Brighton Magazine

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Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Thursday 02 April 2020

Power-Folk Band Calan Perform World's Smallest Ever Album Launch Ahead Of Winter Date In Rural Sussex

One of Wales's biggest trad-folk bands will, ahead of a rearranged date in Sussex, premier their new album from one of the world's smallest stages... the front room of a semi in Cwmbran.

With Covid-19 cutting a swathe through auditorium concerts, and the release of Calan's sixth album Kistvaen scheduled for 3rd April 2020, the band needed a new plan.

"So, on that day, we're going to play the album end to end in a live online streamed concert from my front room," says Calan's vocalist, accordionist and step dancer Bethan Rhiannon.

Folk Wales magazine describes Calan's music as, "A storming juggernaut of power-folk," so they've had a quiet word with the neighbours! 

"It helps that we're going to play the album unplugged," adds guitarist Sam Humphreys. 

"To be honest, I'm not sure a three-pin socket would take us all at full pelt!"

This is not the first time that Calan have come up against the Curse of Coronavirus. 

Last week they were in the middle of a nationwide American tour when concerts suddenly began to be cancelled. 

In a mad scramble for airline tickets, they managed to get the last seats on one of the last flights back to Britain...  and found themselves the best part of £6,000 out of pocket after paying for visas, flights, accommodation, transport and all the paraphernalia of a Stateside tour.

So they've set up an online shop - with just about the only thing they have to sell…. themselves!

"You can commission a tune specially written by one of us," explains fiddle player Angharad Jenkins. 

"You can book any one of us for an online music lesson, and even enter our tune raffle .. send us your own tune and if you win, we'll include it in our repertoire."

Quickest off the shelf was fiddler Patrick Rimes' famous custom-made Bollywood jacket from the band's Solomon album. It went in a day. "Yes, you can literally buy the clothes off our back," he added. 

"None of us want to make light of an awful national emergency," said Bethan. 

"We absolutely recognise that people are losing loved ones and livelihoods

"But, even if it's online, we'll do our level best to bring just a small amount of joy and music into people's lives."

Meanwhile, Calan's UK tour, due to begin in early April, is being rescheduled for November/December, when they'll play as many of the gigs as they possibly can.

Calan play Alfriston Old Chapel on 9th December 2020. CLICK HERE for the latest info.

by: Mike Cobley


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