Now in its 7th year, the discovery festival/conference Focus Wales sits as one of the most exciting emerging events on the annual calendar, having grown from a tiny showcase in the city of Wrexham, into a world class event that rivals any smaller sized conference in the world. If you want to discover new music, this is definitely the place to be.
Spread across some 20 stages, with two days of panels and three nights of live music, I left the event having discovered a wide range of new music from all over the world. Here’s just seven of them from Canada, Korea, the UK and all over the world…
LITTLE DESTROYER (Canada)
This trio from Vancouver were unbelievably tight, with huge energy from all three members. Leading the charge is lead vocalist Allie Sheldan – a force to be reckoned with – who donned a custom jumpsuit that proclaimed the band’s name, and told you to call her Daddy, a reference to one of their songs. Beyond this, it’s an experience you need to have yourself. Here’s a bit of a taste of the group’s live show:
For more about the band, head to their official website.
This quartet from South Korea may just be the country’s answer to King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard. Incredibly tight – with just enough of a “jamming” sentimentality – they were a hypnotising, engrossing experience.
Check out more from the band on Facebook.
DEAD SEA (France)
This trio produce really beautiful music. It’s be hard to argue it’s particularly original, but they had me hypnotised from start to finish. Check them out!
Check them out on Facebook!
THE REVOLUTIONARY SPIRIT (Wales)
Thriving on Pink Floyd comparisons, this five piece from Wrexham know how to put on a great live show.
Check out the band on Facebook.
HELLO DELAWARE (Canada)
This punk fuelled quartet from Halifax made me miss early No Doubt (a lazy comparison, but I’m a fan). There was a fire beneath their music – both lyrically and in its composition – that made it a thrill to experience. In a sea of acts at the moment who are preaching progression, this is a band who live and breathe it – and they make some incredible music in the process. Check out the video they made of their adventure to Wales, featuring their track “We Were The Ocean”.
Follow them on Facebook!
You might remember my interview with this group… Another impressive quartet from Canada (this time from Winnipeg), Boniface is the project of Micah Visser, who produces some truly solid music. Their closing track “I Will Not Return as a Tourist” was a highlight of an engaging an entertaining performance. Check that song out here:
Head over to Bandcamp for more from the group.
With vibes reminiscent of Wild Beasts with a dose of Bombay Bicycle Club, Gengahr were the one band on this list I wasn’t totally unfamiliar with – their single “Before Sunrise” has popped up in many a discovery playlist in recent months. But I was really blown away by the live performance from the London based quartet, who seem set to explode in the year ahead…
Check them out on Facebook.
Focus Wales happens in Wrexham the week before The Great Escape every May. The next event will be held from the 16th to the 18th of May 2019. For more details, head to their official website.
Photo Credit: Little Destroyer, Kelli Anne Photography (Source: Facebook)