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Folkwales Online Magazine March 2013

Gwerincymru — o Gymru o’r byd



WOMEX: Grooming artists for the future

WOMEX is the most important international professional market of world music, and it’s coming to Cardiff in October this year – and applications have now closed for Wales-based musicians to join the Artist Development Programme, which will groom them to become professional artists with a sound knowledge of the music industry. 


Hosting WOMEX in Cardiff is seen as boosting the world music industry across Wales, and as a way of raising the ambitions of musicians in Wales to work and export their music internationally. A rolling programme is in place to support musicians in Wales towards this aim, with the view of using WOMEX 13 as the launch-pad for more contact with international agents, buyers, festival promoters and all the high-powered paraphernalia.


The Artist Development Programme is a partnership between trac: Music Traditions Wales, Bangor University Music School and Cerdd Cymru:Music Wales. It is designed to offer Wales-based musicians the kind of high-level professional skills that are usually only available to those signed to big record labels. Borrowing from models used by Team GB in preparation for the Olympics, this programme will bring in international expertise across a range of skills, including repertoire development, performance and staging, advanced recording techniques, image and promotion, international touring, technical know-how for touring, networking and media. These international specialists will work both with the performers and with eight mentors, who are already heavily involved in developing and nurturing the next generation of musicians in Wales.


Funding has been secured for the Artist Development Programme through the Arts Council of Wales’s newly established strand of Arts Lottery funding to support Music Industry Development. Through this fund, ACW is funding development possibilities for musicians and music professionals.


Eight individual musicians or groups have been invited to take part in the course, which will be focused around two intensive week-long residential training camps at Bangor University on April 6 - 13 and June 22 – 29 this year.

Whiskey River at Saturday Live

The open-mic Second Tuesday Club in north Cardiff, which filled the gap left by Frank Hennessy’s BBC Club in Llandaff, has become so successful that the organisers are putting on First Saturday Live Music Nights at the Whitchurch Rugby Sports and Social Club in Samuels Crescent. Martin Blake and Aidan Sheehan, AKA The Whiskey River Boys, played there on March 2, and the whole of the Cajun band Whiskey River play The Boomswingers Club at the Mackintosh Institute in Keppoch Street, Roath, Cardiff on April 13 to celebrate club’s fifth anniversary.


Barrule gear stolen

Mabon musician Adam Rhodes and fiddler Tomás Callister from Manx trio Barrule had their equipment stolen from a car near York on a Saturday night in February (the other musician is wizard accordionist Jamie Smith, now living in Risca, Gwent.) Bouzouki, guitar, pedals and a flight case are missing. The band are asking the public to log in to this link to see pictures and a list and see if they might be able to get some of them back, and appealing to fellow musicians to keep their eyes peeled.

Home Service at Roots Unearthed

The mighty band Home Service, formed to convey actor and musician John Tams’ anthemic observations on the unfairness of Tory-led Britain, will be coming to St David’s Hall Level Three Lounge on Tuesday, April 30 in the Roots Unearthed series of intimate concerts. The full list is Bella Hardy and The Midnight Watch (Tuesday May 14); Spiers and Boden, plus Welsh fiddle and harp duo DnA (Monday May 20); Tim Edey and Brendan Power (Tuesday June 4); and fabulous Welsh band Fernhill (Tuesday July 2). All events start at 8pm.

Hannah and Sam for Llantrisant

Scintillating violin and accordion duo Hannah James and Sam Sweeney are the guests at Llantrisant Folk Club this Wednesday, March 13, at The Windsor Hotel, Pontyclun. The club has a mouth-watering diary coming up – a showcase with Rapsquillion (March 27); American shanty singers Joy Bennett and Chris Koldewey (April 3); Breton musicians Brigitte Kloareg and Yann-Fanch Perroches (April 24); folk choir Freshly Ground, with Issy Emeny (May 8); showcase with String Button Band (April 15); O’Hooley and Tidow (May 29); and the songs of Jake Thackray with Will Morgan (June 5).

Mabon for Tredegar House Festival

Jamie Smith’s Mabon headline Tredegar House International Festival, which is happening on the weekend of May 10 to 12. Bob Fox, fresh from acting as The Songman in Michael Morpurgo’s West End hit War Horse, is playing the Morgan Room at the festival, courtesy of Newport Folk Club, and the line-up is South of France chanteuse Flossie Malavialle, Welsh-Estonian husband and wife Sild, The Young’uns, Derby-born draw Lucy Ward, Midlands harmony trio The Morning After, Cardiff-based songwriters BarlowCree and Rapsquillion, veterans of the Shropshire folk scene. Latvian and Finnish dance teams will be on display, along with Welsh dancers Gwerinwyr Gwent, Cwmni Gwerin Pont-y-Pŵl, The Widders border morris side and all the English and Welsh dance teams. Alaw – the amazing Welsh tunes trio constisting of jazz guitarist Dylan Fowler, Oli Wilson-Dickson on violin and accordionist Jamie Smith - play a benefit for the festival in The Morgan Room at  Tredegar House, Newport, on Saturday, April 27. Visit the Festival website.

New home for Acoustic Routes

Following the demise of GBK Radio, Dave Chamberlain’s Acoustic Routes show has a new home on Dapper FM, a community radio station based in Penywaun, near Aberdare. The show still goes out every Monday night, 8pm - 10pm. The Acoustic Routes address has changed to: c/o 19 Bridgefield Street, Abertridwr, Caerphilly CF83 4DG.

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Fisherman’s Friends' tragedy: Concert cancelled

St David’s Hall in Cardiff has cancelled the Port Isaac’s Fisherman’s Friends concert on Sunday, March 10, following the deaths of group member Trevor Grills and tour manager Paul McMullen. Trevor died in hospital after a metal door fell on him and killed Paul in a freak accident at the G Live concert venue in Guildford, Surrey.


A St David’s Hall statement said: “It is with great sadness that we heard of the tragic deaths of singer Trevor Grills and tour manager Paul McMullen of Port Isaac's Fisherman's Friends. The staff and management of St David's Hall send their condolences to the group at this sad time.  The concert due to be held at St David’s Hall on Sunday 10 March will not take place, and we will be writing to all ticket holders to inform them of the situation and will be offering a full refund.”


Trevor, who was 54, is believed to have been unloading gear for the concert with Paul  when the tragedy occurred. Paul, 44, suffered serious leg injuries and was treated by paramedics but died at the scene. Trevor was taken to St George’s Hospital, Tooting, South London, with serious head injuries but died in hospital overnight.


In a statement, the Port Isaac singers said: “The Fisherman’s Friends announce with great sadness that their friend and fellow band member Trevor Grills passed away last night as a result of severe head injuries inflicted during an accident on Saturday February 9.

“Trevor was a much-loved and valued friend to all of us and was an integral part of the Port Isaac community. He will be sadly missed. Our thoughts are with Trevor’s family at this very difficult time.”


Darcus Beese, president of Island Records, the group’s label, added: “We are all deeply saddened at losing Trevor. The Fisherman’s Friends are exactly that - life-long partners in all they do, and our thoughts and prayers go out to them and Trevor’s family and friends.” 

Fire in the Mountain programme unveiled

Jamie Smith’s Mabon head a glittering Welsh line-up at the third Fire In The Mountain festival, which takes place at Cwmnewidion Isaf, Cnwch Coch, near Aberystwyth from Friday, May 31 until June 2. Sheelanigig from Bristol headline Friday night and premier fiddler and old time master Bruce Molsky, from the USA, is the main guest on Saturday night. The Turbans, who play Middle Eastern music with a Hackney twist, are the Sunday night headliners. More info as soon as we can get it…

Two-week tour for Martyn, Luke

Penarth-born singer-songwriter Martyn Joseph takes off on a two-week British tour on April 9, with the fast-rising 10-year-old Luke Jackson supporting him - and joining Martyn on seven of the April shows will be the American-born producer the CD Songs For The Coming Home, Mason Neely, who has worked with artists including Cerys Matthews.


But Welsh audiences will not see Martyn and Luke - that is, unless they travel. The tour comes to Gloucester on April 18 (Friars Folk and Roots, Blackfriars Priory, Ladybellgate Street) and Bath on April 19 (Chapel Arts Centre, St James Memorial Hall, Lower Borough Walls.)  Bob Harris has compared Martyn to the finest of wines, while Classic Rock has described his powerful and prolific material as “As honest as music can get”.


A gifted guitar player with a juggernaut voice, he has an enviable high-level connectivity with his audience. Three decades, half a million album sales and 31 albums on, the charismatic and unstoppable Joseph has been dubbed “The Welsh Springsteen” - and he continues to garner fans everywhere with his uncanny melting pot of both robust and fragile material. He won the Best Male Artist title in the BBC Welsh Music Awards, while his wistful There’s Always Maybe from his penultimate album Under Lemonade Skies won the global Independent Music Awards Best Folk Song category. In demand on both sides of the Atlantic, the inspired singer songwriter will return from another North American tour to launch into his spring tour, kicking off with a capital performance at London’s Green Note and taking in cities from Aberdeen to Leicester.

Gŵyl Cadi Ha: Let's celebrate!

The North Wales dance festival Gŵyl Cadi Ha will be held in Holywell (Treffynnon), Flintshire. on Saturday April 27 - the 16th annual festival of Welsh folk dancing in the town. Gŵyl Cadi Ha is organised by the Flintshire dance team, Dawnswyr Delyn, who are celebrating their 25th anniversary with an evening meal before the festival. Details can be obtained from Chairman/Secretary Chris Bailey, 42 Holcombe Drive, Llandrindod, Powys LD1 6DN.


It's snow joke for Bethan and baby Gweni

Congratulations to harper Bethan Nia and Richard Reast on the birth of a daughter, Gweni Eira. Thick snow around the couple’s Pontypridd home didn’t help; Bethan was 12 days overdue and the candidate for an emergency caesarean. Richard said: “We were hoping for a home birth, but got caught out by the snow. We had to get a 4x4 ambulance to come up the hill.”  Mother and baby are doing well; Eira is Welsh for Snow!

Sara and Keiron play gigs in Gwent 

Musical Mom-and-son Sara Grey and Keiron Means have two interesting tour dates in Gwent; they play Dylan Fowler’s Stwdio Felin Fach in Abergavenny on Monday May 6 (8pm) and Richard Booth’s Bookstore in Lion Street, Hay-on-Wye, on Tuesday  May 7 (8pm).

Wild Angels' free taster

The Wild Angels Community Choir (led by oboe and hammered dulcimer-playing musician Sue Harris) rehearse fortnightly on Thursdays at Dol-Llys Hall in Llanidloes at 7.30pm. They have already organised a free taster session; contact number: Patricia, 01686 625980.

Le Vent De Nord kick off at Borough Theatre

Quebecois band Le Vent De Nord kick off their British tour on Thursday July 25 at the Borough Theatre, Cross Street, Abergavenny, at 7.30pm before playing at the WOMAD festival in Malmesbury, Cambridge Folk Festival, Sidmouth  Folk Festival and Warwick Folk Festival. Borough Theatre box office phone number is 01873 850805.



Contact: Mick Tems, Editor - Folkwales Magazine, 88 Manor Chase, Y Beddau, Pontypridd, CYMRU / WALES CF38 2JE Phone: 01443 206689

E-mail: micktems@folkwales.org.uk Website: www.folkwales.org.uk