Things were not looking too promising, with Starbucks giving away free iced coffee and encouraging everyone in the foyer of the museum to peruse their ‘aroma’ zone. I’m not sure I agree with the idea of iced coffee and the so called ‘aroma’ zone did nothing for my sniffer dog aspirations, confirming to my amazement that I have no sense of smell. Oh well.
Thankfully, along came Huw M with his crazy loop pedal antics to bring a welcome end to all the coffee themed fun. As a friend of Huw’s I have watched intently over the last few years his development as a songwriter and performer. His album ‘Os Mewn Swn’ has been well received and is set for a re-release in May on the Gwymon label. This follows recent awards from Radio Cymru, where Huw won male artist of the year and best composer, and the award for best solo artist from Y Selar magazine. It certainly has been a busy time as the popularity of his music grows. And tonight’s performance sees Huw in relaxed, determined and confident mood. As a performer he is growing all the time and this is definitely the best I have ever seen him. Skillfully adept at controling about 47 things at once, at the core tonight is always guitar, accompanied by slices of looped brilliance in the form of twiddly guitar jollies, grunts, hushed vocals, keyboards, harmonica and occasional cymbals. This is a one man band with substance; beautifully crafted folk songs with lush arrangements. Bloody lush. Maybe it is the acoustics in the museum, but the sound was particularly crisp and clear. The set comprised largely of songs from ‘Os Mewn Swn’, ‘Y Dror Sy’n Dal Y Sanau’ being the pick of the bunch. A surging MC Mabon cover was a pleasing interlude, as well as to my surprise, an excellent new song sung in English. And with an upcoming gig in London awaiting, as well as the album re-release, a wider audience beckons so this makes total sense.