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P O E T R Y    B A N D S

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The Salubrious Rhythm Company (1999–2004)

Nigel Jenkins (harmonica),  Jen Wilson (keyboards), John Barnie (guitar).


 

 

 


 

‘In 1999 the Salubrious Rhythm Company was formed by three writers, Jen Wilson, John Barnie and Nigel Jenkins, who also happen to be fine blues musicians. On a cold winter’s night I joined the audience at Swansea’s Grand Theatre to hear them .... What they produce is a marvellous creation, which combines the power of poetry with the evocative strains of fine blues music. The poetry is good and the music is good and I found myself sucked into the excitement and danger of the deep South, yet all the while grounded in the richness of Welsh culture. All the poems are written by the three performers and the evening leaves the audience with two overriding sensations. Firstly, the sense of place .... Many of the verbal descriptions of music which the three recite, are every bit as poignant as Kerouac’s  wonderful descriptions of jazz in On the Road .... the audience were able to feel, hear and see the world the performers were evoking .... Many of the poems are grounded in Wales, with poems about Swansea, Aberaeron and Caernarfon complementing references to New Orleans. Both countries are linked by what was for me the second overriding sensation of the evening, namely the sense of joy to be alive .... This is a virtuoso performance from three highly gifted writers and musicians. The Salubrious Rhythm Company are worth hearing anywhere. If you want to see the perfect fusion of poetry and music, then I believe this is it. If you haven’t seen them yet, next time they’re anywhere near where you live – go!’ – Peter Read, Roundyhouse 5, April 2001.

‘The word ‘gig’ has been appropriated by poets on the circuit; this was an occasion to which it properly applied, and as stimulating a session of live entertainment as you are likely to witness in a decade of poetry readings. Barnie and Jenkins spoke and sang their words to blues accompaniment, and Jen Wilson’s solos were feminist songs by jazz icons like Bessie Smith. The audience, packed into an upper room [of the Hen and Chicks pub, Abergavenny], would have stayed for more. This is not the sort of performance that can be put together on the night. If you want to emulate it, be prepared to put in a couple of months of rehearsal. Only poets with a second, musicianly, string to their bows need apply.’ – Sam Adams, ‘Letter from Wales’, PN Review 154, November/December 2003.
 

 

 

 

Y Bechgyn Drwg (The Bad Boys; 2001–2003)
Nigel Jenkins (harmonica), John Barnie (guitar), the late Iwan Llwyd (guitar), Twm Morys (harp, keyboards).

‘Mae pedwar o feirdd o Gymru sydd hefyd yn gerddorion wedi ffurfio grwp newydd sy’n cyfuno barddoniaeth a’r blŵs. Am fisoedd yn unig ar ôl dod at ei gilydd mae’r Bechgyn Drwg yn paratoi i ddangos i’r Americanwyr bod y Cymry’n gallu canu’r felan cystal â neb. Fe ddaeth y grŵp at ei gilydd yn hydref y llynedd. Fe ffeindiodd y pedwar aelod ... eu bod i gyd wedi cael gwahoddiad i ddarllen eu cerddi yn nhalaith Efrog Newydd gan gymdeithas Americanaidd o ysgolheigion sy’n arbenigo ar astudiaethau Cymreig .... Fe gafodd Y Bechgyn Drwg dderbyniad gwresog yn ei gig cynta’ yn y Cŵps yn Aberystwyth yn yr hydref.’
Golwg, 28 Mawrth 2002.

 


Llaeth Mwnci Madog / Madog’s Moonshine (2005–7)

[ pictured left ] John Barnie (guitar), the late Iwan Llwyd (guitar); occasionally, David Lloyd or Margaret Lloyd
(kazoo), Nigel Jenkins (harmonica).

 

 


Blue Gwales (2006–)

A jazz and poetry band featuring the poetry of Nigel Jenkins (harmonica), with
Brian Breeze (guitar), Dave Jones (keyboards) & Daniel Williams (saxophone).

 


The Idrisiaid (2011–)
A folk-inflected poetry combo, featuring the poetry of Nigel Jenkins (harmonica), David Hughes and the singer Margot Morgan, with Angharad Jenkins (fiddle) and Andy Jones (guitar and vocals). Formed to launch The H’mm Foundation at the Wales Millennium Centre on 7 December 2011, and named after the poet Idris Davies (1905–53), in honour of the socialist, republican and nationalist  tradition which he so amply embodied.



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Idrisiaid, performing at the Millennium Centre, Cardiff;
(l to r) Andy Jones, Angharad Jenkins, Margot Morgan, Nigel Jenkins, David Hughes
Photo: Lauren Anwar

 

 

 

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