Simon Tyers and Lauren Down report back on the highlights from day 2 of Sŵn Festival.
After a timid first outing last year Newport natives Jewellers are back with more of the same blissed out experimentations, and some new ones too, helping ease us into the evening’s hectic line-up. Sounding better than ever, they weave rich, intricate, textured tapestries out of flickering beats, glitchy noises and flourishing keys. This is tripped out, chiming electronica designed for the hazy early morning hours made surreal by the fact we’re watching it in an O’Neill’s pub. [LD]
Even after seeing shoegaze veterans The Bent Moustache, who at one point had four guitarists on stage including the Boo Radleys‘ Martin Carr, it’ll be hard to find anyone during this long weekend that will be able to match the ratcheting intensity inherent in a Liars set. The foreboding vibes of the material from WIXIW, all three members behind keyboards, shake the floor and breathe new life into material that comes across as a little cold on record. It’s not until ‘Scarecrows On A Killer Slant’ about twenty minutes in that things really kick off, building through a set taken from across their varied career that when put together somehow seems more logical: whether the rumbling evil vibes of material from Drum’s Not Dead or a ferocious climactic ‘Plaster Casts Of Everything’, a hair swinging Angus Andrew is letting loose his demons. [ST]
You would be completely forgiven for never having heard of them, but psych rock ‘super-group’ Rangda were, hands down, one of the best things we saw all night. Knowing nothing about them beforehand but being drawn in by the growing crowd outside we were treated to the most complex, invigorating, beautiful, time-signature bending, kaleidoscopic instrumentals we’ve witnessed in a long time. But then what else would you expect when a band is driven by guitar virtuoso Ricard Bishop of Sun City Girls? Having spent recent years touring with Animal Collective and Bill Callahan he teamed up with Ben Chasny, the man behind Six Organs of Admittance, and the crazily talented improvisational mind of Chris Corsano to produce 2010 stand out False Flag and well, now we can’t wait to get home and delve into their recently released Drag City sophomore full length Formerly Extinct. [LD]
Playing the most epic set we’re likely to see all weekend, the Japanese rock four-piece shake Dempseys to its core: their frenzied acid-punk literally rattling the walls, the lighting fixtures and inciting a mosh pit that steadily envelopes the whole room, low-hanging bunting and all. Relentless, ferocious percussive rhythms fuse with mind-melting guitar licks and ear-piercingly shrill vocals for a visceral set if ever we experienced one. It’s intensely intoxicating and we can’t even see the band. [LD]