As the snows around South Wales slowly thaw, news comes in that Surplus Festival is being put on ice for 2018.
A statement from the organisers said:
“As some of you know, Surplus Festival has lost it’s site. We’ve been trying our best to find a suitable alternative but unfortunately we haven’t been successful. With the time constraints and some other issues we’ve had to make the difficult decision to put things on hold”.Continue reading SURPLUS FESTIVAL NOT ‘APPENIN’ IN 2018→
Blackwood’s most famous sons, the Manic Street Preachers return to the scene of their riotous gig in the Blackwood Little Theatre to film a video for their latest single, ‘Distant Colours’.
Whilst the band can sometimes appear to be a little aloof and media shy, it has to be said they have stayed close to their roots in the south wales valleys, often offering a helping hand behind the scenes with various artistic projects.
This can be demonstrated by this video which includes scenes shot in Mid Wales, the heads of the Valleys and in Blackwood itself.
Doozer McDooze has gone and made a music video for a song he is releasing on Tuesday 10th October 2017 for Mental Health Awareness Day.
The Dooze’ told Peppermint Iguana, “This is a topic that means a lot to me, more so as I get older and I’m trying to spread the word in the hope of helping others by them relating to the song and becoming aware of the help that is available. As you know mental health is a universal issue which is becoming an epidemic particularly among young people, and most recently highlighted has been the fact that male suicide has been on the rise”.
“I feel that this topic needs to be spoken about more so that the feelings of stigma and shame which are attached to mental illnesses can become one step closer to being eradicated in our society.
By speaking honestly in this song through my lyrics about my own experiences and allowing my friends, family and audience to see a side of me that is mostly hidden away, I am hopeful that other people will feel compelled to talk to someone about how they feel; because sometimes there is no visible reason for mental illness to become such a huge factor in someone’s life”.
James Rivers Duff is a singer song writer that does not seem to let time or geography get in the way of his art. And this be the video for his latest musical offering.
James has travelled widely, particularly around Africa. He has contributed as a member of the Future Dub Project but is currently taking some time to focus on some solo work.
We asked James to tell us a little about his latest recording. “Time Is Yours is a song about making the most of your life and living in the moment”, James told us. “I asked my friend Jess if she could record some backing vocals but she was in Bali at the time, so she found a studio out there to record. The man in charge Andy Duarsa asked if she’d like to shoot a video for it so we collaborated over the net. I was travelling in Denmark so shot some footage on my phone and sent it over for him to add in”.
The result, as you will see below, features some stunning photography from Bali, James (rather ironically, on a river) and an uplifting but mellow soundtrack from the boy Duff.
On 29th April thousands of music lovers marched through Cardiff under the banner ‘Save Womanby Street’. What’s that all about and why should we care?
In this globalised world it is increasingly difficult to tell apart different town and city centres. High streets are dominated by chain stores and local pubs are becoming a rarity, with corporate bars with names like the Slug and Lettuce becoming the norm. Whetherspoons rule the world as the bulk buying power of identikit chains force old skool family pubs out of business.
The towns and cities that are interesting, the ones that are worth visiting, are the ones that have their own character and home grown culture. Culture is the beating heart of a city, without culture the city dies. But culture cannot be manufactured. It has to grow organically from the grass roots, with its foundations in the local community.
Music, art and culture have for decades led the way for the regeneration of run down communities. Previously ignored districts suddenly become vibrant places where people want to live.
Ironically, vultures are never far behind, swooping in to develop properties in areas that are now suddenly sought after and ‘gentrification’ kicks in.
There are only a handful of towns and cities in the world, whose name is so intrinsically linked with an event so tragic that it is invoked every time the place is mentioned. Sadly, there is one a few miles from where I live. Aberfan.
Fifty years ago this week (21st October 1966) ‘coal tip number seven’ slipped and engulfed the school at its foot. In doing so it took the lives of 144 people, 116 of them children. The story of this event is one of personal tragedy and outrage at the attitude of the government and the coal board.
In one morning the anonymous welsh village suddenly became known over the entire world.
I was only four years of age at the time but it is ingrained in my memory. As it probably is in anyone who was around at the time.
Much has been written of this event, and continues to be written. There is little meaningful or constructive I can add. But I post this to bring to your attention a single that has been released with the aim of raising funds for the Aberfan Memorial fund.
Amy Goddard is a folk singer who grew up in the Merthyr Valley and went to school in the neighbouring village to Aberfan.
It’s with a heavy heart and sadness that we announce the unexpected passing of our dear friend and amazing musician Graham Wiggins (a.k.a. “Dr Didg”) on September 7th. We have no details at this time other than he passed in his sleep. This is quite a shock to us, assuming that we were going to remain in touch for a very long time.
We’ve had nothing but amazing times and learned a lot through our travels with Graham. He was one of the most well-informed and classiest persons you could know. It would be safe to say that Graham not only had a huge brain (he was a legitimate scientist who had a PH.D. in Physics and later developed RF technologies for Biomedical imaging) but he also had a huge heart.
The man was extremely sincere and giving to others at all times. He loved with his music and shared it with the world.
If you have Dr. Didg in your music collection, go ahead and put it on nice and loud. You will hear nothing but the sound of a brilliant beautiful man who made really cool music. Rest in Peace brother. We love you and will always keep you close to our hearts. For those who knew him know this is a painful loss. On the other hand, heaven’s all star band just received its finest didgeridoo player
The Artist Formerly Known as Ginger John has today announced that he is stepping down from his position of back bench internet radio DJ. His final show will be broadcast live on 27th September 2016, almost five years to the day since the airing of the first ever Peppermint Iguana Radio show.
This week we amazingly managed to control ourselves and get the show done and dusted in our allotted two hour slot. In preparation for the forthcoming Euros, we had French dub, Russian hardcore, Slovakian ska, welsh language punk English hip hop and much more
1. Summer wine: BY NANCY SINATRA
2. Enter the dragon: THE UPSETTER
3. Together stronger: BY MANIC STREET PREACHERS
4. Vive la revolution: BY THE ADICTS
5. Where’s my money: BY WILLIE JONES
6. Stay a little bit longer: BY DELANO STEWART
7. Pour qui some le dub: BY DUBAMIX
8. Too drunk to fuck: BY NOUVELLE VAGUE
9. No future: BY THE SEX PISTOLS
10. King bee: BY SLIM HARPO
11. Mafia: BY SKA2TONICS
12. Papers please: BY MOSCOW DEATH BRIGADE
13. The Russians are coming: BY CAPTAIN SENSIBLE
14. Goodbye Toulouse: BY THE STRANGLERS
15. Rhywelyn Moscow: BY ANHREFEN
16. Mint SOS: BY Y SYBS
17. Sweet dreams: BY CAKEHOLE PRESLEY
18. England’s irie: BY BLACK GRAPE
19. Spirit of fifty eight: BY ARGUMENT CITY
20. Book of rules: BY THE HEPTONES
21. Leave me alone: THE ANGELIC UPSTARTS
22. Bing bong: BY SUPER FURY ANIMALS
23. No Vietcong: BY MOHAMMED ALI
24. Ali: BY TRINITY
25. I’m a little mixed up: BY BETTY JAMES
26. Death of the European: BY THE THREE JOHNS
Over the weekend 3rd/4th/5th June, Merthyr Tydfil will be commemorating the uprising of 1831 with the Merthyr Rising Festival. Now in its third year the festival features music, talks, walks, films and much more. Highlights include music from the Farm and Henry’s Funeral Shoe, talks from the Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell and Tariq Ali and comedy from Mark Thomas.
To provide you with a warm up for the event, Peppermint Iguana Radio have invited organisers from the event to join us in the studio to talk about the idea behind the event and talk about what is instore for us this year.
We will also be spinning tunes by some of the bands playing the festival and one or to tunes that fit in with the spirit of the Merthyr Rising.
On 24th May, Peppermint Iguana pays tribute to Steve Williams, who sadly went on to the great dancefloor in the sky recently. Steve touched many of us in many ways. He was an uncle, a friend, a mentor and – in some ways – a role model.
Well known on the Northern Soul All-nighter scene, on the terraces of Cardiff City and loved by all who knew him, Steve was an avid music lover that taught us all a few things in his time. Never sticking to what he knew, Steve was always one for checking out new sounds.
This show will pay tribute to Steve by playing some of the music he loved and some of the music we love that reminds us of him. Expect Northern Soul and Ska. But also expect punk and a few other little surprises.
We will also feature a few new hot releases – cos that is what Steve would have wanted – for us to keep on keeping on.
To listen live go to www.dapperfm.co.uk from 8pm till just after 10pm on Tuesday 24th May.
Peppermint Iguana is sponsored by RCT UNISON, the union for public sector groovers
First time around he forgot what day it was, then when we finally got him into the studio Corky broke the radio station. But we managed to salvage something from it and we now have two hours in conversation with Paul Corkrey and Neil Dymock of the Football Supporters Federation Cymru recorded and on line for you to listen at your own inconvenience.
Yep, apologies to those of you that tried to listen live but Corky managed to pull out a vital cable and we could not work out where it came from. But no matter, below you will find a downloadable link to our chat about the forth coming Euro 2016 Tournament.
Expect vital information about stadiums, discussions about wales prospects of winning the final and tales of leper colonies.
We have a busy few weeks coming up on Peppermint Iguana Radio, with four shows in three weeks.
Sunday 22nd May 5pm till 7pm – we have a Euro 2016 Special, with guests Paul Corkery and Neil Dymock of the Football Supporters Federation Cymru in the studio to talk about the past, present and future of travelling away to watch the Welsh international football team. If we don’t incriminate ourselves it will be made available for download shortly after.
Tuesday 24th May 8pm till 10pm + a bit– A tribute to our mate Steve Will, who recently went on to the dancefloor in the sky. Expect tunes that remind us of Steve mixed in with new sounds we think Steve might have approved of
Tuesday 31st May 8pm till 10pm + a bit – A Merthyr Rising Special. We invite some of the organisers of the Merthyr Rising Festival in to the studio to talk about what they have lined up and play some of the music from bands playing the event.
Tuesday 6th June 8pm till 10pm – its Euro time. Expect music connected with both the Euro 2016 tournament and the EU referendum.
With Wales’ first major football tournament since 1958 looming, on 22nd May 2016 Peppermint Iguana dips its toes into new territory. We will be presenting a strictly spoken word show, featuring special guests Paul Corkery and Neil Dymock, of the Football Supporters Federation Cymru.
We will be talking about the arrangements for fans heading to France for the tournament and looking back at some memorable moments from past away trips.
Paul has already been out to check out the stadiums and the arrangements for the games in France, so is perfectly placed to tell us all we need to know. Expect all the information you will need about the grounds, fanzones and security.
Neil Dymock will also be joinging us in the studio. Neil clocked up 18 years worth of aways without missing a game, is a gol trustee, editor of Dragon Has Landed fanzine and been manager of the supporters team for 13 years
We will also be looking back at previous trips away following the ‘sleeping dragon’, reminding Corky of things he wants to forget and straighten him out when he strays from the truth.
You can listen live on Sunday 22nd May from 5pm to 7pm GMT. Feel free to leave questions on our Facebook event page for the gang.
If we do not end up incriminating ourselves on the show, we will then make it available as a downloadable podcast for you to listen to at your own inconvenience.
The show will be broadcast live on www.dapperfm.co.uk and you can listen anywhere in the world that has an internet connection
Peppermint Iguana Radio is sponsored by Rhondda Cynon Taff UNISON, the union for public service footy fans.
Manchester’s Stone Roses have released their first new music in twenty one years – and it has divided the nation within hours of its release. Oddly, people who like the Stone Roses like it and People who don’t like the Stone Roses hate it. Go figure.
Music is a funny old business. The more successful a band the more people get passionate about them. Fans of a band will make an effort to like things that are not as good as the stuff that got them into the band in the first place. People who do not like a big name band will, rather than just ignore them, go out of their way to be hostile about them.
Then of course, you have to throw into the mix the ‘following the crowd’ factor. There have been some really dreadful bands that have reached the dizzying heights of headlining stadiums and festivals purely because the media have made them out to be cool.
The daffodils may be still in bloom and the roads may still getting gritted at night, but the festival season is already underway and a few hardy souls have already had their sleeping bags out of mothballs. But Beltane is almost upon us and with it the 2016 festival season will be kicking off properly.
Over the weekend of 29th April to 1st May the hills will be alive to the sound of Landed Festival. Snuggled away in the heart of Mid Wales (Between Llandrindod Wells and Rhayader) Landed is one of Wales best kept secrets, mixing live music, DJs, theatre, crafts, healing and stalls, all surrounded by some of the most picturesque scenery in the UK.
For the next Peppermint Iguana radio show, on 26th April, we scoop up a sample of the bands playing Landed to whet your appetite. As yet we have not finalised the play list but we have plenty to choose from. Will it be the Goa Trance of Zub Zub, the Anarcho Folk Punk of Kilnaboy or the Ska of the Chalk Outlines? All will be revealed on the night.
We will also have some hot new tunes from the likes of Dub War and Department S and we mark the 40th Anniversary of the Ramones seminal first album.
If you like your music in a format you can skin up on (rather than an MP3), hate the corporate gloss of chain stores and point blank refuse to buy music from a supermarket, then a record fair is the place for you.
With independent record stores closing quicker than pubs, many towns are now left without a decent place to go and browse – and even buy – non mainstream music. Well, keep your minces peeled cos there could be a record fair coming your way.
Our 2016 festival listing has been updated again this morning. Thanks to those that have alerted us to festivals we have not known about (and thanks to those that have pointed out the obvious one we forgot about).
Festivals are the most fun you can have with your clothes on – although you don’t necessarily have to stay fully clothed. They are a gathering of like minded individuals who wish to escape the drudgery of wage slavery and let their hair down listening to music, drinking beer and standing around campfires talking nonsense. These days many festivals will include children’s areas, cinemas, political debates, craft workshops, comedy tents and more. If you have never been to one, you really should. It might just change your life – it certainly changed ours.
In the late 1980s and early 1990s the strong arm of the law came down very heavily on free festivals and it took the scene a very long time to recover. In the wake of legislation aimed specifically at stopping free parties organisers tried out various models for events, some more successful than others. These days there are a lot of grass roots festival organisers who have got their shit together and put on safe, vibrant, innovative, sustainable events for anything from a few hundred to a few thousand.
Capitalism has woken up to the fact that people like to go to festivals. Where there used to be a handful of commercial events like Reading and Donnington, there are now huge commercial events all over the country throughout the summer.
Smaller events are generally less commercial, more friendly and have a better vibe that the giant McFestivals where you can find yourself, literally, half a mile from the stage with a sea of strangers in-between you and the band you are watching. Small does not necessarily mean lower quality. No, you won’t get huge stars playing to a crowd of five hundred, but you will still find some high quality cutting edge talent on display – for a fraction of the price of the big commercial events. The vibe will be more relaxed and your neighbours are more likely to talk to talk to you.
Mother festival is wiping the sleep out of her eyes, having a bit of a stretch and putting the kettle on for a cup of chai. To provide a sound track to her wake up, on 12th April 2016 Peppermint Iguana Radio will be featuring some of the bands playing the Something Else Solar Warm Up Party and All Tomorrow’s Parties.
So you can expect Muddy Summers, Doozer McDooze and the Firepit Collective to show up on the play list.
Not only is Mother Festival walking up, but the Peppermint Iguana Beehive is also coming to life, so expect lots of bee related tunes from the likes of –erm – TheBees, The Techniques and two different bands called the Supremes.
Sadly, as we were putting the finishing touches to the play list, we heard the news that on 10th April 2016 Mr Nice, AKA, Howard Marks shuffled off his mortal coil, 21 years to the day after being released from prison. Howard was about as rock and roll as it is possible to be, without actually being a rock and roller. He did dabble with the odd collaboration though, and we will be featuring a few of those throughout the show.
To hear all of this, and more, live go to www.dapperfm.co.uk from 8pm on Tuesday 12th April.
As usual, high five to our sponsors, Rhondda Cynon Taff UNISON, the union for public sector groovers.
For twenty five years, from 1985 to 2010, South Wales had a music venue that was quite literally known around the world. Newport’s TJs. Local lad Nathan Jennings is now in the process of putting together a film documenting the history of this slice of rock and roll history.
It is fair to say, TJs was a bit of a toilet. But that was part of its charm. It seemed to mutate almost every time you went there. It expanded and shrunk, the stage kept moving around the venue and the toilets were like an open cesspit. It had started out with the walls covered in some strange wire and concrete concoction to make it look like you were in a cave. As modification were made bits of the cave were removed but they seemed determined to leave bits of it on the wall. On one occasion I recall watching Citizen Fish whilst there was a huge wheelie bin in the middle of the dancefloor to catch the water that was leaking from upstairs. Whether or not it was rain water or a burst pipe I never got to find out.
But despite the venue being a shithole, it did have a few magic ingredients:
1. John Sicolo: the owner. An ex merchant navy cook who was larger than life and made the place open house to anyone who wanted to put on a gig. Whilst he was no musician, without his generosity and faith in the young guns of Newport, the South Wales and even the UK music scene would look very different today.
2. Bands and promoters: Looking back it is hard to believe now, but the likes of Green Day, Oasis, Fugazi, Offspring, Joe Strummer, The Manic Street Preachers and Primal Scream were regularly turning up in this tiny little club in one of the most unfashionable towns in the country. On top of that local bands such as 60 Foot Dolls, Dub War and Novocaine (to name but three) all cut their teeth there. At one point I the 90s the venue was often jammed with record company A&R men looking to sign the next big thing.
Key to all this were the promoters. Whilst Peppermint Iguana put on a few gigs with the likes of New Model Army, Tofu Love Frogs and PAIN, a very special mention has to go to Cheap Sweaty Fun, the boys that turned TJS from a local live venue to an internationally renowned venue that was an essential stop off for any band on their way to the top.
3. The people of Newport: The Port has always been the poor relation to neighbouring Cardiff. But in some ways, that is what has made Newport what it is – staunchly working class, tough, uncompromising and unpretentious. If a Newport crowd took to a band they would be passionate and enthusiastic, making a TJs moshpit a place few cage fighters would dare to step.
If you have any stories from TJs, why not get in touch with the makers of the film and share your experiences of this unique piece of rock and roll history.
To listen to an interview with Simon Phillips, the man behind Rockaway Records and Cheap Sweaty Fun promotions, listen to our cloud cast from the Peppermint Iguana Radio Show
It is almost 40 years since that infamous Sex Pistols gig in Caerphilly, but to prove the ghost of punk still haunts the valleys, 1970’s new wave legends The Rezillos roll into town on the 7th April 2016.
The Rezillos formed in Scotland in 1976, at the time punk rock was kicking off in that London. Inspired as much by 50’s B-movies as the Sex Pistols, they banged out a series of chunky era defining power pop tunes, such as ‘Top of the Pops’, ‘Destination Venus’ and a cover version of the Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Somebody is Gonna Get Their Head Kicked in Tonight’. Continue reading Rezillos to mark 40 years of punk in Caerphilly→
The single is recorded, the video is filmed and edited and they are all ready to release it just after midnight on 1st April – in good time to join what will be a farcical, expensive build up for both of her Madge’s birthdays. We’ve all had to succumb to incontinence knickers due to all this pissing with excitement – not by royal appointment ones, though. You can join the countdown on Facebook by clicking here.
If that is not enough to make you soil your undies, they have a brand new album, Seeing Red (and Black), out on 23 April. You can help them make it happen by pre-ordering over on ye olde Bandcamp (back catalogue also available on same link). They will send you extra goodies with CD pre-orders, an’ all!
Our mates over at Beltane Buzz are pleased to confirm they will have their very own stage at this year’s Kaya Festival in Margam Country Park, South Wales on August 7th-9th.
Kaya offers an assortment of African, Jamaican, European, Latin, Caribbean, European and world musical flavours along with a diverse range of workshops, arts, food stalls and festival activities. They have national and international artists along with some of the best local upcoming and established acts, in 2015 we had over 100 musical acts across 4 stages!
Beltane Buzz are in the business of promoting the best unsigned talent in Wales and previous endeavours have included the Beltane Buzz Festival near St David’s in West Wales in 2012, numerous local gigs in South Wales and a compilation album ‘Music from the Beltane Buzz’. They aint some faceless corporate industry beast, just people who love music helping other people who love music.
They will be curating a stage at this year’s Kaya Festival and are on the lookout for bands wanting to play. If you are interested – contact them via e-mail BeltaneBuzz@yahoo.com .
If you are not in a band you could just rock up to their stage and check out who makes it to the line up!