50 Years of Music in Swansea
As part of the city wide 50 year anniversary, we’ve teamed up with the Fusion Programme, Swansea Council & Swansea Museum to host a range of podcasts / oral histories of some of the most influencial people from the scene over the last 50 years!
There is also a one off exhibition at Swansea museum exploring the last 50 years of music in the city - Visit Swansea Museum 21/09/2019 - 12/01/2019 to see the exhibit.
Enjoy a journey through Swansea's musical heritage since 1969 including its venues, influential people, stand out gigs, as well as local and visiting musicians.
Ray ‘Taff’ Williams
50 Years of Music met with Ray Williams also known as ‘Taff’, who started his musical journey in the bands The Mustangs and The Eyes of Blue. A local guitarist who has made a lifetime career in music, meeting and playing with a star studded cast of musical legends along the way.
50 Years of Music met with Jen Wilson to discuss her life in music. A jazz pianist, composer, founder of Jazz Heritage Wales and now an author, Jen shares her stories about growing up as a female musician, collecting Welsh Jazz heritage and the importance of being allowed to play!
Brian and Maybelline Breeze
50 Years of Music met with Brian and Maybelline Breeze to talk about Brian’s career in music and the Swansea music scene. Brian started playing the guitar as a young boy, he has played in several bands before also becoming a composer, producer and lecturer in music. Maybelline has experienced the local scene as an avid music lover and shares lots of great anecdotes.
50 Years of Music met with Dave Cottle, local jazz musician and the organiser of the Swansea Jazz Festival. Dave shares his early memories of the Swansea music scene, from the days of the Pier Ballroom through to his present day Jazz nights in the Uplands.
Dewi Bowen & Phillip Andrew
50 Years of Music met with Dewi Bowen and Phillip Andrew to talk about Folk and Blues from the 60’s to the present day. Dewi and Phil talk us though the big names who have visited Swansea, the scene at the Adelphi Folk Club to the Pontardawe Folk Festival. Dewi currently runs the weekly Folk Club in Lougher and Phil is a gigging musician.
50 Years of Music met with Christos Stylianou, owner of Derricks Records, an independent record shop established in 1958 in Swansea. Christos takes us through a whistle stop tour of the last 50 years of musical tastes and local gigs, his own journey as a lover of records and the reemergence of vinyl.
Peter & Terry Williams
50 years of music met with local brothers Peter & Terry Williams who, as a road manager and a drummer respectively, made music a way of life. Starting with the vibrant 60s scene in Swansea, Peter talks about his experiences of going on tour with a host of artists and Terry talks through the bands he has played drums with and some of his stand out moments including learning the ropes with Man in Germany to playing in Dire Straights in Live Aid.
50 years of music met with singer songwriter Roger Henderson, who takes us through his experiences of the Swansea music scene since moving to the city as a student in the 1970s.
50 Years of Music met with Kate Leonard, vocalist, daughter of the late Deke Leonard from Man and former manager of Monkey Bar. Kate tells us about growing up with an ambitious father, being part of the Man family, running an alternative music venue and how she tried to rebel against the rock and roll lifestyle.
50 Years of Music met with Jo Ace, vocalist and daughter of Martin and Georgina Ace from the Flying Aces. Jo talks about being part of a touring musical family and being in a band with her dad.
50 Years of Music met with Andrew Griffiths, member of the Autonomes punk band and part of the late 70’s early 80’s punk scene in Swansea. Andrew gives us a potted history of the music and the socio-political flavour of the era.
50 Years of Music met with Nik Dosanjh to talk about his role in the local music scene, from DJ’ing soul and reggae to hosting some of Swansea’s best loved club nights including; Dub Club, Funked Up and Face Off. Nik discusses his passion for putting on alternative
50 Years of Music met with Huw Williams, front man of The Pooh Sticks, A&R man and founder of the Welsh Music Foundation. Huw takes us from seeing The Police and The Smiths in The Top Rank to travelling the world and other places with music.
Jimbob Isaac & Stuart O’Hara
50 years of Music met with musicians Jimbob and Stuart from Taint and Acrimony to talk about the Swansea Heavy Rock scene. From the early 90’s to the present we talk about the DIY approach to gigging, tape swapping, supporting other bands and the healing properties of music!
DJ Big Al
50 Years of Music met with DJ Big Al, former resident DJ in Escape nightclub about his time in music. Al shares his love of the scene, his DJ career and talks to us about the changes the internet has made to clubbing and sharing music.
Gareth Active & Kevin Lewis
50 Years of Swansea met with Dj Active and music lover/former Door-man Kevin Lewis to talk about Rave, Hip Hop and Drum and Bass. From illegal raves, to Martha’s Vineyard to Jurassic 5, we chat about going out in Swansea, the music, the crowd and the good vibes!
Andy & Steve Williams
50 Years of Music met musicians Andy and Steve Williams from the bands Powder, Killing for Company and Pearler to discuss Metal, Wind Street and playing with Stuart Cable. Andy and Steve share their memories of local venues, gigging, making records and the challenges along the way.
Steve Balsamo & Andy Collins
50 Years of Music met with Steve Balsamo and Andy Collins from The Storys to talk about their careers in playing and writing music. From gigging in The Coach House, becoming the son of God in the West End to going on tour with Elton, Andy and Steve share their memories and their ideas for supporting the future of Swansea music.
Joe Gibb & Roger Hopkins
50 Years of Music met with Record Producers and the former owners of Mighty Atom Records Joe Gibb and Roger Hopkins. From recording drums in Roger’s kitchen to signing Funeral for a Friend and distributing records around the world, Joe and Roger take us through the highs and lows of owning an independent label.
50 Years of Music met with Tim Batcup, member of Liberty 37, writer for Classic Rock and former Manager of Prosperina. Tim takes us from playing in the youth clubs of Swansea to playing to huge crowds at Reading Festival and how that ended up giving him a foot in the door as a music journalist.
Jamie Morrison & Rhys Pillai
50 Years of Music met with musicians Jamie Morrison and Rhys Pillai from Punk band The Arteries. Jamie and Rhys talk to us about the importance of having places for young musicians to perform in Swansea, going on tour in the DIY punk band scene and randomly playing on TV in Moldova.
50 Years of Music met Sarah Birch, soloist and member of The Lost Tuesday Society to talk about her time as a vocalist and her current ventures in radio and print. Sarah talks to us about finding like- minded musicians, almost marrying Paulo Nutini, how Netflix helped the Russians find her music and about Sound Board Magazine.
Rhys Underdown & Tom Emlyn
50 Years of Music met with musicians Rhys Underdown and Tom Emlyn from the bands Bandicoot and News from Nowhere. Rhys and Tom share their enormous passion for making and enjoying music and their thoughts about Swansea’s music scene’s recent past and present.
50 Years of Music met with Sin City Nightclub owner Gary Lulham to talk about his career in running a live venue. Gary shares his thoughts on the local scene, his love of pulling in a crowd for a great night out and the challenges of keeping a venue current and the beer flowing!
50 Years of Music met with the musician and one half of the energy behind the Swansea Music Hub and Swansea Fringe, Simon Parton. Simon talks about the mission behind the Swansea Music Hub and Fringe Festival and how the current Swansea music scene is vibrant and full of talent, but you will need to leave the house!