Lighting the Dragon’s Fire for the Seventh Year.
The seventh Dragon’s Fire / Tân y Ddraig, held on Monday 28 August this year will see Welsh superband Anweledig headline the evening alongside Scottish band the Proclaimers. The evening will also showcase other important musicians and bands from Wales’s roc hall of fame including Huw Jones, while also showcasing the best contemporary artists including Elin Fflur, returning to the Faenol stage following her 2004 appearance, Dyfrig Evans, formerly lead singer of Topper who has now launched a solo career and Nathan Williams from Anglesey who has just released a highly acclaimed first solo album.
In announcing the line up, Bryn Terfel said “I can’t wait to hear Anweledig again – I’m very pleased that they’ve agreed to perform at Tân y Ddraig, and I think it will be very exciting to hear them alongside some other great Welsh bands past and present as well as listen to some of our astonishing young performers. Again this year, I wanted to keep the Celtic connection alive and I’m delighted that The Proclaimers have agreed to join the party – it will be a fantastic evening, and a blazing end to what I’m sure will be the best Faenol Festival yet”.
Tân y Ddraig on Monday 28th August will bring to a close this year’s Faenol Festival which also features superstar Irish band Westlife, opening the Festival on 25 August. Shirley Bassey will Dazzle the Festival audience with her unique sequin spangled rendition of favourite songs on Sunday 27 August, and on Saturday 26 August Bryn Terfel will be joined on the Faenol Stage by two of the Opera world’s most exciting performers, internationally renowned soprano Angela Gheorghiu and young Mexican ‘supertenor’ Rolando Villazón.
Ska group from Blaenau Ffestiniog living the rock 'n' roll dream. Above Garej Ol a Wil in 1991, Rhys Roberts, Gareth Thomas and Meic Jones were to be heard jamming erratically for the first time. By their first gig on 7 February 1992 supporting Anhrefn, another four members had arrived: Matthew Jones, Cara Jones, Oz Jones and Alwyn Evans.
Charismatic frontman Ceri Cunnington joined the band early in '93, and the band have gone from strength to strength since.
In 1994 they won both the Urdd and the National Eisteddfod best band awards, going on to record a session on Ian Gill's Radio Cymru programme and supporting Gorky's Zygotic Mynci in the 1995 Abergele Eisteddfod.
A triumphant appearance at 1998's Penybont-ar-ogwr Eisteddfod supporting Geraint Jarman led to strong sales for Anweledig's first album, Sombreros Yn Y Glaw (Sombreros In The Rain). Released to widespread acclaim, anthems such as Dawns Y Glaw (Rain Dance), Chwarae Dy Gêm (Playing Your Game) and Merch Coffi (Coffee Girl) were already embedded in the nation's consciousness thanks to their renowned live set.
It's 18 years since The Proclaimers made their legendary TV debut on The Tube, performing the classic song Letter From America . Back then, the charts were dominated by the likes of Rick Astley and Sinita and the response to Craig and Charlie Reid, two impassioned brothers singing their hearts out in their own accents about serious political issues was extraordinary. Within a month they were signed to Chrysalis Records and recording their debut album nine days later This Is The Story was finished. Another six weeks and it was in the shops. By December Letter From America was Number 3 in the UK singles chart and the album went Gold. A year of constant touring to sell-out crowds and an album of electrifying acoustic energy had paid off. A song about Scotland, its emigration, politics, industrial closures and the Highland clearances had reached the top of the pop charts.
The teenage twins musical passion began after a childhood spent in Edinburgh, Cornwall and Auchtermuchty in Fife. At home it was Merle Haggar, Jerry Lee Lewis, Hank Williams and Ray Charles. At school they formed punk bands. Out of this collision of styles and attitudes came The Proclaimers in 1983. Over the next three years the duo built up a fervent following in the pubs of Edinburgh and Inverness.
2004 saw The Proclaimers tour USA & Canada in March and April and then Craig and Charlie spent the rest of the year concentrating on writing songs for th next album that would become 2005's Restless Soul .
Formerly the singer with the group Carlotta, Elin Fflur rose to prominence after winning the 2002 Can I Gymru (Song For Wales) competition. But she had her first taste of performing at the age of three, singing at an Eisteddfod.
Soon after leaving Carlotta Elin became the lead singer of the Anglesey-based group Y Moniars. The group enjoyed a successful spell with the release of their first album Harbwr Diogel.
Taking a year out from studying for a criminology degree at Bangor University, Elin recorded her debut solo album Dim Gair (no words). Released on the Sain label in December 2003, it was an instant success, mixing rock ballads and lush orchestration with folk songs and adult-oriented pop.
She launched her second album Cysgodion (Shadows) in December last year, and has just finished recording an EP for release at this year’s Eisteddfod for which she worked with top London producer Matt Prion, and she is now managed by David Aspden who, indidentally managed Bonnie Tyler for 20 years. She returns to the studio in September to work on a new album and an English language demo.
DYFRIG ‘TOPPER’ EVANS
Dyfrig Evans previous front man for the group ‘Topper’ has now launched a solo career touring Wales recently to to promote new material from his forthcoming first solo album.
Following the release of Topper’s collection of songs and their appearance at Miri Madog last year, Dyfrig has been working for a few months now with the talented Dave Wrench at Bryn Derwen Studios in Bethesda on the new material for this tour and new Album.
Though we haven’t seen Dyfrig on the Welsh music scene for a few years now, we are accustomed to his appearances on the small screen in Talcen Caled and Emyn Roc a Rôl and also his theatrical appearances in DW2416 and recently Theatr Freuddwydion.
Nathan Williams is a young, talented musician, singer songwriter from Anglesey. He has just released his debut solo album ‘Deud dim Byd’ for which he not only composed the music and wrote the lyrics, but also played each instrument and sung the songs on the recording.
He began his career as a solo session musician when just 14 years of age, performing with Bryn Fôn, Howget, Gabrielle 25 and many others. In addition to his performing career, he currently teaches drumming to young people in the Conwy area and frequently performs with North Wales jazz musicians and further afield alongside performers such as Huw Warren.
GARETH JONES - CONDUCTOR
Gareth Jones, born in South Wales, joined the Music Staff at Welsh National Opera in 1990 for which he has conducted a number of operas, making his ENO debut in 2004.
Concert work in the United Kingdom has included appearances with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the Orchestra of Welsh National Opera, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the English Chamber Orchestra.
In 1996, Gareth formed Sinfonia Cymru, which in its brief history has established itself as a major orchestral force in Wales.
WELSH NATIONAL OPERA
Welsh National Opera is Europe's busiest touring opera company and the largest provider of touring opera in the UK serving a catchment area of over 12 million people in some of the most densely populated urban areas in Britain.
In Autumn 2004, WNO moved into its first ever home theatre in the new £100m Wales Millennium Centre (WMC) in Cardiff Bay. The move allows the company a firmer base from which to tour throughout the UK and internationally. With the WMC as its rehearsal and administrative base, along with a significant proportion of its technical production work, WNO is at the heart of one of the most exciting arts buildings to have been created in Europe in decades.
WNO has a permanent company of 250 people, made up of orchestra, chorus, principal singers, music staff, production, technical and administrative staff.
The Chorus and Orchestra of Welsh National Opera have become internationally recognised as world-class ensembles by both critics and audiences. They perform 120 performances of nine operas each year in Cardiff and across the UK, as well as taking part in many other projects such as recordings, and education and outreach events as part of WNO MAX.
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