NoGood Boyo : Eofn27.09.19 : Recordiau Udishido
Named after a fisherman in Dylan Thomas' Under Milk Wood (who fantasises about Mrs Dai Bread Two in her wet corset), NoGood Boyo's electrifying take on neo-trad has just won them the title of the world's best international Celtic band at Festival Interceltique de Lorient.
With no drop of pace, they have immediately followed that August triumph with a debut album that forces an adrenaline shot of excitement into British folk music.
There should have been high expectations for this release; NoGood Boyo are definitely a Welsh folk supergroup, and an earlier EP was rich in promise.
Bethan Rhiannon (voice, accordion, clogs), Sam Humphreys (guitar), Aneirin Jones (fiddle), Jordan Price Williams (voice, whistles & double bass) and Jordan Dibble (drums) have an overlapping heritage from involvement in Calan, Elfen, Pendevig and VRï. Yet, for all their honed musicianship and past innovation, it is safe to say they have never delivered something as consistently high octane and accomplished as this before.
As a statement of intent Eofn starts with a scintillating cover of Bryn Fôn's classic Y Bardd o Montreal, driven higher by Jones' magnificent, dancing fiddle, followed by a fearsome set of Welsh Tunes, Siani Flewog.
Then there’s a minute and a half of respite in the form of Rhiannon’s lambent, lightly-framed vocal introducing Ym Mhontypridd, before the song explodes into hard-drummed life.
The momentous flow of melody and rhythm doesn't let up from there until the last rollicking, effervescent notes of The Revival close the set. It is not all one frenetic rush - there are engaging shifts in style and tone throughout. The two songs Price Williams sings (a plaintive reading of Lisa Lan and a swaggering Swansea Town) offer an earthier contrast to Rhiannon's clear, enchanting voice; all the instrumentals sweep you up as a passing whirlwind would, but each is its own delight.
There's as much rare vitality in Eofn as there was in Ímar's exhilarating Avalanche released exactly a year ago. This is folk music with a high press and energy Jürgen Klopp would approve of - if a traditional band whose music surfs through pop, rock and EDM whilst still maintaining the beauty inherent in folk sounds an improbable concept, then here is one as fully reified proof.
More : Facebook