Photo credit © Richard P Walton
“Traditional Welsh music, incorporating accordion, fiddle, pipes & harp – but the sound
has translated to a modern audience on a grand scale.” (Yahoo)
Calan have come a long way since they began busking in the streets of Cardiff to help pay for university fees. Now they perform in venues and festivals all around the world from as far afield as Canada, USA, Borneo and Australia.
Winners of Best Band at last year’s inaugural Welsh Folk Awards, Calan will release both a new single ‘The Song of Evan’ (English & Welsh versions) plus their fifth album, ‘kistvaen’, on 3 April 2020.
As Calan’s Angharad Sian Jenkins says, “’The Song of Evan’ was another drop of inspiration from that never-ending source, Merêd, (a collector, historian and performer of folk music of Wales written in the Welsh language.) The original verses, chorus and melody all come from his collection, and inspired Beth to pen some new text”
Calan are one of the new young Welsh bands riding the wave of a country discovering their heritage of traditional music, but here the reels, jigs and pagan harmonies are accompanied with a pounding beat plus a healthy dose of pop and rap.
The brand-new album ‘kistvaen’ (also out 3 April) was inspired and informed by various visits to the Wales’ National Library in Aberystwyth. With the friendly and expert supervision of the archivists, Calan combed through dusty reams of old tunes, songs and stories; then with their brains saturated with information, they went away to try and form some ideas. Calan are conscious of trying to be informed by, but not tethered to what has gone before. They hope that the ideas that were notated so diligently by Merêd, J Lloyd Williams and so many others, are not only safe in their kistvaen in Aberystwyth, but also being given license to come out and float around a bit – and maybe even morph into something new!
A kistvaen or cistvaen is a tomb or burial chamber formed from flat stone slabs in a box-like shape. If set completely underground, it may be covered by a tumulus. The word is derived from the Welsh cist (chest) and maen (stone).
Having last week played a special St David’s Day show for the BBC at Cardiff’s St David’s Hall with the National Orchestra & National Choir Of Wales, Calan are set to play the following UK live shows next month;
3 April Caernarfon – Galeri Caernarfon
4 April Swansea Taliesin Arts Centre
5 April Alfriston – The Old Chapel
6 April Southampton – The Chapel Sessions
7 April Kingskerswell Church
8 April South Molton George Hotel
9 April Dorchester – Dorchester Arts
10 April Oxford Holywell Music Room
11 April Bristol Folk House
14 April Maldon Town Hall
15 April Bury St Edmunds – The Apex
16 April London Kings Place
17 April Bury Met
18 April Richmond Reeth Memorial Hall
20 April Edinburgh Traverse Theatre
23 April Langholm – The Buccleuch Centre
24 April Morecambe – The Platform
25 April Wolverhampton Newhampton Arts Centre
26 April Sheffield – The Greystones
29 April Canterbury Gulbenkian Theatre
30 April Brecon Theatr Brycehiniog
1 May Cardiff – The Gate
Tickets for all shows above are on-sale now via https://www.calan-band.com/concerts
Angharad Sian Jenkins Fiddle, Vocals
Bethan Rhiannon Accordion, Kashaka, Step Dance, Vocals
Patrick Rimes Fiddle, Bagpipes, Whistles, Wurlitzer, Vocals
Samiwel Elias Humphreys Guitars, Mbira, Percussion, Vocals
Shelley Musker Turner Harp, Vocals