A Welsh music mix? Oh there's lovely.
July 18, 2011 1:27 PM   Subscribe

I've been challenged to create a mix of music and musicians of Wales/Welsh descent. Anything goes, however tenuous the link - if the artist's grandmother once got bitten by a Welsh corgi, I want to hear about it.

Examples: Joan Baez, Old Welsh Song (Henry Treece), John Cale of the Velvet Underground, Martin Carr of the Boo Radleys and so on.

Diolch/thank you!
posted by humph to Media & Arts (48 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Tom Jones is Welsh.
posted by MexicanYenta at 1:31 PM on July 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Charlotte Church
posted by Jahaza at 1:31 PM on July 18, 2011


Best answer: Music of Cardiff
posted by griphus at 1:31 PM on July 18, 2011


Super Furry Animals are welsh, as were the wonderful Young Marble Giants.
posted by Rinku at 1:32 PM on July 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ahem. Manic Street Preachers.
posted by elsietheeel at 1:34 PM on July 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


Duffy
posted by brainmouse at 1:35 PM on July 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Best answer: Welsh Singer-Songwriters. Only one I knew previously - Jem
posted by cashman at 1:36 PM on July 18, 2011


Wikipedia lists several.

Wales has a tradition for producing notable singing artists including Sir Geraint Evans, Dame Gwyneth Jones, Dame Anne Evans, Dame Margaret Price, Ivor Novello, John Cale, Sir Tom Jones, Bonnie Tyler, Bryn Terfel, Mary Hopkin, Charlotte Church, Katherine Jenkins, Meic Stevens, Dame Shirley Bassey and Duffy.

Popular bands to have emerged from Wales have included the Beatles-nurtured power pop group Badfinger in the 1960s, Man and Budgie in the 1970s and The Alarm in the 1980s. Wales experienced a strong emergence of groups during the 1990s led by Manic Street Preachers, followed by the likes of the Stereophonics and Feeder; notable during this period were Catatonia, Super Furry Animals, and Gorky's Zygotic Mynci who gained popular success as dual-language artists. Recently successful Welsh bands include Lostprophets, Bullet for My Valentine, Funeral for a Friend and Kids in Glass Houses. The Welsh traditional and folk music scene is in resurgence with performers and bands such as Crasdant, Carreg Lafar, Fernhill, Siân James and The Hennessys.

posted by MexicanYenta at 1:36 PM on July 18, 2011


Best answer: Also Goldie Lookin Chain.

There's a Wikipedia category for Welsh musical groups and one for Welsh music in general.
posted by elsietheeel at 1:37 PM on July 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wikipedia's List of Welsh people/Musicians may help also, though is certainly not comprehensive
posted by brainmouse at 1:37 PM on July 18, 2011


Bonnie Tyler. I know this because my son and friends got a ride from a pub on The Mumbles back to campus after drinking (and practicing his Welsh-speaking) with her husband.
posted by maggieb at 1:40 PM on July 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Best answer: Also, Gorky's Zygotic Mynci (now defunct) and their singer Euros Childs. And Catatonia (also defunct), fronted by the delightful Cerys Matthews--check International Velvet ("every day when I wake up I thank the lord I'm Welsh"). Plus the Stereophonics.

I would think this is an easy challenge. Between SFA, GLC, the Manics, Catatonia, the Stereophonics, Gorky's, there were years--literally years--when 90% of what I listened to was Welsh.

Safe as fuck, as the boys from the GLC say, safe bra.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 1:44 PM on July 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


Best answer: Anything goes, however tenuous the link - if the artist's grandmother once got bitten by a Welsh corgi, I want to hear about it.

I know U2 is known as an Irish band, but The Edge is actually Welsh. His family moved to Ireland when he was a baby.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:46 PM on July 18, 2011


Best answer: As Super Furry Animals (my favorite!) were already mentioned (look for their all-Welsh album Mwng), there's also their frontman Gruff Rhys, who has loads of solo stuff. And his former band Ffa Coffi Pawb.

Then there's the wonderful Gorky's Zygotic Mynci and solo work from frontman Euros Childs.

On preview, what Admiral Haddock said.
posted by dayintoday at 1:47 PM on July 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


Best answer: And Helen Love!
posted by dayintoday at 1:52 PM on July 18, 2011


Best answer: Terry Jones (of Monty Python fame, not Koran-burning fame) is Welsh... and Monty Python did lots of songs over the years, so you could include one of those.
posted by scody at 1:52 PM on July 18, 2011


Best answer: Max Boyce for funny rugby songs and his own (sometimes Welsh, sometimes English) folk songs.
posted by seabound_coast at 1:59 PM on July 18, 2011


The popular contemporary operatic bass-baritone Bryn Terfel is from Wales.
posted by matildaben at 2:03 PM on July 18, 2011


Also look into the Dockrad record label.
posted by mykescipark at 2:11 PM on July 18, 2011


Relating to Super Furry Animals and Gruff Rhys as others mentioned, Gruff also compiled a 2 volume series of odd-sounding Welsh funk and soul under the broad name Welsh Rarebit (rare beat).
posted by the foreground at 2:30 PM on July 18, 2011


Manics, Super Furries, Catatonia, Gorky's Zygotic Mynci, Mclusky, Feeder, Marina and the Diamonds, Stereophonics.
posted by turkeyphant at 2:31 PM on July 18, 2011


Best answer: Do. Not. Miss. Ymerodraeth State of Mind, a parody of Empire State of Mind.

Every Welsh person I show it to instantly loves me.
posted by notion at 2:38 PM on July 18, 2011


Yeah, but the GLC ain't havin' any of that.

NEWPORT WELSH RAPPER BATTLE!
posted by Admiral Haddock at 2:39 PM on July 18, 2011


Paull Potts. I don't know if you can hear it when he sings, but you sure can in his appearances on Britain's Got Talent.
posted by jgirl at 2:42 PM on July 18, 2011


Jon Langford of Mekons/Waco Brothers/solo fame.
posted by cowboy_sally at 2:48 PM on July 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Response by poster: I promise not to threadsit but you're all posting such excellent ideas I had to poop in and say thank you, please keep them coming!

An especially big thankyou to notion for Ymerodraeth State of Mind because (a) I played that song constantly until it was pulled from YouTube, (b) I didn't know a version was available with captions so now I know the lyrics too, yay! and (c) the mix is called Welsh Rarebit so it couldn't be more apt ;-)
posted by humph at 2:52 PM on July 18, 2011


Response by poster: pop in, for pete's sake. That's what you get for trying to type and laugh at newly discovered lyrics at the same time.
posted by humph at 2:55 PM on July 18, 2011


Best answer: NB: Ymerodraeth State of Mind*, like Welsh rarebit**, is not particularly Welsh and, arguably, insulting! Or course, it's all in fun (and introduced a LOT of people to Wales, which I think is completely awesome), but, I'm just sayin'...

* Given the affected accent and lack of actual connection to Newport (the "rapper" is a half-Welsh London-based actor, though the singer might be Welsh).

** The origins are somewhat in doubt, but the slight is that the Welsh are so poor that they can't even afford a cheap meat like rabbit, so they use cheese and call it rabbit.

posted by Admiral Haddock at 3:12 PM on July 18, 2011


Best answer: Gareth David Lloyd, from Torchwood, is Welsh; he sings lead in a progressive metal band called Blue Gillespie, they have a couple of EPs and an album out.
posted by lemniskate at 3:19 PM on July 18, 2011


Response by poster: Admiral Haddock, thank you! I should have said in the post that I am (very) Welsh, albeit living the life of a homesick expat and the recipients of the mix are of all sorts of nationalities, including Welsh so I'll explain stuff in the sleeve notes. I might even cover oppression by the English and the resulting welsh rarebit... :-)
posted by humph at 3:28 PM on July 18, 2011


Oh good! Be sure to explain as well that regardless of its origins, the rarebit is indeed delicious (mmm, cheese). And, to wash it down, it's Brains you want...
posted by Admiral Haddock at 3:37 PM on July 18, 2011


Celtic/folk rockers Blue Horses. They have some albums out.
posted by carter at 5:04 PM on July 18, 2011


Best answer: Lostprophets are Welsh. Some people knock them as chasing trends, but in their defense they have a cool name (and are always flawlessly coiffed).
posted by audiodidactic at 5:24 PM on July 18, 2011


Best answer: I'd use the opportunity to see if I could get away with playing this[1] followed by this[2] - just for contrast. I'd probably bring it back on track with this[3] to round it off.

1. Demented Are GO! - Who put Grandma under the stairs?
2. Treorchy Male Choir - The Sound of Silence.
3. Space featuring Cerys - Ballad of Tom Jones.
posted by dirm at 5:41 PM on July 18, 2011


Best answer: The title and lyrics of Decemberists' "Billy Liar" is a really obvious reference to Welsh writer Dylan Thomas' "Under Milk Wood." A bit of a stretch, but there you go.
posted by anotheraccount at 5:43 PM on July 18, 2011


Best answer: Oh and: The Men They Couldn't Hang - Ironmasters.
posted by carter at 5:48 PM on July 18, 2011


And Ironmasters lyrics.
posted by carter at 5:54 PM on July 18, 2011


Mary Hopkin, known for "Those Were the Days."
posted by cushie at 5:59 PM on July 18, 2011


I thought The Cribs were Welsh, but it was just that they formed in Wales. Los Campesinos! also were formed in Wales. This might be considered a technicality, however, rather than a legitimate basis for inclusion.
posted by Mael Oui at 9:01 PM on July 18, 2011


Young marble giants should be mentioned.
posted by destro at 9:05 PM on July 18, 2011


Response by poster: I'm holding out a little while longer to mark best answer in case there are even more gems to come but:

cushie, Mary Hopkin's Those Were The Days is the first track on the mix - I'd be stripped of my Welsh citizenship if I didn't include it ;-)

Mael Oui "I thought The Cribs were Welsh, but it was just that they formed in Wales. Los Campesinos! also were formed in Wales. This might be considered a technicality, however, rather than a legitimate basis for inclusion."
Tenuous links like this are perfect, thank you!
posted by humph at 11:58 PM on July 18, 2011


Best answer: 80s band The Alarm were heavy on my Walkman rotation in high school. And don't forget that your fellow countrywoman Catherine Zeta Jones has had a career in musical theater--and sings onscreen in Chicago.
posted by ImproviseOrDie at 1:36 AM on July 19, 2011


Best answer: Kylie Minogue is Welsh you know. And also presumably her sister Danii.
posted by car01 at 4:07 AM on July 19, 2011


Response by poster: I had completely forgotten that Kylie's from Maesteg, thanks car01!
posted by humph at 4:40 AM on July 19, 2011


Best answer: Y Niwl are a Welsh surf band. As you do.

John Jones, from the Oysterband, but also check out his solo work, was born in Wales.
posted by Helga-woo at 5:39 AM on July 19, 2011


Best answer: So you WANT tenuous?

Looking at You and Layabout from James Marsters' album Like A Waterfall were written in Cardiff.

The Bells of Rhymney was written by Pete Seeger and Welsh poet Idris Davies and recorded by The Byrds, Cher, and John Denver, among others.

This Wiki list of Cultural Depictions of Dylan Thomas in Music may give you some ideas.

Joanna Newsom has a song called Swansea on The Milk-Eyed Mender, but it's actually about Swansea, California (which was named by Welsh miner immigrants).

Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody was recorded in Wales.

In fact, here is a list of artists who recorded at Rockfield Studios, near Monmouth, Wales (note: few of them are Actually Welsh).
posted by elsietheeel at 9:45 AM on July 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Response by poster: elsietheeel: In fact, here is a list of artists who recorded at Rockfield Studios, near Monmouth, Wales (note: few of them are Actually Welsh).

That is an excellent link that I'd never have thought to google for - many thanks!
posted by humph at 12:05 AM on July 20, 2011


Response by poster: In case someone stumbles upon this post in the future I forgot to mention a hugely famous pop group with Welsh roots: The Osmonds are from Welsh stock, Donny Osmond traced his family back to Merthyr Tydfil.
posted by humph at 11:55 PM on August 18, 2011


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