I’ve been playing the Gruff Rhys album, Candylion as a bit of research for the Green Man Festival. I like it. I’d be lynched for suggesting that the long player possesses a slight English whimsy when Rhys is as Welsh as Max Boyce holding a daffodil, but it does remind me a little of the marvellous Shack twinned with the sensitivities of a Nick Drake. The songs are understated but melodic and packed with interesting ideas and sweet melodies and hushed and thoughtful vocals.
Talking of the Green Man, a host of artists have been added to the line-up since the last time I checked out the festival’s website. Stephen Malkmus, formerly, of course, of the splendid Pavement (my favourite band of the 1990s?) is headlining the Sunday and I welcome this although he doesn’t seem to fit the folk tag that I associate with Green Man. Vashti Bunyan will be there and I guess that was always on the cards. Her presence is a good thing. Other acts announced include Earlies, Vetiver, Bill Callahan and Richmond Fontaine. I know that S and D both admire the latter immensely so I’ll have to investigate them sooner rather than later. I need guidance in order to discover their best work and I’m sure that pair of hipsters will suggest where to go.
Julian Cope is playing the Guildhall in May. One can only expect the unexpected when he marches into town.