Recent UploadsNews, Reviews & Interviews
From the Margins gathers together extraordinary folk music and the occasional radical idea from across Britain & Ireland. Recent posts (and the odd old favourite) are found in the image rotation above, other items of immediate interest below, and the rest is here.
CatalystsWriters, musicians & artists share their own key cultural influences
- Co-founder of The Dark Mountain Project, novelist, poet and recovering environmentalist Paul Kingsnorth explains why three writers - Annie Dillard, Jack Gilbert and John Moriarty - have inspired his own work over the last decade. [More]
- Bob Kettle sings, plays the mandolin and wears a top hat in England's most vital folk band, Merry Hell. He also writes superb songs. In a fascinating guest post Bob enthuses about Wigan Diggers Festival, author Laura Bates and the Shakespeare North Project. [More]
- The hallmark of Welsh folksinger Owen Shiers' music is a connection to place, culture and history - in this interview he details the impact of the mid-winter pagan tradition Mari Lwyd in Dinas Mawddwy, a memorable harvest party and a formative musical trip to West Africa on his work. [More]
Raising Money for PPE in Wales : Carwyn Ellis : EP & Single
Carwyn Ellis of Colorama has recorded a single and an EP to raise money for Tarian Cymru - a charity providing vital PPE for health and social care workers in Wales. Carywn has explained his thinking:
'When I saw that Tarian Cymru had been set up, I wanted to help right away. Time is of the essence in this situation.'
'My record label is based in Madrid, and they were part of a scheme called Music For Gloves started some six weeks ago in Spain to raise money for clinical gloves there, and I contributed a couple of tunes to the project. To see the boxes of equipment ready to go the health care workers after only a few days, showed that our actions and the donations that followed really could make a difference.'
'So as soon as I saw that there were like minded people in Wales wanting to do the same thing, I volunteered. Music is what I do, so that's what I'm giving. It's staggering that this situation is even happening in our hospitals and care homes, and that on top of their workloads, our health workers' lives are actually being put at risk.'
'If we have to help them ourselves right now, in the absence of official resources, then if possible, we must. I fully support Tarian Cymru and any other organisation which seeks to support and safeguard our health workers in the absence of institutional protection. So that's why I've released a single, 'Cherry Blossom Promenade' and the new 'Ti EP' with all proceeds going to Tarian Cymru.'
We are pleased to support Carwyn, and ask that any using the site consider purchasing his single and/or EP or donate directly.
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Fifteen Essential Welsh Voices
Fifteen videos selected to illustrate the depth of creativity Wales has in its folk & acoustic music scene. Just click on a thumbnail to start. Almost all the artists included appear in the From the Margins Vault. [Added : 06.04.2020]
Featured Label : Cae Gwyn
Cae Gwyn (English : 'White Field') is a micro-label with a clear sensibility and a big impact. Based in the heart of Eryri (Snowdonia) it acts as a gateway to an otherwise little-known but intensely creative community.
Revelling in its location, Cae Gwyn has released three compilations albums - Casgliad Cae Gwyn (2018), Swooshed (2016) and Cynefin Cae Gwyn (2014) - which showcased musicians who work and record in the label's homeland. The LPs featured the urgent garage psychedelia of Mr Huw, charismatic singer-songwriters such as Nia Morgan and Sion Richards (see : Crawia), the sophisticated, poetic folk of Fiona and Gorwel Owen and influential underground bands such as Sen Segur.
Although the label's eclectic output often has acoustic/ambient roots, it includes music with more celestial ambitions - most notably Omalama, whose recent album, Swish, is a tangerine dream of exquisite space pop, and Derreo, whose Time Lapse, a glorious, effervescent collection of melodic art-noise, is the band's first recording in twenty years.
With well-directed restless energy and finely honed humour, Cae Gwyn has also launched a podcast - Ffynnon FM - featuring music that expresses a definite cultural hinterland. You will have heard of few/none of the acts included, but, as with much of the the label’s output, it’d take a hard heart and tightly bound cloth ears not to be won over by the mellow psychedelic magic presented.