This month I have decided to shine the spotlight on one of the many platforms close to home that are promoting and championing Welsh music. Social media and the internet have enabled us to thrive as individuals and as groups; getting our voices heard has never been easier. However, sometimes no matter how far your reach extends, it is often not as far as you deserve.
I must admit, I frequently find difficulty in writing these blogs. The hunt for information about the great musical goings on in and around Swansea can be a frustrating and arduous task, but please don’t misconstrue my words for a lack of enthusiasm because that would be a grave misunderstanding. I thoroughly enjoy writing about Swansea music, especially when I stumble upon an indispensable, edifying resource.
Such a resource is Welsh Connections, an online magazine, social media presence and radio programme that does a fine job of advocating local and national music including album reviews, interviews as well as frequent broadcasts on Oystermouth Radio (another model enterprise) not to mention sharing a wealth of information from other reputable connections in the industry.
It was set up in 2013 by musicians and journalists/DJ’s Mike Kennedy and Joel Bennett. Joel, a presenter on Oystermouth Radio recognised the potential of Mike’s idea of a chat show with Welsh musicians and airplay of their music and so set about organising a pilot episode. It is from there that the show has blossomed and caught the attention of many artists, celebrities and fans from all over. Guests on the show have included Balsamo Deighton, Ragsy, Kosheen’s Sian Evans, Deke Leonard, Andy Collins, The Cosmic Array, No Thee No Ess, Plum Howells, Phil Ryan, Terry Williams, World Vs World, Psycho Kiss, Non Evans, Peter Black, Bethan Jenkins, Max Boyce, Tweke Lewis, Brian Breeze, Keith & Kevin Allen and many more with endorsements from high profile names such as Ian Gomm, Bonnie Tyler and Russ Titelman. Their Facebook page (run by Dave Beynon) alone receives 75,000 hits a week and their fanbase continues to grow.
A perpetual aim to make known the extensive sphere of musical talent Wales has to offer to as wide an audience as possible is a noble goal which can’t be overlooked in the current difficult climate for musicians and artists.
Welsh Connections also has something new and exciting in their periphery, a joint venture with Bay TV to create a TV series based on the radio show. This will feature performances and interviews with local and visiting musicians in the same vein as the current radio show. You can expect to see this impressive development from April this year.
So please show some support to this invaluable asset to the Welsh music scene and check out their links below:
You can listen to the Welsh Connections radio show live at 6pm every Monday and repeated on Wednesdays at 1am and Thursdays at 3pm. Tune in here.
As always, many thanks to those of you who took interest in this month’s blog. I am still looking for more events and music happening in Swansea to talk about, please get in touch via twitter at @CharliePiercey.