Blakeson - Writer

Cardiff-based film, theatre and gig reviews, cultural ramblings, whingeing, short films, etc.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Big Weekend 2009

Friday Night was emo night at this year’s Cardiff Big Weekend, if the rain-flattened lateral coiffures and teen demographic were anything to go by; I was there for London-based North Walian trio The Joy Formidable, however, whose subtle, indie wall-of-sound mini-epics were pretty impressive. I cherry-picked on Saturday as well, only making the effort to see Melopark, fronted by local heroine Sian from Kosheen, who provided an object-lesson in stage-presence; soulful vocals with dense, folky guitar (provided by collaborator Simon Kingman), and catchy, mellow songs (apparently, largely about her mates in the audience) – most pleasant. The main question on Sunday was whether Leisure Society had more songs as achingly beautiful as the Novello-nominated “The Last Of The Melting Snow”; the good news was that they did, and also treated us to an amusing version of Gary Numan’s “Cars”. Having wandered off to find a vaguely hygienic toilet, I only caught the end of Ebony Bones’ set, but she managed to get the crowd going with her crazy beats – if only she wouldn’t dress so dowdily.

My final band of the festival was Camera Obscura, Peel favourites, and one of the pantheon of great, ‘60s-inflected Scottish pop groups; they played a relatively upbeat set which suited the demands of the occasion, and Tracy-Anne’s fragile vocals carried surprisingly well. Lovely.

Re writing, the only good news of late was a repeat fee for “Tracy Beaker” – staving off poverty for another month or so. I’ve also just started another baby play manuscript on its lonely journey around the offices of various theatre companies.


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