FOCUS WALES 2018: DAY 3

By now you should be well versed in what Focus Wales is but otherwise try starting at Day One. The festival is now over and it was a great 3 days of discovery and connections so bravo to the organisers. I’ve seen tons of music and there’s definitely a few bands I’ll be booking at Boomtown in future. Full marks for any artists that came and introduced themselves, I’m surprised at the amount of acts who don’t come and network the shit out of these things as you can get so much from doing so.

I think yesterday was the most varied out of my musical encounters, I saw everyone from a young Classical prodigy, a pop singer from Cardiff, a North Walian freestyle rap session with my mate Mr Phormula (I just caught the end sadly) to a hardcore rock duo from Japan. In fact they were one of the highlights, an amazing duo called MOJA from Tokyo. If you like punk music fast, loud and in your face then you should definitely check them out, they were frickin awesome.

Other highlights included:

Stella Donnelly – originally from Wales but living and largely raised in Australia, if last night’s performance is anything to go by I can see this lady being huge. Don’t let her sweet voice fool you, it’s packed with emotion, utilised most effectively on this song addressing sexual assault and the culture of victim blaming, from her EP ‘Thrush Metal’.

Her show was recorded live for BBC Radio Wales and it’s well worth hunting down, even if she did have to tone down the language, rather amusingly at times.

George Borowski + MORA – made all the more special due to being in the stunning medieval church St Gilles, such an incredible venue for live music. George is from Wrexham and has played with Sad Café, Meat Loaf and Teenage Fanclub amongst others, he’s also worked and toured with The Pixies. MORA is his daughter Vienna who has a powerful voice, it was just the two of them and she was the perfect singing partner for his songs. I can’ seem to find many recent videos of them, but they both play on this track and pretty sure it’s one of George’s songs originally.

Jack Found – a young high energy post punk party band / singer, mixing up influences like only Millenials could, from Two Tone to New Romantic to David Bowie. Not easy to pigeon hole but lots of fun. I think they’re quite a new band, this is the only proper release I could find from them.

AF The Nayslayer – caught this New Orleans based producer just before my set so couldn’t fully engage but definitely got down to his glitched out RNB, Hip-hop, House, Disco productions. They sounded extra crisp through the venues Funktion One also. Took me back to my Chrome Kids days.

Heading back a little hazy with a bunch of CDs to check out this week and tons of new people to check back in with. Top marks to the organisers for a great weekend and if you’re looking for music conferences next year definitely consider it.

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