From the Margins : July 2017 News Archive
- GORJYS SECRETS 2017
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.
[Reposted : 30.07.17]
- UPDATES & WHAT'S COMING
There's too much that is innovative and mesmeric coming out of West Wales to ignore - it makes sense, rather than ad hoc coverage, to go the whole hog and extend the geographic remit of From the Margins. To mark this decision there will be a series of 'introducing' articles as soon as the site fires up again after a short summer break - a slew of brilliant new music to hear; to quote the poetry of Jim Morrison, "The West is the best, get here and we will do the rest". There will also be some political coverage, a series of interviews to herald new releases from established bands, and a bit more undivine comedy.
- TUSK : _VITAMIN
Tusk's Alligator EP was crammed with compelling and intriguing music, and placed the project (the recording name of Bethel's Arron Hughes) on our 2017 Watchlist (along with Adwaith & Monico Blonde - see below). We wrote at the time "An essential listen, not least for what might come next" - this follow up single is exactly that next thing, and it's a swirling torrent of compulsive electro-instrumental, based around an insistent sixties Hammond organ sound - the Inspiral Carpets in an out of control toboggan. It's a free download; listen at least twice at high volume. [ More : Tusk SoundCloud I Tusk Twitter ]
- MONICO BLONDE : LOVE IS AN ONLY CHILD
Although they come from the wrong end of the A470, Cardiff band Monico Blonde were the first name inked onto the FtM 2017 Watchlist. Electrifying live, the first three songs they have released are stunning. Whip smart and ferocious pop (in its purest sense), Spotify Indie Summer Playlist featured Love is an Only Child alone deserves to propel them to domination of national radio and stadium stages, but at the very least it will wake up your dancing feet. Monico Blonde are working on their next set of recordings as this is typed. [ For more see : Monico Blonde Facebook I Twitter I SoundCloud ]
- ADWAITH : FEMME / LIPSTICK COCH (AA Single)
Carmarthen's Adwaith are one of Welsh contemporary music's brightest prospects. Their debut, Pwysau, was breathtaking in its post-folk poise, the follow up Haul equally earcatching. This AA single, released on 25th August, offers an archly framed message, a newly honed effervescent pop sound and a fresh post punk vim to their musical trajectory. There's a debut album recorded too - listen & read more.
- COURTEOUS THIEF : REST MY BONES VIDEO & FREE EP
Llandudno based singer songwriter Gary Roberts, who plies his trade as Courteous Thief, has had a busy week so far, releasing a free set of acoustic recordings - Rest My Bones (Acoustic Live Session EP) - and a video, filmed at Morfa Conwy, for the track Rest My Bones from his recent, lauded Tribal EP.
- SITE NEWS
We have made two recent changes as we get the revamped From the Margins towards a final form. First, when we rebooted we reintroduced a star rating for albums and live show reviews - but this doesn't really work when we are only covering exceptional music and comedy in the first place, everything published ends up tragically clustered at one end of the scale - so it has been abandoned. Second 'song of the week' never felt right, so we have decided instead to have a monthly playlist featuring mainly new releases, with the odd classic thrown in for good measure. Suggestions for the playlist will always be welcome.
- SONG OF THE WEEK : GAI TOMS : GWALIA
To mark the release of Gai Toms' seventh solo album, this week's song is its title track, Gwalia - which is based around a long, haunting sample of Eleri Llwyd's O Gymru. Overall the new collection is a triumph, remarkable in the agility with which it shifts stylistically - at one moment offering the monumental, slow dub-edged rock of Gwalia itself, another the contrast of the infectious Gallic pop groove of Ewrop. Read the album review - buy Gwalia here.
[Reposted : 25.07.17]
- LEWIS & LEIGH LIVE REVIEW
Last year's debut album, Ghost, was
'startlingly good' - if there were ever any doubts they could match the impact of the recorded songs live, Lewis & Leigh dispelled them completely in forty peerless minutes at Sesiwn Fawr. Read the full review.
- CLIMBING TREES LIVE : THREE QUARTERS OF MONUMENTAL IS STILL SUBLIME
Used to energetically winning over summer festival crowds, without drummer James Bennetts Climbing Trees offered a mellow acoustic set at Sesiwn Fawr - but with some of their strongest songs masterfully refashioned it was still a compelling experience - more.
- SESIWN FAWR 2017 IN FIVE HIGHLIGHTS
The bill of a festival is like the squad of a premier league football team - if there is not enough quality throughout then you are not going to be hanging around for very long. Sesiwn Fawr marked its twenty fifth year with a set of electrifying headline performances, but also provided exceptional musical moments throughout its three day programme - read more.
- ALYS WILLIAMS : TYRD ATA I
Rummaging about the internet before Sesiwn Fawr next weekend (21 - 23 July) turned up this showstopper, Tyrd Ata I, an unadorned, beautiful piece sung by Caernarfon based Alys Williams. It was recorded live, and uploaded in December last year, with backing singers Aled Hughes (see below), siblings Osian and Branwen Williams, and Gwion Llewelyn - who make up Alys' band; that's more creative talent than should be allowed to gather in one room safely. [ For more see : Alys Williams Facebook I Sesiwn Fawr Website ]
- REVIEW : PATROBAS LIVE AT TY COCH
This review of a striking outdoor gig, held on the edge of a beach near Morfa Nefyn, completes a set of three articles - including an interview and a debut album review - read all about it.
- ALED HUGHES : TRUGAREDD / NOS DA MYFANWY
Aled Hughes plays bass in Cowbois Rhos Botwnnog and for Georgia Ruth, runs a record label, Sbrigyn Ymborth, and is an outstanding producer. A first solo effort, this single has two tracks - hushed, tranquil songs (one an instrumental), as cleverly composed and arranged as you'd expect - but also genuine emotionally articulate music. Read more.
- SONG OF THE WEEK : CLIMBING TREES : FALL
Culled from Borders, Climbing Trees'
'dynamic, magnificent, and stunning ... Cymrucana masterpiece', Fall is that album's best track; it grows at a stately pace to a slowly unwinding but glorious crescendo. Built around piano, an emotive vocal, a searing guitar line and a hard thumped drum sound, it is a moment of magic from Pontypridd. Fall is released as a single, including on Limited Edition Coloured Vinyl, from 04.08.17 at www.ilikeclimbingtrees.com/shop. Live Climbing Trees deliver on the promise of their recorded output - worth noting this week as they are one of the headliners at Sesiwn Fawr, appearing this Saturday, 22nd.
[ For more see : Web I SoundCloud I Twitter ]
- SESIWN FAWR : 21 - 23 JULY [Dolgellau]
You could say the essence of Sesiwn Fawr is that it is a superbly well run and curated event, in a beautiful location, with a genuine sense of the community and culture that hosts it; like the Llangollen Fringe it is a festival that makes the town it is held in come alive. But you can distill it even further - the nub is three days of exceptional music in a small host of intimate venues. Here is this year's programme - and ticket details. Amongst many potential highlights Lewis & Leigh play at The Royal Ship Hotel on the Sunday.
- GIG OF THE MONTH : LLANGOLLEN FRINGE : BAND PRES LLAREGGUB : 22 JULY
If you have not seen them before, don't miss this chance. Band Pres Llareggub fuse hip hop, brass and their North Walian musical heritage to create a uniquely exhilarating live show - and this date also epitomises what the Llangollen Fringe Festival is all about; it has brought excitement, creativity and a mood of revelry to the town each summer for the last twenty years. There's a detailed preview for the gig, and the rest of the programme can be found here.
- BETH CELYN : TI'N FY NHROI I MLAEN
Like rabbits on Father Ted, no sooner do you spot one superb Beth Celyn song then you immediately see another. Released as a single today, heralding what will be a keenly anticipated EP, Ti'n Fy Nhroi I Mlaen (You Turn Me On) has its fair share of piano and drums (the latter played deftly by Carwyn Williams of Patrobas, Fleur de Lys and, on occasion, Candelas), but the heart of it is her sublimely gliding vocal - which is again majestic.
- SONG OF THE WEEK : BETH CELYN : TROI
Impressive live at Gŵyl Arall, Beth Celyn is undoubtedly a gifted singer songwriter, and Troi is a graceful, soaring & emotive song.
[ For more see : Facebook I SoundCloud I Twitter ]
- COURTEOUS THIEF : TRIBAL EP
Courteous Thief is the recording name of Llandudno singer songwriter Gary Roberts - he has released a new four track EP of acoustic folk-pop on CEG Records;
expansive music that is a very positive signal for the album that is follow. Read more.
- OMALOMA : AROS GWMPAS
To mark their appearance at the Latitude
festival Dyffryn Conwy band Omaloma are releasing a new single - Aros Gwmpas - which is another space pop marvel: have a listen.
- LIVE REVIEW : GWILYM BOWEN RHYS
Good festivals always offer unexpected delights. Last year, newly solo, Gwilym Bowen Rhys was remarkable at Sesiwn Fawr - but this year a concise thirty minute performance at Gŵyl Arall offered definitive evidence that he will be a major figure in Welsh & Celtic folk music. Read the review.
- FREE COMEDY NIGHT : SAITH SEREN 24.07.17
Saith Seren, Wrexham, has a free night of pre-Edinburgh Fringe shows on Monday 24th July, starting at 8pm. It features Tudur Owen, a first rate comedian - whose Edinburgh show last year was superb in preview and Chester's Danny Mcloughlin, who has a sharp, dry wit and a trove of anecdotes to test it on. They are both English language sets and, so close to being taken North for August, should be mostly well polished - details from the Saith Seren website.
- FOCUS WALES 2018 : DATES & SUBMISSIONS
Wrexham's fully fledged international music, film & comedy festival, Focus Wales, has announced its 2018 dates - 10-12 May - and has opened its artists' submission process. Three days, 20 stages, 200 bands,
20 interactive sessions; you can buy a super early bird ticket now for the whole weekend for £30. If you want an idea of the striking scale and scope that your money buys, then the 2017 Programme (PDF) is the perfect primer.