One of the many great things about the annual Swn festival is randomly bumping into friends. I had a plan for the evening but when Sian and I met up with my gig kemosabe Gareth Evans in Womaby Street to get our wrist bands we bumped into noted photographer Simon Ayre the wheels came off the wagon pretty quickly. After a quick refresher in Dempseys we went to The Gate where I had some paintings in the 'Made in Roath' Open Exhibition.We met up with James 'Jimbo; Gent and had a look around. I was pretty pleased the way they'd hung the work and then I was ushered into a room to be told I'd won second prize. Now this was all very flattering especially as I'd forgotten they were handing out prizes but when I was given the award it came with some really weird back handed complements. I was told by the guy shaking my hand that they didn't like my other two paintings and that the winning painting was "almost original"! Odd and a bit chippy, all I could do was laugh, make some quips and accept the award. Still, nice start to the evening and the festival.
I had intended to go to the Roath Writers evening to read part of my short story from their anthology, but just ran out of time. It's a shame that 'Made in Roath' and 'Swn' were on at the same time. We tottled off to the Student Union tosee Dutch Uncles and Everything Everything. I was especially pleased to see Dutch Uncles as I'd missed them a few times and they had a beefier live sound.Their lead singer - Duncan Wallis - has a fine line in Ian Curtis style dancing. Everything Everything were perfectly palatable but seemed to have lost something in their reach to play Arenas. We saw most of their set and scarpered over to the Angel to see Ghost Poet.
Captain Keef said that Ghost Poet was what Dermot O'Leary thinks hippity hop is, but I thought he was very good (Ghost Poet not Dermot although I have no beef with him) he certainly got the room - we were all whiter than albino milk - jumping. Amazingly I had enough in the tank to see the latest eighties revivalists at Dempseys. Lord knows what they were called, but they were perfectly palatable, but blimey there were a lot of young men stood around in black rimmed glasses. On the way home I bumped into some friends who were on their way to see Mr Scruff, upon reflection I should have tagged along, but at the time I was fucked, and I'd seen all the bands I'd wanted to so it was home to bed for me.
The next day after working off the hang over the first order of business was the brilliant Cardiff Math Rockiteers Right Hand Land upstairs, but on the way we got yapping and by the time we went upstairs in Dempseys it was way over subscibed so after straining our necks for a few songs it was over to Clwb Ifor (which for no reason shall be called Club Evil for the rest of this blog) early for Bo Ningen and Pinkunoizu. While we were waiting we saw Wolf Alice, who were okay, and as Sian pointed out they looked like the stock band you'd see in a scene from Buffy set in a club.
I've been trying to see Bo Ningen for about three years, tipped off about them by the ever reliable Marc Riley. They didn't disappoint being like nothing else at Swn. Four loud loud loud Japanese blokes with very well conditioned hair in dresses making a wonderful noise, while gesticulating the heck out of the crowd. Wonderful stuff, bought the album on vinyl and saw the nad loading their gear back into the van after, "Great set!" we shouted which the drummer shouted "Ta!" in responce, which is not what we were expecting. Their energised set was all the more amazing as they'd already supported The Cult earlier on that same evening. I was looking forward to Pinkunoizu but for some reason they just really fell flat with me, so after a few songs we had a light refreshment and headed off home.