Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Welsh exchange programme

It had been a long time since I could last bring myself to watch Later ... (owing solely to Jools Holland's teeth-gratingly awful patter) but, given the Cardiff-based trio starring on the second episode of the new series, I thought I should really make the effort.

Of the three, Boy Azooga gave a very good account of themselves, choosing to play 'Face Behind Her Cigarette' and 'Loner Boogie' as expected. The Manics, meanwhile, delivered pallid versions of storming singles 'Distant Colours' and 'International Blue' and dreary dud 'Liverpool Revisited' from latest LP Resistance Is Futile.

It was Gwenno, though, who stole the show. Both 'Eus Keus' and 'Tir Ha Mor' were excellent appetite-whetters for her second solo album Le Kov, on which she sings exclusively in Cornish. I had been anticipating more Stereolab vibes, but actually the two tracks came across like a very elegant form of post-punk.

Of the non-Welsh contingent, mention should also be made of Melissa Laveaux, whose playful Haitian blues instantly charmed, while Ben Howard's morose mumblings bored me to tears (well, to fast forward, at least).

As for the show's host, he was as irritating as ever. It'll probably be a while before I can bear to watch another episode.

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