9Bach at Folk Alliance Toronto
We are soon heading off to Toronto to the 25th Folk Alliance conference. We’ve never been before, but it sounds like fun, and we have 5 shows to play in 3 days, as well as hoping to catch some other great artists. As well as our Official conference showcase, we are playing in some of the many private showcases that go on late into the night, in various hotel suites at the conference, one of which is a joint presentation by British Underground, and Folk Music Canada, which will be showcasing the best in British and Canadian Folk.
9Bach Folk Alliance Official showcase
Friday February 22nd: 9pm Rossetti Room
Private acoustic showcases
At the end of January, after Martin and Lisa had finished recording demo’s of the new songs in Llanddewi Brefi, we went to Bryn Derwen Studios in Bethesda, to start rehearsing and recording for the 2nd album, with producer and engineer, Krissy Jenkins, and Sir Doufus Styles.
With 9 songs ready to record, and another written and recorded in the studio, 10 songs were recorded in all.
Song writing has started for the 9Bach 2nd album, and Lisa and Martin have been going to some interesting places for inspiration. Starting off at home trying out a few ideas on the electric piano, while looking at the dramatic storms outside the window, the song writing sessions had to suddenly stop twice. The first time was when a desperate neighbour called for help as the streams of water that were coming down the mountain in Gerlan, Bethesda were taking a turn past her front door, and she needed as may hands as she could to bucket the water away, and stop it from rising, and coming in her house.
The second time was when Martin and Lisa’s house nearly got flooded in the middle of a storm, due to a blocked drain outside of their back door, the water could be seen rising to door level very fast, and plectrums and slippers had to be swapped for wellingtons, and rubber gloves to save the situation !
After deciding to write elsewhere, not on a mountain liable to flooding, Lisa spent some time in Capel Jerusalem in Bethesda, which has a lovely piano, and rooms that are filled with history. The storms were still raging outside, and the eerie scene was completed when the Capel had a full power cut, and Lisa was left to work in the dark.
The Capel was a great place to work, and inspired some of the songs that will be on the 2nd album, but unfortunately when Lisa and Martin came to record some demo versions of the songs, they realised that although the piano was in tune with itself, it was completely out of tune with other instruments!
With 9Bach shows over for the year, and attention turning to song writing for the next album, what better thing to do for inspiration thaN head off to WOMEX World Music Conference and showcase event, in sunny Thessaloniki Greece. We saw some fantastic bands, and can thoroughly recommend DhakaBrakha , stunning they were, have a look on You Tube, or something tells us they’ll be coming to these shore’s soon. As well as seeing some great bands, we were also on the look out for some shows for 9Bach, and there is one particular exciting possibility, watch this space !!
We also joined forces with the other Welsh delegates, headed by Cerys Matthews, and made sure that everyone was aware, and coming to WOMEX 13 in Cardiff. It will be a great WOMEX next October, with extra showcase spots for Welsh, Scottish, Irish, and English artists to play, and tickets available for the public to come and see great artists from here, all over the world.
New songs, new songs, new songs!
That’s it 9Bach live shows are over for the year, thanks to everyone who came! We have now got our heads down, and are writing songs for our 2nd album, which we hope to have recorded by the end of the year .
Three more festival shows to go this summer!
the Black Arm Band have gone back home, and Mamiaith is over for now, and we’re relly looking forward to getting back to all things 9Bach, and playing 3 very different, and interesting festival shows. First Lisa, Esyllt, Martin & Mirain are off to Lorient in Brittany, to play at the Lorient Interceltique Festival, with 3 shows between August 9th – 11th. We had a great experience playing the festival in 2008, and it was amazing to hear the similarities in the Welsh & Breton languages.
Then we have a show on our doorstep as part of the Pesda Roc festival which runs from August 22 – 26th in Bethesda, with out full band show on Saturday 25th, in Neuadd Ogwen, alongside Lleuwen Steffan, and Steve Eaves.
Our last show of the year will be at Festival No6 in Portmeirion, on September 14th,which promises to be a great festival in a beautiful setting. As well as a full band 9Bach set, Lisa & Martin will be getting together with Sion Glyn ( Y Niwyl) Huw Owen (Mr Huw) & Osian Rhys Roberts ( Yr Ods, Osian Rhys) to form a band to play with Heather Jones, to play some of her classic songd from the 70′s, as well as the first ever live performance of Nos Ddu. Lisa will also be singing with Gruff Rhys on Sunday evening.
After a fine evening playing, and then watching some great bands at the Hanner Cant festival in Pontrhydfendigaid, Lisa & Martin finally made it back to North Wales on the back of a tow truck, just in time to welcome the Black Arm Band to Caernarfon.
It was great to see them settling in to the historic town- and we were glad to find them at the iconic Black Boy Pub getting a nice warm welcome and some good tucker and fine ales to help ease the jet lag. We then whisked them off to another famous landmark The Greek Taverna in Bangor for some more grub and wine.
A day off before rehearsals for all on Sunday – but we couldn’t resist taking them for a little drive around Eryri- Snowdonia, and thanks to Welsh Arts International for the funding to hire the amazing Derfel of DP Bysus Gwyrdd Rhiwlas who took us around Llanberis. Everyone was blown away at the sacred ground of Castell Dolbadarn, and as well as absorbing the history of the Welsh Castle and the stunning views we also found a spot to have a yarn and play ball.
We just had to finish the day in Bethesda! We had to bring everyone home. It was just amazing to get cozy in the family home and eat some more food and have a laugh.
First day of rehearsals – exciting, scary, loads of fun, emotional- Brilliant
Rehearsals done at Galeri- but we just couldn’t keep from singing! For the next few days the routine became singing by day at Galeri and singing by night at The Black Boy Pub but seeing the show take form, and songs developing was truly beautiful.
Gig on Thursday was just breathtaking and dream like at Galeri- and what a joy to play for a wonderful warm and encouraging audience at Galeri.
We partied till the wee hours to celebrate then got on a bus to London on Friday. Ready to perform at the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad
The show in London was at The Old Navel College in Greenwich- it was a beautiful summers day and it felt good to be singing these Welsh and Aboriginal Languages (like Luritja, Yanyuwa and Yorta Yorta to name a few) with the Thames behind us.
Black Arm Band coming to North Wales in July.
We’ve just played our 1st show of the year as a full band at the Music Wales:Cerdd Cymru, Womex special at the Hay Festival, and it was great playing together again, and also giving the new songs their first airing with the full band.
we’re looking forward to doing it again at the Hanner Cant festival on July 13th at the Pafiliwn Pontrydfendigaid, and seeing another 49 acts!
Straight after that show Lisa, Esyllt, Martin, and Mirain are looking forward to welcoming the Black Arm Band ( all 19 of them!) to our heartland in Caernarfon North Wales, as firstly we get to meet the rest of the band, and then spend four days to finish off the songs and rehearsing them, before we perform Mamiaith – Mother Tongue at Galeri Caernarfon on July 19th. We’ll then be heading off to London to perform the show again as part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad, at the Oceania Stage in Greenwich on July 21st
Hanner Cant & Music Wales – Womex Hay Festival show’s
After a couple of acoustic shows, and few months song writing, we are very happy to be back rehearsing with the full band, and getting ready to play a few new songs, at a couple of special festivals
Firstly we will be playing a special Music Wales:Cerdd Cymru, Womex performance at the Hay Festvival on June 6th in The Sound Castle.
As Cardiff will be hosting Womex in October 2013, this is one of many planned events to give a taster of what is to come.
On July 13th we will be playing at the very special Hanner Cant Festival at Pafiliwn Pontrhydfendigaid. The festival is celebrating 50 years of Cymdeithias Yr Iaith which has played a big part in fighting to keep the Welsh language alive, of which some of it’s activists have spent time in prison.
This will be one of the best value festivals of the year, with 50 acts playing for £ 25, and as well as 9Bach, the line up includes Meic Stevens, Heather Jones, Gruff Rhys, Y Niwl, Yr Ods, LLeuwen and many many more
New song’s – can’t stop writing
After Lisa & Martin wrote their fisrt few songs together in Melbourne for the Mamiaith project, the process has continued ever since they have got back home to North Wales, and the pair are now turning their attention to writing new songs for 9Bach. This is a very exciting development as our fisrt album was soley re – worked, Tradditional Welsh language Folk songs.