This year has got off to a fantastic start with the scene absolutely thriving. Guitar music is alive and everywhere you look it’s teeming with guitar bands from almost every genre and the labels and promoters are lapping it up. One of these labels is Creation23 which happens to be owned by music industry legend, Alan McGee. McGee is back and he’s holding back no punches, doing things his way and tearing into the underground music scene with a plethora of acts, soon to be on your radar.
A name you may have heard on the grapevine recently is that of young punk/funk outfit Young Garbo from Wales. A four-piece compiled of Arwel Brown, Garyn Williams, Levi Ball and Milo Rodell-John who are fiercely proud of their Welsh roots and ready to turn their childhood dreams into reality. An air of mystery surrounds the band with very little music online (watch and pre-order new single ‘Faustus’ at Creation23 store), anticipation is rapidly building.
‘There’s a revolution happening in a small barn in deep in the Welsh hills and it sounds bangin’
This week saw This Feeling, (‘The best club in The UK for future Rock and Roll stars’ Noel Gallagher) make new single ‘Faustus’ Radio X‘s Track of the Week alongside announcing a run of dates with label mates Rubber Jaw hitting Glasgow, Manchester, London, and Cardiff. They have also bagged a place out of 300 bands in our competition to play the InMusic festival in Croatia, battling it out against five other top bands at the Cavern Liverpool on the 26th of March.
‘Young Garbo have to potential to be massive.’
Alan McGee – Creation23
Frontman Garyn Williams is a natural performer and has been honing his craft a long time, writing songs since he was eight years old and it shows. In his early teens Garyn teamed up with friend Arwel Brown (Young Garbo’s lead guitarist) at 13 and between them, have written an abundance of cheerful, uplifting punk anthems that fixate on themes of teen angst, boozy nights out and childhood.
A few weeks ago, the band headlined The Social in London for Creation23 with a host of special guests. It was the first time I’d seen the group and traveled from Sheffield especially to see them. Trust me when I say that I wasn’t disappointed, it was a completely effortless set, a complete blast of fresh air. Shaping the sound of modern punk, their brand is one of anthemic sing-alongs and community, with their live show having an insanely upbeat atmosphere.
Slapping you straight in the face with some real literary clout, Young Garbo are born for the radio, so it’s no wonder that Radio X have jumped on board championing their support. Their youthful, punk spirit is just what 2019 desperately needs. They are without a doubt one of Britain’s most exciting bands to explode out of Wales, with new single ‘Faustus’ been one of the most get up out of your seats and addictive singles I’ve heard in a long time. Every track I’ve been lucky enough to have heard is hands down phenomenal.
‘Alan McGee has struck gold (again) with Young Garbo’
Mikey Jonns – This Feeling
Frontman Garyn has boundless energy that commands you to get up and get involved. You are helpless not to be swept away with him. The Social is a great venue, but it’s undeniable that Young Garbo could easily play venues ten times the size already. I had a chat with Garyn on the night to ask a little about their music, what it’s about and if any of their songs had an element of politicalness, he told me:
‘None of our songs are political, and I do that on purpose. All we want to do is entertain. My best friend even though he’s from the valleys and very working class is a Tory. Which is astonishing. People may have slightly different views, voted to leave, etc, but aren’t bad. I want all kinds of people to come to our gigs and dance. My old man has always told me never to discuss religion or politics with anyone because it only leads to disagreement. Garbo is a fun band. Well, leave the preaching to IDLES. They do it amazingly. I’m writing a song right now called ”BREXIT NATION.” That’s about the effect of BREXIT socially and emotionally. Not my own beliefs, I will continue to keep them very private.’
Watching Garbos set I scanned the room and there wasn’t one bottom on a seat as frontman Garyn continually interacted with the crowd and the band. I loved the track ‘Back to the Blue House’ Garyn grinned as he told me…
‘Well, Back to the Big House is probably our weirdest song. It’s honestly about nothing. I guess the whole point of wanting to go back to the Big Blue House is wanting to relive childhood and benefit from its ease and naivety. The lyric ”We were sitting on my pavements, sitting by ourselves” is about how me and Rowdy (Milo) used to end our nights out sitting opposite a speed camera in Cardiff and cheering when people got caught, absolutely fucked out of our minds. We still do that. Its good fun at 5 am when you’re pissed.’
Garyn also gave me a more in-depth explanation about the new track ‘Faustus’…
‘Arwel was studying maths in UWE at the time he sent me a file. He excited me because he said this is the best song I’ve ever written and it’s going to be huge. When I heard it, it was just three chords on loop. I was like ‘what the fuck is this pile of wank?’ And I ignored it. He insisted on it being recorded. So when the boys recorded the track itself, I had no lyrics because I thought it was pointless giving energy to writing lyrics for a shit song. They made me, and I had to write them in a day (or two.) At the time we were in a bad situation and all very miserable. No one was looking at the band and gave a fuck. It was more of a hobby. The guys we had grown up in bands with were all making it, playing festivals and touring. I would have given anything for that life. So that’s where the parallel with Faustus is drawn. Faustus is one of my favourite plays, and it’s by Marlowe (whose work is often drowned out by Shakespeare). Faustus is a professor and scholar that sells his should to an angel from hell for an amazing life and to know more stuff. And that’s it. It’s about being from the north in the valleys, working a shit job and how you’d sell your soul to be a rock star.’
Garyn Williams need not worry about selling his soul, he has everything you want in a frontman, the cheek, charm and of course like any good frontman worth his salt; he can keep a crowd moving and mesmerised. The band are phenomenally tight and together it’s so clear to see, that this band can achieve great things.
‘We’re just a bunch of chancers from the valleys, and we are loving every minute of what’s happening. It does feel like it’s the start of something massive. Are we scared? Are we fuck. We’re ready more than anything. Our feet are firmly on the ground. We have a great team behind us: managers, promoters and the gaffer, Alan. We’ve been getting ready for our chance to have a proper go since we were about 12/13. We want to have a good time, and we want our crowds to have a good time. Everything’s a bit shit in Britain right now, and we want to be people’s release from it all.’
One thing is for sure, just like Creation23, Young Garbo does things their own way and I cannot wait to watch their journey unfold.
Watch and pre-order new single ‘Faustus’ at Creation23 store.
22nd February Jacs Aberdare, Wales
27th February Porters Cardiff, Wales
19th March The Social London, England
21st March Clwb ifor Bach Cardiff, Wales
This Feeling Tour
14th April The Priory Glasgow, Scotland
15th April Jimmy’s Manchester, England
16th April The Social London, England
17th April The Moon Cardiff, Wales
18th April The Three Wise Monkeys Colchester, England
1st June Camden Rocks – Dublin Castle London, England
6th July Bardfest Suffolk, England