self potrait 2011I am Darren Floyd, a writer/painter who lives in Cardiff.

 

I had my first solo London exhibition at the 100 Years Gallery in Hoxton on the 19th of February 2015.

 

The blog is mainly about gigs, music, running and art, which pretty much sums me up.

 

 

 

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Runaway

Posted on 16th August, 2017

It's been an odd year for my running habit. I don't seem to have been able to get my pace back. It's down to a few prosaic reasons.

 

The charger for my Garmin after ailing for awhile died and so I haven't been able to judge my pace or distance. I bought a new charger but it was the wrong size. Other than the Cardiff Half I'm not training for a race so there hasn't been an urgent need to know my stats so I've just been making an aproximation of distance and speed. This could all change next month when I find out if I've got a place in next year's London marathon but for now I'm happy just to spin my wheels.

 

What's been a bigger pain in the ass is that in the last week I had a reoccurance of the calf injury I got at the start of the year. My own stupid fault. I punted in a few extra runs, and did the ParkRun for the first time in ages on Saturday in an effort to regain my pace. My calf had started to hurt in the week and that morning, but I thought 'Nah, it'll be fine, I'll run through it.' Big mistake. I I set off at a brisk pace, it felt comfortable although the calf was hurting but around three quauters of the way my calf really began to hurt to the extent that I had to stop and hobble back. First time ever I've not finished the ParkRun. 

 

The immediate impact was that I spent the next two days with an icepack on my leg and didn't go for my usual Big Run on the Sunday. I was pissed off but my fault. I suppose the good(ish) news is that it seems to be healing quicker than last time, so I may go out for a short clomp on Friday and hopefully I can reinstate my Big Run on Sunday. 

Castle Greyscale

Posted on 31st July, 2017

Friday night as another fun packed night in an eventful week.

 

I made an executive decision to go and see 'Cowtown' at Clwb Ifor Bach after hearing then on the Marc Riley show. It not being a school night gig Sian was willing to take a punt on them. After a Friday night snifter at Tiny Rebel we popped along to Clwb. We had time to have another snifter and take a look at the mech and then a load of our fiends came in for Rob Sell's birthday. I bough a few drinks and it was great to catch up especially with Captain Keef and Simon Ayre. 

 

Cowntown were low-fi, high octane and charmingly shambolic. I recognised the song 'Emojcore' from the Riley show. I think the band said that they were a bit fried from a long journey that day, and they did like to yabber between songs, which was all part of the fun. The drummer looked like he was a late substitute from a Metal band, but they gelled togethor. What was sweet was that they did a short birthday song for Rob at the end, but as Captain Keef pointed out they spent five minutes talking about the song and ninety seconds doing it.  

 

When I fancy the merch at a gig I think 'Oh come on now band don't be shit cause you've got yourselves a sale.' Cowtown were great and a lot of Friday night fun, so I thought 'Vinyl and a t-shirt.' and Sian wanted a totebag and a t-shirt. It's how bands make their money these days, the merch. So I handed some cash to Sian after the gig and she wandered over to buy the stuff while I chatted to Simon. Sian asked the slightly ditsy bass player for the merch.

 

"But that'll be forty quid! Are you sure?" the bassist asked, The Apprentice aren't going to be ringing her anytime soon. 

"Yeah that's fine." Sian replied.

"God! Well have a free CD as well!"

 

It made us feel good as we tottered into Womanby Street. 

Arrows and Bones

Posted on 26th July, 2017

Emma Kupa Gwidi Hw Cardiff 25th July 2017I've come to the Odd Box party a little late. Odd Box are a record label who have relocated from Brighton to London, and is run by the cheery Trev Oddbox (fancy naming a label after yourself...). Odd Box specialise in indie pop and I've sorta been aware of them for years but really added two and two together at last year's Swn festival. Trev has opened a shop called Pop n Hops which sells craft beer and vinyl, genius! I went to Pop n Hops with Sian and my mate Steve Dixon for the first time last Friday and spent too much money in far too short a time. One of the unfortunate knock on effects of the shop opening is that Trev isn't promoting any more gigs. So last night was the last Odd Box promoted gig at the Gwidi Hw. I've probably been to a few of his gigs before, but thought I'd make an effort to get out on a school night as it was the last one.

 

It was a four band line-up with the headliners being Chorusgirl with Emma Kupa as the main support. I got to the gig in time to see teh first support band, and even though it was little over 13 hours ago I can remember very little about them, apart from the drummer was a bit out. The second support were better, they were charmingly 6th form, had a saxophone which fell off stage at one point and their parents came to pick up their equipment at the end of the gig.

 

Emma Kupa was great, a singer songwriter who I was aware of because of her work with Darren Hayman. She's a bit fo a Marc Riley favourite. Loved her sharp articulate lyrics with a ear for a tune, I'll have to check more of her stuff out. 

Chorusgirl  Gwidi Hw Cardiff 25th July 2017

 



 

As it was a small gig there was a swift turnaround between bands which was great, cause my back was hurting I was tired after my adventures in the Smoke on the Monday, there wasn't anyone there I knew well (it was a Billy No Mates gig for me) and I'm taking a break from booze. Love, love, loved Chorusgirl. I'm pretty sure that they were on at Wales Goes Pop! but I missed them. They're a energetic mix of C86 indie pop, with a bit of my beloved Pixies Surf guitar and afro beat. Just brilliant. I was knackered and the gig finished at 11 which is an ask for me on a school night, but fuck it, it was worth it. Even when I got outside and found that some scrout had knicked my bike pump. No regrets. 

I Wanna Be A Warhol

Posted on 25th July, 2017

Work waiting to be hung at Exhibit HereThe trip up to London to drop off my paintings at the RA rejection show was a dry run. The Megabus was a slog, but it sorta worked out, the shitty cheap frames I got from Ikea not so much. As my old framer is out of the framing business I had to find someone new. Davies Framing in Grangetown came up trumps and the painting looked amazing. I'd shared an image of my latest painting on Facebook and although talk is cheap on Social Media, it got a lot of positive reaction, so I thought I'd look around for an exhibition to submit it to. I saw an upcoming exhibition in London, submitted, and Bob's your uncle it got accepted. 

I got into London earlier than expected and (thank God for Sat Nav!) got to the Meiner Gallery on Southwalk St early. As always it was a relief to find the gallery and drop the painting off, and across the road was the Tate Modern. I thought it would be rude not to pop in. 

Tate Modern

 




I hadn't been in for awhile, and certainly not since the Blavatnik building's been opened. The Tate really seemed to be refreshed with a new wave of acquisitions. Many of the artists I didn't know and I found the work fresh and inspiring. Inspiring in as much as it's given me a kick to get back to my studio to work. I had only intended to visit the RA Summer Exhibition. I find that if I try and cram too many exhibitions I get visual fatigue and after awhile don't take too much in, so I only spent around an hour at the Tate. It was the quietest I've ever seen it, although to be fair it was a late Monday morning.

Beard Speak - Gilbert And George - RA Summer Exhibition

I scooted across town to Green Park and the Royal Academy. As ever it was a mixed bag. A few things leapt out at me, although there was nothing really at the Summer Exhibition which really excited me as much as the work I'd seen in the Tate Modern. I did love the new Gilbert and George piece 'BEARD SPEAK', a huge neon temple to hashtag culture. Some of the impact is the sheer size of it - hey size matters - like the Grayson Perry tapastry a few years ago, but even with that it's visually arresting.

 

Of the amateur work the work I really responded to were the prints again. The RA was packed, and it was packed with poshos. As well as enjoying the show I played the usual game of looking up the price of work in the catalogue ('Jesus Christ?! How much?!')  I came out of the exhibition as I do every year with no idea what they're looking for or even how to price it. The best I can do is to just submit the work I think is the best. Not a vintage year at the Summer Exhibition, but still a great and life affirming show to go to. A great day jammed full of art. 

 

 

 

Bullet Proof

Posted on 13th July, 2017

This is the Kit Poster, that's Cardiff with two Fs.As will be evident from this Blog I am one of life eternal fanboys. So when I heard that This is the Kit were doing an in-store in Rise Records Bristol I jumped at it. This is the Kit is the music alias of Kate Stables. I've seen her a few times, loved her last album - 'Bashed Out' and liked the two tracks which have been on heavy rotation on 6 Music. Entry to the in-store was dependent on buying the album, which is fair enough and I was pretty sure to like it.

 

Her stuff is sorta folk rock indie, I dunno, call it what you like but I love it, and it's very 6 Music, which was reflected in the audience at Rise. It was good being back in Bristol (especially as Coldplay were doing the second of two dates in Cardiff, getting out of Dodge was a good idea), any excuse to visit really, and I took my bike on the train cause it's a fair old steep trek to Rise from Temple Meads. I met my mate Tom Rawlings before hand for a natter which was lovely. It was also great to see Bristol/Big Jeff at the in-store, right down the front of course. The place was absolutely packed. There must have been around 150 people in there which is big for a in-store, in my experience.

 

The five piece This is the Kit were great, warming up with some tracks from 'Bashed Out' before moving on to the new album which already has a warm, familiar feeling to it. Kate dressed in a Jeremy Corbyn t-shirt (as was her bassist) was mostly on banjo but swapped to electric guitar for some songs. As you'd expect the audience was full of love and attentive, some little kids were ushered to the front under the watchful eye of Jeff. The nippers were yappy, but in a charming way.  Kate asked us to pretend to sit so group love could be given to the director of her new video who was in attendance. There was also someone sketching the gig. It was very Guardian and QuInoa, which is fine because that's 75% of what makes me up. 

 

Kate said before her penultimate song that she'd be signing, and checking my watch I thought that I wasn't going to get the next train back so I might as well hang about and be a fanboy. Having said that I still edged my way to the back of the audience so I could be close to the front of the signing queue, cause I is a douche bag.

 

This is the Kit - Bristol in-store Rise Records with Big Jeff on the keft

 

 

 

 

 

I got chatting to a lovely old bloke about Public Service Broadcasting who'd also done a recent in-store at Rise. The bloke took awhile to get that I lived in Cardiff:

Bloke: "Are you going to see Public Service Broadcasting?"

Me: "Yeah, I was thinking of going to see them when they play Cardiff."

Bloke: "Did you see them in Ebbw Vale?"

Me: "No." 

Bloke: "Are you going to see them in Colston Hall?"

Me: "No, I might go and see them in Cardiff."

Bloke: "Where do you live."

Me: "Cardiff."

Bloke: "Oh,so it's local."

Me: "Yep."

 

I asked Kate to sign the album and one of the free posters which were knocking about. She liked my default Touché Turtle gig t-shirt

Bloke: "He's come from Cardiff!" 

Kate: "Oh we're playing Cardiff!"

Me: "Yes, The Globe, it's just round the corner from me, I'm going." (I haven't bought tickets yet).

Kate: "This is terrible, but does Cardiff have one or two f's?"

 

So a lovely in-store and I cycled back to Temple Meads I bid a cheerful goodbye to Jeff, until the next time. 

Oh You Pretty Things!

Posted on 2nd June, 2017

Darren Floyd at the Salon des Refuses 2017Last night was one of the key annual dates of my diary. It was the RA Summer Exhibition rejection show in London. I was keen to go this year and worked out that if I dropped the paintings off first thing I could kick around town and attend the opening.

 

To save some cash I thought I'd have a crack at getting the Megabus up (glam, glam, glam). I did have to get to the stop at 5am, and I wasn't encouraged by the bus driver who looked like death warmed up, had the shakes and necked some Red Bull when we got to Newport, but we changed drivers at Bristol and I pretty much slept till Hammersmith.

 

By the time I got to the Candid Arts gallery in Islington the frames had pretty much fallen apart. All my fault, I didn't set a deadline for Andrew my usual framer, so had to source some last minute frames. I spent an hour or so sweating and putting the frames back together on the floor of the gallery. Eventually with aid of a screwdriver, some masking tape and swearing under my breath I got them back together, and then wandered into Islington for some breakfast and coffee.

 

After spending most of the day working on my novel in the British Library I came back to the gallery which looked amazing. It was around 7ish by the time I got there and there was a queue to get in. The gallery was packed and first off I was relieved that the frames had stayed together and were hung up, that's certainly taught me a lesson. I picked up an 'unusual' cocktail and looked around.  The Rejection show is a perfect reflection of the actual Summer Exhibition, in as much as some years are stronger than others. This year's show had a very high quality, probably the only reason many of them got rejected was because of the size, for me the really striking pieces were the larger ones. I was joined by my mates Tim Lambert and Bill MacLehose, so we chatted and because the interesting cocktails had run out we went for a drink round the corner, which upon reflection would turn out to be a mistake.

 

I caught the tube across town to get back to Paddington to get my 9:15 train, but thanks to a delay on the tube I got the train just as they locked the door and watched it pull out of the station. My next train would turn out to be at 10:45, by which time - to use a Cardiff expression - I was 'anging. Still a great night, the exhibition looks great and it feels good to have paintings in London again.

Yeti

Posted on 22nd May, 2017

I am one of life's fans. I get stupidly over excited about things I like, and when I heard the grunge thrash of Skinny Girl Diet on the Marc Riley show back in November I sat up and took notice. Pretty much the first thing I do when find a new band - after checking their music out - is to see if they're playing anywhere near. SGD were a female three piece from London. They gig regularly, must mostly around London. I was so excited by the band that I thought 'Bugger it, I'll see if I can book them to play Cardiff.'. I was in touch with their booking agent and started talking to some promoter friends of mine when they announced a Bristol date. Buying tickets seemed the infinitely simpler and cheaper way to go about seeing them. 

 

 

Life's a dragThe gig was last Saturday, so it not being a school night and with a drag act on the bill I persuaded Sian to come with me and we decided to indulge ourselves by booking a hotel and stay over. The gig was at the Exchange which is a tiny, proper scuzzy venue. The night was a LGBT event with a Trans stand up comedian and performance artist. We got there in time to see the first support act who were a pleasant enough shoe-gazey type band, we enjoyed two of their tracks and went to drink Proceccoo in the bar and to buy some merch. I really wanted the SGD album 'Heavy Flow' on vinyl, and the t-shirts and a demonic cat sketched on them, so it was one for both of us. 

 

It was a very eclectic crowd (no big Jeff) and the organisers had really succeeded in making it a safe place. It's what I absolutely love about going to a gig, is seeing all types of people hanging about and getting along. The Trans stand up was pretty good, but obviously in a lot of pain. The performance artists was joyfully pretentious but a bit ranty. I had thought that maybe it had been a bit indulgent booking a hotel, but SGD weren't on till 11, so we'd have never seen them otherwise. It was nice being able to relax and not worry about dashing off, and there was such a great energetic energy in the venue I didn't feel tired.

 

 

I was surprised when SGD came on as they'd shrunk to a duo of lead singer/guitarist and drummer. They did mention at some point that this was there first gig as a duo. They made enough noise though and attacked there album. They've definately heard a Bikini Kill and Hole album or two, which is no bad thing. Sian and I found ourselves down at the front of the stage and we bopped along enthusiastically. What was great to see was that it was such a mixed crowd. I'm just used to being amongst loads of balding forty somethings, which to be fair is my peer group. One of the set highlights was 'Yeti' which alongside being a brilliant song is also the name of our cat. So win/win. They were just high octane fucking brilliance. The set was over in about 40 minutes and they came back on for what seemed like a genuine encore as they said that they didn't have any more songs to play. Someone called out for the entire set again, the drummer looked knackered. Then Sian and I called out for 'Yeti', yes that's us in the video, we're so proud. They obliged and that was it.

 

What a brilliant bloody gig! It wasn't just the band, it was the venue, the inclusive crowd and going to a gig with Sian. We enjoyed it so much that I'm going back to my original plan and trying to book them for Cardiff, so keep your legs crossed. 

Cardiff in the Sun (slight return)

Posted on 30th April, 2017

Yesterday saw the march to Save Womanby Street (SWS). The weather was of no fixed mood as Sian and I turned up at the City Arms. As part of the campaign we'd volunteered to steward at the march. There were about a dozen fellow stewards and we were given luminous SWS t-shirts. We were milling around hoping that some people would turn up to go on the march. 

 

Womanby Street

Ewan Moor is the brains behind the SWS campaign and has been very honest and eloquent about what Womanby St means to him. On the day he was calm and organised. With one of the other organisers and a group of police we were walked around the route of the march, from the City Arms up to the green across from the Museum. Sian and I bumped into our mate Steve Dixon who we walked back with.  By the time got back back a healthy amount of people had started to amass in Womanby Street. I went to talk to a friend outside Fuel and seemingly from nowhere hundreds of people appeared for the march. Local promoter MInty addressed the masses from the balcony of Fuel with a rosining Soviet style speech. A Samba band led us off and I helped with questions and made sure everyone went in the right direction. 

 

It was really great being a steward, not that I did much stewarding.I sorta waved people in the right way, gave some other people directions unrelated to march and chatted to some slightly well refreshed visitors to Cardiff about Womanby Street. It was a good natured march and I spent the last part of it chatting to Steve Dixon before meeting back up with Sian at the rally outside the Museum. Politicians from all the parties (except the Tories) were set to address the crowd, kicked off by the Labour MP for Cardiff Central Jo Stephens. 

 

There had been evidence of some elements trying to co-opt the march,the Lib-Dems were visible, and there was a small group of anarchists who were being aggressive and shouty, which I guess is what anarchists do, but one of them had an agenda which was to lay into the Plaid Cymru counsellor. Now I don't know if anything that the anarchist was yelling was true, he may have had a good point (some people we chatted to afterwards said he did) but he did in such a confrontational way that it was difficult to have much sympathy, but then again being aggressive for an anarchist is part of the job description, yet he was so fucking charmless. He got into a ruck with a few others, and one of the crowd asked one of the organisers to do something, so I walked up to one of the Police and pointed out what was happening. I felt conflicted about doing this, but I know it was the right thing  to do. 

 

 

We Sambared our way back to Womanby Street and had a crafty beer with Steve Dixon. It was an amazing afternoon and brilliant to see such support, and gave me huge reason for optimism for the future of Womanby Street,

 

 

Take Control

Posted on 25th April, 2017

Record Store Day 2017It comes but once a year and last weekend saw Record Store Day swing by.

 

To be honest I wasn't that fussed this year. In previous years I've been itching to get say the 'Dracula A.D 72' Blood Red coloured vinyl 7 inch or the R.E.M Unplugged box-set. I'd looked down the list and nothing really leapt out, it seemed that the labels thought that sticking something on 180grm coloured vinyl was enough, and in the past they were probably right, but they needed to make more of an effort this year.

 

I'd talked it over with my RSD enabler Steve Ford, and after we'd discussed it back and fore we decided that we would go. What actually got me enthusiastic this year was the fact that my other mate Steve (Steve 2) said he wanted to come along, as did my bestest friend Matthew. Matthew was coming along because his son is bonkers balmy about the late great David Bowie and wanted to pick one of the Bowie releases for him. I blithely declared that Cardiff wouldn't get a sniff of the Bowie releases but I was just happy to have the opportunity to geek out with my oldest friend.

 

Steve 1 picked me and Steve 2 up and drove down to Saint David's 2. For the second - and last - RSD we were going to Head. I don't mind shoping at somewhere else other than Spillers on RSD cause I've said previously, on that day they don't need my business. The reason that this is the last Head RSD is because it's closing down soon, which is a huge same, but the only reason I go in there is because of RSD.  

 

Steve 1 parked up in the Saint David's 2 car park and we wondered top the store to find that there was no one outside the store. We   each other. "This isn't right." just then the Manager of Head walked past "You're in the right place lads." What had happened was the queue was actually outside the store and we'd basically just walked in. I rang Matthew to ask where he was, and he was queuing up with the rest of the proles, "Just come in!" I said "Uhhh, past all these people. I don't think that's a good idea.". So me and the Steves were at the front of the queue feeling guilty until Security came along and said we'd have to get to the back. The Manager to be fair asked us what we all wanted and there didn't look like there was going to be a problem. When the great unwashed masses were let in there weren't a huge amount of them, so we were about as far back as we were last year. So the Steves, Matthew and I spent the time chatting and discussing what we wanted.

 

They have a very civilised approach to RSD at Head, they let a staggered amount of people into the store at a time. So they let us four in and we went out seperate ways to pick up what we wanted. I picked up the Bowie live album, and the Slaves specil edition. I hadn't heard the Slaves album before and this was a good excuse to pick it up. I'd said that I would only get records I had a good chance of listening to more than once. Last year I bought the soundtrack to the 1960s Dalek films. It's a beautifully packaged album, but I've only listened to it once. I picked up a Smith single for Hywel my brother-in-law, the Super Furries single for myself, then I had to decide if I was going to buy the T-Rex album or The Complete Recordings of Robert Johnson. I went for the Robert Johnson album. Along the way I considered the soundtracks for Blacula (which I've never actually seen) and Quatermass and the Pit (which I didn't even know was out) but managed to excersise a slight amount of self control and put them back.

 

Steve 1 and Matthew had to dash off after comparing purchases. Steve 2 and I walked towards Spillers which had a reassuringly huge and went for breakfast at the nearby Plan cafe. We walked home and - as it was Record Store day - on the way we popped into D'Vinyl Records where I bought Robert Wyatt 12 inch, an Iggy Pop album and a Stooges and Tom Waits album all for what it cost me for the SFA single.

 

A great morning with great morning, I enjoyed being geeky and spent far more money than I thought I would.

From the Neck Down

Posted on 18th April, 2017

This Easter weekend saw the annual Wales Goes Pop! festival in the Gate in Roath.

 

Honeyblood at Wales Goes Pop! 2017I love this festival, and not just because it's at the end of our road (which does help). It's very friendly and chilled. We wandered down earlish and were amongst the first people there. It meant we could have a leisurely beer and check out the first two bands HMS Morris and False Advertising which we knew nothing about and were great. I especially liked HMS Morris and will be seeking out their music. I was saving my pennies for Tender Prey and their album launch. Their set was virtually identical to the one I saw them do when they supported Amber Arcades right down to the PJs and US Prom introduction to one of the songs, but that didn't stop it being great. Bought the album after and Ms Tender Prey was happy that I had the right change, cause she was hung over. Rock and Roll.

 

We went for some Pizza and the Dusty Knuckle pop up counter outside, and I was impressed to see Tender Prey queuing up. Then it was back in to see Girl Ray. I thought their sound was off a bit off, I could hardly hear the vocals though it did improve later in in the set. I love their music, but this is the second time I've seen them and didn't think they were great live, although I did make Sian laugh by singing the alternative Marc Riley jingle lyrics to one of their songs. 

 

It was also the second time I'd seen Tender Prey and they were amazing! Graf Spillers said the next day that he thought 'Who's that grumpy bastard watching Tender Prey and not moving? Oh it's darren, well he does a lot of running so his hips are probably shot.' but he enjoyed the way I became more animated as they set progressed. They were great! They might well be my favourite live band at the moment, and it does help that I've had their album 'Strike A Match' on heavy rotation since I bought it in February. They're just so joyous live. Wales Goes Pop! is very family/kid friendly and it was great to see some Rug Rats wigging out at the front. From about the fourth band in the venue began to get pretty packed. It was the busiest I'd ever seen Wales Goes Pop! and it was a very strong line up for the day. The next two days would prove to be quieter, maybe they'd put all their eggs in one baskest? Probably down to band schedules.

 

The final band for the Good Friday were Honeyblood. The first time I saw them in the Louisiana in Bristol I could have sworn they were American, but no they're Glaswegians. They've got another album under their belts since I last saw them, last year's 'Babes Never Die', which I think they said they played every song from. They're feel good indie power pop which I loved and the drummer, Cat, got into the spirit of the festival by batting the bountiful balloons back into the audience with her drumsticks. 

 

I really wanted to bop along to saw indie heartwarmers with Gary Twisted, but Sian and I were knackered so we weaved our way into the night. A weekend friendly early doors end for the first night. 

 

SLUG at Wales Goes Pop! 2017Saturday was a late start for us, and the first band I can remember seeing were Spinning Coin, who'd supported Sacred Paws when I saw them in February. Very good they were too, thought there was more than a touch of Teenage Fanclub about them.

 

I'd really wanted to see the Marc Riley approved SLUG. Whereas all the bands I'd seen on the Friday had been mostly made up of women, SLUG were exclusively a bloke band, this seemed to extend to the audience for the set as well. Sian wasn't a fan, especially when they did a Proggy Horror film song, which was probably my favourite part. The lead singer was also very jovial. Went to buy the album, went to the stall, couldn't see anyone selling it. so wemt and sat back down. It was only when I sat down that I saw the bassist stood next to the table looking at his phone, Alan Sugar he was not. 

 

One of the other great things about Wales Goes Pop! is that we were bump into loads of friends. So there was a mate of mine down from London and plenty from around Cardiff of course. Didn't have as much time to chat with everyone as I would have liked, but I never do. 

 

We sat on the pews (PEWS could have been a band for the weekend) for the next two bands. I'd wanted to see the Hooton Tennis Club.for awhile. I think they play Cardiff fairly regularly but had never got round to seeing them. Enjoyed them especially the big hit 'Powerful Pierre'  which had got a lot of play on 6Music back in the day. Next up were Gulp, but not even a band containing an ex Flaming Lip and a Super Furry Animal could stop the pull of the chips from the Albany Fish Bar. So off we went.

 

It was an even later start for us again on the traditional hang over day of WGP!. We drifted in at  3:05 for the Orielles, who all looked about twelve and who were great.

 

The Boy Least Likely To - Wales Goes Pop! 2017

 

 

The real surprise of the festival were The Boy Least Likely To. I'd loved their début album way back in 2005 and they'd occasionally come back into my orbit over the years, but this set reminded me of how great they are with a hits heavy set of recognistion firing songs 'Paper Cuts', 'Be Gentle With Me' and 'I'm Glad I Hitched My Apple Wagon to Your Star' which I'd burned to a compilation CD for Sian way back when. They were also funny.

 

"It took us two and a half hours to get here, guess where we came from?" asked the lead singer.

"Newport?" someone in the audience replied.

 

Chris T-T did three sets on the Sunday. I saw the first two which were funny, political and thoughtful. The first set used a couple of AA Milne poems. Both of the sets were in the downstairs café area which is a hard space to play and you're contending with other ambient noise, but it was testament to him that he commanded the space for both sets.

 

Sian and I went for our traditional WGP! falafel on City Road and for that was WGP! over for Sian for another year. I went back to see BC Camplight, another Marc Riley pick. I got back in time to see TOY who okay in a retro psych way. I wanted to see BC Camplight because I'd had tickets to see him a few years ago before he'd been kicked out of the UK, but now he was back back back! I thought it took him awhile to get going. He spent the first half of the set moaning about staying   Travel lodge and asking for drinks, but after he got settled he was great. I think this might be the first time I'd actually made it all the way through a WGP! and seen the closing act.

 

What a great festival and a great weekend. I think it was probably my favourite of the 4 I've been to, sad it's over and already looking forward to the next one.