Sometimes a festival is more than just a collection of artists playing music. Occasionally they become a real experience and the atmosphere at HUB festival caused it to become exactly that. A local showcase highlighting brilliant artists and promoters from Cardiff and South Wales, HUB festival is everything that is good about the Cardiff music scene. With variety and quality running right through the heart of the line-up coupled with the atmosphere of a street party come carnival, HUB fest was really unmissable this year.
Fresh off of their first headline show in July The Fused brought their usual energy to the festival. With catchy songs like ‘Are You Ready For Dance?’ and ‘Buskers and Beggers’ already in their arsenal they are quickly growing a reputation as one of the best local live bands in Cardiff.
Having released their EP midweek, Himalayas showed off their new material brilliantly live. Think rock and roll infused indie rock with slight punk influences and that’s Himalayas. With a massive sound similar to that of Pretty Vicious the band, rightly, carry a confidence and swagger comparable to a band that have been touring for years.
A great place to start looking for those brilliant local artists in the festival was the Moon Club stage. With part of the Saturday run by the local Young Promoters Network and Sunday’s promoters including Luckyman Records the stage was packed with the best up and coming indie bands. At the moment this is the real highlight in the Cardiff scene. Welsh indie rock old timers like Stereophonics, Feeder and Manic Street Preachers still hold influence in this scene but with the rise of Catfish & The Bottlemen and Pretty Vicious there has been a subtle shift in welsh indie. Two brilliant examples of this over the two days were Himalayas and The Fused.
However this festival isn’t just about the mainstream and indie, its about the slightly obscure stuff you wouldn’t otherwise see but are a pleasant surprise. One of the highlights in this area was Crinkle Cuts.
Playing late on the outside Courtyard stage, Crinkle Cuts and their blend of funk and ska had the late night crowd off their feat and jigging along, With a great energy and engaging onstage personality they had the Saturday night crowd wrapped around their fingers and baying for more. Their set finished with a cover of The White Stripes‘Seven Nation Army’ in a ska style, Crinkle Cuts hit the nail on the head.
Another exercise in the diversity in the festival came on Sunday night with the City Arms stage headlined by Mike Dennis. One man, a loop machine and a violin is apparently all you need now to create a brilliant and different sound. Occasionally political hip-hop styled rapping contrasted the technical and layered violin while somehow working brilliantly.
This was the real story of HUB fest. From the street party filled with freestyle MC’s and DJ’s to the venues packed with every weird and wonderful genre – HUB fest celebrates diversity and once a year creates a little blissful bubble in the heart of the capital.
This HUB Festival article was written by Luke Priestley, a GIGsoup contributor