From the Margins ...

  • FtM Star LogoCOMING SOON ...
    Waking up to the New Year CDs in the post have an effect like how Bagpuss was roused from slumber once Emily left the shop; there's a review of Cae Gwyn's new retrospective almost ready, a listen to Benjamin Mason's next release due, and a preview of the pick of the gigs planned to mark Welsh Language Music Day (09.02.2018) half written. There is also a final interview to complete the NHS series we have uploaded - and it'd be fair to say the interviewee did not pull their punches. Until then here is three minutes of Brython Shag from 2014, fit to animate the saggiest cloth cat.

  • NEW ALYS WILLIAMS VIDEO : LLYGAD EBRILL
    IKACHING are working in partnership with Welsh Language Music Day (09.02.2918) to create a series of live music videos; all filmed at Stiwdio Drwm by SSP Media (Y Cledrau's Peiriant Ateb was the first). Alys Williams and her band are currently working on their debut album which will be released later this year - Llygad Ebrill is her contribution to the IKACHING series, and it is a captivating drift of honeyed vocal. The album that follows should be enchanting from the moment the needle hits the groove.

  • The RoutinesTHE ROUTINES : TIVOLI GIG 02 FEB
    Snowdonia three-piece The Routines have a gig at The Tivoli on Friday, 2nd February supporting The Phonics. As demonstrated by the video for recent single 'di Arfar below, or the others here, The Routines make taut, electrifying rock exactly as it is meant to sound; there is hopefully a debut album due in 2018 (if that is what 'forthcoming' means).

  • Libertino Compilation CoverLIBERTINO MIX 1 : I'R GOFOD A BYTH YN ÔL / INTO SPACE AND NEVER BACK
    Sometimes it is best just to go with the press release that arrives with the music to explain a new album, so here it is almost in full for this superb Libertino Records compilation: "This is a celebration of the first eight months of Libertino's releases. What a gloriously, head-spinning roller coaster journey it has been so far; and this is only the beginning. Holding steadfastly to our ethos of inclusiveness and community grass roots support for emerging artists, our releases have demonstrated a bravely eclectic streak from indie death disco to psychedelic folk and post punk feminist anthems. This compilation also includes taster songs from artists with whom the label will be working in 2018 - all songs are free downloads. Turn up loud and lose yourself in the colours and sounds of our world. Until next year, thank you and diolch. Love from Libertino x".

  • Red or Dead : Trotsky WaltzRED OR DEAD : TROTSKY WALTZ
    It may be that socialist acoustic punk is not your thing, or that you have resolved to only listen to whale music for all of 2018 - but if neither of those two apply then Llandudno's Red or Dead have released a coruscating debut album full of fire and purpose. Rough-edged, splendid and splenetic, Trotsky Waltz sets a frenetic starting pace for the new year. Read the review & listen.
  • Albums of the YearFtM Icon2017's EIGHT ESSENTIAL ALBUMS
    The final word on 2017, and following on from last year's list - these are the releases that have inspired us this year, and also those we have listened to most. They all have a strong link to North Wales, with the exception of Toby Hay and Oblong, who sharp-elbow their way in from further south on inarguable merit. Full 2017 Essential Album List.
  • Sesiwn FawrSESIWN FAWR 2018 : DATES & EARLY BIRD TICKETS
    The 2018 dates for Dolgellau's perfectly formed annual folk festival, Sesiwn Fawr, have been confirmed as the weekend of 20-22 July. Last year the event sold out; for the first time early bird tickets (£40 each) have been made available before Christmas - with a guarantee of arrival in time to go under the tree for the festivities if ordered by 20 December. Read more & buy tickets.

  • Cpt. Smith : Smaller Pieces CoverCPT. SMITH SINGLE : SMALLER PIECES (LIVE)
    West Wales trio Cpt. Smith's last single in October - I Hate Nights Out - was urgent, raucous and claustrophobic post-punk, whilst this release demonstrates the subtler emotional range that Ioan Hazell, the band's front man and bass guitarist, has also been exploring elsewhere with his Names project. Smaller Pieces was originally recorded for Cpt. Smith's debut Propeller EP - but this single is a new live recording of the song - and positively stately compared to the rush of I Hate Nights Out. Nevertheless, with reverberating guitar, plaintive piano and yearning vocal, it is equal in impact. With a real edge and energy whatever the tempo, to our ears Cpt. Smith are a band with the omens lined up for a potentially momentous first album. Smaller Pieces can be found on Spotify & iTunes
  • BendithBENDITH / PLU / COLORAMA DATES
    Bendith - the award winning collaboration between Plu and Carwyn Ellis of Colorama, that has so far released a superb album and EP - have two dates confirmed for 2018, each with support slots filled by the project's two constituent groups. The gigs are at The National Museum [Cardiff] on Friday 13th April (Tickets £16.50 - on sale 16 December) & The Pontio [Bangor] on Saturday 14 April (Tickets £12-14).
  • LleuwenLLEUWEN MINI-TOUR
    Highly regarded multilingual singer-songwriter Lleuwen is currently working on her new album at Sain Studios in Llandwrog, Caernarfon - due for release late spring next year on the Gwymon label. To mark the release there is a four date mini-tour of Wales planned in March. The dates are : 1st - Galeri, Caernarfon (with Gwilym Bowen Rhys) I 2nd - Acapela, Pentyrch, Caerdydd/Cardiff (with Blodau Gwylltion) I 3rd - Neuadd Pantycelyn, Llandovery I 4th - Amgueddfa Ceredigion, Aberystwyth (Early gig with Blodau Gwylltion).
  • Ty PawbCOMMUNITY INVITED TO CELEBRATE WREXHAM AT 'DYDD LLUN PAWB' PARADE
    Tŷ Pawb is the new innovative £4.5 Million development in the heart of Wrexham town centre, that brings together markets, business incubation, theatre and galleries under one roof. It will be launched with on Easter Monday, 2nd April 2018 with 'Dydd Llun Pawb', a day-long celebration with a carnival atmosphere, featuring live music, performing arts, crafts and a parade. Recognising the purpose of the building from the start, local community groups are being invited to take their place at the heart of the event - read more here.
  • Y Cledrau : Peirant AtebY CLEDRAU : PEIRIANT ATEB (ANSWER MACHINE)
    Released on 1st December on I Ka Ching, Y Cledrau's inaugural album has such elemental new wave dynamism, immediacy and energy that it sounds like much of it was written over a stolen afternoon spent on the best rides at a theme park. Y Cledrau have been at this five years now and it shows - they are a really well formed unit. The animated guitars of Joseff Owen and Ifan Prys, the thump of Marged Gwenllian's bass and the solid drumming of Alun Lloyd are all forged together to make this a noisy, engaging and hugely impressive debut.

    To mark the album a video has been produced (see below) of a live play through of the title track. It is part of a larger project - I Ka Ching are working in partnership with Welsh Language Music Day (9.2.18) to create a series of new videos, all filmed at Stiwdio Drwm and planned to feature Alys Williams, Candelas, Yr Eira and Ffracas.

  • Beth CelynBETH CELYN DEBUT EP : TROI
    We were lucky enough last week to hear Caernarfon's Beth Celyn sing her heart out at the Horizons Launchpad event (see below) in Rhos on Sea - her first live performance since August. Her debut EP is out today (11th December) on Sbrigyn Ymborth; we have mentioned two tracks from it before on the site, the majestic yearning of Ti'n Fy Nhroi I Mlaen and the utterly fantastic Troi, from which the new set takes its title. Judging by the solo live performance the other songs included are equally well crafted; for the EP she has a band backing her keyboard & vocal - although it's a first release in our view she is already well along the path to being an essential, compelling singer songwriter. The EP can be streamed or downloaded on Spotify, iTunes or Amazon, hard copies will be available soon.

  • Politics IconDESOLATION RADIO : OXBRIDGE, ELITISM & HIGHER EDUCATION
    This edition of the outstanding Desolation Radio podcast features student Polly Manning, who had a brilliant essay, A World of Gap Years and Gilt Frames, in the recent volume of Planet Magazine detailing her brief experience of Oxford University, and explaining why she transferred to Swansea after nine days. Another wide ranging and fascinating discussion, worth an hour or so of anyone's time.

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  • 2017