Archives for May 2006

The Full Ponty & Eisteddfod

Huw Stephens Huw Stephens | 13:30 UK time, Wednesday, 31 May 2006

After the busy weekend at the Full Ponty in Pontypridd, where Funeral For a Friend played a great headlining set as part of a homecoming of sorts, I raced up to Rhuthun in North Wales for the Eisteddfod, then raced back down on the train to London, falling asleep at various points and waking up shouting 'f***' a bit too loud before racing to catch the next train. I've still got mud on my trousers and I need to buy some new pants.

Had a good show last night with a distinctively country flava - Juanita Family Band did a great, really beautiful session for the show. They were all listening in Portland, Oregon too. Other tunes spun included Get Cape, Mutts, two Gorky's songs, Superqueens, Daedelus and Early Years. Next week in session - Broken Family Band. Hot with a capital H.

Today im off to Maida Vale to see Plans and Apologies record a session for the show, then Peter, Bjorn and John, then Phoenix. Woo hoo!

Long Live Gorky's Zygotic Mynci!

Huw Stephens Huw Stephens | 01:24 UK time, Sunday, 28 May 2006

It's bound to be a sad day when your favourite band in the whole wide world announce they're splitting up.
Gorky's Zygotic Mynci announced they were splitting up on Friday with a message on their website.
I'll always love the Gorky's music; it's inspiring, it's adventurous, it's beautiful and it'll always be there for me to listen to. Their back catalogue of music is immense, and their first three LP's are being re-released at the end of the year.

Rich and Euros have released their solo albums already this year. John Lawrence who used to be in the band makes music under the name Infinity Chimps. Pete plays in Euros's band. Megan is Euros' sister and a fine fiddle player. i saw them play with Electrelane in Brighton for a John Peel gig a few years back. I got them to sign my copy of Barafundle once upon a time, and ive still never been to Barafundle beach. My first ever gig was watching Gorky's, supported by Topper at an Eisteddfod when i was too young to know how not too drink and sleep in a hedge.

on a selfish note, i'm very glad they announced their split the day after my birthday, because it wouldve been miserable on my actual birthday. that night i went to see Jom Noir and had a drink with my friends, ate cake with my family and got a small tree from my girlfriend:) today and yesterday ive been in Pontypridd covering the Full Ponty, where I saw Ukelele Orchestra of great Britain, Mike Peters, GLC, Poppies, Feeder, Automatic, k-klass, Prince and Pulp play.

I lied about the last two

adios GZM:)!

i cannot believe Rob da Bank gave away my pants on the show on Thursday.

technooooooooooooooooooo and ooooooooooooo

Rob Da Bank | 00:13 UK time, Friday, 26 May 2006

sat here mid show with producer louise as the underground resistance setr from maida vale alternately batters and soothes my ears ...
oh yeah suburban knight has just cranked it up into propah techno style..really enjoying the show tonight so big up yourslves if youre out there listenin!

elsewhere in da bank land i was somehwat puzzled to get an email from jeremy beadles agent asking if i wanted to book mr beadle for my festival in september.. £1700 not bad though i dont know what he'd do down there? maybe just stand there and have people shout out 'watch out beadles about' at him...

in other news my blue room show has become part of a university of cambridge research project into whether cows produce more milk listening to radio 1, radio 2 or no radio at all.. barmy but great!

im hoping their udders become uncontrollably big while listiening to my dulcet tones and spray the entitre country with semi skimmed..ill let you know the results

also doing both blue room shows this weekend so tune in 5-7am sat and sun for loadsa horizontal things and a session from the ace tunng

toodleeoo and happy birthday huw!


and ur Kicks for free...

Huw Stephens Huw Stephens | 16:50 UK time, Wednesday, 24 May 2006

Just got back to Cardiff on the train. My birthday is tomorrow, I'll be 25. Sadly, this means my young persons railcard runs out tomorrow also. Gutted.

It was a Live Music extravaganza last night on the show with the All Tomorrows Parties highlights - Sleater-Kinney sounded so good! There's loads of pictures up from the weekend, and you can listen to mine and Rob's show for the next few weeks for more live highlights, including Boredoms, Lightning Bolt and Electrelane. We missed not having da Bank with us this year. It was fun to see Rob at a posh BBC do yesterday - everyone in suits and ties, and Rob in a pink cardigan :)

I was tempted to ask Terry Wogan, who was there, what he really thought of heavy metal Eurovision Swedish winners Lordi, and would 65 Days of Static be something he'd be interested in hearing. I didn't get the chance sadly.

On the train back I listened to the amazing new Early Years single, a fair few fine demos which will be on the show in the coming weeks, the incredible Four Tet DJ Kicks compilation which comes out in June which has a lovely sound to it, and an album by folksters Sild, which was mesmerising.

This is what we does.

Os Mutanates + ATP!!!

Huw Stephens Huw Stephens | 13:47 UK time, Tuesday, 23 May 2006

Holy Guacamole again, Brazilian Tropicalia Heroes Os Mutantes played last night, and it was incredible!

They hadn't played for 33 years and the ten-piece band played a hilarious set with Arnaldo and Sergio Dias Baptista, the two brothers from the original line-up playing in tights, boots and capes!
Their music is psychedelic pop, at times veering towards Brazilian cheese of course, but ultimately out of this world. I usually can't bring myself to clap along with bands, but an encore of A Minha Menina and the ace Bat Macumba had me clapping along and dancing int he aisles! A total treat.

Os Mutantes will be on tonights show, and other than them it's mostly all about All Tomorrow's Parties!

So live music from Sleater Kinney, Fiery Furnaces, Clinic, Elf Power and Dungen! Its gonna be good - the BBC engineers were recording loads of sets for me and Rob da Bank's shows, so loads more live music to come.

Were you there at ATP at all this year? Who were your highlights? Who would you liek to see curate in the future? What was your chalet like?



Rob Da Bank | 16:34 UK time, Monday, 22 May 2006

mornin campers - hope ur weekends were happy! started mine off by haring it down to brighton to interview michael eavis in front a live audience as part of the great escape festival

have only met michael once when i was paralytic in the lost vaguness field and i was haranguing him about how he was God.. so i was slightly more sober this time and surprisingly calm when it came to the interview..i hate public speaking despite being a 'broadcaster' in the loosest sense of the word...

we rambled on for three quarters of an hour and michael went off on many tangents as he'd warned he would

probably the most intriguing was when he told us he'd booked 2007's headliner (there is no glasto this year remember! it would be highly embrassing if you were stood in the stone circle watching the sunrise on your own in a months time!) ... he wouldnt tell us who it was and warned that we'd never guess as it was on of the most amazing acts of the last 25 years but so unlikely that we wouldnt guess

i ran through the usual suspects U2, the stones and pink floyd..and bunged in chas n dave for good measure but he was keeping mum ..later the wife josie blurted out that she thought it was michal jackson and that makes quite a lot of sense..but i didnt ask mr eavis..just in case we got it right...

ooh, what a mystery

the rest of the weekend has been spent huddling in a windswept marquee on top of a cliff on the isle of wight at a mates wedding... drunk... in charge of a small baby...with a hosepipe ban sweeping the nation..

night night


Huw Stephens Huw Stephens | 13:44 UK time, Monday, 22 May 2006

howdy ho everybody
haven't blogged since last week, been doing loads though!

last weeks gigs included the Radio 1 Wales one at Barfly Cardiff, with Akira the Don overcoming laptop troubles to put in a great set and ace band Sibrydion supporting. Missed Spencer McGarry opening up as was on air, only good reports though:)

Saw Tunng play a hugely enjoyable folky dokey set on Friday night, playing tunes from their new album Comments of the Inner Chorus, which is out this week. Jenny!

Just got back from The United Sounds of All Tomoorrows Parties in Camber Sands. Despite the wind and rain bashing down ont he Pontins site, it was a lot of fun, and I met a lot of incredibyl nice people.
The OneMusic posse (me, Martyn, Amy and Louise) arrived on Saturday. Boredoms kicked it all off with their frenetic Japanese prog-electro rock rhythms with three drummers, arms of pure muscle and a shouty man on reverb. Ace stuff indeed, so glad I saw them.

Dungen's Swedish psychedelia perfectly fitted the crocodile characters around the room somehow, and played tweice over the weekend, and seeing the Black Heart Procession's set was a pleasant surprise. Radar Bros played a good set, and 1990s have the best name of the weekend. The songs don't quite sit right with me - they're nearly there, nearly whole, nearly banging and unmissable. But not quite.

Fiery Furnaces' Eleanor Friedberger is on top form tonight, vocals sounding incredible, dressed from head to toe in pure white, and the new songs pack so many ideas into single tracks. They could fill stadiums. Eurovision song contest is on now - is this why the room isn't packed, because the indiest of crowds are watching bad songs on telly? Probably.

I saw the results of the eurovision song contest.. Lordi win. A member of ace rock band Lords is at ATP. They should be the UK entry next year with I Want to see you Drunk and dancing like a russian. They would win. Serious.

The Gossip make good time rock and roll, and hands are thrown in the air. During Joanna Newsom's ser there's folk talking and I can't hear her. I go to the BBC sound truck where Simon Askew, Andy Rogers and Mixmaster Carwyn are listening to her set. Her harp playing is incredible, her voice is peculiar and chilling. How does she compose her songs? I have no idea.

Sleater kinney - are great.

Lightning Bolt want to know if the caed man in shorts running around ATP is at their gig. He isn't, but only 500 hundred are, because they insist on playing on the floor with the crowd rather than onstage.
They're incredible, and incredibly loud, making the best racket of the weekend.

In the merchandise room/playpen I bought a tape covered entirely in wax. I haven't opened it yet, and maybe never will.

Big Business rocked, Clinic were ace and played new songs, Electrelane were wonderful and the Black Keys were out of this world.

Live highlights from ATP will be on my show this week and next week, and on Rob's shows too. Hoorah!


Rob Da Bank | 11:28 UK time, Thursday, 18 May 2006

hello gang, had an idea prompted by something i saw in time out mag (so i dont get sued for copying someones good idea)

was a piece about things you didnt know about radiohead...full of fascinatingly dull facts like they once supported neds atmoic dustbin and jonny greenwood has three knees (ok i made that up)

anyway theres also a great list of covers that radiohead have done - from glen campbells rhinestone cowboy to the beatles tomorrow never knows and neil youngs on the beach..plsu many more..

jus wondfering if amongst our throng we have a radioheadmaniacfan who has all these on a cd that i can use on my blue room show..for a fun radiohead covers bit..if you do please email me at and ill send you a fiver and some carrots in exchange

in other business listen to the show tonight or ill get ya!


Huw Stephens Huw Stephens | 16:36 UK time, Wednesday, 17 May 2006

The show last night was a lot of fun, but questions have become apparent after it. These questions are;

1. Is the Pipettes new single, Pull Shapes, from their forthcoming album We are the Pipettes, going to go to number one? Because it should.

2. Is it right to call an album He Poos Clouds? Because that is what Canadian Final Fantasy has done.

3. Who is the Micael that Buenos Aries singer Juana Molina is singing about?

4. Does the Dawn of the Replicants remix sound really, really spooky or what?

5. Who is the Raymond that Manilla have named a track after?

None of these questions were answered on the show. But other less puzzling ones, were


Monday Monday....

Huw Stephens Huw Stephens | 16:30 UK time, Monday, 15 May 2006

its only ruddy Monday!

I guested on Steve Lamacqs 6Music show last Friday, with Blaine from the Mystery Jets and Nicky Wire from Manic Street Preachers. We were reviewing some new released, including Nelly Furtado, Little Man Tate, The Automatic, Paul Simon and the Raconteurs. Different opinions were expressed, and The Automatic won.

It's not often a Manic Street Preacher personally hands you a copy of his new solo album. There's good reason for this of course; Sean, James or Nicky have never recorded one before. But with James' debut solo offering now arriving on music industry folks desks with a watermark stamp and a friendly warning that if you upload it onto the internet the record company lawyers might well come round your house and have quite a stern and nasty word in your ear, Nicky Wire gave me a copy of his own album last week with the words, 'Do with it what you want'.

It's called I Killed the Zeitgeist, and it comes with a handmade sleeve by Nicky himself. His voice has an honesty and a child-like warmth to it that is pleasing on the ear, and the album on the first few listens is an up close and personal collection of songs that are emotional, honest and engaging, with no no pomp or pretension involved.

I went to see the amazing Longcut play with a good support slot from We Start Fires and a weird support slot from the Klaxons. I drank german beer and went to see my girlfriend.

and listened to the amazing Juana Molina album!

1 very very big weekend

Rob Da Bank | 11:22 UK time, Monday, 15 May 2006

wow, just got back from sunny (and slightly nippy) dundee - radio 1's big weekend which was amazing!
yes i know they pay my wages but this was a seriously good festival -free for starters for tens of thousands of scots and a smattering of us softy english people...

me and my blue room pal chris coco went on the rampage, sinking cider, chatting to the lovely people of dundee and seeing some ace band

Primal Scream - incredible greatest hits mini set starting with movin on up and wrapping up with Rocks...and 2 or 3 new tracks unveiled to an ecstatic audience - in the absence of joe strummer or johnny cash, bobby gillespie has to win most darn cool frontman...even if he dances like his legs are made from bubble gum

Yeah Yeah Yeahs - coco and i had the pleasure of warming up the tent for the yeahs - not sure how well we did that (although the hardcore version of the Proclaimers - 500 miles) did get em going in the end... but once Karen O and the boys had taken to the stage it was lift off time - amazing rapt performance

The View - local boys from just over the other side of the park where the site signings to up and coming label 1965 and deffo ones to watch ... like the arctic monkeys from scotland..with even more raw energy and unfathomable lyrics about what them and their wee pals get up to

anyway back down to earth with a bang and a mild hangover..

on the shows this week Ive got the amazing blind malian musicians amadou and mariam on one music on thursday and sebastien tellier in session on the blue room on saturday so please try and tune in..or listen again my friends..

have fun whatever youre doin my friends!



thunder and lightning...

Huw Stephens Huw Stephens | 11:31 UK time, Thursday, 11 May 2006

Was it only in Cardiff there was crazy thunder and lightning last night after a boiling hot day? I tried to take a photo, but wasn't quick enough. And also, decided that holding a metal object above my head with all that lightning probably wasn't a good idea.

Had a lot of brilliant music on the show this week - from Belgian beats to icelandic chauntesses, and Darren Haymans corking five track session - including an old Hefner song, re-worked in a banjo-stylee!

I went to see The Devil and Daniel Johnston, a great film about the singer from Texas. He's been making his own tapes since he was young, and suffered from mental health problems and gained an almost religious following. His music is incredible, and the film is well worth seeing; it's sad, interesting, entertaining and quite beautiful. Also, the mayor of Austin, texas has named this Friday the official Daniel Johnston Day to commememrate the opening of the film!

Well done Rob for running the run last weekend! - i owe you money and Ill get it to you soon innit.

Today is the 25th anniversary of Bob Marley's death. Welsh Reggae legend Geraint Jarman was on my Radio Cymru show last night playing some tunes and talking about his various gigs and projects. He chose an amazing record by Sinead O'Connor - Jah no Dead from her recent roots and reggae album. It was stunning!

Have a good show tonight Vic Galloway!

my legs have dropped off

Rob Da Bank | 11:58 UK time, Wednesday, 10 May 2006

well made u read on anyway didnt it!
so i completed my charidee run for cystic fibrosis on saturday - 10 kilometres in 55 minutes so i was quite pleased with myself - even if i cant walk now!

ive been booted out the one music seat this thursday by my scottish compadre vic galloway who'll be repping from oop north cos its radio 1s big weekend in dundee so the whole stations gone tartan..

im up there too with chris coco djing on sat night and thne warming up for the yeah yeah yeahs on the In New Music We Trust stage on Sunday - hope Karen O likes my tunes and wears some sparkly leggings..

we need to know some info off you gusy too for our Not So Secret Now Secret -

1) anyone live in derby? we're uncovering the scene up there and need some hot bands and djs to if youve got any ideas

2) we're also gonna be doing a feature on underground festivals as there are so many around let us know if you're going to a small underground festy anytime soon..same email pls


Les Nuits..

Huw Stephens Huw Stephens | 12:10 UK time, Tuesday, 9 May 2006

By chance, I came across this mini-festival in Brussels called Les Nuits Botanique. I'd been to the Botanique venue before to see Brakes play, and this was a week long festival of gigs, with three rooms full of music.

This is something the rest of Europe does well and is normal to them, putting on events and making a special effort to put on a varied line-up (Vitalic, My Latest Novel and Motorpsycho). And stalls that serve nice food and not just chips.

On the Friday night me and my girlfriend enjoyed Great Lake Swimmers who I hadn't heard before. Their soft folky songs had an eery quality, and they're over here for dates this week it turns out.

Howe Gelb, he of Giant Sand fame, played with a gospel choir on Sunday night, which was fun to begin with, but lost some of its magic towards the end.

I bought my first ever furry ten inch on the weekend too.

That'll be on tonights show, and a brand new session from Darren Hayman! More unsigneds cuts well worth hearing, Props to the Shops, and music you won't hear anywhere else.


I emerge victorious!

Huw Stephens Huw Stephens | 13:15 UK time, Friday, 5 May 2006

Holy guacamole its a boiling hot day!

So I won the Lap Off - yipee! Check it all out here, and wonder at the electronically minded ones wicked sets.

Better luck next time da Bank - good luck with the big run tomorrow!

Saw Get Cape.Wear Cape.Fly last night in Cardiff at my May the Fourth be With You night. Sam was on top form, had a few new songs and sounded as majestic and challenging as ever. He's playing at Download and Reading, the Wireless Festival and doing dates with Funeral for a Friend and Massive Attack over the summer, so maybe you'll see him?

I'll be playing his new single on the show on Tuesday too.

Juanita Family and Friends were brilliant. Their first gig outside of the US, and it was a proper country set, with Lana Rebel and Holly's sweet vocals, and a suitcase being used as a bassdrum! Bob Harris the country king of Radio 2 needs to hear them!

Right now I'm in Belgium, home of chocolate and Soulwax, as it's my missus' birthday this weekend. Haven't got her anything yet - might have to be that promo copy of the new Bon Jovi single.....

Have a lovely weekend... Also while you're at it, check out Richard James from last night!

tonights the night

Rob Da Bank | 18:45 UK time, Thursday, 4 May 2006

that the LAP OFF comes to its logical i win by three rounds against the bearded one from wales ... if youre not up to speed me and huw had three laptop artistes each battle each other at maida vale..huw played his on tuesday..i play mine tonite so tune in and vote for us..not that you can but ...hmm

anyone seen that film Grizzly Man? where a mans filmed himself living with grizzly bears in alaska for 8 years..and then gets killed by one ..and his girlfriend gets it in the neck too..and the legs and arms by the sound (and pictures of it) ... top film if youre bored of the radio

no, dont be bored by radio! tune into this weekends Blue Room 5-7am Saturday morning or listen again next a great mix from Matthew Dear (Audion) and top tuneage from Boards of Canada, Bob Marley, Johnny Cash and well lots of other people

tune in turn on and get horizontal

oyure not wrogn Rob

Huw Stephens Huw Stephens | 23:32 UK time, Wednesday, 3 May 2006

Then again, maybe i should have paid more attention in school. or maybe not drink any alcohol before writing these blogs?!

Just got back from seeing SFA doing a warm up gig at the Point in Cardif Bay, saw half the set because was in work for the first half, and they sounded wicked! Slow Life and the mighty Man Don't Give a F**k were my highlights. Saw one of this weeks unsigned artistes, Cate le Bon support them too, and apart from loads of people talking, it was a lovely set of country folk songs to sing round an imaginary campfire.

Juanita Family and Friends, who Ive played on the show quite a bit since seeing them at SXSW last year are now in the UK, their first trip out of America. I'm putting on a gig with them at Clwb Ifor Bach on this Thursday, and the Borderline in London on May 7th, with loads of wicked support acts.

This Thursday (May 4th), Richard James is in session on the Beth and Huw show on Radio 1, recorded just yesterday - should be ace!

Right, more cornflakes for me I think



Rob Da Bank | 22:14 UK time, Wednesday, 3 May 2006

they need a spellchecker on here loads of our words tumble out of our mouths in stream of consciousness and sometimes arnt spilt rite

Big Ask - Big Gig

Huw Stephens Huw Stephens | 17:21 UK time, Tuesday, 2 May 2006

After doing Zane's show last night in a bank holiday Mondya special kind of vibe, jammed to the rafters with wicked new spiky and mellow tunes listen again here (anyone here Fresh Meat - liked the tracks?), I bombed it down to Koko's in Camden. It was a special Big Ask Live Benefit Concert, which which is all about Friends of the Earth campaign on Climate Change, to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. As Gruff Rhys from Super Furry Animals pointed out onstage, it's quite a small ask really. He played an entertaining set with tunes from his recent solo album and a new track too, assisted by the bird and keyboards he used on his OneMusic session last year.
Thom Yorke and Johnny Greenwood played a rather lengthy set, much to the audience's delight, a lot of whom had paid silly money to be there (with all proceeds going to charity of course). They had a laugh onstage, and played classics like No Surprises, and it was particularly odd to hear an acoustic version of Paranoid Android, as it's such a mammoth song fully plugged in. It sounded pretty mammothical last night too, even though I felt a bit sad watching the giant disco ball hnagning from the ceiling of the extraordinary venue while cnape and champagne was being served. New songs included Bodysnatchers and Arpeggi.
Host Simon Amstell was well funny - he did a song called Fish int he Sand just before the 'head came on. It's up there with My Lovely Horse I reckon. Check here to get involved with the Big Ask.

what a may day!

Rob Da Bank | 19:34 UK time, Monday, 1 May 2006

dunno what beardy boy stephens is feeling so sorry for having to run 10 yards to retrieve hsi satchel off the train ... i had to get up in the middle of the night to go into wonderful radio uno and join my compadre christopher of the coconuts (chris coco to his mum) for a 3 hour bank holiday bonanza - think it sounded like we were having fun - tricky to tell whats what at that time in the morning

so got back, baby Arlo pooed on my arm again which im getting used to now so i sometimes dont bother washing it off... and then i saddled up my trusty trainers and went on as long a run as i could before my lungs fell out of my bum ... 25 minutes that was..

this is of course in preparation for my 10k charity run next week..god knows who'll do my show if i drop dead after 4 kilometres

rewinding slightly back thruough my weekend had a great time at the ICA on friday where i had booked bands The Hat and Magnetophone - both brill and the stoned psychedelic electronic folk of magnetophone was a joy live

reet, im off to wipe that poo off


May is Here...

Huw Stephens Huw Stephens | 18:20 UK time, Monday, 1 May 2006

with a bang! it feels like summer already, but musn't get too excited in case the rain comes back of course.
had a busy weekend at eh Cardiff Student Media Awards at a posh do, with me and Bethan Elfyn giving out the awards. Well done to everyone who won!
After that it was off to see a noisy crowd enjoy Jakokoyak's set, with his solo laptop set different to when he has a full band onstage with him. He played the 1st OneMusic birthday party with Mogwai in February - good stuff!
Saturday I watched Louise the producers DVD of Curb Your Enthusiasm - wicked stuff:)
I really enjoyed a set by Genod Droog that night - fulll of energy, full of people, full of fun and hip hop. Had a wicked time DJing afterwards too. it's a good feeling to get people dancing! especially when i can't dance for chips myself of course.
It was my mate James' secret birthday last night - he was 21 again, and had a big cake and a bop to celebrate!
In for Zane tonight with 3 new tunes in Fresh meat, and got loads of new music to play you - gonna cram them all in while I can.

Happy bank holiday y'all


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