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Jason.nlw , CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons



We were all amazed and/or amused to hear that 'bigfoot tracks', together with a crude shelter have been discovered in a wood outside Caerphilly in south Wales. To read more about this story and the humorous expanation which followed read the article linked here: Welsh Bigfoot revealed as Monster hunter lifts lid on tracks from 6ft7 'Sasquatch'.

But tales of hairy monsters in the mist are not new in Welsh mythology. Indeed Welsh folklore is rich with tales of mystical beings and otherworldly entities, and among them stands the enigmatic figure known as Brenin Llwyd, the Grey King. Nestled in the mist-shrouded mountains of Snowdonia, Brenin Llwyd's presence looms large, captivating the imagination of locals and inspiring both awe and fear. This mythical character, often associated with nature's capriciousness, has left an indelible mark on Welsh storytelling, and echoes of the Grey King's reign continue to resonate through both ancient legends and modern literature.

The Mystique of the Grey King: A Presence in the Mist

Described as the Monarch of the Mists, Brenin Llwyd is a solitary figure, haunting the mountainous regions, particularly in Snowdonia. The name itself, Brenin Llwyd, translates to Grey King in Welsh, reflecting the figure's association with the color grey, often veiled in clouds and mist. While some accounts merely describe the Brenin Llwyd as a presence, others paint a more vivid picture, portraying it as a large, hairy, man-like creature.

Local tales depict the Brenin Llwyd as a brooding and silent figure, lying in wait for unsuspecting travelers who dare to venture into its domain. The disposition attributed to this Grey King is decidedly gruesome; those who disappeared in the mountains were said to have fallen victim to the Brenin Llwyd's clutches. In this narrative, the figure embodies the capricious nature of nature itself, a force to be respected and feared.

Mountainous Haunts and Regional Variations

The Brenin Llwyd is intimately connected to specific mountain ranges, with Snowdonia being the primary locale. The misty peaks of Cader Idris and Plinlimmon are frequently cited as the Grey King's favored haunts. In the North, the Brenin Llwyd is described as mighty and powerful, sitting among the mountains, robed in grey clouds and mist. Conversely, in the South, the figure is portrayed as hungering for victims, and children are warned not to ascend too high into the mountains, lest they fall prey to the Brenin Llwyd.

The regional variations in these stories add depth to the mythology, providing different perspectives on the nature and motivations of the Grey King. As with many folklore tales, these variations contribute to the cultural tapestry of Wales, where each locality weaves its unique narrative around the Brenin Llwyd.

Connections to Welsh Mythology and Otherworldly Realms

While the Brenin Llwyd is a singular entity in Welsh folklore, its tales draw connections to broader Welsh mythology. Marie Trevelyan, a folklorist from the early 20th century, notes associations between the Brenin Llwyd and the Welsh version of the Celtic Otherworld, Annwn. The figure's link to the Cŵn Annwn, or hunting hounds, suggests a deeper connection to the supernatural realms.

In certain accounts, the Brenin Llwyd is likened to Gwyn ap Nudd, the king of the Tylwyth Teg, another supernatural being associated with haunting mountain tops. The overlap with the Wild Hunt, a pan-European motif, draws parallels between the Grey King's pursuit of lost hikers and similar spectral hunts found in folklo re across different cultures.

Literary Echoes: Brenin Llwyd in Modern Fiction

61ugO6ZdPRL._SY466_.jpg The influence of Brenin Llwyd extends beyond oral traditions into modern literature. Susan Cooper's fantasy series, The Dark is Rising , features the Brenin Llwyd prominently in the fourth book titled The Grey King . Cooper's rendition of the Grey King as a lord of the Dark, an oppressive force around Cadair Idris, showcases the adap tability of folklore in contemporary storytelling. The novel, winning the prestigious Newbery Medal in 1976, cements the Brenin Llwyd's place in the realm of children's literature.

The novel weaves the Grey King into a dark and moody narrative, capturing the essence of the Brenin Llwyd's mysterious and foreboding nature. The spectral foxes, known as "milgwn," serve as agents of the Grey King, adding an otherworldly and supernatural layer to the story. Through this adaptation, the Brenin Llwyd continues to captivate audiences, proving the enduring power of folklore to inspire and shape imaginative worlds.

Comparisons with Global Folklore: The Big Grey Man and Beyond

The Brenin Llwyd's tales find intriguing parallels with other folklore figures worldwide. In Scotland, the Big Grey Man, or Am Fear Liath Mòr, shares similarities with the Welsh Grey King. Both are associated with misty mountainous regions, and legends attribute their presence to both corporeal and incorporeal interpretations. The melding of natural landscapes with supernatural entities is a common motif, demonstrating the universal human tendency to personify and mythologize the unknown.

Conclusion: Brenin Llwyd, A Timeless Enigma

Brenin Llwyd, the Grey King of Welsh folklore, stands as a timeless enigma, a figure whose presence echoes through misty mountain ranges and weaves its way into the fabric of Welsh storytelling. Whether a brooding earth spirit, a leader of the Wild Hunt, or a lord of the Dark, the Brenin Llwyd's adaptability across regional variations and literary adaptations showcases its enduring appeal. As long as the mists enshroud the peaks of Snowdonia, the tales of the Brenin Llwyd will continue to capture the imagination and curiosity of those drawn to the mystique of Welsh folklore.

Posted in: Folklore | 0 comments

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Following on from well recieved singles  'Mercury'  and  'ExtraTerrestrial , Cardiff New Wave band  'Small Miracles'  share new 'Bad Stars' single Via   Dirty Carrot Records.

 

Small Miracles'  6th single (released via  Dirty Carrot  on 19th October) sees the band move in a different sonic direction, honing into a cleaner, more polished sound.

 

The focus on melody and lyricism sees a shift from the crunchy tones and dissonance of previous singles, though the emotional intensity prevails. A tale of light and shade,  'Bad Stars'  is a companion to healing from trauma, feeling at odds with the world around you and the uncertainty thay emotional chaos causes.

 

A highlight of the  Small Miracles  live show,  'Bad Stars'  is as anthemic in quality as it is raw and vulnerable, seamlessly switching from swirling, ethereal soundscapes to sharp, driving stabs, from one moment to the next, reflecting the inconsistencies and contradictions of the healing process.

Small Miracles  are a dynamic quintet from Cardiff, Wales. Inspired by the early New Wave movement, they infuse elements of Punk, Blues and Grunge into their genre-bending sound. Their music has a distinctly queer, underground feel, finely balancing heavy grooves and breakdowns with catchy hooks and choruses. The band were honoured to recieve support for last single 'Mercury' by  Deb Grant BBC Radio 6 Music Adam Walton, BBC Radio Wales,   Treblezine Circuit Sweet,   Edge Of Arcady, No New Wave No Fun, Amplify The Noise.


Posted in: Music | 0 comments

The Most Haunted Houses In Wales


By Ceri Shaw, 2023-10-24

Wales is known for its grand buildings, with more castles per square mile than anywhere in the world, as well as an abundance of manor houses and the oldest post-roman stone fortress in Britain, going back to the year 1067. Therefore it is no surprise that Welsh properties have a lot of history, and some history that doesn’t just stay in the past.

Compare My Move  has been researching the most haunted properties in Wales to date. From hearing a bump in the night to supposed demonic possession, and with histories from lost lovers to superstar opera singers, Wales has several interesting properties that have many reports of ghostly sightings, and each one in its own right could be the most haunted house in Wales.



Llancaiach Fawr Manor House


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Llancaiach Fawr manor house located in Nelson, Caerphilly is a popular tourist attraction for people who are interested in the paranormal. The manor was thought to have been built around 1530 and has been the scene of multiple ghostly occurrences, from both staff at the manor house and visitors.

The most prominent apparitions that haunt the manor house are that of two children, these children have been heard giggling and playing throughout the house on many occasions and will even play tricks and pranks on members of the staff and the public. Staff members have reported feeling children tugging on their costumes, and on one occasion, a visitor was stunned when he placed his hand on the staircase bannister and felt a cold, small hand on top of his.

Lee Jessup, an employee at the house reports seeing a young girl at the bottom of the cellar stairs while locking up for the day, something Lee didn’t think much of until a few years later when a medium told him that there was a girl that followed him around the house. The medium would then give Lee a description, that matched the girl he saw at the bottom of the cellar steps exactly. 

The main occurrence that is reported by both staff and guests is the chatty nature of the entities in the Llancaiach Fawr manor house. Voices are regularly heard talking one room ahead of the visitors, and when inspected, the voices change to the next room to always be one room ahead. There was an occurrence when a TV show was filming in the manor house, and a lot of the footage was unusable as loud talking could be heard over the presenter throughout the audio recordings. However, when filming, no voices could be heard.

Although the nature of the entities is largely friendly and playful, the number and frequency of occurrences leave Llancaiach Fawr Manor House as one of the most haunted houses in Wales.



Craig Y Nos


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Craig Y Nos is a large Victorian house in the Swansea Valley that is supposedly harbouring the ghost of a superstar. The beautiful and picturesque building was constructed between 1841 and 1843 by Captian Rhys Davies Powell, but the property really hit headlines when Italian opera star and international celebrity Adelina Patti purchased the property in 1878. Patti was known to love the property, adding multiple wings and taking good care of it, she would spend all the time she could at the property and lived there until her death in 1919.

It is reported that Patti still haunts the house, and medians have used her own works to taunt her and try to get a reaction. Medians theorise that playing Patti’s later works, where her voice was past its best, would anger her and there have been reports of items being smashed around the room in which the music is being played.

There have been reports from visitors of other strange occurrences throughout the house, cold spots can be felt and staff feel a sense of unease in some rooms. There was also an occurrence where journalist Mark Rees was visiting the house when standing behind a woman looking into a mirror, the woman was shocked to see that she had a beard, however, this beard was only seen in the mirror. When visiting the same spot later, and recounting this tale, a nearby lightbulb exploded. 

The status of Adelina Patti and the reports of her still roaming the house are enough to make this property a famous location for any fans of paranormal occurrences, but the unexplained phenomena in Craig Y Nos also add to its haunted status.



Margam Castle


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Built between 1830 and 1840 just outside of Port Talbot in South Wales, Margam Castle is known as one of the most haunted places in the UK due to a grizzly murder and an angry apparition that has been known to harm guests that try and contact it.

The castle itself (which is really a Victorian manor home) has been in disrepair since a fire in 1977 caused extensive damage, and is still in a period of restoration. However, it was long before this in 1898 when the infamous Robert Scott worked as a head gamekeeper on the Margam grounds. While trying to catch a poacher, Scott was shot with a shotgun and left to die on the Margan grounds. 

Scott’s ghost has been reported to be seen around Margam Castle and is known to be upset and angry. When visitors and ghost hunters try to contact Scott, he has been known to throw rocks and pebbles in anger, he is often seen as an apparition on the large gothic staircase that is the centrepiece of the castle.

People have also reported hearing disembodied footsteps and voices as well as dark, shadowy figures walking around the castle grounds. Children are also very commonly heard around the castle, with giggling and playing being most present in the nursery, there have also been multiple reports of children leaving guided tours, and when eventually found they would say they were playing with the other children, children that are not there.

The tragic and unforeseen death has been an ongoing theory for the anger of Robert Scott, and that, alongside the reports of children playing has made Margam Castle infamous for its paranormal activity.



Plas Newydd


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Plas Newydd is a historic house in Llangollen that has a history steeped in romance. The house is most famous for its residents Eleanor Butler and Sarah Ponsonby, two Irish women who ran away to start a life together in Llangollen, they were highly believed to be romantically involved and could have very well been the UK’s first openly lesbian couple. Because of this they were well known and coined the Ladies of Llangollen.

Their fame was noticed throughout the UK, and they would often host celebrities such as William Wordsworth, Lord Byron and Robert Southey. They rarely left Plas Newydd and when they did, they did not go far. Eleanor Butler died in 1829, and Sarah Ponsonby later died in 1831.

The house was later lived in by another famous face, British Army General, John Yorke, who acquired the house in 1861 where he lived in retirement. Yorke then passed away in 1890 and it is reported that both the Ladies of Llangollen and General John Yorke are still present entities in Plas Newydd. 

In the 1930s Dr Mary Gordon claimed to have not only seen but to have had a conversation with the Ladies of Llangollen. Dr Gordon saw the ladies sitting in 17th-century outfits in the grounds of the house, the ladies would then tell Dr Gordon to meet them in the house later that night. Dr Gordon did just that, breaking into the house and having a conversation with the ladies that lasted until sunrise. The ladies have also been seen on multiple occasions since, however, they have only been seen by men.

In 1963, Plas Newydd was returned to the conditions it was in during the period the Ladies of Llangollen lived there, demolishing the East and West wings that were built under Yorke. Professionals who have visited Plas Newydd have reported the presence of an aggressive man, and loud, unexplained bangs can be heard across the property. This has been theorised to be the ghost of John Yorke, who could have been angered by the demolition.

The Ladies of Llangollen are reported to be benevolent spirits, however, the presence of an aggressive spirit that could be that of John Yorke is something visitors to Plas Newydd should look out for.



The Skirrid Inn


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The Skirrid Mountain Inn, named after the mountain that overlooks it, is thought to be the oldest public house in Wales and is located just outside of Abergavenny, it dates all the way back to 1110 and has a dark past that makes it a hotbed for paranormal activity. The Skirrid Inn wasn’t always an inn until 1640 the public house was used as a courtroom and records show that 182 people were hanged in the building from the wooden beam above the famous staircase. 

It is reported that many of these hanged felons still haunt the pub today, as well as other entities from later on in history. One felon, John Crowther is a popular apparition to see on the property. Crowther was hanged to death as a sheep rustler and many people have claimed to have seen his figure in and around the pub. 

The most famous entity in the Skirrid Inn isn’t one that was hanged during the trials of the courtroom, but rather a former landlady of the pub, Fanny Price. Price was the landlady of the Skirrid Inn during the 1800s and died of consumption aged just 35, her grave is a stone's throw away from the Inn and there have been multiple sightings of Price in the pub. However, Fanny Price is reported to be a benevolent spirit, and her sightings and presence would also come with the smell of lavender.

However, benevolent apparitions aren’t the only entities in the Skirrid Inn, in one encounter, while a former landlady was trying to sell the pub, she was hounded by poltergeist activity especially during viewings of the property, in one instance glasses were thrown around the kitchen and smashed. Another instance saw an elderly man place his false teeth on the nightstand before bed, and when he woke up, the teeth were snapped in half on the other side of the room.

There have been reports of people falling to their knees with their hands clasped around their throats in the pub. They would later say that they felt rope being tied around their necks, much like the 182 felons hanged in the stairwell. The most terrifying instance came from a female guest, who one day ran downstairs with her hair soaking wet and wearing just a coat screaming “She tried to kill me!”. She later told the owners that someone or something had held her under the water in her bath.

With its gruesome past and the sightings of many different apparitions, it’s no wonder the Skirrid Inn is one of the most haunted houses in Wales. However, alongside lavender-smelling apparitions such as Fanny Price, there could also be something much darker in the walls of the oldest pub in Wales.



Plas Teg


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Plas Teg is a country house that was built in 1610 and is located on the A541 between Wrexham and Mold, due to its longstanding history and unfortunate deaths, Plas Teg is said to be home to no less than 15 ghosts who roam the building and the grounds around it. It has had many reports of paranormal activity from hearing wailing and sobbing throughout the house to attempted physical harm.

The well of Plas Teg is the area that has seen the most concrete supernatural occurrences and for good reason, as the well has been the subject of not one, but two deaths related to passion and love. Dorothy is the first ghost that is reported to haunt the grounds of Plas Teg, Dorothy was the son of the esteemed Sir John Trevor I. Dorothy fell in love with Iorwerth who was a local farmer's son, but because of the family status, her father banned her from seeing him.

Dorothy and Iorwerth planned to elope and run away, and prior to this Dorothy buried her jewels in the well of Plas Teg. As the night came when they would run away, when retrieving the jewels, Dorothy slipped down the well and met an untimely end. Her body was not found until 2 months later. Iorwerth was distraught and feared being accused of the murder, so much so that he hanged himself. Dorothy’s apparition has been reported to walk the A541, supposedly looking for her lost lover. Sobbing can be heard throughout Plas Teg and is thought to be the sobbing of the distraught Iorwerth.

Another death of passion and love was that of Elizabeth Trevor-Roper who died aged just 16 in 1815 at Plas Teg. Two men had fallen for her, however, Elizabeth only loved one and refused the other, the man who refused killed Elizibeth’s lover and chased Elizabeth back to Plas Teg. Being chased by the man, Elizabeth also met her untimely death in the well - either slipping and falling or being pushed by her jealous pursuer.

Sightings have been reported of a woman running through Plas teg’s corridors and being followed by a man with a wound to his shoulder, this is thought to be Elizabeth and one of her two lovers.

In the late 1800’s a gardener at Plas Teg was reported to be near the well, where he felt a hand reaching out and grabbing his shoulder, trying to pull him down into the well. After a struggle, he was released, and when he looked down into the darkness of the well - he saw nothing. 

When visiting Plas teg, there have been reports of people being prodded by nothing, even pushed by an entity. People also experience overwhelming emotional changes, of anger, despair, sadness, and sometimes happiness. Sobbing, wailing and talking are common as well as disembodied footsteps and apparitions. 



Penyffordd Farm


Located half an hour outside of Welshpool in North Wales is Penyfford Farm, a house once coined the ‘UK’s most haunted’ and had over 300 paranormal occurrences reported, including carvings on the walls, muffled voices in empty rooms, and the appearing figure of a pregnant girl.

The Gower Family, an English family who moved to the Welsh farm started seeing a flurry of Welsh words carved into their walls, including “tangneffedd” (religious peace), and “hir am aros” (long-suffering), which would be strange but not impossible in a welsh-speaking household, however, the Gower family did not speak a word of Welsh. 

Another carving that appeared on the wall was the name of the Gower’s young son, Quinn, and as well as seeing a pregnant girl appear and disappear on the grounds of the farm, there was also a sighting of a hooded figure standing over the cot where Quinn was sleeping.

The explanation for these hauntings is thought to be the ghost of a child, Jane Jones, who died in 1778 aged just 15, whose tombstone was found on the farm. 

A distant relative of Jane Jones, Maurice, told  BBC’s Paranormal  that -

“She (Jane) died in childbirth and they wouldn't allow her to be buried in consecrated ground because of the disgrace of having a baby at 14. It is plausible Jane is on that land.”

Due to the number of unexplained paranormal phenomena on the property, and the concrete nature of the evidence, Penyffordd Farm is considered not only one of the most haunted houses in Wales, but in the UK.



Heol Fanog


Heol Fanog, a farmhouse nestled in the Bannau Brycheiniog had such severe occurrences of paranormal activity, including bursts of power usage, an elderly apparition and even possessions that it was dubbed Hellfire Farm.

Liz Rich and her artist husband Bill Rich moved into the idyllic Heol Fanog in 1989 with Bill’s teenage son. When opening an electric bill, the couple was shocked to see that they had used £750 of electricity in just 3 months (nearly £2,000 today), which was much more than they’d usually use, and was unexplainable by the energy company.

Disembodied footsteps, doors slamming, temperature changes and the feeling of being watched soon followed and became more frequent throughout the farm. While Liz was pregnant for the second time, these occurrences started to graduate into apparitions and later, possessions.

The most prominent apparition was an elderly woman that was first seen in the upstairs window by Liz, but later spotted frequently in the children's bedrooms. Soon after, Bill’s personality started to change, he’d spend nights locked in his studio, and he became irrational, confrontational, and obsessed with the occult. His paintings started to become darker and he’d often scribble arcane symbols on the walls.

After the birth of their daughter, Liz sees a large dark figure in the kitchen doorway and decides to leave the house and call in a minister. Multiple professionals perform exorcisms in the house, but Bill does not improve, and after a stint at her parent's house with the kids, Liz comes back to see the power cut off, scribblings on the walls and a dazed Bill mumbling about dead bodies roaming the house.

It’s after this that the family move out of the house and that Heol Fanog gets its reputation as one of the most haunted houses in the UK.

Posted in: Halloween | 0 comments


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Silent Forum  are excited to share their new single  'Here's The Email'  which is coming out via  Libertino Records  on  Tuesday 24 October.

 

'Here’s The Email' is Silent Forum  at its post-punkiest and most destructive, presenting the perspective of the disgruntled office worker, now working from home, juxtaposing corporate life lyrics with jagged guitar chaos. 

 

  Silent Forum  split their time between Cardiff, London, Bristol and Barcelona. Their sound is equally unconventional - multifaceted music with confident but subtle streaks of dark energy. It’s textured pop-post-punk that equally rejects three chord song structure and monochrome doom.

 







Press For Silent Forum






 "Brilliant Band"

John Kennedy, Radio X

 

"A contagious Anthem to your inner peace"

Amplify The Noise

 

"Finding the biting point between melancholy and jubilation'

Circuit Sweet

 

"Stellar songwriting topped with brilliant and ‘outside-the-box’ guitar playing"

 - Jammerzine

 

"Excited to have them on our radar"

- Audio Fuzz



Posted in: Music | 0 comments

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(Scroll Down For English)





ANGHARAD: 'I DON'T KNOW HOW'


Mae ‘I Don’t Know How’ yn datgelu ochr gyffrous arall i ANGHARAD, yn yr un modd a'i senglau blaenorol oddi ar ei halbwm cyntaf. Yma, gweler artist sydd mewn llwyr reolaeth dros ei thaith gerddorol, boed hynny gyda'i churiadau disgo arbrofol neu gyda'i straeon personol unigryw. Mae 'I Don't Know How' yn berl sy'n cuddio'i haenau tywyll tu ôl i'w melodïau positif.

Eglura ANGHARAD:


“Mae'r gân amdanaf i'n derbyn y broses o heneiddio a'i heffeithiau ar y corff. Mae'n ymwneud â derbyn newid a bod yn fodlon gyda hynny, yn hapus yn dy hun. Mae'n ymwneud â gwrthsefyll yr obsesiwn o edrych yn ifanc."

“Dydw i ddim eisiau ildio i ddisgwyliadau'r gymdeithas o barhau i edrych yn ifanc mor hir â phosib. Rwy’n credu bod gwir harddwch mewn heneiddio, “mae pob craith gyda'i stori a phob cell wedi bod ar daith.” …. Yma, rwy'n cwestiynu beth mae harddwch yn ei olygu imi."

Mae 'I Don't Know How' gan ANGHARAD allan nawr ar Libertino!

 




ANGHARAD: 'I DON'T KNOW HOW'


‘I Don’t Know How’ by ANGHARAD reveals another exciting side to her writing, as have all her previous releases from her debut album. We hear an artist fully in command of her musical journey, be it weaving driving disco beats, experimental, dark art pop or heartbreaking personal storytelling to create a unique musical world. ‘I Don’t Know How’ is a beautiful pop gem reflecting on life and aging, melancholic and poignant yet uplifting melodically.

ANGHARAD explains:


“This is my acceptance song. Accepting aging and time’s effects on the body. It’s about being happy in your own skin, and where you are on life’s trajectory. It’s about resisting society’s obsession with looking youthful."

“I don’t want to surrender to society’s expectations to remain looking youthful as long as possible. I believe there is real beauty in aging, “every line tells a story, every cell’s been on a journey.” …. I decide to look deeper, and question what beauty actually means. Beauty lies within the eye of the beholder. Beauty isn’t superficial, it’s more than a picture.”

'I Don't Know How' by ANGHARAD is out now on Libertino!
 






PRESS FOR ANGHARAD


"Provocative"
Deb Grant, BBC 6 Music

"A confident and positive ‘call to arms’ for women in the music industry"
Cassie Fox, Loud Women

"a wonderful surge of aggression, an outpouring of pure primal scream


emotion but with tinges of dark humour and real life"
Monolith Cocktail

"striking and honest"
Circuit Sweet

"a propulsive and sonic exploration into the unspoken realities
of childbirth and early motherhood."
Amplify The Noise




Posted in: Music | 0 comments

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The Goa-Express’s self titled debut album is a document that encapsulates growing up, their spirit of friendship and dreams of escape. They create a wall of sound, riven with infectious harmonies, waves of psych laden guitars and playful rhythms, it’s constantly refreshing at every turn. With echoes of the youthful supercharged melodies of early Supergrass, the unstoppable rhythms of early Psychedelic Furs or the loose dreamy melodic qualities of the La’s, yet theirs is a unique combination only captured by these five friends in a room and very much a sound of today.  

Ahead of dates in December, The Goa Express are excited to finally announce their long-awaited and unmissable self-titled debut album this December. Preceded by the addictive hook laden new single ‘It’s Never Been Better’ on the 27th of November, the oldest song on the album, this bold, swaggering singalong is hoisted aloft on a tidal wave of chiming guitars, widescreen drums and bass, that shudder into your solar plexus. This song is a gloriously catchy lament to summer’s spent together.  “‘It’s Never Been Better’ existed for many years as a home demo on GarageBand”, say the band. “Reinvigorated in the studio, the song is a match made in heaven for the summer months and reminds us of the moments we used to spend together with those who ended up going different ways.”



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The Appeal – The Remarkable Story of the Welsh Women’s Peace Petition 1923–24 (Y Lolfa), edited by Mererid Hopwood and Jenny Mathers.



This week sees the publication of a bilingual English/Welsh history of an amazing Petition that sought world peace. The Petition, started in Wales in the wake of World War I, asked American women to work alongside the women of Wales in the name of peace and held almost 400,000 signatures – a significant percentage of the female population of the day. 

2023 marks the petition’s centenary, and for the first time the inspiring story is available in book form,  The Appeal – The Remarkable Story of the Welsh Women’s Peace Petition 1923–24  (Y Lolfa), edited by Mererid Hopwood and Jenny Mathers. 

The various contributors to  The Appeal  recount how the petition was organized and transported to America, how it was lost and found again a century later. This account of how women challenged the establishment is told with photographs accompanying the text. 

In 2014 the text of the appeal made in 1923 saw the light of day at the Temple of Peace and Health in Cardiff. It was found as the Welsh Centre for International Affairs in Cardiff was preparing to commemorate the centenary of the First World War with their programme ‘Wales for Peace’. The peace petition called for America to join the League of Nations to prevent another war after World War I’s unprecedented slaughter.



From left to right: Gladys Thomas, Mary Ellis, Annie Hughes Griffiths and Elined Prys in Washington, DC. (NLW)



Under the leadership of Annie Jane Hughes Griffiths (of Cwrt Mawr), a delegation from Wales travelled to the USA with the aim to connect with the women of America. They presented the petition to representatives of American women’s peace organisations that together had a membership of many thousands of women, meeting with some of the most influential women in the country. They also presented it to President Calvin Coolidge at the White House, where they were warmly received. 

The Petition was found in storage at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC, still kept in the impressive oak chest carved by Mr J. A. Hallam to transport it. In April 2023, in its centenary year, the Petition was returned to Wales as a gift to the nation with support from the Welsh Government. It will now reside at the National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth where funds from the National Heritage Lottery will make it possible to ensure that people in Wales and further afield can learn about this intriguing chapter in our history. Editors Mererid Hopwood and Jenny Mathers said:

“It is our hope that reading the story will inspire us to continue to act in the spirit of the women of Wales who imagined, organised and signed the Appeal. It offered its readers a vast vision. That vision remains as vast and as valid today.” 

In her Introduction to the book, Jill Evans, Chair of the Peace Petition Partnership Research Committee, said:

“The story of women transcending political, ideological and cultural differences to assemble and take action for peace. It is clear that there were organisers and signatories of the 1923 Petition in communities throughout Wales. One strength lay in the fact that they were inclusive and non-elitist.”



Annie Hughes Griffiths (T.I. Ellis and Mari Ellis Papers, NLW)

The Appeal will launch at 5pm on 3 November in the National Library of Wales, as part of Aberystwyth University’s 2023 Festival of Research, The Pursuit of Peace.  

The Appeal  by Mererid Hopwood and Jenny Mathers (Eds.) (£9.99, Y Lolfa) is available now.



Notes



Chapter authors are Jill Evans, Aled Eirug, Catrin Stevens, Meg Elis, Eirlys Barker, Craig Owen, Sian Rhiannon and Annie Williams.

 

  1. Jill Evans – Introduction: A Century of Women’s Peace Activism in Wales
  2. Aled Eirug – The Aftermath of the Great War in Wales and the Search for Lasting Peace
  3. Catrin Stevens – “Arm in Arm” for Peace: Organising the Appeal
  4. Meg Elis and Sian Rhiannon Williams – Hands Across the Sea: Organising the Journey to America
  5. Eirlys M. Barker – Influencing America
  6. Annie Williams – Women and the Peace Movement in North Wales 1926–45
  7. Craig Owen – Rediscovering a Hidden History
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Cardiff Alternative band  'Part Time Signals'  are set to release their brand new debut album  'Another Day In Paradise'  on the 13th of October via  Bubblewrap collective.

 

Following on from  ‘Take Me For A Ride’ , and  ‘The Man’ , the final taste of music from thebands upcoming album will be  ‘Lazy’.  Jacob explains: “Lazy is a familiar feeling, it’s a laidback groove you can listen to while you’re feeling lazy in the morning.”

 

The Previous  'Part Time Signals'  singles the band have enjoyed radio support from  Adam Walton BBC Introducing in Wales Huw Stephens BBC Radio Wales,   WRIR Postcards From The Underground  Kool Rock Radio , and some lovely reviews from  Nation Cymru Circuit Sweet Amplify The Noise,   Americymru  and  Spotlight on Kulture.

 

Part Time Signals Bio


 
Part Time Signals  is the new project formed by  Sock  vocalist and guitarist Jacob Church. The band came together initially by taking demo ideas written by Jacob. When introduced to a live band setting they grew into the form they take on this record.  Part Time Signals  features the talents of  Sam Barnes  (bass),  Gavin Jenkins  (drums) and  Michael Blanchfield  (keys).


 


All songs on the album were tracked one hot day in August 2022 at  Chapter Arts Centre  Cardiff, followed by a few days recording additional overdubs. The album was mixed by  Sam Barnes  and mastered by  Eddie Al-Shakarchi.


 


‘Another Day In Paradise’  is a journey through the days. It will be released on a  limited run of 100 vinyl  copies and across all digital platforms on  October 13th.


 


The artwork photo is by  Jacob Church  with typography and layout by  Rich Chitty.


 

 

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Awst is the project of Eryri musician Cynyr Hamer. Awst returns with bittersweet new single  'Afallon’  a hazy wistful song about not being able to recapture childhood memories of long hot summers in the 90s, spending time with family in his grandparents home. Hamer says  “over the years our grandparents' home has become like a mythical magical place which exists only in our memories, like the mythical story of Avalon.”  

With a redolent, glowing, psych tinged strum and lilting vocals, it’s a wistful and gorgeous window into childhood and fond memories. The accompanying video is a snapshot of that place and time, filmed by his dad through a larger camcorder in the early 1990s.


 


"And to be in the place of my home, now i seek for that place far within my memory"

Having been involved in various other bands over the years, such as Worldcub, Hippies Vs Ghosts, and We Are Animal, Awst is Cynyr's more personal solo brainchild. Active since 2021, a handful of releases are already under the belt, including debut album  'Haul/Lloer'  follow up self titled album  'Awst'  and newly released album' Mewn Côf'. All released within a year.

Awst's songs are crafted from acoustic melodies, layered with dreamy guitars and synths, with the occasional horn sections. The material is written and recorded entirely by Cynyr on a tascam multitrack recorder in a caravan up in the Eryri hills. The songs are recorded almost always on first takes, keeping the live element of excitement of playing the parts for the first time, with spontaneity, playfulness and freedom captured in the music. The songs often conjure up nostalgic feelings at the end of summer, capturing bittersweet memories and sounds.

Having played electro-acoustic sets at numerous shows in the past year, including FOCUS Wales Festival and FOCUS Wales’ Dydd Miwsig Cymru event,  Awst set out to release his third album, with the single  'Hafan'  being the first to appear, followed by second single  'Aros Tan Ddydd', 'Afallon';  is the third and final single to be released from his summer album release titled  'Mewn Côf'.



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Llanelli-raised Dr Mari Morgan emigrated to the United States in 1996 to pursue a career as a classical singer.  Braids of Song: Weaving Welsh Music into the American Soul  (Y Lolfa) by Mari Morgan evokes the experiences of other Welsh people who have ventured across the Pond to follow their musical dreams. Mari Morgan asks: “Do you ever wonder what happens when a person moves to a new country? Do they change? Does the way they sing stay with the old or blend with the new? And if they are creative types – what happens to their artistic output?” 

Several voices tell their story, both real and imagined, in the book – the charismatic composer, Dr Joseph Parry from Merthyr who stages a Welsh opera in Danville, Pennsylvania; the steady but ground-breaking conductor, Dr Daniel Protheroe from Cwmgiedd who measures for a suit in Chicago; and the international concert pianist, Marie Novello from Maesteg wrapped in glamorous furs on the first-class deck of an ocean liner. 

And there’s also the author’s own story, a girl from Llanelli who founded and conducts the North American Welsh Choir. Her narrative is a medley of reflections and observations in a Welsh-American context: “I wanted to recognise the richness, humanity, and cross-fertilisation of cultures and identities that built some of the America of today – the interconnection between immigration, identity, and creativity within a Welsh Trans-Atlantic context. 

Braids of Song  is a celebration of life in stories. The idea for the book began after the death of my father on 1 March 2015. A Welsh Nonconformist minister and a man of his people, he posed two questions of me during his final weeks: ‘When are you going to write my story?’ ‘Who are you?’  Braids of Song  is my creative response to those two simple questions. The writing and research took my grief on a thrilling treasure hunt of discovery. 

“My father’s bequest of a score and story of  Arianwen  begins  Braids of Song , combined with my own experience as a Welsh musician who has lived in the United States of America for over twenty-five years, led me on an exploration of how immigration to a new country can alter a person, how the challenges and opportunities of the new are balanced with a sense of loss for the old, and how the creative output is affected in the process of assimilating to a new culture.”  



Notes



Raised in the coastal town of Llanelli, musician and writer Mari Morgan was educated at the University of Wales, Cardiff; Trinity College of Music, London; and later at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David. She holds degrees in both Music and Creative Writing. She emigrated to the United States in 1996. An acclaimed classical singer with many recordings to her name, she formed and conducts Côr Cymry Gogledd America. Now a naturalized American citizen residing along the banks of the Susquehanna river in Pennsylvania, Dr Morgan divides her time between the United States and Wales.

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