Bethan Elfyn and the BBC Radio Wales kids have set up a wunderschon music night every Thursday in Buffalo Bar, Cardiff. Last Thursday saw some of Wales' finest under the radar rock acts take to the stage and do their darndest to pep us up. They made us smile, they made us bounce. They put hairs on our chest and they almost made us cry.
Magden Audio tiggered in with their inimitable pop-rock styles; dosing us up with their poignant song titles, lyrics that seem both worldy and angsty all at once and beats that defy you to keep still. Catch them in Cardiff's Clwb Ifor Bach on August 7th with The Undivided and People In Planes.
Snuck into the bill next were Swansea jacks, We're No Heroes. Don't be fooled by their meek and geeky 'image' - it's not an image it's actually them - but prepare to be bowled over by the sheer talent emanating from the Welsh three-piece. Equally sharing out the vocal responsibilities, each Hero takes a turn to add his layer to one hell of a foundation, no man is any way unsure of his instrument or talent creating a Foals-esque sound. Live they are nothing short of wow.
Gaining collumn inches in Rock Sound and Kerrang! is all in a days work for Exit International: Cardiff indie boys and part-time baby killers. The feral punks screamed about Sex With Strangers and ShermanBASTARDfang to the distinctly souless audience that stood (literally just stood) before them; not even the double bass action seemed to be able to stir the static crowd. Sad and surprising times when bubblegum-pop-rock hooks cocktailed with ferocious rock urgency put a smile on your face, a tap in your foot and a small amount of fear in your heart. Exit International, don't fuck with them. They may just cwtch you to death while snorting out The Chainsaw Song and hurling phlegm in your direction with untenable abandon.
Headliners Straight Lines took the cliched route by commanding the, by now nearly full top floor, to move forward to the stage. Who doesn't love a cliche? We sure as hell weren't complaining about being that clos to Tom Jenkin's signature wailing vocals or Todd Campbell's insane body hurling shapes - how exactly does one man and his bass move quite that much? Giving their fans exactly what they wanted in the form of Loose Change, Antics and Versus The Allegiance, even the most static gig-goer found it a challenge to keep still. Momentous highlights came when Todd took himself into the third row for the final riffs of their last song and Dane Campbell chilling out behind the skins for the en core.
A fine evening of rock cutting across the genre and spanking it on the way out. Lovely.
For music streaming, tour dates and, in We're No Heroes case, free music downloads get yourselves over to: