I had a fantastic session this week talking with some people at a coffee morning up at the 3Gs in Merthyr Tydfil about their memories of music making in the town. This session is going to be followed by a forthcoming session at Theatre Soar for Merthyr Tydfil Historical Society, where I am doing a talk on the research project and hoping to encourage further interest. In the lead up to this talk and the others that follow, I have put together a Facebook page, which is attempting to encourage people to share their memories of the various places and spaces that music activity took place. This is turning out to be a really useful space for dialogue and memory exchange.
I would like to encourage anyone, inside and outside of Wales to like the page, as it is not only beginning to provide a really interesting snapshot of of how music making took place in Merthyr, so by default it must have a relationship to how similar activities took place in other towns in the UK.
When I was a teenager, one of my favourite band was Welsh progressive rockers Man. It turns out, that the origins of this band are firmly grounded in the town of Merthyr Tydfil, with the band starting off as The Bystanders. I have copied a few pictures of the band below, courtesy of Alan Compton and John Bannon – who have both being incredibly generous with their memories and memorabilia.
John also recently put together an exhibition of Man in Swansea, which is encapsulated in this fantastic video, which tracks the evolution of the band from the Bystanders. This, alongside a selection of the Bystanders tracks can be heard in the You Tube Playlist below. Enjoy!