Gruff Rhys – Babelsberg

In the late 90’s I found myself outside of Toronto’s Horseshoe Tavern desperately trying to listen to a sold out Super Furry Animals show. The Welsh band were about to release another masterpiece in the form of Guerilla and were playing a mix of hit songs and yet to be released songs. Sadly, the sound was almost imperceptible from the street and I went on my way walking around the city. It was a sign of things to come, unfortunately – each time Super Furry Animals or Gruff Rhys solo came to town I’d either have a show lined up already (Black Sabbath being the most notable) or simply couldn’t make it. That’ll change this October when I finally take in a Gruff Rhys solo show in an intimate venue. He’ll be supporting his latest solo album, Babelsberg one of the finest records he’s been involved with, solo or otherwise.

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Zephyr Reign – Tempus Fugit

zephyrreign

“Zephyr Reign are a 5 piece Alternative/Rock band from South Wales.

With a list of musical tastes and backgrounds ranging from indie to rock to good old fashion rock n roll the band Zephyr Reign show no limitations with their writing ability and style. With music influenced by bands such as The Who, Oasis, The Clash and The Manic Street Preachers (to name a few) the band mixes alternative rock and classic rock together. The vocals are a mixture of modern and older (Sing your head off ) lyrics that have a definite touch with the real people of today. The band features Geraint Roberts – Vocals/Guitar, Matthew Griffiths – Guitar, Neil Rossiter – Guitar, Gareth Davies – Bass, and Barrie Davies – Drums.”

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The Phantom Light – Sky Lanterns

skylanterns

“The Phantom Light name originates  from a 1935 film of the same name which follows the disappearance of two lighthouse keepers stationed on the desolate coast of Wales. It’s a haunting early example of the work of the visionary director Michael Powell, and resonated with founder members frontman Anthony Jones and drummer Matty James, who had grown up staring out from the shorelines of Swansea”

The above statement from the bands biography conjures up all sorts of imagery in one’s head. The sea can be a source of solace in times of great stress – it can also play the role of reminding a fragile human of the power of Mother Nature. Remember kids – we can love the ocean, but the ocean doesn’t love us. It just is. The Phantom Light take inspiration from the sea and their surroundings in Wales (that’s the part of the UK that isn’t Scotland, Northern Ireland, or England). The music at time recalls bands from the classic era of the Shoegazing scene (Slowdive, Ride, My Bloody Valentine) whilst also displaying the uncanny ability to provide melodies in abundance. At times throughout this stunning EP I was reminded of early Genesis (Peter Gabriel era) and late 70’s era Magazine. Whatever you want to call this mix of styles, one thing is certain – this is a record that belongs in your collection.

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