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Huw's Diary

Huw Stephens

18/04/06


Hope you had a bit of a break over Easter?

The OneMusic juggernaut continues to move forward to a new and exciting place, with the summer firmly in our sights!

Can't wait for the summer festivals this year, with All Tomorows Parties just around the corner. Drop us an email if you're going, and let us know who you're looking forward to - onemusic@bbc.co.uk is the address. There's Barcelona's Sonar festival too, I'm definitely going to Bestival this year, the Green Man of course, Sesiwn Fawr Dolgellau, the lovely Big Chill and Reading.

I'll be compering the main stage again at Reading this year and playing tunes in between the bands. The line up gets better and better - I'm taking my mountain bike this year so I can get to all the stages!

We want to know about your favorite record shop too - email us and tell us your favourite and why you love it, and we might well big it up in Props to the Shops. Independent shops of the world unite!

Back to this weeks show, and it's Belfast based Robyn G. Shiels in session. Check out his debut album on the No Dancing label and fall in love with his eery, bootiful tunes.

Thanks for listening:)
H

More:
Robyn G. Shiels in session
Props to the Shops
Fleeingnewyork Band Diary
Radio 1 Events



Huw Stephens

11/04/06


Hola!

Straight after last week's show I got on three planes and arrived in Trelew, Patagonia.

MC Mabon was recording what willl be his 8th album, and I went to film him and his merry band of Welsh/Argentinian musicians in Gaiman, and also to visit the record shops, talk to the chicos and chicas of the area and generally get to see the place.

Welsh people arrived there 140 years ago on a ship called Mimosa, and Welsh is still spoken and used every day.

Things come in two in the Gaiman. Dogs and mosqutioes, tea and cakes, Welsh and Spanish.

After not being able to communicate in Spanish, we'd swap to Welsh and all became clear! It was quite surreal seeing signs in Spanish and Welsh on the roads too. It'd be good to have these pockets of Welsh communities all over the world- communicating would be much easier!

Tea and cakes (all amazing) are served in Welsh tea houses around the town, with harps and Welsh flags and hymn sheets on the wall. I ate cakes for breakfast everyday, and needed two seats on the plane back.

Went to a record shop called DiscoMondo in Trelew and found some traditional Patagonian music, some folklore and some really bad dance albums. I fell asleep on the floor of the Bingo in Trelew and drank Matte, a sort of cup with metal straw that's refilled with water and shared around, which suited the friendly, welcoming Argentinians.

Had a few hours in Buenos Aries too- the fourth noisiest city in the world!

A great session this week from Glaswegian's My Latest Novel, another two corking unsigned tracks, and, of course, more new music from the likes of Phoenix, Camera Obscura, Ralfe Band, Hot Puppies and Euros Childs.

Hasta Luego!

More:
Win tickets to Rob & Huw's Laptop Sessions



Huw Stephens

04/04/06


Hope you're well!

I spent April Fools Day in the beautiful Bruges in Belgium, where the local kids ran around and stuck little paper fishes on mine and my girlfriend's backs. Cheeky little Belgian blighters!

So I stood in for da Bank last week, when the brilliant Swound! session was broadcast. That da Bank has good taste y'know - the session was brilliant, and I can't wait to see them live.

We had a lot of fun thanks to Joe from the band's girlfriend too - you'll have to listen again to find out why!

This week on my OneMusic show we had a corking session from Derby band Fixit Kid, who recently released a bright red seven inch single called Whiskey Pit, on their own Fight Me label.

I'm off to Patagonia between this show and next Tuesday. It takes two days to get there, I'm there for three then I'm back again! Welsh music maverick MC Mabon is out there recording his next album, and I'm going out there with Bandit, the music show on S4C I present, to see what's going on.

If I find any interesting records youll be the first to hear them next week!

More:
Fixit Kid profile
Swound! profile



Huw Stephens

28/03/06





Hello once again – hope you’re all well.

Another week, and another brand new slab of One Music action ready to come in your ears. Mmmmm!

This week it’s all about the Suicidal Birds who recorded a great set at the Maida Vale studios for the show recently - check it out and then get their Z-List album on Holland's Transformed Dreams label! They’ve downgraded to a two piece recently, and are ace.

After coming back from Texas and South by Southwest (there’s more corking SxSW linked tracks in tonights show too), sorting out all the CDs I brought back with me and sending emails to the bands and people I met out there, I’m ready for next years SXSW now!

Been to see lots of bands since coming back too – Get Cape.Wear Cape.Fly, My Latest Novel, Poppies and Mugstar!

My Latest Novel were great; so many different aspects of songs in one. I was worried they wouldn’t cut it after loving their recent debut album, but they did big time.

Aberystwyth’s Poppies (where I went record shopping on Saturday) were cool, and recent OneMusic sessions guests Mugstar were mind bogglingly brilliant. Heavy riffage to the max, it was a post-rock stoner experience not to be missed. Shame most of Cardiff did then.

It was good to see the first ever Radio 1 Best of Unsigned Podcast sailing high in the Top 10 of the Podcast Chart this week! Great stuff indeed – keep checking them out with brand new music on them every week.

Also this week I made a Welsh Sunday tabloid’s list, crashing in as the 28th Most Eligible Bachelor in Wales. Calm down ladies, one at a time now. Straight in at 28. Result.

Keep safe, thanks for listening :)

More:
Suicidal Birds profile
Huw Stephens at South by Southwest



Huw Stephens

21/03/2006


Hello everybody, thanks for checking out the OneMusic pages again. This week's show is all about South by South West of course - every track in the show is from bands who played, people we came across and music we loved from this years festival.

You can read my diary from SXSW here, and feel free to get in touch about the shows at any time - onemusic@bbc.co.uk. Thanks for listening, as always.

More:
South by South West mini-site
Huw's MySpace page
Radio 1 in Wales with Bethan and Huw
Huw's C2 show on Radio Cymru




Huw Stephens

14/03/2006


By the time this is online, I'll be flying in the sky above, on my way to the South by South West music conference in Texas. I'll be writing a diary every day for the special BBC SXSW site, so if you want to know what all the shows out there are up to, get yourselves to HERE!

Got to see the ace Gogol Bordello playing last week at London's Astoria - proper fiddling entertainment! Rob da Bank saw them last week, and  I've been loving that Start Wearing Purple tune since Mike Davies started playing it on the Lock Up, and the New York Ukranians make me all excited, and they could well pave the way for the Levellers come back! Make of that what you will!

Euros Childs' gig in Bush Hall was really good, and he and his band of merry men played new songs since the gig I saw him play in Caernarfon a week ago! Euros is such a great songwriter, with songs ranging from sublime and totally understated to the funny and frankyl, daft. I already can't wait for his next album. I enjoyed the Semifinalists support slot, with their lo fi indie songs in a sort of juxtapositioning with the amazing chandeliers of Bush Hall. Caught one song by Emmy the Great too, which was nice.

Check the Das Wanderlust session on this week's show- it's ace! Also, music from DJ Fu***n Dreadful, some beautiful harp music, a styrofoam cup, Hefner, That Fu***n Tank and some bands that are playing at SXSW!

Take care, h.

More:
Huw's MySpace page
Radio 1 in Wales with Bethan and Huw
Huw's C2 show on Radio Cymru



Huw Stephens

7/03/2006


Another week, another dollop of hot, and I mean HOT, OneMusic action. It seems me getting jealous about Rob da Bank getting Acid Casuals in session has worked, because the last track in session will be broadcast on tonight's show! That, with a brand new session from Up C Down C Left C Right C abc+start. The band released a corking debut album last year, and we jumped at the chance to get a new session from them.

Been in Belgium over the weekend, celebrating two years of going out with my girlfriend. What a miserable couple of years it's been (only joking!). I was meant to see Cat Power on Saturday night, but the gig was cancelled unfortunately. So we tried to go and see the ace Cobra Killer from Denmark play a venue called the Botanique, but turned up to see 'Gig Cancelled' written in red biro on the door. Grrrr! I don't think I've eaten as much chocolate as I did last weekend though.

Watching Euros Childs play last week in Caernarfon was a special treat - it was so good I'm going to see him again on the weekend! Gearing up for next week's South by South West expedition too - with Zane Lowe, Steve Lamacq, Bethan Elfyn, Vic Galloway and me all going to Austin, Texas for the music festival. I'm packing producer Lousie in my suitcase too, but don't tell anyone. Promise to find loads of ace new music to play on the radio! I'll be writing a blog on this website too, letting you know what I'm up to.

We on the show were saddened to hear about the death of Ivor Cutler this week. A lifetime favourite of John Peel, the man was a musical legend. His odd, spoken word songs were always entertaining and intruiging. May his music live on for ever:)

More:
BBC News - Ivor Cutler obituary
Huw's MySpace page
Radio 1 in Wales with Bethan and Huw
Huw's C2 show on Radio Cymru




Huw Stephens

28/02/2006


Orite?

I DJ'd on Saturday night, and the man who last time asked for the Killers three minutes after I played the Killers, wasn't there. Or if he was, he didn't come up and say hello. Earlier in the night, Plant Duw played and I caught the end of their punky set. They're still really young, still got a lot of promise, still got crazy fans who go right up to the stage and dance around like maniacs, still are too new to headline a gig really, but still, on the third watch, really good.

Earlier on Saturday I saw recent OneMusic session guests King Creosote play.

Kenny King Creosote is a hero, really. The Fence Collective bring a sense of spirit and freindship not often seen in the music industry, and the band have a laugh when playing live. He played the accordian, an instrument which amazes me, and tunes like Klutz and Vice Like Gist of It sounded great in the old converted church, the Point in downtown Cardiff docks. M Craft supported and did a mean cover of the Fine Young Cannibals song, She Drives Me Crazy. The tour continues throughout March - go to www.fencerecords.com for the listings.

The monthly Radio 1 in Wales gig at Cardiff Barfly was ace, with Forward Russia playing a great set. Like King Creosote, they've taken things in their own hands, with their own Dance to the Radio label releasing other bands from Leeds, getting Forward Russia a top 40 single, and releasing ace compilations like What We all Want, which is out now. It features a track by iLikeTrains, who supported on the night. They sounded majestic, and I got their badge. I'm playing a track of theirs on this week's show too.

I think it's worth noting here that after Rob da Bank's writing on his diary that he likes to wear green y fronts, the first item of clothing the couple who recently walked naked from Lands End to John O Groats, was a pair of green y fronts. Coincidence? Friends of da Bank? Who knows?
 
This Wednesday night (March 1st - St David's Day, should be a national holiday in Wales but it isn't) I'm going to Caernarfon, North Wales, to see Euros Childs playing. On Thurday night I'm DJing at Leicester Uni, and on Friday DJing at Callaghans in Cardiff, with Llwybr Llaethog DJing, and the Gentle Good playing live.

Until next week!

More:
Huw's MySpace page
Radio 1 in Wales with Bethan and Huw
Huw's C2 show on Radio Cymru




Huw Stephens

21/02/2006


It's not where you're from, it's where you're at...

Sweden
That's where Envelopes are from. They make they make pop music that reminds me a bit of Bearsuit - they sing and look straight into your eyes, giving it everything they've got. Their album Demon was a thing to treasure from last year on the Brille label, also responsible for bringinig us The Knife, another Swedish treasure. Their new single is called Free jazz, and isn't jazz at all, thank goodness. They'll be in session for the Blue Room with da Bank and Chris Coco soon too. In the meantime, I'm going to live in Sweden. Tomorrow.

Manchester
That's where Voice of the Seven Woods are from. They are a duo, and they are the best. I saw them at Clwb Ifor Bach in Cardiff last week, and it was the best gig I've seen this year so far. They played the Green Man festival last year but I missed them there, and I also missed their EP on the ever excellent Twisted Nerve label. I'm not gonna miss them again.

Minneapolis
That's where Prince is from. D'you think he'd do a OneMusic session?

Llandudno
That's where the BBC Radio Cymru Rock and Pop Awards where held on the weekend. Celebrating the diverse Welsh language music scene, Radio Luxembourg, Poppies, Gwyneth Glyn and Genod Droog all played ace sets. I presented an award for best EP, and then I drank a lot of red wine in Caernarfon. And then I ate a chicken burger. And then I regretted it all on the A470 the following day. A full list of winners can be found here.

Leeds
That's where That F***ing Tank are from. They play guitar and drums, half naked, in the centre of the dancefloor. This is what they did at Clwb Ifor again in Cardiff. They are amazing, and have a record out on Run of the Mill Records, and an album on Jealous Records. I'm playing loads of music from Leeds at the moment. This isn't intentional, it's just the way it is. Also that night, Cardiff's Gindrinker sneered through their entertaining set, Aidswolf broke strings, and Whitehouse played their first ever gig in Wales. They make controversial, intense, unsettling music. I stayed right at the back.

More:
Huw's MySpace page
Radio 1 in Wales with Bethan and Huw
Huw's C2 show on Radio Cymru



Huw, Annie Mac and a bearded lady at the Secret Garden Party

14/02/2006


Balloons have been everywhere this week.

It started off with buying a Boards of Canada EP, Hi Scores from '96, with the track Everything You Do is a Balloon on it. It's a beautiful song. The most beautiful song about balloons ever in fact, and that's including 99 Red Balloons, and Red Balloons by the Boo Radleys.

Then a demo from Genod Droog, an amazing party band from North Wales arrived, with about six Genod Droog balloons. They were in session on Radio 1 in Wales  recently, and I'll see them at the Radio Cymru awards this weekend too. Impossible not to dance to them.

The OneMusic birthday party last week was ace - there were balloons everyhere! Ras, Rob and me DJ'd all sorts of records - Festive Fifty Number one-er Jegsy Dodd was there too, getting on down to Rob's choice of tunes!

The OneMusic team had sore heads on Saturday though, you'll be pleased to know. Especially producer Louise after drinking red Scandinavian alco-berries....

On the weekend it was back to Cardiff for the NME tour gig. Saw some of the Mystery Jets who I like very much, but not all their set sadly.

Their forthcoming Making Dens album is a good 'un! We Are Scientists, Arctic Monkeys and Maximo Park also played, the last band doing it for me more than the others. Not The Others you understand, they weren't playing. And even if they were, it'd still be Maximo Park for me.

But music isn't about competition is it? It's about enjoying yourself, expressing yourself, getting locked in a trance. Or something.

A Secret Garden party afterwards was amazing (see me, Annie Mac and a bearded lady at the party pictured above). In a secret location in Cardiff, (oh ok, it was at the Point) trapeeze artists, burlesque ladies, little pixies with wings, coconut stalls, breakdancers, the amazing DJ Moneyshot, and a whole load of freaks danced the night away. There were also balloons. A lot of balloons.

This week on the OneMusic show we bring the love with Hush the Many and Get Cape.Wear Cape.Fly - two band we adore on the OneMusic show and two we've been playing since hearing their demos.

Let's RAWK! Albeit in a mellow, warm, friendly manner....

More:
Huw's MySpace page
Radio 1 in Wales with Bethan and Huw
Huw's C2 show on Radio Cymru



Huw in his Johnny Cash hat

07/02/2006


The OneMusic birthday week was ace - so much live music!

Mogwai were awesome of course. And as if that gig wasn't enough excitement for them, they scored their first ever chart hit on Sunday too! I went on the Official Top 40 with JK and Joel to explain to them who the band that crashed in the charts at number 38 were! Bet that James Blunt bloke is quaking in his boots.

Ras and Rob's shows were crammed full of ace music too of course - I jumped along to Sway, loved Tunng, and got scared by Robochrist. Not in Maida Vale sadly, but in my kitchen. The kettle was near by then. Here's to another year of new tunes!

da Bank's been going on about pants on his pages. I find it a bit distressing to be honest. For the record, he's right in that I've never worn green y-fronts. I wouldn't be that daft. But the thought of him wondering if I'm a silky pants man makes me feel unnerved. (note to self - must check for cameras in bedroom). Feel free to send me some green ones if you have any spare though! You can never have enough pants.

Saw the Johnny Cash biopic film this week - Walk the Line. He's one of my favourite heroes is Cash. I've read the autobiography, but seeing it on the big screen was ace - Joaquin Phoenix gave a sterling performance. Music was brill - very enjoyable. D'you reckon I'd make a good film critic? Me neither.

This week the show is live in Cardiff, because I threw a strop and didn't want to get another train to London. Euros Childs is in session, with tunes off his ace Chops album, and a few new ones. Lots of other tasty treats too - can't tell you more now, you'll have to listen in!

Until next week!

More:
:: Euros Childs in session
:: OneMusic birthday sessions
:: Huw's MySpace page



Mogwai

31/01/2006


We´ve got silly party hats on, we've got cake all over the desk, and we´re celebrating one year of the OneMusic shows!
 
That´s a year of the best music around, tunes you wouldn´t hear anywhere else in the whole wide world! Well, that´s not quite true. But not in this order, that´s pretty certain.

A year of sessions by extreme noise makers AN Albatross, the angry Akira the Don, the award winning Antony and the Johnsons, the ace Aluminum Babe, the brill Battle, the cool Crimea,  the canny Cranebuilders, the delightful Decoration, the dookable Darren Hayman, the excellent Electrelane, the enigmatic Early Years, the friggin brill Fleeing New York, the flirtatious Fotomoto, the groovy Gruff Rhys, the hilariously heavy Headcase Ladz, the horrible Hey Colossus, the jaw dropping Jawbone, the crusading Chris T-T the krazy King Creosote with the Earlies, the lovely Laura Cantrell, the magnificent Marissa Nadler, the mesmerising Melys, the mungderful Mugstar, the restful Reigns, the slightly odd Solex, the sintilating Stuffy and the Fuses, the corking Caves, the rockin and a rollin Richard James, the masterful Mutts, the perfect Pippettes, the preposterous Part Chimp, the scorching Sleifar a´r Teulu, the sultry Soledad Bros, the scary 65 Days of Static, the sexy Super Furry Animals, the sabre battling Suicdal Birds, the suave Stephen Malkmuss, the universal USA is a Monster.

Is that everyone?

No, ive left some out! But thats not to mention the live highlights from Sonar, from Glastonbury, from South By South West, from Reading and Leeds, the music from the Green Man Festival, the Big Chill, the amazing unsigned music from Hush the Many, Arctic Monkeys, Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly, Das Wanderlust, Kids in Tracksuits, the Boyfriends and so much more.

My God.

And it wouldn´t be possible without you. So thanks for listening, and take care.
Tonight, Mogwai will be playing live on the show in Maida Vale. And Jakokoyak, the Welsh wunderkid. S'gonna be corkin!

More:
:: Mogwai in session
:: Huw's MySpace page



Huw Stephens

24/01/2006


Last week was mostly about the Mystery Jets.

I got to visit them on Eel Pie Island, and saw them playing live to a small, frantic, obsessed audience in a football club's bar. They were absolutely amazing too, chucking together the best bits of their record collection and making proper prog pop tunes.

(Note to self - trademark the name Progger Pop).

Been sorting out my music room/office this week - trying to match the empty cases to the cds is getting the better of me! But I have been sorting out what I'm going to be playing out while DJing over the next couple of months - got a system going, and that's a good thing!

It's a week of gigs for me - tonight I'm going to see the brilliant Jim Noir. His recent debut album on the My Dad label is a beautiful thing - soft and almost as if it's nonexistent - it just floats around your head and sometimes lands during songs before floating off again. Looking forward to seeing him play live.

Tomorrow (Wednesday 25th) I'm DJing at a Welsh showcase night at the Barfly in London. Top pop riffs by Poppies - lush acoustica from Alun Tan Lan - and spaced out beatage from Jakokoyak. He's going to be playing live on the show next week with the mighty MOGWAI!!! That's MOGWAI!!!!

You can win tickets to come along to that on this week's show too.

And Thursday 26th it's the first Beth and Huw on Radio 1 in Wales gig at the Barfly in Cardiff - Test Icicles and Damn Arms are playing - two full on bands that have a reputation for pulling venues down they're so good. Can't wait!

Friday there's three gigs I want to go and see round Cardiff - so there'll be a lot of running about involved. Recent Festive Fifty entrants Radio Luxembourg are playing, a new North Walian supergroup called Genod Droog, The Keys and El Goodo.

Check out the brilliant Chris T-T in session this week - his latest album 9 Red Songs is the shit.

Looking forward to the OneMusic 1st birthday shows next week. Time flies....

More:
:: Huw's MySpace page



Fotomoto

17/01/2006


Oi oi you lovely OneMusic people. Hope you're well.

During a quiet moment in the day last week, I calculated that the miniumum amount of time I spend on trains every year is 280 hours. That’s two weeks of every year on train tracks. And that’s not counting all the extra journeys I make, so it’s a lot more. And its definitely more since my girlfriend went to work in Belgium.

So im now used to the delays, the changing of trains in Wolverhampton, the nasty cheeseburgers, the over priced waters, the really grumpy train guards, and people who put bags on seats in the hope you don’t sit there. Which is a good tactic that I use only when I have to.

But I do like the sounds the train makes at certain points in the journey. German electro pioneers Kraftwerk knew the score when they recorded the Trans Europe Express album in 1977. I listened to this album on the Eurostar from London to Brussels last week, to get in the train mood. It was the perfect soundtrack, and I do enjoy the journey on the European train journey. Its quicker sometimes getting from England to Belgium than it is from Wales to London!

I once bumped in to Alex from Franz Ferdinand on a train in Sweden, in the bar bit of the train of course. And no, he wasn't doing a food review for his Guardian food column.

I saw BB Aled off the Chris Moyles show once, going from Aberystwyth to London. And I've shared a can of pop with the GLC between Newport and Londinum. Happy days!

Maybe I should write a Huw's Book of Train-Chance Meetings someday? A bestseller, I'm sure.

In Belgium I saw one of my favourite bands from last year, Brakes, play a corking set at a venue called Botanique. A man fell in the bar and poured Belgium beer over his face. This didn’t matter - Brakes rocked. Skee-whiff country pop, six second tracks about Dick Cheney, the brilliant Comma Comma Comma Full Stop, and ll the hits from their debut Give Blood album. Proper good it were!

I wonder if it's weird for the band, made up of members from British Sea Power and Electric Soft Parade, to get success from their side project? The music and collaboration works so well though. You can see Brakes supporting Belle and Sebastian on their huge tour, staring at Birmingham Academy on Jan 26h - get there early!

This week's OneMusic show starts with Kaiser Chiefs, because of a fault in the studio. We then resume normal service with a brilliant session from Fotomoto, and the most sparkling, inspired records around. Thanks for listening..

More:
:: Fotomoto in session
:: Huw's MySpace page



Richard James

10/01/2006


Ello again good people of the OneMusic pages. I've managed to do a lot of things this last week. Here they are, in the popular 'list' form;

Downloaded my first ever song from iTunes - should have done this years ago, what a lame-o…..

Found out about Joan as Police Woman that loads of you texted about last week - she's good and soulful! and sings with Antony and the Jonhnsons… bought 7 inch singles of Beastie Boys vs Laurel and Hardy and the new Willis single!....

Sorted out all my music cassettes at home in the kitchen…. went to the food market in Riverside, Cardiff and bought a cake and a cd…

Smiled a lot as the Acid Casuals gets amazing reviews in loads of music magazines…. enjoyed doing Zane's show with Annie Mac in the evenings, and look forward to doing it for the next two weeks…..

Went to see PaperLung, Sice from the Boo Radleys new band in the Camden Barfly, and they were ace... chewed a lot of chewing gum… heard BraveCaptain who used to be in the Boo Radleys' new album, also ace…..

Watched Dig, mouth wide open at the Dandy Warhols and laughed with the Brian Jones Town Massacre… loved the Clap Your Hands Say Yeah album even more…

Looked at my skipping rope…..wondrered how the Be Your Own Pet single can be so short and so good… listened to the amazing Robyn G Shiels album on the No Dancing label again…. heard ace demos from Xerox Teens and Wolf:Gand Diesel - in this week's show….talked to producer Louise on the MySpace pages… and, um, did some washing?
 
Hope you enjoy this week's OneMusic show - especially the Richard James session. I'll never forget being at the Green Man Festival last year. I overheard a lady telling her friend 'Oh My God! Richard James is playing! The Aphex Twin! What's he doing playing here?!'

She was thinking of Richard D. James of course. The Rich James that was actually playing was of course this weeks session guest. He's a founding member of My Favourite Band Of All Time - Gorky's Zygotic Mynci.

We've been playing tracks off Euros Childs' LP for a while now, and he'll be in session in February, and it's interesting to hear both their solo songs - so different, both ace!

I wonder if there'll ever be a Richard D James and a Richard James collaboration? A OneMusic one off maybe?! 

More:
:: In Session at Maida Vale: Richard James
:: Music Exposed: Antony nd the Johnsons
:: Radio 1: Annie Mac and Huw (in for Zane)
:: Huw's MySpace page



Huw Stephens

03/01/2006


Ah - there you are! After the Christmas fun and frolics, we're back with the regular OneMusic shows for the new year. Except there is no such thing as a regular OneMusic show of course.

This week's show is all about looking ahead at the next twelve months and taking totally random guesses at what'll be big and what'll be hot. So I predict Strokes; Arctic Monkeys and the new Radiohead album. Will that do you?

My Tips for the year ahead are as follows;

The Pippettes
Already they've done a brilliant session for us in '05, but this year looks promising for the Brighton band, who'll be recording their debut album for the colourful Memphis Industries label soon. As a barrometer of their possible success, they played our Radio 1 in Wales party recently. At the start, people weren't too keen. By the end the room was dancing and a cheering. Hoorah!
 
Evils
Dark and brooding yet bubbly and spiky, Evils makes electronic tunes on his laptop, and has fans in the form of da Bank (small d in 'da', always) and Lamacq. When he plays live, he plays in a wendy house. He is Kool. With a K.

Andrew Hockey
Has an uncanny knack of creating the most haunting, subtle, beautiful music on earth. Live he'll make you cry and damn those pins from dropping all around the world, and on record he'll make your heart melt. He lives in Cornwall, and should be on Top of the Pops on a weekly basis.

Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly
Yes, it's the best name ever for a solo artist who plays with guitar and laptop. Lucky the music is life-affirming, challenging, happy-sad and unique too then! I heard him first at the OneMusic open day at In the City in Manchester, and he'll be playing live on the show in about a month's time. And he gigs his arse off.

Hush the Many
Thrust a demo in to my sweaty hands at the Green Man Festival in '05. Another busy band on the gigging front, the eloquent and earthly band make music to watch logs burn by, to spot the stars in the midnight sky by, or to watch pink salmons swimming upstream by. Or, if you're not into that hippy sh**, just really, really, enjoy. Hush the Many will be playing live ont he show soon too! 
     
There's plenty more corking records in this week's show too, and tips from Rob 'n' Ras.

See you next week!

More:
:: Tell Huw what you think of his tips
:: New Music 2006 - the Pippettes and more
:: Radio 1 in Wales - Bethan and Huw
:: Huw's MySpace page



Huw Stephens

20/12/2005


Tis the season to be jolly, so I'm putting on a brave face!

After a few too many Christmas Parties, too much red wine, and not enough dancing at all (I've danced twice in the last two years), I'm ready for the festive chill out! I'll be in Cardiff with my family over Christmas, with the yearly visit to the local pub on Xmas eve, and lots of little sausages, hopefully.

I got to see the Guillemots playing last week, an ace band who released a single called Trains to Brazil recently on the Fantastic Plastic label. It bounced along with trumpets and speed and style and panache, and seeing them live at the Borderline was a revelation - they've got loads of humour, they've got big hearts, and mostimportantly they've got good tunes!

We'll forget for now the elements of David Gray and Keane.

Another good gig was the Complete Control Christmas Party in Cardiff - The Automatic headlined, first time I've seen them and I enjoyed them very much. Radio Luxembourg were great, and the Hot Puppies were the best I've ever seen them - I want to see them again soon!

My first OneMusic show for January will be on the 3rd, looking at the next twelve months and playing some artistes I reckon you should keep an ear out for. The tricky thing here is of course, we have no idea what'll be big or successful; hey, as long as it's good and interesting, we'll be ok!

This week it's an honour to be counting down the Festive Fifty chart with Rob Da Bank on Tuesday and Thursday's OneMusic shows. I've had a sneak preview of it, and it looks beautiful - full of reminiscing oddities of all sorts!

Mr Ras Kwame is looking back at some of the big hitters from the last twelve months - Can't wait to see what Sway does in 2006 too.

So, for now, I'm off. I'll be back on these pages and on air on OneMusic on January 3rd. I hope you have a lovely time over the next couple of weeks - thanks for listening, as ever - and take care.

Hx
   
:: Check out my www.myspace.com/huwstephens page!



Antony Hegarty

13/12/2005


Hello again. It's been a busy week since we last spoke.

I got to see Euros Childs playing last week, at the final night of his short but perfectly formed tour. The Donkey Island/Y Mwnci Drwg is a beauty and out now, and the forthcoming album Chops is a wonder to behold. But Euros didn't play that much from the new album, oh no. There were special new tunes a go go, with a few old Gorky's tunes thrown in for good measure.

It was a brilliant gig at the 12 bar in London, which has to be the smallest venue I've been to yet! I chose the floor to view the gig, thus choosing the view of the bottom half of the musicians. Alun Tan Lan supported, who you might have heard on Rob's show last week, and very good he was too.

The other live musical events I got to this week all happened on Saturday. 76,000 people were in Cardiff to attend the Noise and Confusion gig. Got there during The Coral who Scousered it up a bit, Razorlight who went down a treat in the massive stadium, Foo Fighters who are probably my favourite massive rock band, and I didn't see Oasis.

Welsh folk/blues legend Meic Stevens was playing in Clwb Ifor Bach in an intimate and ace gig. One of his best songs is Brawd Houdini which we've played on OneMusic this year, the tune da Bank calls the 'la la song'.

I hardly ever hear it on the radio, he doesn't get the credit due to him, and the truth is he won't be playing for ever. Oasis are massive and fill stadiums around the world, and even though I do like them, it had to be Meic. After that, it was on to see Sibrydion, who make ace Welsh psychedelic pop tunes. I love em.

Add a mixture of works' Christmas parties where I sawed my friend Huw in half, drank too much red wine and ended up watching Rufus Wainright at four in the morning (on dvd), I am now a gibbering wreck.

Good job that this week's show is full, from start to finish, with Christmas tunes then! There's everything in there, apart from absolute shit. And Antony from Antony and the Johnsons pops by for a mince pie and a chat under the mistletoe.

Festive Fifty next week!
 
More:
:: Antony & the Johnsons interview
:: What's on OneMusic
:: www.euroschilds.com

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external websites.



Llwybr Llaethog

06/12/2005


If I’m a-coughing-and-a-spluttering throughout this week’s OneMusic show, it’s because of a cold I got in Belgium.

I went to see my girlfriend and to eat the chocolates, and came back with a box of tissues and some vapour rub. Brilliant! I did get to see of the most random gigs I’ve been to though.

Julie Murphy and her Fernhill band of musicians from Wales have been making beautiful music for years now, and I’ve loved every album I’ve heard. It’s folk music but not as we know it; Julie's voice is haunting and incredibly soothing, with tales of sadness and beauty in her voice. And I got to finally see them play in Brussels over the weekend! In a weird old underground theatre! And it was great. So simple it was stunning, and the cherry flavoured beer went down a treat.

A Bulgarian duo playing the bongos were on before as well. What more could you possily want on a Saturday night?!?

Being ill meant I stayed in bed on Monday, which I haven't done for about a year, but I did manage to scour the Belgian record shops looking for treats. I found a few, including a DVD album by Cat Power from last year. Her new album, also loved by Rob Da Bank, is incredible.
It's always like this - you come across an artist that you fall in love with, curse yourself for not paying them more attention, and then spend your time making up for it.

Anyway, the Speaking For Trees film by Mark Borthwick and music by Cat Power (not her real name, in case you were wondering) is a good 'un. Cat Power will be on Radio 1 soon. Looking forward to that.

Straight after writing this I'm off to see Euros Childs! His debut album Chops is rather brilliant, and out in the new year. Also worth hearing is Prog is Not a Four Letter Word, a new compilation on the Finders Keepes label, following on from Folk is Not a Four Letter Word. There's some treats on there from all over the world!

And the Llwybr Llaethog session is finally aired! Read all about it on OneMusic, and marvel as John and Kevs get heavier than a tonn of tins.

More:
:: Llwybr Llaethog - interview
:: Festive 50 shows
:: Huw's MySpace page
:: Llwybr Llaethog official website

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external websites.



Tunng

29/11/2005


The boxes with piles of demos in the OneMusic office are getting heavier and heavier the closer to Christmas we get.

The team go through them as and when is possible, and me and producer Louise sit through them for however long we can on a Tuesday; there's some treats in there amongst the ones we just can't play!

There's loads of great Christmassy music coming through now too, which is brilliant. I don't know when I decided I'd collect Christmas records, probably when I realised I had quite a few records already, but they're multiplying every year. Even in summer, in whatever record shop I'm in, I check to see if they have a Christmas section, just in case.

Commercial compilations don't count; they've got to be good, exciting festive tunes! Otherwise I'd have shelves full of Cliff at Christmas and so on, and I really, really, don't want that to happen.

So I'm putting together a Festive Show for the 13th; nothing but Christmas inspired tunes, and Antony from Antony and the Johnsons picking some music too.

That'll be before the Festive 50, and just after this week's session from the lovely Tunng and next week's session from the evergreen Llwybr Llaethog!

I saw Tunng at this year's Green Man festival, the weekend put on by Jo and Danny from It's Jo and Danny. They played a storming, jubilant set, in a boiling hot room, and their Mother's Daughter and Other Songs album is a must have long player, fragile and beautiful in every way.
I got to see all nine of my nieces and nephews at the same time over the weekend too, which is a rare but busy thing! Quite how my sisters and their husbands manage with them running bout the place and wanting to go upstairs and stuff I don't know, but they do and the kids, as they say, are alright!

Have you seen the Prodigy live before? I hadn't, until this week.

It was Kath's leaving do, she worked on the Beth and Huw show on Thusday nights, and she wanted to see the Prodge as her leaving present! So the CIA in Cardiff was raving it up like there was no tomorrow to the classics - Out of Space, Firestarter, Voodoo People, which was cleverly reinterpreted as Cardiff people.

Wish the songs were longer though. And I wish the man in front of me hadn't taken his top off so early on in the gig. And I wish I hadn't drunk so much afterwards, because to be honest, I'm still suffering a bit. The gig was on Sunday, and it's now Tuesday. And that, dear readers, makes me think I can't handle my drink as well as I used to.

Until next week, dear friends!

More:
:: Tunng interview
:: Huw's MySpace page

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external websites.



Davey from The Crimea

22/11/2005


Hey, hey. Alright? The week has flown by and here we are with another OneMusic show for you tonight.

One of the highlights of the last week for me was getting to Clap My Hands and Say Yeah to Clap Your Hands Say Yeah! What a band. The tunes are magnificent and interesting, and they're funky as hell live.

Why haven't I played them on the show yet? Because I'm rubbish, that's why. And I'm getting so much ace music at the moment, it's been hard to fit everything in. Anyways, they're in tonight, so that's good news.

Also tonight, a session from The Crimea. I went to see them record the session at Maida Vale last week, just to say hello like. They were in fine spirits, and I got to hear Lottery Winners on Acid being recorded.

A version of the current decut album Tragedy Rocks came out about a year ago, but next year you'll be hearing a lot more from them, guaranteed. Check out the cover they've done in session tonight!

After seeing them in Maida Vale I had to flee to catch the train back to Cardiff. I'm thinking of asking the nice people on the train to keep a small bag of my goods on board so I can use them on my journeys. You know, some sweets, a bottle of water, some OneMusic demos etc.

At Paddington train station I spotted Bob Harris. A friend of mine had given me an album he'd produced by a great Welsh singer called Gwyneth Glyn about three months ago on the off chance I would bump into the Radio 2 DJ.

So it was a case of, 'excuse me, are you Bob Harris?' and 'can I give you a cd?' I opened my suitcase which contained about sixty or so singles and albums and some vinyl.

At which point he probably thought I was either (a) a stalker, (b) a thief or (c) a record plugger. Luckily the cd was there and had his name written on a post it note on it. At least it was obvious it was meant for him.

Hope you enjoy the show!

More:
:: The Crimea interview
:: The Crimea Maida Vale photo gallery



Karl from Underworld

15/11/2005


I never thought I'd be sitting in a hotel room with just me and Antony Hegarty from Antony and the Johnsons in Belgium, but that was the exact situation I found myself in last week.

I was talking to him for a future OneMusic show, which will be on air on December 13th.
His recent OneMusic session was stunning, and his Mercury Award winning album I Am A Bird Now is still sitting neatly on more and more stereos around the world. It's fair to say he's had a good year, I reckon!

His gig that night at the Ancienne Belgique was quite extraordinary. The sound was brilliant, his voice sounded beautiful with the Jonsons' orchestra, and he'd eaten a Belgian chocolate before going on stage. Towards the end of set he sang a song of love for Shania Twain to the chorus of Whitney Houston's I Wanna Dance With Somebody. Not your average gig then.

On the weekend in Ghent, about forty minutes on the train from Brussels, the I Love Techno festival was kicking off. I went for a few reasons. One was because I was there seeing my girlfriend who works in Belgium, but also because I wanted to find out if I did actually love techno.

Louise the producer was convinced I was a closet techno head, like her and Martyn (who works on Rob da Bank's show), so I went to hang out with 35,000 people for a night of fun and frolics.

Derrick May and Miss Kittin were particluar highlights, the latter getting everybody going mental with her harsh beats and cold, cold vocals.

It was a massive venue, with five rooms joining one massive arena with different DJs in each one. I'd never seen anything like it.

Caught a bit of Dave Clarke who rocked the place, and then it was Underworld. How I'd never seen them live before remains a mystery,but their tunes are just timeless.

Karl Hyde is not only one of the nicest men on earth but also one of the best frontmen, and the reaction to old favourite Born Slippy was pretty immense, as well as the new material you might have heard on Rob's show last week.

A strange experience? Yup. A pleasurable experience? Yup. Do I Love Techno? No. But I like it a lot.

More:
:: Shooting at Unarmed Men - in session this week
:: Antony and the Johnsons - official site

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external websites.



Huw and Norah Batty

08/11/2005


Last week I did some things I never thought I'd get to do.

The first was DJing in a charity shop that opened in Cardiff. It's a Save the Children shop, and I turned up with CDs that I didn't need for them to sell on to raise money. Also, I was meant to DJ for about an hour, but I turned up with no records whatsoever.

And so it was, that I was to use the vinyl in the shop and nothing else. Cue ace tunes from the Carpenters, ELO, Elvis, spoken word records (one of which is in tonight's OneMusic; don't worry, I bought it), Prince and Cilla Black - the Queen herself.

I had a great time while the good people browsed for a bargain, and it got me thinking. I'm clearly not destined to be a superstar DJ filling enormo domes while the masses wow at my backflips on the wheels of steel, but a charity shop - that's more my bag. So I'm going to try and put together a DJing tour of charity shops. It could be fun, and will highlight the wealth of musical treasures hiding in these charitable shops. And it might well happen, too.

The other unexpected thing last week was drinking actual tea in the actual café; used in Last of the Summer Wine.

It's called Syd's Café in Holmfirth, and they make a brilliant cup of tea. If you ever make it there (you might have already left after reading this), then don't let the lifesize cut-outs of Compo and Norah Batty freak you out.

This week's session comes from Kinski. Hear it, and all about it, here. And the Festive Fifty is happening this year!

There are so many tunes to chose from! The first one we ever played, Suicidal Birds' Me Animal, or their brilliant session. Fleeing New York's Hollywood Bowl is a bit of an anthem, starting life as a demo on OneMusic, or the Early Years' stunning session or All Ones and Zeroes track.

Arctic Monkeys' demo anybody? 65 Days of Static have made their presence felt with a sesison and their new album tracks, as have The Crimea, who're used to finding themselves in the upper parts of the Festive Fifty! There's the mighty Busdriver, Soundmurderer or the incredible Boom Bip.

Couldn't get enough of Icelandic hero Mugison either, or maybe a Gruff Rhys live session track? Dawn of the Replicants' Rhinestone Cowboy or King Creosote's Klutz? The Pipettes or Anthony and the Johnsons? Akira the Don's Clones or Rory Mcvicar's Unsigned track?

The choice, as always, as they say, is yours!

More:
:: Kinski - in session this week



Huw and Annie Mac

01/11/2005


So much great music to play in this week's show, from Jason Forest's new album to The Wowz, and Kid Carpet to Dirty Three.

Halloween came and went and the pesky kids didn't egg my house like they did last year; and Annie Mac and me went down to the legendary BBC Maida Vale Studios for a spooky Lamacq Live. Look how scared we look!

Listen again to Lammo's show to hear what happened; and to hear Ladytron's special set, with proper scary synths making a welcome appearance.

Since last week's show I've been to loads of gigs in Wales. Last Thursday it was a night split between Four Tet and The Fall, playing the Coal Exchange and the Point next to each other in Cardiff.

Mark E.Smith was on top form, as was Keiran Hebden, albeit a little healthier looking. Explosions in the Sky were supporting the Tet: brilliant, sprawling songs which twisted and turned to drastic effect. I bought their album and everything.

Friday night my friend Wally put on a Halloween party, formed a band called The Corpses especially for the night and played the best country version of the theme from Ghostbusters ever.

The Crimea played in the nearby Barfly, fresh from releasing their debut album proper. Davey Macmannus is a wired, brilliant frontman, and the sold out gig were treated to album highlights plus a version of Tiffany's I Think We're Alone Now. They'll be in session on One Music very soon.

Saturday I went to a BBC open day in Carmarthen. Six bands from the area played, and Supergene won. I don't really like judging bands against each other; it's not what it's about really is it? I was on the panel with the ever so nice Stuart Cable, the ex drummer with Stereo-o-phonics, or as he puts it himself, 'the man who was at the back of the stage sticking his tounge out a lot'.

At night I ran between Howard Gardens and Clwb Ifor Bach (or 'the Welsh club' for those less adventurous) catching some bands. Darren Hayman, he from Hefner who has to be one of the best British lyricists ever, made everyone laugh and swoon simultaneously.

Bearsuit are brilliant and I kicked myself that I hadn't seen them before; check out their collection of singles, Team Ping Pong, out now on Fantastic Plastic.

At Clwb, the impossibly young Wyrligigs impressed, Jakokoyak's (back from Tokyo where he'd been gigging) electonic haziness was stunning, and The Poppies gave the best performance I've ever had the pleasure of seeing them do.

Sunday I went to Nottingham. How annoying is buying a train ticket only for the nice lady behind the counter to tell you that you'll be getting a bus, cos of work maintenance? So a five-and-a-half hour journey was had to the Social to see Tv-Od, a mighty fine band about to release theird debut single on the label I used to work at, Boobytrap.

What's that Mr Online - Radio 1- legal team man? I'm not allowed to plug this I'm sort of involv - SNIP!

More:
:: Animal Collective - in session this week



Thomas Truax

25/10/2005


Last week I went to see the ace Brakes playing live.

Their 'Give Blood' album which came out this year is well worth hearing, and they don't disappoint live. And the six-second tracks? They did one twice, because they weren't happy with the first version.

I also went to see the ace Kentucky AFC who played well, but to five people. Five people! The shame of it. They're still ace though. And I went to Solfach in West Wales to interview Welsh folk legend Meic Stevens. Back in the day, Bob Dylan loved it, but Meic turned his back on fame and fortune to return to Wales to sing in Welsh. Check out a best of collection on the Sain label, or the Welsh Rare Beat compilation on the Finders Keepers label as an introduction.

One Man Bands have always existed of course, ever since the first ape beat a stick creating a rhythm and his other ape mates started dancing to it, and maybe putting on a gig to promote him. Nowadays we're a bit more advanced, but in essence it's the same quality beating of a stick or whatever other instrument we're looking for. And so it came that Catherine who works on the show said, 'Let's do a One Man Band special!'

And that's what this week's show is. We've got the strange warped humour of Kid Carpet; the brashness of Steveless, the computer game bastardising of Duracell, the home made-ness of Thomas Truax, the bluesy-stomp of Jawbone and the chugging of Son of Dave. They all make their own, excellent music, dependent on themselves and nobody else.

Tonight we celebrate this, with a smattering of other new tunes you should hear. Euros Childs from Gorky's Zygotic Mynci's debut solo single, the mysterious David Mysterious, Robochrist and a track from the debut Crimea album.

It's enough to make you want to pull out a pew and have a nice, warm, cup of tea.

More:
:: Battle of the One Man Bands - Info
:: Battle of the One Man Bands - Photo gallery



Spoon

18/10/2005


Hello again! There are a lot of live highlights from last week's Peel Day in this OneMusic programme; the craziness of Venetian Snares , the subtle beauty of Laura Cantrell , the One Man Band genius-ness of Jawbone all live from Queen Elizabeth Hall.

It was a great night with a totally diverse collection of artists on one stage. Seeing Delia Smith introducing Super Furry Animals on stage was something I'd never thought I'd see happen, too. There's a live Scotch Egg track from the Barfly Cardiff Peel gig; he was, as the legend has it, egg-sellent (sorry).

On the twice weekly train journey between Cardiff and London I usually get to listen to a lot of new cds that have arrived, although this week I started reading Margrave of the Marshes , the autobiography John himself started, and finished by his wife and children. It's an excellent, entertaining, informative read. I might ask if I can leave my copy on the train next time for the journey back.

I've been meaning to play the Schla La La's single for a while now; a brilliant burst of joy on the Truck label. Doing the same thing but with polka dot dresses and on the Memphis Industries label, The Pippettes ' new single, 'Dirty Mind' is irresistable.

Haven't been able to get enough of the Acid Casuals album recently; I expected techno, but turns out to be a luscious mix of beats, orchestration and opera singers. 'If I'm a Self, You're a Sunt' is one of the highlights off it.

There's chugging broken beats from Black Dice , dirty southern drawling oddness from Evils, and a track from the Ralfe Band , from their excellent debut album, Swords.

And I haven't even mentioned the ace new session from Spoon. Doh!

More:
:: Spoon - profile



Aluminum Babe

11/10/2005


Aluminum Babe in session tonight! At long last! What a band. Gearing up for the One Man Band special with Thomas Truax and Kid Carpet, a few classic Peel championed tracks and that crazy Cuban Boys Peel inspired tune.

There's Jeggsy Dodd and Benjamin Zepheniah, 65 Days of Static on the mathematically challenging Monotreme records and new Arab Strap on the ever fruitful Chemical Underground. How lovely is the new Acid Casuals? And how do you pronounce Le Volume Courbe? All this and much more, answered in this week's show...

More:
:: Aluminum Babe profile



Huw Stephens

04/10/2005


Just got back from Manchester's In the City with some ace unsigned and fresh music for you from Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly, Leave the Capital, Emdee on the didgeriddo (Rolf Harris would be proud), The Whip and Hot Puppies . You'll love 'em.

There's 'ip-'op from Dangerdoom and Mr Lif, Half Man Half Biscuit, artists with names like Walter Meelo, Why?, and to top it all a session by former Pavement mainman and all round hero Stephen Malkmus. Hope you like the tunes.



Suicidal Birds

27/09/2005


Iawn?

Here's the latest tracks I played on OneMusic. Future session guests Aluminium Babe are in there with their ace debut single, and tonight's session guest Suicidal Birds from Holland pulled the stops out for the three tracks you heard.

Krafla's lovely electronica is on the same label as Tunng, the excellent Static Caravan records.

The 'Frog Man' track is from animator Pete Fowler's Monsterism Island compilation, which is essential and a lot of fun. Bob's Defaid is all about kids acting as sheep and following the crowds, and This Ain't Vegas are a a great new band we came across at One Big Weekend in Sunderland.

Tonight's Midnight Mosh came from one man band hero Steveless! Much loved by Peel, he has a new album coming soon and will be playing our One Man Band special show; more info on that soon!

See you next week, pussycats.

More:
:: Suicidal Birds profile



Other shows with Huw Stephens

Beth & Huw

Bethan and Huw

Live music and interviews from the Welsh scene. Breaking the best new music from Wales and beyond.

 


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