Dim Swn | Live Review


Arriving on Womanby Street in the early afternoon, there’s a delicate murmur of anticipation for the day to come.

Although Swn Festival returned as a one day event this year, the lineup still had a vast amount of names to be excited about, that meant we still had just as much running around to do.

Arriving on Womanby Street in the early afternoon, there’s a delicate murmur of anticipation for the day to come. Quickly ducking into The Moon Club we catch the set of Hana, fresh-faced and talented she offers the perfect start to the day. Nothing is over-worked, it’s just pop stripped back to the basics – her stunning voice really isn’t an asset to be overlooked.

Across the street Grumbling Fur are meticulously preparing an army of gear, their set is packed with interesting sounds, pedals and modulations. The London duo hit the spot remarkably well considering it’s still early doors. Though it is quite humorous seeing the amount of equipment they have to tinker around with, it’s like Starship Enterprise or something.

Telegram then kick things off upstairs at Clwb Ifor Bach. Pushing a set packed with distortion and gruff vocals, they never disappoint live. This is when the festival truly kicks off for myself, after all this bunch have got plenty of experience when it comes to big stages. Their busy set climaxes with ‘Follow’ and leaves me eagerly awaiting more releases.

Ultimately the main reason that made me come along to Dim Swn was The Wytches. They’re definitive, dark, intense and have a sound of their very own. For me their debut album ‘Annabel Dream Reader’ proves that accolades like ‘Mercury Prize’ truly mean nothing if this record wasn’t so much as nominated. Anyhow, having seen the turbulent nature of their show in Bristol the night prior, I felt slightly disappointed by the stagnant nature of the crowd. Though this didn’t dampen the brilliance of tracks like ‘Wide at Midnight’ and ‘Gravedweller’.

After all the talk concerning Happyness these past few months I thought it would be rude not to show up to their set. It was truly great to see a band so comfortable onstage rippling through their colourful 90’s inspired tracks. The young nature of the band members made it all the more exciting to see them burst out with tracks of vibrancy and attitude.

Another band being touted to the hills, Gengahr draw in a modest crowd over at Four Bars. It’s easy to see why they’ve got a bit of the spotlight at the moment, delivering a mood not too dissimilar to that of Alt-J, tracks like ‘She’s A Witch’ and ‘Powder’ are stunning in their raw and intimate form. I’ll be snatching any chance to catch these live again, easily an overall highlight.

That leaves the messiest, scariest and booziest until last. The Amazing Snakeheads. “We’re from fucking Glasgow”, Dale Barclay bellows halfway through their set. He spends most of the show amongst the crowd and looks like he might just kill somebody. With new band members on board that look like they’ve just escaped the Merchant Navy, their dangerous niche comes off amongst the merry crowd.

In essence, Dim Swn managed to provide a little something for everyone — be it amped guitars, acoustic, electronic, they provided it, and we relished it.

Check out ‘Here It Comes Again’ right here: