Cymru Cuts #9 9

Cymru Cuts #9

We’re coming to the end of a very lengthy ten days during which attentions have been deflected away from artistic nourishments, or simply focussed heavily on an obsession with queuing. It has meant independent creatives of all disciplines – florists aside – have been neglected rather. So to help throw a warmer spotlight on artists edged into the shade of late, we put together a bumper edition of Cymru Cuts to pleasure and fortify your souls on this Bank Holiday. So please read, listen, like, share, pre-save, buy!
Reviews by Cath Holland (CH) and Bill Cummings (BC).

Out On The Run AhGeeBe (Clwb Music)

Ah, this is a heart stopper. A similar vibe to last year’s debut single ‘Cocoona‘, ‘Out On The Run‘ is an honest yearning for home and family and loved ones left behind, the souls we can’t get to – for now.  Melancholy bites bittersweetly as the lap-steel underscores loss and loneliness, the soaring guitar leading us out of the dark. AhGeeBe sees it as a love song and we’re inclined to agree, beautiful notions for the lost amongst us.
‘The song was written a few years ago during a particularly gruelling year touring across America and Europe,’ he says. ‘I was home for a week or so and went for a long walk up the Garth Mountain [near my home village] to clear my head. I made a bunch of mumbling voice notes with this melody and some vague lyrics which eventually became this song.’

‘I guess it’s a classic old time sort of song about that feeling of being pulled back home and to the people you love, and how hard it is being away,’ hGeeBe continues. ‘You question whether you’re in the right place, trying to get a perspective on what it actually is you want out of life.‘ (CH)

The Ballad of Tea Cosy Pete – Tom Emlyn ( R.E.P.E.A.T. Records)

In pre-Britpop Liverpool, there was a homeless man who busked outside the legendary Probe Records. Nicknamed Pinkety-Plink – real name Jacko – he had a ‘banjo’ cut out of cardboard he pretended to play, muttering ‘plink-plink’ as he plucked, much to the entertainment of alternative music vinyl buyers. His unique entrepreneurism and wit – he once asked someone if they had a Sharpie, because he’d broken a string – meant when he died, a doppleganger appeared and duplicated his act. More have since, one after the next. The current wears a loud suit and carries a plastic toy guitar. You can’t stop progress. But the dopplegangers are down on their luck too, so in real terms, there’s been no progress at all.  

Every town and city has a Jacko equivalent, and Swansea is no exception. The new charity single and tribute to a local deceased legend of the streets, ‘The Ballad of Tea Cosy Pete’ by singer songwriter Tom Emlyn – who is longlisted this year for the Welsh Music Prize & shortlisted for GIITV’sNeutron Prize for debut solo record ‘News From Nowhere‘ – convinces of this theory more. In a week when we’re shamelessly reminded of the rigidity of the class system, the cavernous gap between the privileged and those of us who, if we run out of money then we really are in trouble, ‘Tea Cosy Pete’ feels chillingly pertinent. There is nothing romantic about loneliness, hunger, cold and having nowhere to live and the song, an acoustic guitar and vocal performance, does not fall into sentimentality; indeed, it tells it precisely as it is, the simplicity of the arrangement emphasising the message. And nor does it generalize, highlighting the humanity and uniqueness of the intelligent, well-spoken and articulate Pete. Emlyn has a sharp stab at those who turn their heads away from the unfortunates and choose to think comfortable thoughts instead. Indeed, he chides himself, singing ‘Don’t forget about Tea Cosy Pete…I always meant to talk to him. But I never did.’

The Ballad of Tea Cosy Pete is released digitally on 23 Sept, all proceeds raised go to homeless charity Llamau. Tom Emlyn’s new album ‘I’ve Seen You In Town’ is out on 30 Sept. (CH)


Ara Deg curated by Gruff Rhys, took place over the August Bank Holiday in his home town of Bethesda, North-West Wales. The weekend welcomed kindred souls from all over the world along with Welsh artists Adwaith, Carwyn Ellis & Rio 18, Melin Melyn, Sage Todz and more. You can read our interview with Gruff Rhys previewing the event here. Ara Deg photo gallery by Beverly Craddock.

Show Me Magic podcast

On our new music podcast Show Me Magic, Bill Cummings and Jim Auton are joined by Dave Acton of Larynx Entertainment. A North Wales-based advocate and promoter of Welsh hip hop and Grime, Dave writes a monthly Land of Rap column for GIITTV.

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Bits N BobsPixy Jones (Strangetown)

The debut solo album of Pixy Jones, formerly of El Goodo, may be titled thus, but there is nothing bits and bobs nor odds and ends about it.  Personal hard luck confessionals and warm familiarities thanks to Jones’ wide ranging affections to 60s psychedelia, country and pop, make Bits n Bobs an honest and  endearing record. ‘I’m Not There‘ manages to be both deeply melancholic yet simultaneously uplifting; ‘Confusion’ is flavoured with beautiful Gorky’s, and album closer ‘Dewch Draw‘ – sung entirely in Welsh – brings out the urge to hold lighters in the air, and sway. ‘I wanted to get (a) crooner thing, but do it like on a Nuggets compilation‘ he told us last month of the song. ‘Wind Street’ is an unexpected foot tapper. We learn ‘Bad Throat‘ is not a metaphor at all as Pixy leads us through a dark tale of NHS delays and scanxiety, an operation and relieved outcome – but we’re reassured by with doo-wap harmonies, twangy guitar, bubbling brass and perky flute; ‘I’m Coming Home’ shows delightful Gram Parsons fondness.  You can read our interview with Pixy here. (CH)

WorldcubLook Through The Keyhole

From North Wales Worldcub – previously CaStLeS – revolve around brothers Cynyr (guitar & vocals) and Dion Hamer (guitar & vocals), newly joined Dion Jones on bass and Osian Land on drums.. Forthcoming single ‘Look Through The Keyhole’ is a hypnotic psych adventure, and we desperately need to see this performed live. “‘..’Look Through The Keyhole’ is about a magic door to a time warp where you can step into a past life. It’s all about revisits, we do it all the time, we revisit our passions, memories, old haunts, old Elvis collection, last night’s Pizza, it’s never the same experience. The song in itself is a revisit, the first version of the track was written 10 years ago,’ says Dion Hamer.

Look Through The Keyhole, out 21 October is part of a concept titled ‘Back To The Beginning’, a collection of tracks which has since developed into an album of the same name slated for release in 2023. A supplement EP titled ‘BTTB Series 1′ released on the 4th of November via Ratl Records. (CH)

Phantoms – Droja (Midtide Records)

We first encountered Droja in 2021 courtesy of his collaboration with Geraint Rhys, where the electronic producer’s minimalist music bed knitted together surprisingly well with Rhys’ exhuberant vocal. For Droja’s debut single he continues in an open minded approach, ‘Phantoms’ essentially cool pop with a gentle ambient rhythm whilst boasting a genuine gold standard DIY aeshtetic – on it, Droja samples the slicing of an apple. ‘There’s something about going out, hunting, catching, and skinning your own sounds that makes the creative process more exciting,’ he explains. ‘I’m drawn to nostalgia. This track, for me, encapsulates all of my favourite sounds. Musically, I think it’s something that’s tight-roping melancholy and joy.’

The cover art for Phantoms was designed by neo-sculptor Jim Linear, creating an artwork that is
hinged between the digital and the physical, a place where the future meets the past.

Droja is busy putting the final touches on new music alongside producing tracks for others. Also in the pipeline are soundtrack and remix projects that are yet to be announced. (CH)



Andrew Ogun is a force of nature: a multidisplined artist, a musician, writer, creative director and community organiser from Newport but currently based in Cardiff. He is the main organiser for the Black Lives Matter movement in Gwent and is also the Arts Council of Wales’ Agent for Change. You can read our interview with him here. (BC)

Popeth featuring Kizzy Crawford – Newid

Popeth is a new musical project by Ynyr Roberts featuring a rotating cast of guests, ‘Newid’ is the second single from the project released on Welsh imprint Côsh Records, features the wonderful vocals of Kizzy Crawford, who has carved a name for herself in recent years with a versatile range of releases. She imbues this twinkling pop gem with an easy charm and soulfulness, with this 70s, disco-ball kissed beauty spins on the dancefloor.

Popeth say they place ” an emphasis on collaborating to produce Welsh Pop for the world! It’s a progressive and inclusive project to compose and produce songs to fill the space in the Welsh music scene for glittery and positive Pop. It’s been a long time since we’ve heard these “clean-pop-tastic” sounds in the Welsh Language – provided by groups such as Mega, Pheena and Clingol. It seems that Welsh Pop is now back in demand. Popeth is here to fulfil that demand!”

With future songs brought to you in collaboration with artist such as Shamoniks and Lewis Owen (@bendigaydfran), this will make sure that ‘Popeth‘ is ready for a busy autumn! (BC)

VeniliaLunar Bird

With an intoxicating gloss, of dabbing keys and translucent melodies, Lunar Bird’s recent single ‘Venilia’ is an absolute delight,that captures the dying embers of summer freedom and hope, with a spirit that guides you to dance towards the shore. This glistening percussive gem is stamped with warm analogue synth stomps and shrouded in the orchestral waves of Giuseppe Magagnino. While Roberta Musillami vocals are both seductive and hypnotic, surfing the eliptical tides of the Franco psych pop of the likes of Charlotte Gainsbourg or Melody’s Echo Chamber and the kaleidoscopic sun kissed melodies of mid period Goldfrapp. Recorded by Stefano Manca at Sudestudio, mixed by Steffan Pringle, mastered by Charlie Francis. For my money is the best song Lunar Bird have produced so far.

“When she came to visit me, I believe it was early afternoon. I was in bed, reading the ceiling. I felt like the last survivor from a galaxy far, far away. Venilia opened the window and invited the wind and that lapping that slowly swamped me. Unexpectedly the bed began to float and I found myself in the open sea. I closed my eyes and decided to let Vanilla’s breath guide me.
I could feel the waves breaking, the shore getting closer and closer. Then I got there, castaway and touched by the gods.

The sandy shore was hot and dazzling white. My feet sank into it and all I could do was dance. A disconnected hallucinated swaying reconnected me with every newborn creature, with all that is ancient and ancestral I had lost, with my body, my past, with my loved ones and those I missed. All became clearly illegible. Accurate in its marvelous inaccuracy. I existed, that was all. No control. Venilia would sing. I danced” – Lunar Bird

Formed in Italy in 2017 by singer-synth player Roberta Musillami and bass player-visual artist Eliseo Di Malto, the Cardiff-based art pop collective released the EP ‘Daydreamer’ in 2018. Announced by several singles, Lunar Bird’s eponymous debut album (self release, 2021) was well received. The band announced a new album, to be released in 2023. (BC)

Pennies – Rona Mac

Rona Mac is a fantastic, queer singer-songwriter from rural West Wales, possessing a voice that can smother you in a blanket of emotion, comfort and empathy, her new single ‘Pennies’ grows from a rustling percussion sweep, sparse motif of chords and entwined with synths is centered with her raw vocals and couplets that reside with gorgeous heart on the sleeve melodies and a rich self-awareness and depth that still startles with every play. Her ability to carve moments of ambient meditative calm and reflectiveness in the midst of chaos and invest them with a remarkable clarity of her own situation, it’s a therapeutic balm for her and us the listener. It’s glorious. She says: “This song is about weighing up and juggling many things, caught in a frenzy of 5 jobs, being broke and a bit broken, and considering moving in with my girlfriend 1 month into the relationship to save on money, rather than waiting for the right time. I felt I was losing myself in a rising tide.” (BC)

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.