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Gwenno, James Dean Bradfield, Gruff Rhys, and Sinfonia Cymru join Llais 2022 line-up

10 Oct 2022 4 minute read
Death Songbook. Picture: Kirsten McTernan.

Wales Millennium Centre has today confirmed the final line-up for Llais 2022, its flagship international arts festival which returns to Cardiff from 26-30 October with an eclectic line-up of international acts.

Mercury Prize nominee Gwenno will join the bill for the first live audience performance of Death Songbook, which features delicate new versions of songs about death performed by Suede’s Brett Anderson, Charles Hazlewood, and Paraorchestra.

In a specially arranged performance to celebrate his 80th birthday John Cale will be joined by Gruff Rhys, Cate Le Bon, James Dean Bradfield, Sinfonia Cymru and House Gospel Choir.

John Cale. Picture: Bread & Butter PR.

Free music

The Centre’s Glanfa stage will host three days of free music open to the public.

Starting on Friday night, Race Council Cymru will curate an evening of talented Welsh Black artists including Cardiff hip hop collective Afro Cluster and the Dabs Calypso Trio.

Saturday’s soul takeover will feature the sultry R&B vocals of rising star PRITT and former Paul Weller support act Nia Wyn. And on Sunday, a takeover by eclectic indie record label Recordiau Noddfa will include performances by Melin Melyn and 3 Hwr Doeth.

Wales Millennium Centre’s Artistic Director Graeme Farrow said: “We’ve put together a cracking line-up for this year’s Llais; from veterans to the hottest new talent, from Wales and the world over, from poets to Paraorchestra.

“And to top it all off, we’re incredibly proud to welcome the iconic Welsh Music Prize to the festival. It feels like a match made in music heaven.”

Snapshot from Cardiff

Throughout the festival, the City of Sound exhibition will showcase a snapshot of items from Cardiff Music History’s archive, with items like posters and tickets brought to life by interviews with people from Cardiff’s music scene.

Other highlights of the free schedule include a talk on the fight for independent music venues, opportunities for young people to get hands-on creative experience, and a performance from former American National Youth Poet Laureate Kara Jackson.

Pussy Riot. Picture: Bread & Butter PR.

Riot Days

Iconic Russian punk rock performance art collective Pussy Riot will bring their award-winning show Riot Days to the festival, while trailblazing grime artist D Double E will headline Wales Millennium Centre’s Weston Studio supported by some of the finest emerging artists from across Wales. Cate Le Bon also plays a solo gig.

Also appearing will be legendary South African jazz pianist Abdullah Ibrahim, Texan indie folk rockers Midlake, English rock band black midi, singer songwriter Keeley Forsyth, eight-piece experimental London band caroline and psych-folk group Tara Clerkin Trio.

The festival will start with the Welsh Music Prize ceremony, arguably the focal point of the industry’s calendar in Wales.

Nominees were recently announced including Llais participants Gwenno and Cate Le Bon.

Cate le Bon. Picture: Bread & Butter PR.

Five days

Presented by Sian Eleri from BBC Radio 1, the ceremony will feature live performances from nominees Adwaith, Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard and Dead Method and from the three Triskel Award Winners – Aderyn, Minas and Sage Todz.

In between performances, audiences can enjoy immersive virtual reality and film including In Pursuit of Repetitive Beats, one of the sell-out smash hits of Coventry UK City of Culture last year; Darkfield’s FLIGHT; and No Place Like (Flat) Holm.

Across five days, Llais will fill every corner of Wales Millennium Centre with a programme inspired by the instrument that connects us all – the voice. Audiences will be treated to a packed schedule of incredible live music, inspiring digital experiences, free workshops and events.

The original Festival of Voice was held in 2016 and 2018. In 2020, Wales Millennium Centre announced its intention to make the festival annual, and though that year’s festival was cancelled, in November 2021 it bounced back with 20 acts from across Wales and the world.

Llais tickets are now on sale at

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