Happy St. David’s Day! It’s the day (1st March) we pay tribute to all things Welsh. It may not be as widely celebrated as St. Patrick’s Day – or as wholly ignored as St George’s… – but any excuse to have a house party will do, and St. David’s Day is a perfect one for a knees up with your flatmates.
So if you are having a party for your taffy housemates, or if you’re just in the mood for getting in the spirit, here are WDMM’s Favourite Welsh Bands. Stuff an iTunes Playlist with the best of these bands and you’ll be booking camping trips to the Rhonda Bay in no time.
Catfish & the Bottlemen
Catfish have sprung up out of nowhere over the last twelve months. They’ve toured the country relentlessly and, led by the charismatic Van McCann, have taken over almost every mainstream radio station and booked slots at every festival you can think of. They’re Wales’ freshest musical offering and, if two sold-out nights at London’s Brixton Academy is anything to go by, they’re not going anywhere for a while.
Manic Street Preachers
From politics to motorbikes, Manic Street Preachers have been the voice of the Welsh working class for more than twenty years. With lyrics shrouded in personal experience and coloured by the Welsh (and British) political landscape, it’s no surprise they’re one of Wales’ finest audio assets.
Perhaps lesser known in the mainstream circles, Los Campesinos have been writing infectious indie-pop songs since the late noughties. Their debut, We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed, is crammed full of delicious musical nuggets. We’ll admit that none of the members are technically Welsh – and merely formed at Cardiff University – but we challenge you to find a band that resonates with Wales more than these guys.
Super Fury Animals
Part nineties Britpop, part psychedelic rock, Super Fury Animals ticked all the boxes. And more than being able to pen a damn good tune (which they could in spades) they were the coolest chaps around too. Lead singer Gruff Rhys has had a healthy solo career post the band’s disintegration, but the magic of tracks like Golden Retriever and God! Show Me Magic inspired a tidal wave of young musicians to push the boundaries of what can be accepted by the masses.
Yes. Of course we couldn’t forget the Phonics. Hailing from Cwmaman of the Cynon Valley, Kelly Jones and co penned tales of small town life in the Welsh suburbs. Their debut, Word Gets Around, paints a modest picture of life in outer-city Wales in the nineties; where girls playing football becomes high-street gossip, family weddings are awash with heads sunk in portaloos, and everyday tragedies become part of the landscape’s history. Over the years, Stereophonics have grown into one of the UK’s biggest acts.