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"Album review"

The project of Jazz violinist Billy Thompsonand his partner Rhian Williams, AMledd's debut is a cd that it's futile to try and assign to any genre. Rather it's a glorious mutant that makes a critical impression using the pick of musicians from Wales.

Okay, so all the lyrics are in Welsh but that never stopped Catatonia did it? Not that Amledd is anything like them; for a start Rhian Williams's voice is far more varied and adaptable than Cerys Matthews' throaty soprano which these days seems to have buried itself in acoustic country noodling rather than the full on arrangements here

Songs vary from the decidedly poppy opener "Bod ar Wylie" to the folksy "Myfanwy 2", through almost classical string quartet based "Yn y Niwl", which builds to an anthemic finish.

Throughout, Thompson's violin is sharp and strong. At times he fiddles as fast as a whirling dervish, seemingly a one man orchestra, yet more he comeson like a lead axe player with chords and runs as big as er... Snowdon. It's the combination of his smart melodies and her canny vocal that makes this one of the smartest indie rock based projects to come calling in while. Go to - The Chester Chronicle

"Summer Gig reviews"

A brilliant gig to finish the year at Ysgol Ardudwy as pupils of the school enjoyed the varied musical songs of Amledd, one of Wales' best groups at present.

The atmosphere in main hall was electric as the musicians enjoyed the performance with the pupils asking for more at the end of every song.† On more than one occasion Billy Thompson, the famous violinist played his violin whilst he made his way through the crowd.† This generated more excitement especially as a number of pupils imitated him with air violins.

Songs from the new cd were the main stay of the performance with 'Weithiau' becoming an anthem by the end of the set.† I am sure a number of copies of the cd will be sold in Harlech after this gig.

Many thanks to Amledd for the performance and to pupils of Ysgol Ardudwy for the support in making it a memorable gig. -


Album released in July 2006: Cyfnod Cyntaf
Tracks can be streamed from the web-site



Billy Thompson is an internationally renowned improvising violinist who studied in Cardiff, Wales. Along with recording and touring with Barbara Thompson's Paraphernalia (featuring Jon Hiseman), Billy also plays with The Amigos and Welsh folk legend Meic Stevens. It was whilst on tour with Meic Stevens that Billy first met Rhian Williams at a gig where she was on the same bill. Billy instantly fell for Rhian's unique voice, looks and outlook on life. Years later they now live together in Bala, North Wales and have created this band, Amledd, pooling all the knowledge and experience from both their careers thus far...

Live and on record, the original songs penned by Rhian Williams and Billy Thompson are accompanied by a fantastic band made up of Huw Symonds on guitars, Dave 'Taif' Ball on fretless bass and Steve Roberts on drums. Dave 'Taif' Ball is also a member of Barbara Thompson's Paraphernalia which is how Billy met him.

Billy's role live includes guitar accompaniment, mandolin playing and the violin through various effects. This is also accompanied by an overdubbed string section triggered from Billy's Pro Tools 002 system. All effects are used subtly to enhance the songs and elevate Rhian's powerful voice. There are also some breath-taking violin solos of a speed and individuality that just have to be seen and heard to be believed.

Should the gig only be paying a nominal fee or there simply isn't the room we also go out as an acoustic line-up with Rhi singing, Billy with his instruments and Huw Symonds on guitars.