Drawing from the sketch book for new work, a drawing of Rodney The Great of Betws, paint in high pigment form – canfas destroyingly brilliant, the fields of Sunday afternoons, my fellow traveller, the hounds of sunshine, go-faster-Demi-boots via the time machine…Jammer Hi and Vandals, Olympic Kebab House finally has a reason to lay claim to health profits from their food – most customers know this as they arrive dressed for the track and Ai Weiwei……speak forth brother. Freedom to create, blog and speak opinions is not taken for granted here.
If you’re from South Wales, loved guitars and were born after the Beatles released She Loves You the chances are you’ve had your heavy metal phase when growing up. For some Heavy Metal means AC/DC or Napalm Death, for others buffoonery, cliché, sexism, political nous, sweaty fun or noise for glue sniffing teen thugs. It doesn’t matter – there’s much room for discussion. Essentially it was about the guitar and the power of Rock. There’s a history in South Wales of kids with electric guitars playing along to You Shook Me All Night Long which can be traced to the volume of blues bands that came in the wake of the 60’s blues boom that made a living playing live in the South. It’s also interesting that from that 60’s blues boom Black Sabbath emerged. Power and blues = The Beatles of Metal. They were Northern and their influence was felt everywhere. To kids busting their top E string playing along to Metallica in South Wales an eventual discovery of Black Sabbath’s importance is an epiphany. I love the fact that one of Britain’s biggest Metal bands is from Bridgend: Bullet For My Valentine. I don’t have any of their records but their live footage illustrates a show of Metal power with a drummer of exceptional value. I’m sure they are glue sniffing thugs who buy their mums nice Christmas presents too. The Metal lineage continues.
Twenty years after Black Sabbath’s debut album came another Northern debut to challenge the senses – The Stone Roses’s debut. This was a discovery I made at the same time as AD/DC & Black Sabbath when I was 14, an odd mix to some but untainted by early 90’s mediacentric ‘taste’ rules. Their reformation was welcome as they were always ‘unfinished business’ as they fell apart due to classic ego, cash and friendship bust ups not lack of ideas. Let’s see what the North can produce again. South Wales has never produced a mystic pop group that held it together for even long enough to be noticed like The Roses. The Frozen Lakes and El Condor Pasa would have been legends if they’d all held it together. That’s right – you’ve never heard of them. You’ve missed out as a result. We all have. Super Furry Animals were from North Wales. They were mystic. They were inspired. They delivered. They were magnificent.
That will have to do for now.
Above are some metal kids and Matt Tuck (first two images) and then a dude who wouldn’t look out of place at Heaton Park 2012 or Glasgow Green 1990.