1981

Early in 1981 Ail Symudiad decided to start their own label - Fflach, and release the first single, which had been recorded in October 1980, 'Twristiaid' yn y Dre' (Tourists in the Town), which is about Carnaby Street and the 60s, also on the single were the songs Hyfryd Bingo (Wonderful Bingo) and Modur Sanctaidd (Sacred Car). They were recorded in Stiwdio Sain with Eurof Williams producing and Simon Tassano co-producing and engineering.

Forming Fflach was an important step ahead for the band, as it was for other new wave/punk bands that were starting their own labels in the UK and Ireland - Trwynau Coch had already started their own label called Recordiau Coch.

1981 proved to be very busy with many gigs, amongst them Aberystwyth, Clwb Tanybont and Cardiff. They also played in many village halls, as was the fashion in Wales in the 80s for Welsh rock bands. This was the time that Blaendyffryn Hall, near Llandysul started holding more Welsh gigs, and these were organised by Cymdeithas yr Iaith (Welsh Language Society). Ail Symudiad began to play there regularly, with the the Rocyn Sound System and Hubert Mathias as company! There would be a crowd of 300-600 at nearly every gig.

The band were selling copies of Twristiaid yn y Dre in gigs and in shops all over Wales. The first 100 copies were in yellow 'dayglo' and nearly all the 500 singles pressed were sold. A.S. made another appearance on the TV programme Sêr in the HTV Studios in Pontcanna, Cardiff to sing Twristiaid yn y Dre. Unfortunately shortly afterwards Gareth Lewis left the band and Kevin Bearne joined for a period on drums and they played one of the biggest gigs on the Welsh pop calendar, the Inter-College Dance, supporting Edward H. Dafis.

It was decided that year to look for a studio closer to home to record with the interest in Fflach and for more Ail Symudiad records increasing. The boys heard of a studio in Ystradgynlais, not far from Swansea called Stiwdio'r Bwthyn, in the village of Cwmgiedd, and it's owner Richard Morris. With new songs having been written ( a single by another Welsh band Crys called 'Lan yn y Gogledd' had been recorded with Richard and sounded impressive) they decided to get in the 'Sacred Car', head south and pay him a visit! After their visit to the studio and a chat with Richard they decided to record at Stiwdio'r Bwthyn - the songs were 'Geiriau' (Words); 'Annwyl Rhywun' (Dear Someone) and 'Cura Dy Law', with Eurof once again producing and Richard as engineer. Richard Morris, as a gifted musician contributed a great deal to the recording and the band were delighted with his and Eurof's production. This single had an amazing reaction (great review in Welsh pop magazine 'Sgrech') from fans of the band and converted others with this new 'pop' direction. At gigs the crowd would often sing along with the band. The single sold close to a 1000 copies, many of them at gigs, that was quite an achievement.

There was to be a change of personnel on drums shortly afterwards with Robert Newbold joining the band. Robert had moved to the Cardigan area from West Bromwich years previously, and as there were more songs to be learnt, the boys spent a lot of time in the practice room. Robert's humour fitted in perfectly with Ail Symudiad's philosophy of the importance of fun in music, hence songs like 'Bwyta'n Broffesiynol' (Eating Professionally) when one of the band or their roadies spotted a man eating in a cafe in Cardiff with real enthusiasm ''.......he looks like a real professional eater!....'' Robert was the band's drummer for the years to come, and by the National Eisteddfod in Machynlleth he had played many gigs. The Sgrech Session that Ail Symudiad played in that year was very memorable, with people dancing on tables, Rhys Powys of Chwarter i Un filled in on drums in Robert's absence. That summer Ail Symudiad did a tour, playing all over Wales - from Penrhyndeudraeth Hall in the North to the Casablanca Club in Cardiff's dockland, with Chwarter i Un, this was a very successful tour, with good audiences throughout.

On a visit to Cardiff while filming for Sêr they were told of a punk clothes shop that had recently opened, with the catchy name Paradise Garage. After a visit to the shop they wrote a song called Garej Paradwys, a song that was a metaphor for the punk/new wave movement: Come on down to Paradise Garage, We can see the dawn from Paradise Garage., The sun is shining in Paradise Garage, I can see the light from Paradise Garage....Turn back now and say hurray!.And come to this wonderful place etc!!. If it were not for this musical revolution many bands would not have picked up guitars or formed bands, as it was in A.S.'s case. The group went back to the studio to record the two songs Garej Paradwys and 'Ffarwel i'r Fyddin' (Farewell to the Army) in the autumn. Again it was Eurof and Richard at the helm in Stiwdio'r Bwthyn. Ail Symudiad have to thank one of their friends Rhodri Davies (Robin's brother) who also helped during recording and sang backing vocals. Malcolm and Rhodri were a big help to the band along with roadies Graham Bowen, Arfon Griffiths, Clive Phillips, Clive Pater, Mwp, Dave Bendall and Hubert Mathias, Rocyn.

Garej Paradwys was released in December, with the cover design by Malcolm Neon, he also designed the 'Geiriau' cover and gave Ail Symudiad their distinctive logo.

First Fflach logo

Cardigan from St. Dogmaels

First single on Fflach 1981 - Twristiaid yn y Dre

Second single - Geiriau

Third single - Garej Paradwys

Blaendyffryn Hall

With Trwynau Coch, Blaendyffryn

Summer tour, Casablanca Club, Cardiff

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