The Cut Ups at Swn 2011

The Cut Ups sound is somewhere between old school punk Dischord style and political singer songwriters like Billy Bragg. As a result they ride the wave of current popularity for Gaslight Anthem-ish folky-punk-rock very well with plenty of fist in the air anthems and sing along gang vocal moments, but they also maintain an individual identity with a rougher, grittier edge than many of those current wave of bands. Their fans appear to be out in force tonight and as a large crowd gathers stage front before their set on the first night of Swn at Undertone an emotional buzz starts spreading out.

The Exeter four piece own the stage; their melodic tunes and gruff vocal delivery are backed by a playful edge and they joke that their regional banter may not be understood here in Wales, but the interaction with the crowd only serves to draw in the audience more. Early on a massive sing along ensues when Caves (the band last on) join in from the front row and the whole place explodes with moving bodies and arms raised; it's a brilliant feel good moment and any fears that the Caves set wouldn't be topped melt away. It also cements the feeling that all these UK punk bands are part of a big club that you want to be part of and it's pretty inspiring stuff.