Blog posts by year and month December 2009

Posts (48)

  1. Part of the festive routine round these parts, along with pulling dusty boxes filled with mouse droppings and Christmas decorations out of the loft, is my squint back at the most interesting Welsh music that has tickled or bludgeoned my earbuds during the past year.

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  2. The cold weather is set to continue for the next couple of days but over Christmas it should turn less cold. Temperatures are rising a little and that means a white Christmas is unlikely for most of us although there will be patches of snow on the ground... Last night was very cold. Bernard ...

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  3. Here's an accurate itemisation of what we've been fortunate enough to feature on the show in 2009. It's quite a list. I hope you've enjoyed listening to the show as much as I've enjoyed putting it together.

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  4. Listen again until Sunday, and view the show's playlist. This week I get to trawl some of the significant highlights from the sessions recorded exclusively for the programme in 2009. There are a multitude of wonders on offer from some of Wales' finest songwriters.

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  5. A new initiative, the Annie Sankey Bursary, has been launched to benefit Cardiff Singer competitors. The bursary is to help the singers with a contribution towards some of the costs of their career development. Each of the 25 singers who came to Cardiff in June has been offered the sum of £500 to help defray some of the expenses that hit performers at the start of their careers. Getting a career launched can be an expensive business. There are all sorts of hidden costs - including coaching, buying music and concert clothes and paying to travel to and take part in audition sessions. Annie Sankey was a civil servant from Blackpool who was a fan of the competition and although she never came to Cardiff, she always enjoyed watching it on television. She wanted her legacy to be used to help talented singers in the competition, which had given her so much pleasure for many years. The bursary was first announced on 4 June 2009, as Menna Richards, Director, BBC Cymru Wales, welcomed the competitors for the start of the competition. Since then, the details of how the bursary will be administrated have been worked out and the singers are now able to put in their applications.

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  6. A round-up of some of the things that have been happening for 2009 Cardiff Singers since June, along with news of some alumni from previous competitions. The 2009 winner, Ekaterina Scherbachenko, was immediately signed up by the leading agency IMG Artists. In order to have more freedom to exp...

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  7. We've had some great photos sent in since we started this blog but every now and again we get something really special. Mike Davies has been a regular contributor to the website over the years and this morning at around 11am, photographed a seal in the River Neath taking on what appears to be...

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  8. Today is the winter solstice - the shortest day of the year in the Northern hemisphere, and some people take today as the start of winter. There's certainly a wintry look to our weather at the moment but I think we've seen the worst of the snow in Wales for the time being. Steve Davies took this photo whilst walking his dog above Maesteg this morning: Over the next few days it's going to stay cold side with a few wintry showers, some sunshine and frost and if you're travelling - watch out for ice and a few freezing fog patches as well. Most people hope it will snow on Christmas Day but it's pretty rare. So where does our idea of snow at Christmas come from? Charles Dickens who wrote 'A Christmas Carol' back in 1843 may be to blame... When Dickens was a school boy, winters were much colder and snow more common at Christmas compared to nowadays. In more recent times, cinema, television and music have all helped to make sure the idea of snow at Christmas is etched into our minds. Mind you, as climate change gathers pace, songs such as 'White Christmas' by Bing Crosby maybe something only dreams are made of in the future. If you are dreaming of a white Christmas in Wales this year, it looks like it will be chilly with some frost and sunshine. A few showers are likely but with slightly higher temperatures most of these will fall as rain with any snow confined to the high ground. So if you happen to live on the side of a hill or mountain you might be lucky and have a white Christmas. This is probably my last blog for 2009. I hope you've enjoyed reading them and thanks to all of you for your contributions and photographs. Please keep them coming in 2010. I wish you all a Happy Christmas and a healthy and Happy New Year with lots of interesting weather! Derek

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  9. When I left the house this morning it felt I had walked into a fridge. Today is the coldest day of the winter so far in Wales. Temperatures struggling despite the sunshine only 0 to 2 Celsius this afternoon. Staying below freezing on the high ground and bitterly cold with a significant wind chill.

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  10. With my colleagues at BBC Wales Music having already suggested a range of acts to keep an eye on in 2010, I thought I'd pitch in with a few ideas of my own. It could be a breakthrough year for Penarth's Pete Lawrie. His forthcoming debut on Island offshoot Field Records should see a lot of people falling for his convincing and instinctive combination of blues, soul, jazz and hip hop. Yr Ods have been making some of the finest pop music sung in Welsh for a couple of years, now. Moshi Moshi invited them to play their night at 2009's Sŵn Festival. Rumours are that other labels have been sniffing around. Resolven's El Goodo might have the work ethic of a hibernating bear, but their long-awaited second album Coyote (Dell'Orso Records - 25 January) organically samples the very best sixties psych pop from both sides of the Atlantic with great affection and authority, but most importantly - in great torrents of melody that'll wash you to a far better place. The Lowland Hundred's debut album would bewitch any of the highbrow music mags who might stumble across it. Klaus Kinski will release a debut album that won't sound like any other. Straight Lines could light the valleys up by re-energising the area's predictable pop metal with something cleverer and less inward-looking. There's a lot of talent out there. But it's the ones I've never heard before that I'm most excited about. Who are your tips for 2010?

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