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Browsing: Music

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…

Wavy, candid, sleek. Bearcubs strikes an engulfing balance between indie-pop song structures and rippling, densely packed electronica. We spoke to him about his back catalogue, discovering singing and his new EP, Underwaterfall. I saw you back in 2015 at Bestival around the time you released single, Paper Walls. Since then you’ve released an EP, and now you’ve released another. Have you stopped to have a breather at any point? There was a period after Paper Walls where I was reflecting on how to go forward. But it wasn’t really a break. I was mainly writing and trying to get as many…

The XX – I See You I See You represents a courageous gamble from The XX to reverse from their self-imposed cul-de-sac of moody, barren atmospheric indie – a sound which, like antihistamines, should come with a drowsiness disclaimer. Make no mistake, that pensive breeze of soft-souled indie is still there, it’s just been stripped of its lethargies. The XX deserve genuine credit for parting with the sonic security of Coexist and XX to embrace an experimental palette of bubbling synths and quaking percussion. 8/10 – A unification of the diverse creativity within the band that, until I See You, remained dormant.…

With a sun-drenched soundscape, Idle Frets have truly conquered that glistening indie-pop ambiance which often eludes many upcoming bands. Armed with new single, Glow, the band are ready to rouse crowds on their Spring UK Tour. How did Idle Frets start? Ben: We have all been involved with music or enjoyed music from an early age. I got asked to get a band together for a function gig, and I managed to persuade my best mates to play in a crappy band with me and to this day I’m still doing my best to not let them leave the crappy band. What…

After the artificial ‘smokey bar’ effect had subsided, the dazzling elegance of Cabaret Pontio’s façade was there for all to see. A classy arrangement of seating crowded the stage, glimmered by a striking sheet of twinkling white lights. An apt aesthetic for the melodious character of the music to come. Firstly, huge praise for support act Plu (meaning ‘Feathers’ in Welsh). The Snowdonia trio captured the audience in a net of traditional Welsh folk and subtle pop structures to form a catchy, endearing hybrid. As a non-Welsh speaker, never was my attention swayed. Nor did I feel distanced from the…

This Friday (January 27th) at Pontio, escape into an immersive canvas of hometown truths painted by the radiant folk harmonies of Fara. It’s a genre that must be seen live to appreciate the complex artistry behind Fara’s blissful mould of strings driven by pulsing piano. The Scottish group, who are touring for the first time since last September, will make their debut in Bangor. “We’ve not been to Bangor before, we’re really looking forward to it. Being from Orkney, we’re used to all kinds of different scenery and so we love seeing new places.” Said Kristan Harvey, one of four…

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