New 'Cat Pose' single out 23rd May via Libertino
By Ceri Shaw, 2023-05-22
Cardiff band SIlent Forum announce brand new 'Cat Pose' single which will be released via Libertino Records on Tuesday 23.05
Rogue Jones - "Dos Bebés" Their brand album is available now - Yr albwm newydd allan nawr
By Ceri Shaw, 2023-03-13
Recorded during a 5 year period which started whilst Bethan and Ynyr (Rogue Jones) were expecting their first child and ended just before the birth of their second child. Dau Fabi. Two Babies. Dos Bebés, is an album exploring life in all its messy glory – light and dark, profound and ridiculous….Raw, bombastic, vulnerable, gentle, big, playful. LIFE and LIVING….BEING ALIVE, embracing the imperfections and seeing the beauty in every moment.
Also, Huw Chiswell’s (Welsh language singer songwriter) Greatest Hits compilation has the most varied track-listing by mood of any collection of songs ever. It oscillates between sombre and ecstatic from one song to the next and I realised how much I enjoy that variety of moods in one album.
New Gift Store Inspired by Wales Opens in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont
By Ceri Shaw, 2022-08-04
Ysbrydoliaeth - Curiosity Shop / Magasin de curiosités is now open and features gifts from Wales and the world.
St. Johnsbury, VT, 8/3/2022 - Robert Jones, a long-time active member of the Welsh-American community has recently opened a gift and import store in downtown St. Johnsbury, VT inspired by both his Welsh and Pennsylvania German roots with the aim of offering unique and bespoke gifts that emphasize quality and conscience.
Jones opened in the store in the newly renovated Calderwood building on Eastern Avenue in the downtown. Along with the New Avenue Building at corner of Eastern and Railroad, new tenants have been flocking to the town center which is experiencing a renaissance in the post-Covid world. Ysbrydoliaeth, which means "inspiration" in Welsh, is a store that features one-of-a-kind and quality gifts ideal for the person who's "hard to buy for" or simply enjoys some of the finer things in life. The product lines include items only available in North American through Ysbrydoliaeth such as lovespoons from Crefft Patagonia, luxury toiletries from Myddfai, Welsh blankets from Melin y Graig, Teifi Coffee and Chantler Teas from Wales. Product lines also include other well known merchandise from national and international, as well as specifically New England and New York makers. Shoppers can currently browse in person Thursday through Saturday from 10am-6pm and Sunday from 12pm-5pm, but Jones expects to extend the hours in the future. Shoppers can also make purchases 24/7 via the store's online shop linked at www.curiosityshop.us with free shipping included on most orders over $50 delivered to the continental US and Canada.
For more information, contact:
Robert Jones Ysbrydoliaeth - Curiosity Shop / Magasin de curiosités 71 Eastern Ave.
St. Johnsbury, VT 05819
THE NANTEOS GRAIL – an interview with co-authors Ian Pegler and John Matthews
By Ceri Shaw, 2022-08-02
AmeriCymru: Hi Ian and John and many thanks for agreeing to this interview. Care to introduce your book 'The Nanteos Grail' for our readers?
Ian: The Nanteos Grail is the first full length, detailed study of a remarkable relic, which probably originated in the Middle Ages and which took its name from Nanteos mansion near Aberystwyth. We have done our best to correct a number of misconceptions about the history of the vessel, and to produce the first detailed account of its history – it covers the whole period from mediaeval times right up to the present day.
AmeriCymru: What is the Nanteos Grail?
Ian: The Nanteos Grail is a relic almost certainly dating from the Middle Ages,and kept in the guardianship of several generations of certain families –notably the Stedmans of Strata Florida and The Powells of Nanteos. For many years it was kept at Nanteos mansion but following the dramatic events of 2014 it has been moved to a secure display in the National Library of Wales. Its history is complex and has been frequently misrepresented in more recent times. We have researched all the surviving original sources and uncovered the most accurate history of the relic to date. Until such time as new evidence comes to light, we have assembled everything we can to give as complete a picture as possible of its history.
AmeriCymru: It was stolen in 2014. How did this happen?
Ian: Back in 1967 the then owners of Nanteos mansion sold up and left for anew home in Herefordshire, taking the Cup with them. It passed to the daughter when her mother died but remained in Herefordshire. The Cup was taken from the owner’s home during a burglary while the owner was in hospital.
AmeriCymru: Where is the 'Grail' now? Can it be viewed by the public?
Ian: The Cup was recovered by the police in 2015 under circumstances which were – and still are – baffling. Obviously the Cup needed to be kept in a more secure location and a decision was made to allow the National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth to display the vessel in a specially built exhibition area on the top floor of the National Library. The exhibit was formally opened in the summer of 2016 and the Cup can be viewed by the public during opening hours. You can view a 3D model of the Cup online.
Here is the link: https://www.library.wales/visit/things-to-do/exhibitions/nanteos-cup
AmeriCymru: What first interested you in the story of the Grail? What inspired thebook?
John’s Answer: I've been studying the Arthurian legends and especially those of the Grail for the last 40 years. This brought me into contact with the wonderful Fred Stedman-Jones, sadly now deceased. He was the one who first got me interested in the Nanteos Cup and from there on I allied with his researches. When Fred passed on in 2016 he asked me to complete his work if possible. I was also fortunate enough to meet up with Ian Pegler, who had also researched the subject and was familiar with the site of Nanteos itself and various other places in the area. Once we put our heads together, we decided to collaborate to complete the work begun by Fred. It took us a few years to do it, but I hope that in the end we managed to uncover most of the secrets connected with this remarkable relic.
Ian’s answer: I had family links to both mid-Wales and Somerset and as a child I was familiar with traditional Welsh legends (which I learned about in school) and I read books on Arthurian legends and mythology. My dad was very well read and it was probably he who introduced me to the Holy Grail legend. I was born and brought up in Aberystwyth and in 1977 the Nanteos Cup was displayed in the National Library for a few months in the summer and I think I may have seen it back then. Back in 2012/13 I had been writing a book on the Holy Grail and Welsh legends when I first encountered John Matthews and Fred Stedman-Jones both of whom I already knew by reputation and I had been reading John’s books for years.I decided to shelve the book I had been working on in favour of this new book because it became evident that it was bound to be much better than anything I could do on my own. I was given a golden opportunity and so I grasped it with both hands. Through my own research, principally at the National Library, I was able to make some discoveries of my own and push back the recorded history of the Cup back in time.
AmeriCymru: What healing powers is the 'Grail' reputed to possess?
John’s answer: According to the traditions kept alive locally and particularly by the families occupying Nanteos House, the cup itself is well attested to have brought about a number of seemingly miraculous healings. We noticed in our research that this particularly focused around women's medical circumstances. Certainly the notes that have come down through the generations seemed to indicate that the vessel does have healing properties.
Ian’s answer: In the 19th Century the claims seem to have been fairly limited but over time they grew and once the Cup became identified with the Holy Grail they grew even more. In time and thanks to the influence of certain individuals the reputation of the Cup became distorted to well beyond what one might reasonably expect the Cup to be capable of.
AmeriCymru: Where can readers purchase 'The Nanteos Grail'?
Ian: The book is available from most book shops and of course from online suppliers. For those wishing to purchase a copy signed by one of the authors, you may order it from the website of John and Caitlin Matthews http://www.hallowquest.org.uk. But please be aware that postage is extremely high when shipping items from the UK to the USA. Unless you're desperate for a signed copy we suggest you buy from a supplier in the United States.
AmeriCymru: Any final message for the readers and members of AmeriCymru?
Ian: The real story of the Nanteos Grail is astonishing and full of remarkable and colourful characters. We hope that readers and members of AmeriCymru will read the book and if they get the chance will make their way to the National Library of Wales to look for themselves at the Nanteos Cup and perhaps feel for themselves something of its remarkable energy.
Summer Events With The Vancouver Welsh Men's Choir
By Ceri Shaw, 2022-07-30
Ex-Estrons Guitarist Rhodri Daniel is 'Heddlu' and unveils new Video for pulsing new 'Locker' single
By Ceri Shaw, 2022-06-06
After finishing the band in 2019, Rhodri became aware that his hearing was severely damaged. Years of touring the live circuit had taken their toll, Rhodri ultimately being diagnosed with hearing loss, tinnitus and severe sensitivity to noise. The effects were so acute, Rhodri was unable to be in the same room as other people, leave the house or play music for almost a year.
A chance encounter with a retired record producer, who's old forgotten studio on the slopes of the Cambrian Mountains was filled with antique synthesisers, inspired Rhodri to consider music once more. Advised to get outdoors to aid recovery, he embarked on a three month hike spanning 900 miles of the entire Welsh coastline, where he conceived the new project and was inspired to write the music in his head, to be recorded upon his return. Serendipity led Rhodri back to music, and Heddlu was born. Meaning ‘Police’ in Welsh, from the words ‘peace-force’, Heddlu's music has been true to its’ name, offering a force of peace to the songwriter.
'Locker' is out on 27th May 2022 on 'Zawn Records'.
MR BEWLAY RETURNS WITH TONGUE IN CHEEK NEW SINGLE ‘LIVE LAUGH LOVE’ UNLEASHED FRIDAY 20 MAY
By Ceri Shaw, 2022-05-17
“Bold, charismatic and a flamboyant powerhouse” Becky and the Bands
“A true pop star in the making!” Adam Walton, BBC Introducing Wales
FFO: SHAME, The Chats, FIDLAR, Bandicoot
Mr. Bewlay unleashes his brand new indie garage post-punk banger ‘Live Laugh Love’ on SWND Records on Friday 20th May via all major digital distributors and you can pre-save/pre-order HERE.
The Cardiff based musician steps out of his previous neo-glam sound with a bold new direction of frantic indie garage post-punk that refuses to take itself too seriously. Reclaiming the phrase ‘Live. Laugh. Love’ from the hallowed shelves of B&M to under the spotlights of the underground. Bewlay delivers 2 minutes 22 seconds of unashamed fun declaring his love for an older woman through some provocative lyrics. The track sees an expansion of the Mr. Bewlay character, refusing to reveal his identity to his label, furthering his reputation of being an enigma and a bombastic personality.
The song was recorded at King’s Road Studios in July 2021 with producer Sanders, Bewlay tells us, “I have to admit this song lyrically was originally written as a joke. Relying on the meme of the ‘Karen’ with their hollow tastes and tacky sentimentality. The more I tinkered with the song, the more the lyrics were not sarcastic, instead portraying a neutrality to the situation and relying on absurd imagery of middle-aged women's slogans tattooed on faces and blasting out of stereo systems. It definitely has the shock factor to it.
The track was written to be as bare bones as possible, relying on a smash and grab approach. No intro, no outro, no riffs and only a short solo to shake listeners out of their shocked silence. The trumpet solo was provided by the amazingly talented Laurence Collier of Afro Cluster fame who came down and put to audio the wailing, flamenco inspired solo!”
Whether it be Art Pop extraordinaire, Glam Rock Knight or garage post-punk slacker; Mr Bewlay has established himself as the paramount voice for the unorthodox. The Cardiff based artists’ upbringing was flamboyant with an early induction onto the stage. With amateur dramatic performances of classics like ‘West Side Story’, ‘A View From A Bridge’ and ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’, Bewlay learnt the subtle intricacies of stage performance, a skill he brings with him to this day.
Beginning his music career under the mentorship of the PRS Foundation and Arts Council Wales backed Forté Project, Bewlay has pushed himself into releasing his ‘Electric Reason’ Trilogy which saw him expand his sound with the addition of synth-heavy, funk grooves and sweet retro-inspired pop hits. In addition he has played sold out headliner shows in prestigious venues such as Porter’s (Cardiff), Queens Hall (Narbeth) and Ill Repute (Bristol). As a champion for LGBTQ activism he has also given talks and performed at Queer festivals and shows with the ‘On Your Face Collective’.
With a breadth of sound ranging from retro-spiced pop, to quiet reflective solo pieces, Bewlay’s unpredictability is also found in his music. With influence coming from artists such as David Bowie, St Vincent and Parquet Courts, Bewlay remains in a lane of his own with bombastic vocals, extravagant style and lyrics of the utmost originality. There is little in his way towards inevitable ascension.
Be it Mista, Misses, King or Queen, they all fall under Bewlay’s everything.
‘Live Laugh Love’ by Mr Bewlay is out on Friday 20 May on SWND Records and is available on all
major streaming/download providers.
Call of fair funding for the National Library of Wales by the Welsh government
By Ceri Shaw, 2021-01-30
Would you please consider signing this petition asking for realistic support for the National Library? Please share the petition.
May I ask you to sign a petition calling for fair funding for the National Library of Wales "one of the world’s great libraries, a repository of the historic, artistic and intellectual treasures of Wales. With no increased support from Welsh Government, 30 jobs are to be cut and services seriously curtailed. Freedom, prosperity and the development of society and individuals are fundamental human values, attained by well-informed citizens with unlimited access to thought, culture and information."
She's Got Spies releases charming trilingual travelogue album 'Isle of Dogs' this week!
By Ceri Shaw, 2020-11-04
She’s Got Spies releases her new album ‘Isle of Dogs’ on the 6th of November. It’s preceded by the single ‘Super Sniffer Dogs’ on the 23rd of October.
She’s Got Spies’ second album ‘Isle of Dogs’ refers to an area of London, Laura Nunez’s hometown, as well as the state of turmoil of the island of Britain. The follow up album to her debut Welsh language album ‘Wedi’, ‘Isle of Dogs’ features songs written over the last decade. She’s Got Spies is the project of Laura Nunez and her cast of collaborators. She spends her time between Cardiff and London, she’s multilingual and can sing in Welsh, English and Russian.
‘Isle of Dogs’ is a charming trilingual travelogue album, with most of the songs written on the move while travelling or whilst Nunez was living in various countries. She spent time in Russia, Vietnam, Italy, Tierra del Fuego in Argentina, and parts were also written in Cardiff, London and other parts of Wales and England. Threaded with Laura’s knack for a bittersweet earworm melody and surreal yet personal lyrics, these charmingly wonky songs are underscored with dark psych tinged sounds and an unsettled feeling which reflects the turmoil of current times.
With music hall style pianos, bounding percussion, fizzing guitars and a playful vocal, new single ‘Super Sniffer Dogs' is inspired by Laura’s time spent visiting Poplar on the Isle of Dogs, an area of high contrast with the rich, banking area of Canary Wharf and large, destitute council estates. It’s about an imaginary dystopian festival with lots of restrictions in a high walled destitute area. Despite its serious themes, which is juxtaposed by a catchy singalong melody, it’s a joyous tuneful romp.
The delightful first single from the album, ‘ Wedi Blino’, was released in 2019 and features a video filmed by Laura in Antarctica when she won a trip there in 2018. Meanwhile ‘The Fear’ is the newest song, written during lockdown. It reflects uncertainty of whether the record would ever see the light of day due to the pandemic, after the last days of studio time were cancelled as the lockdown started. It ended up replacing another song that was meant to be on the album that had not yet been recorded.
All songs are written by Laura apart from three co-written with Gruff Meredith ( MC Mabon ), who also co produced with Frank Naughton on them. Recorded in Tŷ Drwg studios in Cardiff (with additional recording in various locations including Moscow, London, Vietnam, etc.) with producer Frank Naughton. The album cover was designed by Laura and features a fox that visited Laura’s garden daily during lockdown that she caught on a night vision camera, and photographed remotely when he came to her doorstep.
She’s Got Spies band members include Gareth Middleton (guitar) and Mel Beard (glockenspiel/ keyboard) on some tracks, additionally with Pixy Jones ( El Goodo ) on guitar, Andy Fung ( Derrero ) on drums and producer Frank Naughton on piano, synths, guitar, bass, strings and percussion. She’s Got Spies started as a project by Laura Nunez in 2005 with Matthew Evans ( Keys ). Laura’s originally from London but moved to Cardiff and learnt Welsh inspired by bands such as Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci, Super Furry Animals, Melys etc.
She’s Got Spies have recorded sessions for BBC Radio Cymru as well as having performed and been broadcast on Welsh television channel S4C. The band have performed at festivals such as Indietracks, Focus Wales, National Eisteddfod and Wales Goes Pop, as well as appearances in more far flung places including Russia, Bulgaria, Italy and even on an Antarctic expedition ship.
‘Isle of Dogs’ album cover ‘Super Sniffer Dogs’ single cover
‘Isle of Dogs’ Tracklist:
1. Super Sniffer Dogs (2:31)
2. Mariah Pariah (2:54)
3. Despair Over Here (3:08)
4. All Outta Tears (3:38)
5. Harasho (3:22)
6. Vladivostok (3:18)
7. Vietnam (3:23)
8. Mank Shoreshank (3:08)
9. Cwympo (3:02)
10. The Fear (2:41)
11. Wedi Blino (2:30)
12. Where Did You Go? (4:04)
Lawyer Tells Inside Story of Serial Killers Shocking Christmas Eve Confession
By Ceri Shaw, 2020-10-06
The lawyer who represented “Wales’ most dangerous man” has revealed the chilling moment serial killer Peter Moore confessed to stabbing to death four men and saying the brutal attacks were easy - “like a knife through butter”.
The shocking inside story is told for the first time by former solicitor Dylan Rhys Jones in a new book, The Man in Black - Peter Moore - Wales' Worst Serial Killer , which was published to coincide with the 25 th anniversary of the vicious murders which Moore said he committed for “fun”.
It was in the early hours of Christmas Eve morning, 1995, at Llandudno police station that Nazi-obsessed Moore admitted the killings in a three-month spree that had begun on Anglesey in September, terrorising the gay community in North Wales and Merseyside.
With Mr Jones, alongside him, Moore, a softly spoken film fanatic from Kinmel Bay who owned a chain of cinemas in Bagillt, Denbigh, Holyhead and Blaenau Ffestiniog, told two North Wales Police detectives he had slain the four men.
He said: “I want to admit to both of the murders in Anglesey, the murder on Pensarn beach and also I want to admit to another murder that you don’t know about which I committed in Clocaenog Forest near Ruthin.”
Moore was known in the area for his eccentric dress sense and was dubbed “The Man in Black”.
And when prosecuting barrister Alex Carlile QC opened the case against Moore at Mold Crown Court in 1996, he called him: "The man in black - black thoughts and the blackest of deeds."
He was sentenced to life imprisonment in November 1996 with a recommendation that he never be released.
Moore is still alive, locked up almost certainly for ever, in Britain’s Monster Mansion, Wakefield high security prison where the Supermax wing has been home to murderers like Dr Death Harold Shipman and child killers Ian Huntley and Mark Bridger, who murdered five-year-old April Jones in Machynlleth in 2012.
But at 2.32am on that chilly morning in Llandudno the lawyer calmly took notes as Moore, in his quiet, effeminate voice, told Detective Sergeant Ian Guthrie and Detective Constable Dave Morris about the killings.
They began in the September when Moore stabbed 56-year-old Henry Roberts to death at his home near Caergeiliog, Holyhead – there were 27 wounds in the retired railway worker’s body.
The reign of terror continued as Edward Carthy, a 28-year-old man whom Moore met in a gay bar in Liverpool, was stabbed to death in Clocaenog Forest in the October, followed by Keith Randles, a 49-year-old traffic manager from; in November 1995 on the A5 in Anglesey.
His final victim was Anthony Davies, 40; stabbed and left to die on Pensarn Beach, near Abergele in December.
The book tells how Moore called on Henry Roberts’ home in Caergeiliog dressed in black with a Nazi-style cap and armed with a hunting knife with Roberts pleading that he wasn’t Jewish before he was killed, how Keith Randles pleaded for his life and how the killer hid mementos of his victims in his garden pond.
A knife bearing traces of the blood of a number of men was found in a bag belonging to Moore.
On a shelf in Moore's bedroom were a police helmet, two German military caps and a pair of long, black boots.
Hanging on a cupboard alongside the bed was a truncheon and a sergeant's uniform hung in the wardrobe.
Speaking about the murder of Keith Randles, Moore told the detectives: “He asked me why I was killing him as I stabbed him, and I said that it was for fun.
“He fell to the floor. I just thought it was a job well done, and left and returned to my van.”
And when asked how he felt when he killed his victims, Moore replied chillingly: “It was easy. Just like a knife through butter.”
Moore confessed to attacking “many men” in the Conwy Valley over a period of 20 years before the murders started.
He said: “When driving around, I would sometimes notice someone walking along the road late at night and I would stop and attack them.
“I would assault them with a police truncheon and strike them on the body and their heads many times. Usually I would be dressed as a policeman or in a Nazi uniform or something similar, just to scare them. I heard that a few of these men had been seriously injured after the attacks.”
In the book Mr Jones also describes the traumatic effect on himself and on the two police officers of hearing Moore tell his grisly tale in a calm, measured way.
Mr Jones, who lives in Abergele, added: “It was like watching a cold-blooded lizard move towards its prey, slowly, calculating every move not using its energy unnecessarily, just describing the bare essentials of the deed ... It was the desensitized description by a killer dispassionate as to the implications of his actions.”
The following morning, just a few hours later, Moore withdrew his confession, claiming he had done it to protect his friend, the real murderer, a man he called Jason, the name of the killer in the Friday the 13 th films he had shown at his cinemas.
Dylan Jones added: “I have reflected often on whether what Moore said during this interview was true. Was it a case of bravado, the man had his audience and he took his opportunity to perform, like an actor on celluloid before a captive cinema audience?
“Were the two detectives and I the gullible audience ready to lap up the gory details of a horrific killer in some B-movie, just for Moore’s pleasure? The three of us were without doubt shocked, horrified and captivated by the performance we witnessed. But was it true?”
The book conveys Moore’s calmness and composure, his descriptions of killing someone told in assured dispassionate terms, the process of killing sounding easy, the process of stabbing a person simple, straightforward and emotionless.
Author Dylan Jones no longer practices as a solicitor but lectures on Law and Criminology and helped create the Criminal Justice and Offender Management foundation degree course at Coleg Cambria and Chester University. He is a regular contributor to TV and radio.
He said: “Moore made killing an emotionless, simple and efficient process. He had perfected the act of killing in a way which had made him a ruthless machine feeding an inner need in the darkest reaches of his psyche to be pleasured by violence, control and ultimately death.
“The impression I had is that Moore had enjoyed what he had done, that he believed it was a job well done and that he had fed his demons in an effective way, the act of killing was like putting ‘a knife through butter’ the pleasure of killing appeared immeasurable.”
The Man in Black – Peter Moore: Wales’ Worst Serial Killer by Dylan Rhys Jones (£9.99, Y Lolfa) is available now.
Review copies available.