From the Margins : Interviews & Opinion

Music & Arts

  • Horizons LogoNEWS : SEARCH FOR ACTS TO JOIN HORIZONS 2018 BEGINS
    Applications open today (23.04) to find the 2018 tranche of artists to join the exemplary BBC Wales / Arts Council of Wales Horizon Scheme. Successful musicians can expect a potentially life changing set of opportunities over the next twelve months - all the details and how to apply can be found here.
  • OblongPREVIEW : FOCUS WALES 2018 : OBLONG / ALFFA : 12.05.2018 [Wrexham]
    For our second FOCUS Wales 2018 preview we have scanned through the programme looking for the best hour of raw musical energy and elation - and the pairing of Llanelli's Oblong and Llanrug's Alffa at Saith Seren on Saturday, 12th May is the obvious place to to go for that. Read more.
  • FOCUS Wales 2018PREVIEW : FOCUS WALES 2018 : 9BACH / GINTIS / ADWAITH & More : 10.05.2018 [Wrexham]
    FOCUS Wales has over three hundred performances slated from 200 bands and artists for 2018 - in anticipation you can now download the full programme (PDF). Scan through the assembled delights, and the first evening offers one of the clearest highlights - as 9Bach appear with a fascinating set of North & West Wales artists and a trio of Korean bands at Wrexham's newest venue, Tŷ Pawb. Read the preview. Details & tickets (£12).
  • CrawiaINTRODUCING : CRAWIA
    Crawia [the name means 'slate fence'] is a new recording project for Sling's Siôn Richards - and provided our February 'Songs of the Month'. As the first of a new series of short profiles Siôn has answered five questions to map out how Crawia came about, and where it might go next. Read the interview.
  • Beth Goudie BETH GOUDIE INTERVIEW
    This interview piece has been written by guest contributor Kevin McGrath, who also writes for NewSoundWales, Wales Arts Review and Pop Matters. Kevin has a passion for music coupled with an encyclopaedic knowledge, and he if sees Beth Goudie as a criminally underrated artist, we should take notice. The interview explores Beth's recent releases and the motivations for her songwriting. Read more.
  • Swn FestivalPREVIEW : SŴN 2017 : SEP 22 - OCT 21 [Cardiff]
    An in-depth preview of this year's Sŵn festival explains how the event has been carefully refashioned into a month long celebration of new music. Written by special guest contributor Kevin McGrath, the article also teases out the seven unmissable acts from this year's line up; Liverpool's brilliant She Drew the Gun (see below) are one of his picks. Read the full preview.

  • ElfenPROFILE / INTERVIEW : ELFEN
    Elfen's scintillating folk music has already taken them to the final of an international competition, and last year's debut album March Glas was a flawless wonder. Fiddle player Helina Rees took the time to explain where the band have come from, and where they are headed. Read the profile.
  • Llawn05A PREVIEW OF LLAWN05 : LLANDUDNO's FREE AUTUMN ARTS FESTIVAL : 15-17 SEP
    Mid September sees the fifth edition of Llawn - a vibrant and celebratory weekend arts festival held in multiple venues across its host town. In an in-depth interview Llawn curator John Rostron outlines how the event came about, and what delights it has in store for 2017. Read the interview.
  • Gorjys SecretsGORJYS SECRETS 2017 PREVIEW
    Gorjys Secrets, a Conwy Valley music festival delivering its second edition on September 15th & 16th. The festival is held in a location that is postcard perfect, with a bill to match; this full preview of the event outlines its attractions.
  • WELSH LANGUAGE MUSIC DAY 2017
    Friday February 10th saw the second Welsh Language Music Day - we offer a few thoughts on its importance.

  • Kizzy CrawfordPREVIEW : St. DAVID's WEEKEND 2017
    A new event in Wrexham, a weekend festival held in the heart of the town to mark St David's day - superbly curated by the team behind FOCUS Wales, and, equally to the point, free - read our preview for details.
  • PatrobasPATROBAS PROFILE
    An interview with Patrobas as they recorded their debut album - remarkable contemporary folk from the Llŷn Peninsula. Read the article here.
  • Aled RheonFTM 2016 SONG OF THE YEAR
    Mute drum roll ... out of thousands of Welsh songs listened to in 2016 our pick is Aled Rheon's Wrap up Warm. Read why.
  • Winter MountainWINTER MOUNTAIN INTERVIEW
    We spoke to Winter Mountain's Joe Francis when he played The Blue Sky Café, Bangor - now solo, but still on course with heartfelt, uplifting music. Read the interview.
  • AdwaithFtM 2017 WATCHLIST
    Monico Blonde and Adwaith feature in the set of 13 pre-debut album bands we think will make exactly the right noise in 2017 - see the full list.
  • FOUR UNMISSABLE CHRISTMAS GIGs
    December sees Meilyr Jones, Cate Le Bon, Aled Rheon, Sera, Band Pres Llareggub & Candelas on North Wales stages. And Slade. Here are the details.
  • FtM 2016 LIST
    Our pre-festive run down of the best of North Wales' music and comedy from the last year - albums and live performances - can now be found here.
  • PROFILE : HANNAH SANDERS & BEN SAVAGE
    Making folk music that is precise yet very human, new duo Hannah Sanders & Ben Savage have already released an excellent album - this interview explains how the collaboration evolved, and more importantly where it might go next.

  • PREVIEW : ALYS CONRAN / ALED RHEON / SERA - RCA 17.12.16
    As we move towards the close of the year and a time of reflection, this gig at the RCA, Conwy brings together two singer songwriters and a poet/novelist responsible for three of 2016's cultural highlights. Details & tickets.
  • GORJYS SECRETS 2016 PHOTO GALLERY
    A set of photos from the inaugural (and impressive) Gorjys Secrets singer songwriter festival.
  • BendithBENDITH INTERVIEW
    Marged, Elan & Gwilym Rhys from Plu talk about making their new collaborative album with Carwyn Ellis (Colorama) - read the full article.
  • Climbing Trees : BordersCLIMBING TREES INTERVIEW
    An exciting new album with a harder sound to follow their bucolic debut Hebron, and a clutch of end of summer festival dates to come - we spoke to the Trees' Matthew Frederick to find out more about the why and the when.
  • KATEY BROOKS EP & INTERVIEW
    2015 EP I Fought Lovers showcases "a voice with the 'otherness' of Joni Mitchell and the clarity of Sara Bareilles, but in what it can convey - real emotional openness and intensity - she is as pure and unique as Tim Buckley." Read the review and interview.
  • Summer of Love PreviewSUMMER OF LOVE 2016 PREVIEW
    A preview of an immersive psychedelic festival in one of North Wales' premier artspaces - full details & ticket info.
  • Sera InterviewINTERVIEW : SERA
    A new single, a new album and a flurry of promotional activity, we caught up with Caernarfon's Sera to find out more.
  • INTERVIEW : FOUNTAINHEAD
    A reincarnation for South Wales based Fountainhead - with a new electric country influence in their sound - we spoke to guitarist Tom Stupple to find out the why.
  • PREVIEW : GORJYS SECRET
    A new event in the annual North West Wales calendar - a singer songwriter festival developed by the team behind Llandudno's 3rd Space - our preview explains what is on, why and what is coming next.
  • The Goat Roper Rodeo Band InterviewINTERVIEW : THE GOAT ROPER RODEO BAND
    Rhuddlan's Goat Ropers are just about to release their second album of sublime cosmic country blues - we met them in a bar in downtown Abergele to say howdy and find out how things came to this.

  • Alys Conran InterviewINTERVIEW & REVIEW : ALYS CONRAN / Pigeon
    A great, riveting debut novel from Alys Conran; set it in a North Wales quarry town it is a coming of age story that follows a troubled, edge of community character Pigeon, and his foil, Iola, through their eventful adolescence. We have an in-depth interview with the author and a review of the book.
  • Denuo Q&AINTERVIEW : DENUO
    A Q&A with a singer songwriter excited to be returning to his roots when he performs at Ymuno 2016.
    Read Denuo interview.
  • Sesiwn FawrINTERVIEW : MATTHEW FREDERICK
    We caught up with Climbing Trees' Matthew Frederick to discuss his much anticipated appearance at Sesiwn Fawr with Jodie Marie - two established singer songwriters who have been writing (and laughing) together regularly since 2014.
    Read Matthew Frederick interview.
  • Chris Jones ArticleINTERVIEW : CHRIS JONES
    An interview with 'contemporary folk balladeer' Chris Jones. He talks about how his connections to music grew through his life, and how he feels modern folk music has lost many of the vital roots it used to have to sustain it. Read Chris Jones interview.
  • Nia Wyn Profile LinkINTERVIEW : NIA WYN
    Urban folk blues driven in part by an anger with social injustice - from a young woman who was raised in Llandudno and is returning this July to play Ymuno. Read Nia Wyn interview.
  • YmunoPREVIEW : YMUNO 2016
    Set in a meadow just off the A55 near Abergele, Ymuno's mix of arts, music and excellent food makes it a perfectly crafted event for a young family. Read our Ymuno preview.
  • Sesiwn FawrPREVIEW : SESIWN FAWR 2016
    One of the best music events held in Wales each year - July 15th-17th will see a host of bands play in town centre venues and on a market square main stage. Our preview has all the reasons for going and details of how to get tickets, and a play list, you can read it here.
  • Gai Toms - Review & InterviewEXTENDED REVIEW : GAI TOMS : THE WILD, THE TAME AND THE FERAL
    A review of his debut album English - '.. a remarkably authentic, intelligent and warm humoured collection from an adroit singer songwriter' and an English language interview from the predominantly Welsh Brythonicana website written around the time of its release in 2015. Well worth a listen (the page has the whole set as a playlist) and a read.

Comedy

Politics

  • Janet Finch-SaundersRENEWAL FOR THE NHS IN WALES : AN INTERVIEW WITH JANET FINCH-SAUNDERS, AM
    As well as speaking to Rhun ap Iorwerth and Arfon AM Siân Gwenllian about Plaid Cymru's view of NHS renewal in North Wales, for background we also undertook a number of unpublished, informal interviews with NHS staff over the late autumn and early winter. These latter conversations from the frontline were often hushed and plaintive; in the final interview of three planned with politicians it is a positive surprise how much Conservative AM Janet Finch-Saunders is intuitively attuned to their problems. Her thoughts also indirectly prompted conclusions about the common sources of the organisational distress found in the NHS in Wales and that in England. Read the Janet Finch-Saunders interview.
  • Rhun ap IowerthRENEWAL FOR THE NHS IN WALES : AN INTERVIEW WITH RHUN AP IORWERTH, AM
    Plaid Cymru's Shadow Health Minister and Ynys Môn Assembly Member Rhun ap Iorwerth cautiously welcomes an outline agreement for improved medical education in North Wales, and explains the path forward he sees for the NHS and Plaid itself. Read the interview.
  • YesCyrmuAN INTRODUCTION TO YESCYMRU : A VIABLE PATH TO WELSH INDEPENDENCE?
    YesCymru are a new, non-partisan movement campaigning for a Welsh independence referendum. With a positive approach they already have real impetus, and evidence of broader than expected sympathy for their aim. We spoke to the organisation's Vice Chair, Rhydian Hughes, to find out more.
  • Plaid Cymru LogoPLAID CYMRU'S POLITICS FROM THE GRASSROOTS : AN INTERVIEW WITH CLLR. AARON WYNNE
    Earlier this year Aaron Wynne was elected a Conwy County Councillor, representing his hometown of Llanrwst, whilst still only twenty. Honest and forthright in conversation, what attracted him to engage with politics is irrevocably intertwined with what makes Plaid Cymru's political offer distinct and unique. Read more.
  • Sian Gwenllian RENEWAL FOR THE NHS IN WALES : DOES PLAID CYMRU HAVE THE ANSWER TO THE NORTH WALES HEALTHCARE CRISIS? : AN INTERVIEW WITH SIÂN GWENLLIAN, AM
    Recognised as a campaigner for Welsh language access rights in healthcare, new Arfon AM Siân Gwenllian also has a much broader interest in North Wales health services. She has proposed a new North Wales Medical School to solve the persistent NHS crisis in the region, training much needed doctors in the area where they will then build their careers, and is not backing down despite an initial rebuff - find out more.