A cold and wet evening in Cardiff, but with Christmas just around the corner the city is in a festive mood, and what better than an intimate semi-domestic show (moved to this venue from the beleaguered St David’s Hall) by Far From Saints? Swansea talent Edie Bens, provides support, too, warming the crowd with a sweetly alt-indie-pop sound.
The stage set has been designed to look like a cosy living room, its array of standard lamps adorned with frilly shades, just like your nana had in her front room circa the 1970s.
Far From Saints pairs Kelly Jones of Stereophonics with an Austin duo, Patty Lynn and Dwight Baker of The Wind & The Wave; their self-titled debut album, released back in the summer, has elements of the former band’s rock and the latter’s country and folk. The evening begins with a collection of songs from the aforementioned album: Screaming Hallelujah and Faded Black Tattoo is followed by a slightly more upbeat rendition of Take It Through The Night.
With their recorded material not quite able to stretch to the length of an arena-worthy headline set, Kelly, Patty and Dwight give the crowd their cover version of Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty’s Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around. The audience – seated since their arrival – are now encouraged by Dwight to stand up for the remainder of the show, sing, dance and enjoy every minute. Raising the roof, the Texan bursts into a cover version of I Want You To Want Me by Cheap Trick.
Rounding off the evening’s events, an encore of two more cover versions: Bang, Bang (He Shot Me Down) by Cher and another Tom Petty smash, American Girl. All in all, Far From Saints offer a really enjoyable night, leaving the audience with that warm fuzzy feeling.
Far From Saints + Edie Bens, Utilita Arena Cardiff, Thurs 7 Dec
words and photos ANTHONY CONWAY