Favourite Port City view
A Canadian band is asking Swansea folk to help them choose the most iconic location in Swansea city to act as a backdrop to play live and film their performance. The band, Port Cities, plan to play in Swansea on Tuesday 3rd October as part of their UK Tour. They will be inviting everyone to come along and be part of the filming and help introduce the band to Swansea.
Postcards from Port Cities
Port Cities are visiting various towns and cities and filming a collection of performances which will become ‘Postcards from Port Cities’. They are inviting people to join them as they film one-off performances in front of locally chosen unique backdrops across UK cities. The band’s planned trip to Swansea city is inspired by a recent visit to Brighton where the band performed in front of the famous pier there.
Filmed on the Brighton waterfront while at The Great Escape. Thanks to Dan at Brighton Video Company.
Port Cities never started out to be a band. Comprised of a trio of celebrated Nova Scotian musicians Carleton Stone, Dylan Guthro and Breagh MacKinnon, Port Cities were drawn together through songwriting as independent artists, with every intention of crafting new material, and then going their separate ways. Yet that is not quite how it panned out.
Port Cities’ music is a perfect balance of Nashville (where much of it was recorded) and Nova Scotia (where the band reside); of the rustic and atmospheric, of indie intimacy and the sort of arena-pop anthems that betray Port Cities’ globe-trotting ambitions; 2017 sees the band embark upon their second cross-Canadian and European tours. Such ambition does not prevent moments of delicate musical insight though and new single “Where Have You Been” is seductive with oozing harmonies, intricate slide guitar and acoustic movements and contemplative lyrics. As Stone explains,
One thing we all seem to connect with lyrically is showing a less-than-perfect idea of love, and not being scared to talk about how everything is not great, or call out a lot of what normal, traditional love songs would be about.”
Let the band know your favourite Swansea view
If you believe Swansea to be an ugly, lovely town or a pretty shitty city, let the band know your very own pick for the best backdrop the city has to show off.
Connect with the band @port_cities and post photos of what you think is the best location in Swansea area. Please let Swansea News Network know your choice too by posting your photo to info@swanseanewsnetwork
Postcard from Swansea – our port city
A port city is a place where cultures and histories collide, where goods and ideas are imported and absorbed into the local bloodstream. Swansea is no exception and prides itself for its varied and rich industrial heritage which includes freight trade with the world, coal mining, iron production, copper smelting, and tinplate manufacture.
A contemporary port city
The business initiative of Swansea Bay Futures, big plans for redevelopment of the city centre, the emerging tech industry, winning football and rugby teams, the fact that Swansea was the UK’s second City of Sanctuary, this summer’s Troublemakers’ Festival, the September Swansea Fringe Festival, November’s Do Not Go Gentle Festival and the current bid to be CIty of Culture 2021 are all a testament to the city and it’s communities’ ability to adapt, thrive and shine. Oh and then there’s the legacy of Swansea’s poets including Dylan Thomas, Oysters and bringing us up to date; the prospect of the Swansea Tidal Lagoon.
In the mid-19th century, the port was exporting 60% of the world’s copper from factories situated in the Tawe Valley. Big multi-national business thrived. Some of the success, sadly even had links with the slave trade, certainly in Cuba. The rapid changes that took place in the range of industries in the last two centuries impacted substantially on the lives of Swansea citizens yet also served to enhance the culture and diversity of the city of Swansea.
Viking city links?
With the Swansea offer of the magnificent curve of Swansea Bay, a safe harbour sheltered by the Gower peninsula, it seems likely that it was a potential Viking waystation on the trading route from Bristol to Viking dominated Dublin. Swansea’s future was already, beginning to be defined as a port city. Being part of the Welsh kingdom of Deheubarth in the 10th century under Maredudd ap Owain, it is not known for definite if the city got its name from suggested Viking connections. Whether the Vikings were passing through between the 9th and 11th centuries or indeed settled, a hoard of old coins minted around 1140 in Swansea and found north of Cardiff, indicates Viking links, and the possible older names for the city of Swensi, Sweni, and Svenshi.
A conceptual fly-through video that shows how Swansea could look after its multi-million pound regeneration.
Docks, Steamships and Mussel farming
Initial success and early development of Swansea harbour by Swansea Harbour Trust from 1791 onwards led to the beginning of dock development with the North and South Docks. The changeover from sail to steamships in the late nineteenth century meant the city’s facilities were in need of expansion and in 1881 the Prince of Wales dock was opened followed by the (still successful) Kings Dock in 1905 and the later Queens Dock in 1920 (now used for mussel farming by Thomas Shellfish). Talking of shellfish, Swansea has also had long connections with Oysters which were prized by the Romans and in 1863 there were over 70 oyster skiffs (boats) fishing them at Oystermouth.
The current Port of Swansea is operated by Associated British Ports and includes transit sheds, massive storage space, 2 dry docks, numerous quayside cranes, and a roll on, roll off berth. Various warehouses and facilities handle minerals, ores, general cargo and forest products.
Tech City/Port CIty
As a city, Swansea has learned and continues to adapt to rapid global changes in industry, technology, transport, and changes to citizen prosperity. Being a port city is something to celebrate. How about showing off the city’s best port city views to a traveling rock band with the offer of good music?
Port Cities – the band
A port may be a place where cultures and histories collide and new ideas thrive, so it is perhaps un-coincidental that the band Port Cities consider themselves to be the musical equivalent; a melting pot of three of Canada’s most creative individual talents, drawn together to make an entity even more outstanding as a group than as its constituent parts.
Their connection and awareness of one another can be heard in their songs, woven into balanced harmonies and delicate timing”- The Coast
Port Cities as a band are tight. Seriously tight. Yet it begs the question; How to go about fusing divergent styles and experiences into such a singular rootsy Americana sound? From MacKinnon’s silky jazz-schooled timbre, allied to Gutho’s R&B influenced natural tendencies and Stone’s acoustic troubadour, the space in between the three is delightfully warm and resonant, yet entirely coherent across the course of their self-titled debut album expected early 2018.
‘Flight of Fancy’, a song for the return of Swansea’s iconic Slip Bridge Written by request of John Carpenter of the Friends of Swansea Slip Bridge – see http://www.slip-bridge.co.uk/ For details of Andrew and Carole and their music, see http://www.cranedrivinmusic.com
Decide which view shows off our city best.
It doesn’t have to be the port it’s about our city and it’s people and the views that can practically provide a fantastic backdrop for the band.
Whether it’s Hafod Morfa Copperworks, Wind Street, High Street, Swansea Castle, Mumbles Lighthouse, Swansea Slip Bridge, the docks, or somewhere else – this is a chance to choose for yourself and get to enjoy some good music too! Remember to connect with the band @port_cities and post photos of what you think is the best location in Swansea area. Let Swansea News Network know your choice too, posting your photo at info@swanseanewsnetwork
The band is coming to the UK to launch their new double single ‘Where Have You Been / In The Dark’. You can hear ‘Where Have You Been’ here. It was released on September 22nd.
Double A-side “In The Dark” is an instantly engaging track that show’s off a minimal slight 80’s style sound with washes of affected guitar proving that the band can ‘come alive in the dark’ across varied sound palettes whilst retaining their grounding. Catch Port Cities also on their website and on Facebook.
Port Cities will be visiting the following cities:
Wednesday 27th September – York & Newcastle
Thursday 28th September – Manchester
Friday 29th September – Leeds
Monday 2nd October – Swindon
Tuesday 3rd October – Bristol & Swansea
Wednesday 4th October – Liverpool
Thursday 5th October – Nottingham
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