Supported By @CreativeCardiff
Saturday 22 October, 8.45-9.30pm, 10 Feet Tall
Iwan Huws is one of those gifted artists who can superbly concoct beautiful songs using a medley of sounds. Iwan’s music has haunting elements of acoustic country, infused with his deep and soul stirring lyrics. The tracks conjure images of rolling fields and sunny skies, leaving you with a smooth sense of nostalgia. The music hits an even more diverse level when Iwan shows off his Welsh language skills. The plucky acoustics swirling with the Welsh language, which so easily rolls of Iwan’s tongue, is enough to make even the toughest heart swell. Iwan’s not to be missed at SWN! – Jade Price
Saturday 22 October, 7.00pm-7.45pm, Gwdihw
They are around the age of seventeen, they are psychedelic, and they sometimes sing about swimmers. Sen Segur may be young, but the trio, Gethan Davies, Ben Ellis and George Amor from Gwynedd in Snowdonia perform with maturity, and sound like they have been plucked straight out of a mid-60s psychedelic pop festival and planted firmly in 2011. Twangy guitars and bass with some dreamy reverb and lilting Welsh language vocals make a compelling mix. They cite some of their influences as Joy Division, My Bloody Valentine, and Super Furry Animals. The band have played at the National Eisteddfod and Gwyl Gardd Goll festival in Bangor this year, and you can catch them at SWN this weekend. – Rachael Hogg
Saturday 22 October, 11.45pm-12.30am, Dempsey’s
If you want to be reminded of those lazy summer days this weekend at SWN, then check out Y Niwl. Their retro, instrumental and bright surf rock will transport you back to lounging around on the beach (on those couple of days of sunshine that we had this summer). The names translates into English as The Fog, which is a bit of a juxtaposition of their music, and of their production. The LP was recorded by British Sea Power’s engineer, David Wrench and unlike nearly every band produced these days, the sound is almost entirely natural. There has been no enhancement of sound, even down to the reverb. This therefore means, if you like what you hear, and you enjoy the authenticity, you are even more likely to love seeing Y Niwl live this weekend. – Rachael Hogg
Al Lewis Band
Sunday 23 October, 7:00-7:45pm, Clwb Ifor Bach
Al Lewis’ winsome, radio-friendly melodies mask complex, impeccably crafted lyrics; evoking the American troubadours of the 1970s, the North Wales singer perfectly creates sweeping story arcs in songs like Life On The Wire and The Arsonist.
Al Lewis’ star has been steady in Welsh Language music since 2007, when the singer-songwriter came second in the “Song For Wales” competition. In 2009 Al Lewis Band released their first Welsh Language album, enjoying massive success. Performing alternately in both Welsh and English, Al’s 2010 solo release In The Wake was followed by his first nationwide tour and a Welsh Music Prize nomination. – Emily Bater
Welsh Music Prize
And let’s not forget the formidable Welsh Music Prize. Although we’ve already mentioned it several times this week, it’s a highlight of the festival this year. While it won’t be in the Welsh language, it is a celebration of Welsh (language) music and Welsh culture. We’re so unbelievably excited about finding out who the winner is that we can barely stop squealing – in Welsh.
SWN Festival is an incredible opportunity to promote Wales and the Welsh language. With all of the literature that’s produced for the festival being bilingual, the team behind SWN are making a massive contribution to the Welsh language as well as culture in Cardiff.