Devauden Festival has long been the traditional opener to festival season in South Wales and the West and 2019 is a particularly special year for the “small festival with big ideas” as they celebrate their 10th anniversary with a line-up that, as usual, offers an eclectic mix of astounding talent from South Wales and further afield.
Joining resident headliners Rusty Shackle (more on them in a bit) are genre hoppers Tankus the Henge. The London based funk/soul/rock/swing band are a fixture on the festival circuit and as well as being purveyors of some brilliant studio work, it is their live performances, full of gusto and fervour, which sets them apart. “You can Do Anything” here at the Scala is incredibly uplifting, I can’t wait to see them.
Without knowing the full running order, we know that Rusty Shackle will be headlining on Friday. If you haven’t seen “The Shackle” over the last decade or so, what have you been doing? Always a thrill live, expect a mix of both classics and some newer tunes from their smashing new album “The Raven, The Thief & The Hangman”.
Rock Choir, a 50 strong acapella group, kick things off in style at 6 o’clock on Friday, blasting out classics from the ages. Sisters Shimai’s feel good folk pop can bring out the sun from the darkest sky whilst fellow Newportonian’s Joe Kelly & The Royal Pharmacy bring their passion fuelled Americana. Not for the first time, indie folkers Ofelia will delight the crowds of this festival with their catchy melodies, whilst local favourite The Honest Poet sprinkles his acoustic soul and R ‘n’ B.
Onto the Saturday and the fun doesn’t stop. Cardiff’s The Pitchforks are a band going places and recently played a sell-out headline show in Clwb Ifor Bach. They, along with Jack Perrett have recently featured on the This Feeling tour and are part of a new wave of guitar bands lighting up the scene in South Wales. Go and see what the buzz is about.
“Wolf” by Katherine Priddy is undeniably already a stand out track of 2019, Hot Knife Club will bring out your best/worst shapes and Mike Dennis, Bug Club & Neon Mirrors, all highlights from 2018, are invited back with good reason.
For off the wall eccentricity, John Mouse is unmissable and Rogora Khart, who are not actually from Russia (or are they?) will amuse, bemuse and confuse with their own unconventionality. All this and loads more before Tankus the Henge bring down the curtains on what will be another brilliant weekend.
There are simply too many artists to mention in this preview, but there is an abundance of talent ready to entertain everyone of all tastes and pleasures. Check out the poster below and this Spotify playlist to give yourself even more of an idea what to expect.
Devauden is a festival full of heart, warmth and not least community spirit and when the sun is out, you’ll do well to find a small festival with more beatific views. If the yellow ball is a little shy and rain prevails (and let’s not forget, this is South Wales), you can watch every act under the shelter of the Glastonbury Big Top, where the two main stages are located, or the hall where you will find the acoustic stage.
This festival is perfect whether you are going with a group of friends, with the family, or alone (you’re guaranteed to have new best mates within a matter of minutes). It is a safe environment for kids of all ages, who can immerse themselves in endless entertainment in the designated area, whilst you get yourself some wonderful locally produced beer / cider and watch some fantastic music. There will also be plenty of stalls selling festival memorabilia and paraphernalia, and of course delicious food to go with your elected liquor.
You can get tickets here, with options for Friday, Saturday, or both, plus camping for the full festival experience. Entrance for adults is just £20 (concessions even less) and this includes both Friday evening and all-day Saturday. It’s an absolute snip for the entertainment this smashing festival is showcasing. See you there!