LIVE: Swn Festival – Day 1

By Chris Marshman

The first two days of Swn Festival are relatively low key, with the action kicking off from 7pm onwards with โ€œonlyโ€ around six venues involved. After collecting my wristband my first port of call was the Four Bars venue to see singer/songwriter Joe Robert Lewis open the whole thing. Joe Robert Lewis has a fairly unique style with his voice swapping between a clean and gruff vocal. The crowd, although fairly small were appreciative and respectful, which was a nice change considering some of the background babble you can get when watching an acoustic artist. It was good to see an artist grow in confidence like Joe did as the realisation dawned that the people who were here watching him were enjoying it and by the time his set had ended, he’d managed to get the crowd singing back at him. A great start to Swn Festival 2013.

A venue added to the Swn Festival roster this year is the Dragon suite at the Angel hotel, a visually stunning room and the first act we were seeing here is Chloe Howl. From the moment she stepped onto the stage with her band, it’s quite clear that Chloe Howl is destined for bigger things. The brand of indie pop on show here is fresh and exciting. The crowd in the room might not be the biggest but in fairness it’s a bloody big room and it’s still fairly early on in Swn 2013.

The next stop was a jaunt across the city centre to see Greta Isaac whose brand of acoustic folky harmony led gloriousness was warming the insides at the festival’s Gwdihw venue. The unique setting of Gwdihw goes well with Greta Isaac and the best thing about her set was again the sheer respect shown by the crowd towards her performance, you could literally hear a pin drop every time she was performing and it does make such a difference. Greta Isaac is one of the most exciting up and comers in the welsh music scene and tonight’s set only further enhances that opinion.

After another walk across town, our last show tonight was back where we started at Four Bars to see Llanelli five piece, Cut Ribbons. In the time it took for us to get to Four Bars, the venue had packed out sufficiently and the indie popsters were putting on something pretty special, which at times has the whole venue dancing. The band look genuinely appreciative at having a full venue and everyone is having a great time. The set ends up as far and away the best of the day and was a great way to close down the Thursday of Swn Festival 2013.

You can follow our coverage on Twitter and on Instagram