Yr Anhrefn biography

Yr Anhrefn

Last updated: 18 November 2008

Inspirational both musically and politically, Yr Anhrefn were one of the most important Welsh-language post-punk bands.

Here was a forward-thinking record company that actively encouraged the reach of Welsh music beyond its country of origin. John Peel championed them on Radio 1, and through the label Welsh bands began to receive recognition and encouragement beyond Wales. By the mid 80s, Recordiau Anhrefn was releasing music by exciting new bands including Y Cyrff, Fflaps, Datblygu and Llwybr Llaethog.

To us singing in Welsh is totally natural. We don't think twice about it... It'd be a pretty boring world if everybody sang with American accents or whatever.

Rhys Mwyn

Gigging prolifically in the UK and abroad, Anhrefn were known to play up to 300 shows a year. Their first two albums, Defaid Skateboard A Wellies and Bwrw Cwrw, were released on the small Workers Playtime label. A number of further releases followed, in addition to three Peel sessions between 1987 and 1993.

With a constantly evolving line up, Anhrefn had more than a dozen members over the years. Sex Pistols sleeve designer Jamie Reid did their artwork, and they played with Joe Strummer on the 1988 Rock Against The Rich tour. They even recorded a cover of the Cole Porter standard Anything Goes with actress and TV presenter Margi Clarke - for which they made a rare concession and recorded a song in English.

Rhys Mwyn went on to head up the Crai label, Sain Records' imprint for new bands. In November 2000 he launched a new band, Mangre, with Sion Sebon.

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