Rhys Mwyn and Alan Holmes always turn up late to parties, and while the rest of us were celebrating our favourite albums, they were still at home putting their make-up on. So turning up fashionably late, these two stalwarts of Bangor have contributed more to the music scene in Wales (and beyond) than most of us put together.
Alan Holmes has played in more bands than there are letters in Llanfairpwllgwyngylletc, including Fflaps and Ectogram. As well as producing many acts and running Central Slate Records and more recently Turquoise Coal.
Rhys Mwyn played in Anhrefn and ran the Recordiau Anhrefn label, and has managed many acts and worked for Crai Records.
Here is Rhys Mwyn‘s choice…
‘My favourite album is ‘Crossing The Red Sea’ by The Adverts. It got me through my late teens, through acne and the regular breakups with girlfriends. TV Smith is one of the greatest English songwriters of all time. The tunes are brilliant. Gaye Advert was a Punk Icon along with Debbie Harry and Viv Albertine. This record helped me make some sense of life. I played it EVERY morning before I went to school.’
Alan Holmes had this to say…
‘I’m not that certain now, but if you’d asked me 20 or 30 years ago, I would have been very definite, so I’ll trust my younger self and go with The Modern Lovers‘ self titled début.
Recorded between 1971 and 1973, they completely went across the grain of the contemporary prog scene and played a totally stripped down rock music that presaged punk by several years, although singer songwriter Jonathan Richman had a far less nihilistic outlook than the later punks – sure, he hated hippies, but he also had no time for the junkie culture that was prevalent in New York at the time.
His songs comprised 3, 2 or even 1 chord tied to often awkwardly personal lyrics that made you feel you were prying on someone else’s private life: “When you get out of the hospital / let me back into your life / I can’t stand what you do / but I’m in love with your eyes”.
This was all sung by a nasal voiced jewish kid backed by a great but ultra-basic band who individually went on to join The Cars and Talking Heads. My 80s group The Lungs covered three of the songs from this album… and yes, thinking about it, it is still the greatest album ever made. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Roadrunner Roadrunner.’
Iwan Parry used to run Pinhead Records on Bedford Street in Rhyl…
‘I’ve been looking at your ‘favourite album’ thingy and as you know/may remember (from the CDs I lent you for your Crudcast when I had my shop) I’m a big Modern Lovers/Jonathan Richman fan and only after reading Alan Holmes favourite did I realise it was he who worked in Cob in Bangor.
I used to go to Cob to buy the reggae revive stuff on Soul Jazz & Pressure Sounds from their ‘new vinyl’ section and for a couple of years there was a reissue of the Modern Lovers first album with a handwritten sticker on it, reading something along the lines of the greatest record ever made and now I know why.
If you were to deem me worthy enough to be included in your list, as Modern Lovers, Cut and London Calling have already gone, I’ll go with Public Enemy – ‘It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back’ for being the most non punk punk album ever made, n absolute onslaught from start to finish and that’s what time it is!’