From the Margins : February 2018 News Archive
- PLAID CYMRU : 'THE CHANGE WE NEED'
Leanne Wood's new (published in mid-January) policy framing pamphlet, The Change We Need, fully sets out the stall for a radical Plaid Cymru political vision.
There is a striking Raymond Williams' quote in the introduction that seems to be the real heart of it: "..the concept of real independence ... goes much further than mere national constitutional arrangements. It covers the attitude, outlook and confidence people have when they are politically and economically empowered to determine the direction of their lives."With its energising decentralising impetus, even if you are politically worn and jaded, it is an inspirational document - defining a set of core values and principles it is hard emotionally not to want to march in step with.
- OMALOMA : BUBBLEGUM 7" SINGLE
Following Casgliad Cae Gwyn, there is a second Cae Gwyn release in a month - this time a vinyl single (and download) of quite dazzling space pop from Omaloma - read more.
- MERRY HELL : BURY ME NAKED EP
Billed as a "joyful, jolly, ecologically friendly singalong song about death", dedicated to those "who love folk rock and like to plan ahead" this four track EP is led by a waltz-time singalong with gentle humour and songwriting craft to spare. Read the review.
- ADWAITH AA SINGLE : FEL I FOD / NEWID
A brilliant new AA single from Adwaith demonstrates they are well on the way to a stunning debut album, and travelling in nobody's slipstream. Read the review and listen.
- BENJAMIN MASON : DOGS N YAAA
A re-release of Pembrokeshire experimental singer-songwriter Benjamin Mason's 2013 collection in very limited physical form should prompt a small stampede to Recordiau Prin's online till. Here is why.
- AVIATOR : OMNI
Pete Wilkinson was in Shack, Cast and Echo & the Bunnymen. Omni, his fourth album with his current project Aviator, is a slow rolling, elating experience you would not want to miss. More.
- HOTEL DEL SALTO : YELLOW ROSE / UNDERCOVER COP (AA SINGLE)
Since first appearing languid by the light switch in 2016, multi-instrumentalist J.Francis' recording project Hotel Del Salto has forged a unique path with an effervescent musical range and inventiveness. This new AA single continues the tradition; read the review and listen.
- SONGS OF THE MONTH (February) : CRAWIA : BRADWR / PERLAU
Crawia [the name means 'slate fence'] is a new recording project for Sling's Siôn Richards - who we noted to have a rare songwriting talent when we first heard him play live two years ago. Perlau was released by Sbrigyn Ymborth in November; the re-recording of older track Bradwr with a guest appearance from Casi, a couple of weeks ago by the same label. They confirm initial suspicions. Bradwr is a mournful song about the bitter 1900 Penrhyn Quarry Strike that has clearly undergone a compelling upgrade. Perlau has a sparser, late night feel, but is equally successful. Both songs were recorded in 2015 at Sain Studios by Aled Hughes of Cowbois Rhos Botwnnog - with Euron Jones on pedal steel and Edwin Humphreys on alto and baritone sax. An album should follow later in 2018. [ More : Facebook I SoundCloud I Twitter ]
- FEBRUARY GIG OF THE MONTH : CHROMA / ADWAITH / SEROL SEROL : 09 FEB : GALERI [Caernarfon]
There are two events in North Wales to mark Welsh Language Music Day that are definitely worth dragging yourself out into the February mizzle for: Sŵn present a lineup of Ffug / CaStLeS / The Routines (see below) at Rascals Bar, Bangor (7.30pm, Free Admission), while the Galeri have Chroma / Adwaith / Serol Serol / Glain Rhys on the bill. Tickets for this are £7.
Choosing between the two is difficult. Both gigs showcase the range and exhilaration found in the contemporary Welsh language music scene - but Serol Serol's interstellar space pop overdrive coupled with Adwaith and Chroma's alt. rock energy should be the more unmissable. There is also an informal talk before the gig with members of the bands (6pm). Caernarfon it is.[Reposted : 03.02.2018]
- BENDITH / PLU / COLORAMA DATES
Bendith - the award winning collaboration between Plu and Carwyn Ellis of Colorama, that has so far released a superb album and EP - have two dates confirmed for 2018, each with support slots filled by the project's two constituent groups. The gigs are at The National Museum [Cardiff] on Friday 13th April (Tickets £16.50 - on sale 16 December) & The Pontio [Bangor] on Saturday 14 April (Tickets £12-14).
[Reposted : 03.02.2018]
- LLEUWEN MINI-TOUR
Highly regarded multilingual singer-songwriter Lleuwen has been working on her new album at Sain Studios in Llandwrog, Caernarfon - due for release late spring on the Gwymon label. To mark the release there is a four date mini-tour of Wales planned in March. The dates are : 1st - Galeri, Caernarfon (with Gwilym Bowen Rhys) I 2nd - Acapela, Pentyrch, Caerdydd/Cardiff (with Blodau Gwylltion) I 3rd - Neuadd Pantycelyn, Llandovery I 4th - Amgueddfa Ceredigion, Aberystwyth (Early gig with Blodau Gwylltion).
[Reposted : 03.02.2018]
- FROM THE ARCHIVE : PIGEON - AN INTERVIEW WITH ALYS CONRAN
Seldom going back to a book once it is finished, in the last ten years I have read just two cover-to-cover more than once. For context the first was The Man Who Went Into the West : The Life of R.S.Thomas by Byron Rogers, which frames the poet's life with a pace and fluency few biographies achieve. The second is Alys Conran's transfixing debut novel, Pigeon - Wales Book of the Year in 2017 - and having scanned it again, the interview with the author posted to this site shortly after the book's publication in 2016 still adds further illumination to the story. Read the interview.
- CASGLIAD CAE GWYN : CAE GWYN COMPILATION
The third Cae Gwyn compilation album we have looked at is being released to mark Welsh Language Music Day and the label's tenth birthday, and it matches the enchantment and musical heft of the first two (Cynefin Cae Gwyn and Swooshed). Casgliad Cae Gwyn ranges from psychedelic space pop and alt-folk to classical guitar and grunge - and it is available free. More...