A massive restrospective of Welsh folk legend Meic Stevens' early songs.
Sain: August 2002
Last updated: 26 November 2008
The godfather of Welsh folk has long been held as an inspirational figure to many. But with an extensive back catalogue and a still prolific appetite for performing and releasing new material, the works of Meic Stevens have been daunting for those who don't know where to start looking.
Disgwyl Rhywbeth Gwell I DdodThis collection, songs recorded between 1968 and 1979 and released by Sain to commemorate Stevens' 60th birthday, is an ideal introduction. A 57 song, three CD anthology, Disgwyl Rhywbeth Gwell I Ddod (Waiting For Something Better To Come) may seem daunting to all but the most die-hard Meic Stevens followers, but the wealth of quality music here deserves to be heard.
This massive outpouring from Sain is not just a perfect introduction to one of Wales' most prolific musicians - it also contains a number of rarities and unreleased tracks.
The anthology begins with songs from Meic Stevens' first six EPs released on the Dryw label between 1968 and 1970, including 10 tracks by Y Bara Menyn, the band also featuring Geraint Jarman and Heather Jones.
The collection is perhaps most notable for Y Brawd Houdini, Stevens' debut from 1972. The song later became part of Super Furry Animals' live set, and was often namechecked in interviews with singer Gruff Rhys as a key influence on the band. The original version, however, has been hard to come by until this anthology.
Other old favourites include the drinking song Diolch Yn Fawr, the anthemic Rue St Michel and the jaunty folk of Menyw Yn Y Ffenestr.
Stevens' reputation as 'the Welsh Bob Dylan' isn't entirely unjustified. The pair were friends during the 1960s, and Dylan apparently was a fan. But it's clear that this is only part of the picture. Taking in white blues (the instrumental Jam Poeth), traditional songs (Santiana), social commentary (Tryweryn) and a host of other styles and subjects, there's diversity and experimentation in abundance. Disgwyl Rhywbeth Gwell I Ddod is a labyrinthine, intriguing and highly recommended journey through the best years of a unique and enduring talent.