From the Margins : September 2017 News Archive
- PLAID 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 the interview.
- THE FUGITIVES PLAY 3rd SPACE : SUN 8 OCT [Llandudno]
Acclaimed Canadian folk band The Fugitives are to perform in Llandudno on Sunday October 8th, as part of a wider UK tour. Previously described as "the missing link between Leonard Cohen and The Pogues", the choice of the intimate, brewery attached venue may be partly explained by their love of craft beer. Advance tickets are £10.
- 4GOOD COMEDIANS : PHIL CHAPMAN STORMS THE BLUE SKY
Bangor's first-rate comedy club held at the Blue Sky, 4Good Comedians, presented a night of four contrasting acts last Friday (22.09), each with enormous merit. Stealing the show, headliner Phil Chapman offered an irrepressible rush of humour - and set the venue up for an equally promising bill next time, led by Noel James & Ignacio Lopez (Friday December 1st). Read the review.
- NEWS : CAMPFIRE SOCIAL SOUTH KOREA BOUND
As it approaches its eighth edition, Wrexham based event FOCUS Wales' building of international relationships is starting to pay a real dividend. This is manifest both in the bands coming to perform at its annual showcases, and opportunities for Welsh artists. The latter is becoming as important as the former - next week will see the first international showcase arranged directly by FOCUS Wales (assisted by Wales Arts International's International Opportunities Scheme).
Benefiting from this development is North East Wales' Campfire Social, who are going to Zandari Festa, in Seoul, South Korea. Campfire Social have earned the opportunity through the live impact of their uplifting, warm, melodic music - formed under an eclectic mix of influences, including Elliot Smith, The Beach Boys and (to our certain ears at least) Deacon Blue. Their recent debut EP, Wellbeing, confirmed their potential.
Campfire Social play Zandari Festa on Sunday 1st October, 21:30 (KST) at Club Freebird. FOCUS Wales' Co-Founder Andy Jones will be joining the band in Seoul. As well as arranging networking opportunities for them, he will also be participating as a delegate and speaker at both MU:Con and Zandari Festa.
Once back in Wales Campfire Social will play the Sŵn Discovery Day on October 21st. Focus Wales itself next runs 10-12 May 2018. [ More on Campfire Social : Facebook I SoundCloud I Bandcamp I Twitter ]
- BENJAMIN MASON : I ASKED MY FRIENDS TO COVER MY SONGS AND THIS IS WHAT THEY CAME UP WITH
Songwriter and musician Benjamin Mason asked his friends to cover his songs for a compilation to benefit the Thorne Mason Trust; the result ranges from the lo-fi to the ethereal, covering most stops between, and is one of the most interesting things you will hear all year - a steal for £5 DL / £10 CD - Read the full review.
- PREVIEW : 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. Read the full preview.
- POLITICS : DESOLATION RADIO : WHY WALES NEVER WAS
Desolation Radio is a fantastic resource - monthly podcasts covering Welsh political issues in-depth, often through thought provoking interview. This edition (below) is a discussion between the presenters and Simon Brooks, developing the political and cultural themes of his book Why Wales Never Was : The Failure of Welsh Nationalism. More podcasts can be found here, they are all worth a listen.
- SŴN DISCOVERY DAY : FINAL LINE UP : SAT 21 OCT [Cardiff]
A clutch of exciting Libertino Records' artists (Adwaith, ARGRPH, La Forme, Los Blancos & The Tates), an energised Yr Eira and the sharp, assertive alt. rock of Cardiff's Himalayas are part of a 45 act bill for Sŵn's Discovery Day on Saturday 21 October. A £30 (advance price) wristband is all that is needed to enter the festival's venues across the city centre; they are available from swnfest.com. The full line up is listed here.
- YSGOL SUL : EVENTIDE EP
Due out at the end of this month (September 30th), a new five track release from Llandeilo's Ysgol Sul shows they have continued to develop rapidly from the self-labelled 'dream-indie' of their first EP, Huno. Read the full review.
- LLAWN05 : TRUE STORIES LIVE : FRI 15 SEP [Llandudno]
Just one item from a basket of delights, True Stories Live is a storytelling event (with an intimacy described as "like eavesdropping into people’s stories in the pub") that forms part of this year's Llawn Arts Festival. It mixes professional and amateur storytellers - with participants including Rachel Mars (Our Carnal Hearts) and Louise Mothersole of the award-winning Sh!t Theatre. The whole evening, held at Dylan's, Llandudno, will be coaxed into life and compèred by poet / scriptwriter Molly Naylor; there are more details here. As with almost every other element of the Llawn05 programme, True Stories is free. Curated by Lisa Heledd Jones & John Rostron, the rest of the festival runs over the weekend of 15 - 17th September, and tickets can be reserved through the event's website.
- DEBUT ALBUM FROM FARM HAND : 03 NOV
Farm Hand is the solo guise of Islet member and Shape Records founder Mark Daman Thomas. His debut album, International Dreams, is a 'reset to factory settings' following a move back to rural mid-Wales from Cardiff. The title track (see below) is a somewhat transfixing incantation, inspired by, as Farm Hand reveals: "...my continued desire (now in its 34th year) and preparedness to play international football for Wales." The album can be pre-ordered here, including in a limited edition vinyl format. A live show at Spillers Records will mark the release on November 4th. [ More : Farm Hand Website I Twitter ]
- SEPTEMBER ALBUM OF THE MONTH / I : YR EIRA : TODDI
Bangor's Yr Eira have released an album on I Ka Ching with a new producer at the controls, that suggests a new, significant trajectory for their music. A potent mix of indie, pop and rock, Toddi is lyrically engaged with transitions, but musically is all about transformation. Read more.
- SEPTEMBER ALBUM OF THE MONTH / II : TOBY HAY : THE GATHERING
Released in March this year, guitarist Toby Hay's debut album confirms he is emerging as a significant figure; The Gathering extends the musical heritage that runs all the way from Davey Graham and Bert Jansch with a compelling, creative further step forward. Read the review.
- PROFILE / 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.
- UMMAGMA : LCD EP
A tentative step outside Wales; Ummagma are an experimental dreampop duo, with roots in Canada and Ukraine. This release showcases their own sound for one track, and then three superb remixes - two by Curve's Dean Garcia, and one by ex-Cocteau Twin Robin Guthrie. The resulting EP offers a set of mesmeric soundscapes. Read the review.
- GRIFF LYNCH : TYNNU DANT
Yr Ods guitarist and frontman Griff Lynch released his fourth solo single, Tynnu Dant, in the dog days of summer. Recording so far in both English and Welsh, this time he has used the latter for a vivid, slow-rolling and quite magnificent piece of electro-pop energised by compressed ennui. If you want to find out more there is a brief profile of Griff Lynch newly added to the site, including his previous single Don't Count On Me, here.
- COLORAMA : SOME THINGS JUST TAKE TIME
Worth the wait, this latest Colorama album (due for release on Wonderfulsound on Friday, 1st September) shows Carwyn Ellis' vital force as a songwriter, arranger and performer is undimmed. Some Things Just Take Time is a burst of classic retro-pop, folk, soul and blues; like the collaborative Bendith project he spent some of 2016 so fruitfully on, the recording of this set of songs has brought together extraordinary talent, and then delivered something more than the sum of the parts. Listen & read the full review.
[Reposted : 01.09.17]
- FtM SEPTEMBER PLAYLIST
A mellower set of tunes for the approach of autumn; including a track each from Jodie Marie and Matthew Frederick, taken from Benjamin Mason's recent charity album for the Thorne Mason Trust, I Asked My Friends To Cover My Songs And This Is What They Came Up With. Griff Lynch's solo work is remarkable for its animation and inventiveness - featured here is Tynnu Dant, his latest single; Carwyn Ellis' Colorama have a new album out at the start of September - and Baby Don't Go is a cover of a Sonny & Cher classic to herald it. Which leaves Toby Hay's evocative guitar piece, Mayfair At Rhayader 1927 and Gwilym Bowen Rhys' reading of the trad. song Y Gwydr Glas (The Blue Glass) - one of the best tracks off his solo debut, O Groth y Ddaear.