DiS heads to North Wales this weekend (Thursday 11th to Saturday 13th May) for the 7th edition of Focus Wales. Essentially the Welsh South-By-Southwest or Great Escape, this year's event will see around 200 artists perform across 20 stages all situated in and around the town of Wrexham, while during the daytime, a number of interactive sessions will also be taking place including music industry panels, speakers, films, comedy performances, and art exhibitions.
This year, DiS will be hosting a stage at the festival for the first time. Taking place in the Rock Suite from 5:30pm onwards, our line-up is as follows...
Initially the project of husband and wife duo Mel and Andy Fung, Mel sadly passed away in 2014 having just finished recording their one and only album Universe. Released last summer on the Bubblewrap Collective label, it provided a fitting epitaph to her musical talent and here in a rare live show, Andy Fung will perform the songs of Mandy accompanied by a specially assembled cast of guests and collaborators. Not to be missed under any circumstance.
Hailing from the city of Nottingham, Crosa Rosa's brand of psychedelic grunge has excited all who've witnessed their explosive live show for the past couple of years. With a handful of singles and EPs to their name, the most recent of which Candy Eyes is possibly Crosa Rosa's most definitive statement to date. Expect a riotous fusion of melody and noise.
Also based in Nottingham, Eyre Llew have earned themselves a reputation as a mesmerising live act. Their experimental ambient soundscapes couple with the occasional visceral guitar burst has earned comparisons with Sigur Ros and 65daysofstatic, and with the band's debut album set for release later in the year, 2017 promises to be Eyre Llew's most rewarding so far.
The Contact High
This locally based outfit first caught our eye at last year's Focus Wales, so we're delighted to have them open our stage on Saturday. With influences ranging from krautrock to shoegaze and psychedelic garage punk, it's sure to be an explosive start to the evening.
Here are five other acts we're really looking forward to seeing over the course of the weekend.
British Sea Power
(Saturday 13th @ Central Station, 10pm)
A band that needs no introduction here. British Sea Power are something of a national institution and recent long player Let The Dancers Inherit The Party suggests their creative well is far from drying up just yet. Prepare to be surrounded by foliage, men dressed as polar bears, and a batch of instantly recognisable tunes to boot.
(Friday 12th @ Central Station, 11:15pm)
Having toured relentlessly for the past 18 months, there can't be many venues in the UK Cabbage haven't played. Confrontational, sometimes shambolic, occasionally controversial, but also one of the most relevant bands around today with songs about Brexit, the arms trade, public school education and Donald Trump in their armoury.
(Thursday 11th @ St Giles' Church, 9pm)
One of the most prestigious talents in the Welsh music scene right now as well as one of the most versatile having worked with both Meilyr Jones and the Manic Street Preachers among others. Georgia Ruth won the coveted Welsh Music Prize in 2013 and has gone on to release two critically acclaimed albums. Last year's Fossil Scale demonstrated her virtuosity at constructing experimental folk-tinged pop and her live show in the ornate setting of St Giles' Church promises to be an unmissable event in itself.
(Friday 12th @ Rock Suite, 8:15pm)
Neil Pennycook has been making music under the moniker of Meursault for the best part of a decade now. Something of an anomaly who describes his sound as "epic lo-fi", Meursault's music fills the axis between Arab Strap's excess fuelled rants and The Twilight Sad's more ebullient sonic excesses. Edinburgh based Pennycook's fourth album I Will Kill Again came out earlier this year to a wave of critical acclaim, and this rare live show provides a perfect opportunity to see first hand just what all the fuss is about.
(Friday 12th @ UnDegUn, 9:30pm)
Essentially the solo project of Vancouver based Alexis Young, who makes futuristic pop that sounds like a collaboration between Lana Del Rey and M83 might. Fusing dreamy soundscapes with elements of pop in its purest sense, expect Young and her live band to be one of the big discoveries at this year's event.
Here's a 30 song playlist featuring a selection of the artists scheduled to perform at this year's event.
Photo by Stephanie Webb.