Its that time of year again, its only in its third year but Swansea fringe weekend has quickly become one of my favourite weekends of the year, its jam packed with great music – over 200 bands and artists playing – and uses some of the more unusual venues in Swansea as well as the established ones, there’s also loads of other events going on including comedy, poetry and art exhibitions. So yeah, there’s a shed load of stuff going, but lets face it, most of us are there for the music, so that’s what I’m gonna talk about. I was wondering how to even start on this with soooo much stuff going on so I’ve decided to do a little preview with my top picks for the weekend and some special mentions of some stuff I think you should check out that you might not have thought of. Obviously this is just my opinion so if you’ve got any suggestions feel free to leave a comment, for now I’ll break it down day by day as that just seems the logical way to do it.
Thursday October 3rd : Swansea fringe official launch party :
The whole fringe weekend kicks off with this massive party at the Brangwyn Hall and its set to be a mini festival in itself with plenty of music you can party the night away to in the main hall from the likes of Afro Cluster ( a blend of afro funk and hip hop with a big party vibe), Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard (High energy, rock ‘n’ roll, indie mayhem recently spotted supporting Noel Gallagher high flying birds) and Swansea’s own live favourites Bandicoot kicking the party of with their own brand of upbeat indie you can have a real good dance to.
As well as all that in the main hall there’s loads of other stuff going on in the various rooms, halls and spaces within the Brangwyn set up to give people a taste of what to expect from the rest of the weekend, including more live music, poetry and spoken word, art exhibitions and comedy. If your planning on doing the fringe weekend and aren’t sure what you want to check out the launch party is a great way to get a taster of what’s to come from the rest of the weekend
Friday 4th October
This is where the fringe really kicks off so here’s a few of my top picks for the Friday night of the fringe, sorry some of them will clash with each other but that’s just a sign of how much good music is happening.
The Libertino & Swansea music hub stage at The Bunkhouse
There’s a few good bands I personally want to catch playing at the bunkhouse on Friday night with Cities kicking things off early doors at 6:30pm with their intensely atmospheric soundscapes of music mixing drums, bass and multiple keyboards and synths in to a huge sound, later in the evening still at the bunkhouse Swansea stalwarts Suns Of Thunder (8:30pm) smash out some riff and groove, Prosperina (9:45pm) carry on in the same vein even if with a slightly darker edge and Estuary Blacks (10:30pm) round out the night with more intense sounds of riff based guitar rock. So if high energy riffing with a big powerful sound is your kinda thing then The bunkhouse is the place for your to be on Friday night
special mentions for Friday night:
If you want a gentler start to your fringe weekend check out Jonathan Nicholas kicking things off on the soundboard stage at Hangar 18 with his powerful acoustic tunes (6pm) and if you like your Music more indie sounding stick around there for Red Telephone (8pm) and Carolines (10:15pm) Local boys Motel Thieves are also worth checking out on the Swansea uni live music society stage at Crowley’s at 10pm if you like a nice bit of energetic indie music.
Saturday 5th October
The first full day of the Swansea fringe and its really tough deciding where to start hopefully I can throw a few suggestions your way to make that decision easier
The Elysium Stage / Folk at the fringe :
Don’t let the word folk put you off, a lot of the stuff on this line up I wouldn’t strictly class as folk music in the traditional sense, more folk influenced. Daytime highlights include Orphan Dinosaur (12:30) playing some cleverly written humorous tunes, Eleri Angharad (2pm) playing folk / country tinged acoustic goodness and the wonderful Sarah Birch (3.30pm) recently nominated for wigwam radios best female artist.
The evening at the Elysium gets a bit more lively with country influenced tunes from Little Folk (7pm) long time Swansea favourites and a festival essential if you wanna have a dance and a good time Lost Tuesday Society (9pm) and The Balkaneers finish the party off at 10pm.
The Repeat stage The Bunkhouse
If you want a more indie / alternative Saturday The bunkhouse is the place to be with Two Till Twelve kicking things off at 1pm playing 90’s tinged indie rock, Kikker follow them up in a similar vain but get a bit more alternative and noisy in all the right ways and later in the evening Soundwire (9:30) crank things up with their big psychedelic 90’s rock sounds followed by Vanilla (10:30pm) rounding things off with their energetic indie party tunes.
Special mentions for Saturday:
Crowley’s black wolf stage has a few bands I’d like to mention, if you lean towards the riffy side of “stoner rock” Peter Greene are well worth checking out at 5pm or if you like your music a bit more energetic jagged an punk but still with a catchy tune Oblong will be hitting the stage at 8pm and Iron Gosling (possibly winning the award for best pun in a bands name) round out the black wolf stage with their up tempo pop punk with an attitude at 11pm.
Sunday 6th October:
Sunday, is the last day of the fringe but that’s just all the more reason to make the most of it and there’s still plenty of options to do that.
The Psicon Music stage at Hangar 18:
If you want your Sunday filled with alternative rock riffs Hangar 18 is the place to head Trep kick things off at 2pm with some big prog infused riffs Swamp Thief (3pm) follow them with more stoner esque riffs and Sweet Ignitions (4pm) keep the party going with some incredibly catchy alt rock tunes that you’ll be humming for days, Nigel (6pm) are another band to catch at hangar 18, they’ll get loud and noisy, anything could happen while these guys are playing. Later in the evening at Hangar 18 Pearler will round out the party at 10pm and as they say, you’ll know when you’ve had one.
The Swansea Fringe Blowout at at The Perch
If you prefer to dance your way to the end of the fringe the Two band line up at The Perch is where to be kicked off by Darren Edens & The Slim Pickins (9pm) with their energetic American country music that sounds like it should be drenched in barbecue sauce served with a cold beer and followed by a strong Kentucky bourbon, the party continues straight after when Swansea stalwarts King Goon hit the stage looking for a good time, the official fringe programme describes them as perennial party starters and I’m not gonna argue with that description, it’ll be loud and raucous stuff you can dance to, you will have a good time.
I’m not really sure how to summarise all that in one paragraph other than to say that’s really only a small sample of all the great stuff that’s going on for Swansea Fringe weekend, really now, I’ve covered less than half the stuff that’s going on, if there’s anything you’ve spotted that’s a “Must see” for you leave a comment or drop me a message, hopefully I’ll see some of you out and about over the weekend