Kings of the scene:
Bandicoot are one of those bands that are and will always be a member of Swansea music royalty. With songs that could easily be from the Talking Heads or The Modern Lovers, they write not just songs or tracks, but true music. Id seen them listed at the top of bills for years, yet despite what Id heard Id never found myself in the audience. That is until their hometown show at Sin City.
First of all youve got their sound. Talking Heads, Modern Lovers, nuff said. But the amount of interesting sounds you get in their set that totally blind side you is insane! Their performance at Sin City opened with such an otherworldly astral quality it was difficult not to be totally mesmerised. Guitarist Tom Emlyn led the opening with a pedal effect enhanced lap guitar, gliding between notes with a metal slide. It was unlike anything Id ever heard. A swaying, soaring, wavy sound that melted from note to note - and that was just the first number. Later songs made use of synth keys; a throwback retro sound that made everything feel so massive, it was easy to forget that you were in Sin City and not some utterly huge arena. Combine that with the punches of frontman Rhys Underdowns trademark sax, and you had a set where something interesting was constantly entering the mix.
Then, the performance. There was always something happening that would catch your attention. A feat when you consider most of the time the band couldn't move very far from their spots (think Rhys with his mic, guitar, synth and saxophone). But they were so engrossed and into everything they played to the point where they were just radiating energy off into the audience through sheer passion. And although many of the band were bound to a spot by their instruments, there was of course the exception. Enter new member, Kieran Doe (Bass). Doe brought the dance to the stage, spinning, kicking and generally going mental; a signature move of his known to anyone whos ever seen his other group, Vanilla. Fitting for when things got a little high octane. So spot on it could have been crafted to a T, the performance was perfect. Enough going on to entertain your eye, not too busy that it's a distraction.
Finally, theyre going places! Catch them whilst the tickets are still less than a bus fare. Lately, Bandicoot have been expanding their fanbase hugely. Festivals in Liverpool, gigs at Oxford . The sad truth is that were going to have to share them with the rest of the UK more often. And whilst thats a good sign for Swansea music, we shouldn't take them for granted. Bandicoot are just one of those bands that are too good not to go big. More people need to hear their music, to see their shows. They should be festival regulars, a familiar sound on the radio both home and abroad. So grab friends, your mothers, your town cryers, and tell them about Bandicoot. Theyll be all the better for it.
Words by Dom Waters