fri 19/07/2024

Wales

Album: Samana - Samana

The final track of Samana’s third album is titled “The Preselis,” after the west Welsh mountain range – the place antiquarians suggested as the source of Stonehenge’s blue stones. The song’s opening lyrics are “The blue stones, they grow over me,...

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CVC, Concorde 2, Brighton review - they have the songs and they have the presence

The joy of CVC, when they catch fire, is the zing of gatecrashing a gang of cheeky, very individual personalities having their own private party. There’s a moment tonight, for instance, midway through the evening, when guitarists David Bassey and...

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Album: EYE - Dark Light

Skirting along the peripheries of doom metal, unbeknownst to almost everyone, there existed a band called Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard. Hailing from Wrexham, Wales, they created four albums that stand alone in their originality, combining massively...

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Uproar, Rafferty, Royal Welsh College, Cardiff review - a rare spring in the new music step

It’s not often one comes out of a concert of mainly new works with a spring in one’s step. A sigh of relief is rather more usual. But this concert on Thursday by the Welsh new music ensemble Uproar was an exception, partly but by no means...

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The Way, BBC One review - steeltown blues

This three-part drama arrives trailing clouds of big-byline glory. Michael Sheen directed and produced it (as well as making fleeting appearances on screen), James Graham wrote it and documentary-maker Adam Curtis co-produced it.But what is it? Part...

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Album: Gruff Rhys - Sadness Sets Me Free

Halfway through this album, “They Sold My Home to Build a Skyscraper” unlocks it. On first listen I’d been nodding along with the first few songs, enjoying how they find glimmers of more or less forlorn hope in amongst sadness and middle-aged...

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BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Martin, Hoddinott Hall, Cardiff review - a host of horns in the wild woods

There were a lot of horns on display in the BBC NOW’s latest concert in Cardiff’s Hoddinott Hall. Brahms’s Second Symphony has four of them, and so does the Elegy for Brahms that Parry wrote on hearing of Brahms’s death in 1897. Gavin Higgins’s Horn...

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The Eternal Daughter review - tricksy ghost story with a poignant emotional core

Joanna Hogg has made a film that resolves itself backwards: what happens in the final reel recasts what you have just seen completely. It’s something of a departure from her previous films in style, but equally probing and moving.The Eternal...

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Album: Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons - Kings of the Asylum

Three albums in, Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons have proved themselves a proposition to be reckoned with. A solid live draw, they’ve supported Guns N’ Roses amongst others, and made the album charts in mainland Europe.They may initially have...

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Wolf, BBC One review - a load of old...

Adapted by Megan Gallagher from one of Mo Hayder’s Jack Caffery novels (the seventh one, apparently), Wolf might be described as Welsh Gothic, spiced up with a splash of gratuitous sadism. Episode two, for instance, is titled merely “Torture”, which...

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First Person: tenor Elgan Llŷr Thomas on recording a queer-themed album

“No one makes money from CDs anymore”; “Remember, once it’s out there it’s out there forever”; “Everyone’s making recordings these days, it’s a very cluttered market”; “You’ll struggle to make a mark…”These are just some of the things uttered to me...

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Candide, Welsh National Opera review - vaut le voyage, just for the visual side

If you read the synopsis of Candide - which I strongly advise if you plan a visit to this new WNO production - you may well wonder how it will be possible to get through so much in so short a time. Voltaire’s novella is itself fairly short, but...

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