Young Welsh folk stars AVANC seize the means of production with release of new single ‘Fitz’
Despite coronavirus setbacks, these young Welsh musicians have grabbed the initiative, set up their own record label and started releasing tracks recorded on Zoom.
Last year they were whipping up a storm on stages across Europe. Now, with the help of Zoom, clog-dancing and their very own record label, Avanc are taking the Covid-19 pandemic in their stride as they release their brand-new single, ‘Fitz,’ on 23rd November 2020.
Avanc is Wales’ national youth folk band operated by Trac Cymru, the folk development organisation for Wales. Named after the ferocious lake monster who is said to reside in Llyn Tegid, on whose shores the band have spent hours honing their craft, Avanc comprises the nation’s most talented young folk musicians. In any normal year, they would have spent a considerable amount of time together developing their skills and preparing for life in the music industry with workshops, rehearsals and mentoring from established artists in the industry. The summer months are also packed with gigs – last year they appeared at festivals all over Wales including Tafwyl, Sesiwn Fawr Dolgellau and the National Eisteddfod, as well as a critically acclaimed appearance at the prestigious inter-celtic festival in Lorient, Brittany.
Defying the Coronavirus pandemic which has decimated so much of the music scene, the young artists have embarked on an ambitious career-development programme supported by CCSkills and Creative Wales. During countless hours on zoom calls together, they have been studying the many dark arts of the music business – recording, mixing and mastering remotely, video editing, photography and graphic design, and even setting up their own record label! Now all their hard work is bearing fruit as they prepare for their first release – a brand new single entitled ‘Fitz’.
“Fitz is a frenzy of clog dancing and fiery traditional dance tunes”, explains bagpiper and whistle player Sam Petersen, originally from Pembrokeshire. “We’re really getting back to our roots with this one – banging tunes over a groove. We’re incredibly lucky to have loads of brilliant clog dancers in the band, so we wanted an opportunity to showcase them properly. In the live show, when all of them get down the front of the stage in a row, it’s very impactful…the crowd goes bonkers!”
Although it’s unclear when they might be able to return to those dizzy heights of live performances, Avanc are very excited to be unveiling ‘Fitz’ on general release, and streaming on all platforms, on November 23rd.