Welsh band Allan Yn Y Fan not only continue to go from strength to strength but have also grown. They have just announced their first line up change since 2008. The original four band members – Geoff Cripps, Chris Jones, Lind Simmonds and Kate Strudwick are to be joined by by lead-singer Catrin O’Neill and fiddler Alan Cooper.
This is great news for the band, I saw Catrin O’Neill performing for the first time many years ago at Two Rivers Festival, she is a wonderful singer and has a great stage presence. Catrin was also part of the TRAC project “10 Mewn Bws/10 In A Bus” which we covered last year and asked for your support in voting for them after the project was picked for the finals of the National Lottery Awards – and was the only music project in the Arts category. Alan is also a very welcome addition having played his fiddle in a variety of line-ups touring across the world.
Catrin, originally from southern Snowdonia, says :- “Welsh folk music has been overlooked for so long, even well-known Celtic musicians not really being aware of its existence. Many people think that our folk music consists of hymns or male voice choirs – so far from the reality. The true folk music of Wales can be compared to the carefree passion of Irish, or the beauty of Breton music, but with it bringing harmonies and a poetic tradition to rival that of anywhere in the world. I think it would be very mean of us not to share it! Joining Allan Yn Y Fan means I get to be part of a band who really subscribe to that generosity of spirit and put the miles in to take our music to new countries, concert halls and festivals – I can’t wait to get on the road!”
Alan says “I am really excited about the prospects of working with Allan Yn Y Fan and with Catrin O’Neill. As new players for the band we are relishing the opportunity of honouring what the band has created over the past decade, but also to putting our creative stamp on the next chapter of their musical journey.”
First up for the new band is their appearance at a brand new showcasing event the Arainn Ceilteach festival being held on Inis Môr, Aran Isles of the coast of Galway from 13th March ( www.ceilteach.ie ). Their first Welsh festival appearance in 2015 will be at the Tredegar House Folk Festival on Saturday 9th May.
Later in the year the band will be heading into the studio to produce their sixth album and the first with this exciting new line-up. It’s one we’re really looking forward to hearing more from.
Allan Yn Y Fan – Lle Arall
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Photo Credit: Darren Griffiths-Warner