Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff
Sun 2 Dec
Initially founded in 2013 by Tyneside troubadour Richard Dawson and improvisational harpist Rhodri Davies, with the later addition of Sally Pilkington and Dawn Bothwell, this formidable four-piece make experimental synth-rock that manages to conjure visions of the ancient past as well as the faraway future. Each member hails from a historically different tribal region of Yr Hen Ogledd (or the Old North, to you and I) — a region that covered the southern Scottish Lowlands and northern England in the Early Middle Ages.
Cardiff’s Chapter provides the meeting place for the launch of their much-anticipated third album Mogic, out this month: a phantasmagorical record that lists “artificial intelligence, witches, nanotechnology, pre-medieval history, robots, romance, computer games and waterfalls” as some of its major themes. The band’s mission? To challenge the notion that the ancient world was rife with magic while the modern age is paralysed by cold logic. Despite the esoteric influences, the album’s first single Problem Child is an unexpected banger – strange, addictive and irresistibly danceable. The band’s improvisational roots are evident throughout Mogic, with its hallucinatory interludes and burning distortion. But these are moderated by infectious rhythms, stunning melodies and a surreal sense of humour. A Richard Dawson gig is always an experience, but a Hen Ogledd gig looks to be a fever dream.
Admission: £12/£10 adv. Info: 029 2030 4400 / www.chapter.org (SP)