This time last year I was busy preparing a New Year's Eve extravaganza for my set at Folk Marathon Ghent, to celebrate the dawn of a new glorious decade in which we move towards a renewable-energy based circular econonmy; a world where the people of all nations, ethnic & economic backgrounds, geneders and sexual orientations are valued and respected equally.
Friday the 23rd of October, Ghent: the night curfew was already in full swing and a second lockdown loomed on the horizon. I was due to take my train back to North Wales, and two weeks of self-isolation, in two days time.
But before I left, we transformed the Robinialand living room into a socially-distanced home studio and recorded this song:
The co-writer, Hannelore Karmel, was sad that she couldn't be there for the recording session, but she was able to join us virtually, in post-production, through the fibre-optic cables from Estonia (as you can see from the sketch).
The song was written on a Sunday in Brussels. It was the 15th March, 2020 and Belgium had just gone into lockdown. I was due to take a bus back to London that evening, and Hannelore would fly back to Estonia the following morning. But we didn't really want to leave, and we didn't know when we would all see each other again. She especially was making a fuss about this, and I, sat at the piano, started making up a mock-tragic song about it. Judging from the voice notes on my phone, this must have been at about 11.40am. A few hours later, we'd finished the song and filmed a little video.
I returned to Belgium in September to perform at BOM festival in Bij De Vieze Gasten, Ghent, where we gave this song its first (and so far, last) Belgian public appearance.
I ended up staying in Ghent for a month with my bandmates in their shared house, delaying the inevitable two weeks of mandatory self-isolation which I would undergo on my return to the UK. A friend suggested I record See You After Quarantine which she remembered from our performance at the festival. I'm very glad she made that suggestion! This one goes out to her.
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.
This summer, just after the lockdown eased and the borders opened, I snuck off to Slovenia for a secret summer mini-tour, where I joined the Etno Histeria World Orchestra, along with my specially created summer tour band - "Worldwide Welshman & The Floating Castles" ...
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!
Liam Rickard is a musician & illustrator from North Wales, performing multilingual, global-alt-pop, party music and comedy under the name Worldwide Welshman.