Scene Report:  Cardiff August 2010

24 Aug 2010

“i’ve been putting on d.i.y. gigs for the last few years and have noticed a lot more happening recently. i’m not trying to take any credit for this, it just seems like we have a lot more interesting artists and a much stronger scene than in the past few years....” – jen long invites i am hope, hyener, the muscle club, drains, cut ribbons and tiger please to trash her house. idiot.


When it’s time to party we will party hard.

Cardiff is awesome. While we may not have the biggest music scene, it is a pretty diverse one, and it’s friendly too. Everyone plays together no matter of genre. 

Thing is, we only have a few dedicated music venues. Sure there’s the Students’ Union or the Millennium Music Hall, but they’re massive. There’s Tommy’s Bar and Ten Feet Tall, but they don’t run every night. In terms of live music I usually find myself in Clwb Ifor Bach, Barfly, or Buffalo Bar. Which can be a bit boring sometimes.

Cardiff also doesn’t have the biggest population, which means you have to be a fairly established or publicised act to get a decent crowd.

Or, you can just throw a party in your kitchen.

I’ve been putting on DIY gigs for the last few years and have noticed a lot more happening recently. I’m not trying to take any credit for this, it just seems like we have a lot more interesting artists and a much stronger scene than in the past few years. Some of it could be attributed to festivals like Swn creating excitement for new music in our city, or from seeing bands like Kids in Glass Houses and Los Campesinos! do well. I don’t know, I just really like seeing basement and practice space shows advertised everywhere. It’s exciting.

I threw a party a few weeks ago at my house and it was undoubtedly the best one ever. In the past I’ve had bands like Kids in Glass Houses, The Blackout, Tubelord and The Victorian English Gentlemens Club play. This is what happened this time round.

We started out with some acoustic bands and a barbecue in the garden.

tiger please

Tiger Please played first. They’re usually a five piece but just a couple of members came to do some songs and some covers. They have that classic indie-rock chart sound when they play as a full group, although their stripped back set could easily have been something from a Radio 1 Live Lounge.

cut ribbons

Next were a band called Cut Ribbons. I’d been sent one of their songs by a friend in West Wales and liked it so I invited them to Cardiff for a little acoustic set. They were so good I instantly booked them as a support for an upcoming show I was promoting in town. With a full band they sounded massive. Like that band Annuals – all passionate, careering indie. And it was only something like their second gig.



Then we moved inside to the kitchen for the ear-shattering punk snot thrash of Drains. This was their first ever show. Formed from members of Kutosis and Samoans – two other awesome Cardiff bands - in their new formation, standing shirtless in my kitchen with masks and bile, they crashed through a set of noise-fuelled brilliance. And they did a Death From Above 1979 cover.

the muscle club

After then it was our headliners, The Muscle Club. They had to move their set forward so drummer Jordan could go and do sound for a club night at Barfly. Despite going on before 9pm the kitchen was rammed for their goodtime indie-pop anthems. All the boys live in London now and are one of the hardest working bands I know. They played a great set and did a Pavement cover. I sat on top of the fridge drinking warm cider and singing along. It was awesome.

Cardiff post-punk synthers Hyener played next. This band make me angry. They’re so bloody good but they hardly ever gig anymore. Jon – if you’re reading this, PLAY MORE SHOWS. WRITE MORE SONGS. I BLOODY LOVE YOUR BAND.

i am hope

I Am Hope closed off the night with their emo-tinged rock dream. I can’t remember much by this point but I’m pretty sure plaster flaked down from the ceiling with each thwack of lead heavy bass. The band are looking for a new drummer at the moment so if you’re reading this and you live near Cardiff city and can play – send them a MySpace. They’re a really great passionate group; part Tubelord, part Attack! Attack!, and completely brilliant.

It was such a great party and the only run in we had with the law was when Stevie from I Am Hope decided to climb over my garden wall at 3am right in front of a massive police van. Good times.


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