July 05

Saturday 2nd July

Kings of Leon, The Features
Cardiff International Arena, Cardiff.



Filled with a crowd which spans the generations which shows the wide appeal for the Kings of Leon’s brand of Blues-rock. Support band The Features made a good fist of banging out some rootsy rock and with the money they have spend on the biggest backdrop in history, they need to shift some product!  

On the other hand, the only bit of branding on the Kings of Leon stage was the KOL in black tape on the drums - how lo-fi is that! With their beards gone the brothers seem to have taken playing this tour fairly seriously. If it weren’t or the cap sleeve T-Shirts and vests circa 1978, you could forget these chaps come from Redneck country. The sold-out Arena went wild as they ripped through just about every track from the two albums. This writer favourite Mollys Lips was played early but the sound of The Bucket, King of The Rodeo and Novacaine For The Soul didn’t disappoint either. Even  a lunatic from the audience grappling with the bass player didn’t make them lose their stride. They gave their all. but for me. the lack of intimacy of this large venue took a shine of what was a proper RAWK show.      

Sunday 17th July

Danny George Wilson
Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff.


A baking hot night saw the Grand Drive front man bring his solo album The Famous Mad Mile to South Wales. Accompanied by his Producer Simon Alpen on Guitar, Mandolin and Dobro and occasionally backed on vocals by Jess Klien, Danny played most of his very laid-back album to the fairly full crowd. Stand out tracks of the night included The Bellringer and a few Grand Drive songs he pulled out such as Ladder to the Stars and a smattering from the latest B-Sides album Being Alive     

Saturday 23rd July

Lone Pine, Grief Brothers, Blind River Scare
Riverfront Studio, Newport.


As MC Norm rightly pointed out, “they say Newport is crazy place on a Saturday night, and looking at you lot, I think I know what they mean.” A laid back crowd at the Riverside Studio enjoyed three of South Wales finest under the banner of Country Mile Records.

First up were Blind River Scare playing their second gig of the day (having earlier appeared at a festival in Tintern). They ran through their tight, confident set of quirky pop and country-tinged folk tunes with fiddle and elaborate bass lines. Killing Time, Blind River Scare and Graveyard Sounds all delivered proficiently with lead singer Tim appropriately saying “Sorry” before launching into Keep Saying Sorry... Check out their website for upcoming gigs: www.blindriverscare.co.uk   

Next up were The Grief Brothers pushing their new vinyl single Silo. A mix of fast stompers such as Jon Langford’s Bad Times along with slower toe-tapping country tunes such as Son Volt’s Tear Stained Eye. Highlight of the set was the B Side to their single The Broken Bottle Lament with appropriate bottle percussion ably bashed by drummer man Mark. As lead singer Steve said on this baking hot night “my partner said I’d be hot in this jacket so it look like I’m in for a treat later.” And he was, Lone Pine were coming up... See more Grief Brothers at:  www.thegriefbrothers.com

Then came the jet setting Lone Pine. Lead Singer Dan arrived from Finland shortly before going on stage while guitarist Steve had only just made it from Spain the same evening. The duty fee must have relaxed the boys as they launched into one of the best sets they have played for months. The crowd enjoyed every minute and new songs rubbed comfortably up against the more familiar Love is Everything, Hold On, Wasn’t Very Kind and Come Around. With a CD due very soon, it can only be a matter of time Lone Pine get the attention they so deserve. For a review of how the band themselves felt it went, see:

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