LIVE: Swn Festival – Day 3

By Chris Marshman

The focus of Day 3 at Swn Festival would be a little corner of the festival out of the way of the hustle and bustle of Womanby Street. Chapter Arts Centre and Chapter Stiwdio are two venues around a 25 minute walk (or a ten minute drive because I’m awful) from the city centre. Today they play host to Swn Festival with both stages offering something different.

Up first were Glass Giants playing only their fourth show as a band. There’s an awful lot of potential here, the sound in Chapter Stiwdio wasn’t at its best for them though with the guitars at times being barely audible. The band plough on through their set however and end on their track ‘Runaway’ which does a good job in getting the crowd involved.

A quick walk over to the main Chapter Arts Centre to see Scriber was next on the cards. The respect on show for this artist and his work was outstanding, at times there were up to four members on stage and the music that was coming out was just the kind where you just can’t stop watching. The best thing about Swn Festival is that I’ve had the opportunity to watch a bunch of bands that I wouldn’t usually, since coming home yesterday I’ve had Scriber’s EP ‘Every Particle’ on constantly, such is the impression that was made on me. Absolutely brilliant.

Back over to Chapter Stiwdio and probably the most Punktastic friendly band of the weekend Hot Damn were due to take stage. The band seem to be taking shape for a renewed assault on the UK after a brief quiet period touring Europe and the likes. This was their first Welsh show in a while. The sound is much better for Hot Damn and their brand of energetic, gruff pop punk is perfect after the abundance of other genres we’ve been listening to over the last 3 days. The band manage to incite a mosh pit or two and by the time they’d finished everyone was suitably entertained.

Next up was Clare Maguire who, by her own admission is incredibly nervous. She needn’t be though, her voice is outstanding and her songs are good. Again, the room was reduced to a brilliant quietness while she was performing, and her Joni Mitchell of ‘The Last Time I Saw Richard’ goes down especially well.

Finally, back at Chapter Stiwdio it was Friendly Thieves who go and manage to put in one of, if not the set of the weekend. It was only a five song set but the showmanship, the energy and the style on show here was outstanding. The band put in a set worthy of closing a weekend and one that cements them as a band to watch in 2014.

The rest of the evening was spent soaking up the sheer atmosphere at Swn Festival 2013, the festival truly is one of the best in the UK. It’s a massive celebration of music and there’s barely any bullshit surrounding it. Roll on 2014.