The Local Scene
By Cat Daczkowski
Hook: Every month in this section, we will highlight musicians, venues and other music-based organisations in the South Wales area. Each piece may differ in format, from write-ups of interviews to feature pieces. We hope you will make a note of these, and support them in any way you can!
The Bunkhouse opened in 2018 and since has become an award-winning music venue. It is now one of the most prominent music venues in South Wales and is based in the centre of Swansea. It comprises two bars, one with its entrance on The Kingsway, and the other with its entrance on Park Street.
The Bunkhouse has been the choice of venue in Swansea for a number of musicians, small and big alike, with artists such as Danny Worship (singer of Asking Alexandria) planned to perform in the coming year. The venue has also been the home to a Battle of the Bands competition, which offers the chance for smaller bands in the South Wales area to win some great prizes.
Naturally, as a result of the current pandemic, the venue has faced many difficulties, especially financially. As a way to stay open, they are now serving food based in their Park Street entrance bar. When the country isn’t in lockdown (not often we know) sit-ins are available, but the whole menu is also available to order through Just Eat!
The menu has a range of burgers, hot dogs, loaded fries and even some cheesecakes! They also accommodate vegetarian and vegan diets through the use of Seitan™ based ‘chicken’ and even some vegan cheese for nachos.
The drinks options are great too, with various draught and bottled drinks, as well as an assortment of spirits! The venue even has its very own and lager ‘Bunk63’, and of course, flavoured cider, ‘Berried Alive’.
Unfortunately, on the 23rd November, they announced that they are temporarily shutting down until live music can return. Though, If you’d like to book a table, order food or book tickets when they reopen or possibly buy some merchandise to help them out while they are closed, check out their website here:
Next up is Pontypridd local band, Sparky Renegade. In an interview with the lead singer of the band. Colin James Macfarlane, he described the band’s genre as ‘punk rock with a tinge of metal.’ The band’s other members are Jordan Lee Waters as the drummer, Matthew Parfitt-Evans as the guitarist and Thomas Jay Mansfield as the bassist.
The band was formed back in March 2019 and have played a fair few gigs in the South Wales area. Of course, with the current restrictions they have been unable to stay as productive as they would like, but they are in the process of finishing a few songs to add to their current catalogue. Unfortunately, they have not been able to meet up in a whole group setting to socialise properly with one another, but hope to soon.
Additionally, with the restrictions that are currently in place, many events have not been able to go as planned but Macfarlane suggests in order to support local bands during this time, one must ‘keep the music alive’. The best way to listen to Sparky Renegade’s music is through their YouTube Channel.
In the interview, Macfarlane was asked about his opinion on the current restrictions in place, and their effect on the live music industry. He emphasised the fact that ‘live music is tourism’ for the UK and that the government needs to realise this before it is too late. He mentioned Van Halen in his interview, and how they have played very little outside of the US. This in turn resulted in many people travelling to the US entirely to watch them live.
If you’d like to take to check out Sparky Renegade, go to their Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/SRpunkband