Well, that’s it I guess. Sŵn Festival has departed for another year, there will be other events going on via Sŵn over the year, but for now they’re going to lean back and take a well deserved rest. Meanwhile we will all have to come to terms with the fact that we no longer have the ability to walk to almost any venue in the city at any time of the day and catch a band of genuine quality: we’ve been spoilt and I don’t want to go back to the old ways. Maybe a reliving of what we saw on Sunday will help with the post-Sŵn blues: its the Debrief!
Sunday began a little later than it should have for me, not getting down into the city until around 5 o’clock, just in time to catch the ever-brilliant Radstewart. Playing to a packed out Fuel, Radstewart used their second performance of the festival to really cement their names as one of the top up-and-coming bands on offer. Playing their eclectic mix of sounds with Jac belting out the band’s ear-pricking lyrics, the band left Fuel pulsating with the feel of a very satisfied venue.
Next up, also in Fuel was the curiously named Beta Blocker and the Body Clock, one of our choices (along with all the bands in this rundown) for a Band of the Day. The Oxford three-piece took to the stage with high pitch howls and woops before flying into a brilliant set that showcased the sort of ability that has made them so popular in their home town and that has led many to suggest that, for them, the sky might not even be a limiting factor. The band’s great mix of lo-fi and soaring dreamworld vibes produces a truly individualistic sound, if you missed them here, be sure to check them out online and keep an eye out for gig dates.
A short trip across the road to Clwb Ifor Bach, elongated by a detour to grab a bite or two of noodles, was next on the cards in order to see one of the big names in young guitar bands of the present scene: Childhood. The Childhood guys produced a great set to entertain a full-to-capacity Clwb top floor – contrasting sturdy bass grooves with uninhibited guitar riffs and solos, Childhood did a lot to confirm that they are a band to keep an eye on.
Sticking about in Clwb for a little longer, the stage saw Childhood replaced by the emphatic Temples. Stepping on stage with an interesting mix of outfit choices, including a sparkly red number and a fuzzy barnet from the front man, the band proceeded to belt out a psychedelic mix supported by powerful riffs and a varied selection of instruments (most of which were varied forms of guitar): a combination that left them a top hat short of Bolan (a comparison that I’m sure that they are used to). Temples went on to produce a highly energetic set as front man, James Bagshaw, attempted with some success to bait the weekend-weary Sŵners into dancing along.
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