Llwybr Llaethog (Welsh for Milky Way, although the Milky Way has several names in Welsh folklore) are an experimental Welsh language band that effectively mix such varied musical genres as rap, dub, reggae, hip hop, and punk in their music. Founded in the north Welsh town of Blaenau Ffestiniog, Wales in 1985 by John Griffiths and Kevs Ford, the two teens had spent the seventies growing up in the town's decaying industrial surroundings. The two were heavily influenced by reggae and the punk scenes that were sweeping the UK. After several years touring northern Europe with punk/ska band The Managing Directors, the turning point came in 1984 when John Griffiths was on vacation in New York City and was impressed by a group of youths he saw at a nightclub breakdancing, and the sounds of DJ Red Alert.

After returning to Wales, Griffiths fixed on the idea of marrying hip hop and left wing politics with his native Welsh language. Llwybr Llaethog's debut release was an EP for the Welsh record label Anhrefn Records in 1986, entitled Dull Di Drais, which combined Llwybr Llaethog's leftist political messages with what would become the band's trademark sound of turntable scratching, audio sampling, hip-hop, and cut-and-paste production.

Links To Peel

Peel was a supporter of the band since the late 80's, when he discovered them on the Anhrefn label. The group did 4 sessions for Peel's show and John Griffiths in an interview with Welsh Not described how his music was only played on two radio programmes, one of them was Peel's:

"At the time Welsh radio was refusing to play a lot of the music that was coming out from people like ourselves and Datblygu. So John Peel was extremely supportive – he was backing us when it really wasn’t trendy to be into Welsh music. He played everything we did and we ended up recording four sessions for him. He would often ring me up before it went on-air; just to check how the hell you say the name. Apart from John Peel, I can only remember one show on Radio Cymru at the time that would ever play our music. It was only about an hour-long show on Saturday mornings by someone called Richard Rees; who I think is still broadcasting. So you had this one-hour slot each week and that was your only chance of getting something played in the whole of Wales. It was exactly the same for a lot of the groups around at the time." [1]


LLWYBR LLAETHOG John Peel 17th September 1989

LLWYBR LLAETHOG John Peel 17th September 1989

1. Recorded: 1987-12-20. Broadcast: 05 January 1988. Repeated: 20 January 1988

  • Tour De France 87 / Cyfundrefn Gyfalafol / Megamics

2. Recorded: 1989-09-17. Broadcast: 11 October 1989. Repeated: 21 November 1989, 07 March 1990

  • Dinas Fawr / Trachwant / Byd Mor Wahanol / Fyw Dy Fywyd

3. Recorded: 2001-07-15. Broadcast: 01 August 2001

  • Porthmadog / Anomie Ville / Dimbrains Dot Com / Caws

4. Recorded: 2001-12-19. Broadcast: 19 December 2001

  • Ffestiniog Dub / Kustroc / Jessica

Other Shows Played

Llwybr Llaethog - Pam

Llwybr Llaethog - Pam

  • 27 March 1992: Fi Yw'r Comiwnydd Ola' Yn Ewrop (split album with Tŷ Gwydr : David R. Edwards - LL.LL. v. T.G : MC D.R.E.) Ankst
  • 11 April 1992: Gimi Gimi (LP – LL.LL v T.G. MC D.R.E ) Ankst
  • 01 May 1992: 'Osmosis' (LP - LL.LL v. T.G. MC D.R.E.) (Ankst)

External Links

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