Review: ‘Pasta Hull’ at Club dB, Bangor.
20th April 2017, Club dB
Pasta Hull, meaning Ugly Pasta, are a revelation to a Welsh music scene which has been lacking this unique type of musical creative edge for some time. The two brothers – Llŷr Jones and Owain Jones, from Caernarfon, are simply inventing the most mesmerizing pieces of music that would leave anyone frozen in their personal feeling of sheer astonishment.
Having listened to the band’s demos over and over on Soundcloud, I knew that this is a start of something special, and their live performance at the small venue Club dB in Bangor confirmed it. Their music is presented with a mixture of funk, psychedelic, stoner-rock and reggae with sounds both for the mind and for the feet. Their passion for experimentation, their individual musical ability and their synchronisation left the limited audience amazed.
On the night, they played a set which showcased their broad musical abilities with songs such as ‘Twyll a Pia Hi’ (Deceit is the answer), which plays on the welsh saying ‘pwyll a pia hi’ (Patience is the answer), ‘Jam Heb Siwgr’ (Jam without sugar), ‘Cacan Ffenast’ (Window Cake, or Battenburg Cake), Codi er Mwyn Pobi (Wake and Bake). The songs all include a combination of psychedelic-rock, techno, groove and funk which all created a special feeling of psychedelic harmony.
The language, which reflects local Caernarfon (Cofi), North Wales dialect – succeeds in creating a sense of true honesty and unpretentiousness, which would also leave a feeling of mysteriousness and curiosity among those who are not from the area. Their clever, witty and sometimes humorous lyrics and song names are never ending. It echo’s the same kind of use of endless double entendre’s and the playing on words that hasn’t been seen since the likes of Super Furry Animals, Ffa Coffi Pawb (Everyone’s Coffee Beans, or Fuck off Everyone) and Datblygu in the 80’s and 90’s. I think it ultimately reflects their unserious and relaxed outlook on life and above all, their creativity.
The name ‘Pasta Hull’, plays on the frequently used phrase used in the Cofi dialect – ‘basdad hyll’ – which means ‘ugly bastard’. They’ve also misspelled ‘ugly’ as ‘hull’ instead of ‘hyll’, playing with the phoneme of the word as the letter ‘u’ is emphasised in Cofi , and is quite a clear signifier of the local dialect.
The brothers have already been on Huw Stephens’ music program on Radio Cymru, where Llŷr Jones stated how he has been writing songs from his bedroom since he was a youngster. Bands such as Super Furry Animals, Brian Jonestown Massacre, The Doors and Datblygu are clear in their big list of musical influences.
The event was organised by Noddfa (‘Sanctuary’), and as well as Pasta Hull, local bands Phalcons, White Ether and Piwb also played. Noddfa is a social enterprise that specialises in live music, art exhibitions and community interest projects, led by artist Llyr Alun Jones. The company was created in July 2016 offers a unique hub for local musicians, artists and creative innovators to showcase their talent. They run events at different venues in Bangor such as Club dB and Hendre Hall, and in such a short period of time it has been successful in promoting live music and giving creative people from the area an opportunity to perform. On the 28th of May, Gwyl Noddfa Festival – powered by the Tribal Productions Soundsystem, will be held at Hendre Hall in Bangor where live music, art workshops and local food and drink will be on offer all day.
Pasta Hull currently may be the most exciting up and coming band in Wales, and are not to be missed. They are currently recording an huge 3 part album that will be launched before the end of the year.
Here are some Soundcloud demos –