Houdini Dax

Venue: GwdihĊµ Cafe Bar, Cardiff
Date: 9th March 2012

A packed Gwdihw Cafe Bar buzzes with excitement as it waits patiently for what could be the hotly tipped Houdini Dax's last performance in such a small venue.

With Newport's The Boy Royals having pulled out from their support slot at the last minute it was down to Sion Russell Jones to step in, save the day and suitably warm up the assembled throng. Using the opportunity himself to warm up, before heading off to SXSW in a couple of days, Sion treated us to a captivating performance of honest and accomplished songwriting. Armed with his acoustic guitar, an effects pedal and a voice with seemingly unlimited range, Sion quickly won us over, as much with his musical talent as with his natural charm.

By the time Houdini Dax are ready to take the stage the place is at capacity and bouncing. The queue outside is two deep and snaking off around the corner. All manner of blaggers and bloggers are touting their importance as reason to jump the line and get a glimpse of Jack, Owen and David as they fight their way to the stage, looking every bit the part in their Paisley and Polkerdot shirts and perfectly crafted haircuts.

With little intro the boys embark on a 100mph set, full of the energy and confidence that befits a band on the brink of greatness. Debut album gems such as Robin You Lie, 1929 and O.L.L. are delivered with such fluidity, attitude and verve that there's hardly time to draw breath.

You can hear the influences, cherry picked from a diverse musical spectrum, and you can do nothing but admire the innovation as they transform their musical education into something so fresh and exciting.

By the end of their set you're left with a feeling that you've been on a journey, an exhilarating one at that, as for the Dax, their journey is just beginning.

Steve C

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