RHIF/CATNO ANKST CD071 / 12"
DIWRNOD BRAF/SNOW/CARCHAR MEDDWL MEDDAL/MERCH O
GAERDYDD/UCHELGAIS/LOVED/BUKOWSKI/DYDD GWYL GIRO
SANT/ISABELLA/NOS DA CARIAD/
SECOND COLLECTION FROM DEWI EVANS AND OWIAN WRIGHT .
CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED ACROSS THE BOARD FOR ITS REFRESHING
SOUND UNIQUE STYLE AND STRONG MELODIES .
The somewhat mythical RHEINALLT H.ROWLANDS is the alter ego of singer Owain Wright who is assisted by orchestra arranger Dewi Evans who provides the lush and varied musical backdrop .
Both Dewi and Owain(known as Oz) come from the famous village of Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllantysiliogogogoch . They have been performing as Rheinallt H.Rowlands since 1991. The early recordings include a cover version of the Joy Division song ‘New Dawn Fades’(in Welsh) which was included on the Ankst compilation lp ‘Triskedekaphilia’ (ankst 061) .
Their first l.p. called ‘Hen Daid Bran a Straeon Eraill’ appeared on the Central Slate label in 1993 on cassette only .This album has recently been released on c.d. on the Ankstmusik label (085). Rheinallt’s appearance with this debut lp was shrouded in mystery whereby the artists involved adopted an elaborate charade based around a bogus personality henceforth known as Rheinallt H.Rowlands .
Thus “…. on the 17th of May 1980 the quarry where Rheinallt had been working for the previous 13 years was forced to close . Despondent almost to the point of suicide Rheinallt walked the 13 miles back over the bleak mountain track to his isolated cottage for the final time and sat in his old wooden chair with a bowl of broth . Finding the silence unbearable he fumbled to tune his old vale radio to the Home Service but inadvertently came across the John Peel programme . So it was that he heard a voice so deeply mournful as to have a special resonance with his current state of mind .The voice was that of Ian Curtis of the then popular Joy Division who had committed suicide that very day . Far from deepening Rhienallt’s depression this bought a profound inspiration to him and he decided that moment that he would forge a new career as a popular singer …”
This bogus identity had been fostered successfully in the Welsh media until Rheinallt broke cover and started appearing live with his musical soulmates Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci whom he first met in the hostelries of Upper Bangor , North Wales . Having appeared on their ‘Bwyd Time’ album and on various tours Rheinallt decided to concentrate on his own career .
The result of this new enthusiasm was heard on the band’s second album BUKOWSKI .The album is a classic collection of songs dealing with love and death and a central long suite composed in honour of Charles Bukowski ( a Rheinallt figurehead) .These songs are sung by Oz in a sometimes dramatic voice that encompasses the likes of Johnny Cash ,Tom Jones and Bryn Terfel . The album drew very favourable critical reviews from outside Wales and led to a series of concerts in London , including a memorable one at Madame Jo Jo’s .
In 1998 the band took a sideways turn and were involved in composing a theatrical soundtrack in conjunction with the highly respected Welsh theatre company BRITH GOF . The show ‘Y Dyddiau Olaf , Y Dyddiau Cyntaf’(The last days , the first days) was performed in November with Rheinallt performing live as part of the huge performance . The production , directed by Cliff Mc Lucas was a multi media performance involving live music , live performance as well as documentary visuals from sources such as the Richard Burton film The Last Days of Dolwyn(1947) and text from The History of the Flooding of Tryweryn . They also found time to compose a theme tune for an S4C sitcom about a group of painter/decorators called Meibion Glandwr .
SOME MIGHT DOUBT THE POP CREDENTIALS OF AN ALBUM WHOSE CENTREPIECE IS A TEN MINUTE WELSH LANGUAGE TRIBUTE TO THE CELEBRATED CALIFORNIAN HEAVY DRINKER CHARLES BUKOWSKI , BUT TO ADOPT SUCH A NARROW-MINDED APROACH WOULD BE TO DENY YOURSELF ONE OF THE YEAR'S MOST EXQUISITELY UNEXPECTED PLEASURES
IT IS ONE OF THE MOST IRRESISTIBLE POP ALBUMS OF THE DECADE SO FAR .THE ONLY WAY TO BELIEVE IT IS TO HEAR IT
MOJO( CONTEMPORARY ALBUM OF THE MONTH )
BUKOWSKI IS IMPRESSIVELY MELANCHOLIC , OUTRAGEOUSLY AUSTERE AND QUITE BEAUTIFULLY TONGUE -IN-LEEK
OTHER TITLES/AR GAEL
HEN DAID BRAN ( ANKST CD 085) CD ALBUM
III ( ANKST CD 095) CD ALBUM