Review: Oak Sessions, Sin City


Sin City opened its doors to local live acts for talent seeking music platform, Oak Sessions, writes Jacques Tsaintar.

Run by former Swansea Metropolitan student, Francis Darracott, the night aimed to show the city its freshest, young acts on stage. The nightclub was hard to recognise without the sweat dripping from the ceiling, but the atmosphere was relaxed and inviting.

Beth Angharad, a second-year Swansea University student, was first up. Having seen her perform a few times I always look forward to her original music, which is well written; mellow, sensitive and captivating, also showing a sweet and pitch perfect singing voice.

Next to the stage was Paddy Kelly, a great performer with impressive skill with guitar and the use of a loop pedal. The intricacy he created with it was something quite powerful with an Ed Sheeran-esque composition meets Ben Howard vibes. The singer has an EP released this summer.

Then we had something a bit different. Ophelia, a Swansea University student, rocked up with a synth, which was a nice surprise. She had a really fresh sound; confident too, with good on-stage banter. The music had a Kate Nash-esque mood with a shake of Lily Allen thrown in there for good measure but, regardless, it was very original and a bit of good fun.

313882_158408480981841_237646144_nThen, Ophelia’s band, Forty Thieves, joined her. They kicked off with a fantastic acoustic and folkish sound, but with some really solid backing from the rhythm section. The singing was a pleasure, too; they had the harmonies down to a tee. It was obvious that they’d rehearsed, and the writing had great diversity as well as covering No Diggity and A Real Hero to close.

The last act was Dominic Griffin’s band. From the offset they were tight and had great energy. The use of a trombone and alternative drum setup gave them a great dynamism, the wandering vocals were well performed and the whole band showed some sterling technical skill. Dominic himself treated us to some solo acoustic jams, showing a great writing skill and fantastic rapport with the crowd. Afterwards we were treated to more from the full band, playing off the night with a huge round of applause.

All in all it was a great night of interesting and varied performers. It’s warming to see there are events like these in Swansea for upcoming bands and artists to showcase their talent in a well receiving and enjoyable environment. I know I’m definitely looking forward to the next one.



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