In celebration of St. David’s Day 2019, PMT Online and PMT Cardiff have come together to discuss who we think some of the Best Bands From Wales are.
From Tom Jones and Shirley Bassey to Marina and the Diamonds and Catfish and the Bottlemen, Wales has a habit of producing some of the finest musical talent to grace the British music scene. In other words, putting together this list of the Best Bands From Wales was challenging, mainly as there was so much talent to choose from!
Many of these acts you may know of, might even be a fan of, but there’s a few that might be new to you - including an act with the best band name I've ever heard of. As usual, I’ll be picking out some of my own personal favourites to talk about, alongside some incredible up-and-comers that are working incredibly hard to make a name for themselves in the music industry.
Best Bands from Wales – Our Top 7!
This Top 7 list of who we think of as the Best Bands From Wales is in no particular order, but I feel they all deserve a spot for a number of reasons. Feel free to leave a comment at the end of the blog if you feel like I've missed an act who you truly believe should have been given a mention.
So, without further ado, here's our Top 7 Best Bands From Wales!
Manic Street Preachers
Formed in Blackwood in 1986, The Manic’s are without a doubt one of the biggest and most successful bands to come out of the UK as a whole in the ensuing decades, never mind out of Wales.
From their punk roots, to their alt-rock evolution in the 1990s, the Manic’s have sold more than 10 million albums worldwide and helped inspire a whole generation of aspiring musicians with their melodic guitar lines and deep lyrical content.
MARINA (formerly Marina and the Diamonds)
A singer/songwriter who followed her dreams with an incredible level of success, Marina Lambrini Diamindis was born in Brynmawr and raised in nearby Pandy, but then moved to London as a teenager with the aim of becoming a professional singer.
After finishing second to Ellie Goulding in BBC’s "Sound of 2010", MARINA went on to release her debut studio album, The Family Jewels, which peaked at number 5 in the UK Albums chart and achieved a Gold Record status.
MARINA’s sound fuses both indie pop and new wave musical styles to great effect, and her songs and performances often embody her own sense of humour, entangled with lyrics pertaining to being a societal outsider.
Catfish And The Bottlemen
As they're one of the biggest UK bands in recent years, adding the Brit Award Winners for Best British Breakthrough Act in 2016 - Catfish and the Bottlemen - to this list was a no-brainer.
With two huge hit albums under their belt already, and a third album, The Balance, due to be released any time now, these hard-working indie rockers thoroughly deserve every accolade they've achieved - especially their inclusion on this list.
Originally formed under the name Best (in Cardiff, 1996), this 3-piece post-hardcore outfit released their first album, My Pain and Sadness is More Sad and Painful Than Yours, in the year 2000. However, it was their 2002 album release McLusky Do Dallas that drew international acclaim.
Unfortunately, McLusky disbanded in 2005, but their work previous to this (along with the compilation album of their singles, Mcluskyism) won them a legion of followers the world over.
A seemingly unusual choice for this list – since none of the members are actually Welsh – but this 7-piece indie pop band were formed at Cardiff University in 2006. After forming, they went on to make a name for themselves with numerous well-received gigs around the area, eventually earning airplay on Huw Stephens’s BBC Radio 1 Wales Evening Show, which led to bigger and brighter things.
Los Campesinos are renowned for their lively, joyous sound, despite their often-dark lyrical content, and released their sixth studio album, Sick Scenes, in February 2017.
Super Furry Animals
Formed in Cardiff, 1993, the Super Furry Animals are without a doubt one of the most imaginative bands to ever hail from the British isles.
With 9 album releases breaking into the UK's Top 25 chart (one of which achieved Gold Record status), countless accolades to their name, and collaborations with some of the biggest names in music, it could be said that not only are the SFA's one of the best acts to come from Wales, but they're also one of the most important bands on the UK music scene of the past 30 years.
One of the biggest British rock bands of the past three decades – and also one of my personal favourite bands throughout my teens. The Stereophonics formed in the village of Cwmaman in 1992, and went on to release ten studio albums - six of which reached Number 1 in the UK albums chart!
Renowned for their hard-rocking guitar sounds, incredible live performances, and the raspy vocals of front-man Kelly Jones, the ‘Phonics remain a musical-force to be reckoned with to this day.
Best Bands From Wales You May Not Have Heard Of
Aside from our own personal Top 7 list, here’s an array of other Welsh talent that we felt deserved a mention. These are some of the most promising bands and artists from Wales currently causing a stir in the music industry, or bands that really caused a great sounding ruckus when they were on the scene, which we think you really need to hear.
Often described as a fusion of Punk, Hardcore, and Grime, here's the video for previous CMA Award Winners Astroid Boys' song Dusted from 2016 - a track which was used as the theme song for 2017's WWE United Kingdom Tournament.
These 2019 CMA Nominees released their first official album, You Say I'm Too Much, I Say You're Not Enough, in October 2018, and are about to embark upon a UK tour. Here's the video for their latest single, Strangers.
Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard
This Psychedelic Doom Metal band from North Wales posses what, we here at PMT have decided, is quite possibly the best band name we've ever heard. Here they are with their song Y Proffwyd Dwyll, which translates into English as The Prophet Fraud (I think... I apologise if this isn't accurate!).
A previous CMA Award Nominee, and formerly one half of Welsh folk duo Paper Aeroplanes, Bryde (aka singer/songwriter Sarah Howells) released her first solo album, Like an Island, in 2018 to critical appraise. Here she is performing the incredible To Be Brave from the aforementioned album
This inventive 5-piece band from South Wales were announced as winners of the 2018 Kerrang! Award for Best British Breakthrough Act. Although they are yet to release a full album, this wonderful fusion of Post-Hardcore with elements of Math Rock, Metal, and Punk thrown into the mix, has two wonderful EP's to their name.
Often referred to as one of the best live acts on the Welsh music scene at the moment, previous CMA Award Winners Junior Bill's sound can only be described as a unique fusion of late 70's British punk, with elements of Ska and Jamaican Dub thrown into the mix for good measure. Here they are performing the awesome The Butetown RATS from their self-titled EP for the concert film Above Your Station.
These fresh-faced rockers from South Wales are CMA 2019 Award Nominees, and deservedly so. With a sound that combines catchy modern-style indie rock riffs with 90's-inspired musicality, we're expecting big things from these guys in 2019.
False Hope for The Savage
This Cardiff-based Post-Rock 5-piece have 2 albums to their name, II and the self-titled follow-up False Hope for The Savage, and are previous CMA Award Nominees. Here they are performing their song VI.
This incredible solo-performer from Merthyr Tydfil sings in both English and traditional Welsh, and manages to successfully fuse elements of pop, soul, indie, jazz, and even folk music to good effect. Kizzy's debut solo album is due out this year, and if what we've heard so far is anything to go by, it's going to be a hit.
This experimental-rock/electronic outfit from Wrexham already have two studio album releases under their belt, alongside an EP and 3 single releases. Despite a 3-year hiatus between 2013 and 2016, Gallops appear to be going from strength to strength, and we can't wait to see what they have in store for us next.
As she looks set to conquer the pop world at the tender age of 18, CMA 2019 Award nominee HANA2K (aka Hana Evans) works tirelessly in establishing her presence on the UK music scene. HANA2K will be performing at this year's Cardiff Music Awards, and here she is with her song Pretty Enough.
The Echo and The Always
These Cardiff-based indie-rockers already have one album to their name, the incredible ...and After That the Dark, and here they are performing the track Go Easy.
Cardiff Music Awards 2019
On March 29th 2019, Tramshed will host the 2019 Cardiff Music Awards, where many of the acts I mentioned above have received nominations (past and present), some of them are even past-winners.
For this year, PMT are proudly sponsoring the event’s ‘Best Album’ award, and we hope to see you there lending your support.
With such a wide range of styles and incredible talent on display, the future is certainly looking bright for the Welsh music scene.
Read more about the Cardiff Music Awards here!