September 14, 2014
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The Cardiff Debate Visits Tongwynlais

Cardiff Debate Logo

What is the Cardiff Debate?

According to the City of Cardiff Council, the Cardiff Debate is, “A debate on the future of public services in Cardiff. It will take place over the next 3 years and will involve local people and communities in shaping the future of public services in the city.”

You can take part by going to the village hall on Thursday, between 4:00pm and 7:00pm, or completing the survey online.

Why should I take part?

We asked our local politicians this question and this is what they said.

City of Cardiff Councillor, Jonathan Evans told us, “There are three main points to emphasise in this discussion about public services: the need to consult on the council’s priorities; the importance of encouraging people to come forward with creative ideas about how to shape, organise and deliver services; and reflect on how people can best engage with the council in a meaningful way.” He added, “We really do need to work together constructively and cooperatively. This is why I would urge everyone to get involved in the Cardiff Debate.”

Labour parliamentary candidate for Cardiff North, Mari Williams said, “The more people who have their say, the better informed councillors can be in making the difficult decisions that lie ahead. From schools and libraries to pavements and recycling the council need to be clear about what the people of Cardiff want.”

How do I take part?

The Cardiff Debate team are going to be in the village hall on Thursday 18th September from 4:00pm to 7:00pm. If you can’t make it, you can complete the survey online.

If you use Twitter, click this button to help spread the word.

What are other people saying?

The Cardiff Debate recently published the results so far.

This is what people are saying about the debate on Twitter.

You can follow the Cardiff Debate on Facebook and Twitter, or visit the website.

September 8, 2014
by admin

Tongwynlais by Rocketgoldstar

A History of Rocketgoldstar’s “Tongwynlais”

We recently interviewed Gaz Williams of Rocketgoldstar, who recounted the story of their track “Tongwynlais”.

This version was recorded at the BBC’s Maida Vale studios in 2001.

Way back in 1996, Cardiff-based art rock band Rocketgoldstar were recording a new album with local music legend Richard Dunn producing. The band, Frank Naughton (aka Frank Static), Gaz Williams and Sion Orgon, were making a thirty mile journey to record their new album in an ancient Wolsey Van Den Plas. Gareth recalls this as, “an Austin Allegro with an ostentatious Rolls-Royce like grill and pull down walnut picnic tables in the back!” The lack of in-car entertainment meant that, to endure the long and twisty journey, they used to sing melodic phrases about the town or village they were passing.

Frank Static of Rocketgoldstar performing

Frank Static – Cardiff 2012

Tongwynlais fitted beautifully to the melody of Goldfinger and they would regularly burst into song. A little later on, Rocketgoldstar guitarist Frank Naughton, who Gareth describes as, “an awesome contemporary producer of the best Welsh music of the last ten years”, developed an insidious and catchy guitar riff based on the idea of sample playback.

Frank was ahead of the game by trying to emulate this technique on the electric guitar and it created the riff that came to define the song. (Frank was one half of µziq, the groundbreaking EDM act of the early 90s who were signed to Aphex Twin’s nascent Rephlex label. Their first album Tango’n’Vectif is considered a milestone in the development of electronic music.) The song “Tongwynlais” threatened to eclipse the band in terms of notoriety!

This is the original album version from 1996. It was performed on HTV’s “Dez Rez” in 1997.

By the late 90s Rocketgoldstar had become established as one of the country’s hottest underground bands which led to performances at Cardiff’s Big Weekend and on MTV. They achieved notoriety with their 12 hour single, recorded in one continuous 12 hour session in May 2000 and less than a month later they were in the national news with their groundbreaking silent gig. Their 2001 album Soft Eject was hailed as a psychedelic masterpiece. Throughout this whole period, the band have included the song “Tongwynlais” in all their gigs. It was a firm fan favourite resulting in the slightly surreal experience of large amounts of grown men yelling “Tongwynlais” at the top of their voices!

Album "Soft Eject" cover

Rocketgoldstar’s 2001 album Soft Eject.

Recent years have seen the band wind down in activity but they are still a going concern. The various members have gone on to do many other things such as performing in countless theatrical productions with acclaimed dance company Earthfall.

Gaz Williams of Rocketgoldstar performing

Gaz Williams – Cardiff 2012

Gaz Williams has just completed a world tour with Karl Hyde from Underworld and performs regularly with various bands. He’s also interested in music technology and its applications. You can read more about Gaz on his site or follow him on Twitter.

September 5, 2014
by admin

Residents Create Video to Oppose Merthyr Road Development

Land next to the village hall

Members of the Tongwynlais – Our Community group have created a video to oppose the building of houses next to the village hall. A decision will be made on this planning application later this month.

People feel strongly that this land should be kept as a green space for the village to use. The small plot of land is adjacent to the village hall and in the centre of the village. It provides access to Castell Coch View and is often used by local children.

Last year’s village survey showed that 61% of residents would object to the development. 15% responded that they wouldn’t object and 16% were undecided at the time.

The planning application is currently scheduled to be discussed at the public planning committee on Wednesday 17 September 2014 at 2:30pm in Ferrier Hall, City Hall. This date could change so follow us on Twitter|Facebook|Google+ for updates.