An English speaker’s guide to 10 of the best Welsh language bands

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Angharad
Guest

Out of interest (and because I want to follow answers to this fascinating article), does the title of this piece (An English speaker’s guide…) suggest that your efforts to get out of the bottom set of Welsh failed?
No suggestions though I am afraid, other than to add a mention to my old uni friend Neil Rosser (a’i fand wrth gwrs).

Sam
Guest
Sam

Hi Angharad. Well, I did Cymraeg at a school known for not teaching it well at least until you take A levels. I wasn’t able to do A level so lost what I knew. I’m now far ahead of where I was in school after a year of re-learning but there’s obviously a long way to go, and my teacher friends tell me teaching has improved a lot in the last 15ish years!

Angharad
Guest

Keep at it! It’s well worth the effort. And really as you immerse yourself in the language, for example via music, things sink in without you noticing, if you’re doing your bit to learn in other ways.

Benjiman L. Angwin
Guest
Benjiman L. Angwin

Try Brigyn

Lowri
Guest
Lowri

Women make a huge contribution to the Welsh language music scene, something that this list fails to acknowledge.

Iest
Guest
Iest

Please name them.

Eos Pengwern
Guest
Eos Pengwern

Not a genre I often listen to, I must admit (I’m more a William Mathias and Daniel Jones man), but I must put in a mention for Gwilym Bowen Rhys’s two ventures, Y Bandana (what I would call traditional guitar-led pop) and Plu (gentler music sung with what I believe are his two sisters).

If we’re allowed to delve back 20 years or so then Huw Chiswell is my all-time favourite Welsh pop singer. I defy anyone to listen to Rhywbeth o’i Le (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JKEKcMN0z5c) without a tingle down their spine.

Lowri
Guest
Lowri

[Hi Lowri, as you haven’t posted any evidence to corroborate this claim I’m afraid I’m going to have to delete it in case it is defamatory. If you feel this is unfair please get in touch – Ed.]

Lowri
Guest
Lowri

It’s unfair in the sense that people get away with things they shouldn’t because they’re protected by institutions and people that make money from them.

Otherwise, I don’t have video of these things happening and I doubt anyone would feel they’d gain anything by coming forward.

If you’re interested in looking in to it yourself then I’d be willing to send you the information about it.

Timo Kaitaro
Guest
Timo Kaitaro

Where’s Anhrefn?

Trailorboy
Guest
Trailorboy

Back in the late 70’s early ’80s a few of us surprised our Welsh teacher, by saying we regularly watched a Welsh language programme on BBC Wales which had the bands of that time on. I remember the names of Crys and Ceffyl Pren and being a teenager myself at the time there was a girl who headed up a rock band and part of the reason we kept tuning in, being typical delinquent adolescents. We didn’t speak Welsh at all, but this was a programme at that time, that worked. Can’t remember the name of that programme or much… Read more »

Rob Bruce
Guest

Are you thinking of Rhiannon Tomos? There’s a few videos on YouTube if you want to re-live your delinquent adolescence.

Trailorboy
Guest
Trailorboy

That’ll be her – just watched a you-tube clip, just to be sure.

Llywelyn ap Gwilym
Guest
Llywelyn ap Gwilym

Great article! Some familiar names and others to explore. My 2c would add, in no particular order:
Yr Eira
Swnami
Ows Gwynedd
Y Cledrau
Mr Phormula
Mei Emrys
Dafydd Iwan
Candelas
Super Furries (for Mwng)

Take a listen to the C’est Bon (Yws Gwynedd) playlist on Spotify

Llywelyn ap Gwilym
Guest
Llywelyn ap Gwilym

*Yws Gwynedd – sori!

apgras
Guest
apgras

If you like rock – go for Y Reu or Y Ffug (also known as FFUG) , I Fight Lions, Masters in France, Mattoidz or We are Animal Folk – Al Lewis Band, 9bach (won bbc best folk album few years ago), Public Broadcasting Service and Lisa Jen Brown of 9bach have a song ‘You + Me’ which shows how beautiful it is to sing in Cymraeg & English. As mentioned in artice, I think Bwncath’s album is one of the best of any language for many years, Elidyr Glyn’s tone is so unique. Pop – Kizzy Crawford Indie /… Read more »

Gwenith Owen
Guest
Gwenith Owen

WH Dyfodol, Gwenno, Casi Wyn, Crash Disco, Plyci, Ty Gwydr, Pop Negatif Wastad

Edeyrn
Guest
Edeyrn

Although I am glad to see an article like this, I think we need to be honest with ourselves. Our musical tastes are very varied. – I love the bands you show, but many learners and English speakers from different backgrounds will like totally different sounds. This list is more the 25-50 year old demographic ‘guide’ … I am 30 years old but love Welsh language based choir/folk/ electro / hip hop/ rock / pop rock etc….. also I love alternative bands like 9bach – and as a commentator said above there are lots more women bands out there, but… Read more »

malinosa
Guest

I really enjoyed this……………………it didn’t masquerade any politics

Glyn Roberts
Guest
Glyn Roberts

My nominations – ‘Y Niwl’ by Y Niwl [The Mist] (original instrumental-only tunes by Shadows-influenced rockers from Caernarfon); ‘Tir A Golau’ by Plu [Feathers} (beautifully sensitive blood harmonies and super lyrics from two sisters and a brother); ‘Dere Mewn’ by Colorama (aka Carwyn Ellis and Friends) – a diverse album covering a range of genres, and ‘Bendith’ by Bendith – an absolutely superb themed album written and led by Carwyn Ellis in association with Plu. Mwynhewch!

Radha Nair-Roberts
Guest

Beth am Calan? 😉

Russell Todd
Guest
Russell Todd

Cowbois Rhos Botwnnog are delightful. Curated some great bands at Green Man’s Settlers Stage last year too.

Rheinallt H Rowlands were a great band too. Can’t think of many better gothic, baroque pop bands. Their Bukowski LP is brilliant

Bendigedig
Guest
Bendigedig

Some Welsh songs I like: from my childhood Chwarae’n Troi’n Chwerw by Caryl Parry Jones and a few other Caryl songs, maybe more ‘middle of the road’ than pop. A few Edward H Dafis songs, Ysbryd y Nos and Breuddwyd Roc a Rol, for example. Y Cwm by Hyw Chiswell – I’m not a big fan of the other song of his mentioned above. One particular song by Beganifs. More recently Sebona fi by Yws Gwynedd, Dere Mewn by Colorama (also mentioned by a poster above) , Anifail and Llwytha’r Gwn by Candelas Maybe not really pop, but Anfonaf Angel… Read more »

David Jones
Guest
David Jones

Great article, really helps open up what is available in Welsh that is otherwise difficult to get into as an English speaker. It’d be great to have more articles like this.

ejcorbett2013
Guest
ejcorbett2013

Thanks for this list. I’m looking for new music. Yes, to Plu and Huw Chiswell. I also love Brigyn. Cerddoriaeth Cymraeg yw’r gorau!

sibrydionmawr
Guest

I found Welsh language music to be a great help when I was learning the language. I spent many a happy hour attempting to translate the lyrics so I could better understand the song. I spent quite a bit of my hard earned on cassettes, LPs and latterly CDs. most of which I’ve now ripped to mp3 format so they can now reside on my phone. Surprisingly no one has mentioned Geraint Jarman a’r Cynganeddwyr whose output was quite prolific, or Steve Eaves a’i Driawd/Rhai Bobol. Both are still producing/performing. Steve Eaves should, in particular, inspire learners of Welsh, as… Read more »

Rob Bruce
Guest

In recent years, Gwenno Saunders, Chroma, Adwaith, Y Ffug, Cpt. Smith, Brython Shag and many others have released political material, and CyIG continues to be a major promoter of Welsh Language Music, often getting nominated as promoter of the year at the annual Selar awards. I don’t recognise your comments at all, to be honest.

Aaron
Guest
Aaron

Really glad a couple of you have mentioned Gwenno Saunders already.

I would also highly recommend her sister Ani, who produces a particularly electronic brand of Welsh language music that I can’t get enough of.

DAIBOY
Guest
DAIBOY

Great Article, Diolch! (Bookmarked! 😉

Bendigedig
Guest
Bendigedig

Very good article, but I have no idea why it’s in News rather than Opinion.

Eos Pengwern
Guest
Eos Pengwern

I can’t think why I didn’t mention Anelog in my earlier post, but since nobody else has I’ll mention them now. Their track Siabod (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FLeEnX4wYds) is the alarm track on my phone; equally good to go to sleep to or wake up to.

YoYo
Guest
YoYo

The two that should be on any 2018 list (IMHO…), would be
1) Candelas – probably the biggest band there is at the moment.
2) Endaf Emlyn – not because of the Pobol y Cwm jingle obviously!

Might not make everyone’s list, but Lleuwen Steffan would be on my top ten list – also in the Breton top ten list as well I suspect!

edrydparry
Guest
edrydparry

any Welsh speaking south Walian bands on the list or are they all gogs….sorry north Walian 🙂

Rich Starkie-Roberts
Guest
Rich Starkie-Roberts

The Alarm or (for the Welsh Releases) Yr Alarm – I know most of the band’s output – certainly in recent years has been in English, but there have been a few Welsh Language releases – Newid, and Tân spring to mind.