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Breaking the sound of silence

Silent Bleed member Rhys Holmes raises research cash for Superficial Siderosis at charity gig in south Wales.

After having spent years gigging on the local scene, Rhys used his connections to organise a music event.
This is his story.

By Rhys Holmes


A venue with a history

After liaising with the Dragonffli owner Nick Byrne to arrange the event the night was finally here. It’d been a while since I’d been to the pub, and the first time I’d been out in a long time due to my battle with Superficial Siderosis. The venue had changed quite a bit since I’d last been there, it was nice to see the renovation of the old ‘Hog and Hospur’ building in which we used to refer to as ‘a dive’. Upon arriving with my mum and dad I couldn’t help notice the new windows decorated with flyers for various events, Breaking the Sound of Silence included.


Getting over first night nerves

Walking through the entrance, even with my bad hearing I could hear a band warming up as the excitement began to settle in. At the bar awaited Nick, the owner of the venue, a close friend of mine who I used to be in a band with around 2010. Nick and I played a fair few gigs together back then, he was shocked to hear about my condition and wanted to help raise awareness and collect donations for research. After speaking to Nick, I got a message from Andy a bass player in one of the bands, who advised they had broken down at the Severn bridge. Andy sent a photo of his car full of music gear, stating the clutch had gone. Already I began to panic.


A powerful start

As more people began to turn up it was time for the first band to start, Vultures. The very enthusiastic 5 piece set the pace for the night with their powerful performance. They reminded me of myself when I was in my early twenties. The crowd got involved, clapping along to their songs, and there were certainly a fair few heads bobbing up and down. I then got a text from Andy from Waking Savanah, he advised they aren’t going to make the night and are still waiting for a recovery truck to pick them up.

Meeting new friends, discovering new talent

After Vultures had finished their set, Jason and his friend Clare arrived. Jason was in a wheelchair as his shoulder had been playing up, making it difficult for him to use his walking cane. Owner Nick had helped wheel Jason into the pub, and I finally got to meet the founder of The Silent Bleed! We got talking only to notice we both struggled with our hearing as the second band KASIA came onto the stage. A young 3 piece band Rhonda came on with a great presence. Lead singer Cat was definitely on form tonight and instantly made an impression on the crowd.

After the KASIA had finished I had a lovely snap with Jason as he downed a few more beers.


Holoson were the next band on, and wow they were good. A solid back rhythm from the bassist and drummer, I couldn’t help but tap my feet. The guitarist/singer with his expensive rig of TC electronic effects pedals, soloing throughout the set, really showing why they were the headline band. Half way through the set the drummer dropped his stick and couldn’t reach his spares, so I walked over and picked it up for him as we laughed.

Finally the night was through and we had managed to raise over £160 on the door. Jason and I agreed we need to do this more often as it wasn’t just a fundraiser, it was a fantastic night as well. Dragonffli owner Nick is going to continue selling tickets for the raffle to add to the donations so hopefully we’ll raise the bar a bit further.

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