CHARLEY FARLEY (PHOTO CREDITS: MORAG FARLEY PHOTOGRAPHY)
Once again we found ourselves at Ponty Muni, which is fast becoming one of our favourite venues in South Wales. The doors were a little late opening due to a slightly over running soundcheck and the small but enthusiastic crowd were ready for the evening ahead.
First on tonight’s bill were The Boom Sons, a band who describe themselves as a ‘glittering welsh trio putting their own spin on dirty blues Alt-rock’ and they are spot on. Heading straight into their set they crammed as much of their own music, from their EP “Weird is the New Black” into the short 30min set. Vanessa’s vocals reminded me of Florence and the Machine, hauntingly beautiful and powerful, her bass work is steady and combined with Richard’s drum work and Nathan’s guitar they create a sound that really drags you in. With a brief break in the music to re-tune Vanessa had a bit of playful banter with the crowd showing that they were enjoying their brief time on stage.
The Boom Sons are:
Vanessa Batten (Bass/Vocals)
Richard Mears (Drums)
Nathan Morgan (Guitar)
Check them out at:
Next up were Buffalo Summer, from the amount of shirts in the crowd you would have sworn that they were the headliners. With no time to soundcheck prior to the show, some equipment issues and having their set lists written on paper plates they set up and went for it. You would never have known there had been problems as they went on to play a really great mix of tracks from both of their albums “Buffalo Summer” and “Second Sun” . They even treated us to some new material that is harder and faster than their previous songs, taking the band in a new direction but without losing their signature sound. With the approach of the end of the set they had to make a call on which song to drop as time had run out and they asked the crowd to pick that song and the crowd sing-along favourite “Down to the River” won.
Buffalo Summer are:
Andrew Hunt (Vocals)
Jonny Williams (Guitar)
Darren King (Bass and funny faces)
Gareth Hunt (Drums)
Check them out at:
Son of Man took the stage with no fuss or introduction and from the first few notes had the crowd hooked. This band consisting of 6 great musicians who combine to make one hell of a melodic, rocky and sometimes slightly psychedelic sound. Concentrating on tracks from their self titled debut album their set list also brought in a few tracks from Man’s back catalogue. Richie Galloni (Vocals) reminisced that the last time he played here was about 1973 , pointing out that some of the crowd weren’t even born, and throughout the set gave an excellent performance, engaging with the crowd and even coming out into the audience during a guitar/keyboard solo to say hello. Bob Richards(Drums) keeps the beat with metronomic precision and Peter Stradling (Bass) who through most of the set was hidden in the corner build a solid foundation for the music.
Marco James (Keyboards) creating the melodic vibe of the songs and with a slight taste early 70’s psychedelia. George Jones and Glenn Quinn (guitars) from the start of the set shine, both outstanding individually but play in unison on another level. Their solos are absolutely stunning but they really raise their game when they play together, they are awesome. Dedicating “Fools Like me” to the late Deke Leonard the crowd applauded the memory of the great man. Finishing the set with a crowd sing-along to Man’s “Bananas”, if you don’t know this song check it out.
After quick break they returned saying that they had blown through their set and had time for a couple more songs for an encore much to the crowds pleasure. With sections of the crowd starting to dance, clearly enjoying the extended set. After they had finished the entire band left the stage to mingle with the crowd and stayed around to chat and sign items for the obviously happy and satisfied fans.
Son of Man are:
George Jones (Guitar/Vocals)
Bob Richards (Drums/Vocals)
Glenn Quinn (Guitar/Vocals)
Richie Galloni (Lead Vocals)
Marco James (Keyboards/Vocals)
Peter Stradling (Bass)
Check them out at:
Son of Man, Buffalo Summer and the Booms Sons are three bands that I wouldn’t hesitate to see again. Son of Man are playing at Planet Rockstock Trecco bay in December. The Pontypridd Muni is a great venue, saved from closure by a group of volunteers who are nice friendly people and nothing seems too much trouble for them, even halfway through Son Of Man’s set one of the ladies popped off to get the lead singer a beer.