Rainforest festival spotlights Welsh music

July 7, 2017 by  
Filed under Festivals, Malaysia, News

KUCHING, 7 July 2017: Music lovers attending the 20th Rainforest World Music Festival will be entertained by a Welsh music legend.

The annual festival, considered the top World Music event in Asia, will be staged on the weekend  14 to 16 July.

The 2016 Rainforest World Music Festival recorded a staggering 18,340 people in attendance over the festival’s three days. The gate tally represented an increase of 2% over the previous year. Ticket sales for the festival also increased 14%.

One of the 2017 highlights will be performances by Welsh musician and legend, Huw Williams, as well as ‘Cool Cymru’ ambassadors Calan who will be performing alongside popular international musicians at the festival.

Williams, a veteran in the Welsh music scene, is a champion Eisteddfod clog-dancer, songwriter, guitarist, story-teller, Welsh bagpiper, half of Welsh legendary duo with Tony Williams and former front man of Welsh indie pop stars, The Pooh Sticks.

Some of his well-known songs include ‘The Summer Before the War’, ‘Rosemary’s Sister’ and ‘I can Jump Puddles’, while his newer songs include ‘Giggly’, recorded and performed by Calan.

Technically ‘retired’ from the folk-club scene for a long time, his contributions to the heritage of Welsh music continue as a member of the group Crasdant and his position as tutor and teacher of clog-dancing.

He was a co-founder of the Welsh Music Foundation established in 2000 with the intention of promoting Welsh music to the younger generation of musicians, and nurtured the careers of bands such as the 60ft Dolls, Catatonia as well as another band performing at the Festival, Calan.

Calan has been performing since 2008, the five band members perform their vibrant renditions of traditional Welsh music and are the new ambassadors of Cool Cymru.

Originally a tongue-in-cheek response by the ‘Cool Britannia’ musical movement to the aspiring cultural musicians in Wales, ‘Cool Cymru’ symbolised a time of desperation where Welsh culture was slipping away or ridiculed. Now, the term has been redeemed, or even reborn, into a powerful movement of cultural restoration and international recognition.

Calan has performed throughout major festivals in the UK and the rest of Europe, such as the Cambridge Festival, at Celtic Connections in Glasgow, Shrewsbury Folk Festival, Mosely Folk Festival, Derby Folk Festival, Bromyard Folk Festival as well as the Whitby Folk Festival and the concert tour of Italy, Austria and Belgium.

They have since become the only band from Wales to win the international folk group trophy at Lorent in Brittany, France.

They have released five albums with Sain Records including their debut album, Bling (2008), Jonah (2012), Giggly (2013), Dinas (2015) and Solomon (2017).

Welsh music is energetic and spritely, and with both Huw Williams of the ‘old school’ and Calan with their modernised traditional songs, their performances at the Festival are assuredly going to be foot tapping at the very least.

The Festival will be held at the Sarawak Cultural Village which also features wellness programmes, informative talks, interactive ‘mini sessions’ in the afternoon as well as night concerts throughout the three-day festival.

Some 20 international bands will be performing, while many local bands such as At Adau will be taking centre stage with their cultural performances of Sarawak.

Rainforest World Music Festival is organised by Sarawak Tourism, endorsed by Tourism Malaysia and is jointly supported by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Youth & Sports Sarawak and partnering with Malaysia Airlines as the presenting sponsor.

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