New single, recorded just under 4 weeks ago in Ghent, a few days before I headed home to Wales for my two weeks of self-isolation. The song was written in Brussels back in March, weekend that Belgium entered the first lockdown.
Here's the original live video of the song, featuring co-songwriter Hannelore Karmel.
It's become a tradition to write my hitsongs in Belgium, in March, in collaboration...(see Goldfish)
Be sure to keep your eye on my Instagram for updates! (i.e. the next trailer) I usually post them here first.
I started making this in May during the first lockdown, after I was invited to perform in the Treehouse Festival online edition. I invited last year's spontaneous Treehouse Festival band (a comination of London's Erni & Luke, and Newcastle's A Horse Named Gringo) to make a lockdown video with me.
I didn't manage to finish the video it in time for the gig, but the audio was ready, so I used that.
Welcome to the Worldwide Welshman blog & website. I'm currently re-organising this website. I've decided to replace the static homepage with this blog page, and I will be gradually updating this page with historic content that was previously elsewhere on the website, as well as, more importantly, the latest news. You can also check out the menu on the top left to see links to the bandcamp (online music shop), art portfolio, bio and contact page. Enjoy!
WHERE IS WORLDWIDE WELSHMAN?
I'm currently in Ghent, Belgium. I had a gig here last week, and now I'm staying in the spare room in Robinialand. I've started studying a masters in Green Building at Centre For Technology, by distance learning currently (due to the corona situation). I will be posting updates about that soon! And about the recent summer trour to Slovenia with my German band.
In the meantime, here's a clip from last week's lovely concert at Bij' De Vieze Gasten, where we performed to a masked, seated & socially-distanced but extatic audience of BOM Festival-goers.
UPDATES COMING SOON
New Year Orchestra
Worldwide Welshman's soundtrack to the end of civilization
To celebrate the start of the new decade, I returned to Folk Marathon which this year took place in one of my favourite cities, Ghent. To make it extra special, I put together a band over twenty musicians from all over Europe for the New Year's Eve slot.
We dream of a world without borders!
Its a truly international affair, performed in Gent with a pan-European jam-band during an international folk festival, and produced in Germany by the patient and talented Max Christensen Music.
I hope you will find it both enertaining and relevant.
Worldwide Welshman's New Year Orchestra are:
Liam Rickard - guitar & vocals
Jonas Malfliet – accordion
Cédric Avelon – bass
Joachim Thys – saxophone
Ana María Bautista – clarinet
Ray Riveros Valenzuela - trumpet
Bernahrd Vanecek - trombone
Antoon Kindekens – drums, (Perc. on Sofia & Boyfriend)
Jonas El Leuther – cowbell (drums on Sofia & Boyfriend)
Ammar Hanoon Alkhalidi – darbuka
Maya McCourt – cello, guest lead vocals
Mart Flecijn – violin
Angelika Hudler – violn
Lotte Remmen – violin
Lauren Spiceley – violin
Hannah Boer – percussion, backing vocals
Michael Ekeghasi – percussion, backing vocals
Moa Papillon – Mandolin, backing vocals
Mira Heller– flute, backing vocals
Jilly Lukkesen– backing vocals, guest lead vocals
Marek Matas– backing vocals
Sion Rickard – harmonica, backing vocals
Helen Scott – backing vocals & penny whistle
Linde Janssens – Backing vocals
Luna Ersahin – backing vocals
Yolanda Bautista Daza– backing vocals
These last few years have been incredible. With the help of my friends around the world, I've taken Worldwide Welshman to Ghent, Amsterdam, L'Ardennes, Algiers (Ethno Algeria), Portugal (Ethno Portugal & Folk Marathon Porto), Catalonia (Ethno Catalonia), Ljublijana (Kavc Festival), Tubingen (Klangfolk & more), Castle Lichtenstein in Germany (Ethno Germany), Koper (Floating Castle festival), Italy (Folktrepo), Berlin (Karneval Der Kulturen)...
I just came back from Ghent, Belgium, where welcomed in the new decade with the biggest Worldwide Welshman band so far, of over 20 people!
This was a follow up of last year when we played in Porto with ten people.
On the way to Porto we went in Red Transit Van, and so the Red Transit Van crew where born, aboud half of whome were onstage with me, of course.
And there were even more friends in the audience
My bandmates in the Belgian lineup of Worldwide Welshman were the organisers of the festival, and they did a great job.
In September 2019 I moved to Cardiff, where I've been working on a brand new band with my brother and collaborator, Sion Rickard. More on that very soon.
Lots of new releases planned this year, so stay tuned!
A year after the release of my debut album, the second album is coming! We'll record it in January in Belgium and Germany. Below is a clip from a recent gig with my London band of our brand new German song, Ich Liebe Sofia a.k.a. Sofia ist Vergeben. This will be on the new album, as well as the other new crowd favourites "Goldfish" and "Special Cream", updated versions of some of our other popular songs, and some brand new never-heard-before songs.
On November 2nd I played this song in Tubingen at Klangfolk, infront of Sofia and all her friends, and then again on November the 4th in Lichtenstein Haus (audio and video from that is on the way). This was the second time she's heard it performed. In summer 2019 I was in Tubingen, and I performed it in front of her boyfrend, in the basement of Lu 15, with Cristobal on sax, Ana Maria on clarinet, Mira on flute, Vilma on bass, Ammar, Sami & Jonas L on percussion (did I miss anyone?).
The idea for the song was born back in 2017, after I visited Tubingen for the first time on my way back from Rila music exchange.
I started 2018 partying in Brno to a balkan band, after playing a set with my own travelling folk collective, Transglobal Troubadours (chucked in some Worldwide Welshman songs, of course). As the new year came in I was dancing in the street with Nemat, a beautiful Palestinian-Jordanian singer and dancer who lives in Sweden.
A few days after Christmas I'd taken the bus to Gent, where we began our road trip to the folk marathon in Brno, Czech Republic. Jonas Malfliet, Joachim Thyrs, Vilma Tavitie and I drove through Europe. Well, they drove, because I still didn't get round to learning to drive. We stopped over in Tubingen, in the house of Steph who I would later meet on Ethno England. We arrived in Brno to meet my brother, Sion, and many friends including my EthnoEngland pal and fellow Transglobal Troubadour, Frankie Archer, Joseph Woods from Jay Sunaway, Susi Evans from the London balkan scene, and many friends from Rila Music Exchange (where Jonas, Frankie and me went in September 2017), Ethno Flanders (also a significant occassion) and Tubingen (my favourite German town).
On the way to Brno, Jonas was called by master accordionist Keiren Alexander, who asked us if we would perform that night. So we made a set in the car. Half way through this video you can hear the Transglobal Troubadours balfolk set, curated by Jonas Malfliet our accordion maestro. In this one we had Jonas, Joachim and Arthur from Belgium, Frankie from Newcastle, Vilma from Finland and me from Wales (singing a Russian song taught to me by Granny Bella).
Another highlights was dancing to, and jamming with, an amazing Israeli balkan band, Gute Gute, who you shoould definietly check out: https://www.facebook.com/GuteGuteMusic. They also make orginal Israeli indie-folk music.
After Brno, Jonas, Vilma and I drove onwards to Pazin, Croatia, for the Trad-In-Etno Mini-Folk-Marathon where we made a lot of new friends who we'd see later in the year. We were joined by our friends Gabriel and Angelika, and Joachim went back to Belgium, and my brother went to Wales via Prague.
This event was the reason I later went to Folktrepo in Italy and Ethno Portugal, and also was lucky enough to host the talented Ray & Luna in London. I say host, they actually spent most of the time with some friends of a friend, just down the road in a property guardianship. My flat isn't really kitted out for guests, or even for me...
I've been living without a fridge or a shower for three years...I put my food in a cooler box on the balcony, and I was by tipping a bucket of water over my head; I use the kettle to heat the water. Now my kettle has broken; no problem in summer, but I need to get this situation sorted before winter.
Above: Rayo De Luna, French-Venezuelan and Turkish-Kurdish-Danish duo. When they played in the Bunker I thought, "I need to bring them to London" so I took this video to show to venues here...and it actually happened! They played in Meyhane, The Golden Hinde, Ravensdale Warehouse and Jam in a Jar.
Across The Sea
I set up "Across The Sea" in order to promote gigs for friends I met on ethnos. The first was in December on the Golden Hinde, with myself, Anna McAndrew, Deda Lera and THE EMBERS COLLECTIVE (but a mini version...you need to see this crew in their full glory, they are quite something).
The second was the best ever, with Old Salt from Gent. I met the main man, Daniel Wall, in Rila music exchange, and I met his band mate Lote in folk marathon Brno. They came to London in February and plaed a sold out show on the Golden Hinde.
but that's another story...
After Brno we drove onwards to Pazin, with two new travel companions, our friends Angelika and Gabriel who Jonas and I met on Rila music exchange. for more magical experiences in Pazin, Croatia.
Then in easter came Folktrepo in Italy, organised by Elisa Mandriola and her friends. She was on the Pazin one and was inspired to make a similar event in her home town.
For this one I again traveled overland with the two members of Transglobal Troubadours who couldn't make it in the winter - Lewis and Helen from Edinburgh. On the way to Italy we played a show in Robinialand, Gent, and in...you'll never guess.... Tubingen, the Epplehaus! But we were interrailing this time, and we went through a new place - Lugano in Switzerland! It is indeed rather expensive.
After the folk camp in Spessa Po, near Pavia, N.Italy, I visited Sofia (my Italian friend from Tubingen) in her home up in the hills, near a pretty town called St Sebastian. Amazing food, amazing place! After a day or so here, I went to Antonio's flat in Stradella to record a version of Easy to Be Happy which will come out on my debut CD (its been NEARLY finished for nearly a year now...it just keeps growing bigger). Then I took a trip to Bologna, where I bumped into an Italian girl who I know from London, then to Rome to stay with an old uni friend, Cristiano.
After a few exhausting but interesting days here, I travelled on an overnight train from there to Munich, then to Dusseldorf to see Gaurav Sinha, my friend from the architecture office where I worked in New Delhi.
Then soon enough it was summer, and I was volunteering on Ethno England. My volunteering mainly involved making a nice painting for the tour poster, which we then neglected to finish in time to advertise the wales part of the show. But, we succeded in taking Ethno England on tour to Neuadd Ogwen in Bethesda (where I stayed with my parents), then Cobalt Studios in Newcastle (where I stayed with my Uncle and Aunty) and in Edinburgh (we stayed in a hostel, but I stayed on a few days with my Scottish ethno friends, and of course bumped into people I know, new and old, as happens whereever I go in this surprisingly small world).
Soon after this my brother and I went by bus to Ethno Catalonia in Banyoles, where we taught a kickass welsh song and tune that always got the crowd going. The best bit was when two of the Algerians, Hamza and Medhi, would jump up and play their Quarkaboe's whilst dancing.
After this we went onto Ethno Portugal. We thought it couldn't get any better, but it did! Portugal was great, I was surrounded by amazing musicans, dancers and all round lovely people...I remember at somepoint getting down because I couldn't pull anyone, and other people seemed to be coping off with each other fairly easily... I thought "how can I be in folk music and dance camp surrounded by beautiful women, yet not manage to 'get lucky'.?"...but the problem was that I was walking around with a big "desperate" sign on my forehead, so after I realised this I felt my luck changing, and I became attractive once again.
Ethno Portugal ended with an epic folk dancing festival in the searing heat. It was the hottest place I've been, up there with South India (I was in Delhi during Autumn and Winter, and left in spring just as it was starting to get hot, so I was spared that experience)
coming up in part 2: Ethno Portugal photos & ethno Algeria!!!
We love playing in Gadz Cafe, Finsbury Park. One time, we met a famous politician who we greatly admire. The Italian band members hadn't heard of him. We requested "Guantanamera" for his wife, as it's her favourite song. Hussain the cafe ower, the regular, our fans and the leader of the opposition and his wife put arms over each overs shoulders and danced around the band, singing along.
Its been a busy time for me in London since my last blog post, which was well over a year ago. Updating the blog part of the website has slipped down my list of priorites.
So, in June last year I went on an amazing and life changing intercultural music exchange: Ethnoengland, which took place in Oxford. These summer camps for 16-30 year olds started in Sweden in the 90s and now happen all over the world, check them out: ethno-world.org.
The England edition was organised by Lauren Spicely and the Tandem Collective, a group of amazing people who are also talented musicains with an environmental & social mission. One of the main focuses of the Tandem Collective is reducing food waste and this came into the ethno as well: most of the food we ate was the stuff that shops, restaurants and bakeries weren't able to sell and had given to the food bank. Obviously the food bank is for people who can't afford to feed themselves and their families, bur we were not taking from them; a lot perishable goods get donated so we took the excess. We were also given fresh curry food everyday from a delicious Indian restaurant whose owner loved the project so gave us food for free (left over from his buffet). Curry every day was amazing for me as I love Indian food.
The festival also looked at mental health issues and the moeny raised went to Mind and other local charities.
This year I went back to ethnoengland, which happened on a farm in Ramsden, in the beautiful Oxfordshire countryside.
The Tandem festival was much bigger than last year, with amazing bands such as Moulettes (alternative rock), Kourelou (greek music), Akervinda (vocal group singing Swedish folk songs), Zlabya (epic bafolk), and many more, including our friends Jay Sunaway, Yakez, Steph West, Sophie-janna. And of course there was the Ethnoband, which I was part of. The best of all was this cracking new band from London called Worldwide Welshman & Beyond. They are of course my brand new band! (and by no means the best, but we were warmly welcomed and had a great time, and we went down very well).
The newest lineup started in February with a charity gig in The Others followed by one the day after in The Hive. The band consists of my Italian jamming buddies Carry & Nicholas on guitars, Elliot on bass (who I met in a mad hatter's ball in West London), Hugo on drums (from Paris), Semra on darbuka (Turkish lady I met in Jamboree), Anna on backing vocals (we worked together in the music department at Linden Lodge school so she joined the band) and, occasionally, New Yorker-tunred-Londoner Benjamin on Trombone and Giusy Cancellara on Violin. A month or so later, on our way to play at the Community Garden in Elephant & Castle, my brother Sion and I met another brass player, Hywel, and invited him to join us in the gig, and he has since become our 7th band member, my brother and Ben being part-time members, and Giusy having left the electirc lineup and joined the acoustic spin-off project (you can catch us on Sundays on the book barge by Granary Square, Regents Canal).
Our biggest and best show so far was when we played in front of thousands of people in the Lambeth Country Show, Brockwell park. The next big show will be in HOOTERNANYS on September the 23rd, which we are understandably very excited about, it being a major venue on the world, funk, indie and gypsy scenes in London.
As well as building the band, I've been working on recordings with a lot of help from Carry, the guitarist from "& Beyond", who is an excellent sound engineer and my co-producer for the upcoming album.
To fund all this, I've been working as a teaching assistant, and for a few months as a supply music teacher, and teaching music classes on the weekend. And we're getting more and more paid gigs which is exciting.
In a few days I'll be heading to Ethnoflanders in Oonstend, and playing 3 shows with them including Dranouter festival on 6th of August! https://www.festivaldranouter.be/
After this I'm heading to Toulouse to join my band in Hugo's aunty's house for a week of music making and busking!
Then on August 20th I'm playing a set of mainly Jewish songs in Selig Court, for my grandmother and neighbours & carers. That evening I'll get the train to Edinburgh to join the Transglobal Troubadours (a spinoff of the Ethnoengland band), and we'll be there from 21st til 24th. And after that I'll be going on the Rila Music Exchange; travelling around the mountains of Bulgaria learning Bulgarian & Roma folk songs, meeting local people, eating goats cheese, jamming, drinking rakia...its going to be amazing!
Thanks for reading!
Liam Rickard is a musician & illustrator from North Wales, performing multilingual, global-alt-pop, party music and comedy under the name Worldwide Welshman.