Female Cymbals

I was in Llantwit Major eating two-week-old BBQ food (frozen on day of cooking and safely defrosted on day of consumption) and decided that I would flick the bird in the big man’s direction and search out some live music on the designated day of rest.

Songkick was my Mad Men secretary and packed me off to Cardiff sin my narrow-lapelled two-piece (well, one must occasionally dress down in the summer months). Gwdihw was my destination where a charity, Cardiff Reach, was showcasing talent of the female variety. Unfortunately, due to Arriva Trains Wales’ policy of providing only two-hourly direct trains on The Vale line of a Sunday, I only got to experience one-and-a-half sets. Importantly, what did travel into my proportionately-sized noise consumers was largely enjoyable.

The two acts were:

  1. Marged (half a set)
  2. Fioled (whole set)

I seriously think Marged has the potential to sell out stadia. Two songs were all I needed (and probably more than most people need) to get her. She’s authentic, likeable, and – moreover – funny. When she introduced her penultimate song as a “love story I wrote for my drug dealer” I was putty in her proportionately-sized, non-microphone-holding hand. One improvement point for her recorded work: don’t cloud your voice. It’s good, and the more it can be clearly heard the better. I feverishly listened to all of her available recordings (iPhone speakers were once again my conduit) the morning after the gig, proceeding to embrace them as additions to my shower music repertoire (possibly the highest honour bestowed by this wordsmith – ¿if that’s what I can be called?).



EP Launch | 7th July | The Spice of Life | London

Of Fioled. Firstly, the drummer needs to get some new cymbals or sticks – I couldn’t decide on which at the time of listening. As soon as he drifted into playing more intricately (in the second half of the set), the whole sonic experience became much more enjoyable and interesting (a word I use comparably to a fast approaching Second Class Upper university degree). Their songs (and especially the effective use of the violin when it could be heard above the imperious cymbal and snare levels) led me to reminisce about the times I used to listen to Mahavishnu Orchestra on my ailing Packard Bell (either side of exploring the more sordid – but no less pleasurable – corners of the www).

Another improvement point directed towards the lead singer and violinist (only being made because I enjoyed them so much): please relax. You’re good and there’s no need to be so tense – especially since the crowd was, unfortunately, so sparsely populated. As a band, they looked good. The bassist played a bloomin’ keytar (which whisked me off to pool-side La La Land-style), but somehow pulled it off: maybe because his volumous hair was so distracting and he didn’t play it like a four-year-old.



Charlie Says (support act) | 6th July | The Big Top | Cardiff

The only disappointment about the whole evening (and I may be hoisting myself up as a straw man with this comment): that so many of Cardiff’s music moguls were watching Gruff Rhys at the Wales Millennium Centre.

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