Review: Al Moses, HANA2k and The Rotanas


Hannah Nicholson-Tottle


21 Jun 2018

“Who are we? Al fucking Moses!”

Taking Cardiff’s music scene by storm, Merthyr quartet, Al Moses, are one of the 10 chosen artists being developed and supported by The Forte Project. With their indie riffs, catchy bass lines, and infectious effect on any audience, this 90s inspired band are definitely ones to watch in 2018. They already sold out Buffalo during their last headline gig, but despite Clwb Ifor Bach being a larger venue, they definitely stepped up to the plate.

Local band The Rotanas were up first, comprising of singer Harry Watton, guitarist and songwriter James Wilson, bassist Aled Owen and drummer Dave Lewis. Influenced by bands such as Suede, Oasis and Supergrass and adding a modern twist, the grungy quartet define their sound as ‘Gritpop.’ Although the crowd were initially a little sceptical, the room quickly filled out and got involved with their dynamic set of upbeat and stripped back songs. These boys are obviously meant to be on stage together, the bold energy of the strings bouncing off the driving percussion, all tied together by the clean vocals and confidence of their frontman.

Next up was Cardiff singer/songwriter/producer HANA2K, who gave a masterclass on sass. Channelling the likes of GIRLI and Ariana Grande, the uber-talented 18-year-old tackled tricky subjects such as digital judgment and self-empowerment with ease. The crowd had definitely warmed up by this point, only to be riled up further by her electro-pop sound, punchy lyrics and the appearance of a money gun full personalised HANA2k dollar bills. So. Damn. Cool.

Finally, it was time for the band at the top of the bill, Merthyr’s Al Moses. As this was their second sold-out gig of the year, expectations were high and an undeniable buzz of excitement was evident even in the queue outside the venue. It would have been easy for a young band to crumble, but Al Moses expertly rode the hype. Doing things the old-school way by relentlessly gigging support slots and building a community of fans has certainly paid off in the long run, Daf (vocals,) Jack (guitar and vocals,) George (drums) and Raychi (bass) are a slick machine with crazy, committed fanbase.

Every single member’s solid stage presence demonstrated their strong relationship as a band that pulls together their individual instrumental skill and the raw energy they radiate. With the line between stage and spectator blurred the packed-out audience got stuck in and serenaded them straight back, opened pits and danced throughout. Their intense ending met with thunderous applause, chanting and cries for more, Al Moses proved they’re here to stay.

Click here for gig updates, the boys are destined for big things…