(Reviewed by Guy Salvador)
Another fantastic Roostafish promotion @ Clwb Y Bont bringing great bands into the heart of Pontypridd every fortnight. I always commend the guys that promote these shows cos without them, to be honest you get….. nothing! So, for Mr. Roostafish, nice one! Plaudits over, lets get on to the gig. Now Clwb Y Bont is just about my size venue, about the size of my living room! You can see the whites of the bands eyes & them yours, no hiding in this place.
First on tonight, from Pembroke I believe, were, Big Apple Credits. Describe themselves as blues rebel rockers on their flyers, not sure what they are rebelling against, would suggest that white trainers are not a suitable attire for rebellion but, musically a real mixed bag of a set, ranging from some pretty standard blues / rock to, particularly the last tune they played, some pretty good stuff. A bit too much of the old guitar solo for me in most of the tunes but, with a bit more focus on originality who knows? The guys can play well enough & went down well with the sparse early crowd at Clwb Y Bont.
Second up should have been Liverpool band The Pedantics, didn’t show for some reason? Maybe didn’t manage to nick a van to get down in? This proved to be a blessing for us as we were treated to the inimitable performance of the one & only Gethin Pearson. Playing a solo acoustic set tonight, this was thoroughly entertaining stuff. Some great tunes, great lyrics, marvellous sense of humour, a natural charismatic star. All of this & he’s from Cwmbran! What more can you ask! Apparently he plays with a couple of other guys backing him on occasion, of which I will definitely catch very soon. Grabbed a CD from him after the show which included one of the strangest covers of a Prince track, “When Doves Cry” I have ever heard. There’s something about this fella that’s going to make him very, very, popular. He’s playing lots of gigs, try to catch him soon.
Headliners tonight The Poppies. Serving their brand of tight, jerky pop tunes, none sung in Welsh this time, maybe this is a change they have made since moving to Cardiff from their native Aberystwyth? The Poppies are ever improving. Saw them last about a year ago at the “Compass Point” festival on Coopers field in Cardiff where they delivered a good tight set but, just get the feeling tonight that the band have matured. There’s a slickness & ease to their performance that only comes with lots of gigs & these guys have done that. Stand out tunes that I can remember were “Sex Sells” & “Streetlights”. Sam has more than a bit of the early Paul Weller about what he does, don’t think it’s just the Rickenbecker guitar, the songs have some of the same jerky feel of early Jam stuff, although all have a Welsh signature to them. Also, Particularly impressed with Gethin Jones drum work. All in all, a good band who have everything they need to progress, good luck to them!