Tafwyl 2014

Congratulations to Menter Caerdydd on a superbly successful Tafwyl festival 2014. 17,000 people walked through the castle gates on Saturday, a quarter more than the previous year. Unfortunately I was working during the day, so I wasn’t able to enjoy any of it.



However the after-party in Clwb Ifor Bach was a triumph. It’s a shame there isn’t a turnout like that to every gig in Clwb…but hey…who cares…once a year is fine for me. And if it’s as manic as it was last night on that annual occasion, they might come back more often.

I managed to catch the last half of Y Reu’s set at Clwb Ifor Bach and absolutely loved it. Genuinely one of the most exciting bands I’ve seen in Welsh recently. I gather they usually have a drummer…but they don’t need one.

Y Reu

Y Reu

Yws Gwynedd got a reception unlike anything I’ve ever witnessed before in Clwb. His new material went down a storm, but it was the old Frizbee classics that made the floor LITERAAALLLYYYY shake. Here is a taste of both.


A stage invasion for Swnami brought the night to a close. Here is the evidence…



Y Ffug

I really like this band. They’re brilliant. They’re from Crymych.

Y Ffug have recently released an E.P., Cofiwch Dryweryn (Remember Tryweryn) which you can buy here at Sadwrn.com. One of their songs is called LLosgwch y Ty i Lawr a Lladdwch eich Rhieni (Burn the House Down and Kill your Parents). It’s available as a free download on their brand new website, www.ffug.co.uk.


Press, Print & Blogs

May I direct you towards the Horizons//Gorwelion tumblr page. It gives you an idea of the type of events they’re currently attending in order to promote the 12 artists that have been selected. It also features a short article that I wrote on how to get your music heard in Wales.

Press, Print & Blogs – Where to publicise your music in Wales?

Getting your music noticed, has in many ways, never been easier. Online music libraries like soundcloud and bandcamp, as well as the people power of social media, make getting your music into people’s ears relatively straightforward. However, going that step further, and getting your music on the radar of people that can spread the word for you takes a little more initiative.

We all know that the internet is a great way of connecting to fans and promoting your music. It was around a decade ago that Arctic Monkeys started putting their music online for free, eventually graduating from “I’ve found this great band on myspace” to, “fastest selling debut album EVER”. One thing that has changed is that now, every artist, band, bedroom DJ has a soundcloud page and a youtube channel. It serves as a shop window or portfolio which is easy for fans, journalists, bloggers and radio producers to access. You have control over what appears on your page so you can give away free downloads to some or all users, limit access to older material, and crucially, analyse your statistics.

Making it easy for people to hear your work is a good place to start, so build up a comprehensive online presence. Start a facebook page, a twitter account, put music on soundcloud and bandcamp, make films and put them online. If someone mentions your band to a friend, and they want to find you, it’s important to be easy to discover. Many people prefer gigs to listening online, so pointing people towards a gig you have, however small, can be a fantastic way to reach them. It also gives you a bit of credibility, if someone has decided to give you a gig, you can’t be that bad.

I am often surprised and impressed by the extent some artists will go to to publicise their music to blogs. Last week I received an email from an artist I had never heard of saying that they had a gig in Cardiff that night. They had researched local blogs and wanted to put my name on the guest list. Incidentally, I wasn’t able to make it, but I was so impressed by the attention to detail and determination of the artist that I took some time to listen to her soundcloud. It’s important to remember that behind the blogs, the articles and the radio programmes, there are real music fans, and going that extra step to put your name on their radar can be very effective.

In Wales there isn’t a huge amount of radio air time available for Welsh music in any language. However there are some DJs and producers that are real champions of the cause. Find out who they are (twitter is a good place to start) and how to get in touch with them. Follow people like Adam Walton, Bethan Elfyn from Radio Wales and Huw Stephens, Georgia Ruth, Lisa Gwilym and Gareth Iwan from Radio Cymru. These people can play you on the radio and that’s only ever a good thing.

Ultimately, publicising your music is down to you. Sending links to your music to as many people as possible, and tailoring any message you send to that particular person is the most important thing you can do. If you’re proactive and committed people will be impressed, and soon people will start publicising your music for you.



Jess Hall

Jess Hall- from jess-hall.com

Jess Hall- from jess-hall.com

Another Focus Wales themed post.

I met Jess Hall on Saturday night in Wrexham. Unfortunately, I missed her gig, but decided to look her up.

She’s fabulous. Others have compared her sound to Edith Piaf, Bjork and PJ Harvey, and I can see the resemblance.

She’s from Llandrindod Wells in mid Wales, and you can catch her on the cabaret stage at Landed festival, near Rhayader, on Sunday May 4th (be with you).

Her EP Glas Oren is out now and you can buy it on her bandcamp by following the link below.


Focus Wales or, Dear David


Over the weekend I went to Wrexham for the brilliant Focus Wales festival. I only managed to get there for the Saturday but I was really impressed.

I met this guy called David. He’d travelled all the way down from Coupar in Fife for the festival. He’d bought an early bird ticket and stayed for the whole weekend because he’s a huge fan of Welsh music. His passion started in the 90′s with the Super Furry Animals and Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci and now he’s learning Welsh online, listens to Yr Ods on the way to work and named his son Rhys, after Gruff Rhys. Moreover, he was really nice. David, I salute you. I wish there were more super fans like you in the world.

Yr Ods had a brilliant response from the crowd at Central Station. Their performance to an unfamiliar crowd was full of vitality and vitriol in equal measure. Perhaps it’s easier to sing songs of frustration about Wales in Welsh to people who don’t know what you’re saying.

Another band that really stood out for me was Constantina from Brazil. The gig took place at Un Deg Un, a reclaimed sports shop in the town centre. There was a piano outside and a bar that stopped sputtering beer out half way through. But still, Constantina were great.

The best thing for me about the festival is the way they put Welsh language bands on the same bill as other bands, that’s right, you guessed it, they JUXTAPOZED them. It’s so important to demystify Welsh language music and to give it a stage where people who love music can enjoy them without feeling like it’s not really for them. I would have loved to have stayed longer and seen more, but alas, next year.

Da iawn Focus Wales. Da iawn.

Horizons//Gorwelion 12

Over the weekend we found out who will be the Horizons project’s 12 championed artists.

Six Welsh language artists were on the list, and I imagine we’ll be seeing a lot more of them over the next few months. Most names were familiar to readers of this blog, names like Casi Wyn, Kizzy Crawford, and Plu. Others, like Chris Jones, are completely new.



Candelas- bbc.co.uk


Casi Wyn

Casi Wyn

Casi Wyn- bbc.co.uk


Chris Jones

Chris Jones- bbc.co.uk

Chris Jones- bbc.co.uk

Kizzy Crawford

Kizzy Crawford

Kizzy Crawford- bbc.co.uk




Plu- bbc.co.uk

Plu- bbc.co.uk



Swnami- bbc.co.uk

Swnami- bbc.co.uk



There were over 300 applicants for the scheme, however if you were unsuccessful it may well be worth keeping an eye on the Launchpad fund which will be offering up to £2,000 to 50 bands over the next two years. You can find out more here.

Adolygiad Ffilm: I’r Bur Hoff Bau


Bur Hoff Bau recently came to Cardiff- a mock-umentary about a mysterious German band from the 1970′s making a Welsh language album in the mountains of North Wales.
I’m hoping there will be another chance to see the film and the performance over the Summer and I will keep you updated if I come across any.
Meanwhile, you can buy the album on CD or Vinyl here: http://www.klepdimtrep.com/siop/burhoffbau/ir

Lowri Haf Cooke has reviewed the film…take a look here.

Originally posted on Lowri Haf Cooke:

I'r Bur Hoff Bau

Y Sêr: Osian Williams, Dafydd Owain, Gruff ab Arwel, Aled Hughes, Llyr Pari a Llyr Gwyn Lewis

Y. Cyfarwyddo: Nico Dafydd

Y Stori: Dafydd Owain, Gruff ab Arwel, Nico Dafydd a Llio Non

Hyd: 90mun

Adolygais I’r Bür Hoff Bau ar raglen Dewi Llwyd ar Fore Sul ar BBC Radio Cymru ar ddydd Sul Ebrill 20fed, 2014. Cliciwch yma i wrando eto.

Ro’n i’n wên o glust i glust wrth fwynhau I’r Bür Hoff Bau – cynhyrchiad Cymraeg gan Almaenwr annelwig. Ffrwyth dychymyg yw’r ffilm gan supergroup o fri, yn cynnwys aelodau Candelas, Cowbois Rhos Botwnnog ac Eitha Tal Ffranco.

Anghofiwch realaeth yr SRG cyfoes ac ymdoddwch dros dro i’r gorffennol – yr holl ffordd ‘nol i haf hirfelyn tesog 1974.

Bryd hynny – yn ôl y son – dau geffyl oedd yn y ras am sylw cwmni Recordiau Arwydd.

Roedd Saron yn ddeuawd dymunol o Ddyfed, llawn perlau pop peraidd…

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