Blog posts by year and month August 2011

Posts (96)

  1. The Open Doors project begins on Friday and lasts throughout September. Offering a chance to explore some of Wales' most fascinating buildings and locations, there'll be special events, talks and guided walks taking place. Open Doors days offer the public free access to places and buildings o...

    Read more

  2. OK, hands up anyone who has ever heard of Open Doors? If you're someone whose hand has just been left resting firmly in your lap, then this blog might possibly lead you to some great experiences and magnificent sights in the month ahead. Every September buildings - or, in some cases, places w...

    Read more

  3. There are many picture postcard spots in and around the seaside town of Aberystwyth, so it's hardly surprising that some of the local folk are setting up a new photography festival to celebrate the town and its photographers. FfotoAber will be the first festival of its kind for the tow...

    Read more

  4. Rugby fans gearing up for the forthcoming World Cup can get their mitts on a compilation CD called World In Union from 12 September, which features Welsh acts Bryn Terfel, Katherine Jenkins and Fron Male Voice Choir. World In Union Fron Choir perform Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau (Land Of My Fat...

    Read more

  5. Great and good men die every day of the week, so why is John Peel's memory important enough to be resurrected at every opportunity? Why does the knowledge that he would have been 72 today evoke a sense of loss out of proportion with my actual relationship to the man? Close to seven years afte...

    Read more

  6. John Peel would have been 72 today and, although not from Wales, he did a lot for Welsh bands over the years. He supported both English- and Welsh-language acts and publicised acts being overlooked by the mainstream media. John Peel, born 30 August 1939 Peel was rightly famed for giving airtime to bands out on limbs, whether political, linguistic or musical. Sometimes that enthusiasm gave us the unlistenable, but largely it gave us vital music that was vastly more influential than its sales might suggest. It was also influential because of the very fact it was being played at all: that a DJ on national Radio One was willing to play Datblygu, Llwybr Llaethog or MC Mabon gave encouragement when all others were looking the other way. Dyl Mei, producer and musician, says: "As most of the welsh media ignored a whole underground happening in Wales during the 1980s, he gave it the time of day. Thank god. Without that attention, you could say that the majority of Welsh language music bands would still sound like Cliff Richard or Bros". For English-language bands Peel was also important. Airplay on his show was the first rung on the ladder that could potentially result in the kind of exposure that might make making a living in this art form a reality. People who wanted gold lamé pants and Italian marble baths didn't care about a Peel play, but people who simply wanted to pay their rent were grateful for the attention he paid them. It sometimes led to greater things. From 1967 to 2004 he ploughed his lone furrow. Here are the Welsh acts to whom he gave sessions: 60ft Dolls Yr Anhrefn John Cale The Crimea The Darling Buds Datblygu Fflaps The Flying PicketsGene Loves Jezebel Gorky's Zygotic Mynci Helen Love Deke Leonard Llwybr Llaethog The Loves Mclusky Melys Murry The Hump The Pooh Sticks Mal Pope Scritti Politti Stereophonics Super Furry Animals Young Marble Giants This morning I spoke to writer and musician Everett True about Peel's enthusiasm, especially for Welsh-language acts. True has reprinted on Collapseboard his Plan B eulogy to Peel. An extract of it appears here: I never envied him, always admired him: felt that just once - just for one time - someone from our side had managed to slip through and infiltrate the mainstream. That he followed his own path was undeniable, that he continued to follow it, uncaring of what those with the power to make his life exceedingly difficult thought, was incredible. And he continued to follow his enthusiasm for music all the way through his life. There's not a lot I can add to that sentiment, but if you would like to comment, if you have your own memories of Peel, feel free to do so. If you want to have your say, on this or any other BBC blog, you will need to sign in to your BBC iD account. If you don't have a BBC iD account, you can register here - it'll allow you to contribute to a range of BBC sites and services using a single login. Need some assistance? Read about BBC iD, or get some help with registering.

    Read more

  7. Does anyone go blackberry picking any more? It seems that the ancient art of foraging is in decline but in these tricky economic times, it makes perfect sense to collect free food from the hedgerows (especially when supermarkets are charging £1.99 per punnet of blackberries) The hedgerow...

    Read more

  8. Another Reading And Leeds weekend has been and gone (each year reminding me how fantastic Reading 95 was, my first time there), and we're after your thoughts on the Welsh bands who played. You can add your comments at the bottom, but in the meantime here are some video highlights from The Joy Formidable, Save Your Breath and Cuba Cuba. Surprise guests join The Joy Formidable: Save Your Breath rock out: Cuba Cuba perform Fifty A Night, We Rode and Bonus: Feel free to comment! If you want to have your say, on this or any other BBC blog, you will need to sign in to your BBC iD account. If you don't have a BBC iD account, you can register here - it'll allow you to contribute to a range of BBC sites and services using a single login. Need some assistance? Read about BBC iD, or get some help with registering.

    Read more

  9. Manic Street Preachers have announced details of their forthcoming complete singles collection, National Treasures, plus a gig and a new single to coincide with the release. Manic Street Preachers The brand new track is a cover version of The The's 1983 single This Is The Day. It will...

    Read more

  10. If I sound harassed and more than a bit paranoid, I'm sorry, but there's a good reason. I've got another novel out. Every single time, you forget exactly what this means. In the old days, when a writer just did the writing, it was easy. You simply bought extra newspapers so you wouldn't...

    Read more