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Browsing: Features

Nimmo (formerly Nimmo and the Gauntletts) are a London five-piece with a dynamic fusion of infectious, synthpsyched hooks and cathartic dance pop beats to free the soul. I spoke to singers, Sarah and Reva, about their long term friendship in music, Nimmo’s evolution and the message within their songs. I saw you for the first time in 2014 at Bestival when you were called ‘Nimmo and the Gauntletts’ – why the name change? It was too long. People weren’t remembering it. We set that name up when we were 16, so that’s 10 years ago. We were at secondary school…

Sam Wills, a.k.a Tape Face, is an experienced stand-up comedian who is currently travelling the UK on his tour. The tour consists of 50 shows and he is making a stop in Bangor at Pontio on the 3rd November. You may recognise him from America’s Got Talent where he went all the way to the live shows, John Bishop’s show on BBC 1 and The Royal Variety Performance on ITV. He kindly took the time out of his busy schedule to talk to us. Have you always wanted to perform? I was given a magic set at the age of…

Be wistfully transported to Nordic landscapes through the immersive harmonies of I See Rivers – a Liverpool-based trio with their roots firmly planted in Norwegian folk. A trinity of elegant voices mesh together to produce a charming sound, peppered with infectious melodies. I spoke to one of those voices, Lill Scheie, about the origins of the band, their summer performances, the upcoming EP and their infatuation with Wales. So how did three Norwegians end up in Liverpool? First of all, we didn’t know each other before we moved here. We are all from such different parts of Norway that we never would have…

Looking into the beams of sunlight piercing through the Far Out tent towards the frothy, cumbersome clouds nestling up against the picturesque Brecon Beacons. Kevin Morby remarked: “It’s like playing inside a womb!” A peculiar statement, but I couldn’t help but feel some of its sentiment was rather apt. The whole festival is rife with a sweeping brotherly comradery. A profound aura of acceptance that swallows festival veterans, families and millennial neo-hippies alike in the grandeur of the Welsh countryside. Dissimilar to the likes of Latitude Festival – where the family emphasis is glaring – Green Man falls just on…

If you read that title and became instantly sceptical – well done. You’re a normal, functioning human being. How can anybody expect such surreal and unprompted acclaim? Even a stand-up comedian like Silky, a man whose comic aptitude borders on mythical. Don’t worry, the title is explained later in the article. An article that details the most amusingly absurd phone-call that I’ve ever been a part of. Technically, it was an interview. In reality, an erratic chat. It certainly quashed my preconceptions of comics. It turns out some of them are just genuinely funny all the time. But Silky, who…

Night Owls are a Leeds duo drilling a distinctive edge into the stereotypical Grunge sound. A sound that, for me, has been begging for an alternative perspective to freshen up the entire genre. I think Night Owls offer that. It’s still abrasive, it’s still gritty, it still screams Grunge. It just feels more colourful, spirited, and, most importantly, ridiculously catchy. I spoke to drummer and singer Will about grunge, their upcoming EP and the personality within the band. How did the Night Owls duo come about? Basically, me and Liam have been in bands since we were about fourteen and people…

In a stellar collision of post-punk melancholy and scintillating synth-pop, Affairs offer a crisper, more introspective indie experience. Thoughtful, elaborate, but – make no mistake – resoundingly catchy. It’s a sound that ticks all the boxes. I spoke to the band’s guitarist Liam about constructing the sound of Affairs, their new EP, and the possibility of an album. How did Affairs all start? Affairs all started back in Hull on the East Coast of England. I already met up with a guitarist (Dan) before everything really kicked off. At first it was just me and him trying to do something a…

Jeremy Hardy has 32 years of performance in stand-up, shows on Radio 4 (Jeremy Hardy Speaks to the Nation, The News Quiz…), which has run for ten series, appearances on TV and a few films all under his belt. What is so particular about this comedian is that he is widely known for his political views. Not only is he firmly left-wing but he also happens to be a 25-year-old friend of Jeremy Corbyn, the new Labour Party leader. In a recent interview with Seren, he talks about his upcoming show in Pontio on the 20th of May and his…

Dr. Paul Cross is a senior lecturer at Bangor University and has studied a wide range of topics from illegal drug use to zoonotic disease. A few days ago I met with Paul to discuss the importance of British bees and how beekeeping might be beginning to alleviate poverty in sub-Saharan countries.  Why are British bees important? “Historically the British bee (Apis mellifera mellifera), was well adapted to conditions particularly in the UK (high winds, lots of rainfall, short summer, low temperatures etc…) and over millennia had adapted to the environmental conditions. However, beekeepers have been importing other races of…

It’s been a decade since The Enemy sprung into prominence with UK Number 1 record We’ll Live And Die In These Towns. Three albums, a handful of awards and a trip to Wembley – in support of Oasis – later, and the Coventry trio are ready to bow out. I talked to bassist Andy about the end of The Enemy, the radio industry and the future of bands. How difficult was the process of everyone knowing The Enemy was going to have to be brought to an end? Difficult, definitely. Not a nice conversation, but maybe a sensible conversation. We don’t…

Familiar fragments of Busted, Fightstar, Union Sound Set and More Dangerous Animals unify to form a sound that is utterly unexpected. Once Upon a Dead Man’s debut EP, Concepts and Phenomena, sees the Simpson brothers – plus an old friend – venture into the dusky underpass of musical uncertainty, only to come out the other side gleaming in a blitz of silk-lined electro-pop. Concepts and Phenomena is instrumentally impressive. No doubt. However, striking more immediately, is a resounding sense of liberation. Each track pours with the kind of expression often found absent in conventional pop music. This isn’t just the…

Dr Catherine Duigan currently works for Natural Resources Wales, which was formed in 2013 by the merging of the Environment Agency Wales, the Forestry Commission and the Countryside Council for Wales (CCW), where she was initially employed in 1992. A few days ago I met with Catherine in a moderately trendy café to discuss her journey from education to employment and whether she had any tips for recent graduates looking for a job within the environmental sector. What’s your role at Natural Resources Wales and how has it changed since you began? “My current role is leading a group of technical specialists, of about 30 people, who are…

Drones are an emerging technology within marine mammal research and are helping researchers to ID and assess fitness of individuals in the field at a low cost. Quiet and high flying, the drones avoid scaring, or ‘flushing’ the seals away, allowing for quick and easy detailed analysis. The UK’s Harbour Seal population has declined by 85% but no one seems to know why. The answers to this question, suggests Dr. Line Cordes, lies with drone technology. Listen to a discussion with Dr. Line Cordes and Dr. Jan Hiddink from the School of Ocean Sciences on the subject below:

For this month’s Seren, we have decided to explore the topic of sex. With that in mind, we thought that there would be no one better to interview than the lead actor from the recent Channel 4 show, Cucumber. Vincent Franklin, who plays Henry Best, very kindly agreed to answer Seren’s questions. How would you describe Cucumber for those who have yet to see it? Cucumber is a brutally honest, often hilarious, sometimes heartbreaking show about sex. It explores our desire for, need for, hope for and fear of – sex. At its heart is Henry, a man driven by…

The Page Three girls are beautiful models with their main careers focused on looking pretty damn fine. Love them and call them empowered, or hate it and call it distasteful, the one thing we can all agree on is that the third page is controversial. Whether it is a woman in all her glory, or the male gaze to the nth degree, the matter is it’s not going anywhere despite protests. However, we thought otherwise just a few months ago. In January, protesters rejoiced at the news that the paper had decided to remove the page three girls, and opt…

Hywel Williams, pictured at Bangor train station above, is a member of parliament for the Welsh national party Plaid Cymru and represents the Arfon constituency, which includes Bangor and the surrounding area. At two minutes to nine, on a surprisingly dry morning, I entered Plaid’s office on Bangor High Street. The office (obviously adapted old housing) seemed small. I was instructed to wait for Hywel on a row of chairs, which gave a sense not unlike being in a GPs consultancy ward. My thoughts of this comparison, however, were cut off as Hywel came in through the front door and…