Focus Wales returns to Wrexham from the 10th to the 12th of May, bringing with it more than 200 bands. This is their 8th year and they’re expected a record 8000 punters this year. There’s not just the bands across their 20 stages. Focus Wales also boasts a full line up of industry panels, stand-up comedy, arts events and film screenings. All of which means you’ll need some recommendations. You’ve come to the right place.
Adwaith are a post–folk, post- punk band from Carmarthen, South West Wales. BBC Introducing called them “the most exciting band from Wales in decades”, which is quite a claim. They play twice at the festival – first an unplugged set at Ty Pawb at 18:30 on Thursday 10th May at and then they play for us on Saturday 12th May at Atomic for the full band experience at 16:50.
Stephen Malkmus said Canshaker Pi “will blow the world away with their sound” which is presumably why he produced their 2016 debut. The Amsterdam-based quartet’s inflammable brand of indie rock is a gleeful but high-stakes affair. They play Atomic on Saturday 12th May at 22:50.
Liverpool-based singer/songwriter/producer Mary Miller merges retro samples and guitar tones from the 50’s with chopped-up vocal samples and elements of modern electronica and hip-hop. Taking to the stage with only a guitar and a sampler, she crafts cinematic, otherworldy lullabies; it’s dream pop, but darker. She performs for us at Atomic on Saturday 12th May at 16:00.
NME called Gengahr ‘a band to fall in love with’ and a number of dazzling reviews led to playing alongside the likes of Wolf Alice, Alt-J and Circa Waves. They’re at Central Station on Thursday 10th May at 23:15.
Following their first album in over five years Gallops new record Bronze Mystic saw the band come back revitalised, rejuvenated and driven after their break, pushing their horizons further than ever before, informed by a new found love of electronic music, horror soundtracks & boy racer bass frequencies. They play Central Station at midnight the evening of Thursday 10th May.
Three piece indie-pop band Peaness are the kind of instantly likeable, warm and creative people that can get away with having radio DJ’s blush like a peach every time they have to say the band’s name on the airwaves. Fortunately their music is totally worth it. They’re putting smiles on faces at Central Station on Thursday 10th May at 21:45.
Having recorded 6 critically acclaimed self-penned solo albums Jane Weaver has also written and recorded with a wide range of multi-disciplined artists as well as contribute sound-installation projects, various international theatrical institutes as a film re-composer, as a compiler for Finders Keepers records, and as an author of children’s books. See her at the beautiful St Giles’ church on Thursday 10th May at 21:00.
Vulgarians brew up a unique brand of chilling post-punk noise, delivered with blistering live shows a support tour with Weirds and shows alongside God Damn, Pulled Apart By Horses, Bad Breeding and Traams. They’re at Atomic at 20 past midnight on the evening of Thursday 10th May.
CaStLeS’ music swirls somewhere between Os Mutantes, Ennio Morricone and the misty mountains of Snowdonia, a delightfully hypnotic voodoo groove with reverb soaked melodies. They play UnDegUn at 21:30 on Friday 11th May.
Haiku Salut are an instrumental dream-pop-post-folk-neo-everything trio from the Derbyshire Dales. Between them they play accordion, piano, glockenspiel, trumpet, guitar, ukulele, drums, and melodica. Their music also features electronic elements, which they refer to as “loopery and laptoppery”. They will charm Atomic at 21:40 on Friday 11th May.
This is the Kit’s latest album Moonshine Freeze encompasses ideas of folklore and oracles, memory, language, secrets, superstition, lives out of sync, and “the strange accidental fortune telling nature of the writing process”. See them at Central Station on Saturday 12th May at 22:00.