Alt Bay returns with RE:LAUNCH

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THIS THURSDAY, Alt Bay returns to the Union with another alternative music night that’s already rivalling the success of last years’ event. Four acts have been confirmed to headline the event that will take over the Cwtch , including: KOPAR, Benign Sun, The High Flyers and GAIA. Also recently announced are Danielle Lewis and Sam Scott, two local acoustic artists. ASM will also be presenting their very own DJs – showing off the massively varied talent of Aberystwyth.

This article here is your introduction to each of the acts that will be performing to get you excited for the event!


Bruce Tollafield, Andrew Noel, Harry Warne and Emily Farr are KOPAR, an Aberystwyth based ‘Art Rock’ band who was founded on the first of September 2013. Their main influences include the likes of Haim, Savages, PJ Harvey and Polica. The songs they produce are an eclectic mix, there are some more groove-based songs thanks to their bassist Andrew and drummer Emily that you just  can’t help but nod your head and tap your foot along to. The guitarist Harry is rather subdued from the most part on many songs, however, when he is allowed to let loose, he creates some seriously noisy guitar sections that bare a striking resemblance to ‘Sister’ era Sonic Youth. Last but certainly not least there is Bruce, the lead singer. He has a very malleable voice that almost seems to fit any song the band make or cover – their versions of ‘She Will’ by Savages and ‘The Wire’ by Haim showcase Bruce’s singing ability admirably. Overall they are a band worth looking out for, it feels like they have a great deal of potential outside of the Aberystwyth ecosystem.

Benign Sun

Benign Sun are a hard rock band that dip in and out of various genres and sub-genres to make some superb music. They have been around for about a year and a half now since drummer Joel Hughes joined up after meeting singer Dafydd Reeves at an Aber Live social. Since then, with bassist (and occasional vocalist) Dan Abbott and lead guitarist Matt McCracken, they’ve played numerous gigs in Aberystwyth, their most notable perhaps being at Oxjam and the May Ball last year. They have also performed at various other gigs and open mic nights around Aber.  Their main influences include Led Zeppelin, Rush, Eyedea, Brother Ali and Queens of the Stone Age to name a few.

The High Flyers

A duo from Aberystwyth who formed once they met at University, a drummer and a singer-guitarist, the High Flyers have been around for a few years and are very popular in the open mic night scene and other gigs around Aber. The duo uses distortion and echo to create the effect of a whole band… very effectively. They cover lots of classic songs from the 60s and 70s, for example the Beatles and The Rolling Stones. They also can do very modern music, while putting classic spins on them, for example songs such as Drake – Hold On in which they cover in what can be termed a similar way to the Arctic Monkeys – who are another major influence for their embracing of the past. For a mixture of the old and new, performed with quality for just two people, The High Flyers are something you will want to discover.


Resident ASM DJ Nick Robinson and fellow DJ Fred Laker formed GAIA during the summer of last year styling themselves as ‘The biggest beats this side of Borth’. They both have a wealth of experience being residents at FUSE – their music including a “pulsating set across the ages”, definitely something you don’t want to miss. To check out some of GAIA’s music, you can find them on Soundcloud.

It has also been confirmed that Danielle Lewis and Sam Scott will be appearing on the night as well.

Danielle Lewis

Lewis is a 21 year old from New Quay, that has performed on the main stage of the Sea Front festival as part of the New Quay Music Festival in 2012. She is a folk-pop singer songwriter and has recently released her debut EP ‘Paper Hearts’. This year she has been touring and promoting the EP across Wales and the rest of the UK.

Sam Scott

Scott is a folk musician from Bristol who has recently toured with local Aberystwyth band Gyspy Wine Cartel (who headlined last year’s Alt Bay) across the country as both vocals and guitar. Before this, he played for a number of years as a solo artist, touring much of south-west England and releasing an album with Gaz Brookfield. Appearing to us once again as a solo artist, don’t miss out on the gypsy-folk beats.

Acoustic artists will also be performing throughout the day within the Union, as well as buskers on the Wednesday and Thursday running up to the event.

Tickets cost just £2 in advance or £3 on the door, and can be bought from the ASM office in the underground of the Union or online here (50p online payment charge does apply).

For a night that is sure to be full of quality music and much more, it’s definitely worth checking out the Union next Thursday.