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02/07/09 – Polly Mackey at Benicassim, Y Ffin Festival, Athlete in Wrexham

by Ben Davis on 20 July, 2009 | 0 comments

Thursday 2nd July 2009

I’ve got rid of the man flu, thanks for asking. It took a while but the sympathy demands had to stop at some point. On to the news…

On Saturday night in Chester Telfords Warehouse have Icelandic singer Hafdis Huld playing. Her delicate peculiar vocals create a sound not too dissimilar to her fellow native and Iceland’s biggest export second to cod, Bjork. Huld is influenced by the archetypal genius of songwriter Burt Bacharach (who couldn’t be), which illuminates throughout her songs and draws you in quicker than the mirage of a beverage on a sweltering sweaty day. It’s free entry before 10pm and £4 thereafter.

Polly Mackey & the Pleasure Principle will be playing on the main stage at this year’s Benicassim festival in Spain in July! Having reached Supajam’s final 5 band playoff at London’s Pigalle club the other week, the band then endured a tense 30 minute wait for the judges’ decision.

The competition was so intense that the judging panel eventually decided to award Benicassim performances to two bands – Manchester’s Paris Riot also join Polly and the band at the festival which this year has the likes of The Killers, Oasis and Kings of Leon as headliners.

The judging panel were oblivious to the fact that Polly and the band had been forced to make a last minute line-up change when lead guitarist Tom Hassall was on holiday in Spain on the night of the final! Dan Davies decided to move from bass to cover lead guitar whilst No Room For Heroes’ Domm Simms moved from keyboard to bass. Ex-Rigby’s drummer Tom Ryan bravely offered to step in on keyboards.

Despite having time for only one rehearsal session, the new line-up obviously did enough to convince the judges, making sure that a Wrexham band appears at the festival for the second consecutive year! Awesome indeed.

Mechanical Owl have got into round 2 of the Greenman Poll – a competition to play the opening slot of the Greenman Festival in South Wales at the end of August. The 2nd round consists of just 20 bands (about a billion bands entered the 1st round) and only the top 6 go through to play the final in London. Mechanical Owl are currently placed in 2nd place so they have a good chance of keeping in the top 6 before the voting closes on 12th July. Vote for them. Everyday. Visit www.thegreenmanfestival.co.uk/greenpoll. Those who haven’t heard Mechanical Owl yet are depriving themselves of some immense heartfelt pop majesty which embodies the soundscapes of the rolling and ragged Welsh landscapes and wraps them all up tightly in a warm homemade blanket. They are currently putting the final touches to their self-made debut album ‘Snowdonia’ and they are playing Central Station on 22nd July, The Absurd at Y Pentan on 23rd and on the 25th July they will be appearing at the new Y Ffin festival in Mold.

The Y Ffin Festival is a curation from The Absurd which takes place over the weekend of the 25th July in Mold and includes open air gigs, poetry and music sessions, workshops, dance groups, face painting and a general funfair. The debut fest is hosting an impressive music line-up which includes The Roseville Band, Mechanical Owl (as mentioned before), JKLMNO, Racehorses (formerly Radio Luxembourg) Meilir and The Lupin Thieves. It’s all happening on the ‘Rec’ which is on Maes Bodlonfa in the town centre and the best news – it’s all free.

Staying in Mold, this Saturday will see the return of the popular Vod Music Record Fair. 23 stalls rich in vinyl, CDs, memorabilia and DVDs will be in place at the Daniel Owen Community Centre from 10am to 4pm. As ever, if you cut out my column you can gain entry for free! For more information you can visit www.myspace.com/vodmusic. Another bit of news for vinyl lovers – The Wine Bar in Mold will be holding Vinyl nights on Wednesday’s.

Athlete’s 29 date tour is rolling it’s wheels into Wrexham on Friday night with a show at Central Station. They are promoting their new album ‘Black Swan’ which is being released in August and was recorded in their own self-built studio and produced by the band themselves. Support comes from London’s jerky-pop-rock band Official Secrets act and Bangor (in Northern Ireland, not North Wales) based singer songwriter Iain Archer. Tickets are £15 advance and doors are 7:30pm. Following the gig there is the Indie Rock ‘n’ Roll club night which will consist of every indie anthem you could possibly imagine being played.

That’s all I have for you this week, join me next week for more of the same. Email me at ben@wrexhammusic.co.uk with your news, or tweet me on the Twitter thing @bendaviswxm.

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Ben Davis

Email: ben@wrexhammusic.co.uk

Ben is the founder and main writer for wrexhammusic.co.uk.

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