From the Margins : December 2017 News Archive

  • Sesiwn FawrSESIWN FAWR 2018 : DATES & EARLY BIRD TICKETS
    The 2018 dates for Dolgellau's perfectly formed annual folk festival, Sesiwn Fawr, have been confirmed as the weekend of 20-22 July. Last year the event sold out; for the first time early bird tickets (£40 each) have been made available before Christmas - with a guarantee of arrival in time to go under the tree for the festivities if ordered by 20 December. Read more & buy tickets.

  • Cpt. Smith : Smaller Pieces CoverCPT. SMITH SINGLE : SMALLER PIECES (LIVE)
    West Wales trio Cpt. Smith's last single in October - I Hate Nights Out - was urgent, raucous and claustrophobic post-punk, whilst this release demonstrates the subtler emotional range that Ioan Hazell, the band's front man and bass guitarist, has also been exploring elsewhere with his Names project. Smaller Pieces was originally recorded for Cpt. Smith's debut Propeller EP - but this single is a new live recording of the song - and positively stately compared to the rush of I Hate Nights Out. Nevertheless, with reverberating guitar, plaintive piano and yearning vocal, it is equal in impact. With a real edge and energy whatever the tempo, to our ears Cpt. Smith are a band with the omens lined up for a potentially momentous first album. Smaller Pieces can be found on Spotify & iTunes
  • Ty PawbCOMMUNITY INVITED TO CELEBRATE WREXHAM AT 'DYDD LLUN PAWB' PARADE
    Tŷ Pawb is the new innovative £4.5 Million development in the heart of Wrexham town centre, that brings together markets, business incubation, theatre and galleries under one roof. It will be launched with on Easter Monday, 2nd April 2018 with 'Dydd Llun Pawb', a day-long celebration with a carnival atmosphere, featuring live music, performing arts, crafts and a parade. Recognising the purpose of the building from the start, local community groups are being invited to take their place at the heart of the event - read more here.
  • Y Cledrau : Peirant AtebY CLEDRAU : PEIRIANT ATEB (ANSWER MACHINE)
    Released on 1st December on I Ka Ching, Y Cledrau's inaugural album has such elemental new wave dynamism, immediacy and energy that it sounds like much of it was written over a stolen afternoon spent on the best rides at a theme park. Y Cledrau have been at this five years now and it shows - they are a really well formed unit. The animated guitars of Joseff Owen and Ifan Prys, the thump of Marged Gwenllian's bass and the solid drumming of Alun Lloyd are all forged together to make this a noisy, engaging and hugely impressive debut.

    To mark the album a video has been produced (see below) of a live play through of the title track. It is part of a larger project - I Ka Ching are working in partnership with Welsh Language Music Day (9.2.18) to create a series of new videos, all filmed at Stiwdio Drwm and planned to feature Alys Williams, Candelas, Yr Eira and Ffracas.

  • Beth CelynBETH CELYN DEBUT EP : TROI
    We were lucky enough last week to hear Caernarfon's Beth Celyn sing her heart out at the Horizons Launchpad event (see below) in Rhos on Sea - her first live performance since August. Her debut EP is out today (11th December) on Sbrigyn Ymborth; we have mentioned two tracks from it before on the site, the majestic yearning of Ti'n Fy Nhroi I Mlaen and the utterly fantastic Troi, from which the new set takes its title. Judging by the solo live performance the other songs included are equally well crafted; for the EP she has a band backing her keyboard & vocal - although it's a first release in our view she is already well along the path to being an essential, compelling singer songwriter. The EP can be streamed or downloaded on Spotify, iTunes or Amazon, hard copies will be available soon.

  • Politics IconDESOLATION RADIO : OXBRIDGE, ELITISM & HIGHER EDUCATION
    This edition of the outstanding Desolation Radio podcast features student Polly Manning, who had a brilliant essay, A World of Gap Years and Gilt Frames, in the recent volume of Planet Magazine detailing her brief experience of Oxford University, and explaining why she transferred to Swansea after nine days. Another wide ranging and fascinating discussion, worth an hour or so of anyone's time.

  • FtM Icon2017 SONGS OF THE YEAR
    Rooting like an anosmic truffle hog through hundreds of songs released over a year, it is easy to make a definitive selection only for it to seem wrongheaded hours later. After a lot of iterations these final two tracks have been chosen for what they offer musically, but also for the promise they hold for 2018.
    • First Band Pres Llareggub's Cymylau, released to herald their new album and featuring a dazzling vocal from Alys Williams. For anyone who might hesitate before a song with Welsh lyrics, Cymylau demonstrates that music can completely transcend language whilst at the same time showcasing its vitality and vibrance.

    • Then from I Asked My Friends to Cover my Songs and This is What They Came Up With, Benjamin Mason's exceptional charity compilation of covers of his songs, the simplicity of Jodie Marie's version of Skies are Falling demonstrates her emotional power. That she has the blues in her bones, even on a low-key arrangement such as this, is undeniable.


  • Rhun ap Iowerth RENEWAL 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.
  • ColossusCOLOSSOUS : VANARCHY IN THE UK
    A fourth release for North Wales collective CEG records - Colossous is the recording name of Melys' bass player Rich Eardley. His four track solo EP has a straight forward energy that makes it instantly memorable and endearing - Vanarchy in the UK has a recipe of rhythm, subtle humour and guitars in exactly the right proportions. Review

  • 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 encyclopedic knowledge, and if he sees Beth Goudie as an underrated artist, we should all take notice. The interview explores Beth's recent releases and the motivations for her songwriting. Read more.

  • LogoLLANBERIS : LIVE SCENE REVIVED WITH 28 DECEMBER Y REU / GWILYM / ALFFA GIG
    New bands desperately need venues to play - especially in North Wales where their options are patchy at best. As a practical, direct response a new group of young people has formed to promote live music in Llanberis, taking a name - Gigs y Gilfach Ddu - to mark the area's slate quarry heritage. The first planned date is at Llanberis Social Club on Thursday, December 28th, and sets out their intent with an outstanding bill - local bands Alffa and Gwilym booked to support the electrifying Y Reu.

    Sôn am Sîn music bloggers Gethin Griffiths and Chris Roberts are involved in the project, and have underlined the groups' aims: "We are delighted to be part of organising Gigs y Gilfach Ddu. In the dust of the old gigs at Y Bedol and Fricsan, locations that have closed or changed over recent years, we hope Gigs y Gilfach Ddu will revive the live music scene in the area." Bethel musician Marged Rhys (Plu, Bendith) has also welcomed the new initiative, noting that it will compliment and balance the resurgent live scene in Caernarfon, and give vital opportunities to young bands to develop their sound.

    It looks a very promising collaborative venture. Ticket details will be available soon (we will post them as soon as they are) - for more information check the Gigs y Gilfach Ddu Facebook page.

  • Focus Wales 2018FOCUS WALES 2018 : TUDUR OWEN'S COMEDY MARATHON : 11.05.2018
    Focus Wales, Wrexham's dynamic annual international music/arts/interactive festival, is stepping up its commitment to Welsh comedy with a new 'Live at the Apollo' style showcase hosted by Tudur Owen. Already confirmed for the bill are rising stars Hywel Pitts from Colwyn Bay and Bangor funnyman Johnny Williams. More names will be confirmed soon.

    Tudur is a well-established act on the UK stand-up comedy circuit. Having started his career in 1999, he is now regarded as one of Wales' finest comedy talents with a string of sell out Edinburgh Fringe Festival runs to his name, as well an impressive writing and broadcasting CV. He has been recently commissioned by BBC Radio 4 for a series next year titled "Putting Anglesey On The Map". Tudur is well known for his comedy whether working in Welsh or English; the showcase will be bilingual, and fun for everyone, regardless of Welsh language abilities. He is, as The Reviews Hub states, 'riotously funny'.

    As Tudur is one of our favourite comedians (read the last review), we are exceptionally pleased to be working in association with Focus Wales to deliver this event; Tudur Owen's Comedy Marathon starts at 7.00pm on Friday 11th May, at HWB Cymraeg, Queens Square, Wrexham. Tickets are £8. Early bird tickets for the whole weekend of Focus Wales 2018 cost just £35 and are available here.