Mechanical Owl

Mechanical Owl

Gintis

Hailing from Abergele North Wales, Gintis began life after a conversation between founding members Carl and Dave about their love of Grandaddy, Pavement and Gorky’s Zycotic Mynci. The pair quickly assembled Gintis with some friends from school and other local musicians they met along the way. As the lineup changed the band began to perform at venues across North Wales and started to build on their following across the likes of Rhyl, Wrexham and Liverpool.

Since forming almost 20 years ago, Gintis have now expanded to an eight piece with two albums under their belt and a third album due out later on in 2022. Although the band have developed musically over the years, Gintis have stayed true to their roots and the influences of Pavement, Gorky’s, SFA and Grandaddy can be heard throughout their live set and later recordings.

“Hope is all we have” (the as yet unreleased third album) was recorded and produced by Bill Ryder-Jones following on from sessions the band had with him to record their 2017 Popty Ping double A-Side “Dennis/ Oh My Little Malcontent”.

“We’re very lucky to have been asked to perform at many of the Focus Wales festivals over the years. This has allowed us to make loads of mates in Wrexham who really do make our Focus Wales shows extra special for everyone involved”. Kyle, Gintis

After their 2017 Greenman Festival Appearance which saw Gintis play to a packed out Green Man Rising Stage, Green Man festival described Gintis as:

“Gintis are masters of being touchingly nostalgic, yet never cloying. Melodic, country-influenced brass-tinged melanchodelia, sprinkled with scientific rationalism and existential doubt, all wrapped up in breezy, understated three-minute ditties.”

Worldcub

Worldcub is piloted by brothers Cynyr and Dion Hamer, they began their musical journey under the name ‘CaStLeS’, taking influence from 70s/80s McCartney and DIY ‘Fantastic Man’, William Onyeabor. They produce material from their home studio on the hills of Eryri, splicing together elements of surf guitar music, kraut-rock grooves and hypnotic psych tinged Cymru vocal harmonies.

Their self-released, site-specific themed debut album ‘Fforesteering’ gained coverage on major platforms such as The Guardian and UNCUT Magazine, with air time on BBC Radio 6 Music, BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio Cymru & Wales. The band also earned their debut performance slot on the BBC Introducing stage at Reading & Leeds Festival in 2016 and found success playing shows as part of the ‘Horizons 12’ scheme; which included a recording session at the historic ‘Maida Vale Studios’ in London.

After an extensive run of live shows, including festivals such as Liverpool Sound City, FOCUS Wales, Liverpool Psych Fest, Farmfest, Festival No 6 and more recently BreakOut West in Canada, Worldcub are now looking to release new music in 2022 along with band members, Dion Jones, Osian Land and Elin Fouladi, who have recently joined the setup.

“Welsh psych rockers appeared at 2pm – and blew away all expectations.”
BBC Introducing in West Yorkshire, Leeds Festival

“…the end product never ceases to enchant and surprise – which is all you can ask, really. It is simultaneously gentle and powerful.”
‘New Band Of The Week’ – THE GUARDIAN

“Although it’s still only early days in the band’s fledgling career, their potential is enormous.”
DROWNED IN SOUND

Campfire Social

Genre Blending, Indie-pop + collective; Campfire Social craft a dynamically rich sound with bright harmonies layered over hypnotic melodies that help to underline a continued theme of self deprecation with a feeling of hope. Their honest approach echoes a love of 90’s ‘heart-on-sleeve’ emo culture. At times sobering, a positive message prevails; we’re better together.

The Reads

The Reads hail from North Wales, Chester and Liverpool and describe their sound as ambient-electro-folk-rock. Their debut studio album Stories from the Border (2011) brought the band to prominence on the North West music scene with follow-ups Lost at Sea (2014) and Crossfire (2020) helping them to build a loyal following. All were produced and mixed by Jim Spencer (The Charlatans, New Order, The Cribs) who they consider one of their own.

Notable live credits include supports slots for Turin Brakes, Evan Dando (Lemonheads) and Justin Currie (Del Amitri) and they’ve been fortunate to grace the stages of Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall and Blackpool’s Winter Gardens.

Their music has been played on Radio 2, Radio Wales, Radio Merseyside and Radio X and the late, great Janice Long was among their biggest fans.

With the pandemic having curbed plans to tour 2020’s Crossfire, The Reads are looking forward to 2022 being a year of recovery and positivity for the live music scene and are delighted to be part of the FOCUS Wales line-up.

Tara Bandito

Tara started performing at 5 years old. The daughter of the legendary wrestler El Bandito, she descended into the world that we call entertainment, without the opportunity to wonder exactly why performing was such an integral part of her personality. She didn’t ask herself that profound question until 2009 after the loss of her father, her hero and inspiration, which led her on a journey, symbolic and literal, to discover herself.

In a period of her life where she traveled the world alone, Tara headed east finding her spiritual music home in India during a month-long yoga teacher training programme. On her return home, performing continued to be a big part of her life, as she joined the incredible ‘Charlotte Church’s Late Night Pop Dungeon’ as a singer, and though she realised in doing so that performing was a vital way of expressing herself, it took one extra twist of fate before Tara realised that writing her own music was the way to truly understand herself.

Tara became a new artist on Recordiau Côsh Records in December 2021, working with the producer Rich James Roberts, to record three singles. Her first single, ‘Blerr’, was released on 14 January 2022, with a supporting music video produced by Lŵp, directed by Tara. The single received wide attention after having a first play on Huw Stephens’ BBC Radio Cymru show, after which Tara made it on to Adam Walton’s Radio Wales ‘Welsh A-List’. It also received wide social media support, and was covered by Welsh medium press with features in Golwg, Y Selar, and on Heno, S4C.

Tara is one of the artists on the Horizon’s Launchpad 2022, which will support the production of two music videos for Tara bandito’s two upcoming singles – ‘Rhyl’ and ‘Drama Queen’. Tara’s second single, ‘Rhyl’, will be released on 18 February 2022, with the third single ‘Drama Queen’ following in March 2022. Tara plans on releasing her first album later in 2022.

Delta Ladies Choir

Delta Ladies Choir

Aleighcia Scott

Aleighcia Scott’s voice has the soul of the finest Reggae singers combined with the power of a 50-strong Welsh choir and given that she grew up in Cardiff and yet with family roots from Trelawny, Jamaica this should come as no surprise. It’s a voice that is exciting those in the know on the Reggae scene and Aleighcia has recorded with Julian Marley and more recently been tapped up by both Peckings Records and Rory Stonelove to work on extended length projects.

Having blazed a trail on her local scene in Cardiff with an award for Best Local Artist (Radio Cardiff) when she began her singing career and a longtime residency at her local Irie Shack, Aleighcia has since been called upon to support top talent including Tarrus Riley, Julian Marley, Soul II Soul, Gyptian and Professor Green. The heat around her live performances have seen her called to perform at Boomtown, Glastonbury and Lattitude (for BBC Introducing) culminating in appearances in the home of Reggae, Kingston JA, including sterling sets at the world-renowned Dub Club and on King Jammy’s Soundsystem.

As with many of the new generation of Reggae stars Aleighcia Scott brings something a bit different and pushes the boundaries of the genre. Her vocal style is incredibly soulful and she shows great eclecticism in taking on different styles such as DnB, Hip Hop and acoustic tracks. A great voice can challenge any style. Nevertheless, winning the MMG 2017 Award for Best Reggae Act it is clearly Reggae where her spirit lies and her future beckons.

Aleighcia Scott is among an array of new powerful young women singers making their mark on the Reggae scene. Tracks from her debut EP released by Peckings Records received radio play from Rodigan, Seani B and BBC Introducing. Soon after she was recruited for the BBC Wales Horizons artist development programme and track ‘Bloom’ was playlisted on BBC Wales. Following from this have been several live performances on BBC Wales TV and Radio and a live session in Jamaica for BBC 1Xtra. New single ‘I Want You’ produced by Kongz (luminary of Protoje’s InDiggNation band and one of the hottest properties emerging from Jamaica’s new wave) is so adored by Rodigan he’s spun it six times on his BBC 1Xtra show.

Aleighcia Scott wins friends and respect with every note she sings and with a thrilling team up with Rory Stonelove, for a full-length album, on the horizon you can expect a firework filled future for her. With powerful soulful vocals, calls from seasoned and respected producers, support from artists that are household names and a nose for dynamic collaborations you’d be mad to doubt it. Watch this space, Aleighcia is going to smash the scene.

Seazoo

Seazoo is a noisy indie-pop group from Wrexham, influenced by the likes of Yo La Tengo, Courtney Barnett and Grandaddy.

Art School Girlfriend

Earning comparisons to the ethereal style of acts such as Beach House, Art School Girlfriend (aka producer and multi– instrumentalist Polly) delivers “wonderfully gothic doses of twilight pop”. Measures EP was released in 2017, with the darker, more electronic ITBH EP released late 2018. 2019 saw the release of AA single Come Back To Me and Diving, with a full-length debut set to arrive soon.

Pip Blom (The Netherlands)

Introducing Dutch indie quartet Pip Blom. One of the best new bands in Europe, making their FOCUS Wales debut.
The reviews are raving:

XS Noize (10/10): “Welcome Break is one of the best records of the year. Don’t sleep on it”

NME (4/5): “The Amsterdam four-piece build on the winning indie-pop foundations of their debut with an effort that fizzes with confidence and self-belief”

Mojo (4/5): “Sheer charisma of bold clanging anthems / Blom’s buoyant indie-rock proves hard to resist”

Uncut (4/5): “Dutch foursome perfect Britpop 2.0 / A deceptively simple collection of slightly melancholic bangers / Play loud, listen carefully”

Line Of Best Fit (Album of the Week): “An addictive listen / Near impossible to not want to return to Welcome Break again and again”

DIY (4/5): “They master a balance between growing up and maintaining innocent charm”

Self Esteem

Self Esteem tours her sophomore album Prioritise Pleasure featuring the acclaimed singles “Prioritise Pleasure”, “Moody”, “How Can I Help You” and “I Do This All The Time”. Having reached the top spot in almost every Album of The Year list in 2021, winning BBC Introducing Artist of The Year, and now a 2022 Brit Awards nominee, SELF ESTEEM make their debut in Wrexham on Friday 6th May.

Echo & The Bunnymen

One of the most influential British bands in modern history, Echo & The Bunnymen will celebrate the songs that have brought the group twenty top 20 hits and nine top 20 albums so far during their incredible 40-year career.

The band’s seminal albums ‘Crocodiles’, ‘Heaven Up Here’, ‘Porcupine’ and ‘Ocean Rain’ have been a major influence for acts such as Coldplay, The Killers and The Flaming Lips, whilst later albums ‘Evergreen’ and ‘What Are You Going To Do With Your Life?’ and ‘Siberia & Meteorites’ demonstrate what an amazing body of work the band have.

The Bunnymen are still revered in popular culture with the highly acclaimed and culturally phenomenal Netflix series ‘Stranger Things’, using their song ‘Nocturnal Me’ whilst the equally comparable ’13 Reasons Why’ has used ‘The Killing Moon’ and ‘My Kingdom’.

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