Blog posts by year and month August 2011

Posts (96)

  1. A giant letter M, similar to the burger chain McDonald's logo, has mysteriously appeared on an island owned by TV writer and animal rights campaigner Carla Lane. Carla Lane is famed for a string of hit TV comedies in the 1970s and 80s including Butterflies, Bread and The Liver Birds. The...

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  2. Last week I was contacted by an old friend, Rhys Bradley of Cardiff band The Vanities, telling me their self-titled début album was due for release on 12 September. "What the hell?" was my initial reaction, seeing as the band had first come on my radar in 2001, and I had seen them perform at In ...

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  3. Sŵn festival and Welsh Music Foundation, in conjunction with Music Wales and UK Trade and Investment, are putting on two workshops aimed at helping everyone involved in music take their performance into the professional world. Taking place at Cardiff's Chapter Arts Centre on 7 September (2.30...

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  4. The line-up for the Michael Forever tribute concert took a strange turn yesterday with the announcement that American stadium rock giants Kiss will be performing. The announcement has caused some furore amongst Michael Jackson fans groups as Kiss frontman Gene Simmons, in the weeks following ...

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  5. It's not every day you go to the beach and stumble across a world record attempt... On Sunday I visited Pendine sands for the annual beach meeting of the Carmarthenshire Karate Club (as you do) but at the other end of the beach, father and son team, Don and Joe Wales were attempting to smash the UK electric land speed record. Crowds of spectators, press and news camera crews had gathered, all watching and waiting to see if Joe could break the previous record set by his father of 137 mph in 2000. As we watched, the team was returning to the starting point. It was quite a dramatic sight as several trucks and support vehicles shimmered along the sand with their headlights on. But as they drew nearer it became clear that the record attempt had failed. Joe Wales and father Don explain to the crowd why the record attempt failed. A very despondent looking Joe and his team came to update the crowds and explain what had gone wrong. Pendine has too many potholes, it seems, which they think may be caused by jellyfish, burying themselves in the sand, waiting for the tide to return. 19-year-old Joe had an excellent first run apparently and would have reached a speed of around 120 mph had he not hit potholes but unfortunately he veered off course and didn't make it through the timing lights. The young driver injured his neck and the car broke its wishbone (I won't pretend to understand what part of a car that is) and would be taken to Pembroke Dock for repairs. The electric car is towed off the sands for repairs. The crowds however applauded his valiant attempt and the team said they hoped (sponsorship permitting) to be back for another attempt in the not-too-distant future. 'Team Wales' has an impressive pedigree when it comes to setting records. Joe's great-grandfather was Sir Malcolm Campbell who beat the UK land speed record at Pendine in 1924 with a top speed of 146 mph. Things have moved on a bit since then in the world of speed, but it seems that Pendine, with its six miles of hard flat sands which are hundreds of yards wide at low tide, is still useful for record breaking attempts. World record attempt on BBC News The official Bluebird website

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  6. In the second episode of Connie's Musical Map of Wales, star of musical theatre Connie Fisher heads north. She starts off in Bangor University and finds out why The Beatles visited the area back in 1967. She then travels through Snowdonia and across the Llŷn Peninsula to meet the man who is bringing Bollywood to Wales. Connie also performs a unique duet with Welsh stargazer Russell Grant in the picturesque Portmeirion. Take a look at some photos ahead of tonight's episode, which can be seen on BBC One Wales at 7.30pm. Photos of Connie Fisher in Portmeirion, and performing with Russell Grant If you missed the first episode, in which Connie journeyed from Cardiff to Treorchy and sang at the Millennium Stadium, met Max Boyce and rehearsed with the Cory Brass Band, catch up now on BBC iPlayer.

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  7. One thing you can say about the Welsh - they're a pretty militant lot and they do not take kindly to exploitation. From the rebellion of Owain Glyndwr to the Rebecca Riots, from the Chartist march on Newport to countless miners' strikes at pits and collieries, perceived injustice has often led n...

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  8. A painting of Welsh pianist Llŷr Williams by one of Wales' foremost portrait artists is to be housed at the National Library of Wales. David Griffiths painted the Welsh musician as he rehearsed on a grand piano four years ago. Learn more about Llŷr Williams on the BBC Cardiff Singer of the Wor...

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  9. Here's a dramatic fact - since the 1950s we've lost 60% of our traditional orchards. More significant perhaps is that with them, we've also lost important wildlife habitats and a part of our cultural heritage. It's a subject I've been looking at in this week's Country Focus (Sunday, 7am, BBC Rad...

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  10. Michael Forever, the Michael Jackson tribute concert due to take place at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium, has announced its first tranche of acts, possibly offsetting some of the negative press which has beset so event this far. Christina Aguilera, Leona Lewis, JLS, Smokey Robinson and Cee Lo G...

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