Main content

Free Wales Harmony: When Pop Went Welsh

Mancunian DJ Andy Votel stumbled across Welsh language pop music by accident. He's now its biggest fan. In this documentary Andy tells the story of how pop went Welsh.

Andy Votel is a DJ, producer and record label boss from Manchester who first found fame setting up Twisted Nerve Records, home to the singer Badly Drawn Boy. Obsessed with collecting records, today Andy runs Finders Keepers, a record company which specialises in releasing non-English language pop music from all over the world. About 9 years ago, in a charity shop, he stumbled across a collection of vinyl which he'd never seen or heard before. Not able to place the language, he initially guessed it was Icelandic, Breton or Hungarian. But on closer inspection it turned out the records were made less than a hundred miles from his house. These unidentified spinning objects were from Wales.
From that moment on Andy's world was opened up to whole discography of idiosyncratic pop music. Girl-groups, close harmony pop, Acid Folk, Prog Rock, concept albums, pop poetry, indie rock and DIY punk. And to his amazement he discovered that - outside of Wales - this very cool music scene had been virtually ignored. Researching further in to his new found obsession, Andy discovered the story behind the songs was just as intriguing as the music: a tale of passion, politics, poetry, oppression, triumph and a bloody good disco!
In this Radio 4 documentary Andy reveals a cultural revolution that happened on our doorsteps and the music that made it sing. A struggle to save a dying language that involves protest, prison, Mabinogion concepts, the Royal family, cottage burning and even the death of Jimi Hendrix. With contributions from Super Furry Animals' Gruff Rhys, Cerys Matthews, Dafydd Iwan, Heather Jones, Meic Stevens and Geraint Jarman amongst others.

Available now

30 minutes

Last on

Tue 21 Jun 2011 13:30

Music Played

Add music you love and enjoy it with My Tracks
  • Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci

    Patio Song

    • Barafundle.
    • Fontanna.
    • 534-7692.
  • Super Furry Animals

    Northern Lites

    • Guerrilla.
    • CREATION RECORDS.
    • GCD-73472.
  • Catatonia

    International Velvet

    • International Velvet Catatonia.
    • BLANCO Y NEGRO.
    • 3984-20834-2.
  • Y Niwl

    Wyth

    • Y Niwl.
    • Aderyn Papur.
    • aderyn-003.
  • AD 73

    Higher and Higher

    • Welsh Rare Beat 2.
    • Finders Keepers Records.
    • FKR-0014CD.
  • Eleri Llwyd

    O Gymru

    • Welsh Rare Beat.
    • Finders Keepers Records.
    • FKR-003CD.
  • Mary Hopkin

    Rhywbeth Syml (Something Stupid)

    • Y Canenon Cynnar (The Early Recordings).
    • SAIN.
    • SCD-2151E.
  • Y Blew

    Maes B

    • na.
    • QUALITON.
    • qsp-7001.
  • Meic Stevens

    Rhedaf I'r mynydd

    • Disgwyl Rhywbeth Gwell i Ddod.
    • Sain.
    • scd-2345.
  • Meic Stevens

    Tryweryn

    • Rain In The Leaves...The EP's #1.
    • Sunbeam.
    • SBR2LP 5021.
  • Dafydd Iwan

    Carlo

    • Y Dafydd Iwan Cynnar.
    • SAIN.
    • SCD-2180.
  • Meic Stevens

    Gafael Yn Dy Law

    • Disgwyl Rhywbeth Gwell i Ddod.
    • Sain.
    • scd-2345.
  • Jimi Hendrix

    Drivin' South (Take 2)

    • Radio One/The Jimi Hendrix Concerts.
    • Essential.
    • ESBCT1542.
  • Huw Jones

    Dwr

    • Welsh Rare Beat.
    • Sain.
    • FKR-003CD.
  • Edward H. Dafis

    Rossi

    • Welsh Rare Beat 2.
    • FINDERS KEEPERS.
    • FKR-014CD.
  • Meic Stevens

    Hwiangerdd Mihangel

    • Disgwyl Rhywbeth Gwell i Ddod.
    • Sain.
    • scd-2345.
  • Chwyldro

    Rhaid Yw Eu Tynnu I Lawr

    • Chwyldro.
    • sain.
    • sain 17.
  • Tebot Piws

    Mae Rhywyn Wedi Dwyn Fy Nhrwyn

    • Welsh Rare Beat.
    • Finders Keepers Records.
    • FKR-003CD.
  • Meic Stevens

    Y Brawd Houdini

    • Welsh Rare Beat.
    • Sain.
    • FKR-003CD.
  • Bara Menyn

    Yr Wylan Wen

    • Welsh Rare Beat 2.
    • FINDERS KEEPERS.
    • FKR-014CD.
  • Tebot Piws

    Dilyn Colomen

    • Welsh Rare Beat 2.
    • FINDERS KEEPERS.
    • FKR-014CD.
  • Endaf Emlyn

    Salem Yn Y Wlad

    • Salem.
    • Sain.
    • 1012-M.
  • Heather Jones

    O, Osian

    Artist: Cleif Harpwood Artist: Dewi Morris

    • Nia Ben Aur.
    • Sain.
    • SCD2289.
  • Geraint Jarman

    Methu Dal Y Pwysa

    • Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau.
    • SAIN.
    • 1128M.
  • Geraint Jarman

    Fflamau'r Ddraig

    • Fflamau'r Ddraig.
    • Sain.
    • scd1182.
  • Anhrefn

    Cân y Bom (Instrumental)

    • Hen Wlad fy Mamau (Land of my Mothers).
    • crai.
    • cd071.
  • Datblygu

    Cân i Gymru

    • Wyau/Pyst/Libertino.
    • Ankst.
    • ankst-111.
  • Super Furry Animals

    Ymaelodi A'r Ymolon

    • Mwng.
    • SFA.
    • PLC-03cd.
  • Tich Gwilym

    Mae Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau

    • welsh rare Beat.
    • Finders Keepers Records.
    • FKR003CD.

Broadcast