Sŵn festival review – weirdness and wonder in Cardiff’s alt-pop paradise

Various venues, Cardiff
Based everywhere from an Irish chain pub to an antiques centre, this slickly organised festival shows how varied and vibrant today’s indie scene is

Prowling the stage at Clwb Ifor Bach, the Murder Capital’s James McGovern sums up the mood at Cardiff’s Sŵn festival: “There’s only one thing we want: more.” The crowd responds, stoking the Dublin post-punks’ fires as they charge from coiled menace towards frenzied collapse.

Smouldering among the dying embers of the weekend their set is the ideal capper to the event, which sprawls across a number of venues in the Welsh capital. Foregrounding new music and a sense of adventure, the bill must satisfy both planners and gamblers, and does so adeptly. Twelve years on from its first staging, Sŵn is a slick machine defined by rapid turnarounds and minimal clashes.

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