Gwenno In Salford

The Sounds Of The Other City is a one day festival at a variety of venues in and around Islington Mill in Salford, a low key rival to Manchester’s more famous one. As a result most of the names are pretty well unknown. Salford’s Chapel Street is not a place you’de expect to find people milling around between gig venues, tents and gazebos- until recently it was very much the wrong side of the Irwell. Gwenno was performing at St Philip’s Church on Sunday night and with one of my brothers I found myself not just watching Gwenno but drinking a beer with her beforehand as crowd and performers milled about the church. The vicar of St Philip’s served beers from a trestle table. Without the opportunity to soundcheck properly the group launched into a six song set, Gwenno on vocals, keyboards and iPad with Rhys on bass, drummer Cliff and the natural reverb of the church. Gwenno’s songs are attention grabbing live, a combination of noise and melody and that motorik groove, not so floaty or dreamy as on the album, with Gwenno’s Welsh language vocals low in the mix. The threepiece built up a head of steam through to last year’s single Chwlydro and set closer Fratolish Hiang Perpeshki, which threatened to go all techno, beats from the iPad and the drummer crashing against each other, as the bright blue spotlights and the stained glass worked their magic.