News at two

TWO notifications that caught my attention this week were alerts about my digital footprint. One was a reminder I’d started this blog in January 2014, the other a post I’d shared on Facebook three or four years ago.

Diggin' in the crates, and one of the "most influential albums" in my collection

Diggin’ in the crates, and one of the “most influential albums” in my collection

I was aware the second anniversary of this blog was coming up while the Facebook reminder of what was a popular, with my friends at least, survey of how many of the “100 most influential albums” I owned reminded me of one of the reasons I eventually went ahead and began publishing my own blog. Continue reading

Album of the Year: I Haven’t Been Nicking in Ages – Benji Webbe

A celebration of roots rock reggae

YOU probably don’t really like music if you’re unable to pick an album of the year – and if choosing your album of the year is easy then it’s likely you don’t listen to that much music.

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But Benji Webbe’s ‘I Haven’t Been Nicking in Ages’ is easily the stand out album of 2015. It’s not often the frontman of a rock metal band releases a smooth as silk album of lovers rock and reggae. Continue reading

Soul in motion: Blackstreet, Keith Sweat and Omar

THIS autumn saw two of the most influential figures of modern soul and rnb performing in South Wales.

Omar at the Globe in Cardiff

Omar at the Globe in Cardiff


Teddy Riley and his reformed vocal group Blackstreet toured Europe with Keith Sweat, stopping in Newport in October, while British soul singer Omar’s latest UK tour included a Cardiff gig at the end of September. Continue reading

Omar: An interview with The Man

It is nearly 25 years since Omar’s classic ‘There’s Nothing Like This’ hit the UK top 20 and arguably the song has become better known than the singer.

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But if Omar had achieved celebrity status to match the esteem he is held in by other musicians perhaps he wouldn’t be playing a gig in a small Cardiff venue. This Friday, September 25 Omar, whose last album was 2013’s ‘The Man’, plays The Globe in Roath’s Albany Road where no more than 350 people will get to see one of contemporary soul’s greatest artists up close. Continue reading

The Jungle Brothers @ Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff

“As the sun do shine/JBeez rock well”

“It’s a pleasure to be back in Cardiff,” says Afrika Baby Bam as the Jungle Brothers move through the thank yous at the end of their quick-fire 50 minute set.
JB JBeez
The JBeez returned to the Welsh capital just two weeks short of a year from their last show in the city and a UK tour that seemingly convinced them of the enduring popularity of Hip Hop’s golden age this side of the Atlantic. Continue reading

Lee Trundle, Welsh football’s Royal Showman

THE Royal Welsh Show week is one of the busiest for journalists in Mid Wales and this year brought not only another chance to interview David Cameron but also former Swansea City player Lee Trundle.

Lee Trundle at the Royal Welsh Show (Peter Williams)

Lee Trundle at the Royal Welsh Show (Peter Williams)

The Prime Minister last year visited the opening day of what is known as Europe’s biggest agricultural show, signalling the start of the Tory general election campaign in Wales. Trundle, now an ambassador for the club where he enjoyed his most high-profile period, admitted the Welsh based English Premier League side were on a similar charm offensive in rural Wales. Continue reading

Pharoahe Monch @ The Globe, Cardiff

If you holding up the wall, then you missing the point

THE force of energy that is Pharoahe Monch steps across the Globe stage to loud cheers with his DJ and small band having already built the sense of anticipation for the enigmatic Queens MC.
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On a sweaty, humid July 1 night in the Welsh capital Monch will soon discard his ceremonial, military style jacket as he get straight into his no compromising set. Continue reading