Uh-ohhhhh…I’m back!!!!!

Greetings one and all. My name is Leo (LG), and if you were here and around at this time last year, the following will come as no surprise to you.

I teamed up with the wonderful Unity in 2022 to bring you coverage of FOCUS Wales from my perspective. It got such a great reception – thanks again to everyone who engaged! – that it made sense to repeat the feat 12 months on.

(If you’re new, go here and read last year’s introductory piece to find out more about me. My stance and attitude towards live music as set out there hasn’t changed, if anything it has strengthened.)

So here we are. FOCUS Wales 2023, we go again.

This is my third consecutive FOCUS, and it has now become one of my favourite weekends of the year. A young child on Christmas Eve is probably the only type of person who can match my excitement for this as we get into April in any given year, as the days leading to tick down one by one.

So bring it on. Reuniting with friends. Random conversations with like minded people in the streets. Remembering to schedule enough time to eat (yeah, that’s a thing with me). The hustling to get from venue to venue.

And, of course, the music.

As with previous years, I plan on going hard on each day. Wall-to-wall with a timespan of at least twelve hours for Thursday, Friday and Saturday? But of course, I wouldn’t have it any other way!

As per usual, I cannot be everywhere – clashes will always be a thing – but I will do my best to see as many acts as possible. Anyone of interest who I’ll miss in Wrexham will be seen at another time. And there are some acts who I saw play shows elsewhere in the run-up because I knew that clashes would be a thing. Call it The FOCUS Effect.

With that said, would you like to see my planned schedule for tomorrow?

I’ll take that as a yes. If you come back here each day, you will find my daily schedule contained within as a timed exclusive for a few hours. So without further ado, here is how my Thursday looks:

See, I told you that I was going hard, no messing about here! Nineteen acts planned to see for Day 1, over a span of just over fourteen hours.

There are some here who I’ve seen before, such as The Joy Formidable and Lizzi£ Squad, and it will be great to reunite with MINAS and Dave Acton, both of whom I haven’t seen in person since last year’s event. Definitely looking forward to seeing Dave take the mic. He’s usually the one showcasing and putting on others, but he’s got some bars too.

Of course I’m looking forward to seeing everyone on this list, but I just want to highlight tAngerinecAt. They come HIGHLY recommended from me, seeing them will provide you with an experience you won’t forget.

I’m also especially excited to see Evrah Rose and Hanorah, as I was quite impressed from what I heard from both of them on record as I was putting my schedule together. And if people choose to stick around at The Rockin’ Chair after The Joy Formidable conclude their set, they will definitely hear something excitable and interesting from MOJA.

So yeah, that’s my schedule, but it’s only fair to highlight some of those not on the list, those playing elsewhere who I also recommend.

Billy Nomates is sure to draw a large crowd at Llwyn Isaf, and rightly so. She will give it absolutely everything, and if you get there earlier for Baby Brave you won’t be disappointed.

Perhaps you might want to head over to The Parish? If so, you’ll find Pillow Fite and Atay & JAX waiting for you from 1830. And if you get over to The Rockin’ Chair early enough you will find Grimelda waiting to entertain you.

All of these are just suggestions of course, but if you have your own plans or just want to go with the flow, have fun with it.

And for anyone not able to be there, hopefully you’ll be entertained with what I have to bring here. Reports, pictures, schedules. Living vicariously through me this weekend is 100% encouraged.

Okay, that’s it for now! If all goes to plan, the next piece will be with you early on Friday morning.

‘Til next time