Talk about Newsnight


Welsh Haze

  • Newsnight
  • 3 Jan 07, 04:57 PM

Tich GwilymSo if it wasn't Jimi Hendrix jammin' the Welsh national anthem who was it?

Yesterday you were all very sceptical that the man hailed by many as the greatest rock guitarist ever to have lifted a plectrum was behind this - a kind of Electric Ladyland of My Fathers if you will.

Many suggested
that it is actually by Wales' own guitar legend Tich Gwilym (pictured), who died in a house fire in 2005. Others strenuously refute this - not least our own Jones - producer Meirion.

So is it Tich? Does anyone out there know?

Comments  Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 05:48 PM on 03 Jan 2007,
  • Doris Maurice wrote:

I've listened to the recording five times now and the final bars sounded as authenticate as anything I've ever heard.


Oi! I'm not saying it is Jimi. What I am saying is there are a limited number of possibilities. The first question is...

Do you believe Martin Davies's account of how the tape came to light and what he was told by the man in the pub who like almost everyone else in this story turns out to be dead? We haven't managed to talk to Martin yet but we'd love to.

If you do believe that then the player is either

(1) Jimi Hendrix or
(2) Someone else at the recording session and familiar with Hendrix's music and the Welsh national anthem. Step forward Viv Williams from Crickhowell believed to have gone to a lock-in with Jimi (dead ) and his manager (dead).

If you don't believe it then it is a hoax perpetrated either by or through Martin Davies. In which case it could be almost anyone including Tich (dead) although it doesn't sound particularly like his version, the Manics (partly dead) not to mention half the bands that played the New Moon Club (also dead - well, long demolished) in Cardiff in the 70s and early 80s.

My money's on Viv but I could easily be wrong. Let's hope he hasn't succumbed to The Curse of the Mangled Anthem too.

  • 3.
  • At 07:20 PM on 03 Jan 2007,
  • James Hartley wrote:

I'm a big Jimi fan but i seriously doubt this was played by Hendrix. Emotionally it didn't have any of his feel, timing, or sheer class... In fact, it didn't touch me at all.. something which all his previous recordings have.

  • 4.
  • At 07:40 PM on 03 Jan 2007,
  • John wrote:

I agree 100% with James Hartley.

That is never Jimi Hendrix.

In addition to James's comments about "feel, timing, or sheer class", I would add tone, vibrato, and the feeling of managed chaos. :-)

  • 5.
  • At 08:10 PM on 03 Jan 2007,
  • John Aldridge wrote:

I have been a Hendrix fan since 1968, and have played guitar since 1973. This recording sounds like Hendrix only because an overdriven Marshall amp and a reverb/echo unit is used, similar to the Hendrix Woodstock setup. Some simple tremolo bar use, feedback level amp, and also a few added filagree notes "reminds one" of Hendrix, but truly it does not display his incredible sense of timing or extra notes or tricks he could invent on the spot, in a very musically satisfying way. I have often told people that it is worth learning to play guitar, just so that you could appreciate Hendrix all that much more. Really, any decent guitarist, with the above mentioned guitar rig, could turn nearly any tune into a Hendrix sound alike...but only sound alike, not played alike.

  • 6.
  • At 11:36 PM on 03 Jan 2007,
  • Alexander Kane wrote:

Come off it! I've been a Hendrix fan for the last decade and only played guitar for five years, but there is no real chance that's Hendrix. While it has a similar sound (which can be achieved by just adjusting your pedals and amp settings), it lacks the innovation and improvisation I would have expected from Jimi Hendrix. To be honest, that's as likely to be Jimi Hendrix as it is anybody who can use an amp properly, in my opinion at least.

  • 7.
  • At 11:48 PM on 03 Jan 2007,
  • Dewi Williams wrote:

Tich Gwilym used to do this at the end of every gig, and he sounded a lot more like Hendrix than this!

Tich Gwilym's version is spine-tinglingly breathtaking, and this version doesn't sound at all like it.

As for Hendrix, I would be inclined to agree with those above who know his work better than me. It's not him.

And I agree with John Aldridge above, it could be anybody. There must be hundreds of lead guitarists who finish a gig with the anthem up and down Wales, and any of them could have recorded it.

  • 8.
  • At 01:46 AM on 04 Jan 2007,
  • Tim Fernandes-Bonnar wrote:

sadly not in my opinion. I agree with the previous posts. I've heard studio recordings of him doing a warm before a new years gig he plays auld lang syne into possibly Danny boy and then possibly God save the queen. Awesome just playing with the guitar and sound set up. This is just too note perfect to the original for it to be Jimi.
but there are more gems out there to be found

  • 9.
  • At 07:31 AM on 04 Jan 2007,
  • deepinder cheema wrote:

I'am saddened to hear what happened to Tich, and praise to Newsnight for playing out with Tich performing Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau in front of the nation, it was a touching tribute to him, especially as I recall seeing him at the Royal Oak in Cardiff in the early 90's. Can I get a commercial release of this along with other Tich stuff?

  • 10.
  • At 10:00 AM on 04 Jan 2007,
  • pads wrote:

deepinder cheema - Tich Gwilym's version is on the "Welsh Rare Beats" CD, compiled by Gruff Rhys.

  • 11.
  • At 11:10 AM on 04 Jan 2007,
  • Dave Jackson wrote:

As a Hendrix fan, non-Welshman and amateur guitarist of 25 years standing, I don't believe it's Jimi. In fact - no disrespect to the other names mentioned if one of them *was* responsible - I could do a better job myself, given a few listens to the original tune. The vibrato arm technique is lousy, the tone is nowhere near classic Hendrix and I'm not tempted to listen to it again. Sorry!

  • 12.
  • At 11:23 AM on 04 Jan 2007,
  • Mike wrote:

This isn't Hendrix, if you listen closely to the tone of the guitar is sounds very, very modern when compared to his version of Star Spangled Banner. I have a sneaking suspision that this song was played using some kind of digitial setup, perhaps a Line 6 amp.

Haha - there is no way this is Hendrix.

Stylisticlly there is a trill about half-way through that he would never have played.

Use of the whammy is totally wrong too.

Not Jimi!

  • 14.
  • At 01:55 PM on 04 Jan 2007,
  • Aggie wrote:

If Chapman thought this 'sounded exactly like Hendrix' -
his ear for music has to be called into question.

Just listen to anything by Hendrix and compare - there IS no comparison.
This version is embarrassing rubbish.
You don't even have to be a life-long fan to spot the difference. It's that obvious.

Didn't hear the track but how does it compare to the Tich Gwilym version on Welsh Rare Beat?

Incidentally, did your producer actually refute the claim (i.e. prove it to be wrong) or just reject it?

PS My favourite version of the anthem is by Cardiff ska/punk band Chemical Reaction - sounds a lot like the theme tune to TV cartoon series King of the Hill...

  • 16.
  • At 11:22 AM on 05 Jan 2007,
  • Jean-Paul Camus wrote:

This gives me a terrible feeling of deja vu.Didn't somebody once claim to have found vintage John Lennon recordings in a basement in Liverpool sometime in the early eighties? I think we can reasonably assume this comes out of the same stable.

  • 17.
  • At 02:30 PM on 28 Feb 2007,
  • John Walsh wrote:

I agree with the majority but give it a month after St David's Day and the truth will be revealed, I'm sure.

  • 18.
  • At 09:05 AM on 01 Mar 2007,
  • Huw Davies wrote:

I saw Tich a few times around the circuit in the early 80@s and I particularly remember him playing Hen Wlad fy'nhadau in his inimitable style as a final encore at the Top Rank in Cardiff the night before a rugby international in 1982.

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