So I’m now on the train home, slightly bleary eyed after the last late night of a long few days but I can’t snooze until I’ve at least told those of you who have made it through my Day One and Day Two posts, a few highlights from the final day at Focus Wales. I’ll try and be brief as it is Sunday after all, but it would be wrong not to mention these guys…
I couldn’t see much of punky Mancunian pair Glove from the back of a packed-out pub, just snatches of their facepaint through people’s cameras mostly, but I could certainly feel the energy from both the band and the crowd. They were raw, passionate, honest and often amusing, not to mention thoroughly enjoyable. I look forwards to checking out more of their recorded material.
I am forever fascinated at the amount of musical talent in Bristol that I am constantly uncovering, and a little embarrassed that it took Emily Magpie approaching me all the way in Wrexham before I heard her stunning take on folktronica (for want of a better term). Confidently armed with a ukulele and a loop pedal, she did a great job of holding the mostly local crowd’s attention from the corner of a noisy pub.
Whilst watching Emily’s set I bumped in to my old friend Dan Lambert aka Johnny Cage who was performing with the next act Siobhan McCrudden. Although Siobhan’s softer vocals fared less well with the background noise and a largely absent sound man, her voice itself was beautiful and she’d printed out the lyrics to her songs, so at least the poetry of her fabulous folk noir songs could be properly appreciated. I was also happy that whilst rummaging through my emails to find her surname, I noticed she will be performing with the Naked Citizens at Big Love this year. I very much look forwards to that.
I think I’ll stop there but also honorary mentions to Cate Le Bon who put on an excellent headline show as always, Mart Avi from Estonia who’s awkwardness onstage somehow managed to make him even more endearing and Welsh chamber folk trio VRï , who were perhaps a little too traditional for my tastes but nevertheless played a great set.
I’ve grown rather fond of Wrexham and Focus Wales has proven a great conference for the past 3 years so hopefully I shall be back reporting from there again next year.