Swansea Fringe: The Preview Review

By Rory James

The Swansea Fringe Festival cometh, and it promises to showcase talented performers, poets, musicians and comedians, all from the local area. The other night, they decided to give festival-goers a taste of what is to come, and put on a small-scale preview show showcasing a small sample of the incredibly talented people who will be performing there. So, at 7pm Saturday night, we all piled into The Hyst, a bar that is as classy as it is difficult to pronounce (Heist? Hist?), so that we could witness a small snippet of what was to come.

And by small snippet, I mean 5 hours of absolutely fantastic entertainment.

If I were to try and do an in-depth review of every act that took the stage, this review would be a novel, and you would likely get bored of the repeated cry of “It’s so good!”. So, in the interests of brevity, I will discuss some of my personal favourite acts, and why they struck me as much as they did.

Tom Martin

One of the first acts that really stood out to me was Poets on the Hill (PotH), which was everything that performance poetry should be: funny, heartfelt, and deeply meaningful. I fancy myself a bit of a poet, and I was blown away by the huge array of experiences related through their verse. I would highly recommend going to see them during the Fringe Festival whether you’re a poetry slam veteran, or you’re just thinking about getting involved.

Half Blind

Another act that really stood out to me was Little Folk. Out of all the acts of that night they probably had the most stage time, being the ones to both open and close the night’s proceedings, and this honour was definitely well deserved. While not being the biggest country music fan myself, I found myself clapping along with all the songs, smiling away, and most importantly enjoying myself to no end. If country music is your thing, then I would highly recommend giving them a look-in.

Bryony Siers

And the last act that I will mention here is the wonderfully talented Bryony Sier, who was performing alongside several other fantastically talented musicians at U&I radio. Her voice was phenomenal, and her original songs were impactful and heartfelt. However, the real clincher for me was when she performed a bluesy cover of Fleetwood Mac’s ‘The Chain’, which one of my all-time favourite songs, and has now become one of my favourite versions of said song. Needless to say, it was absolutely fantastic, and I can’t recommend her enough.

Bear in mind, these three acts are just a tiny part of what promises to be an enormous showcase of talent, and just because I haven’t yet mentioned the other acts doesn’t mean that they are unremarkable or unworthy. It is simply because there is not enough time or space to give all the acts the credit they are due. However, at risk of looking like one of those super-crowed fringe posters, I will now list every act who performed that night, and I hope that you guys go and check them out.

So here goes: Little Folk, Karen Gemma Brewer, Paul Edwards, Sian Richards, PotH, Emily Merry, Tom Martin, Bryony Sier, Aiden Keryn, Chris Capel, King Goon, Sam G, Half Blind, Rag Foundation, The Echo & The Always, and last but by no means least, Lost Tuesday Society. Everybody listed here was absolutely phenomenal, and deserving of your time. So, come on down to the Swansea Fringe Festival, running from the 29th of September to the 1st of October. I promise that you’ll have a blast!


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