Culture

Meet Adwaith, new patrons of Music Venue Trust and your new favourite band

28 Mar 2021 6 minutes Read
Adwaith. Photo by p_a_h, licensed under CC BY 2.0

David Owens

Meet Adwaith – the new patrons of Music Venue Trust

One of the most celebrated new names in Welsh music, Adwaith have been causing quite the stir since they formed in Carmarthen in 2016.

Signed to the unstintly brilliant Welsh label Libertino Records, the band came to national prominence when they won the Welsh Music prize for their debut album ‘Melyn’ in 2019.

They’ve also taken their bilingual songs global via gigs in Russia and representing Wales at SXSW in the US.

Manic Street Preachers’ James Dean Bradfield is a fan of the band, remixing their song Gartref and choosing the outfit to support the Manics this September.

The group – Hollie Singer (vocals, guitar), Gwenllian Anthony (bass, keys, mandolin), and Heledd Owen (drums) – have most recently been named as new patrons of Music Venue Trust.

The organisation, which is working hard to secure the long-term future of grassroots music venues at such a difficult time, announced Adwaith as one of the new patrons of the Trust, a fact the trio were thrilled about.

So meet Adwaith, your new favourite band.

Give me the backstory to Adwaith – how did you meet and get together?

Hollie: Gwen and my parents were friends in school, and we were neighbours when we were younger. We used to get lifts into school with one another. We started playing music together when we were about 15, and we met Heledd at our first gig a year or so later. Heledd’s brothers are in Welsh bands that we knew from the scene also.

How would you describe your music to the uninitiated?

Hollie: Post punk, psychedelic pop, with a couple of ballads in there too. We like to experiment with lots of different genres.

Gwen: I don’t think I’ll ever know how to define the music we create. You’d think after five years, this would be an easy question.

What is your earliest musical memory?

Hollie: My earliest musical memory was my dad and granddad singing and playing guitar together at family gatherings.

Gwen: I’d probably have to say my dad playing music too. He’s often playing on the piano or guitar.

Who was your earliest musical influence?

Hollie: I really wanted to be as cool as Avril Lavigne when I was younger.

Gwen: Same here! I’d definitely have to say Girls Aloud and Avril. Sound of the Underground is a genius pop song.

What made you want to pick up an instrument and play?

Hollie: There was this tv show on Nickelodeon called Unfabulous, with Emma Roberts. It would follow the life of a young girl and whenever things went wrong, she would go to her room and pick up her guitar, write a song and dance around her room singing it. I got my first guitar for Christmas when I was about nine, because I wanted to be like her.

Gwen: I had music lessons in school, piano and flute etc, and I got my first guitar when I was about 11. I didn’t pick it up until I was 15, I started listening to First Aid Kit and Fleet Foxes and was totally inspired to start songwriting.

What was the first record you bought and where did you buy it?

Gwen: I can’t remember what I bought first, but I do remember having a Pop Princesses CD quite early on. It’s up there with my favourite CDs. It had Rachel Stevens, Sugababes, Christina Aguilera. What more can you ask for.

What was the first gig you attended?

Hollie: I went to many local gigs at The Parrot in Carmarthen, but when I was 16, I remember going to my first arena gig in Cardiff to watch The Who with my dad.

Gwen: It was The Parrot for me too. Probably a Welsh language gig of sorts.

What’s the best gig/s you’ve been to?  

Hollie: Stella Donnelly at Clwb Ifor Bach or Dutty Moonshine at SWX.

Gwen: That’s such a tough one. Probably seeing Fleet Foxes for the first time at Latitude. I was holding back the tears the whole gig. 

Adwaith.

What’s the best gig you’ve played?

Hollie: Sold out headline gig at Rough Trade East in London.

Gwen: I’d probably say Rough Trade too and the craziest was definitely in Russia.

Who would be your dream artistes to work with?

Hollie: Definitely King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard

Gwen: I’d have to say Damon Albarn, and I say this every time we’re asked, but it IS my dream collaboration. He can write any kind of song and I really appreciate that.

What does it mean to you to become the latest patrons of the MVT?

Hollie: We feel extremely proud to be involved, without independent music venues, I can safely say that we would not be in a band. We wouldn’t have been inspired to start one, or have even met each other.

Gwen: Grassroot Music Venues are hugely important to us as people as well as a band. Without these venues, we never would have thought that we could start a band, let alone singing in our native language. They are the fundamental building blocks for all artists and musicians all over the world. Without venues, there’s no artists. Without artists, there’s no music. Without music, there’s no culture.

What did it mean to the band to win the Welsh Music Prize?

Hollie: We were so shocked and extremely happy to have won, and it felt as though we had a seal of approval from the scene in Wales, which really gave us a boost to make this second album even greater.

What’s for the future? 

Gwen: Second album recorded, music videos in the making, gigs starting to get booked for later on this year. Fingers crossed everything can go ahead as planned!

Find out more about Adwaith via: Facebook –  and Twitter.

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