THOMAS WYNN AND THE BELIEVERS / DARREN EEDENS AND THE SLIM PICKENS / PAT DAM SMYTH - Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff 03.07.18

CHARLEY FARLEY / PHOTO CREDITS: MORAG FARLEY

 

With the World Cup to contend with, as well as a hot and sunny mid-week gig, this turned out to be an incredibly quiet night at Clwb Ifor Bach, in the heart of Cardiff’s music centre.

 

The first act of the evening was Pat Dam Smyth from Northern Ireland. He took centre stage with just a piano and a chair and welcomed the handful of people who had arrived for the night's entertainment, thanking us for choosing the gig over football. He filled the small venue with his own compositions. The crystal clear notes of the piano accompanied by his silky smooth voice.

 

He skilfully and beautifully played several tunes from his current EP, including ‘Goodbye Berlin’, and some from his next record which is due for release in February next year, chatting to the audience as though seated in their living room rather than a public venue.

 

His piano-based music records his life experiences, a gentle and beautiful start to the evening. Quite relaxing and thought-provoking. Swapping his piano for a guitar, and moving to a clear area of the stage, Pat covered one of his favourite bands, Velvet Underground, with a rendition of ‘Pale Blue Eyes’ which he dedicated to Lou Reed. It was an emotive rendition, which was appreciated by the small audience. It was a short but beautiful set, and his soft and soulful tone and style was relaxing and reflective. Pat Dam Smyth is a talented and versatile artist that I recommend you check out when you have the opportunity.

 

Set list

Yellow Line

Doesn’t Matter Now

Goodbye Berlin

Pale Blue Eyes

Blue Lights

 

Find out more about Pat Dam Smyth

https://www.musicglue.com/pat-dam-smyth/about

https://facebook.com/PatDamSmyth
https://twitter.com/PatDamSmyth

 

 

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After a quick stage turnaround, the next band on the tiny stage are Darren Eedens and the Slim Pickens, Who introduced themselves to the growing crowd and say that they are going to try some new tunes on us this evening. As we’d not heard very many of their tracks, this was all going to be new for us!

 

The first track starts off gently with just an acoustic guitar and fiddle and then kicks in with the backing of the drum, bringing the party vibe, and Darren leads his band with exuberance and enthusiasm. As they work through their set, the next couple of songs are foot-tapping, fast-paced bluegrass music with fiddle solos aplenty. As I look round the room, it is obvious that everyone is enjoying the performance.

 

Darren swaps his guitar for a banjo explaining that whilst originally from Canada, even though he’s been in Cardiff for four years, he’s found it a real challenge to find a good Canadian rye whiskey so he wrote a song about it.  The band continues to create a hoedown at the venue and the small crowd found themselves joining in with the stomping beat.

 

Slowing down for a track called ‘Well Well Well’ the music conjures up images of a drifter roaming across the Wild West Plains. The drummer delicately but relentlessly keeps the beat but towards the end of the track as the tempo increases and becomes a bit of a beast.

 

Thanking the audience for spending time with them, the final track ‘Come Home To You’ is about spending a lot of time on the road and the feelings you get when you return home. I’m sure it is a feeling shared by many musicians! The reaction in the room shows that these guys went down well and their musical style is one that would seriously get most party’s started. Definitely check these guys out.

 

Set list

 

31

Laundry Song

Forget Me Nots

Rye Whiskey

Well well well

Don't trust

Come home to you

 

 

Darren Eedens and the Slim Pickens are

Darren Eedens                        Vocals/Banjo/Guitar

David Grubb                           Fiddle

Rhys Morgan                          Bass

Edd Clemas                            Drums

 

https://www.darreneedensandtheslimpickins.com/

http://www.facebook.com/darreneedensmusic

https://twitter.com/darreneedens

 

PHOTOS ARE NOT TO BE USED WITHOUT THE PRIOR CONSENT OF DOWN THE FRONT MEDIA. PLEASE DIRECT ALL MEDIA ENQUIRIES TO LINDSAY@DOWNTHEFRONTMEDIA.COM

More people filter into Clwb as Thomas Wynn and the Believers set up and take to the stage. This six-piece band from Florida have just played Ramblin’ Man Fair and went down a storm. Although this, and another festival were the main focus of the visit to the UK, they added three small shows and Cardiff was lucky to get one of them.

 

From the opening few seconds,  the dual vocals of brother and sister, Thomas and Olivia, are both haunting and mesmerising. Their musical style is complex, with a multi-layered prog influence. They have a rock, soul, R&B, prog sound and feel to them and mix the styles in a way that would appeal to to a wider audience. I am a huge Pink Floyd fan, and being able to hear their influences in some of the tracks I was dragged into their music, enjoying something a bit different. Playing a track off the latest record ‘Wade Waist Deep’, they managed to get the crowd singing along with them - clearly enjoying the evening's entertainment. The next track, ’I Feel The Good’ was another one that Thomas asked the audience to help him sing the chorus. As we all joined in,  it was, as he described it, a song about lightening your spirit.

 

Unfortunately, due to an early curfew, Thomas announced that the next track would be their last. This track had major late 70s, early 80s Pink Floyd flowing through its veins, demonstrating the excellent musical talent of the band creating complex tracks that captivate those who are lucky enough to hear it. Thomas introduces the band and thanks everyone for coming on a weeknight when they could’ve been home watching the football.

 

The crowd begged for more and the stage manager of the venue agreed to one more song, so the band didn’t disappoint and played one more song. It is obvious from the looks on their faces that they enjoy what they do.  It may have been a set of just over an hour, but both audience and band had fun. Thomas and Olivia’s voices combine once more to build quite a special vocal performance. Thomas, at the end of that track says “they give us an inch so we’re taking a mile” and they start the second post-curfew song, much to everyone's delight.

 

These were three acts that I had never seen before and I came away from tonight’s performances looking forward to seeing each act again. I urge you to do the same.

 

Thomas Wynn and the Believers are

Thomas Wynn             Guitar/Vocals

Olivia Wynn                Vocals/Tamborine

Chris ‘Bell’                  Harmonica

Dave Wagner              Bass

Ryan Miranda             Drums

Colin Fei                     Keys

 

http://www.thomaswynnandthebelievers.com/

https://www.facebook.com/thomaswynnandthebelievers/

https://twitter.com/thomaswynn

 

 

PHOTOS ARE NOT TO BE USED WITHOUT THE PRIOR CONSENT OF DOWN THE FRONT MEDIA. PLEASE DIRECT ALL MEDIA ENQUIRIES TO LINDSAY@DOWNTHEFRONTMEDIA.COM

 

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