ARTIST OF THE MONTH
Ffredi grew up in the Southern Hemisphere, gravitating to guitar and songwriting from age 4. His first composition was “A Bare Bottom” – arguably a high point. There followed years of fronting scratchy rock’n’roll bands, with a competing pull towards melodic, acoustic folk.
Ffredi’s new solo project mashes these sounds together with funky pop and modern Welsh influences. His debut album, The Dishwasher Tapes, was recorded at home in September – October 2020 and is defined by the limited tools available: a single mic, a creaking Windows Vista laptop and no bandmates! The ethos is lo-fi, the drums are (mostly) electronic, happy mistakes are kept in, and experiments are everywhere.
The influences are as diverse as: Prince, Gruff Rhys, Talking Heads, Joni Mitchell, Lou Reed… plus a whole lot of unconscious ones which jump out differently to different listeners.
The new double-A-side “Ffyrdd Tarmac a Ffenses / Tarmac Roads and Fences” is the first release from the upcoming 2nd album. This was recorded with Sophie Wozencraft (The Deep Blue) on drums and Ffredi on everything else. With real, live drums and acoustic as well as electric guitars and basses, the album has a more natural feel and warmer tones – straying into folky / country vibes but retaining an indie pop heart.
“Ffyrdd Tarmac a Ffenses” came about as an attempt to write a Welsh translation of the existing English song “Tarmac Roads and Fences”. This proved harder than expected, and a completely new song with a different vibe and attitude emerged, with a few key translated phrases retained in an otherwise wholly new lyric.
WHY FFREDI BLINO?
It’s an invented name which reflects Ffredi’s love of linguistic word-play, and gives a big nod to his adopted homeland. In Welsh, ‘wedi blino’ means ‘tired’ – you might say it in the middle of a yawn. ‘Ffredi Blino’ turns that phrase into a name – and one that a non-Welsh-speaker can have a good chance of pronouncing right at first glance!
GIGS AND STUFF:
As frontman of various bands, Ffredi has performed at a range of gigs and festivals around mid-Wales for the last 10+ years, including Radnor Fringe, MachFest, Workhouse and his Llanidloes hometown offerings: KINGSfest and Sesiwn:Session. His debut gig as Ffredi was in late December 2020, for the live streaming KINGSfest Xmas show, followed by a return to live gigs in The Lost Arc, Pavilion Mid Wales and more.
“Music is a language that doesn’t speak in particular words.
It speaks in emotions, and if it’s in the bones, it’s in the bones.”