Sunday, 15 November 2009

David R Edwards - Y TEIMLAD (the feeling)

portrait by Macolm Gwyon Picture by Malcolm Gwyon

Ah, Mr Edwards, a person who I regard as a dear friend,so the following is a little biased.
Formerly of the greatest band to emerge from Wales, Datblygu were a firm favourite of the late great John Peel, Dave's band managed in their time to record 5 brilliant sessions for Peel between 1987 -1993.They sang in Welsh, but that in itself does not really matter.
A unique acerbic point of view, a masterly command of language ( which just so happens, was in the medium of Welsh) . His live performances were legendary and incendiary, a real tour de force, I was lucky to see him in full flight a couple of times, unforgettable . His uncle used to live down the road from me  when I was younger, so I'd see a lot of Dave (my sister became his nephews godmother)... he'd mention bands that sounded exciting, and had me searching furtively at night for John Peel. Daves' musical influences  werevery wide ranged from the mighty Fall, the mekons, to the outer limits of Can, Beefheart  to Frank Sinatra and Charles Bukowski. Sadly ignored by the Welsh establishment of the time, he raged too hard you see. His music always seemed to convey a pissed- off, phlegmatic menace. Fucked up on Thatcherism, and general shitty Politicianism , a real peoples' poet he spoke for everyone, and the people still love him. His influence on the modern Welsh music scene enormous. He is acknowledged ,rightly so I say as a living legend.
Sadly Dave succumbed to alcoholism, depression and mental illness at the height of his creativity. Musically his voice has remained silent for over ten years bar one final single "Can Y Mynach Modern"(ANKSTMUSIC 121)2008. Perhaps he had nothing more to say. Yet he left behind a recorded legacy that anybody could be proud of, it all sounds great today. Bloody brilliant, in my opinion. Most of his output still available through the ANKST record label,and I believe they are all essential purchases, but if you unfamiliar with his work I strongly recommend " Datblygu The Peel Sesions 1987-1993(ANKSTMUSIK 119)2008.
Well he's just broken his tacitum having recently bought out his autobiography - Atgofion Hen Wanc (memories of an old Wank) Y LOLFA £6.95 ,well worth checking out,an honest account of his life up to now. Told with humour and candour.When you suffer from a mental illness it is not very easy to get motivated, so I admire Dave's new thirst for words.
" Y Teimlad" is a song that Dave and his band Datblygu recorded in 1984 and literally translates as the feeling, it was later covered by The Super Furry Animals on their Mwg album, and in Welsh sound more profound than in translation.Here Dave shows his emotional depth and lyrical genius. It was in all probability the most straightforward song he wrote. Datblygu meant "developing" and a lot of the music he created was very improvised and experimental. Y Teimlad is a song about love, or about not knowing what love is or what love means. When sung it had hints of melancholy and dissonance. It has so much emotional depth for me, the hairs on the back of my head stand up, a truly beautiful song. A reason to learn Welsh in itself. I will not translate it, I would not be able to give it justice. In the words of John Peel " You'd have to be a bit of a ninny to ignore Datblygu". Check them out, you will not be dissapointed. Such beautiful music, makes me proud you know. Long may he inspire. He currently lives in Abertefi, West Wales.
Oh and he does the usual things that legends do, spends time in the bookies, spends money in local supermarkets. His articulacy still shining, happy in himself, motivated by his own reasons,sometimes the days are strange, but legends do not have to explain themselves, now if you want to understand the meaning of his songs, well perhaps it's time to learn some Welsh.

Y TEIMLAD ( The Feeling)

Y teimlad sy'n gyrru pobl
i anghofio amser
y teimlad sy,n gyrru ti feddwl
nad yw'r dyfodol mor fler
y teimlad sydd yn dod
ac yn sbarduno gobaith
t'in gweld y tywod llwch
ond ti'n gweld fod yna flodau

Y Teimlad
beth yw y teimlad?
Y Teimlad
sydd heb esboniad
Y Teimlad
beth yw y teimlad
Y teimlad
Sy'n cael ei alw,n gariad
Y teimlad

Mae Hapusrwydd yn codi ac yn troi
yn wir rywbryd
ac mae'n dangos fod yna rywbeth
mewn hyd yn oed dim byd
a pan mae'r teimlad yno
mae bywyd yn werth parhau
ond yn ei absenoldeb
mae'r diweddglo yn agosau

Y Teimlad
beth yw y teimlad?
Y Teimlad
sydd heb esboniad
Y Teimlad
beth yw y teimlad?

9 comments:

  1. diolch,david R.Edwards arbennig iawn

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  2. Thanks so much for this, you've articulated a lot of my feelings about Datblygu and Dave far better than I have been able to over the years. It's an absolute nightmare trying to explain Datblygu to English-only speakers.

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  3. Saw Dave Wednesday night, in good spirits, was launching his book, sadly not well attended, probably to do with weather which was terrible, they showed good film on Datblygu " The ABC of DATBLYGU " originally shown on S4C on programme, fideo 9 in the 90s, worth checking out, their are bound to be bootlegs out their, really good yn Cymraeg.
    Their was little interview with Dave where he talked a little about one of his heroes Bukowski, when asked about inspiration he quoted Bukowski "Don't Try "!

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  4. heard news yesterday Dave's dad has passed away , very sad news, thinking of him in this dark time.

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  5. Diolch yn fawr iawn am postio'r telenegion. I've been looking for Datblygu lyrics online. Though I have a decent foundation in Welsh, it really helps to be able to read them. I don't feel like I can even call myself a fan of the David R. if I don't understand his words, but I really want to, cause I know he's saying some thoughtful and awesome things. You're right, it is motivation to learn faster.

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  6. thanks for comments, most appreciated, in a box set of Datblygu's music released a couple of years containing the l.ps, Wyau,Pyst ac Libertino I think you will find a nice collection of Dave's lyrics,
    regards
    xx
    heddwch/peace

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  7. Dave recuperating at moment. My thoughts go with him .

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  8. alcoholism is a debilitating crises.

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