancos | Luke RV | Lynks | MADMADMAD | Magugu | Malgola, No | Mandy, Indiana | Maria Uzor | Max Rad | Mercy Rose | Mickey Callisto | Minas | Moin | Monet | Morgan Harper-Jones | Murder Club | Muriel | The New Eves | New Wave Sound.Ent | Nookee | O. | Opus Kink | Oscar Browne | Oslo Twins | Our Girl | Pale Blue Eyes | Parisa Fouladi | Picture Parlour | Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs | Pip Blom | Rosie Alena | Safari Gold | Sage Todz | Salti | Shelf Lives | The Shunkos | Skinny Pelembe | Saloon Dion | Slaney Bay | Slate | Sleep Outside | Sophie Jamieson | Tapir! | Thord1s | Tiny Camels | Treeboy & Arc | Trout | The Tubs | TVAM | Twst | The Utopia Strong | Vanity Fairy | Viji | Waterpistol | Westerman | William Doyle | William The Conqueror | Willie J Healey | Y Dail | Ziyad Al-Samman | Zzzahara

Ok folks sit up pay attention set your volume control at a respectably loud setting and pour yourself a cold one before slipping this bad boy on the turntable. Backstreet Girls are in the house and they are showing no sign of mellowing out or slowing down. From the get-go the boogie is set on the max and this Norwegian powerhouse is up for the gig.

This is the band’s 16th studio record since their 1984 debut and with the motto of If it ain’t broke don’t fix it, they boogie n Roll the living shit out of these ten songs. ‘Beef Chop Suicide’ gets proceedings underway with that familiar Petter Baarli raw overdriven tone and whisky and no filter cigarette rasp of Bjørn Müllers cool vocals the song ushers in the album by blowing off the doors rather than gently easing the listener in. Hell, the full-fat production from Stamos Koliousis is perfect for the DC meets Stones tones these boys love to knock out. It’s bullshit free baby and they’re up for a good time and not a long time. ‘Waste Side Story’ is bruising but the thunderous shuffle of ‘Boogie Woman’ (of course that’s what it is called) is like being clubbed over the head by a Les Paul and the guitar break at the end kind of stops which is a bit weird I wanted it to continue my tennis racket wasn’t finished yet and I was looking to do a knee slide for a finale. Shit, that is one dirty tone Baarli is chopping up on ‘Too Cool For You’ as the band eases back for one sloppy dorty fucker of a song, and who isn’t going to dig that riff on the chorus before easing back into the verse, quality overload beware anyone feeling a little feeble this might be too tough for you.

Sure theres nothing original going on here nothing at all its just a cadalac of style with the best sounding stereo on the strip ‘Sister Satan’ is a brooding beast of a song cruising round impressing the shit out of any impressionable young man or woman. The quality of whats on offer is right up there and ‘Norma Jean’ is like Lemmy fronting Cheap Trick using AC/DC’s equipment to impress a particularly good-looking lady.

The next few tunes are all about that guitar tone with ‘Rocky Lee’ cooking up a bitches brew that’s made with equal parts gasolene and gunpowder the licks n fills are fantastic at volume and on headphones it’s like being in the room as the band strikes up a chord knowing exactly how damn good at this they are.

Before we’re done ‘Not Sorry At All’ is a blast of fist-pumping before ‘Doomday Hell’ is a purposeful thump on the drums and the gang vocals to close it out are spot on, so put on your shades, buckle up the leather trousers and pour another cold one Backstreet Girls are dishing up a Rockin good time (of course they are) and it’s fantastic to hear a band just rockin out because that’s what they love hearing and nobody is gonna tell them there is anything cooler than this. Top band, Top album, Top class. Buy yourself ‘In Lust We Trust’ and rock the fuck out – you’re worth it.

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Author: Dom Daley