Ail Symudiad - A bit of punkmodpop


Snow was still falling at the start of 1983 and the vestry was a cold place to practice. Wearing gloves didn't help - especially when barring cords! One of the first gigs, and a very enjoyable one was at the town hall in Tregaron, North Ceredigion, when around 300 braved the elements and Ail Symudiad's music! This was also a night to remember! At the end of the night there was of course the loading of the van with the amps, drums, guitars and Malcolm's big box, which was heavier than one of the pyramid's bricks! At the end of the night it was great to set off home with a bovril or hot choccie before bed in mind, but the boys found out that Robert had gone back to Cardigan, on his motorbike (40 miles away) with the van's key in his pocket. Thanks to the kindness of the caretaker the boys were allowed to sleep the night at the hall - without sleeping bags!

Many gigs were played in the months of March, April, May which included Ffostrasol Hall and Clwb Tanybont Carnarfon ( which is now unfortunately a car park) the band had some memorable nights there. The Inter-College Dance and Dixieland, Rhyl were other venues played. Clwb Ifor Bach in Cardiff started putting on Welsh bands and Ail Symudiad were one of the artists who played in those early days, the Great Western Hotel was also a gig venue for A.S. The Eisteddfod was in Anglesey that year and they played once again at Twrw Tanllyd.

Ail Symudiad starting writing some new songs that summer and they were invited to record a session for Radio Cymru's 'Sosban'. Richard Morris had a new studio by now and the band recorded two songs - Arwyr Addfwyn (Gentle Heroes) and Fel China Bell (Like Faraway China). Fel China Bell proved to be quite a popular song at gigs and it came out on an LP which was released later that year called Sesiynau Sosban (The Sosban Sessions).

By the end of the summer the group felt that their period in Welsh pop was coming to an end. The work of running Fflach was increasing and becoming more demanding financially, and as they all had day jobs, the three, Richard, Robert and Wyn decided Ail Symudiad had to come to an end. Soon after that they heard some good news - Delwyn Siôn, a producer with the BBC wanted to do a special programme on the group featuring songs and interviews, it was called Edrcyh Trwy y Camerau (Looking Through The Cameras), after the A.S. single. Delwyn called the series that followed the same name.

The last gig was Christmas 1983 in Blaendyffryn Hall - where else!? It was an amazing and emotional night, with around 1000 present from around Wales, including of course a big contingent of followers from the West! The PA speakers were bouncing around at the end of the night, with the crowd pogoing about to Garej Paradwys, Sefyll ar y Sgwâr, Symud Trwy'r Haf and others. It was great to see friends from other bands there like Rocyn, Diawled, Malcolm Neon and many others. not all from the music scene. Also for the first (and last!) time at one of their gigs Richard and Wyn's mother and father Betty and Moelwyn.

**With 1984 arriving the band heard that they had won Sgrech's Special Award for their contribution to the Welsh pop scene - quite an honour. After this they had to decide what to do about their label Fflach and following long deliberations they decided to keep Fflach going, and to buy recording equipment, with Wyn, being the technical one, running the studio at one of the rooms at the Tabernacl Vestry. It was also at this time that Wyn left his electrical job to concentrate on the studio. Even though they had disbanded there was still interest in the group and when they were asked to record a song for the National Eisteddfod of Wales at Lampeter called Bedlam Bant yn Bont - they couldn't refuse! The boys travelled up to Sain to record the song with Brian Breeze, a talented guitarist from Swansea as guest musician. The single came out with Arwyr Addfwyn on the B Side. By the end of 1984 A.S. started to play together again at the vestry and discovered they missed the scene and reformed. So the story goes on!

A 'Sêr' HTV pop programme gig recorded at Preseli School

The crowd at an Ail Symudiad gig, 1983

Blaendyffryn Hall