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Browsing: Music

Within the popular music of the 1980’s, Prince arguably had no challenger in the United States. Able to combine an immediately loveable style with sharp song writing, as well as creating prominent singles for albums like 1999 or Purple Rain Prince wrote a huge range of significant hits for other pop musicians. The latest in a huge unseen back-catalogue that is being posthumously released by Warner Brothers Records; Originals is a compilation of original versions of songs he gave to other musicians. The first thing to really mention about Originals is that it isn’t just a set of demos or…

June marked the 40th anniversary of one of the most iconic debuts of all time. Atmospheric, solemn and tortured, Unknown Pleasures may not have seen chart success upon its release but is now remembered as one of the most influential and impactful releases from the explosion of punk and the subsequent post-punk movement that sprouted from the initial wave, inspiring artists from contemporaries such as The Cure to later artists like Radiohead or Bloc Party. The Manchester band’s debut has such a legacy most notably in my view for the desolate and reverberant production from Martin Hannett, with even the…

Even within a fairly diverse and eclectic alternative scene of the 1990s in Britain, Stereolab stood out. Mixing a love for the raw and uncompromising attitude of The Velvet Underground with the melody of French pop in their early recordings, within a decade they had blossomed into a band capable of making deceptively complex, vibrant pop. Pretty much the only constants in their career were the sweet bilingual vocals and political lyrics of Laetitia Sadier alongside the guitarwork of Tim Gane, but they had a distinctive yet constantly progressing brand of music because of this. Their comeback tour, coming to…

This Is Not A Safe Place – Ride As a band managing to blend a noisy, wall of sound approach to rock music alongside pop melodies, Ride were a band beloved during their short heyday in the 1990’s and welcomed after their comeback album Weather Diaries in 2017. This Is Not a Safe Place is their second album since their return, and is by no means a poor relation to their more acclaimed previous material, in fact featuring some superb alternative rock. Opener R.I.D.E is one of the most unique songs on this album, with a synthetic vocal and one…

At most festivals, that inceptive splosh of rain is an unwelcome incidence. Contrarily, at Green Man, a curtain of drizzle before those majestically noble Brecon Beacons is gorgeously aesthetic. Admittedly, this wonderous spectacle didn’t abate the merciless deluge. But it did distract me from my damp socks. Following recent years of relative radiance, the festival’s 17th outing was probably due some weather worthy of watery wellies and muddy macs. Though, no matter the volatility of the British skies, you’ll never be short of warmth at Green Man. It’s exuded by all who loyally flock to dwell in the verdant valleys…

The annual UniBrass contest returns to Bangor University on 8th February 2020, marking 10 years for one of the largest Brass Band contests in the UK. University brass bands from around the country will be welcomed to Bangor to compete across two sections; the Trophy and the Shield. Full details about the contest and the venues will be announced in due course. The UniBrass Organising Committee are hoping to make UniBrass 2020 “the biggest contest yet.” The contest began in 2010 at Lancaster University. It was also held at the University of Warwick in 2014, and in Yorkshire for two…

One of Ireland’s finest acts “Villagers” kick started their tour of the UK in Bangor’s very own Pontio, supported by the ethereal musical artistry of Leila Moss. They began their set with “Again” from the RTÉ Choice Music Prize Irish Album of the year 2018 nominee “The Art of Pretending to Swim”. Otherworldly electronics delicately paired with folk-like sounds from brass instruments and acoustic guitars were a breath of fresh air. Moody lighting and dry ice made the whole experience seem celestial. Frontman Conor O’Brien brought a level of intimacy between himself and the crowd with his performance of “Hot…

By Zach Reading On Saturday 2nd February, 767 students from 21 bands arrived from around the country to participate in the premier event for University brass banding. This was the first time UniBrass has been hosted in Wales and it was masterminded by Chair and postgraduate Marine Biology  student, Sam Hartharn-Evans. The competition was split across two stages with Pontio’s Bryn Terfel Theatre hosting the Trophy bands and the Shield section taking place in Alun Hall. As the morning wore on and many bands arrived in Bangor for the first time, the trek from outside Pontio to contest control situated…

By Jord McEvoy ‘Where’s the music?’ is a cry heard all too often around Bangor, and on the surface, it may well seem that question has some validity. If you look away from the nightclubs and in the smaller, more enigmatic venues however, you will see that there is a lot more to Bangor than initially meets the eye. Our student populace has allowed us to expand on the arts and culture which were already prominent in the area, with the likes of Blue Sky Cafe offering sets from people both local and from all around the country. A mix…

BU Jazz Band performed at The Menai on the evening of Friday 30th November. The performance commenced at 8:30pm to a large, bustling audience. The band’s energetic opener served to add to the energetic atmosphere and the night was off to a fantastic start! The ensemble was composed of around 15 members, including vocalists who all contributed a high level of enthusiasm, which added to the lively nature of the evening. The performance encompassed a range of songs from the subdued ‘Moondance’ and ‘Come Fly With Me’ to the upbeat ‘New York New York’. After a short interlude, the second…

Lost Like Alice, a project from local lad Ben Parker, was birthed from Ben’s love for the blues and poetic lyrics. He has performed in various locations around the UK, but made his Cove debut on the 22nd November. Lost Like Alice’s rich vocals and mesmerizing guitar rhythms coupled with the chilled vibes of Cove created the perfect Thursday evening entertainment. Cove Pop Up Bar and Rum Shack may be the new kid on the block, but has already established itself as the ideal student venue for a fun-filled night. It can now add live music to its ever-growing list of…

Public Service Broadcasting’s show in Pontio was a part of a line up of five intimate shows around Wales prior to their final UK performance at the Royal Albert Hall. The shows acted as a final farewell to their latest album ‘Every Valley’, and it was not a night to disappoint. Opening the night, Cardiff-based indie electronica group ‘Dead Method’ treated the audience to the rich vocals of frontman Lloyd Best. Playing tracks from their self-titled EP, ‘Dead Method’, they commenced the evening with their dark and gritty beats, adding a new, refreshing feeling to the world of electronic music.…

Jess Glynn ‘Always in Between’ Jess Glynn is back with her second studio album titled ‘Always in Between’ released on the 21st September. The singer/songwriter, famous for her bold and powerful vocals has already received success with the release of singles ‘I’ll Be There’ and ‘All I Am’. Also featured on the album is her collaboration with Rudimental, Macklemore and Dan Caplan on ‘These Days’ which was regarded as one of the songs of the summer. The album has a cohesive style as a record which not only features successful singles but also tracks such as ‘No One’ which is…

Aretha Franklin is regarded as a global blues legend and will long be remembered as one of the best-selling music artists of all time. The ‘Queen of Soul’ died on August 16th following her fight with cancer. The ‘Queen of Soul’ championed global hits such as ‘I Say a Little Prayer’, ‘Respect’, ‘Think’ and ‘You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman’ which established her as an iconic figure in music. Franklin also collaborated with artists such as Annie Lennox and George Michael in the duet ‘I Knew You Were Waiting For Me’. The soul singer also had a cameo…

A hushed incredulity sweeps onlookers of the Walled Garden stage; a communal, subconscious recognition of the uniqueness present before us. Piercing through a delicate current of strings – Susanne Sundfor’s tender, effortless and, at times, soul-wrenching vocals. She softly purrs: “I’m as lucky as the moon.” No crowd rabble. Just pure, unadulterated stillness, and a sincere reverence given to every word. To call the Green Man attendee a ‘festivalgoer’ is quite possibly discourteous. Perhaps a more applicable term would be ‘aesthete’: a person with great sensitivity to beauty. Glanusk Park provides a haven for artists which, at other festivals, would…

Potent flusters of emotion are engrained in almost all of my Green Man memories. This year, the most notable moment wasn’t something being said. It wasn’t even a song being sung. It was the willowy glint in Julie Byrne’s eye as she gracefully sat and showered in the adoration of an ever responsive Green Man crowd. No bravado. No disconnect between artist and audience. Just a collective mutual pleasure in creativity. That, for me, is the personification of Green Man Festival. The organisers could probably book MC Hammer to headline all four nights and still attract a 20,000 strong horde…

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