Sŵn Festival is a multi-venue music festival based in Cardiff city centre that started in 2007 with a focus on new music, emerging artists and homegrown talent. This year RPM decided to take the plunge and get involved in Saturday evenings entertainment and try and race across as many venues as possible. First things first I’d like to make a comment just how friendly the staff were at each of the packed venues there were plenty of staff about and every venue was pretty packed it has to be said and considering it was a Saturday night in a busy city centre this was no mena feat. Whilst the venues mainly concerntrated around the Womanby St area it was only a ten minute wlak to Jacobs basement and the Tramshed which were away from the main hub but not far enough to cause an inconvenience. Now I’ve been going to shows in the city for over 4 decades and I ventured into a couple I’d never set foot in before and didn’t even know existed but the Sŵn insta page was well singed and running times were easy to navigate.
Wristbands and passes were aquired smoothly and it was off we went to see The Shunkos hit Tiny Rebel and the very busy venue quickly adjusted their trousers and put on their shit kickers for some hardcore punk rock from Port Talbots finest new kids on the block, and they didn’t disappoint with a impressive set climaxing with a cover of ‘Chaise Longue’ that taught the original a thing or two about delivery and having a good time before ‘Beer And Gear’ made it all ok. Hearing the band through a very nice n noisy yet clear PA was a treat. Top turn all round and it was smiling faces all round as the temperature was rising and the bar had been set.
Time for a wander and it was into Fuel to catch a few songs from Death Cult Electric before we ventured off to find Jacobs Basement for some DIY garage psych courtesy of Family Battenburg where it was strictly one out one in as the packed venue shook their shit as the post-punkers rattled out an impressive and infectious set of Alternative rockers.
We also had time for a few DJ sets just to focus the mind as this quick paced festival catered for all tastes in all typres of venues whilst the so called normal world carried on with its business outside the festival bubble.
It was time to head over to Tramshed for BC Camplight and their piano driven radio friendly alt rock that certainly had its fans in the appreciative crowd. After a quick turn around it was time for the fantastic Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs.
They delivered a powerful and heavy set that shook the very foundations of the packed venue with the likes of ‘Rubbernecker’ and the excellent ‘Ultimate Hammer’ as the Geordies turned in a festival topping performance where Matthew Baty led the band through a Sabbath meets QOTSA dessert sessions set of mighty metalic perportions. The set was jaw dropping and exhilirating and seeing the Stone Cold t shirt made me smile something the great man would be proud to be represented at Hell Yeah! that was ass whooping stuff.
Whilst Pigs were dropping audio bombs on the Tramshed it was the turn of Getdown Services to show Tiny Rebel how to do a proper mash up with their very real and working class observational alternative pop with parts Goldie Looking Chain and part Sleeford Mods if youre looking for lazy observations but they had something about them with catchy songs that caught your attention and made you move and smile which in this day and age is always a good thing.
In summery its fair to say we were really impressed with what Sŵn festival dished up and we’re most definately going better prepared next year. Happy smiling people packing out every venue regardless of who was playing just gig goers out for a good time. Going for the whole three days and trying to defy logic and cover more bands for what was one of the best shows we’ve been to in a long time. Punctuality, friendlieness and bloody good music from a wide variety of genres which to be honest was its single most noticable super power. Diolch yn fawr iawn Sŵn, we had a blast and watched as many great bands play as possible. Heres to next year when we do it all again time 3.