It’s no secret that 2014 saw bands drop like flies at a very alarming rate.
But one scene was particularly decimated : Wales. Once considered to be one of the UK’s brightest and most prolific music scenes, where everyone had toured with everyone and inspired generations of up and coming bands, its famous golden days are pretty much gone — that doesn’t mean more won’t come : bands such as Catfish And The Bottlemen, Neck Deep and No Devotion are without a doubt what one would call the new face of the Welsh scene.
For now, though, let’s reminisce on three late bands who left us in the past year.
The first band to announce their split was Kids In Glass Houses, just a little over a year ago. The quintet chose to take things slow,announcing a nearly 30-date Farewell tour which was to take place last October, with numerous festival appearances planned before that. Overall, it was heartbreaking to think about the fact that the Pop Rock formation never got the recognition they really deserved, even upon release of their fantastic album ‘DIRT’— some will say their spotlight got stolen by another British band—, but regardless of if this is true or not, seeing them pull massive crowds and fill venues such as London’ KOKO and Cardiff’s Great Hall tasted like both pride and bitterness. We went to their last ever show and wrote a review about it (well, rather a eulogy), which you can read here. In retrospect, what they left behind feels finished : their last album ‘Peace’, even if it was majorly underrated, was and still is a banger, and they ended their career on a high. The memory we’ll always have of them will be a happy one thanks to that confetti-filled farewell show, which isn’t something we could say about every band that broke up last year, so we’ll cherish it.
“And when we are gone,we hope for the knowledge that you wanted us to stay”
Some would call it ironic,others would just be sarcastic about it, but the next Welsh band to break up was the very same one who supported Kids In Glass Houses on their last tour ; Wales’ original Pop Punk band (sorry,Neck Deep),Save Your Breath. With anthems we’ll never forget screaming along to, such as the memorable Nothing Worth Having Comes Easy, they had found their place over the years,and gained a non neglectable following — sadly, not enough to keep the band going a few more years, but as they said it themselves,the run they had was more than what they’d ever hoped for. After a short farewell run in January, they recently released one last song, Promise, to finish off what was a time as a band as full of pizza,sleeping on floors and friends as you’d expect it to be.
“And our time is short, so I’ll keep my words from falling on deaf ears”
The last Welsh band — who have yet to officially split up, but it’s LITERALLY a matter of days— faced the same problem : although the fans they did have were loyal, The Blackout struggled to make ends meet for the past few years. Even if they managed to raise more than £10.000 (ten bloody thousand!) in a record amount of time, TWICE, it was no secret that things were tough. They still remain a perfect example of resilience, though, as you could easily say their last three releases could have been their last. Their studio career ended with the angry and raging fan-funded ‘Wolves’ EP, released last autumn, and even if some will argue that if they hadn’t released a certain album,or done certain things, they’d still be a band, what we chose to remember are all the good times : the friends made through them, the times we were so sweaty after a show we thought we were melting, the laughs shared with the band before or after a show, and mostly,how much heart they put into everything they did. The Blackout were a band people either hated or loved,but they sure were appreciated by their peers. Their farewell UK tour starts in two days,and we do hope they’ll get the banging goodbye they deserve.
“This is where it all began,this is where the story ends.”