“My first FoV experience was somewhat ethereal”
Two years ago, I returned home from Barcelona’s Primavera Sound exhausted but convinced I had witnessed some of the best live music of the year. Having ticked off some of my all-time bucket list live bands (including Radiohead and Sigur Rós), I could have crawled under a rock and slept for a week.
But there was no time to rest once back in Cardiff. The first ever Festival of Voice was underway and with my home city hosting yet more of my favourite artists, it wasn’t hard to pull out the “Sleep When You’re Dead” card. However, my first FoV experience was somewhat ethereal. A string of sit down and intimate performances seemed to answer my tired body’s prayers. Evenings at the New Theatre watching Keaton Kenson and Anna Calvi, and the larger shows at the WMC’s Donald Gordon Theatre watching John Grant and Ben Folds, had cemented Festival of Voice as a staple, biennial event in my calendar.
So, moving on to 2018. Not only am I excited at the incredible line-up announced for the festival, but also lucky enough to be involved with a handful of shows.
First up is The Gentle Good and Ivan Moult with The Mavron Quartet. Following on from The Gentle Good’s Welsh Music Prize winning album ‘Adfeilion / Ruins’ and celebrating 10 years of his music, this special performance will be a collection of his best work with long-term collaborators, The Mavron Quartet. Ivan Moult will also be performing alongside the quartet showcasing tracks from his acclaimed new album, ‘Longest Shadow’.
Juxtaposing this performance, we also have an evening highlighting the electronic acts at Bubblewrap Collective. Producer, engineer, musician and all-round renaissance man, Charlie Francis, will be performing tracks from his current project ‘Songs For Singers’ featuring a host of vocal talents from South Wales. He’ll also be performing tracks with Jemma Roper from their Finery collaboration with support coming from Welsh Music Prize nominees Cotton Wolf, and the whole evening visualised by Chameleonic.
As for the rest of the festival…well, it’s hardly slim pickings. I’m going to have to flip a coin on the 9th June between Portland’s Laura Veirs, and the 10-headed Icelandic female rap collective, Reykjavíkurdætur. On the 10th June, there’s no place in the world I’d rather be than watching Gruff Rhys with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, and on the 11th, Patti Smith performing an intimate show at St John’s Church in Canton is bound to be a life-affirming highlight.
One thing is for sure. Festival of Voice 2018 is going to be another week and a half of remarkable experiences.
By Rich Chitty, Bubblewrap Collective
Since Bubblewrap Collective's inception in 2009, it has developed into one of the largest and most revered labels in Wales. With music branching a range of genres, and with almost a decade of releases under their belt, the label's achievements and its pool of talent is something to behold.
The label's history is sown with award-winning and critically acclaimed records. Most notably, The Gentle Good's 'Ruins / Adfeilion', which won the Welsh Music Prize in 2017. Find out more about Bubblewrap Collective by visiting www.bubblewrap.wales