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Baker's Dozen

Cosmic Portals: Gruff Rhys' Favourite Albums
Colm McAuliffe , January 23rd, 2019 11:42

Ahead of his gig at the Camden Roundhouse this week, Gruff Rhys waxes lyrical about 13 favourite records, deep cuts from the Welsh language underground and beyond


Nothembi Mkhwebane - Zimami Balibalele
This reminds me of my dad. He was into liberation drum circles in the Matabele community in Zimbabwe and he worked with people from that community. This is a record from the Ndebele language. Nothembi is an amazing guitarist and it's a rocking album with amazing synths as well. I've been playing this quite a bit over the past year. I almost got to play with her but she didn't turn up. My dad used to listen to Thomas Mapfumo - who supported The Stone Roses at Spoke Island - and I thought this was really funny [at the time] - I should have asked my dad to come along to that gig!

My influences for music were more down to my big brother and sister and my mam was into different music again. It's inevitable that you are influenced by people around you. I'd get Anglo-American punk rock and pop music from my brother and sister but my dad wasn't into that; [for him] reggae was acceptable and maybe Welsh language pop. He didn't engage with music to the point where he had influenced my sound whereas my brother and sister's records influenced me directly.