This long sold-out, rammed to the rafters show at Clwb Ifor Bach once again shows the strength of Cardiff’s alternative music scene. Put on the by the lovely folks behind Swn festival, this Cate le Bon show sees her off on to her lengthiest international tour to date. Indeed, if she charms and stuns as she did tonight, she can definitely expect the attention of the wider world.
We can certainly also hold high hopes for support act Elliott Jones. Barely a handful of shows under his belt and he is already establishing himself as one of South Wales’ most promising singer-songwriters.
His songs are beautiful and uncomplicated. On Cats Eyes Jones’ voice purrs with honesty over a simple picking pattern. It’s earnest and restrained, indulging only in the time-honoured tradition of great song-writing.
If there was any worry that the night was something of quiet affair, it was quickly put to bed by instrumental four piece Y Niwl. Their mutant surf-rock wouldn’t sound out of place on a Quentin Tarrantino soundtrack and it quickly got the audience dancing.
Rebelliously loud and fantastically unrefined, their set is an even mix of electrifying guitar solo’s and spaced out psychedelic jams.
However it was the main event that really stood out tonight. Even in the current milieu of outstanding female pop stars, Cate Le Bon really offers something unique.
Her dreamy voice croons with cool and weaves soft hushed melodies through surreal musical soundscapes. It’s a striking aesthetic, somewhere between Kate Bush and Nico. At once both natural and gothic.
Nowhere is this more striking than on single Hollow Trees House Hounds. Warped guitar flickers and swirls while Le Bon’s doomy vocals soar and crow.
From the quiet and achingly melancholic Sad Sad Feet to the grand expansive psychadelia of set closer Burn Until The End, Le Bon and her band prove beyond doubt that they are en route to big things.