Welsh Music Wednesday Revisit: #1 Houdini Dax


Every now and then, we like to check up on bands and artists we’ve featured on Alt Scribe just to see what they’re up to, and not to blow our own trumpet, but they’re usually doing pretty damn alright. ‘Welsh Music Wednesday, Revisit’, is us taking a look back at some of our favourite ‘Welsh Music Wednesday’ features and updating you on what’s happening for them now and what’s still to come.

The alternative pop-rock three piece, Houdini Dax, were Alt Scribe’s first ever Welsh Music Wednesday‘. We featured them back in March when they were about to head out on the highly-anticipated Horizons tour. We were devastated to hear that they never got to finish the tour due to their van being broken into before the final show and all of their equipment (including instruments they’d had since they were kids) was stolen.

Despite being forced to cancel upcoming shows, The Dax showed us all that they may have been down, but certainly not out. They worked relentlessly with the police, the press and, most importantly, the internet to spread their story. As well as setting up their own fundraiser, Houdini Dax also received support from fellow Welsh bands and artists in the community, some even lent out their instruments to The Dax so they could play fundraising shows and go out busking, to allow fans to directly help the band get back on their feet whilst still getting to see them play in the meantime.

I went along to the Houdini Dax fundraiser in Clwb Ifor Bach and also watched them play an acoustic set at the Riverfront for Record Store Day. It was reassuring to see the hard hit they had taken had not affected their fantastic live performances. Houdini Dax played with the passion and energy of a band on a high rather than a band who had just lost their livelihood.

Now, I know we said that ‘Welsh Music Wednesday, Revisit’ was for us to brag about how well our favourite new bands are doing, and a band having their van broken into on tour isn’t exactly what you’d call ‘progress’, but a few months have now gone by since the burglary and Houdini Dax have passed the half-way point to replacing the £10,000 worth of equipment that was stolen.

Something we’ve learned about Houdini Dax from all this is that they have incredible drive not only as musicians, but as people. After working tirelessly over the years to get where they are now, they’ve refused to let their spirits be crushed by this setback. Their determination is admirable, and if it’s any consolation, that alone says more about Houdini Dax’s worth than the financial value of their equipment.

As well as smashing the half-way point of their fundraiser and soldiering on by continuing to play live shows whenever they can, Houdini Dax have finally released the result of years of songwriting and 18 months hard work, their long-awaited album ‘Naughty Nation‘. See, we told you they were doing alright.

The ten track album opens with their highly memorable single ‘Apple Tree‘ which is followed by the equally catchy (if not even more catchy) indie rock treat, ‘Legs‘. ‘Naughty Nation‘ also includes some of Houdini Dax’s older classics like ‘Found Love In The Dole Office‘ and ‘Good Old Fashioned Maniac‘; this just shows everyone how long this album has been in the works, and it’s certainly an album they should be proud of. ‘Naughty Nation‘ perfectly balances riff-heavy, pop-rock anthems with melodic, mellow indie tunes; one thing all these songs have in common is that you can’t help but sing along with those infectious harmonies. Even the slower jams like ‘All These Days‘ and the title track album-closer ‘Naughty Nation‘ get stuck in your head.

Naughty Nation‘ is everything you could wish for from Houdini Dax and more, it is an album long-time fans of the band will be thrilled with and has already been very well-received.

Naughty Nation‘ is available to stream and it looks like if you want to get your hands on a physical copy, you’ll be able to at one of their live shows soon enough. After the release of their album, things will surely take off for Houdini Dax in the second half of 2015, we hate to say “we told you so” but we’re on our seventh listen of ‘Naughty Nation‘ today alone, so please excuse us if we’re feeling a little smug.

Don’t forget, Houdini Dax are still raising funds to replace their equipment, you can help them out here.





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