Monday, 11 December 2017

Memories of 2017 gigs #10

Support: Chroma, Palomino Party
Clwb Ifor Bach - 9 December 2017

The last gig of the year and again we made it to double figures. This one was a bit of a no-brainer really as it was cheap (always a good thing) and it featured a band I've been trying to see for a while and never quite made it. If Estrons release their debut album in 2018, expect them to become pretty big pretty quickly. Which is why I was looking forward to finally catching them in the tiny Clwb Ifor Bach along with two other up-and-coming Welsh bands.

I knew nothing about Palomino Party, and to be honest it will probably stay that way. They sounded like a throwback to Britpop, but the arse-end of Britpop when all the best bands had either broken up or moved on. They describe themselves as 'art-rock', but let's be fair, so did Menswear. The most interesting thing about them for me was their singer who looked like he'd found Morrissey's lost wardrobe in his sister's make-up cupboard and decided to combine the two.

Chroma have been getting talked up quite a bit around these parts. Hailing from Pontypridd, they make a right racket despite there being only the three of them. They cite Reuben and Biffy Clyro as influences but they sound rawer. Mind, they've only been together a couple of years. Chroma's short set started off promisingly, and the songs also showed potential. The one thing I would say is they need to tighten up a bit, and if singer K-T could reign in the growling and screaming and concentrate on singing in tune, they might be the next ones to watch.

I like a good growl and scream, mind. You know that. Just, it needs to used sparingly to enhance the sound. Tali of Estrons manages to get the balance right, and that is undoubtedly what sets Estrons ahead of the pack tonight. They balance the rawness and energy with good, punchy tunes that stick in yer head. They played a load of new ones in their hour-long set which hints that there might be an album on the way (fingers crossed) and tore through some established faves - Make A Man, Strobe Lights, I'm Not Your Girl, Drop, etc. And they did so with ease, already seeming like hardened pros despite having just a handful of released tracks to their name.

Extra kudos points goes to the band revealing their loathing of the awful TV show Made In Chelsea (a partly-scripted drama about a load of over-privileged posh young people discussing "relationships, yah?"). The music played on this pathetic excuse for entertainment is generally very good, but Estrons revealed that when they were approached by the producers to use one of their songs, they categorically refused, not wishing to be associated with it. Hurrah! I love this band just that little bit more for knowing this.

If only I'd felt like joining the young 'uns in the pit, I'm sure I'd have had a whale of a time, but this time of year really brings me down so I'm not firing on all cylinders. We stood nearer the back where I struggled to see what was going on (combined with the low stage and my rapidly failing eyesight). I think I therefore missed out on some of the energy being transmitted from the stage. Even so, Estrons did excite me enough to look forward to 2018. That debut album should be cracking, whenever it appears.


  1. Always look forward to hearing what’s going on in Wales. I’ll remember the name Estrons.

  2. You have excellent taste, sir. Would've loved to see them at CIB, where I saw Gorky's 1st in Cardiff. Next year (again) big expectations for this band.