Voodoo Time

We got back from three days of very un-Lake District camping weather last night- the sun has shone and there hasn’t been a drop of rain. There’s a pile of washing to do that smells of bonfire and some sunburnt skin here and there. But all is good and I have the rest of the week off.

Here’s a slice of late May lushness from John Grant and Gwenno. I don’t think I’ve heard much by John Grant and I’m well aware he’s highly rated by many people but I’ve just not got around to trying him out. His song Voodoo Doll has been remixed by Welsh psyche/cosmische Queen Gwenno and Peski Kid and it is a delight with a lovely ascending and descending vocal line over some light bubbling psychedelia.

Gwenno In Salford

The Sounds Of The Other City is a one day festival at a variety of venues in and around Islington Mill in Salford, a low key rival to Manchester’s more famous one. As a result most of the names are pretty well unknown. Salford’s Chapel Street is not a place you’de expect to find people milling around between gig venues, tents and gazebos- until recently it was very much the wrong side of the Irwell. Gwenno was performing at St Philip’s Church on Sunday night and with one of my brothers I found myself not just watching Gwenno but drinking a beer with her beforehand as crowd and performers milled about the church. The vicar of St Philip’s served beers from a trestle table. Without the opportunity to soundcheck properly the group launched into a six song set, Gwenno on vocals, keyboards and iPad with Rhys on bass, drummer Cliff and the natural reverb of the church. Gwenno’s songs are attention grabbing live, a combination of noise and melody and that motorik groove, not so floaty or dreamy as on the album, with Gwenno’s Welsh language vocals low in the mix. The threepiece built up a head of steam through to last year’s single Chwlydro and set closer Fratolish Hiang Perpeshki, which threatened to go all techno, beats from the iPad and the drummer crashing against each other, as the bright blue spotlights and the stained glass worked their magic.

Fratolish Hiang Perpeshki

They keep coming thick and fast, new songs that lift the spirits- this is Tim Gane’s (Cavern Of Anti-Matter) remix of Gwenno marrying the 60s psyche-pop of her to the motorik beat and West German synths of him. Gwenno said the song is ‘a song to dance to at the end of the world’. I never thought the apocalypse would sound so pretty.


Hi. We’re back. The found that sun we were looking for, 30-34 degrees of it most days. It hangs about over France almost every summer apparently. The Jura is ace- beautiful hills and villages, lakes for swimming in, cheap wine.

This is that Andrew Weatherall remix of Gwenno, bouncy Welsh psychedelic dub. It turned up just before we left two weeks ago and got several airings in the tent.


After listening to Weatherall’s latest radio show for NTS I went backtracking- there was a Weatherall remix of a song called (I thought) Hydro by Gwenno. Actually Chwyldro, Welsh for revolution. Then a hop and a skip and I found the original, released by Gwenno Saunders in 2013. Gwenno is from Cardiff, speaks both Welsh and Cornish, was in The Pipettes and has since made some solo records. This song is like a sunny, optimistic Stereolab, a Welsh speaking St Etienne after a weekend doing motorik drums having forgotten to bring the synths. Gwenno herself claims that this song will change the world, end world poverty and help you find your keys. It will make your Saturday morning a whole lot better.