Archive sessions: Texas Radio Band

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The beauty of the BBC Radio 1 show, since the start, has been its natural support of brand new music. It might not be famous, it might not be on a major label, but even at its rawest, if it sounds good, and there's a gem of a song there, then we'd play it - which is exactly what happened with Texas Radio Band.

Texas Radio Band in 2002

I was a fan of their self-recorded demo long before hosting BBC Radio 1, so when we started the show, they were first on the list for a session. To find out what they thought of their sessions for Radio 1, I spoke to Rhodri 'Tony' Davies from Texas Radio Band.

Beth: What do you remember about the Radio 1 Wales sessions you recorded?

Rhodri: Radio 1 Wales picked us up just after we'd started recording - we'd been doing some bedroom recordings at a friend's house and then you sent us to Rockfield studios.

We were blown away by the history and had a great time trying to make the best of the facilities. It was quite incredible for us at the time. I remember driving round Monmouth looking for the place and being really chuffed when we found the studio.

Everything there was new to us - the size of the mixing desk, the live room, the living quarters - it was unbelievable. We tried to make the most of the set-up, but luckily our inexperience was well managed by producer George. I think we put four tracks down - Hess, The Father And The Son, Rollin' Mollin' and Maybe Baby.

A while later, we were invited to do another session - this time in Lostprophets' studio in an industrial estate near Caerphilly with Richard Jackson. The facilities were more modest, but they probably suited us a bit better. We recorded one of my favourite TRB songs there - a tongue in cheek riff orientated rock song called Dementia, as well as Lemon Entry and Already Knew.

Beth: What did that support mean to the band?

Rhodri: At the time it was great that someone was showing an interest in the band. We'd met you and Huw a few times and for them to have the confidence in us to put us on a platform like that in turn gave us confidence which helped us pen together the first album Baccta' Crackin'. And of course it probably helped us get our first national airplay by the big man John Peel, RIP.

Beth: What's your fondest memory of the Texas Radio Band days?

Rhodri: My fondest memory of TRB days was being a group of wide-eyed youngsters traveling around Wales visiting studios and venues for the first time and learning the trade of being in a band. Not that we're seasoned professionals now, but there was a certain excitement about doing it all for the first time when everything was fresh.

Another highlight for me was playing to a rammed Clwb Ifor Bach with a prime time slot at the first Sŵn festival - again thanks to Huw! I like to think of that set as a cornerstone for Sŵn festival and the Cardiff music scene.

Beth: Can people still get hold of your music?

Rhodri: All of our back catalogue is available in mp3 format on www.kimberleyrecords.co.uk - like the music, the website is a bit old but still works. There's also some CD copies of the second album Gavin for sale on there and maybe some bright orange t-shirts. We never got proper online distribution, so I don't think we're on iTunes and Spotify (although maybe it's worth checking every now and then) - it's kind of in the band's character that we're backward in going forward.

Beth: What does the future hold for Texas Radio Band?

Rhodri: The future is jumbled for TRB - we have recorded a finished album - it's called Bluescreen but so far it's totally unreleased; not even on Kimberley Records. It was recorded at Ariel studios in Brechfa and we are all really chuffed with the songs and the sounds but we're indecisive as to how to get it out there; there's always next year. At the moment, if you want to hear it, the best bet is to get in touch with the band on Myspace and we'll burn and post you a CD-R. Currently it's geographically difficult to get us all in one place for any length of time so rehearsal is difficult - but we all still write and record stuff amongst ourselves.

Listen to Texas Radio Band performing Hess, recorded at Rockfield studios in March 2000, after we'd heard their very first demo.

The band (Matthew Williams, Rhydian 'Squids' Jones, Alex Dingley, Rhodri Davies, Gruff Ifan and Brychan Englandwere) all went to school in Llansteffan near Carmarthen. They released Baccta Crackin in 2004 and Gavin in 2008.

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