Allan Yn Y Fan

Allan Yn Y Fan

BandFolkWorld

Allan Yn Y Fan is one of Wales’ foremost traditional bands recording four albums and one EP for Steam Pie Records and touring internationally (Germany/France/Czech Republic) since their inception in 1996.
A multi-instrumental and vocal quintet creating a buzz about their own and Welsh traditional music and song – over half of the band’s material is self-composed.
“The most sensitive and experienced of Welsh bands…The rate at which Allan Yn Y Fan has gone from being just another instrumental C

Biography

Allan Yn Y Fan came into being in 1996 as the result of a surprise phone call to flautist Kate Strudwick asking if she could take a Welsh band to the Brideswell International Festival in County Roscommon, Ireland.

The original quartet of Kate Strudwick (flute and recorders), Chris Jones (accordion and flute), Linda Simmonds (mandolin and bodhran) and Geoff Cripps (guitar and keyboards) had a baptism of fire over that long weekend and, thinking on their feet and being fearless - or was that just the Guinness at work? - gained many new friends and increased confidence in their music. More importantly, they realised that the Irish musicians they were playing with were fascinated by the Welsh tunes they had not previously heard.

Honing their skills as a Twmpath (ceilidh) band over the next few years, while continuing to develop their own writing and arranging skills, the band became a quintet in 2002 when fiddler Emma Trend joined. In 2003 they produced their first album “Off The Map”. Surprised and delighted by its international acclaim, the band began developing as concert and festival performers and also undertook their first tours in Germany and France. “Belonging” –released in 2006 - received even wider acclaim than the first and was notable in that over half the material on that CD was composed by Chris Jones, Kate Strudwick and Geoff Cripps.

The next major change for Allan Yn Y Fan came in 2008 when Emma left to be replaced by fiddler and singer Meriel Field. With Meriel the band quickly moved into crafting interpretations of some of the jewels of the Welsh tradition as well as continuing to compose a large part of their repertoire. The result of this artistic growth was the release of the band’s third album “Trosnant” in 2009 which featured not only a new maturity in arrangements and composition, but also the introduction a string quartet on two tracks.

In 2010 an Arts Council of Wales lottery award enabled the band to collaborate with the renowned Celtic harp player Delyth Jenkins. This collaboration was marked by a ten date tour of England and Wales and in the release of the EP “Lle Arall.”

In Spring 2011 Allan Yn Y Fan toured in its own right to venues such as Chichester Festival Theatre, Theatr Mwldan Cardigan and the Savoy Theatre Monmouth. That Autumn they also guested for legendary Welsh Entertainer Max Boyce at 8 sell-out theatre dates in England and Wales.

2012 saw the release of the band’s fourth album “Pwnco” , a 12 date tour of England and Wales plus tours to the Czech Republic and Germany in support the album, and appearances at the Village Pump and Bromyard festivals.

“The most sensitive and experienced of Welsh bands…the rate at which Allan Yn Y Fan has gone from being just another instrumental Celtic outfit to front runners is astonishing…” Simon Jones fROOTS June 2011

Trosnant review :-
“...Celtic music from Wales sums this up perfectly, full of power, love and fun with a solid backbone of that old Celtic magic running through the hills and streams of Wales. A near perfect mix of tunes and songs performed with real drive by the five piece. It never gets predictable in any of it's twelve tracks...”
• Spiral Earth website, 4* Review, September 2009

Lle Arall review :-
“...Even nowadays, it’s a sad fact that Welsh folk music tends to get overlooked with the deluge of more heavily-profiled Irish and Scottish releases under the "Celtic" tag. But Welsh band Allan Yn Y Fan have over the past few years been constant in blazing a trail for their nation, releasing a series of increasingly persuasive discs that started out with the all-instrumental Belonging and then took a giant step forward with their latest full-length CD Trosnant, a significantly assured record on which, with the addition to the ranks of vocalist Meriel Field, they expanded their already impressive musical armoury to include songs too. Now on this new five-track EP, a collaboration with harpist Delyth Jenkins, they’ve come up with a very strong and appealing sonic identity while proving beyond any doubt that the musicians are well able to cope with a goodly range of moods and emotions, from the tenderly evocative title track (a really lovely composition by the band’s flautist Kate Strudwick) to the peerless solo harp set that forms the disc’s centrepiece, all capped off by the invigorating nonsense song Hen Ferchetan and the inventive, foot-tappingly upbeat closing dance-tune medley.
There’s a lot going on instrumentally here, with fiddle, mandolin and guitar and plenty of flute and whistle in the texture underpinned by skilful bass work, and the band’s music-making is characterised by an attractively nimble gait throughout. This EP’s such an attractive proposition that you wonder why it couldn’t have been made to last three times as long.......”
• Folk and Roots, April 2010, David Kidman

Discography

“OFF THE MAP” Album released May 2003 Steam Pie Records
“BELONGING” Album released June 2006 Steam Pie Records
“TROSNANT” Album released April 2009 Steam Pie Records
"LLE ARALL / ANOTHER PLACE” EP with Delyth Jenkins released February 2010 Steam Pie Records
“PWNCO” Album released April 2012 Steam Pie Records