The end of October saw Cardiff venues again play host to Swn Festival. Now in its fifth year, Swn this year expanded to four days of gigs and industry events from three and again showcased some of the best upcoming talent in the industry. Roomthirteen was lucky enough to be part of things and reviewed 19 gigs over the four days, just a selection of the 200 bands on offer but enough to discover some new favourites.

Thursday's events started in the evening and found us at Undertone where a excellent night of punk rock ensued with sets from Dividers and Caves really impressing- this night was an easy choice for us; five great punk-rock bands in one venue, what's not to like and we certainly went away happy.

The following evening saw the start of the running around from venue to venue, which is something that can't be avoided at Swn if you want to catch all the bands you want to see; the only problem with using venues all over the city is that some are prohibitively far apart if you need to use public transport, meaning that we didn't make it to Chapter Arts Centre at all over the weekend and we missed sets like Zun Zun Egui's at Gwidhiw in the end as there wasn't time to get there from undertone without missing the end of Theo's set- you have to meticulously plan your timings otherwise it's easy to miss things and some sacrifices had to be made. Scrutinising the programme was the only way to get it right and having a copy handy for last minute changes is essential. In the end Friday was the stand out day for us with brilliant sets from And So I Watch You From Afar, The Good Wife and The Skull Defekts being the best of the weekend.

The first full day was Saturday, starting at 2.30 in the afternoon we caught a couple of sets including a cracker from DZ Deathrays at the intimate, relaxed Buffalo Bar. Later on Patterns impressed before a damp squib of an ending in the shape of a drab performance from The Fall proving that this festival is ruled by discovering new bands rather than relying on the tried and tested to entertain.

The final day saw us late afternoon in the upstairs room at the packed Dempseys pub, with a great if hot and sticky atmosphere and Right Hand Left Hand putting on an interesting show followed by a saunter over to Clwb Ifor Bach for the excellent Shoes And Socks Off. After not being able to get into see Truckers Of Husk we sought shelter in Undertone and fortunately caught Theo and his one man math rock experience before finally gaining entry to what was the popular venue of the day- O'Neills and finishing our festival with an assured performance from Sweet Baboo.

From the outside looking in our experience at Swn was very positive, given the amount of venues involved and the number of bands, it all ran without hitch. There were many great smaller bands to discover and the sense of intimacy and camaraderie experienced is something that you just don't get at a big festival. It's an experience we hope to repeat again.