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Byline: Dave Owens

AS FIRST impressions go it was pretty unforgettable.

On the opening night of this year's Swn Festival in Cardiff there was one band that had everybody talking - and not just for the music.

Trampolene, note the spelling, who may or may not be named after the Julian Cope song, are from Swansea. They relocated to London around 18 months ago without playing a gig in Wales.

Their appearance upstairs at Four Bars in Dempseys was their first appearance in their homeland - and it will probably pass into the annals of rock folklore.

Stalking the stage and snarling their way through a livewire set that was propulsive, captivating and adhered to all the major tenets of rock 'n' roll. One of which is rock out to the point of exhaustion or in singer Jack Jones' case until you faint with the sheer oxygen-shortening excitement of playing your first ever show in Wales.

The singer, a dead ringer for Pete Doherty, had us concerned for his welfare as he took a tumble near the end of a seismic run of songs that were fierce and ferocious and, in turns, left him and us breathless. After a few sips of water the frontman regained his composure as his bandmates pummelled their way through to the finishing line with a punchy flourish.

Beloved by such music glitterati as national newspaper scribe Peter Paphides and legendary former NME snapper Roger Sargent (who has shot a series of short films for the band), they're certainly well connected, while their exhilarating sonic take on Oasis, Manics and the Libs has the potential to make the great leap forward. As long as they can remain upright that is.

After their debut single You Do Nothing For Me - a stick of gelignite in scabrous guitar form - did a pretty effective job of announcing their arrival, their latest offering the Under The Strobelight EP summons forth both light and dark, fitting the metaphor of the iron fist in the velvet glove perfectly On Swansea to Hornsey (which documents the wanderlust that led them to leave Wales) and Very Thin they pull away, pare it back and craft two ornate gems demonstrating a sensitivity a world away from the snarling anger management.

Nevertheless, on the EP's title track and more pertinently My Bourgeoisie Girl they cut loose with unfettered furious abandon The latter is a particularly truculent delight. Imagine the theme from Pulp Fiction if Dick Dale and the Del Tones had been smashed in the face by punk rather than hanging 10 and riding a surf rock wave.

Jack and pulverising rhythm section Wayne and Mr Roberts (no first name - drummers eh?) deliver a pulsing, pulsating assault that attempts to demolish itself by the final chord's end.

And there's one word for that. Smashing.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Dec 7, 2013
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