Tag Archives: live music cardiff

Swn Festival 2016 – tenth anniversary! Line up and tickets info


Oh my lordy, TEN YEARS of Sŵn! This October we welcome back our own inner city music festival for its tenth year. Excited? We are!

In case you haven’t been to Sŵn before, here’s the vibe. The festival takes over several venues throughout Cardiff city centre, spreading musical joy and happiness between them all. You buy a wristband – either for the weekend or a day at a time – that gets you into all those shows (provided there’s room – so get there early for bands you really want to see!).

There are additional festival shows in Tramshed that you can buy separate tickets for. Your wristband will get you into these, but again, only if there’s space.

This year’s line up

News: Lonely the Brave all dayer!

Sŵn have now announced the FULL LINE-UP for the LONELY THE BRAVE all-dayer on Saturday 22nd October 2016 at Tramshed, as part of Sŵn Festival 2016. Huge! LONELY THE BRAVE will be joined by FATHERSON, CASEY, BLACK FOXXED, MAX RAPTOR and MUNCIE GIRLS. What a humdinger.

Join the Lonely the Brave all-dayer Facebook event for updates or jump straight to Lonely the Brave all-dayer tickets. If you want to spend the day here you can buy a ticket just for this show for £12.50 OR buy a Sŵn Festival Saturday Wristband or weekend wristband to get entry (subject to capacity)

Volunteering at Sŵn Festival

Fancy working on an award-winning music festival? Drop them an email if this is your bag! If you’re interested in a future career in events or music, this a great way to get experience and have fun too.

Other Sŵn shows …

Sŵn began life as a festival but we get bands asking to play Cardiff all the time, so we now promote shows year-round. To get more live new music in your life, here’s a list of our upcoming shows to take you all the way to Sŵn Festival….

  • WATSKY / JEZ DIOR / 30th Sep / Clwb Ifor Bach  / RSVP / Tickets
  • IN HEAVEN / PALE WAVES / BIRDCAGE / 5th Oct / RSVP / Tickets
  • FEWS / WYLDERNESS / CHROMA / 12th Oct / RSVP / Tickets
  • TALL SHIPS / 17th Oct / RSVP / Tickets

… and there’s over twenty more upcoming shows at SOUND NATION


More Sŵn news … soon!


HUB Festival ’16 – all the music you can eat in Cardiff this Bank Holiday weekend

August Bank holiday weekend in Cardiff promises a veritable smorgasbord of musical delights, as HUB Festival returns to Womanby Street with an extended selection of music, comedy and poetry!

HUB Festival 2016

Looks pretty incredible, right?? Tickets are a mindblowing £12 per day or just £20 for the full weekend!

Keep up to date with all news at the HUB Festival 2016 – Facebook event page

In the meantime, here are HUB Festival’s vital statistics …

HUB FESTIVAL 2016 – 200+ acts, 12 stages, 3 days – music, art, performance!

Tickets are £20 for 3 – days, on sale in Spillers Records, Diverse Music,Bristol Ticket Shop, WeGotTickets, SEE Tickets

THE STAGES: The Full Moon, The Moon Club, FUEL ROCK CLUB, Clwb Ifor Bach, Four Bars at Dempseys, Urban Tap House Cardiff, City Arms, Cardiff, Dempseys, Busker’s Revenge Pirate Ship and our Outdoor Stage!

The Wave Pictures, RICHARD DAWSON, Johnny Cage & The Voodoogroove, Junior Bill, Crinkle Cuts, Hipicat, Desert Storm, We’re No Heroes, Sigiriya, Cowboy and the Corpse, Climbing Trees, Maddie Jones,Featherjaw, Lacertilia, Quiet Marauder, A N i • G L A S S, Harri Davies Music, Fingertrap, Heil Zilla, GOAN DOGS, Clay Statues, Tendons,Roughion, Boris a Bono, Pizzatramp, MY NAME IS IAN, Rainbow Maniac,Tides Of Sulfur, Mumbleman, Tommy & The Trouble, Winter Coat, Shop Girls, Heavy Flames, Aaronson, Bryde, Luk, HVNTER, Matthew Frederick,The Marks Cartel, Meilir, V A I L S, HOMES, The Johnstown Flood,Kookamunga, Seas Of Mirth, Punks not dad, VAN-illa, Thee Manatees,Dave Morris and the Knock, HODAD, Grand Tradition, This Is Wreckage,Local Enemy, Esuna, OldSamuel, Dead In The Water, La Forme, The Irascibles, Sophie Lynch and the Special FriendsFountainhead, Soviets, Great Revelations, Nuclear Lullaby, Rozelle, Everything by Electricity, Keto,Chloe Foy, Joe Bayliss, Grace Hartrey, The Fused, Alex Stacey, Cameron Trowbridge, The Sonny Bonds Duo, Welcome Back Delta, Eleri Angharad,Ellie Parris, Capra Mamei, Ofelia, Think Pretty, Sam Fowke Music, Blood Lips, Matt Troy, Fran Murphy, Mark Curtis, Fran Smith, Fritz O’Skennick, Clive Oseman, Mario Fiorrillo Umberto, Terri Hoskings, Gareth Davies, Natasha Borden, Will Ford, Ellie Powell, Georgia Paterson – Singer/Songwriter, To Bear Sir

CURATORS INCLUDE: All My Friends, BlueBox Promotions, Bubblewrap Collective, Blue Honey, Electric Harmony, LUCKYMAN RECORDS, Pi and Hash Music, The Psychedelic Priests, Radio Glamorgan, Rockpie, Sound Affects PR, The Hold Up, Young Promoters Network

This year sees the addition of a beer festival featuring local craft brewers, a new street presentation with designers decorating the area, as well as musicians, poets, comedians, performing arts and street food.

Too many artists for you to keep up with? HUB have made a handy Soundcloud page, giving you a ‘greatest hits’ of this year’s bands. Put it on and let the music wash all over you!

See you down the front


HUB Festival 2015 – Cardiff’s August Bank holiday live music blow out!

If you can squeeze this in beside the Butetown Carnival also taking place over the Bank Holiday weekend, HUB Festival is once again taking over Womanby Street with a BILLION bands, loads of beers, and more boogying than you can possibly manage!


Here are the deets:

HUB FESTIVAL CARDIFF 2015 Facebook event
Womanby Street | Cardiff | CF10 1BR
Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th August 2015

<<< 200 Acts – 12 Stages – 2 Days – 1 Wristband >>>

£10 Day-Tickets / £15 Weekend-Tickets: Buy tickets

HUB Festival returns this August Bank Holiday Weekend with a whole host of great music and performers!

===== LATEST LINE UP =====


Josephine and the Artizans – Tree House Fire – Kookamunga – Grand Tradition – Public Order Act

SPECIAL GUESTS – JaJa OK – Baby Brave – Rainbow Maniac – Love Bazaar – Tarsiers – Recluse

Fingertrap – King Tut’s Revenge – Hipicat – The D Teez – Kinky Wizzards – Paint Happy – Milpool – Ukulele Nights

Tides Of Sulfur – Vails – Gung Ho – Haast’s Eagled – Buff – Mind Factory – Clarity As Arson – Your Protected

Quiet Marauder – Harri Davies Band – The Gentle Good – Mike Dennis – The Migrant – Matthew Frederick – FUR – Dot’N Bang

Mixalydia – Homes – Denim Snakes – Ofelia – Local Enemy – Willo Wonder

A Girl Called Ruth – Owain Whatley – Dead In The Water – Grace Hartery – Lee Blackmore

Captain Accident (Solo) – Aled Rheon – Arfur Bone – Joe Kelly – Kirk Morgan

Cotton Wolf – Nico Reuben – Will Ford – Mike Johnson & Maddy Read – Ingrid Lagounel – Fara Allibhai – Nightmares From The Discotheque – Fritz O’Skennick 0 Mark Curtis – Des Mannay – Johnny Giles – Terry Hoskins – Ceri Sian – Julie Croad – Maggie Nash – Dave Daggers – Nia David – Laz Lazarus – Martha Shitpeas – Ade Jones – Lee Prosser – Christina Thatcher – Ffion Wyn – Aisling Tempony

DJ Jaffa – DJ JB – Double Cee – DJ Alkemy – Turna Phrase – Sythe & Jomez – Culture Vultures – Conrad Lott – Inner City Cypher – Skunkadelic – Rob Wax – Ill Lit – Chew & Dex


Johhny Cage & The Voodoo Groove – Smokey Bastard – Railroad Bill – Screamin’ Miss Jackson & The Slap Yo Mama Big Band – Featherjaw – The Brwmys

Howl – Lacertilia – Thorun – Wight – Morass of Molasses – Attercopus – Tradish – Wall

Junior Bill – Poor Old Dogs – Third Party – Iron Eye – Maddie Jones Band – Shop Girls – Ohhimark – Tomos Lewis – Sean O’Brien

Hogslayer – Chaos Trigger – Ten Cent Toy – Intensive Square – Bismuth – Water – Mwstard

Jnr Hacksaw – The Lash – The Johnstown Flood – Rhodri Brooks Band – Them Deadbeats – Bella Collins – The Higher Bells

SPECIAL GUESTS – Baby Queens – Lionface – Why We Love

Skunk-Boy Project – Calling All Heroes – Eleri Angharad – Tobias Robertson – Jaymee Summers – Danny Saben – Kim Campbell & Sam Griffiths

Howlin’ Lord – Jack Cookson – Doozer McDooze – Brooks, McManus & Capper – Siobhan McCrudden – Josh Evans – Eady Crawford

Sion Russell Jones – 5th Spear – Rye Milligan – Andrew Paul Regan – Zac White – Glocal Now – Luke Bennett – Jacob Nico

DJ Killer Tom – DJ Brave Toaster – Joe Dirt & Ral Duke – Chubbs & Jpegg – DJ Veto – Dope Biscuits – Project – Magi – DJ Jaffa

On the street over the weekend you will also find:
Street Food Warehouse
The Busker’s Revenge
Art & Visuals from The Abacus
Lindy Hop Cardiff
Hub Radio with Big Scott

With still a load more to announce …





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“It is the last outpost of a memory, an Alamo to encroaching American invaders” – Spencer


I have hesitating trepidation in revealing my Shangri-la in the city. The influx of anything approaching trending would upset what I have found. Luckily the very nature of my choice negates such an occurrence for you see dear reader… I have selected Garlands as my choice memory of Cardiff, having patronised its loving environ for over ten years and at one point had my own table and regular order. I have occasionally got too busy to regularly attend, but like catholic guilt, I am always drawn back to its pleasure.

Located in Duke Street Arcade opposite the castle, Garlands entices with a tobacco stained, penny university aesthetic, the old world Italian allure familiar from films and holiday brochures; perhaps such a place never existed, but these kind of coffee houses continue to offer a faux decadence of fonts, painted pillars, plastic chandeliers and brass decor which has now become a decadence all of its own.

As coffee shops become more standardised (and Garlands is itself a sort of 80’s standardisation) in low- slung cushioned comfort, it is a pleasure to be forced to sit upright like an adult whilst consuming. Garlands harks back to places where people could think, discuss, and plan within a city, yet away from distractions. One can do this elsewhere but well lit, bright colours; open spaces and urban (not urbane) noise can work against this.

By contrast, Garlands has soft brown hues and hushed voices, a more respectful climate than the abrasive places. Here, you will not hear overweight voices bandy out repulsive terms like ‘skinny’, ‘frappe’ ‘latte-a-chino’, the same voices who only a few years ago would have violently rejected such terms (often with violence). This is a place with coffee machines that don’t look like they are about to rise up against the human race, there is none of the spluttering distain of the modern machinations, instead the very mechanical elements themselves are in harmony with the more reserved eatery nature, and its artificial nurture, in unison.

Consequently as I’ve noted, it is a place to think, and many a song lyric/idea has been formulated or completed within its  walls. When I began frequenting, they used to have the Independent newspaper every Friday, making it an ideal place to catch up on the arts supplement over the free coffee refills. The paper has stopped there but the coffee refills continue (for around £1.50 you can have one free refill – sometimes more).

The food is delightful and as simple or complicated as any rival, whilst retaining a delectable character missing from the countless identical test tube paninis the western world over. Ranging from the simple toasted teacake (which you may have to ask for), to the Italian experience jacket potato (capable of summing up an entire country’s cuisine in a potato), via the cream cheese, smoked salon sandwich (alas no capers any more), there is something to sate any visiting town patron. Homemade cakes are proudly displayed in cylinders of sin, next to a fridge containing water, juices and various forgotten carbonated genres of refreshment.

Here is a place to reflect whilst listening to Gershwin, classical excerpts, or themes from motion pictures, and whilst the music may err toward Classic FM, this is no bad thing. Give me this over the nasally forgettable, mid-Atlantic tones of a thousand strumming, anodyne singers called Ryan, Sarah, Ben or Fiona any afternoon.

I suppose its main attraction for this writer is the way it avoids the visitation of the young who seem repelled by its lack of identifiable corporate logo or multi-media advertisement. Garlands is not the community where people jump off loud, high objects whilst making wide eyed hand signals, nor does it display full coloured, sweaty, laminated representations of its wares. It simply has a menu with words like ‘sandwich’, and entrusts the reader with enough intelligence to know what this is. It’s probably too much of a gamble for a youth raised on spoilers and plot revealing trailers. Even when I was young, I wanted to distance myself (when taking my coffee) from the noise of excited bores talking at disbelief over the previous nights substance inspired travail (“man, Ollie was so wasted”). I craved a more ecumenical church, where lecturers, grandmothers, aspiring jobless elitists (like myself), families, crazies and yes even some young people could freely take refreshment in the haven of a reminder of a more homily, intelligent time, where people didn’t ask you if you wanted confectionary on your coffee.

This though is where the contradiction resides. As I’ve noted above, Garlands is also has its own ‘corporate’ identity familiar to anyone growing up in the eighties who was dragged endlessly around town by mothers or family. For me, it is a prompt to being little (and probably slightly bored), eating crisp jacket potatoes with mother whilst playing with a Transformer, asking (and getting) a rare ice cold glass of coke and perhaps a Welsh cake. It is essentially the last outpost of a memory, an Alamo to encroaching American invaders. That’s right… I’m using the confusing yet apt allegory of an America invading itself, replacing our cherished heritage of coca-cola with a skinny-choco-frappe-a-lingo, taking away all we hold dear. I will hold out in my fortress of drawn fireplaces, ginger beer, and cutlery in baskets and take refuge under its gingham moon, shielding myself behind soft paintings until the day is won.

Only please, please please, dear Garlands, bring back capers to the menu and the Independent every Friday and credit my life-partner for the pictures you have of hers on the wall. Then all will be well.

Spencer McGarry is a Swansea born composer living in Cardiff. He is currently halfway through a project to record and perform six albums in six different styles (under the oft misunderstood as arrogance moniker ‘Spencer McGarry Season’) and is a part of Businessman records. He is an avid reader of popular science and religion and inexplicably believes that all pets suit the name Napoleon. He lives with his life-partner near a small Tesco’s outlet. Check Businessman Records on Big Cartel and Spencer’s Soundcloud.

Spencer was photographed in Garlands by Adam Chard


“three floors of music and a cold staircase guide you skywards” – Richard

richard arnold by Ffion Matthews

Cardiff is rapidly changing; the new shopping mall is only the physical side of this growth coming to fruition. It is colossal; it is grand, yet it is anonymous. Now progress is natural, and I am little too young to daydream in sepia but I am concerned that any sort of unique character in Cardiff is becoming too rare a delicacy. What Cardiff will look like in the future is a mystery to me, but I would like to briefly write about a place that I hope survives the evolving landscape, where others have fallen (the Point). That remains, even if just for my own selfish memories.

Clwb Ifor Bach, or Welsh Club to those of an English disposition, sits on Womanby Street, in the shadow of Cardiff Castle. It looks unremarkable. Illustrated posters of upcoming events line its outside wall. Occasionally a queue and puffs of cigarette smoke line the air as mobile phones illuminate the dark, the time reminding impatient hands how long they have been waiting. Other times the emptiness of the cobbled street follows with the absence of bodies on the dance floor. On such occasion the emptiness is only exaggerated by a green laser, which trickles from bulb to the tapping feet of the few dancing. My mind is filled with fond memories of my friends and I dancing to Le Tigre, Hot Chip, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and miming the Smiths to the unimpressed ceiling.

There are three floors of music and a cold staircase to guide you skywards. Music seeps from each level creating a cocktail of sounds. People crowd to talk, their tones varying from the joyous to the bleak. Eyes lined thick with mascara are the most telling in sadness, a trail of black make up thinly descends down their cheeks.

The majority of the time you barely catch a glimpse of smiling expressions as groups rush from room to room chasing a song, meeting people, enjoying the playground that is Clwb Ifor Bach.

I enjoy the scope of fashion you see paraded in Clwb Ifor Bach, it accepts the eccentrics. Its red brick interior provides the backdrop to polka dot dresses, arms swathed in tattoos, flat caps tilted to impossible angles and piercings protruding from the faces of strangers. The eclectic tastes of the punters are mirrored by the different types of music played there. From indie to dubstep, drum and bass, electro, pop and (although rare) hip hop. It is nice going out to a night, and the songs not being inane and bile educing as Lady Gaga crooning that she wants to ride your disco stick. Wales is a country that loves music, and Welsh Club caters for those whose thirst goes beyond the Radio 1 daytime playlist.

We live in a western world connected by chains and franchises that mean every city centre is all too familiar; any mystery vanquished under the strain of luminous logos and the sea of striped shirts and squeaky-clean shoes. In Clwb Ifor Bach there is a sea of styles, of stories waiting to unfold, of romance and rejection, of bravado and bravery spurred on by music, alcohol and dance moves. It has been the host of many of my happy memories, and I hope it will continue to be a venue that will offer a haven from the beige discothèques that line the more commercial St. Marys Street.

Richard Arnold is in his third year at Cardiff University studying History and Politics. He currently lives in Cathays.

Richard was photographed at Clwb Ifor Bach by Ffion Matthews

Richard Arnold by Ffion Matthews