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Sheen, sea and fine rock'n'roll books: it's the Laugharne Weekend!

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Bethan Elfyn Bethan Elfyn | 13:22 UK time, Thursday, 21 April 2011

It's Monday morning as I start writing this, and I'm sleeping through my alarm - always a sign of a good weekend! I'm just back from Laugharne, a small town on the other side of Carmarthen, just off the end of the M4, and what a glorious time it was.

Bethan Elfyn and Michael Sheen

Bethan Elfyn and Michael Sheen

Listen back to my show from now until Saturday 23 April.

The Laugharne Weekend is in its fourth year and has boasted the most incredible line up of guests over the years: Patti Smith, Ray Davies from The Kinks, Mick Jones from The Clash and many more. How surreal that these kinds of rock n roll idols have graced this small corner of Wales, but the Weekend is another boutique festival making a name for itself on the UK circuit, and it's a wonderful mix of music and literature throughout.

When I arrive on Friday afternoon the sun is out and Laugharne town is kicking into life. Around Market Square artists, writers and buskers mingle, Stuart Maconie is broadcasting live from the back of a restaurant, and John Cooper Clarke is nursing a large wine.

I grab quick interviews with a few notable guests, including Stephen Morris of Joy Division and rock photographer Kevin Cummins. They'll be talking about Joy Division later - and discussing whether indeed there are any iconic images of today's stars in the age of digital and the proliferation of images. The lasting shots maybe don't happen. Cummins describes how he had 200 shots in his £10 film, and had to make do - and had to get it right. There was no wasting the shot!

Saturday is a busy day preparing for the live Radio Wales broadcast from the estuary car park. It's such a beautiful setting to set up camp, at the foot of Laugharne's Norman castle and walkway through to Dylan Thomas' famous boatshed writing home. The first talk of the day was Dom Joly talking about his new book, The Dark Tourist, where he's gone to the most unlikely spots around the world including skiing in Iran and bus tour around North Korea.

He was followed by Gary Kemp of Spandau Ballet, chatting about the life of an international pop star through the 80s.

Back to the estuary and the live broadcast is about to begin. I've managed to persuade Richard James, H.Hawkline, Gentle Good, Sweet Baboo, and Alex Dingley to play live on the show, and with the whistling atmosphere of bustling street life, rocking boats and lovely sunset - it's a campfire session on the radio.

There's one more surprise in store, as I see Michael Sheen strolling towards our camp. We quickly catch up about The Passion and all the surrounding events in Port Talbot (which is happening this weekend). It's a pleasure to meet such a huge Hollywood star - and what a gent.

Laugharne antics continue into the night, and it's easy to see how it's fast growing into one of my favourite events in the Welsh calendar. Look out for details online and book your campsite pitch early next year!


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