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Yr Wythnos Fach 2010 - part two

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Adam Walton Adam Walton | 16:58 UK time, Thursday, 3 June 2010

Following on from part one of the Yr Wythnos Fach 2010 round-up...

The next night was a slew of events scattered around Bangor. Things didn't start off well. I was desperate keen to see Crash Disco at Hendre Hall. The running order I had said he'd be on at 7:30pm. But he wasn't. Someone from Chris Moyles' team had to rehearse a comedy cover version they were going to perform that night. It meant that other soundchecks got pushed back.

It meant that Yr Angen had to kick proceedings off with a soundcheck that rolled immediately into their set. They sounded OK. It's difficult to tell what kind of delights might be contained therein when the guitars go so resolutely out of tune after the first song. Radio 1 funded this whole affair, and their presenters must have some leeway in how they best want to make the most of an event. Chris Moyles' show had been talking about Bangor all week. It was great PR. My missing Crash Disco was a small price to pay.

So I watched a bit of Yr Angen but had to leave to get into town. I was desperate to catch Tokin4wa. Carwyn - formerly bass played in Genod Droog - now devotes his time to making liquid electronic music that could suspend whole cities full of wonder above oceans of dreamlike bliss. Or something like that.

We parked in Lower Bangor. A mistake. The Tokin4wa gig was in Upper Bangor. There is a reason Upper Bangor is called Upper Bangor and Lower Bangor, Lower Bangor. That reason comes in the shape of a steep hill Franz Klammer would baulk at. My friend and I fair near jogged up it to try and get to the Greek Taverna in time. But our efforts - and my very sweaty face - were all in vain. We missed them. Didn't even catch a note.

We did get to see Pen-Ta-Gram who - powered along by Mr Phormula's ebullience and rhyming dextrousness - were excellent. Sun Is Shinin' became the anthem of the week. The millions of people sardined into Greeks had smiles on their faces that would have stretched across the Menai Straits, despite the fact that none of us could get to the bar.


Next stop was back to Hendre Hall. My friend books the fringe events for Leicester's Summer Sundae Festival. I'm determined he gets to see some bands that he might like enough to book. I've been boring him about Race Horses for months, convinced that they'd be perfect for him. And so it proves. Race Horses are in magnificent form in front of a filled-to-the-beamed-ceiling Hendre Hall. Attendance everywhere is excellent, by the way. A real demonstration of the pulling power of live music.

We hang around in Hendre Hall a bit so that I can nervously introduce Sibrydion in my faltering Welsh. I might have apologised for speaking "cake Welsh" when, in reality, I meant something entirely different. Sibrydion sound great. They specialise in hooks and tunes that never breach convention but are invariably memorable and perfect for daytime airwaves. I can hear why 6Music and Radio 2 got so enamoured with their last album, Campfire Classics. Sibrydion shouldn't be taken for granted.

Having said that, we're off back into Bangor for the final couple of bands in Rascals. I'm determined my festival organising mate should catch a bit of Masters in France. We get to Rascals to find a queue stretching up the street outside the venue.

Fortunately Claire - Radio 1's brains behind Yr Wythnos Fach - spots us and drags us upstairs past the queue, heads down and a little embarrassed, and into the venue. We can't move. Getting to the bar is a question of hoping that plate tectonics are working in your favour. Fortunately they do and once we get a pint and I find a chair to stand on, we're watching Masters In France make the crowd lose their inhibitions and nod themselves into some kind of neck damage. It's very exciting, but I'm five pints in, now, and a goldfish bowl would probably thrill me.

Masters In France are very good, though. Their song Greyhound induces some kind of frenzy. It feels momentous.

I get pushed to the front to introduce Gallops. My introduction skills haven't got any better despite all the practice I've been getting. Gallops do what they do with great power and imagination. Due to the limitations of the sound system, the nuances are lost... they're not quite as amazing as they were in Wrexham three nights previously. But they keep the crowd moving until the small hours.


I missed so much that night. In particular Yucatan and Y Niwl, but the whole week was one of the finest musical experiences of my life. The highlight? Bastions. Definitely.

Just a quick paragraph about The Big Weekend itself. I missed the Saturday due to overwhelming knackeredness. I don't know how many miles I drove back and forth from Bangor that week. It was a lot. I also did my usual DJ gig until 2am on the Friday night / Saturday morning. I missed Joy Formidable on the Saturday, which I was gutted about.

Despite the best efforts of a truculent A55, I did manage to get to the site on the Sunday afternoon, just in time to introduce Pete Lawrie (who was ace).

Pete Lawrie

But it was Yr Wythnos Fach that meant the most to me. The doors have been thrown open for bands from North Wales. Even if you didn't play, get your tracks onto the BBC Introducing uploader and to all those Radio 1 and Introducing DJ's who were bewitched by Bangor and its people.

Make the most of the positive associations. Give this event an enduring legacy beyond the bands who actually played and the punters who were lucky enough to see them.


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