From the Margins 2.0 ...

  • FtM Icon NEW PLAYLIST & SITE REBOOT
    This site has been going two years now, often attracting thousands of readers a week. Its pace and focus will shift from the end of May - with a new emphasis on acoustic music and the inclusion of artists from beyond Wales' borders.

    To indicate where things might be headed, this new playlist has a few old favourites, several new and one or two songs from albums just reviewed; some in English, some in Welsh. It is also dense with moments of rare wonder, which has been the point of the site from its first post.

  • Hannah Sanders & Ben Savage Live at the HiveAwakeIMAGE : HANNAH SANDERS & BEN SAVAGE LIVE AT THE HIVE, SHREWSBURY I 19.05.2018
    It was a long drive there and back to The Hive, Shrewsbury, but more than worth it to see Hannah Sanders & Ben Savage's soft-hued, enchanting folk live - ably supported for this date by Jack Harris' songs of dead birds and tales of digital watches; an unexpectedly lyrical and charismatic set. There's a review of Sanders & Savage's new album, Awake, here.
  • John LawrenceJOHN LAWRENCE / BONNIE PILGRIM / REES SORBY 02.06.18 TABERNACL [Llandudno]
    CALL & CEG present John Lawrence, a founding member of Gorky's Zygotic Mynci who, with four critically acclaimed solo albums under his belt, is also one of Wales' leading record producers. John has developed a percussive guitar style and a melodic, broad minded approach to the singer songwriter form. He will be discussing some of his most recent videos, and will perform a short acoustic set, supported by Bonnie Pilgrim, a North Wales folk rock group, and singer-songwriter Rees Sorby (below), who blends jazz and lo-fi folk punk with confessional story telling lyrics. Doors open 7.00pm - Tickets: £8 on-line / £10 door.

  • Colossous : The PeakzALBUM REVIEW : COLOSSOUS : THE PEAKZ
    Much more than just the electrified sound of the suburbs, The Peakz is the growl of three North Wales' musicians joyously getting their post-teenage musical kicks. A set of songs recorded 2005 - 2010 by Rich Eardley, Ed Oleszko and Deian Elfryn, this album is an energised collection of DIY punk power pop that shouldn't pass anyone's ears by. Read the review.

  • Jonathan WilliamsLIVE COMEDY REVIEW : JONNY WILLIAMS @ FOCUS WALES
    Bangor's Jonny Williams took comedic flight at FOCUS Wales 2018. He also was at the event to scout for bands for his successful new music podcast - read about both here.
  • Benjamin Mason : Oi! Rapscallion!BENJAMIN MASON : NEW ALBUM & EXCLUSIVE TRACK
    Ben Mason's new album, Oi! Rapscallion! is as eclectic as it is superb - covering all bases from folk through post-rock to electronica. Oi! Rapscallion! will be available from benjaminmason.bandcamp.com on the 25th May - but until then we are really pleased to offer space for a first hearing of one of the set's standout tracks, a wistful acoustic marvel, Magnet - and to offer a review that highlights the album's magic.

  • Daoiri FarrellLIVE REVIEW : DAOIRÍ FARRELL / ELIDYR GLYN I GALERI [Caernarfon] I 15.05.2018
    It was a real privilege to listen to Irish folk musician Daoirí Farrell and support, Caernarfon singer-songwriter Elidyr Glyn, at Caernarfon's Galeri - read why here.

  • Lorna CornerLIVE COMEDY REVIEW : LORNA CORNER @ FOCUS WALES
    Handpicked as an exciting, emerging Welsh comedian, Lorna Corner offered deeply hilarious moments in her FOCUS Wales set - and definitely the best grime ever rapped in a tepee on Wrexham's Queens Square. Read the review.

  • CandelasCANDELAS : NEW SINGLE & ALBUM
    If Candelas have flickered just outside of your field of vision before now, then this single should be the song to catch your eye. Maybe rougher-edged, heavier and earthier than much of their past work, whilst still demonstrating a deft touch with a tune, the track, Gan Bo Fi'n Gallu, has an energy-fizzing chorus that states bluntly that if you like doing something, then you should do it. Released on 11.05.18, this is the first track to be taken from the band's new album Wyt Ti'n Meiddio Dod i Chwarae, which itself is due out on CD / DL from Ikaching on June 22. A launch gig is slated for the same day at Neuadd Buddug, Y Bala. You can pre-order Wyt Ti'n Meiddio Dod i Chwarae now.

  • Yr OriaYr Oria : MessiahSINGLE OF THE MONTH : YR ORIA : MESSIAH
    Maybe nobody has yet posed the question 'What is Blaenau Ffestiniog's answer to Two Door Cinema Club?' - but with this single Yr Oria clearly have the perfect reply ready for when they do. With a line-up that includes past members of the underrated Jambyls you'd expect Yr Oria to record something of note when they step into a studio, and Messiah is worthy of that anticipation; a slice of first-rate, cultivated, melodic indie rock, that further delivers on the atmospheric promise of their 2016 debut single, Gelynion.

  • I FIGHT LIONS : NEW SINGLE & LIVE DATES
    If there are any lingering doubts that Bangor band I Fight Lions' second album, Be Sy'n Wir? (due out 15.06.18), will be a sublime revelation then the new single from it, Llwch ar y Aelwyd, should shatter them. Llwch ar y Aelwyd takes a sophisticated and emotive tangent from the band's previous indie sound; the result is slow burning and brilliant.

    The single will be released on 18th May, and follows on from the success of the radio friendly Calon Dan Glo earlier in the year. To herald it I Fight Lions have two North Wales gigs in the next week - Focus Wales (Saith Seren / 9.10pm - 10th May) and Prom Xtra (Colwyn Bay Promenad / 5:30pm - 12th May). They will also be appearing at Car Gwyllt on 14th July.
  • Georgia FearnINTRODUCING : GEORGIA FEARN
    Georgia Fearn is a seventeen year old singer-songwriter from Carmarthen. Her dazzling indie pop debut album released in March, Perfect on Paper, features a clutch of songs written when she was only 12-13 - which makes her musical maturity even more startling. Our introductory interview maps out where Georgia has come from, how the album came about and what is next on her agenda. Read more.
  • Red or DeadRED OR DEAD : NEW SINGLE TO MARK ROYAL WEDDING's TREATMENT OF HOMELESS
    North Wales' finest agitprop folk-punks, Red or Dead, have a single coming out on May 19th. The song, UK Publicity Machine, has been written as a direct response to the news that councils are to remove homeless people from the route of the royal wedding parade. None of the royals have spoken up about this shoddy decision, and a day of protest has been planned across the country by Musicians Against Homelessness.

    As you would expect with Red or Dead the new song is rough, angry, energised and coruscating. It is also bluntly republican.

    UK Publicity Machine will be available from the band's Bandcamp page, and all proceeds will go to the homeless charity Crisis. A mass busk in protest is also planned for the afternoon of the royal wedding day in Bangor.
  • Matthew FrederickVIDEO OF THE MONTH : MATTHEW FREDERICK : LOST
    Matthew Frederick recorded this solo version of Lost on a day when he also ran a half marathon, played a gig with Climbing Trees, and then set off with them for a short New York adventure. Having to pause in such a dense run of activity makes the moment of stillness captured in the recording below all the more remarkable. Video of the month for May by a country mile.

  • Daoir? FarrellFtM MAY GIG GUIDE
    There is a lot on in May - this one-off guide has fourteen essential music and comedy dates for the month, with FOCUS Wales and Daoirí Farrell / Elidyr Glyn (Galeri, 15 May) as the pick of the set. Read why here.