Swn Festival, Cardiff, Day 3 (24/10/09)

Charlie Ashcroft | Friday, 30 October 2009

Swn Festival, Cardiff, Day 3 (24/10/09)

Daily Music Guide kicked things off bright and early on the final day of the Swn Festival, finding a ridiculously lucky parking space near the Chapter Arts Centre, where local folk-pop heroes CAT MOUSE CAT were set to play that afternoon.

After having a quick browse through the piles of goodies on offer at the Oxjam CD and Vinyl sale, we were ushered into one of Chapter's back rooms to see the Cardiff-based five-piece get the day's live music underway with a marvellous set of love-themed jams.

Stomping one minute, delicate the next, Cat Mouse Cat provided the decent-sized watching throng with much to enjoy. Newer tracks like 'Spread Your Little Wings' and 'Villains' showed them at their gentlest, while their inclusion of crowd favourite 'Eggshell Heart' at the end of the set ensured that the show went out on a rousing note.

There then followed a brief stint spent in the Chapter foyer watching the 'Swn-Mo wrestling' with much amusement, before setting the gig compass due east for The Gate in Roath.

Come early evening, COPY HAHO entertained the already nearly-full theatre at the converted church venue with a set characterised by flair and sarcasm in equal measure.

Audience approval for the Scots' racket grew audibly with every passing tune they reeled off, culminating in a great reception for their final two numbers, the utterly superb 'You Are My Coal Mine' and their corker of a single 'Wrong Direction'.

An epic queue at The Gate's downstairs bar resulted in DMG missing the opening minutes of DANANANANAKROYD's performance, but the effect they were having on a now-heaving main hall was plain to see as soon as we returned through the room's tiny door.

In spite of being in one of the larger Swn venues, the atmosphere inside seemed hotter, sweatier and louder than most of the others experienced in the previous 48 hours at the festival, all thanks to the crazed, 12-legged thrash-pop beast who were spending as much time off the stage as on it.

If 'Some Dresses' wasn't the main highlight, then the band's physical act of splitting the crowd into two parts was a certainly a contender, closely followed by their now-customary audience group hug amid manic scenes of happy chaos.

So it'd be fair to say that Dananananakroyd set the bar high ahead of the final act of the evening, but on tonight's evidence, very few things can lift spirits in the same way as a LOS CAMPESINOS! homecoming show.

After rattling through terrific renditions of 'Death To Los Campesinos!' and 'This Is How You Spell "HAHAHA…' early on, the band took the opportunity to showcase some new tunes from their forthcoming 'Romance Is Boring' album, whose title track provoked a sudden outpouring of crowdsurf-induced bedlam.

While some of the newer material, on first encounter, appeared to lack the same degree of breezy immediacy as those now-classic songs from the 'Hold On Now, Youngster...' era, it was difficult to deny the momentum which LC!'s set generated at The Gate this evening.

The band's decision to get Alexei from Johnny Foreigner onstage for the finale was also an absolute masterstroke. Just when the Cardiff crowd were thinking they could recover from a suitably energetic set and prepare themselves for a nice, relaxed plod over to the Silent Disco to see out the Swn festivities, on walked Alexei to help Gareth and co deliver a truly triumphant version of 'Sweet Dreams, Sweet Cheeks', bringing the show to a euphoric conclusion.

It was a finale to cherish, which ought to be looked back upon as one of the Swn festival's seminal moments in years to come.