Wales continues to obtain high scores for the quality (and quantity) of guitar bands it produces, and 2019 also marks the year when Cardiff gets to host its first ever This Feeling ‘Big In…’ gig.
A sold-out show at the iconic Clwb Ifor Bach venue tonight (23rd Jan) puts Bute first up; their latest single Rest Assured shows their aptitude for catchy riffs combined with steady drum beats. The combination works, showing how far they’ve come, there’s confidence and presence. Similarly, The Rotanas’ infectious Rolling Stones-encounter-Oasis riff-ridden tunes are executed well. Frontman Harry Watton and guitarist James Wilson entertain the crowd and deliver their intense indie rock and roll with energy and vigour.
Following exposure on UK local and national radio, Newport’s indie kid Jack Perrett has been at the receiving end of acclaim for songs which take their inspiration from The Stone Roses and Oasis. Tonight, tracks such as Like A Fever and Drunk And Stoned are a great indicator of Perrett’s knack for measured songwriting, it’s an impressive performance highlighting the style and consistency of his music.
The Pitchforks, meanwhile, continue to impress with songs like Afflictions and Waste Of A Day demonstrating their gift for writing melodically without losing energy and pace. Having gained respect for the high-intensity of their live shows, it’s a strong delivery here too inviting moshing, diving and singing, and leaves no doubt about the band’s strengths.
But headliners Al Moses’ performance is something else entirely. The release of debut single I Want More created a buzz, the loud guitars, catchy riffs and melodic-writing forced a traditional genre into new territory. What they do feels fresh and new. What’s delivered live is special. It’s loud but refined, super-forceful yet adapted. It’s individual and exciting. The chemistry between the two frontmen, Jack Shephard and Daf Thomas, is fascinating; think of Carl and Pete, or Liam and Noel. It’s on that scale of intensity.
Taking ownership of the stage from the start, they kick things off with infectious confidence and self-belief whilst exercising their rock mannerisms effectively. The first track is the throbbing punk-rock feel of Taxidermy, followed by Gutter Rock Moxie, both tracks induce energy and excitement in high doses.
Am I So Vulgar and Bad Brother British Empire, followed by Ametuer Pornography and Taragonna, keep things sublimely sweaty with en masse moshing and crowd-surfing, while completing the set with I Want More and He Truly Is The Son Of God creates still more euphoria. It’s chaotic and insane, in a good way, and they conclude events by giving their instruments a good kick.
Al Moses project youthful rock and roll spirit and attitude. Considering the pace things are moving at, it’s unlikely to be more of the same next time.