Toriadau o’r gwasg – rhowch glec ar y teitlau am fwy o fanylion. Mae rhan fwya o’r stwff cynnar yn dod o gasgliad David, gyda chyfraniadau gan Malcolm Neon. Dyn ni wastad yn chwilio am fwy o bethau i ychwanegu yma.
I heartily applaud all those who are helping to revive and nurture the language and Dave Datblygu is in the vanguard of that. None of this of course means that I understand Welsh although David has helped me with some essential words: “cwrw” (“beer”) “pel-droed” (“football”) and, from Monty Python’s Anglo-Hungarian Phrasebook sketch, “mae fy nethau yn ffroidro gyda mwynhad” (“my nipples explode with delight”) which is always a good one to have up your sleeve.
They were the hugely influential Welsh language band who inspired a generation of Welsh musicians, including Super Furry Animals and Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci. Now an exhibition to celebrate the history of Datblygu has opened in Cardiff.
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.”
‘Libertino’, by Datblygu, is available on Ankst, distributed by SRD.
Diolch i Carl Morris, felly, am hala copi o’r PDF ata i. Rhowch glec ar y llun isod i’w darllen. Mae PDFs pob rhifyn o Plan B – sydd erbyn hyn wedi peidio â bod, yn anffodus – ar gael o’u gwefan, fel torrent.
Mae rhifyn Gorffennaf y cylchgrawn Plan B yn cynnwys erthygl wych ar Datblygu. Mae’r cylchgrawn ar gael am £4.00 o fan hyn. Wna i bostio PDF o’r erthygl yn y man, ond dyma cwpl o dameidiau i aros pryd:
A photo in the booklet for Wyau/Pyst/Libertino, the essential collection of Datblygu albums, shows a temporary stage housed on a huge truck, someweher in Wales, covered by a tarpaulin and occupied by Datblygu themselves. You have to look twice to notice anyone apart from vocalist David R Edwards, who’s standing on the lip and barking at six children sitting on the grass wearing anoraks. It’s an image so dreary and purgatorial, you imagine that despite being a black and white picture, it was taken using colour film. Intentionally or otherwise, it conveys the notion of a prophet unrecognised in his own land, which is at least a half-truth…
I don’t know how much I’m missing out on by not being a Welsh speaker, but even accounting for whatever nuances are lost post-Anglicisation, DRE still beats down almost all late 20th Century lyrical challengers. The Dylans, Cohens and Mark E Smiths take their rightful place in the comparison fodder…