Cardiff Gig Review #3 – Strange News from Another Star and other stories

This festive season brought me a small wonder of reading delights. One of these is “The Fairy Tales of Hermann Hesse”, a collection of short stories including one tale called “Strange News from Another Star”. I then bought a CD of a Cardiff band, The Future of the Left. While purchasing it from my favourite record shop Spillers, I was told a band with some of the members from The Future of the Left were playing a free gig that very evening.

Strange News from Another Star caused an explosion of sound and energy while dressed in denim in the new Moon Club. The venue is interestingly laid out; it has the Full Moon Bar downstairs, which gently slopes down to a basement bar. Then upstairs you have a chill-out seating area, before you go down a corridor to a secret feeling black room with the stage. Like a blank white canvas there is something to be said for blacked-out gig venues. Do black walls make the sound reflect better? Do darker air particles let sound bounce around more freely?

As soon as SNFAS came on, their banter consisted of naming and humorously shaming other Cardiff bands. Cardiff bands do have a habit of going to see other Cardiff bands live. In the audience I knew and spotted members of the bands they were humouring. No returning insults were thrown from them. The sound is loud, fast, angry but funky. All members of the band; singer/guitarist, bass player and drummer put their backs into playing, dripped with sweat and jumped about enthusiastically. It was a shame this energy did not convert to the crowd – everyone nodded along but no dancing or mosh pit arose.

Strange News from Another Star

My rule of one photo per gig has its downfalls but I like the random dodgy camera style it can produce.

The rhythm and bass was powerful with a raw sound found in many good punk bands. The bass player stood higher on some kind of box on the stage, it was nice to see a bass player up front and proud. The singer’s powerful voice blasted some good rhythms behind an obvious talent to be able to sing well in any style. It was an enjoyable punk rock gig with a touch of the traditional welsh singing talent, I just wished they had jumped into the crowd to start some pogoing and get the crowd moving. It felt quite voyeuristic not jumping about with them. Maybe the audience was there to be entertained and not to participate. I had talked earlier with people who had seen them before and they said it was fun to see three guys go mad on stage. All in all a good gig but some participation and firing up of the crowd would have been a nice touch.

Strange News from Another Star @ myspace


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