“If Welsh music is perennially considered the poor relation in the Celtic tradition, Allan Yn Y Fan are moving mountains to change all that.”

“...So look out Scotland and Ireland, a new Celtic Tiger is prowling...”

Deio I Dywyn & Scot Erin Reel

Video filmed and produced by "on-Par Productions" on location at Barry Island.

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Concert Reviews

CONCERT AT HOUSE WEST WING IN SYKE - Welsh band brings it to the point (14.09.2016) (Auto Translation)

Nomen est omen, they say. At the concert the Welsh band Allan Yn Y Fan in the House West Wing in Syke met at the. come to the point, does the name. And musically, the band came to the point.

Four CDs has already released the band - at the concert in Syke Allan Yn Y Fan presented many songs from the silver pieces. Even after the second piece of cooked hall. (Udo Meissner)

Allan Yn Y Fan - what a strange name for a band. "It means we get to the point" was to learn later by guitarist Geoff Cripps, who was constantly changing between different guitars and the bass during the concert. Impressive was the view before the concert on the diversity of the instruments on the stage in the House West Wing in Syke - located on the north Wohlder road.

Numerous instruments

Chris Jones on the accordion or also on the flute asked of it: "What do you think, how many instruments we have?" "Too many," the response from Linda Simmonds, the mandolin (plural!) Or tambourine and drums recorded. Alan Cooper, with his round glasses, long hair and a gray beard, shone even in the wildest bowings from his violin serenity. Kate Strudwick, 1996 one of the founders of the band, castled offer their flutes Piccolo on soprano and further to two different flutes, also whistled just look at the fingers. Catrin O'Neill shone beside her vocal performance that fit excellently to instrumental accompaniment, with percussion instruments or guitar.

One had the impression, in this force, anyone can play everything. From Wales to come and inspired traditional songs and own pieces of music on spirited kind of life a. Even after the second piece of cooked hall. First, because September has decided to be a hot month, secondly because it was packed thanks to the enthusiastic fans and even some residents - and on a Monday night. "We had hoped there would be a outdoor event, but because we love this music, we endure the heat inside," said one couple.

Actors themselves gave nothing

The actors on the stage itself gave nothing, they must have been covered in sweat at the end. Among other of their albums "Belonging", "Le Arall" "Cool, Calm & Collected" and the new "Newid" they put titles before with names that are just as inexpressibly for people who do not come from Wales as the name of the Tape. Although the head of the house, Christa Kröning, succeeded. Began some song also solemnly melancholy, so he usually ended in staccato, and the clapping had not even be asked. From young people sang, the clad in winter with decorated horse skulls of house draw home and be entertained for it, or a cat that Kate Strudwick has helped to an inheritance. "Scottish and Irish beware, a Celtic Tiger stalks zoom up", a critic is quoted.

Welsh Tiger

This Welsh Tiger stalked not who surged in the form of six musicians now for the second time in the west wing of the hall. Many listeners were so come again. As an encore Chris Jones placed a tap dance on wooden-soled shoes misted onto the floor and jumped while in the aisle between the rows of chairs on a broom, which passed a hearing and seeing. Geoff Cripps was quite touched when in the foyer with a bow like a thanked residents at him and said: "You did your work beautyful." Too German ". You have done your work wonderfully"
Bärbel Rädisch Syker Kurier

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WILD DANCES AND FUNNY LYRICS Allan Yn Y Fan played at Bandhaus-Theatre Backnang (03.06.2014)

Love is based on mutuality which meanwhile lasts over 9 years: since 2006 the welsh band Allan Yn Y Fan stops at Backnang on their tours through Germany. Here they still have a real fan group, who follows their musical development with great delight. While in 2006 the repertoire was pure instrumentals, from 2009 violinist Meriel Field impressed the audiences with her clear, young voice, as also the rest of the band show their musical talents.

Geoff Cripps, the soft gentleman on strings, Chris Jones the vivacious accordionist, Bodhran player Linda Simmonds with her hip long hair an absolute eye-catcher and the outraging flute player Kate Strudwick present their vocal talents using it as another instrument. PWNCO is the bands latest CD, meanwhile the fourth studio album.

At the Backnang Theatre the band presented songs and dances from their newest album as well as pieces well excepted by the audience. The quintet offers what stands behind the slogan of “Celtic Music”. Sad melancholic sounds, precious melodies inviting for dreaming, lost love and funny lyrics, happy and wild dance tunes – its all inclusive. Chris Jones also gave his very best physically: In front of a happy crowd he presented a wild dance show, in which a witches broom and clogs played an important rule. The never ending applause commented the nearly wet accordeon wizard with: You sure want to know me out!!

It’s a pleasure to see the development of the band over the last years. The mixture of traditional tunes and their own compositions have always been part of the repertoire. The combination of this and the vocal parts make the repertoire much more valuable.

After so many years the band demonstrates itself as a musical unit, combined with great enthusiasm in their concerts. At the end of the show the audience had one strong wish only: Hwyl Faw r- Allan Yn Y Fan : Auf Wiedersehen!
Florian Muhl Murrhardter Zeitung

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Band aus Wales und ihr Weyher Publikum nehmen etwas mit (26.05.2014)

Allan Yn Y Fan – so ungewöhnlich der Bandname schon klingt, ist es am Sonnabend im Forum der Kooperativen Gesamtschule (KGS) Kirchweyhe zugegangen. Mit walisischer Musik und einem großen Repertoire an Instrumenten versuchte das Quintett aus Großbritannien das Publikum zu überzeugen. Dies gelang sogar – auch wenn nur rund 30 Zuhörer den Musikern lauschen wollten.

Mit Geoff Cripps an der Gitarre, Meriel Field an der Geige, Chris Jones am Akkordeon, Linda Simmons an der Mandoline und Kate Strudwick an ihren zahlreichen Flöten stürmten Allan Yn Y Fan die Bühne und stellten gleich die neu erlernten Deutschkenntnisse unter Beweis. Nach einem sehr höflichen „Guten Abend, meine Damen und Herren“ und der Feststellung, dass das Wetter in Wales und Weyhe sehr ähnlich zu sein scheint, starteten die fünf Musiker mit ihrem ersten Stück durch. Besonders das einzigartige Klangspiel und die Harmonie der verschiedenen Instrumente begeisterte die Zuschauer.

Der Bandname Allan Yn Y Fan mag zwar skurril klingen, Unbekannte sind die Musiker aber längst nicht mehr. Bereits seit 1996 tritt die Gruppe europaweit auf und stattete schon Luxemburg, der Schweiz, Tschechien und Frankreich einen Besuch ab. In Wales gehört die Band oben auf die Liste der bekanntesten Bands und ist regelmäßig bei keltischen und walisischen Musikfestivals dabei.

Mit ihrer Musik verarbeiten die Musiker persönliche Erlebnisse, einige präsentierten sie am Sonnabend. Besonders Flöten-Spielerin Kate Strudwick rührte mit ihrer Geschichte. „Vor rund 30 Jahren, als ich Studentin war, habe ich bei einer Frau gewohnt und gelegentlich auf ihre Katze aufgepasst, wenn sie in den Urlaub fuhr. Leider ist die Katze dann verstorben, aber das war wirklich nicht mein Fehler“, erzählte die Musikerin. Nach dem Tod ihrer ehemaligen Vermieterin erfuhr Strudwick, dass die Dame ihr ein wenig Geld vermacht hatte. „Das berührte mich so sehr, dass ich ihr einen Song geschrieben habe“, erklärte sie – und konnte beim Spielen ihre Tränen nur schwer zurückhalten.

Die emotionalen Geschichten gefielen auch Besucherin Christine Palm. „Ich finde, die fünf sind sehr gute Musiker. Besonders das Akkordeon und die vielen Flöten gefallen mir besonders gut. Das ist einfach alles sehr sympathisch, und die Klangfarben sind super“, sagte die Sykerin begeistert. Auch Birgit Rademacher überzeugte die Band. „Meine Erwartungen wurden voll erfüllt. Ich bin das erste Mal bei einem walisischen Konzert und finde die Geschichten einfach niedlich, und die Atmosphäre ist kuschelig“, resümierte sie.

Die Briten zeigten sich nach dem Auftritt zufrieden. „Müde aber glücklich – danke an das fabelhafte Publikum“, lobten die Musiker später über den Internet-Kurznachrichtendienst Twitter. Und nicht nur über tolle Zuhörer freute sich die Band, sondern auch über eine ganz andere Entdeckung in Deutschland: Grapefruit-Bier. „Das ist eine Top-Entdeckung. Wir müssen welches davon nach Hause mitnehmen“, kündigte Gitarrist Geoff Cripps ebenfalls online an.
Marian Jarzak Weser Kurier

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Robin and Bina Williamson with Allan Yn Y Fan at Tron Theatre, Glasgow (30.01.2013)

Before this gig started I'll admit to saying that I had never heard of this group before, let alone knew what their material was like. By the end of their performance I was asking myself why I had never heard of them.

Coming from the heart of Wales and passionate about it too, the two Welsh dragon flags on display were testament to that, this group's performance was refreshing.

Playing songs from their latest album, "Pwnco" and other traditional Welsh folk songs, this five piece band were warmly received by the near sell out crowd. The Tron theatre is a very intimate setting which suited this group's style. Their humour and enthusiasm made for a good start to the evening as they were only a supporting act. It was lovely hearing folk songs in the Welsh language, something I had not heard before.

Allan Yn Y Fan are multi instrumentalists and consist of Geoff Cripps, Kate Strudwick, Linda Simmonds, Meriel Field and Chris Jones.

Following on from this was a very unique show from husband and wife duo Robin and Bina Williamson. With a selection of songs ranging from a psalm sung in Latin to Indian wedding songs this was always going to be different.

Veteran performer Robin entertained the crowd with humourous tales and jokes along with his own way of playing the harp. Bina had an "unusual" array of instruments to call upon.

This duo was not everyone's cup of tea however the polite applause showed that this audience enjoyed their songs and music.
Danny Matheson Celtic Music Radio

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Folk im Feuerschlösschen: "Twmpath" mit Walisern (16.09.2012)

BAD HONNEF. Die fünf Musiker von "Allan Yn Y Fan" haben das Publikum bei Folk im Bad Honnefer Feuerschlösschen begeistert.

Ein phänomenaler Abgang. Spielend verließen sie langsam den Raum. Vorher hatten die fünf Musiker von "Allan Yn Y Fan" das Publikum so begeistert, dass es sich bei Konzertende geschlossen erhob und Beifall spendete, bis aber auch kein Ton mehr zu hören war.

Neben dem Können waren es die Herzlichkeit und ihre Ansagen, mit denen die Künstler aus Wales bei Folk im Feuerschlösschen punkteten. "Allan Yn Y Fan" gilt als führende Band ihres Landes für keltische Musik. Und diesem Ruf wurde sie beim Auftritt im Feuerschlösschen zum Auftakt der neuen FiF-Saison vollauf gerecht.

In Bad Honnef hatte sie ihr Debüt, ist aber dennoch keine unbekannte Größe, hat die Gruppe doch längst internationale Reputation erlangt. Sie trat bisher nicht nur in mehreren deutschen Spielstätten auf, sondern auch bei Festivals in Tschechien, Luxemburg und Frankreich.

Zwar ist die Konzertbühne ihr Zuhause, aber "Allan Yn Y Fan" ist auch als mitreißende Begleitung für traditionelle Tanzabende gefragt. "Twmpath" oder "Ceilidhs" werden die in Wales genannt. Auch für Hochzeiten oder Geburtstage wird die Gruppe gern engagiert.

Die Stärken der drei Frauen und zwei Männer sind ihre vielseitigen Fähigkeiten im Umgang mit den Instrumenten. Akkordeon, Fiddle, Flöte, Bouzouki, Mandoline, Gitarre und Keyboard kommen gekonnt zum Einsatz.

Und: Die Künstler haben ausdrucksvolle Stimmen. Ihr wunderschöner Harmoniegesang, der auf mittlerweile drei CDs zu hören ist, machte den Auftritt von "Allan Yn Y Fan" für die Zuhörer zu einem Erlebnis. "Sie können wiederkommen", sagte FiF-Chefin Jutta Mensing, schon ganz Fan von "Allan Yn Y Fan".
Roswitha Oschmann General Anzeiger

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Klänge reißen das Publikum mit (14.09.2012)

Allan Yn Y Fan konzertierten in der Oytener St.-Petri-Kirche / Begeisternde Authentizität in der Musik Walisische, Achimer Courier (18.09.2012)

OYTEN. Der für uns etwas skurril klingende Name "Allan Yn Y Fan" sorgte offensichtlich für große Neugier bei Musikfreunden aus Oyten und Umgebung: Das Kirchenschiff der St.-Petri-Kirche füllte sich fast bis auf die letzten Kirchenbänke. Der Verein Domino der evangelischen Kirchengemeinde St. Petri konnte das walisische Quintett - die Musiker stehen für leidenschaftliche Klangvielfalt und Touren durch die verschiedensten Länder - für seine Konzertreihe gewinnen, die immer wieder mit kulturellen Attraktionen ins Gotteshaus lockt. Es war der Auftakt der Waliser für die anstehende Konzertsaison.

Der Abend in Oyten war wie gemacht für ein leidenschaftliches keltisches Konzert: Draußen zeigten sich die ersten Vorboten des Herbstes, flackernder Kerzenschein und die Atmosphäre in der Kirchen taten ihr Übriges. Die passionierten Musiker, die bis zu sechs verschiedene Instrumente pro Kopf beherrschen, begannen ihre Aufführung mit einem verspielt-melancholischen Titel, der die Zuhörer auf eine musikalische Rundreise entlang der rauen, felsigen Klippen der keltischen Landschaft nahm.

Die walisischen Songs waren zwar für das Publikum sprachlich nicht zu verstehen - aber die beeindruckend authentisch und leidenschaftlich interpretierten Stücke vermittelten auch ohne großes Textverständnis ihre Botschaften.

Einige Stücke wurden ausschließlich instrumental dargeboten, andere erzeugten durch kraftvollen Gesang Heiterkeit und Freude bei den Konzertfreunden. Thematisch behandeln die aus Irland, Schottland aber auch Amerika stammenden Titel alltägliche Situationen.

Eine alte Dame, die beim Schlendern über den Marktplatz die Schönheit des Gegenwärtigen entdeckt oder das tragische Ende einer Liaison besingt das walisische Ensemble mit verspielter instrumentaler Begleitung.

Lieder hingegen, die ganz in der Tradition rhythmischer Folksongs stehen, interpretierte das Ensemble beeindruckend mitreißend - es dauerte keine drei Titel, und die ersten Konzertbesucher stiegen klatschend in die Songs mit ein.

Geoff Cripps und Kate Strudwick sowie Chris Jones, Linda Simmonds und Meril Field verbinden in ihren Darbietungen authentische keltische Musik mit der Mystik der walisischen Kultur und Geschichte. Der ständige emotionale Wechsel und die Instrumentenvielfalt machten die Veranstaltung zu einem echten Konzerterlebnis. Tosender Applaus entlohnte die Musiker für den gelungenen Abend. Und auch mit der walisischen Sprache schienen sich die Besucher immer mehr anzufreunden.
David Rosengart Domino Oyten

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Tredegar House Folk Festival Benefit, The Morgan Room (25.02.2012)

The Western Mail (and Wales Online) had a garbled version of the Allan Yn Y Fan/Delyth Jenkins concert, which they mistakenly thought Tredegar House Folk Festival was happening on the last weekend on February. Here’s some sound advice: read Folkwales Online Magazine for more accurate, specialised and informed information! The Folk Festival is running next May, on the weekend of Friday May 18 to Sunday May 20, and Allan Yn Y Fan and Delyth played a welcome benefit which, with several artists and the community contributing, will hopefully enable the Festival to carry on delighting audiences for another 23 years.

All artists were at The Morgan Room to promote brand-new Steam Pie CDs, Llais and Pwnco, to which they have just put the finishing touches. Delyth took the stage, and she quickly grasped the audience’s attention with her quiet command of the Celtic harp and her exploratory writing, which has taken her on an voyage of collaboration with the Swansea-based Fluellen Theatre Company.

Delyth and her solitary harp worked wonders, and she hypnotised the audience with her artful playing. A highlight was a piece she composed for Fluellen’s interpretation of Dylan Thomas’s Under Milk Wood, Captain Cat Sails The Sea. She finished an all-too-short set with Berwyn, a tribute for her father, and Bryniau Iwerddon (Hills Of Ireland).

Allan Yn Y Fan exploded onto the stage with a charged-up version of Morgan Rhatlar and the well-known song Hen Ferchetan, segueing into Pat Shaw’s Coleg Y Prifysgol Abertawe. Fiddler and vocalist Meriel Field took charge over the band’s Mari Lwyd song, Canu Cwnsela, which melted into the album’s title track, Pwnco. Meriel’s a very able and fine singer, her clear voice riding high over the urgency of the instruments, and she contributes much Welsh-language material to the band’s repertoire.

Allan Yn Y Fan’s trick is a highly original take on some well-known chestnuts, carefully arranging them to give a whole new lease of life (I particularly like Fernhill’s catchphrase of "deconstructing" the Welsh tradition!) Dacw ‘Nghariad, the song collected in Whitchurch, Cardiff, Meriel’s lovely setting of Tra Bo Dau and even the Victorian poem-turned-nursery rhyme Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star must have got musicians thinking: "Why couldn’t I have composed that?" That’s one’s easy - because Allan Yn Y Fan thought of it first!

Geoff Cripps anchored the set with solid guitar and bass, while the ever-grinning Chris Jones lit the blue touchpaper on accordion and Meriel played the dancing fiddle. Kate Strudwick supplied some beautiful, spine-shivering harmonies on recorder, flute and voice, and Linda Simmonds filled out the band’s sound on mandolin, octave mandola and bodhran.

The whole atmosphere in the Morgan Room was charged with feel-good anticipation, and the heartening thing is that the monoglot Newport audience really took to Welsh music and tradition. Sue Oates deserves a plaudit for chairing the Festival and steering it down the right road.
Mick Tems Folk Wales Online Magazine

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TraumZeit Theater, Backnang, Germany (25.06.2009)

This is a translation of the review from a german newspaper.

Guests we always like to welcome back: Allan Yn Y Fan from Wales. As part of a small Germany tour they were guests in Ludwigsburg, Munich and the Murr-metropolis.

BACKNANG. With their Celtic music it’s not the first time Allan Yn Y Fan have enchanted their audience. The guests in the Traumzeit theatre were curious: is Meriel Field, who’s playing the violin an adequate replacement for the former band member Emma Trend? With Meriel the group showed a new facet: Vocals. Up to now the five Welshmen/women were solely an instrumental band, whose repertoire of dance songs covers the whole spectre of Celtic music from Scotland, Ireland, England and the Bretagne. Now the band is breaking new ground. Meriels girl-like voice underlines in particular the melancholic ballads. The flutist and composer Kate Strudwick and Linda Simmonds (Bodhran and mandolin) have also discovered their voice, which enables 3-voiced lines. The audience was encouraged to participate and sing the refrain of a drinking song. It only consisted of „Fallalallallala“, albeit in the Welsh version. The band performed a selection of the three of their released CDs, where in the second half they clearly felt more at ease and it was at this point the audience really joined in. The band mastered small technical issues with charm and wit. Energy bundle and multi-instrumentalist Chris Jones presented in alternation with Kate and the quiet-relaxed guitarist Geoff Cripps. In addition to their familiar compositions as “Declan’s Dilemma” or “Amazing grapes” they played a sneak pre-view of a tribute song composed for the city of Ludwigsburg.

A musical speciality of the band with the distinctive “Y” name are the so called horn pips. Traditional lively English dance songs, which historically used to be played on the harp, during which the feet will automatically come into motion.

Allan Yn Y Fan always enjoy coming back to Backnang, an affinity which is mutual. As usual the friendly Welsh couldn’t leave the stage without playing a few extras.
Marina Heidrich

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Tesco Stage, Wales Millennium Centre (25.08.2008)

HAVING notched up one of their best ever performances at the International Celtic Festival in Lorient earlier this month, traditional Welsh folk band Allan Yn Y Fan were fired up for their return to the Wales Millennium Centre. And with the nautical Harbour Bay Festival taking place outside in Roald Dahl Plass, the Tesco Stage was the perfect setting for Allan Yn Y Fan’s brand of Celtic jigs and reels.

Starting off with the Welsh folk tune Difyrrwch Corbett o Ynysmaengwyn, the band set the pace for a lively Bank Holiday afternoon of traditional and self-composed folk tunes. In no time hundreds of families, day-trippers and holidaymakers were crowding around the stage and taking their places on the balconies and staircases, tapping their feet along to traditional tunes like Trip I’r Gogledd and Hen Ferchetan.

They may look like a bunch of civil servants on their coffee break, but Allan Yn Y Fan (translated as “out in a van”) are talented multi-instrumentalists who are passionate about their musical heritage. And it’s that enthusiasm and energy which can melt even the hearts of folk haters. Quite simply they seem to be having a ball on stage and it’s almost impossible not to share their enthusiasm as the audience at the WMC discovered.

Their years of friendship as a band is their strength with mandolin and bodhran player Linda Simmonds, flautist Kate Strudwick, guitarist Geoff Cripps, accordion player Chris Jones and recent addition Meriel Field on vocals, sharing a common musical bond. Leading on fiddle, Meriel’s delicate vocals give a clarity to traditional tunes like Lisa Lan and Ar Hyd Y Nos.

For me the highlight is their live rendition of Kate’s haunting ballad Girl On A Rock. It’s one of the stand out tracks from their last album Belonging and wouldn’t be out of place as the theme to a cosy Sunday night TV drama. The band picks up the pace with a traditional slip jig Gyrru'r Byd Ymlaen and a rousing modern foot-tapper Rural Assets, written by Kate. Saving the liveliest for last AYYF end with Chris’ composition Lacken House and the upbeat Morgan Rhatlar, sending the audience home with a jig.
Alison Stokes

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Borough Theatre, Abergavenny (19.07.2008)

It’s a sunny summer’s evening in the Black Mountains and I feel like I should be sitting in a field. Not that there’s anything wrong with the Borough Theatre, Abergavenny. In fact there can’t be many theatres with sweeping views across the Blorenge. It’s just, for me, Allan Yn Y Fan’s brand of traditional Celtic music is best appreciated in a social setting, whether it’s a festival field or wedding party.

Soon my preconceptions are sent reeling as Allan Yn Y Fan prove that they are actually an accomplished concert band as well as one of Wales’ most in-demand twmpath bands. Since they recorded their second album Belonging, the band - Geoff Cripps on guitars and bouzouki, Chris Jones on accordion and flute, Linda Simmonds on mandolin and bodhran and Kate Strudwick on flute and whistle - have brought in vocalist Meriel Field. Taking centre stage with her fiddle, Meriel’s clear and delicate vocals add a new dimension to tonight’s set on traditional Welsh songs Lisa Lan and Ar Hyd Y Nos.

The band launches the show with a mix of traditional and self-composed tunes, setting the pace for a lively evening. Fifteen minutes in and the audience has well and truly warmed up from polite foot-tapping to full-blown hand-clapping. If the seats weren’t bolted to the ground I’m sure they’d have kicked them aside and started dancing.

The band has toured widely and those travels have shaped their compositions. As Chris explains during the introduction to one of his tunes, the tastily-titled “the breakfast set” is inspired by the early morning pastry selection at their visit to the Lorient Festival in France three years ago. The band is going back next month, so maybe there’ll be a cafetiere chorus on their next album. That’s the beauty of Allan Yn Y Fan, they have the ability to make the mundane seem magical. Even their name, simply translated as “out in a van” sounds like it’s deep rooted in Celtic history. And their years of friendship as a band shows on stage with Linda’s humour and Kate’s attitude shining through. The set slips seamlessly from traditional slip jigs like Gyrru'r Byd Ymlaen to Kate’s rousing modern foot-tapper Rural Assets.

But for me the highlight of tonight’s show is their live rendition of Kate’s haunting ballad Girl On A Rock, which they also reprise in hymn-form with guest vocalist Cheryl Beer during the encore. Ending the 90-minute set with the delightfully vibrant Cwmcarn Capers, I realise that you don’t need to be at a festival to enjoy Allan Yn Y Fan. They can create a party atmosphere anywhere.
Alison Stokes

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