The event I attended was at the Muse (the old museum) on Glamorgan Street & it was only the second year they had held the event there. The place was cosy with a friendly atmosphere & when I arrived they were playing Nick Drake music which helped set the scene. The place holds about 60 seats which gave a lovely intimate feel. [symple_button url=”http://www.breconfringe.co.uk/venues/muse-at-brecon/” color=”gold” size=”default” border_radius=”3px” target=”blank” rel=”” icon_left=”” icon_right=””]Muse at Brecon Fringe[/symple_button]
The first artist I saw was a young singer songwriter called David Roberts. He played finger-style acoustic guitar with flair in an accomplished way using harmonics & an occasional slight percussive effect. This blended well with his soft voice with an occasional hint of vibrato in his voice. He was received very well by the audience & I was very impressed by his performance & song-writing.
Speaking to him afterwards, he is from Hereford originally but lives in Cardiff. His music has been played on Radio Wales on both the Frank Hennessey & Adam Walton Shows. He has uploaded some music to the Hereford BBC Introducing site. His influences appear to be John Martyn, Jeff Buckley & Nick Drake.
He has made a 10 track album called St. Clears which I purchased & am impressed with.
[symple_button url=”http://www.davidroberts-stclears.com/” color=”green” size=”default” border_radius=”3px” target=”blank” rel=”” icon_left=”” icon_right=””]Website[/symple_button] [symple_button url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mjGBxa48YM4″ color=”orange” size=”default” border_radius=”3px” target=”blank” rel=”” icon_left=”” icon_right=””]YouTube[/symple_button]
A Couple Of Young Girls Called Shimai played acoustic Guitars & sang. Shimai apparently is Japanese for sisters which is exactly what they are, Angharad & Rhiannon.(not Japanese but from Newport, South Wales).
The first song they sang was called ‘Live It’. This was a great upbeat song with a staccato rhythm, brilliant harmonies & well sung. All their other songs were good & Angharad played ukelele on two of them. They say they have no songs recorded but hope to have some soon. They have some videos on their website & also on Youtube. They also played Heartbeat as well as a great cover version of Coldplay’s ‘Fix You’.
They quote their influences as Joni Mitchell, Kina Grannis, Ben Howard, First Aid Kit & Fleetfoxes.
[symple_button url=”http://www.shimaiofficial.com/” color=”green” size=”default” border_radius=”3px” target=”blank” rel=”” icon_left=”” icon_right=””]Website[/symple_button] [symple_button url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D5fFVsnKrAY” color=”orange” size=”default” border_radius=”3px” target=”blank” rel=”” icon_left=”” icon_right=””]YouTube[/symple_button]
Moon was a singer songwriter from Liverpool. Great Performance & great stage presence & really connected with the audience. He played acoustic guitar with a Jazzy feel & his songs were sung with great emotion. I was really impressed by this guy & his performance & song-writing. He said he liked writing songs about fairies.
I believe the next artists name is Laurie. She was a singer-songwriter from London & Ian from Liverpool played Double Bass. Her songs were quite heartfelt & emotional & about her life experiences. One song was about her brother who had by-pass surgery when quite young.
Luke Doherty Band
The next artist was the Luke Doherty Band. These were one of the bands I had gone to Brecon purposely to see. I had heard them on Radio Glamorgan recently & Nicky Cook, the presenter had interviewed them. Luke is only 21 &quite an accomplished guitar player. He was introduced as the nearest thing to Stevie Ray Vaughan. At the age of 9, Luke had been introduced to Eric Clapton & again at 11. At that age he had become the youngest person to achieve grade 8 in the Rockschool examination. His style is very reminiscent of Stevie Ray Vaughan & yet he did a couple of Great Jimi Hendrix covers. An extended version of All Along The watchtower using great effects & also Purple Haze.
He has a new Album out called Six Strings & A Stetson and they played some great songs from it! Solar Flares On The Sun being one of them. A Great Driving Blues Song With harmonica from Paul Morgan, Lead Vocalist. Great Support from Ant Biggs on Bass & Simon Parrot on Drums. Luke provides some great guitar & Great Solo. The overall rousing performance was given witness by the fact that a large portion of the audience got up & filled the dancefloor. A Great band who I’m sure we’ll see a lot more of!
Website :[symple_button url=”http://www.lukedoherty.com/” color=”rosy” size=”default” border_radius=”3px” target=”blank” rel=”” icon_left=”” icon_right=””]Website[/symple_button] [symple_button url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IeNRcTIyfp0″ color=”green” size=”default” border_radius=”3px” target=”blank” rel=”” icon_left=”” icon_right=””]YouTube[/symple_button]
Paul Daffurn & Paul Cobbold aka ‘The Two Pauls’
The Two Pauls are a great duo with Paul Daffurn Singer Songwriter playing Electric/acoustic guitar & singing. Paul Cobbold accompanied on Hofner bass, distinctively playing with a bow on some songs with interesting effect. They delivered great vocals & and were very entertaining.
Du Bellows were the reason for my visit. I had seen them only once before at the Baa Bar in Cardiff last year. Originally, a friend had introduced me to their song, ‘Happiness’ almost two years ago & I was so impressed by the music & Amazing vocals. I had followed them on social media and Adam Walton playing that track on his show had been my introduction to Radio Wales.
They came on to a rousing introduction & the audience responded rapturously! The opening number was a suitably quiet song where lead singer, Jade Williams, accompanied herself on auto harp for the song Hymn for Reuben. She explained that the music would get progressively louder. They had previously released a 4 song EP called the Stir studio sessions which they performed towards the end of the set.
They have just released a 9 track bootleg album of live performance songs, titled Transient Electric Volume 1. There is a limited edition of 30cds produced of which I managed to obtain one of the copies. They are available for download also. The tracks, Silurian Woman, Jack and His Queen and If & When & Only were rendered in great style with loud appreciation from the audience. Jade Williams has a remarkable voice with great pitch range & wonderful shades of dark & light in her emotional & powerful delivery. She used to sing opera when she was younger. Rich Leeds on Bass & David Watkinson on drums have developed into a really tight Rhythm Section. The timing is so sharp aided by Rich’s immaculate bass playing & Dave performed a great drum solo on If & When & Only. T.J.’s guitar playing is a great complement to Jade’s vocals whether it be delicate acoustic work or heavier electric guitar work.
I remember listening to Gabi Roslin’s comments about them when they played live on her Radio London Show. She was totally Blown Away by them & recommended that all the organisers of festivals should book them. It is no secret that Jimmy Page has been to some of their gigs & has stated ‘There is a cosmic counterpoint alive & well here’. After one of the shows he also said, ‘Du Bellows are by far one of the most interesting musically adept bands I have seen recently.’
Although Jade is from Cefn Coed originally they all live in West London. It is fair testament to their commitment to their art that they, like so many other bands did not get paid for performing at Brecon, but still travel at their expense to further their following.
[symple_button url=”http://www.dubellows.com/” color=”black” size=”default” border_radius=”3px” target=”blank” rel=”” icon_left=”” icon_right=””]Website[/symple_button]