Opening proceedings on tonight’s triple bill of Welsh talent at Clwb Ifor Bach, Caernarfon’s Patryma produce a huge wall of noise to welcome the swelling crowd out of the chilly night and into Clwb’s warm embrace. Singing in Cymraeg, frontman Siôn Foulkes is an engaging presence on-stage and versatile in his delivery. It comes as a surprise to hear that this is Patryma’s first gig: they’re a solid unit and smash out a powerfully abrasive set, reminiscent of the propulsive groove of 36 Crazyfists.
Taking the night on a sonically different tack, there’s a welcome return next for the swell and crash of locals False Hope For The Savage, whose soaring, multi-layered post-rock washes over the willing crowd. Playing their first show in two years, there’s a real depth of emotion to their performance, conveyed through raised thumbs and smiles.
Launching their new LP Hir Oes I’r Cof, there is a lot of love in the room for Breichiau Hir tonight. Singer Steffan Dafydd is a magnetic personality and greets the capacity crowd enthusiastically, at one point flapping a rose around like a (presumably) less objectionable Morrisey. Sonically, these long arms pack a punch: like openers Patryma, the six-piece stand out amongst Welsh-language acts for being so thoroughly enthusiastic about making a bit of a racket.
Never shying away from a big hook, Breichiau Hir are otherwise unbothered about indulging in a blunt trauma assault on the eardrums, with a density of sound and power of delivery that, at points, recalls Fucked Up at their punchiest. Despite having knocked around the capital for yonks, Hir Oes I’r Cof is somehow Breichiau Hir’s debut album and, as they clatter through it track-by-track, it’s clearly a record that’s benefitted from its years of gestation.
The choruses from tracks like Mwynhau are still buzzing around the brain the next day and receive a brilliant response from a sweaty crowd, with a slippery, good-natured moshpit breaking out as the night draws on. The show’s a total triumph and proof of the benefits of being willing to go against the grain and put the hard yards in – as well as a knack for writing a catchy tune.
Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff, Sat 20 Nov
words HUGH RUSSELL photos GARETH BULL
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