You might question the wisdom of trying to remember a festival two weeks after it's ended and you'd be right to. I found it hard to recall the first band I saw on the Saturday, but I think it was two bands - Rhodri Brooks and Peasant's King - upstairs in the big O'Neils. We were there as much to get out of the rain as to see the bands. Rhodri Brooks were a good ragged bluesy band and Peasant's King were as bad as the name suggests.
After some refreshments we made a sole trip to Chapter of the weekend. One of the improvements to this years Swn was that the bands were more or less focussed around Womaby Street so there wasn't so much Indie RunAround this year. Our trip to Chapter was to see Oliver Wilde who I really liked, but then again I'm a bit of a sucker for slightly winsome psych singer/song writers. The set was sparsley attended but well worth it. It was then back into town to see Money at the horribly claustophobic Full Moon club. I'd been looking forward to the band, but they left me a bit cold, Gareth my gig kemosabe compared them to an Edam cheese, impressive on the inside but with little of substance within, don't know if I agree with his appraisal of Edam. I think we may have seen a band after, but the last band I can remember on Saturday were The Wytches who I thought were great. The band were all about twelve and definately owned a copy of Nevermind. Festival fatigue had definitely set in, and I ended the day feeling that it had been a bit thin.
The Sunday of a festival in my experience always a bit of a let down, you're fucked and you just want to get home, but of course if the festival is practly in your home you don't have that ennui to deal with. Sian cooked us some Mexican to fortify us and it was onto the final push. I wanted to see Lanterns on the Lake at the Angel but they'd moved, so we slumped and watched the singer/song writer who was on instead who was perfectly pleasant and whose name escapes me. We decided to go and see a singer at the Full Moon because in the publicity picture in the festival brouchure he had a flannel on his head, yes by this point we were that jaded, but couldn't actually see him so ended up sitting down drinking and a yapping. As we were in the venue we decided to stay and see Radstewart who turned out to be one of the unexpected highlights of Swn. They were all stupidly young and were the bastard love child of Pavement/Pulp and Blur. They have awkward gangly charisma with some genuinly witty lyrics. We all came out of the gig with big grins on our faces and feeling energised at last.
I think we went to see the rescheduled Lanterns on the Lake, who I liked but were a bit too folk for my Sian and Gareth. We wandered over to Club Evil where we saw a herd of Noel Fieldings majestically smoking fags outside the venue. We instantly burst into laughter but it turned out that the Noel Fieldings were infact Telegram the band we were on our way to see and whom Gareth and I had been looking forward to. In the end they were a bit below par, even their Derek Smalls lookey likey bassist couldn't lift the band, they had all the rock band moves but we really weren't in the mood so we moved on. Next up were Swearin who were very late eighties 4AD, think Breeders/Throwing Muses. I loved them at the time, but they don't seem to have made much of a lasting impression.
We were beginning to flag again as we made our way over to the GwidiHu to see Mark Eitzel. Sian had the genius idea of going to Caroline Street and specifically 'Dirty Dots' for chips (actually the lead singer of Swearin might have mentioned Caroline Street from the stage). Now I had sever reservations about going to Caroline Street aka Chippy Alley aka Salmonella Street as it's famous in Cardiff for all the wrong reasons. It turned out to be a good move. The last time I ate there must be ten years ago and the whole weekend it was a bit retro for me, I certainly don't normally drink that much beer.
We saw a bit of the prosaically named John Smith who seemed good, but the venue was too packed to have a good look so we went outside to the beer garden for some cold October air. I was really suprised that Mark Eitzel was playing such a small venue, I've seen him in Club Evil before, and they seemed to have some problems setting up in the GwidiHu. The venue was packed as he did probably the best set I've seen him do, very dark, very funny. He's a fine singer and raconteur. Mark Eitzel was the last act of my Swn 2013 and what a brilliant festival it was, lots of new bands, bumping into friends and curry from Caroline Street.
It wasn't the end of giggage for me as the next day I went to see the Jim Jones Revue and then The Wedding Present. By the time The Wedding Present swung by I thought I'd be sick to death of going to gigs, but I wasn't, I could have quite cheerfully gone to see a band the next day.