The Laugharne Weekend

28 March 2010 // Books //Music

April 9th to 11th 2010

A truly inspired line-up for this years Laugharne Festival in Wales. Wish I could make it if only to see Fionn Regan play in Dylan Thomas’s boathouse and listen to Julian Cope talk stone circles…

Press Release;

The Laugharne line up has been finalised with the additon of JULIAN COPE, FIONN REGAN and ex-members of THE FALL now confirmed to appear along side Roddy Doyle, Bill Drummond, Stuart Maconie, Nicky Wire, Martin Carthy, Nick Kent, Howard Marks, Mark Olson, Alasdair Roberts and more besides.

Julian Cope will be giving a lecture based on his best selling tomes THE MODERN ANTIQUARIAN and its sequel THE MEGALITHIC EUROPEAN. Julian Cope has enjoyed a 30-year career in the rock business, and is described by publishers as a ‘poet, visionary rock musician and musicologist, hip archaeologist and one-time front man of the Teardrop Explodes’.
Fionn Regan will going back to his roots for the festival, performing acoustic sets in both the Congregational Church on the Saturday night and The Boathouse, the last residence of Dylan Thomas, on the Sunday afternoon.
For the last thirty plus years The Fall have been led by the enigmatic Mark E Smith with in excess of fifty people having been members of group at some time. In his book “The Fallen” Dave Simpson traces these ex-members and at Laugharne, Steve Hanley, Martin Bramah and Mike Leigh will talk about their experiences.

Artists appearing at this year’s festival include Roddy Doyle, Bill Drummond, Stuart Maconie, Nicky Wire, Martin Carthy, Nick Kent, Howard Marks, Mark Olson, Alasdair Roberts, Will Hodgkinson, Trembling Bells, Fionn Regan, Jane Bussman, David Quantick, Rachel Trezise, Trezza Azzopardi, Helen Griffin, Viv Albertine, Clinton Heylin and Rupert Thomson and, for the fourth year running, there will be a live performance of Twin Town..

Highlights among this year’s music events include NICKY WIRE, bassist and lyric writer for the Manic Street Preachers. At Laugharne he will talk to Phil Wilding about his influences and inspirations.

Folk is well represented by one of it’s pivotal and most enduring perfromers, influential singer and guitarist MARTIN CARTHY, plus the brilliant ALASDAIR ROBERTS, who in 2010, no longer looks to be such a well kept secret. TREMBLING BELLS and RICHARD JAMES are among other folk acts already causing a stir.

Irish singer songwriter FIONN REGAN was nominated for a Mercury Prize for his debut album The End Of History and has recently released The Shadow Of An Empire reviving the concept of ‘the new Bob Dylan’.

Other music attractions include MARK OLSON (Jayhawks), VIV ALBERTINE (Slits) and Welsh surfin’ band Y NIWL.

Having abandoned music per se, BILL DRUMMOND will be conducting The17 exclusively in a performance at Dylan Thomas’ Boathouse. Drummond’s latest project, he explains the concept in his book “17” which questions our ideas of music and our attitude to sound

KEITH ALLEN will host Laugharne’s Got Talent each night from The Fountain Inn. So if you’re a Laugharne local who can sing, tell jokes, play an instrument, write poetry etc come and prove that you truly do have talent.

Music provides the backbone for readings from their latest books (and other works) by writers Nick Kent (Apathy For The Devil) , Clinton Heylin (Still On The Road), Stuart Maconie (Adventures On The High Seas: In Search of Middle England) and Will Hodgkinson (The Ballad Of Britain).

All the venues at Laugharne are intimate and range from a capacity of 24 in Dylan Thomas’ Boathouse to 200 people at the Millennium Hall. Other venues in the village include The Congregatonal Church, The Portreeve, The Fountain Inn and The Community Centre.

Weekend tickets are now on sale, and due to unexpected addtional funding weekend tickets will now priced at £50.00 but these will be limited in number. Those who bought tickets at the original price of £65 will be able to collect a cash refund at the event. Tickets will also be available for individual performances, priced between £5 and £10.

All tickets will be available in advance from www.ticketweb.co.uk.

Individual show tickets will also be on sale from The New Three Mariners in Laugharne.

The Laugharne Weekend festival started in 2007 and festival acts have included Patti Smith, Ray Davies, Will Self, Simon Armitage, Roger McGough, Alexei Sayle, Lionel Shriver, Keith Allen, Rhys Ifans, Geoff Dyer and Jon Ronson.

Laugharne has a unique character which has been of great inspiration to writers and artists. The most notable of these was Dylan Thomas. He had a long affinity with Laugharne, spending the last four years of his life in the boathouse which is now a heritage centre dedicated to him.

Laugharne has a long and impressive literary history. Mary Shelley (author of “Frankenstein”) spent considerable time in Laugharne where her mother Mary Wollstonecroft lived. Kingsley Amis wrote his 1986 Booker Prize winning novel “The Old Devils” whilst staying in Laugharne and Margaret Atwood’s short story “The Grave of The Famous Poet” is set in Laugharne. The town has also been painted by Constable, Turner and Augustus John.

It is an ideal location for the festival to take place combining a fantastic literary heritage with beautiful scenery and a strong local community.

Further details can be found on the festival website: www.thelaugharneweekend.com

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