Blog posts by year and month February 2011

Posts (82)

  1. A 14th century Bishops' manuscript containing music notation and Latin text for religious services was put on show yesterday at Bangor Cathedral. The Pontifical - a book of forms for ceremonies performed by a bishop - has returned to Bangor from the National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth, w...

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  2. Last Friday saw BBC Introducing engage in a day of Musicians' Masterclasses at London's famous Maida Vale studios.BBC Introducing in Wales presenter Jen Long chaired three of the masterclasses, with musician Andy Gangadeen. Watch them again here: Andy Gangadeen explains his unique 'Gangascope...

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  3. We might just see another Welsh island stronghold for red squirrels in the not so distant future.. Those wise monks on Caldey Island, off the coast of Tenby have devised plans to re-introduce red squirrels to the island. Caldey Island by Tracey Cole. It's generally agreed by every...

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  4. It's very blustery out there today with strong to severe gale force south-westerly winds buffeting Wales. Maximum gusts recorded up until 1200 hours today: Aberdaron: 77mph Lake Vyrnwy: 74mph Capel Curig: 66mph Aberporth: 62mph Hawarden: 57mph RAF Valley: 53mph Mumbles Head: 53mph Pembrey: 50mph St Athan: 48mph Bodelwyddan: 47mph Tirabad: 45mph Trawsgoed: 43mph Milford Haven: 42mph Cardiff Airport: 39mph The strong to gale force winds will continue during the rest of today and tonight. So if you're travelling to Cardiff for the big rugby match this evening take care, driving conditions will be tricky, especially for high sided vehicles with strong cross winds and speed restrictions on some bridges. More strong winds are likely in south Wales tomorrow. In the north, the wind should ease tomorrow, falling light for a time, but the wind is predicted to pick-up again during Sunday afternoon and evening becoming fresh to strong. Further rain and drizzle is expected over the weekend too, especially in the north and west and mid Wales. The rain heaviest on the hills, the Cambrian Mountains and in Snowdonia with a few inches of rain likely by the end of the weekend. See the latest severe weather warnings from the Met Office website. Next week, more rain is forecast on Monday with a risk of localised flooding but there is light at the end of the tunnel, Tuesday should be much drier and brighter; colder too with light winds, some mist and a slight frost. Derek

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  5. Ahead of a session with Tiger Please on my Radio Wales show this Saturday, I caught up with guitarist Tyla Campbell to find out a bit more about the band. You can also watch an exclusive video of Spring And Its Offering, recorded for the show. Who are you and what do you do? We ar...

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  6. Keep an eye out for Baker Boys: How the Co-op Started on Monday 7 February, 10.35pm, BBC One Wales. The documentary goes behind the scenes of BBC Wales' heartwarming drama Baker Boys, and also explores the remarkable life of the co-operative movement's Welsh founder Robert Owen. One of th...

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  7. A great week for The Blackout has been capped off with the announcement that they will be supporting My Chemical Romance on their UK tour. The Blackout Earlier this week Zane Lowe made their new track, Higher And Higher, his Hottest Record In The World Today. You can listen to Higher A...

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  8. It's a sad fact that the good, old fashioned public house was, for many years, far less public than most of us ever imagined. Many Welsh pubs used to have 'Men Only' bars Half of the population of Britain was actually banned from many of these establishments, purely on the grounds of ...

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  9. The National Trust has recently completed vital work to tackle erosion at an important historic site on the Gwynedd coast. Bwncan Dinas Dinlle is a 3,000 year old hill fort, built for status and defence in the Iron Age. The name Dinas Dinlle derives from 'Din' meaning fort and 'lle' derive...

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  10. His moniker The Gentle Good could not be more appropriate a description for Cardiff musician Gareth Bonello. With a new album on the way on the Welsh label Gwymon, I thought it was high time to find out more about him. Gareth Bonello Hi Gareth. Can you give me a little synopsis of who you are and what you do? I'm a musician based in Cardiff, I've been playing on the live scene here for about five years and in that time released a few records. I play acoustic folk guitar and sing both traditional songs and my own compositions in Welsh and English. The music is a blend of traditional folk, '60s finger-picking guitar playing and soaring strings with a tint of psychedelia. I hear you'll be releasing a new album this year. Is it all ready to go? I'm releasing a new album called Tethered For The Storm in March and it is indeed all ready to go. I recorded it mainly in Cardiff - some at Music Box Studios on Penarth Road and other parts at various peoples' houses. We also recorded a string quartet and grand piano at the Reardon Smith Theatre in the National Museum in Cardiff. That was really special. Listen to Old Window Song from Gareth's new album: Tell me about the songs and what's been a driving influence behind them. Quite a diverse range of influences inspired the album but mainly it's my outlook on life in Cardiff. The first song is called Aubade, which is a poem set at dawn with two lovers lying in bed wishing the sun wasn't coming up. Philip Larkin has a poem by the same title and John Donne has one called The Sun Rising. Poetry was a great source of inspiration for the whole album; another track, Colled, was written according to an old Welsh meter found in the Hen Benillion. A lot of traditional Welsh songs were written in the same meter and when its done right the words can really sing. Traditional Welsh music has obvious influences on tracks like Deuawd, which has just myself and Lisa Jen from 9bach singing a cappella. I don't think the album sounds very traditional overall though. I got a piano before writing this album and the songs I wrote on it such as Old Window Song have a more contemporary sound. One of the clearest links to Cardiff on the album is the last track Cysgod y Dur, which uses the story of Ernest Willows to talk about the history of the steel industry in the area. The sound of the steelworks can be heard at the start of the track. A few years ago you went over to South By Southwest festival. Would you say this was one of your musical career highlights? What else stands out as experiences that makes you glad to be a musician? Absolutely, I was very surprised to be invited out to SXSW a few years ago - I hadn't even released a record at that point. It was a fantastic experience and definitely one of my highlights. I have so many memories that make me glad to be a musician; playing Glastonbury Festival and the Kennedy Centre in Washington DC a day apart in 2009 was pretty special! I've always really enjoyed The Green Man Festival - which I've managed to play several times - as well; it just has a magical atmosphere. Sometimes it's the little gigs that are the best though, playing to a room full of people who are all listening intently and really enjoying the music and the whole experience. Print journalism has quite an important effect on how a musician is portrayed. What sort of reviews and reaction have you had in the past? Overall I've had quite favourable press really. I've been compared to musicians such as Bert Jansch, John Renbourn, Nick Drake and John Martyn, which is great as they are very prominent influences. My vocals have come in for some criticism in the past but I just try to sing in my natural voice so there isn't really anything I can do about that. Will there be a tour to coincide with the new album? I'm still getting some of the dates together but I'm going to try and cover a large chunk of the UK between now and June. I'm doing some gigs with Jo Bartlett in March as well as some dates with Richard James in May/June. I'm launching the album on 2 April at the Globe in Cardiff. Richard James and H Hawkline are supporting and I'm going to be joined on stage by a full band and a string quartet. It's going to be an amazing night. What's been your favourite gig ever to play? It has to be the Green Man Festival but I couldn't pick the year - every time I've played it's been different and thoroughly enjoyable. Which musicians are really inspiring you right now? I've really been enjoying the local scene here in Cardiff recently. H Hawkline's album A Cup Of Salt is fantastic and Rhodri Viney has an album out under the stage name Ratatosk called C'est La Vie Tragique, which is absolutely beautiful. Richard James has written a great collection of new songs and I've been to several No thee no ess gigs that have been brilliant. Internationally speaking I've been getting well into a Colombian band called Grupo Cimarrón and an album called 'beasts of seasons' by an American singer called Laura Gibson. I'm looking forward to seeing CW Stoneking in the Globe next week as well. The Gentle Good on the web: Facebook Myspace Twitter

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