Ten years ago, Radio 1 DJ Huw Stephens and Welsh music promoter John Rostron made it their dutiful mission to forge a festival that gave a platform to small and unknown forthcoming musicians. Fast forward a decade and Sŵn is now an award winning festival which continues to thrive in the Welsh capital; by unveiling the finest upcoming alternative, indie and punk rock sounds. If you’ve never been to Cardiff before, the very mention of the word may paint a picture of a city that is as popular for its hen/stag dos, as it is for its streets being decorated with alcoholic puddles of sick every Friday night. However, Sŵn proves just how misleading this interpretation is. A smaller mini festival ‘Dim Sŵn’ will take place this Saturday, 9 April. This is a festival that progressively strings along music idolisers from all over Britain – all eager to discover the new noise.
Here’s who we’re most excited to see at this year’s Dim Sŵn…
The Big Moon
Sure to rip up an upheaval on stage this year, The Big Moon are 2016’s answer to the Elastica/PJ Harvey mash up we’ve always been waiting for. According to NME, the band was born in a small cube in Stoke Newington surrounded by ants and packets of Doritos Chilli Heatwaves. Aside from their excellent taste in crisps, their sound blares with alternative mixes, utopian drones and captivating throbs. The Big Moon genuinely rocketed out of oblivion last year, straight into the welcoming arms of Dim Sŵn. They’re grungy, relevant and an all-girl wicked quartet. What’s not to love?
Listen to ‘Cupid’ here.
Having just released their debut album Greasewheel, London based act Virgin Kids are set to take Dim Sŵn by storm with their assortment of energetic, noisy and melodic music. Priding themselves on their Garage Rock sound, Virgin Kids are the type of band that every small festival aims to get on their lineup. ‘Never Nude’ will no doubt be the song that’ll etch itself in every attendees head, full of moans and an infectious, catchy hook that’ll be hard to shake off.
This Cardiff based three piece are not to be missed – merging the punky whines of heavy emo with glorious dream pop sentiments, earning them support slots with the likes of Nai Harvest and JAWS. Their debut, out just two months ago, is a slice of warm escapism with soft emo guitar lines and sleepy vocals galore. However, their understated sound should not be passed by – their live show verges between a hazy, melancholy dream, and a momentous 90s pop punk disco that is guaranteed to kick up a memorable fuss and vitalize the already incredible line up at Undertone.
Pipedream play Undertone at 4:30pm alongside LUK and Lunatides, so be sure to get down early.
The singer/songwriter, being one of the more known names at this years Dim Sŵn, is a perfect example of the British musical talent that has been breaking onto the scene in recent years. Making a name for himself touring with the likes of Paloma Faith and Lucy Rose, Jake Isaac has been turning heads since his first professional EP release of Hearts & Parables back in 2012.
With Isaac’s vocals being both soulful and heartwarming, alongside his ability to effortlessly switch from piano ballads to his newer more rock-esc tracks, he’s an artist who you can tell loves every second of performing up on that stage, making a name for himself as an excellent live performer.
Recently finishing his Spring 2016 UK tour, Jake Isaac is sure to put in a performance those who see him on Saturday will be reluctant to let finish.
Coves have a huge arsenal of material that covers a wide range of emotions and themes with two albums and many EPs. With this volume of music it allows for them to have a set filled with different sounds: ranging from powerful, sinister in tone songs like ‘Shot To The Wall‘ and emotive songs that linger like ‘No Looking Back’. The female vocals can either get under your skin or burn it with an excitable fury, they’re very capable. Coves are well refined and have a lot to offer but still capture an identity that makes you gravitate towards them, there’s a modern day quirk to them and unlike a lot their universal sound can’t be pinned down. They sound like a well establish band, one of the big hitters of the day festival.