Tag Archives: bbc horizons

Immersed! music and media festival extravaganza! – 13th Dec at Tramshed

If you’re out and about this week, we strongly recommend you head to Tramshed on Thursday on 13 December for Immersed! – a music & media festival in aid of Teenage Cancer Trust.

The day long celebration will take over the cities iconic venue; the Tramshed Cardiff. The Cinema Room, Waiting Room, Courtyard and Cocktail bar will showcase the best upcoming talent from Cardiff’s music scene.

 

There will also be VR to play with and gaming tournaments (with chances to win prizes), glorious artwork, a photo booth, live guitar pedal demos (including an exclusive 40 per cent discount) plus delicious street food – all of this for £5 – a lot of bang for your buck!

There are £5 tickets available on the door, or get your tickets in advance here: Immersed Festival tickets

After Party The Brass Bat with special guests Luke Priestley and The Rotanas!!
Immersed Afterparty // The Rotanas DJ Set 10.30pm-3am, £2 ENTRY WITH FESTIVAL TICKET, £3 WITHOUT (all proceeds go to Teenage Cancer Trust).

*******LINEUP ********
BANG BANG ROMEO
Kyle Falconer
Aleighcia Scott
HANA2K
Eädyth
The Pitchforks
The Rotanas
The Apple Tree Theory
JayCee
Sienna UK
HVNTER
Christian Punter
Elliot Oakley Music
Lead Coloured River
Beatriz Fernandes
Matt Evans
Jed Robertson
Deneon
Klementyna Wąsiewska
Zoe Xusana Ping
Moc Isaac
Lead by Lies

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Dusty Knuckle PizzaBibs Nacho Hut and Scarrott’s Amusements are providing our delicious street food!

Entertainment for the day, alongside the music, comes from Daisy’s Dressing Up BoxWebster’s Face & Body Art SuppliesSet Up Entertainment Photobooth hire, Paul Flattley Pedals (with an exclusive discount for one day only on his bespoke pedals) and gaming tournaments in the Cinema Room (see programme for details)!

This is an unmissable opportunity to witness new and upcoming artists from South Wales, some of the UK’s best music makers and help to support the fantastic work that Teenage Cancer Trust do.

Immersed! is supported by the University of South Wales Horizons / Gorwelion & Forté Project / Prosiect Forté.

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Meet Cardiff band, Rainbow Maniac

Earlier this year we were on the panel helping choose the bands for this year’s BBC Gorwelion/Horizons project. We plan to do a post about all the bands participating very soon, but there were a couple of BRILLIANT, stand-out Cardiff bands that didn’t make the final 12, that we want to profile for you.

First up, meet one of our new favourite bands, RAINBOW MANIAC!

As you can see, Rainbow Maniac are proper good times psychedelic rock’n’roll – plenty of energy and catchy tunes. What more could you ask of your new favourite band? Conor from the band was even kind enough to do a quick Q&A with us. 

WE ARE CARDIFF. Please introduce the band!

RAINBOW MANIAC. Well, my name is Conor, I sing and write the songs. Louis plays the guitar, Gavin plays the drums and Laura plays bass.

We’re all from different South Walian valleys/towns, We all met in Bridgend College, only me and Gavin knew each other beforehand. That’s where the band formed, as we were the only four people in the class who weren’t into metal!

WAC. How did you end up in Cardiff?

RM. I studied a sound tech degree in Cardiff and then we all gradually found work and moved here.

WAC. Give us some local bands you’re into.

RM. Well obviously there’s The Socks, The Buzzards and The CVCs, but we’ve also got into some of the newer bands coming through like Al Moses, The Rotanas, The Pitchforks, and Carolines.

WAC. What’s your favourite Cardiff venue?

RM. Cardiff University Great Hall. We’ve seen a lot of our favourite bands there. I remember seeing Pete Doherty and Babyshambles gigs there before Rainbow Maniac were even a thing, and it had a big effect on me. We’d love to play there one day in the not-too-distant future.

WAC. What’s your favourite Cardiff boozer?

RM. It’s a difficult question because there are so many Wetherspoons to choose from, but would have to say The Gatekeeper, next to Moon Club. It’s a great place to get drunk before you go in to watch a band and are forced to pay over £3 for a can of Red Stripe. Until we get a call from Rough Trade, I will not be able to afford those prices.

WAC. What’s next for the band?

RM. We’re currently sat on a bunch of new recordings, so next we’re gonna shoot and direct our own music video with help from our friends at Mono. After that we’re just gonna work on the release, and try and cause as much of a stir in the music industry as possible, play some more shows, build some more friends, and fans. And have fun!

Our next show is at Tramlines Fringe Fest – Sheffield, 20 July. We also return to HUB Fest in Cardiff 25 August for what should be a great night.

Thanks Conor! Make sure you get along to see Rainbow Maniac at one of their upcoming shows and follow them in all the usual places …

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Baby Queens – Baby Queens Review: Personality Over Pop Appeal

Benj Newman reviews the new Baby Queens album

Baby Queens debut album

Cardiff-based Baby Queens are enjoying something of a slow burning, organic raise to public consciousness. Though they’ve been around for a while – they were first featured here on We Are Cardiff in 2014 (Baby Queens Our Cardiff Geography) – they’re now signed to SFA man Cian Ciaran’s Strangetown Records, and this year have been part of the BBC Horizons project, spearheaded by new music champion Bethan Elfyn.

The opening track of their eponymous debut is entitled: ‘Tired of Love’. The title of the track is one that we’ve seen many times in music; before our ears have even been properly aquainted with the record there’s a worry that may just be another nondescript British pop album. However, as soon as the music starts, these worries are allayed; in fact, the first track’s seems like it is deceptively there to catch the listener off guard. The track is layered with an infectious electronic drum loop, the lyrics are consciously lovesick and the production shifts between styles effortlessly; it is a signifier that the album packs no punches both lyrically and sonically. The track is evidence that the self-titled nature of the album isn’t simply out of convenience, it is a declaration of the group’s identity, both philosophically and sonically. With the group getting props from Marinia Diamandis on Twitter to write-ups on The Guardian, they’re certainly on their way to something big and show that Cardiff’s tightly-knit music community is still doing great things.

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The synthesis of synthetic and organic sounds is one of the biggest positives about the album. It is difficult to properly balance these polarising sounds, but Baby Queens have balanced it competently; in fact, they haven’t just found the right balance, they’ve synthesised both sounds creatively. The soft electronic percussion of ‘Hear Me’, for example, pops with the inclusion of the relatively archaic shaker and classic guitar lines. There is an acute awareness throughout the record that the weaving together of opposing sounds leads to a much more pleasing collage of sound. The symbiosis of these two sounds ensures the album’s production stays organic and sonically interesting throughout. It’s difficult not to think of Cardiff when you hear the combination of electronics and natural sound; the electronic production winds around a subtle natural foundation much like the city itself. Cardiff is a city that juxtaposes harshly against a fertile natural landscape; the city is a symbiosis of nature and modernity much like the music it produces. The unique material culture of the city – one that is still grounded in nature despite its metropolitan allure – has been threaded into sonic palette of the record; Cardiff has left an impression on this group, perhaps even unconsciously. The group aren’t afraid to dip their toes into different styles, either, which ensures the album stays stylistically varied.

The album jumps around a few different styles with aplomb. There is a direct trip-hop and pop influence embedded in the album, but it is still stylistically varied. For example, ‘By The River’ veers into a gospel song on points with a strong Americana influence, whereas ‘Forever’ opens with a reggae guitar line and never really threatens to leave the genre for the remainder of the track. There’s always a nice surprises in each track, – like the Aphex Twin-esque drum loop at the end of ‘Forever’ – that keep the listener’s earbuds on the tip of excitement, too. The group’s ability to wind through several complicated genres speaks volumes for their chemistry. Despite foraying into several genres, their harmonies still stay solid and their identity never becomes compromised. The best thing about the album, really, is how the group are so unrelentingly themselves. Leroy’s drumming, too, deserves special mention – it is expertly measured and matured throughout.

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Lyrically, too, the album displays the group’s deceiving depth. Initially, I thought the album was entirely made up of romantic love songs – not that there’s anything wrong with that – but on further listens I found that the album, in a few tracks, deals with much more relevant and complicated issues. The hook in ‘Forever’ can deceive the listener into believing it is a simple love song, but the overall lyrical content points to something more political. For example, the lyric ‘your skin is light, my skin is dark, that does not change the shape of our hearts’ is a plea for egalitarianism in a time of rampant secularism or straight-up racism. Baby Queens seem ready to shake off their ‘girl group’ stereotype by producing lyrical content that is relevant and political. In a time of Brexit, alt-right and all that other nonsense, it’s good to have a group pushing for people to view each other on more human terms. The vibe of the whole track, too, is suited to the times. It is as utopianistic as it is sombre, in a way. The lyrics contrast sharply with the sombreness embedded in the vocals.  Essentially, the track’s contrasts and tonal hypocrisy mirrors contemporary life; the track realises it is a time where relentless positivity is needed, but where the facts of modern life distils this down into sombre well-wishing.

Overall, Baby Queens was a real surprise packed to the brim with personality and risky production choices. It is out now on Strangetown Records– go check it out, you won’t be disappointed (and if you are then I’m prepared for some comment section shadowboxing).

Baby Queens is out now on Strangetown Records. Find out more:

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