From the Margins : January 2018 News Archive
- RENEWAL 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AM Siân Gwenllian about Plaid Cymru's view of NHS renewal in North Wales, for background we also undertook a number of unpublished, informal interviews with NHS staff over the late autumn and early winter.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.
- LOS BLANCOS : DATGYSYLLTU / CHWARTER I DRI
Welsh Language Music Day 2018 will throw up several intriguing releases on Friday, 9th February. There's a new Cae Gwyn Records compilation (more on this soon) and a Welsh language EP, Y Gwyfyn, from The Gentle Good, but a new AA single from West Wales' Los Blancos is the most immediately exciting. There's a full review here, but the video below (from Ochr 1) showcases the slow-burning majesty of one of the singles' tracks, Datgysylltu.
- ALFFA : CREADUR (CREATURE)
Eighteen months ago Llanrug's noisily brilliant Alffa had enough rough-edged primitive vitality to be noteworthy; they now have a more polished single poised for release (26.01.2018) on SAIN's Rasal imprint, but with their atavistic energy intact. Still a duo, with a sound forged minimally from Sion Land's drums and Dion Jones' guitar/vocals, they will make their much deserved Focus Wales debut at Saith Seren on 12th May - if you haven't yet seen them live then it will be the perfect compact venue to showcase their raw musical power, and matching ability to pen a tune.
RHANNU'R HEN GYFRINACHAU CD LAUNCH : 05 FEB : GALERI [Caernarfon]
Before Christmas Sain Records released a compilation CD called Rhannu'r Hen Gyfrinachau (Sharing the Old Secrets). The compilation featured female artists who were prominent on the Welsh popular music scene between 1965-1975 and who recorded singles on the Cambrian, Wren, Welsh Teldisc and Sain labels. The album successfully brings a host of songs and artists from a prolific musical decade in Wales back into the limelight.
To celebrate the release Sain Records will present an evening at the Galeri, Caernarfon on 5th February, starting at 7.30pm. The event will be hosted by Beti George, who will be joined by a number of the female artists who feature on the compilation album. The confirmed line-up includes: Heather Jones / Mari Griffith / Evelyn Bridger / Doreen Lewis / Gwenann / Eleri Llwyd / Helen Wyn / (members of) Sidan / Swyn / Y Tlysau / Tannau Tawela / Y Pelydrau / Y Diliau. Tickets are £6. If in doubt of the quality you might be missing, you can find a recording of Eleri Llwyd singing O Gymru here.[23.01.2018]
- COMING SOON ...
In the early New Year review CDs in the post work just the same predictable magic as when Emily left a found artefact for Bagpuss. There's a review of Cae Gwyn's new retrospective almost ready, a listen to Benjamin Mason's next release due and a preview of the pick of the gigs planned to mark Welsh Language Music Day (09.02.2018) half written. Until then here is three minutes of Brython Shag from 2014, fit to animate the saggiest cloth cat.
- NEW ALYS WILLIAMS VIDEO : LLYGAD EBRILL
IKACHING are working in partnership with Welsh Language Music Day (09.02.2918) to create a series of live music videos; all filmed at Stiwdio Drwm by SSP Media (Y Cledrau's Peiriant Ateb was the first). Alys Williams and her band are currently working on their debut album which will be released later this year - Llygad Ebrill is her contribution to the IKACHING series, and it is a captivating drift of exceptional vocal. The album that follows should be enchanting from the moment the needle hits the groove.
- THE ROUTINES : TIVOLI GIG 02 FEB
Snowdonia three-piece The Routines have a gig at The Tivoli on Friday, 2nd February supporting The Phonics. As demonstrated by the video for recent single 'di Arfar below, The Routines make taut, electrifying rock exactly as it is meant to sound; there is hopefully a debut album due in 2018 (if that is what 'forthcoming' means). [ More : Facebook I Twitter ]
- LIBERTINO MIX 1 : I'R GOFOD A BYTH YN ÔL / INTO SPACE AND NEVER BACK
Sometimes it is best just to go with the press release that arrives with the music to explain a new album, so here it is almost in full for this superb Libertino Records compilation: "This is a celebration of the first eight months of Libertino's releases. What a gloriously, head-spinning roller coaster journey it has been so far; and this is only the beginning. Holding steadfastly to our ethos of inclusiveness and community grass roots support for emerging artists, our releases have demonstrated a bravely eclectic streak from indie death disco to psychedelic folk and post punk feminist anthems. This compilation also includes taster songs from artists with whom the label will be working in 2018 - all songs are free downloads. Turn up loud and lose yourself in the colours and sounds of our world. Until next year, thank you and diolch. Love from Libertino x".
- RED OR DEAD : TROTSKY WALTZ
It may be that socialist acoustic punk is not your thing, or that you have resolved to only listen to whale music for all of 2018 - but if neither of those two apply then Llandudno's Red or Dead have released a coruscating debut album full of fire and purpose. Rough-edged, splendid and splenetic, Trotsky Waltz sets a frenetic starting pace for the new year. Read the review & listen.