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Category: Music


Al Moses release their blistering debut single 'I Want More' through digital platforms on the 30th November. Al Moses are an incendiary new band made up of four nineteen-year-old friends from the South Wales valleys, who take on rock and roll history and stamp it with their personalities and the youthful ambition to be heard beyond their hometowns. Debut single 'I Want More' was produced by Steffan Pringle (ESTRONS, Himalayas) at Giant Wafer Studios and mastered by Charlie Francis (Pixies, REM). With its sneering vocals, sizzling riffs and stomping beat, the rollicking 'I Want More' encapsulates their burning ambition, the disillusionment of their generation and wraps it in a swaggering chorus. It’s a hungry opening statement of intent from this exciting young band.

Al Moses singer Jack Shepherd says: 'It’s a head-on, hands-up anthem for people like us, the disillusioned youth. We just want more than what's laid out for us. And this song aims to capture that spirit and determination of how we feel right now.' Jack Shepherd.

Jack and Daf, who co-front and share lead vocals in Al Moses, met at house party 2015. A few days later, after watching The Jesus and Mary Chain at the Cardiff Students Union they adopted the name Al Moses inspired by a religious connotation.

Daf is an aspiring actor, studying at Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, already appearing in nationwide drama and cast in various music videos. Al Moses were chosen in January 2018 to be part of the Forte Project that provides mentoring, live opportunities and practical support for new and upcoming acts based in South Wales.

For fans of The Libertines, Catfish and the Bottlemen, Cribs, Oasis, The Blinders

Upcoming gigs:

20th October: @ Swn Festival, Cardiff

27th October @ Finsbury Pub, London

17th November: Supporting Peace & Fickle Friends at Shimmer Sounds 2018 @

Tramshed, Cardiff

29th November: Headline show @ Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff

Al Moses:

Daf Thomas - Guitar/lead vocals
Jack Shepherd - Guitar/lead vocals
Raychi Bryant - Bass

George Percival – Drums

Facebook : @almosesband
Insta: @almosesband

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Bubblewrap Collective announce the release of the new Perfect Body and Zac White Split EP! Lead singles 'Fields' from Perfect Body, and 'Spent on You' from Zac White will be available digitally on 12th October.

Following on from the success of the 2017 split EP with Boy Azooga and Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard, Bubblewrap Collective brings you two of the most exciting acts on the Cardiff music scene: Perfect Body and Zac White. The record, pressed to limited edition purple and orange vinyl, will be released on November 23rd and features artwork from Cardiff artist and musician Teddy Hunter. The release continues the camaraderie across the Cardiff music scene with Tom Rees (of Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard) producing at Rat Trap studios alongside Zac and Perfect Body.

Perfect Body

Image:  Elijah Thomas

Perfect Body's new single 'Fields' is a glacial gaze trip. that further expands their shivering palette of vast noise pop potential, that rustles with the ghosts of early My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive and woozy 60s psych. Threaded with longing three-way vocals that explore the landscapes of 'desire' through tumbling percussion, ethereal synthesizers; and reverb smothered hooks. 'Fields' possesses an exciting, nagging pop sensibility that makes you want to press play all over again as soon as it's over.

Perfect Body formed in Cardiff, early 2017, inspired by the sonic experimentation of bands like My Bloody Valentine, Stereolab, and The Brian Jonestown Massacre. Their three vocalists, each with their own style and identities, ensure that Perfect Body’s performances are varied and engaging. Perfect Body is a wall of noise, hazing over and obscuring what is, at its core, pop-oriented songwriting. Their earliest performances took place in Cardiff’s underground, often in practice spaces and house parties: So, by the time Perfect Body emerged on the music scene, they had already sculpted a distinctive sonic identity. The attention gained from their first single, ‘Getting Cold’, saw them supporting the likes of Jen Cloher, Slowcoaches, and The Wytches.

Perfect Body recently played a rapturously received set at the much-coveted Rising Stage at Greenman 2018. They were picked out as at one of the Top 10 ones to watch at the festival by Drowned in Sound and BBC Radio Wales broadcaster Adam Walton has been a huge champion of the fast emerging Cardiff band giving their early tracks heavy rotation on his show.

“This Cardiff based five-piece have been making waves recently thanks to their effervescent live shows and woozy, ethereal sounds that have seen them compared to Slowdive and the Stereolab. Despite only being together just over a year, they've come on leaps and bounds in such a short space of time...” – Drowned in Sound

Zac White

zac_white.jpg Zac White's new single 'Spent On You' is an infectious tune that ties together meditative sun-kissed refrains, wonky percussion and bounding baselines, with shimmering spidery riffs tiptoeing into a heart on the sleeve sing-along. Gathering into a sumptuous crescendo of drum rolls and fuzzy riffs in its outro, this is a delicious slice of hazy pop that just hints at a depth of his songwriting talents.

Despite being only 20, Zac White has been playing on Cardiff’s live music scene for over five years. Alongside his early days performing with FUR and part of Lily and White, Zac has been honing his own sound based on influences such as Wilco, Loose Fur, Sonic Youth and Broadcast. His 90s/00s off-kilter indie influenced sound has grown from minimal arrangements with drummer Ethan Hurst into a rollicking, reverb-drenched, garage-psych experience. For his live shows and upcoming EP, accompaniment comes from Tom and Ed Rees of Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard, with whom Zac also plays. He recently supported Heavenly recordings Boy Azooga, who are currently blazing a trail for Welsh bands across the world.

Pre-order link:

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Whether you’re into indie, rock, punk, funk, folk, electronica, hip hop or anything else, there’s incredible music being made in the Welsh language for you to discover- that’s the message from Radio 1 DJ Huw Stephens as he urges people and places across Wales to get involved and find their favourite new sound on the third Welsh Language Music Day . . .

Friday 9th February 2018

The day celebrates all forms of Welsh Language music and it’s easy to tune in and discover something you’ll love. Music comes to life when it’s experienced live and free events aimed at gig goers, parents and children, young people, students and businesses are happening all across the country organised by promoters including Sŵn, BBC Horizons, Forté Project and Clwb Ifor Bach.

Will you be organising an event?

  • Get in touch on to let us know!

  • Change your hold music to your favourite Welsh songs

  • Play Dydd Miwsig Cymru’s 2018 playlists in your workplace

  • J oin in on social media by tweeting or sharing the music you and your coworkers like using #DyddMiwsigCymru #WelshLanguageMusicDay

  • Display the Dydd Miwsig Cymru sticker in your window

  • Put on a gig or event for your staff

AmeriCymru will be celebrating Dydd Miwsig Cymru (Welsh Language Music Day) this Friday 9 th ofFebruary by playing playlists, sharing their favourite songs, playing Welsh music in the office all day!.

Whether you’re into indie, rock, punk, funk, folk, electronica, hip hop or anything else, there’s incredible music being made in the Welsh language for you to discover- that’s the message from Radio 1 DJ Huw Stephens as he urges people and places across Wales to get involved and find their favourite new sound on the third Welsh Language Music Day (Friday 9th February 2018).

The day celebrates all forms of Welsh Language music and it’s easy to tune in and discover something you’ll love. Music comes to life when it’s experienced live and free events aimed at gig goers, parents and children, young people, students and businesses are happening all across the country organised by promoters including Sŵn, BBC Horizons, Forté Project and Clwb Ifor Bach.

BBC Radio 1 DJ Huw Stephens, ambassador for the day, said: “Whatever you're into, Dydd Miwsig Cymru is a day to help you discover music you'll love. You may already be listening to Welsh language music, or maybe you haven’t listened to it for years. There's incredible music of almost every genre, all being made in the Welsh language - there’s even some great playlists to share with your friends and family who may not be listening to Welsh language music. Try something and you might just find your favourite new sound.”

The day is a part of the long-term vision to see a million people speaking and using Welsh by 2050.

Spread the love and the music by using the hashtag

#DyddMiwsigCymru    #WelshLanguageMusicDay .

digital packs with information on how to be part of the day are available at

and further information is available by emailing

Playlists can be found at .

Follow @cymraeg on Twitter, Facebook and Instagr am for the latest details on plans for the day.

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"The Tates were spawned in the twisted and insidious beauty of West Wales. Consisting of Liam Fusco, Tom Ryan, Matt Kilgariff, Jac Robin and Shaun Gwizdak. Influences range from The Libertines’ poetic raw energy to the death disco of early New Order."  AmeriCymru spoke to Tom Ryan and Shaun Gwizdak about the bands past and future plans.

AmeriCymru:  Hi and many thanks for agreeing to this interview. How did the band come by its name?

Shaun:   Within our group of friends we’ve got some unique slang words. For instance, when others would say “fancy a cigarette?” we would say “wanna Keith?”. Tate is another one of these words, but we can’t tell you what it means. Liam got dangerously close to spilling the beans on national radio once though.

AmeriCymru:  When was the band formed?

Shaun:   Officially, The Tates got together, as you know us, sometime in 2015, but the bands formation was inevitable since sometime between the late 70’s and mid 80’s when mine and Liam’s dads were in bands such as the ‘Dogs of War’ together. Liam’s dad, the legendary guitar guru, Vince, is in fact my godfather. Jac grew up with us too, which is lucky as his keyboard skills are unbelievable! Tom and Matt befriended Liam in school. They were renowned for their song writing skills quite early on, and spent most of their academic effort loitering in the music department. Liam saw their talents and started jamming with them, playing around with the idea of being a band before Liam told myself and Jac that the time had come, we were fulfilling our destiny and forming The Tates.

AmeriCymru:  What can you tell us about your single 'Water'. The lyrics are intriguing and I'm sure many of our readers would love to know more.

Tom: Water is ultimately a track that plays with the question whether we are the subjects of our environment, our upbringing, of the people and things around us, or are we born the way we are, subject to our innate responses and our genetics given to us by two people in a shared instance, our mother and father. Are the flaws that we share with our parents who we are, or have we learned them. Are we free to be the people we want to be or are we trapped by our genetic make up and our immediate environment and society. Water asks these questions in the form of a brief description of two people's circumstance from their own perspective. of a woman, timid and in a relationship where she fears her partner. And of another, a man, afraid to be open, to feel and to commit. Where do these anxieties and fears derive from, water asks us to contemplate this and to understand the complexities of a person's decisions.

AmeriCymru:  You have been compared to, amongst others, MGMT and early New Order. How do you feel about these comparisons and who would you say are your major influences?

Shaun: It’s always great to be compared to big artists, even if they’re not our cup of tea! Makes us feel we’re doing something right if our music reminds people of artists who have made it. Of course we love the comparisons to MGMT and New Order, both bands we love. We used to do a mean live cover of Blue Monday !

I think each of us in the band would list different artists as major influences. I myself love a mixture of 80s and contemporary pop stuff which influences my drumming. Stuff like Tears for Fears, Duran Duran, Foals, The 1975. I love anything synth too, The Human League, Jean-Michel Jarre, Vangelis, Chvrches, Kavinski. A few of the guys love the 90’s too. Stuff like Libertines, Brian Jonestown Massacre, Oasis. I think having such a wide variety of influences is really advantageous as we can draw from all of them and create something new and unique.

AmeriCymru:  What can you tell us about the music scene in Carmarthen? Do you think that the Welsh music scene generally is thriving at the moment?

Shaun: The music scene in Carmarthen is buzzing. Gruff has really created something special with Libertino Records and put the town on the map. It’s really given bands and artists the opportunity to be heard and taken seriously. Awesome bands like Los Blancos, Argraph, Adwaith and Hotel Del Salto. We have to give a shout out to another of Carmarthen's successes, our friends, Dream State. They’re absolutely smashing it at the moment, having just signed with Australian label UNFD, played Reading and Leeds this year, getting full page spreads in Kerrang magazine and playing next year’s Download. Everyone in Wales should be really proud of them.

It was looking pretty bleak for the Welsh music scene earlier this year with the threat of closures for venues in the heart of the capital, but the successful “Save Womanly Street” campaign has turned that around completely. The music scene in Wales is now more vibrant than ever, which was made evident at this year’s Swn fest Discovery Day, which we opened. It really was a showcase of all of the outstanding music we have in Wales. If we had to name a few of our favourite Welsh artists right now, outside of Libertino, it’d have to be Boy Azooga, Chroma, Estrons, Monico Blonde and Rainbow Maniac.

AmeriCymru:  Where can people go to hear/buy your music online?

Shaun:   Anywhere, everywhere! Here’s a handy little link that’ll show you all the places you can find it. Water

AmeriCymru:  What's next for the Tates? Any gigs/new recordings in the pipeline?

Shaun:   We’ve just come out of the studio with our amazing producer, Steffan Pringle, tracking our next two singles. He’s an absolute wizard when it comes to making our tracks sound the best that they can and we just love hanging out with him too. We plan on releasing more tracks in 2018 than we did in 2017 which should be fun and will be announcing some live dates soon too.

AmeriCymru:  Any final message for the readers and members of AmeriCymru?

Shaun:   Just to say thank you for all the support for the music scene in Wales and please keep it up. We couldn’t do it without you. Let us know what you think of our new single ‘Water’ on twitter, facebook , email, letter, however. It’s always great to get feedback and we love hearing from people. Maybe it’ll make a perfect Christmas present for someone you know. Merry Christmas, Shaun x

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The winner of our free ticket competition has been drawn and announced. For the rest of us there is a discount code in the blog post below AND the opportunity to watch the concert streamed live on  Facebook

"Sir Karl Jenkins is the most performed living composer in the world."

We are extremely pleased and proud to announce that Distinguished Concerts International have made available a pair of tickets for the forthcoming Karl Jenkins concert in New York at the Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage, Carnegie Hall on Monday, January 15th, 2018. The program includes Sing! The Music was Given , a new work commissioned for DCINY’s 10th Anniversary, and The Armed Man , which is presented with film. Read our (2010) interview with Karl Jenkins here

We are offering these tickets as a QUIZ PRIZE on Americymru!

Just answer the three easy quiz questions below ( answers can all be found on Wikipedia ) and send them to us at ( all email addresses will be deleted when the competition closes ). We'll throw all the entries in a hat and pick the winner! Please email us by Tuesday, January 10th, 2018 no later than 9 PM ( Pacific Time ). Tickets will be ready at will call on 1/15 at the Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage, Carnegie Hall; the winner will just need to bring a photo ID.

Only one entry per email address is permitted. Duplicates will be disqualified. You do not need to be an AmeriCymru member or logged into the site in order to enter this competition.

If you don't win the competition, please do not despair. DCINY is very kindly offering a 30% discount code for AmeriCymru readers. The code is DCC27599 and it can be used online, over the phone, or in person at Carnegie Hall

Karl Jenkins Quiz

  1. What are Karl Jenkins middle names?

  2. When is Karl's birthday and what year was he born?

  3. At which Welsh university did Karl study music?

​MONDAY, JANUARY 15, 2018 at 7:00 PM

Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage, Carnegie Hall

The Music of Sir Karl Jenkins: A DCINY Tenth Anniversary Celebration

DCINY honors UK composer Sir Karl Jenkins with an evening comprised of both new and lauded compositions by the honoree. The program includes Sing! The Music was Given , a new work commissioned for DCINY’s 10th Anniversary, and The Armed Man , which is presented with film. The performance is conducted by Jonathan Griffith , DCINY Artistic Director and Principal Conductor, and features Distinguished Concerts Orchestra and Distinguished Concerts Singers International.


KARL JENKINS: The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace (with film)
KARL JENKINS - Sing! The Music was Given (New Work Premiere; Commissioned by DCINY Premiere Project)


Jonathan Griffith, DCINY Artistic Director and Principal Conductor
Sir Karl Jenkins, DCINY Composer-in-Residence
Featuring Distinguished Concerts Orchestra and Distinguished Concerts Singers International
Tickets $20-$100!
On Sale Now!

Visit or call 212-247-7800
Box Office: 57th Street and Seventh Avenue
Senior and Student Discounts Available at the Box Office with ID
For Group Tickets, VIP Packages, Discounts, and More, e-mail

Ticket Link: The Music Of Karl Jenkins


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Pharmacy_Single_Cover.jpg Hoult releases his debut single ‘Pharmacy’ on Friday 6th of October through Phwoar and Peace, it will be available on digital and streaming platforms.

Hoult has the rare knack of sounding both dreamy and sharp at the same time. This, married with vital yet wistful song-writing, concocts his imaginative brand of guitar pop. ‘Pharmacy’ builds from an affecting intimacy into a song with a grand scale: possessing folk-tinged anthemic choruses reminiscent of Bombay Bicycle club and Frightened Rabbit and rippling with personal lyrics that tap into wider themes: “Pharmacy summarises the feeling of frustration when you cannot help someone you care about.” Says Hoult “Darker themes run through the veins of this track, yet the energetic and cheerful instrumentation represent the mask a lot of people wear on a daily basis.”

Hoult better known as Sam Fowke is a singer-songwriter / producer from Gloucester, now based in Cardiff. Sam likes fine jumpers and long walks on the beach. He released one single entitled 'Red Handed’ under his own name last year, it quickly racked up over 7000 plays. He now returns under the new moniker Hoult with his most affecting and ambitious song yet.



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ADWAITH femme.jpg Adwaith release their new double A-sided single 'Femme/Lipstick Coch' through Libertinism Records on the 25th of August.

Fast rising Carmarthen based female trio Adwaith unveil their brilliant new double A-side single 'Lipstick Coch' and 'FEMME' this summer. Vividly depicting their knack for melody and sound and their ability to create a direct emotional connection with the listener. Adwaith’s brand new double A-side single heralds a beginning of a new sound for the band. Whereas previously the band painted sounds with a palette of muted sombre colours Lipstick Coch and FEMME explode with bright confident neon.

'Lipstick Coch (Red Lipstick)' is a fully charged post punk anthem in the vain of The Slits at their most immediate, an anthem celebrating youth, androgyny and love.The flipside 'FEMME' on the other hand could quite easily have been a long lost single on Postcard Records or Cherry Red Records from the mid-80s. With its jangly C86 indie pop sound as a canvas to the witty, heartfelt lyrics Adwaith discuss femininity and the sexism experienced by them as young women. This is an inspirational song from an inspirational band willing to stand up for their beliefs.

These songs are brave, creative moves both musically and lyrically for the band, yet they retain the distinctive melodic gift that is so recognisable in all Adwaith’s songs. A gift that has gained the band fast critical acclaim and extensive radio plays, most noticeably on BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio 6, BBC Radio Cymru and Amazing Radio.

The release of the singles come hot on the heels of Adwaith’s Maida Vale recording session for Huw Stephens in these legendary BBC studios. Their summer is full of activity including a live set on the BBC Introducing Stage at FOCUS Wales festival broadcast live on Adam Walton’s BBC Radio Wales show.

Adwaith were introduced on the BBC Introducing stage at Latitude festival as the most exciting band from Wales in decades and will finish the summer on the Gorwelion /Horizons stage at Festival No 6. In the middle of all this activity, Adwaith have managed to record their debut album, and their label Libertino believe its 'creatively ground breaking and will stand as one of the important albums from Wales alongside the works of Gorky Zygotic Mynci, Super Furry Animals and Gwenno.'


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ani glass.jpeg AmeriCymru: Hi Ani and many thanks for agreeing to this interview. I think many people will be excited by the impending release of your EP. Care to introduce "Ffrwydrad Tawel" for our readers?

Ani: ‘Ffrwydrad Tawel’ is named after one of Wales’ leading contemporary artists Ivor Davies' major exhibition Silent Explosion/Ffrwydrad Tawel held at National Museum Cardiff in 2016. Ivor's use of colours and the Welsh language to express international dilemmas and frustrations really resonated with me and his work, not only visually, really inspired me. I had spent a few lost years in London and eventually returned home to Wales – the songs are about this journey and of the time spent reconnecting with my language and culture.

AmeriCymru: I wanted to ask you about some of the tracks on the E.P. starting with the first 'Y Newid'. This includes the lyric line:- "change happens underground when you're digging in the dark" and features a vocal sample from Ray Davies' 2014 speech at the Yes Cymru rally. What, for you are the political and personal dimensions of this track?

Ani: I wrote this song as a tribute to Ray who was a peace campaigner, activist and a devoted member of Côr Cochion Caerdydd (Cardiff’s socialist street choir which my Mum is also a member of). The lyric you referenced refers to Ray's experiences of working down the mines as a boy, of his introduction to the unions and subsequent lifelong fight for workers rights. Having known Ray my entire life and learning of his past, it demonstrated to me how it’s possible for the worst in life to shape you in a positive way. For me, the boundary between personal and political is blurry, that is, if it exists at all.

AmeriCymru: 'Dal i Droi' (Another Day) Clearly an intensely personal track. I guess everyone who leaves Wales experiences hiraeth at some point. Is that the driving force behind this song?

Ani: This song is about the loss of a loved one, but also symbolises loss in every sense of the word; a yearning for a time gone by. The concept of time is a reoccurring theme in my work - that notion of knowing and eventually accepting that it's something we can't control.

AmeriCymru: What does 'Cariad Cudd' (A City Sleeps) suggest about modern day Cardiff and its past?

Ani: When I moved back to Cardiff I became very interested in its past. Like many post-industrial cities, it represents a place and a people neglected by the powers that be. Cardiff’s Tiger Bay was often described as a cultural melting pot and although this area was demolished in the 60s to make way for redevelopment, you can still just about hear the echoes of her colourful past rattling around between the walls of the last few remaining old buildings.

Cardiff has changed a lot over the past few years - it certainly seems more vibrant and exciting and, dare I say, more cosmopolitan. There does appear to be an increasing amount of inward investment, a lot of positive developments but some questionable ones too. For example, the musical heart of the city is Womanby Street, one of the oldest streets in Cardiff which houses most of our small venues. It has recently come under threat due to noise complaints and new development proposals for hotels and residential dwellings and, if pushed through, will more than likely mean these venues will eventually have to close. Having lost most of the pubs and clubs in the Bay, we don’t want this to happen to Womanby Street as it would be a loss for the whole city. So we're up for the fight!

AmeriCymru: I know this question has probably been asked many times before but how responsive are largely English speaking audiences to Welsh songs and lyrics in the UK today?

Ani: Strangely enough, I’ve played far fewer gigs with only Welsh language bands on the bill. I suppose there’s an added element of curiosity with English speaking audiences but generally speaking and from my experience there isn’t much difference. I often think that audiences are underestimated, we’re far more open to new or different things than we give ourselves credit.

AmeriCymru: Where can our readers go to purchase "Ffrwydrad Tawel" online?

Ani: It will be available to buy on 21 April from

AmeriCymru: Care to tell us more about the release party at the Clwb Ifor Bach?

Ani: For homegrown bands, Clwb Ifor is the place you want to play. It’s seen as a milestone - our very own Wembley (albeit much much smaller!) so I’m looking forward to playing there again. Dyl Goch, who directed my video for Y Ddawns, will be providing live visuals, electronic artists Twinfield will be supporting so all in all it’s promising to be an exciting night. I’m really looking forward to it!

AmeriCymru: Any plans to visit/perform in the USA?

Ani: I was fortunate enough to spend some time in New York last year and it was so fantastic. It really was a one of those life-altering experiences; the scale of the place, the wealth of culture and mix of people was just mind blowing. I would love nothing more than to go back! We’ve just started looking at our ancestry and it appears that some of our family moved to America towards the end of the 19th century so I’m really looking forward to finding out more about that! The last time I played in America was during The Pipettes’ North American tour in 2011 so it would be fantastic to return. Soon I hope.

AmeriCymru: What's next for Ani Glass? Any new recordings/gigs/projects in the pipeline?

Ani: I have a lot of gigs coming up of the next few months which will keep me busy. I have a few ideas in mind of what I’d like to do next but I might just wait to see where the wind takes me.

AmeriCymru: Any final message for the members and readers of AmeriCymru?

Ani: Keep an eye out for new releases on Recordiau Neb!




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Kieran marsh 3000x3000300ppi Edit.jpg Today sees the release of the single 'Running Man', the second official release by teenage singer-songwriter Kieran Marsh of Newport, Gwent. The 16 year old was recently crowned 2017 champion of Capital FM's competition to uncover the rising stars of Welsh music.  The Spotlight competition in conjunction with SSE on Capital Radio South Wales was won by Kieran after he competed in a live final in front of a panel of expert judges at the SSE Stadium in Cardiff.

'Running Man', together with another one of Kieran's original songs 'Keeper', is a two track catchy pop single released on the Tarw Du label and is available from all good online stores to buy and to stream. This is the follow up to his debut ep 'Enter the Dragon', which was well received by media and fans alike and which garnered airplay on BBC Radio Wales and other radio stations.

2017 looks set to be another busy year for Kieran with more writing, traveling and performing on the way. And, as part of the great prize offered by the Capital South Wales and SSE's Spotlight competition , Kieran will also be writing, recording and releasing a single with talent agency 'The Famous Company' in the near future. Look out for this and more from the talented singer songwriter.

Artist - Kieran Marsh
Single name - Running Man
Tracks - Running Man, Keeper
Format - Digital
Release date – 3.4.2017
Label - Tarw Du
Publishing - Cyhoeddiadau Tarw Du Publishing
Availability - All main digital online stores to buy and stream.

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The Welsh Pipes - An Interview With John Tose of 'Estron'


01 Pant y gafel 7415.JPG AmeriCymru: How did Estron come to be formed?

John: We're basically a family and friends band - I've been doing stuff with my daughters, Micky and Danny ever since they were quite small but in 2012 we started playing with Holly Robinson, a really talented and well known fiddler here in Pembrokeshire, and coined the name Estron for the band. Jess Ward joined us with her harp two years later. I suppose the band really got going after Micky and Danny moved on from the instruments they'd learned at school to things they wanted to play for themselves. Micky learned clarinet to begin with but took up the ukulele and now she plays both with Estron, while Danny abandoned the trombone for the Welsh pipes - she borrowed a spare set I had and taught herself how to play surprisingly quickly. I suppose it helped that she'd been exposed to my own playing her whole life!

AmeriCymru: What can you tell us about your most recent album 'Gwawr'?

John: We recorded Gwawr in May 2015. We wanted to capture the music we had been playing since we started and before we moved on to new material. I've been playing this music for a long time now and I guess the reason we're playing this stuff is mostly that the girls have been exposed to it all their lives so that to them this is what they associate with Welsh pipes, whereas for Holly and Jess it was all new and exciting. To Micky and Danny this music is just `normal' everyday stuff. I suppose that's what makes it `folk' music.

AmeriCymru: When did you first become interested in the Welsh pipes?

John: I started playing bagpipes in about 1990. The first set I had was a set of smallpipes from the Early Music Shop which I made from a kit. After putting it together I realised that I could make these things so I then went on to make a set of, I suppose you could describe them as `Border pipes' in G which I mostly played for the Morris team I was a member of. Then in '97 or '98 I met Ceri Rhys Matthews and became a member of Pibau Pencader, a Welsh piping club he'd started. There was something like ten people in it, a mixture of raw beginners and experienced pipers. There was a need for instruments and myself and John Glenydd started making pipes for the other members, and later to sell to other people as well. We were making all kinds of things from simple diatonic clarinets to bombardes and pibgorns, and bagpipes based either on the Breton veuze or ones which used a pibgorn as the chanter. Meanwhile Ceri was teaching us all his Welsh pipe music which by the nature of the instruments is quite a lot different from much other Welsh folk music. It was a great time and later I also played with Ceri in a pipes and drum band called Pibe Bach, playing both here in Wales and further afield. We even got touring work with the British Council in places like Oman, Palestine and Libya.

AmeriCymru: If someone wished to master the instrument, where would they go to acquire a set of Welsh pipes? How hard is it to learn to play the pipes?

John: Acquiring a set of Welsh pipes is not so easy at the moment. I don't know whether John Glenydd in Llanfihangel ar Arth in Carmarthenshire is still making pipes - I don't have his contact details but you could probably find out by contacting Ceri Matthews. I was making pipes myself until a few years ago but I went down with asthma which is very sensitive to wood dust so I've had to keep out of the workshop. Having said that, recently I've been teaching Danny how to make pipes and she's managed to acquire very good woodturning skills so we'll have to see how this develops. There are other people making pibgorns - Gavin Morgan in Merthyr Tydfil springs to mind. A lot of pipers here also play the Spanish Gaita which is pretty good for playing Welsh music on.

The pipes aren't particularly hard to play - they have open fingering much like a tin whistle which beginners find much easier than that of other pipes, such as Scottish ones. The hardest part is disassociating the blowing from playing the tune - with a bagpipe you play the instrument with a constant pressure on the bag with your arm and you only blow into the instrument when you need to keep it topped up with air.

AmeriCymru: Where can readers go online to buy or listen to your music?

John: Gwawr is available as a download (or as a CD) from Bandcamp. There's a link to it from our website ( ). You can also find a solo album I made a few years ago, `Cerrig Dymuniad' on there as well as Jess's first solo harp album `The Mermaid's Lament'.

AmeriCymru: Any final message for the readers and members of AmeriCymru?

John: It's important that we keep this music going in this age of globalisation - otherwise we're going to lose it. Welsh culture has always been under a lot of pressure from across the border in England and it's important that we keep our cultural differences. We all need our roots, our differences.


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