Edwards, Prince of Wales

Edwards, Prince of Wales
"Edwards, Prince of Wales", New Musical Express, 14 August 1993

Edwards, Prince of Wales

Datblygu’s Dave Edwards has been upsetting people for some time. Within the 600,000-strong and inherently conservative Welsh-speaking community he’s both reviled for his bluntness and revered for having the courage to talk out of turn.

People describe the band’s last appearance in London, when Edwards attempted to throttle the in-house sound engineer before exiting the venue in a wine-fuelled fury, as just another day in the life of Datblygu.

Chief among his admirers is the venerable Peelie, who recently invited the band to record their fifth session for Radio 1. He once said that Edwards’ work was the biggest incentive anyone could have for learning the Welsh language.

“When I was at school,” Edwards reminisces, “I didn’t want to sit in geography lessons learning about pig-farming in Denmark. All I wanted to do was the snog the face off the girl sitting next to me. And the only person who seemed to talk any sense was Peel. He’s always been a freedom fighter, standing up for things that other people dismiss. What he’s done for music is a separate thing entirely…”

Inspired by the attitude of Joy Division and The Fall, when Datblygu emerged they were among the first bands to stray from the stagnant pool of radio-friendly, Welsh-language music. Punk had finally reared its ugly head, albeit a decade late, and Edwards was cast as spokeperson for the disenfranchised minority.

“The only way to escape the dullness of everyday life for most people,” he explains, “is through music or sport. I didn’t want to be a musician as such, but I got on with those kind of people. You’ll find that most guitarists have had a solitary childhood, otherwise they wouldn’t have spent so much time learning how to play. I started performing live because I was fucking lonely.”

Nowadays, there’s an infant industry of independent acts in Wales. The north-Walian Ankst label and S4C’s Fideo 9 programme (until its recent axing) have worked in tandem to highlight Ty Gwydr, Ffa Coffi Pawb and Back To The Planet-collaborators Llwybr Llaethog, as well as nurture a younger generation of left-field acts like Beganifs, Diffiniad and Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci. Datblygu, however, still lead the pack. Their third album, ‘Libertino’, is a dark and broody opus, driven by Edwards’ bruising worldview.

“I can’t sing jolly songs,” defends Edwards. “Eever since getting fed that bullshit about working hard for your crust — since seeing the poverty and the pain people go through just to survive — it’s been this way. But I don’t have a monopoly on misery because I’m Welsh. Like the Manic Street Preachers — they’re as much to do with Newcastle or Milton Keynes as anywhere else. We’re all Thatcher’s children, aren’t we…?

The unlikeliest protest singer is back. And that’s good news, in any language.”

Iestyn George

‘Libertino’, by Datblygu, is available on Ankst, distributed by SRD.

Adolygiad “Blerwyttirhwng?”

Diolch, unwaith eto i’r tudalen Datblygu Trideg ar Facebook, dyma fi’n darllen adolygiad gwych o’r llyfr ‘Blerwytirhwng?’ The Place of Welsh Pop Music gan Sarah Hill (d.s. nid y llyfr gan Hefin Wyn sy’n benthyg o’r un gâ SFA am ei deitl, ond traethawd academaidd cyhoeddwyd yn America ym Mhrydain gan Ashgate Acedemic Publishers.

Gwelais i fersiwn cynnar o’r deunydd ar Datblygu flynyddoedd yn ôl, ond am wn i1, dyma’r tro cyntaf i fi wybod bod y llyfr wedi’i gyhoeddu.

Ac mae’n costio $99. Un am y wishlist, falle.

Ta beth, dyma ddetholiad o adolygiad ardderchog o’r llyfr gan John L Murphy, un o “top reviewers” Amazon US. Mae’r adolygiad yn werth ei ddarllen ar ei hyd, ond dyma beth sy ’da fe i’w ddweud am Datblygu a bandiau eraill eu cyfnod:

Datblygu, whose sound Hill barely notices (it resembles Mark E Smith’s The Fall), has in Dave Edwards a talented tortured voice. Paeans to bleak economics, failed love, and complacent Welshness all leap off of the page as much as Jarman’s verses. Hill rightly ties into Roland Barthes’ definition of the “grain” of the hand, the body, the voice “the whole carnal stereophony” of Edwards’ vocals. Y Tystion’s duo cleverly updates Gil Scott-Heron’s “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” to lambast, like Datblygu, the “crachach”(the word’s oddly absent from this volume) establishment which militant youth perceive as having commandeered the gains of the 1960s rebels such as Iwan and settled into the Caerdydd comforts of Radio Cymru and SG4. While Welsh can be broadcast into not only TV and radio but now the Net, whether or not the angrier voices of discontent can find their Cymric shout-out remains to be seen– as with the rest of the globe given the state of our networks. I’d be intrigued to find how indie artists fare in Wales and Welsh with MySpace, filesharing, and raves, but these outlets either postdated Hill’s forty-year limit or were beyond its scope. Certainly, much of her investigation reproduces lengthy lyrical excerpts in her engagingly blunt translation that express not only Iwan’s “Carlo” but embittered disdain and eloquent frustration of those from post-punk, into hip-hop, and raised unwillingly under ‘Magi’ Thatcher.

1. Y twpsyn. Wnes i ddarllen yr adolygiad yma yn 2008, felly dw i wedi gwybod bod y llyfr ar gael ers o leia pedair blynedd. [nol]

Teyrnged gan Dave i David

Collais i hwn ar y pryd, ond dyma deyrnged hyfryd i David Edwards, a Datblygu gan Dave arall o Aberteifi, sef Dave Rendle. Roedd Dave yn un o’m dosbarthiadau Cymraeg yng ngholeg Aberteifi ers talwm, a thrwyddo fe dw i’n cael ypdêts cyson ar sut mae’r David arall yn wneud. Mae e hefyd yn gasglwr recordiau o fri; fe yw fy nghystadleuaeth pennaf am berlau colledig siopau elusen Aberteifi.

A lovely tribute to David Edwards and the band, by another Aberteifi Dave, David Rendle. It is written in the lovely English language, but Dave is yet another example of someone who has learnt Welsh as an adult, and whose experience of becoming a Welsh speaker has been coloured by Welsh language music in general, and by Datblygu’s music in particular.

Oh and he does the usual things that legends do, spends time in the bookies, spends money in local supermarkets. His articulacy still shining, happy in himself, motivated by his own reasons,sometimes the days are strange, but legends do not have to explain themselves, now if you want to understand the meaning of his songs, well perhaps it’s time to learn some Welsh.

Pat Morgan ar y Difference Engine

Braf iawn clywed Pat yn wneud cyfweliad ar sioe “Difference Engine” gorsaf radio Môn FM. Brafiach byth bod yr orsaf yn rhannu eu cynnwys efo’r byd trwy Mixcloud.

A lovely interview with Pat Morgan, on Darren Parry‘s “Difference Engine” show. Pat talks about the Datblygu30 celebrations at her sister’s house of exquistite waffle. The interview starts a little way into the show, but he plays some Fall first, so don’t touch that dial.

The Difference Engine with Darren Parry 21.04.12


Newydd ffeindio llond ffolder manila o stwff ges i gan Pat nôl yn 2006, dw i heb eu sganio hyd yn hyn. Bydda i’n trial wneud yn y wythnosau nesaf, pan bydd amser.

Yr eitem cyntaf yw copi o nodiadau Dave ar gyfer y caset Caneuon Serch i Bobl Serchog. Dw i wedi ei drawsgrifio ar gyfer ein ffrindiau yn Google, ond heb y CAPSLOCK HOLLBRESENNOL oedd mor boblogaidd yn yr 80au.

Bydd mwy o ddeunydd cyn bo hir.

Y Cymylau

Wnaeth Gwenfair Griffiths bostio’r lluniau bendigedig yma ar Twitter yn gynharach heddi.

Dyma band cyntaf Pat Morgan. Bach yn wahanol i Datblygu, ar ran arddull, dwedwn i.

Linda, y ferch yn y canol, yw chwaer arall Pat. Teulu llawn talent.

Yn ôl y sôn, oedd band arall gyda Pat, cyn iddi ymuno â Datblygu, sef Slugbait. Methu aros dod ar hyd i’w lluniau nhw.

Sarah Hill ar D30

Datblygu Trideg gan Sarah Hill yn y Welsh Arts Review.

Dave Edwards’ lyrics uncovered a shared generational feeling of disillusionment and hopelessness caused in no small part by the Thatcherite machinery. Edwards’ place on the margins of Welsh society, and at the outer edge of Wales, gave him a vantage point from which to declaim his poetry, straight into the belly of the beast. And needless to say, Datblygu had a strained relationship with the Welsh establishment. But John Peel loved them. On the Waffle walls are the rather endearing postcards he sent to Dave Edwards, as well as the hand-written track-by-track guide to pronunciation and meaning that Edwards sent Peel as PR for their album, Pyst (1990).

Ww, eisiau gweld hwnna!

(Diolch, Victoria!)

Portread David gan Malcolm Gwion

88 David

Wedi gweld y llun yma cwpl o weithiau hyd yn hyn, unwaith mewn sioe yng Ngwersyll yr Urdd (!) ac yn fwy diweddar, mewn arddangosfa o waith Malcolm yn Theatre Mulled Anne.

Mae hanes Malcolm a Datblygu yn mynd yn ôl reit at y dechreuad, wrth gwrs. Fe wnaeth ryddhau y casetiau cynnar Amheuon Corfforol, Trosglwyddo’r Gwirionedd, a Fi Du ar ei label, Recordiau Neon.

Perfformiwr oedd Malcolm hefyd. Dyma fe’n canu un o’i ganeuon ei hun, yn gynnar (iawn?) yn yr 80au.

Datblygu yn y Wladfa Newydd

Mae cwpl o erthyglau Saesneg ar Datblygu wedi ymddangos ar Culture Colony / Y Wladfa Newydd yn y misoedd diwetha, sef Datblygu 2008 am y fideo Llwch ar y Sgrîn, ac adolygiad “Atgoffion Hen Wanc”:

This is a straight and honest account of David’s life from his own point of view. There’s romance, but he’s not romantic about it, there’s success, but he dosen’t revel in it, there’s plenty of tragedy, but he tells it as it is and moves on. There is a starkness to the writing, some chapters are only half a page long, and this makes it an easy read. I read the book in a day and wandered around the house with it as I played with my daughter and made lunch. A bit of a surreal experience to tell the truth, to be happy in my day while at the same time having a glimpse at Dave’s alcoholism and disappearance into mental illness.

Mae gyda nhw erthygl dda ar y sioe yng nghaffi Waffle, hefyd:

The influential band Datblygu is 30 years old. To celebrate this anniversary the Waffle Coffee Shop (63 Clive Road in Canton, Cardiff) has put up an exhibition of personal memorabilia donated by the band’s two main members, Pat Morgan and David R. Edwards.

Victoria Morgan of the Waffle Shop, and sister to Pat, said “It’s a bit of a ‘home made’ exhibition, but then that’s what Datblygu were all about”.

Cyfweliad â Pat

Braf iawn clywed Pat Morgan yn cael ei chyfweld yma ar raglen “Stiwdio” bwyddiwrnod. Mae hi’n sôn am y sioe Datblygu 30, ond hefyd am hanes y band, yr ymateb cawson nhw yn Lloegr ar ôl bod ar raglen Peel.

Sa i’n siwr beth yw’r sefyllfa gyda rhaglenni fel hyn ar yr iPlayer. Oes modd i rywun wneud copi rhag ofn iddo ddiflannu?

Cyn Symud i Maes E

Mae ypdêts ar y gwefan hwn fel bysus Pontgarreg; does dim un ers misoedd, ac wedyn mae un yn dod bob 10 munud rhyw nos Wener pan ti wedi hen dderbyn bod pawb sy’n gweithio i’r Brodyr Richard wedi mynd at eu gwobrau.

Wel, ocê, ddim cweit fel hynny. Lot o ypdêts, dyna beth dw i’n dweud. Dw i’n trial dal i fyny ar ôl bod yn ddiog.

Y fideo yma, er enghraifft, wedi cyrraedd YouTube yr wythnos hon, ar ôl “casglu llwch am flynyddoedd”, yn ôl Victoria Morgan. Gwylies i hwn yn y gwely y bore yma, a dyna’r dechreuad gorau i ddydd Gwener dw i’n cofio ers tro byd.

Wythnos diwetha, wnaeth Victoria lanlwytho fideo arall dw i erioed wedi gweld o’r blaen, sef y fersiwn gwreiddiol o Maes E:

Sut yn y byd mae’r pethau yma heb fod ar y we cyn nawr?