The Bridgend Mashup is a free one-day festival, which happens in (predictably) the town centre of Bridgend on a yearly basis. Combining both sport and arts together, it features a wide variety of activities for everyone and this year was no exception.
I chose to remain at the Hobos stage for the duration and opening the stage was FollowSuit (8/10), who were a great choice to open the stage. Admittedly they lacked the confidence to properly fill the stage but the music was nice and melodic with a good bouncy vibe to it all, and it was a fantastic way to start things off. The crowd were quite behind this band, which was really good to see, and this band truly showed how much they were willing to give. This is a band you need to watch out for!
Next up was Acadia (6/10), who looked like they struggled a little. The vocals from frontwoman Rowan seemed a little forced on a few occasions and the male backup vocals from guitarist Sam didn’t complement hers or work well at all. Still, this band is only a new band so it’s natural for there to be a few hitches before they get all the creases in their live show ironed out. Bassist Ben, however, put on a standout performance, and looked completely at ease on the stage whilst playing with a great amount of confidence. The potential for this band is definitely there – I have no doubt that they will one day be a force to reckon with!
Following Acadia was Friendly Thieves (7/10). Suffering from technical difficulties as their set began, it marred their performance a little as they didn’t quite seem to recover from their shaky start, which was quite disappointing. The songs were great and vocalist Ryan was really good at what he did, but at times the band looked a little uncertain with themselves. This was a shame, as I’d really been looking forward to catching these.
Things properly got going with fourth band Bridges (9/10), who were one of the standout performances of the afternoon, giving the best performance I’d seen of theirs. Frontman Ross was lapping up the attention and his amusing banter with the crowd really livened things up, at one point telling everyone to get a dancing partner and start moving! The highlight of the set was song Stick To Your Guns, which they recently recorded a video for, with a lot of people singing along and getting involved. A great set from a great band.
Milestone (8/10) were another fantastic band, who had possibly the smiliest bassist I have ever seen amongst their ranks! This was a fun band whose songs were memorably catchy and they played a really interesting set. Despite not knowing any of their songs, the tunes just seemed to get stuck in my head, which can only be a good sign. Check these out live if you get the chance!
Penultimate band Korsakoffs (9/10) were the band I’d primarily come to see at the Bridgend Mashup and needless to say, they didn’t disappoint. With a small army of band members’ children/young relatives in the audience, all wearing Korsakoffs shirts as they danced about to the music, this band certainly got the most enthusiastic response of the day! Korsakoffs put on a tight and memorable performance, and it was great to see how well they filled the stage, as I have previously only seen them on the small stage of the Hobos venue – this band really do have the ability to fill a larger stage which was really rewarding to see, as some larger bands don’t seem to be able to achieve this! Finishing with Evil Crag as usual, it was a satisfying end to an extremely strong set.
Headlining the Hobos stage was local favourites, Colours Of One (9/10). The last time I saw this band was all the way back in 2009 at Barfly, and it was incredibly satisfying to see how far they’d come and how much they’d improved since then! Coming onstage to cheers, the whole band just looked pleased to be there as they cracked on with an extremely strong set. Proving they were out to have a laugh, numerous jokes were made about their drummer Paul being the “drummer from Attack! Attack!” and the band whole-heartedly encouraged people to dance about to their music. The reception to them was really wonderful and they really did prove that they were the right choice to headline this year’s mashup.
All in all, it was a great afternoon accompanied by some great music. Same time next year?