What do Thursday evenings mean to you? I’m sure a good many of you students see “Thursday” on your calendar and have already pencilled in “SIN SAVERS” and where you’re going to pre-drink (it’s always the same person’s house, isn’t it? Some people are much more laid-back about their carpets being sprayed the pretty colour of Kopparberg week after week).
But what if your feet are sore, you’re exhausted from a week of assignment deadlines and your new years’ resolution is to experience more of Swansea’s music and culture? (I’m not talking about a 4-pack of Danone Activia on offer in Costcutter).
Well it may well be worth making the fourth Thursday of every month a Skye night. Following the great news that local favourite Mozarts has been granted its licence back, I went along to November’s Skye for an evening that promised to showcase some excellent up-and-coming local folk and acoustic acts. And with the line-up of Aisha, Jemma Krysa, Moongazer and Sera Rabbett performing on the night, it certainly didn’t disappoint. A promising young performer and frontwoman of Miacca, Aisha has been rising on the local music scene for a while and is currently recording her new album and performing several gigs across South Wales this December. Her last Skye before moving to Canada, Sera Rabbett has supported acts such as Erin Mckeown, Duke Special and Amy Wadge. Jemma Krysa boasts an impressive list of acts she has previously been asked to support, including Mal Pope and Dolores O’Riordan from Irish favourites The Cranberries. It’s not hard to see why; her voice has a smooth beauty about it and her lyrics cut deep to the bone. Described as “a force of nature, mixing traditional music with contemporary influences to produce a firestorm of music best experienced live”, Moongazer are renowned for their energetic performances and have supported Glastonbury legends Stackridge as well as festival slots with The Storys and Catatonia’s Cerys Matthews.
This was enough to convince me to get home, back in the car and back into Uplands.
Even though nights out are great, there’s something quite special about sitting in a room and experiencing musical acts performing their songs and a raw passion in the words that can’t always be captured when just listening along to a polished recording. Though I was for the most part quite alone and drinking nothing more exciting than Diet Coke following a very last-minute decision to go along (plus the fact I consider myself the epitomy of grumpy postgrad life), I didn’t feel in the least bit awkward or out of place, something I feel is very much down to Mozarts’ relaxed and supportive atmosphere and the audience’s shared sense of enjoyment of what the acts had to offer.
Sarah Passmore did a fantastic job ensuring the acts moved along smoothly and though I felt that sometimes the breaks between acts were too long (I’m old. I get sleepy), I feel incredibly reassured that Swansea’s folk and acoustic scene have a lot to be proud of and there are many acts we should definitely be watching. Keep your eyes peeled in The Siren for some interviews where we’ll be promoting local talent and telling you where you can catch them performing again: if this human version of Grumpy Cat says it’s worth leaving your pit of assignments and despair for, you know that Skye is definitely a night to consider during your time in the city. We’re pretty lucky to have so much to offer on the music scene right on your doorstep; as a Swansea Uni student it’s one thing we should definitely be taking advantage of.
by Natalie Ann Holborow