After years of frustration whereby acts seem to get so far within Wales and then run out of steam once they cross the Severn Bridge it looks as though we finally have a certified success story with Boy Azooga. Hopes are therefore high for the future and we anticipate that some of these acts will get the attention they deserve and be heard on national UK radio and play gigs throughout the UK in 2019. They are all wonderful and many have the potential of greatness. Go and see them live next year!
Emerging in 2018 as one of the most exciting live bands in South Wales Al Moses create a frenzy when playing live and their single “I Want More” has received national UK airplay. With the tidal wave created by the success of Boy Azooga don’t be too surprised if Al Moses surf their way into the national consciousness in 2019.
If there was one genre of music that saw a re-emergence in 2018 it was Jazz and with the global success of Kamasi Washington this can only increase next year. The Lotus Tribe are something of a Cardiff super group featuring some of the finest and hardest working musicians from South Wales. The band have yet to release anything officially but they are already gaining a reputation as a formidable live band from only a handful of performances.
We first saw Laundrette when they competed in this year’s Big Gig back in March. Playing what was only their 2nd ever gig the band came close to winning the whole competition! Experimental yet still accessible the band are probably the most original and interesting band to emerge this year.
I See Rivers
Selected for this year’s BBC Horizons scheme the band are originally from Norway but now live in Pembrokeshire. With exquisite harmonies and well-crafted songs I See Rivers are captivating live and have the ability to bring joy to their audience through their music.
The Rotanas released their debut single “Man for the Job” earlier this year. It wasn’t exactly a polite calling card whereby they humbly announce their presence. Rather it is a case of the band kicking open doors to let you know they have arrived and they mean business. The Rotanas are a wonderful smash and grab slice of hi octane, exuberant rock n roll.
Born from the ashes of the sadly missed CWCW the band produce a glorious sound that wouldn’t have sounded out of place at the Fillmore or the Roundhouse circa 1969. Selected for Forte 2019 the band already have a strong catalogue of songs and we have high hopes for their debut album.
Originally from Bangor NI James now lives in Cardiff and has been gaining a reputation as a live performer including a stand out performance at this year’s Between the Trees Festival. James manages to take the tried and tested formula of singer song writer and make it sound fresh and engaging.
Natty is another act recently selected for Forte 2019. She has a very 21st century approach to her song writing and is musically ambitious. If she can manage to maintain a sense of exploration without getting over produced she could produce some very important work in the years ahead. Her unreleased song “Astronaut” already sounds like a hit and a future classic.
Featuring members of the much missed Cradles the band draw on 60s psychedelia and 70s glam to produce a sound that has been described as “surreal unhinged psychedelia”. Their second single ‘Victoria Park’ was recently released on Libertino Records’ Ghost Disco singles club and the band have just finished recording of their debut album which will be released in 2019.
Swansea sometimes get overlooked by the Cardiffcentric music bloggers and journalists but Bandicoot are bucking that trend and gaining fans at a rate of knots. The band have been around for a few years and with an energetic and solid live presence the momentum is building and next year should see them make significant headway.