Flagrant self-interest time yet again here at Joy Mansions.  Spencer McGarry Season have, in this humble illiterate’s opinion, released one of the finest and most ambitious pop albums of the year in Episode 2, and this week they’ll once again run through the album along with 2009′s Episode 1 in a brace of warm-up gigs for next weekend’s Green Man festival.

The taut, intelligent three-piece guitar pop of Episode 1 (think Kinks, Talking Heads, Field Music) gets its first outing in over a year tomorrow (Thursday 12th) with support from Sweet Baboo and Barefoot Dance Of The Sea.  The former will be fronting a guitar-bass-drums line-up for the first time in a good while and airing songs from upcoming third album I’m A Dancer/Songs About Sleepin, out next month on Shape.  The latter will have an EP on Businessman later this year, and will add their voices to the expanded Spencer McGarry Season for Friday’s gig.

An early curfew will necessitate a slightly curtailed version of Episode 2 on Friday, but that’ll still be nearly a full hour of dizzying orchestral arrangements and typically intricate, dextrous wordplay.  Not to mention songs worthy of frequent comparisons with Wilson, McCartney or Sufjan Stevens and an infectious, freewheeling sense of enjoyment.  Composer and singer-songwriter Stephen Wheel supports at the second show.

£5.00 entry for either gig on the door, or a combination ticket for £7.00 allowing entry to both nights.  Bargain.

Spencer McGarry Season – Great Enemies

“Great melody filled out with a pop baroque orchestration reminiscent of a 1950s Disney film” – Kruger Magazine

“Awash with deft pocket-symphony touches, brassy asides and slivers of strings… tunes that keep changing pace and refuse to go where you want” – Paul Lester, the Guardian

SPENCER McGARRY SEASON: Episode 1

SWEET BABOO

BAREFOOT DANCE OF THE SEA

+ Bethan Elfyn / Businessman Records DJs

Buffalo Bar, Cardiff

7.30pm Thursday 12th August

£5.00

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SPENCER McGARRY SEASON: Episode 2

STEPHEN WHEEL

Buffalo Bar, Windsor Place, Cardiff

7.30pm Friday 12th August

£5.00

Entry to both nights for £7.00 from http://www.wegottickets.com/event/87458