Wednesday, 28 February 2007

Newsnight Tonight

It being St David’s Day tomorrow, I’ve agreed to be interviewed by the BBC about the ‘Hendrix’ recording of Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau. The interview will be broadcast during Newsnight on BBC2, tonight at 10.30pm.

Tomorrow being a day of daffodils and leeks and women (but not men) in ‘traditional national dress’ and Charles Windsor’s Three Feathers and the rest of the supposed paraphernalia of Welshness, I thought it might be an appropriate moment to do something they’ve been badgering me about since the story first broke.

I suppose the BBC might accuse me of cultural vandalism, if not cultural terrorism, but I’m going to try to make a point about the myths of Welshness we’ve been saddled with, and how these myths were created.

I don’t want you to think I’m a killjoy; I think it’s really important to celebrate pride in our origins. But what makes us Welsh is our true heritage not the iconography, both political and religious, that’s been used to control us down the centuries. What’s important to me is belonging to a community of human beings who share my ancestry, my sense of ‘home’ and my struggles with life.

Also appearing on Newsnight will be my great friend and creative collaborator, the brilliant guitarist John Ellis. John founded Bazooka Joe and The Vibrators and was a member of The Stranglers. More recently he played with Peter Gabriel. John is English through and through. We’ve known each other since we were at Hornsey College of Art together in the early 1970’s when we used to perform at the Stapleton Hall Tavern in Stroud Green.

Armed with this knowledge, the gist of the Newsnight interview should come as no surprise to you.


Rhys Wynne said...

Thanks for the tip off, I'll try and remember to watch, although it's past my bed time!

Are you taking the day off tomorrow and joining the parade? I'll be around the Mochyn Du around 1pm

Martin Davies said...

I will take the day off tomorrow, Rhys, but sadly I won't be at home. I'm planning to go down the Famous Three Kings in West Kensington where Richard the landlord has already put up a barrel of Brains Dark for me. I'll be chasing that with Penderyn Malt, having tried it today for the first time and having liked it a lot!. There's laverbread for breakfast, cawl for lunch and something else Welsh for dinner; it'll be better than home really! But you have a nice parade.

Rhys Wynne said...

Managaed to miss the programme last night (came back late after watching Wrecsam lose to Casnewydd), but Dewi Prysor enjoyed watching it and liked you choice of t-shirt ;-)

Alan said...

Send a barrel of that Brains over for me! Can't get anything of the like here.
I shan't be taking the day off, being self employed - no work = no dosh. But I'll eat a raw leek (do we REALLY have to?)and drink a few bottles of Fine Brazilian Ale (gassy piss-weak lager)
Hwyl and all that.

Martin Davies said...

Alan, I may be able to help with your plight. Follow this link for the only place to find good beer in Brazil
Tell Xavier (who speaks good English) that tall Welsh Martin sent you and mention 'Motorcycle Grand Prix' (don't ask me why). He won't have Brains but he does have a lot of good Belgian beers. He's also a very good guy to know in Brazil. You have a lovely day!

Martin Davies said...

Rhys - you didn't miss much really. By the time Newsnight had edited the piece down to a accommodate an item about financial market poetry (really!), what was left was fairly incoherent. I did get to make my point (although out of context) and I did get away with wearing that T-shirt. That was kind of Dewi. Thanks for making sure I saw it. Now, back to the Brains!