Forget the Manic Street Preachers, there are only two geniuses in recent Welsh musical history - and one of them is bringing his tour to Ripon shortly, writes Gig Scene Editor Graham Chalmers.
I refer not to genius number one (Gruff Rhys of Super Furry Animals) but to genius number two - Euros Childs.
Kooky, likable and prolific, the 37-year-old songwriter, vocalist and keyboard player first made his name in his late teens as a founder member of celebrated psych-folk band Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci.
One of the 1990s leading cult bands, Childs led them to nine major albums and the lower reaches of the charts for more than 10 years, releasing highly-rated albums such as Patio and Barafundle.
He started a solo career just before the band split in 2006 and has since released nearly as many albums again under his own name.
Playing Mad Hatters in Ripon courtesy of local promoters DMB on Friday, December 7, with a full band, his recent albums such as Summer Special shows his continuing talent for producing pop gems which integrate hints of folk and psychedelia with slivers of MOR.
Euro’s singular talent goes his own way always. He once told The Guardian: “Our first rule when we started was to not let anyone change what we were doing.
“Even when we were 16, people tried to mess about with us, and we said no. Because what’s the point in watering down what you’re doing?
“There’s plenty of people who don’t want to hear music that’s copying other stuff - and this way makes you much happier.”
Euros also formed a duo with Teenage Fanclub’s Norman Blake, releasing the album Jonny in 2011.
Life after Idle Maestro. Harrogate’s answer to The Black Keys has spawned a new band. Called Hell Fire Jack, the hard blues-rock duo featuring Alex Trewhitt supported fellow Harrogate rock band Strangers in Paradise at Stone Roses Bar in York earlier this week.
X Factor’s Lucy Spraggan is appearing at Harrogate’s Viper Rooms tomorrow, Friday to perform acoustic hip hip live. It seems to be the first in a series of this sort of thing at the Viper Rooms.
More information at www.theviperrooms.com
Excellent, dramatic indie band Cave Birds, whose erudite lead singer Tom Brookes is now a Harrogate resident, appear at Brudenell Social Club in Leeds tonight, Thursday.
Finally, it’s good luck to Knaresborough DJ Rory Hoy who is in the running tonight in the arts category of the Yorkshire Young Achiever of the Year Award hosted by ITV Yorkshire in Leeds.