Wed 18 Oct
words LAURA ELIZABETH JOHNSON photos SIMON AYRE
It’s not exactly a stairway to heaven, but tonight Clwb Ifor Bach have lined the stairs with balloons and I’m sure there’s a hint of a Glade plug-in in the air. All this as they are playing host to the Welsh Music Prize show, albeit at short notice – it was moved from the Coal Exchange in Cardiff Bay one day prior.
Tonight is a chance for the 12 bands which made the shortlist – Exit_International, Bright Light Bright Light, Cowbois Rhos Botwnnog, Cate Le Bon, Future Of The Left, Islet, Huw M, Kutosis, Jodie Marie, Kids In Glass Houses, Los Campesinos and Truckers of Husk – to showcase tracks from their nominated albums. All 12 were invited to play, with eight actually doing the biz in the end; bands such as Kids In Glass Houses are instead represented with a video. The most entertaining part of that portion of the night is the technical error which results in the projectionist’s screen saver of two fluffy white Pomeranian dogs being revealed.
There’s a strange feel to the night, lacking the usual energetic anticipation of waiting for the headliner as there isn’t one. Instead, people stand and talk over the act(s) they aren’t interested in seeing. The best performance of the night comes from Truckers Of Husk: foot-tapping and hip-swinging, fine music played by people that love it. TOH prove why they’re on the shortlist this evening. Other performances worth noting are my personal favourites Exit_International and the hauntingly beautiful Jodie Marie.
The quote of the night goes to Adam Thomas of Exit_International: “Exit International are the best looking band in South Wales. “ The best antics of the evening goes to Truckers Of Husk, whose drummer Rod throws a hot dog at the crowd and then has to stop mid-song due to his hands being covered in brine.
Tonight’s show proved that the level of music being made in Wales is higher than ever. The winner of the Welsh Music Prize – announced the day after this gig – is Future Of The Left, for their album The Plot Against Common Sense. Off gigging in London tonight, a video (for album track I Am The Least Of Your Problems) was played. Once again, the Pomeranians made their appearance.