Archives for March 2010

Gruff Rhys and Tony Da Gatorra to release collaboration

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BBC Wales Music BBC Wales Music | 09:57 UK time, Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Super Furry Animals' lead singer Gryff Rhys will release an album with a Brazilian musician and 'TV repair man' Tony Da Gatorra on 26 July this year.

The album, The Terror Of Cosmic Loneliness was recorded and mixed in one massive session with long-time Furries collaborator Kris Jenkins at the helm.

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Tom Cruise to help Charlotte Church in USA

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BBC Wales Music BBC Wales Music | 09:13 UK time, Tuesday, 30 March 2010

it is reported that filmstar Tom Cruise and his wife Katie Holmes believe that Welsh singer and TV talent show judge Charlotte Church could make it in America.

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Adam Walton playlist and show info: Sunday 28 March 2010

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Adam Walton Adam Walton | 17:13 UK time, Monday, 29 March 2010

This week's show features a session from Newport's Dirty Goods. They're creators of intelligent, dancefloor-friendly pop that - to my ears - reminds me of Phoenix. They've been sharing their eminently communicable beats and tunes with our America cousins over recent weeks.

They're one of the Welsh bands most likely to achieve recognition far away from our borders. Apparently they're "cute" too. My daughter said so. But she's seven and more fickle than your average Premiership footballer.

bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00rr9wj/Adam_Walton_28_03_2010/

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The School - Telfords Warehouse, Chester- Friday 19 March 2010

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Adam Walton Adam Walton | 14:39 UK time, Monday, 29 March 2010

I'm not one for nostalgia, raking over the ashes of rock n roll's past in search of some dying embers of inspiration. However two of my favourite releases this year are coloured largely by the sound of yesterdays long past: Y Niwl's debut EP and The School's crafted and melodically sumptuous debut album, Loveless Unbeliever.

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Listen to Kids In Glass Houses performing Marina And The Diamonds

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BBC Wales Music BBC Wales Music | 13:41 UK time, Thursday, 25 March 2010

Kids In Glass Houses appeared on Fearne Cotton's Radio 1 and played two tracks in the Live Lounge: current single Matters At All and a cover of Marina And The Diamonds' hit Hollywood.

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Frug! fanzine celebrates John Sicolo's life

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BBC Wales Music BBC Wales Music | 09:44 UK time, Wednesday, 24 March 2010

A special edition of 1990s Newport fanzine Frug! is available now, celebrating the life of TJ's founder and owner John Sicolo, who died last week.

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Adam Walton playlist and show info: Sunday 14 March 2010

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BBC Wales Music BBC Wales Music | 09:37 UK time, Monday, 22 March 2010

This week's show features sets of live musical wonderment recorded at our recent happening in Hendre Hall, Bangor from Aberystwyth's Georgia Ruth, Tregarth's John Lawrence and Machynlleth's Nia Morgan. Have to get those hometowns / villages in there. It was a magical night and these recordings capture that perfectly. Poor blighters have to put up with me interviewing them, too, although John and Nia at least had the advantage of my recording equipment running out of juice partway through.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00rmqyy/Adam_Walton_21_03_2010/

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From Wales to Austin, Texas: South by Southwest 2010

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Bethan Elfyn Bethan Elfyn | 14:24 UK time, Friday, 19 March 2010

Once a year the International music scene de-camps to a strange and wonderful place. Yes, Austin, Texas isn't the first location you think of when you think of festivals, but downtown Austin is a ready made playground for South By South West festival with hundreds of bars and clubs transformed into makeshift music venues.

The day kicks off with music blaring from around 11am, then a minefield of free/but RSVP parties crop up everywhere, and queues form for even a slight whiff of a 'special guest'. For the past few years the Welsh Music Foundation have helped host a Welsh party alongside many other showcases from the UK, so Liverpool, Belfast, Scotland, Yorkshire, and even some cool labels like Transgressive all congregate at Latitude 30 with the best of British.

Today was the Welsh party, and four of Wales' finest are out at the festival. I caught up with them, on Beth's special shaky cam at SXSW.

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Welsh MCs' 'Verses' for BBC Introducing in Wales

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BBC Wales Music BBC Wales Music | 14:03 UK time, Friday, 19 March 2010

Over four weeks Bethan Elfyn has been been building a hip hop session track the slow way on her BBC Introducing show. Bringing in four of of the most exciting emcees in Wales, it's been recorded verse by verse, week by week live on air.

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Heal the Last Stand, Telfords Warehouse, Chester, Thursday 18 March 2010

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Adam Walton Adam Walton | 11:56 UK time, Friday, 19 March 2010

It's been a sad week for music-lovers: John Sicolo, Micky Jones, Alex Chilton, Charlie Gillett, Mark Linkous - all passing away within days of each other. The mood has been sombre. None of these men were friends, but the music they either made or encouraged was. Their legacies live on, of course, but there is still a sense of loss. When times are hard it's the good people we turn to for solace and inspiration, and there is less of both around at the end of this week.

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Stuart Cable's introduction to drumming

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BBC Wales Music BBC Wales Music | 10:22 UK time, Thursday, 18 March 2010

Grab your pots and pans and join in as Stuart Cable gives Radio Wales' Jamie Owen and Louise Elliott a drum lesson.

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Remembering John Sicolo and Micky Jones

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Adam Walton Adam Walton | 11:15 UK time, Wednesday, 17 March 2010

This week's show was, in some respects, a sombre affair. Welsh music lost two of its most respected figures in the last week: John Sicolo, co-founder of The Legendary TJ's in Newport and Micky Jones, founder member of Man.

Listen again until Sunday.

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Cardiff Singers for Wales announced

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Cardiff Singer Cardiff Singer | 10:25 UK time, Tuesday, 16 March 2010

The four finalists selected to take part in the Welsh Singers Competition have been announced.

The competition takes place every other year and is open to singers from Wales at the start of their careers. The winner goes on to represent his/her country in BBC Cardiff Singer of the World in the following year.

The picture above shows soprano Natalya Romaniw winning the 2008 Welsh Singers Competition. Natalya went on to reach the final of the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Song Prize in 2009.

Taking part in this year's final, at St David's Hall, Cardiff on Monday 28 June 2010, will be:

  • Catrin Aur Davies, soprano, aged 31, from Newcastle Emlyn, Carmarthenshire
  • Rebecca Afonwy-Jones, mezzo soprano, aged 31, from Montgomery, Montgomeryshire
  • John Pierce, tenor, aged 27, from Holywell, Flintshire
  • Samuel Evans, baritone, aged 30, from Aberaeron, Ceredigion

They will be accompanied by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales conducted by Grant Llewellyn.

Making the decision will be a high profile jury, made up of baritone Bryn Terfel, soprano Rebecca Evans, tenor Robert Tear, Director of Opera at the Royal Opera House, Elaine Padmore, and conductor and Cardiff Singer Music Advisor Julian Smith.

The winner receives a trophy and £2,000 and represents Wales in Cardiff Singer next year. Each of the other finalists receives £750.

See the Welsh Singers Competition website for more information, and the St David's Hall website for tickets.

Rhydian Roberts to share stage with 11ft 3D Richard Burton

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BBC Wales Music BBC Wales Music | 10:11 UK time, Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Former X Factor contestant Rhydian Roberts is to perform in a new stage production of War Of The Worlds, joined by a holographic image of Welsh actor Richard Burton.

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John Sicolo's tour of TJ's

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BBC Wales Music BBC Wales Music | 15:24 UK time, Monday, 15 March 2010

Watch the late John Sicolo give BBC Wales a tour of his venue, the Legendary TJ's in Newport.





Festival causes concern for country park

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BBC Wales Music BBC Wales Music | 11:11 UK time, Monday, 15 March 2010

A five day festival planned for June at Pembrey Country Park is causing concern among residents of the area and nature lovers who fear the 20,000 capacity event will disturb the local wildlife and ecology of the country park.

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John Sicolo 1944-2010

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BBC Wales Music BBC Wales Music | 08:13 UK time, Monday, 15 March 2010

John Sicolo, founder and owner of TJ's nightclub in Newport, died yesterday at the age of 66. The ebullient, effervescent former Merchant Navy cook had run the venue on Clarence Place since 1971.

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Photo courtesy of Leanne Sicolo

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Y Niwl/Cate Le Bon - Central Station, Wrexham - Wednesday 3rd March

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Adam Walton Adam Walton | 17:37 UK time, Friday, 12 March 2010

Y Niwl's Alun 'Tan Lan' Evans is having something of a red-letter week. Last Sunday his song won the annual Cân i Gymry competition and the £10,000 prize. The night before that his band, Y Niwl, started a short Welsh tour supporting Cate Le Bon.

By the time they arrive in Wrexham on a frozen Wednesday night, awed whispers have spread around the internet about how excellent this line up had been in Cardiff, Aberystwyth and Bangor on preceding nights. Expectations are high amongst a slightly disappointing crowd.

Y Niwl play guitar instrumentals that are an extension- rather than a pastiche - of the legacies of Dick Dale, Link Wray and The Ventures. Self-limiting your tonal palette to two guitars, bass, drums and the occasional stab of garage organ (and not a single microphone through which to address the crowd), at a time when most home computers can carry round cornucopias of orchestral possibility, is a modernistic philosophy of sound. The timbre has always been important, but it's never been as important as the choice of note, in this context, anyway.

And Y Niwl know their notes.

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The BBC Introducing house party!

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Bethan Elfyn Bethan Elfyn | 16:06 UK time, Friday, 12 March 2010

Just a quick update with some more Radio 1 and Welsh rock news. Our show on 18 March - that's next Wednesday - features a very special BBC house party recorded at Jen Long's kitchen (Jen's a R1 Introducing in Wales team member).

Jen's spent the last month recording a documentary on the art of a good house party for Radio 1 Stories. You can hear what The Blackout, The Chapman Family and hot new Manchester mc Envy sound like from Jen's kitchen.

Its all rather entertaining listening as you can imagine, so tune in next week for the highlights.

Some BBC Music links:

The Blackout
The Chapman Family

Kids In Glass Houses co-host BBC Introducing

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Bethan Elfyn Bethan Elfyn | 15:50 UK time, Friday, 12 March 2010

What a crazy week it's been! I've spent quite a bit of it in the company of Kids In Glass Houses, who saw their Matters At All single hit the charts this week too.

In anticipation of their new album Dirt, we invited them into the Radio One studios in Cardiff to co-host the Introducing show, and it was pretty chaotic and really fun. They pick the music and picked this week's session band Tiger Please.

If you haven't heard the show already to head to the website bbc.co.uk/radio1/bethanelfyn as the interviews, banter, and general nonsense are quite hysterical.

It all started rather surreal manner as Phil, Kids' drummer wasn't sure if he was needed on the show, so started by picking a track from his bed in Bridgend, and changed his mind, so drove manically down the M4 and came in for the last hour. Bonkers!

Full tracklistings and so forth on our website, so do head to the link above, as it'll just be up there till next Wednesday at midnight.

See the Kids In Glass Houses profiles on BBC Music and BBC Wales Music.

Man founder Micky Jones 1946-2010

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BBC Wales Music BBC Wales Music | 11:37 UK time, Thursday, 11 March 2010

Man founder member - and the only member to have been in every line-up of the band - Micky Jones, has died today, aged 63.

Music Week reports that the prog rock band's guitarist passed away after a long illness.

Live Music Forum founder Phil Little is quoted by Music Week: "In the early seventies they were one of the biggest named bands. When people talk about Man they often mention Deke Leonard, but Micky Jones was the only member of Man who was in every line up."

Texas calling for Welsh acts and businesses

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BBC Wales Music BBC Wales Music | 12:44 UK time, Wednesday, 10 March 2010

The annual South By South West (SxSW) music festival, happening from 17-21 March in Austin, Texas, will be playing host to a range of Welsh businesses and music attempting to secure valuable exposure in America and around the world.

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Wakestock acts announced

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BBC Wales Music BBC Wales Music | 11:13 UK time, Wednesday, 10 March 2010

The first raft of acts for this year's Wakestock festival have been announced, with N-Dubz, Maximo Park and Wales' own Los Campesinos! among the top names.

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Adam Walton playlist and show info: Sunday 7 March 2010

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Adam Walton Adam Walton | 09:35 UK time, Wednesday, 10 March 2010

This week's show features superlative live recordings from our gig in Bangor last Saturday evening.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00rbmfz/Adam_Walton_07_03_2010/

So, you get a track each from Georgia Ruth, John Lawrence and Nia Morgan, Mechanical Owl, 9bach and Soft-Hearted Scientists.

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Straight talking from Straight Lines

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Bethan Elfyn Bethan Elfyn | 15:38 UK time, Friday, 5 March 2010

So like I said in my previous blog entry, this week has been the story of rock for me, and it started with a Maida Vale session from Straight Lines.

They were nominated from a whole host of band to play the Maida Vale Intorducing weekender, where the Introducing shows across the UK have a weekend to put loads of bands in session.  We picked Straight Lines, they got through to the final line up, joining Django Django and others for the two day's record.

The videos, session tracks and interviews are all up on bbc.co.uk/introducing but I also caught up with the band at their album launch last week at Clwb Ifor Bach in Cardiff to talk "Persistence In This Game".

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Budgie's Burke Shelley recalls 1980s Eastern bloc gigs

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BBC Wales Music BBC Wales Music | 10:15 UK time, Friday, 5 March 2010

In a wide-ranging interview with The Western Mail Budgie lead singer Burke Shelley has discussed his band's career highs and lows, the support of the band from Metallica and how they played huge gigs during Poland's political maelstrom of the 1980s.

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Calling all Welsh rock fans!

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Bethan Elfyn Bethan Elfyn | 11:42 UK time, Thursday, 4 March 2010

It's a quickie from me for the blog this week as I'm off to the Alps for the weekend, not a holiday as such, but to DJ at a party, celebrating the end of a week of snowboarding for the Boardb*tch girls. Ah, yes, sometimes, I can say, oh the life!

But my week has also been really hectic, and dominated with Welsh rock, from Straight Lines in session for the show last week, and interviewing them at their launch party with Cuba Cuba and Tiger Please, to heading to see the Lostprophets end of tour shebang at the Bristol Academy on Sunday.

On Monday I was back with Kids In Glass Houses discussing the Welsh music scene in three minutes - an impossible task - for BBC Radio Wales' news shows, and Tuesday I was in London to interview a few key figures in the Lostprophets story.

It's no coincidence that I'm finding myself in the heart of the Welsh rock scene, as I've started producing a rockumentary for Radio One's stories on the glorious South Wales Valleys and the bands that have been spawned from them.

If you have a vital part of the story you'd like to share, please do so in the comments section, it'll help me with my research.

The BBC Wales Music site also has an excellent section on the whole history of Welsh rock, so while you're waiting for my production to air, head on to the main website for the written word.

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Eisteddfod announces Welsh stars on bill

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BBC Wales Music BBC Wales Music | 11:20 UK time, Thursday, 4 March 2010

The National Eisteddfod has announced a raft of Welsh stars who will be appearing at the annual celebration of Welsh culture which is being held this year in Ebbw Vale.

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Six Nations gig for Facebook choir

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BBC Wales Music BBC Wales Music | 10:47 UK time, Thursday, 4 March 2010

A Welsh male voice choir recruited entirely through social media site Facebook has been booked to perform at the Millennium Stadium before the Wales v Italy Six Nations match later this month.

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Cerys Matthews weighs into 6 Music debate

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BBC Wales Music BBC Wales Music | 10:31 UK time, Thursday, 4 March 2010

Following the BBC's strategy review on its future, which proposes axing the 6 Music and Asian Network radio stations plus half the corporation's websites, Cerys Matthews has added her voice to the growing calls to save 6 Music, on which she is a presenter.

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Wales Music Day - The Evening Show

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BBC Wales Music BBC Wales Music | 10:02 UK time, Thursday, 4 March 2010

Listen again to clips about Wales Music Day from the Evening Show show on Radio Wales.

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Catrin Finch on tour three weeks after birth

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BBC Wales Music BBC Wales Music | 11:29 UK time, Wednesday, 3 March 2010

In an interview with Radio Wales' Roy Noble, harpist Catrin Finch has spoken of her upcoming tour with a seven piece Colombian band just three weeks after the birth of her second daughter, Peggy.

Listen to the full interview:




Lostprophets for Big Weekend?

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BBC Wales Music BBC Wales Music | 10:20 UK time, Wednesday, 3 March 2010

It has been reported that Pontypridd's Lostprophets will be playing at radio 1's Big Weekend festival in Bangor.

Although it hasn't been officially announced, the band's Twitter feed on 2 March contatained the update "Lostprophets announced as part of the Radio One Big Weekend line-up in May! So gonna come and see us?" linking to a story from DigitalSpy.

The Radio 1 festival will take place in May at the Faenol Estate.

Wales Music Day - Good Evening Wales

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BBC Wales Music BBC Wales Music | 13:41 UK time, Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Listen again to clips about Wales Music Day from the Good Evening Wales show on Radio Wales.

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Lucie Jones follows X Factor with charity single

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BBC Wales Music BBC Wales Music | 11:11 UK time, Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Lucie Jones, the Welsh X Factor contestant booted off the show in controversial circumstances in favour of Jedward, has announced a charity single in aid of Cancer Research UK.

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Lucie, along with Kym Marsh, Carol Decker, Penny Smith, Liz McClarnon, Sonique and The Cheeky Girls, will record a version of Cyndi Lauper's Girls Just Wanna Have Fun to run alongside the charity's Race For Life.

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Festival of Hope 2010 acts announced

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BBC Wales Music BBC Wales Music | 10:48 UK time, Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Gwyl Gobaith / Festival of Hope 2010 has announced its line-up of artists performing at the event which runs from 25-27 June and is held at Deeside's College's Northop campus.

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Paul McCartney books Millennium date

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BBC Wales Music BBC Wales Music | 09:39 UK time, Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Paul McCartney has announced a summer gig at the Millennium Stadium this summer.

According to What's On Wales, the ex-Beatle, ex-Wing and solo star will be trawling "through over five decades of material covering his solo work, massive hits from rock band Wings and, of course, the timeless classics from The Beatles."

The concert is scheduled for 26 June 2010.

Wales Music Day - session videos

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BBC Wales Music BBC Wales Music | 09:13 UK time, Tuesday, 2 March 2010

After an incredibly busy day yesterday for Wales Music Day, we're now going through the wealth of video footage we captured. First up we've got Kids In Glass Houses and Georgia Ruth Williams.

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Wales Music Day - Adam on record shops

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BBC Wales Music BBC Wales Music | 18:19 UK time, Monday, 1 March 2010

Adam Walton explores the importance, role and future of Wales' independent music stores, and the part they play in nurturing new acts:

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Wales Music Day - Roy Noble

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BBC Wales Music BBC Wales Music | 17:59 UK time, Monday, 1 March 2010

Listen again to clips about Wales Music Day from the Roy Noble show on Radio Wales.

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Wales Music Day - Welsh music discussed

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BBC Wales Music BBC Wales Music | 17:01 UK time, Monday, 1 March 2010

Jason Mohammad was joined on Radio Wales earlier this afternoon for a discussion about the state of Welsh music.

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Wales Music Day - Pete Lawrie joins the Lunchtime show

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BBC Wales Music BBC Wales Music | 14:03 UK time, Monday, 1 March 2010

Listen again to clips about Wales Music Day from the Lunchtime show on Radio Wales.

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Wales Music Day - Jamie and Louise part two

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BBC Wales Music BBC Wales Music | 13:30 UK time, Monday, 1 March 2010

Listen again to clips about Wales Music Day from the Jamie And Louise show on Radio Wales.

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Wales Music Day - Jamie and Louise

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BBC Wales Music BBC Wales Music | 11:22 UK time, Monday, 1 March 2010

Listen again to clips about Wales Music Day from the Jamie And Louise show on Radio Wales.

Watch a BBC News video of Mike Peters in Wrexham today.

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Wales Music Day - Good Morning Wales

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BBC Wales Music BBC Wales Music | 10:02 UK time, Monday, 1 March 2010

Listen again to clips about Wales Music Day from the Good Morning Wales show on Radio Wales.

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