Bob Delyn a’r Ebillion – first new album for fourteen years

Bob Delyn

Known for creating a Celtic cauldron of eclectic bardic beats and credited for the Welsh folk revival of the 90’s – Bob Delyn a’r Ebillion are back with a brand new album.   Their latest release Dal i ‘Redig Dipyn Bach (Still ploughing on a little bit) has them throwing a glance or two back over their shoulders to their folk beginnings…..

Bob Delyn is the alter ego of one of the towering figures of contemporary Welsh music and poetry, Twm Morys. A recognized poet in his own right, having won the chair in the National Eisteddfod of Wales for poetry in the ‘strict’ metres of ‘cynghanedd’, his talent with words is combined with his musical talents in the songs of Bob Delyn a’r Ebillion.  Twm has gathered around him some of Wales’ best musicians, who share the same belief in giving the old traditions a new life.  Bob Delyn a’r Ebillion do not sing folk songs, but have recreated a tradition in their own unique style, and in doing so have made Welsh folk music a far more interesting place.

Dal i ‘Redig Dipyn Bach is Bob Delyn’s first album since Dore released 14 years ago.  Why take so long I hear you ask?  “Life kidnapped us all, the same as everybody else!” answers Twm.  This album saw a different creative approach to previous albums as the band members were scattered across Wales and it was difficult to meet up and develop ideas.  Most of the songs on the new album were composed and arranged by Twm Morys. Fellow poet and songwriter, the late Iwan Llwyd, also features as a theme throughout the album – with two songs written by Iwan himself, Sŵn ar Gardyn Post and Comin Abergwesyn.

The album opens with the voice of John Williams from Cwm Grwyne Fechan in the Black Mountains.  The voice was recorded by T.J.Morgan in 1939 as John Williams, a miller, was one of five people left in the valley who spoke Welsh.  Today there are 250 pupils in the Welsh school in Abergavenny – ‘Cân John Williams’ is dedicated to the children and teachers at Ysgol Gymraeg y Fenni (Abergavenny Welsh School).   The album also features two songs in Breton, ‘Meur a Wech’ & ‘Nemet Dour’ both songs written by Twm Morys. Twm gives a brief introduction to ‘Meur a Wech’ in the sleeve notes: ‘something wonderful has happened: the calvary has arrived before the end, and in the middle of the great drought there has fallen a drop of rain, sweeter than wine.’

Most of the songs featured on the album were recorded and produced in Stiwdio Pant yr Hwch, Pentre Uchaf on the Llŷn Peninsula.  Edwin Humphreys, who also plays the sax, bombard, cornet, trumpet and organ in the band, recorded and produced the recording sessions at Pant yr Hwch.  Legendary Welsh producer Gorwel Owen (Super Furry Animals, Gorkys, Pondman, Brave Captain, Kentucky AFC etc) also produced two tracks on the album – his relationship with the band dates back to the early recordings and was influential in creating the band’s sound.

Over the summer Bob Delyn a’r Ebillion played at the National Eisteddfod of Wales in Bodedern, Anglesey and were also invited to perform at Festival No. 6 – the festival held at the stunning setting of Portmeirion village not far from where the album was recorded. The band will next meet for a concert to celebrate the release of Dal i ‘Redig Dipyn Bach as part of the Cabaret Pontio series held at Pontio, Bangor on Friday, September 29th.

Tickets are now on sale from the box office – 01248 382828.

Not the best start to a video we’ve ever seen but stay with it – it gets better: