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Home / Latest News / ‘Why can’t we wear these clothes on stage?’ Meet the folk band putting sex into success

‘Why can’t we wear these clothes on stage?’ Meet the folk band putting sex into success

They’re the traditional folk band who are putting the sex into success and rubbing old folkies up the wrong way at the same time.

Calan have got pulses racing due to their eye-popping attire banishing traditional folk’s image as the sole preserve of arran-sweater clad blokes with beards.

Hand in hand with this has come protests from some of the old brigade affronted by what they’re doing.

But it seems to be working as the group have scored great success worldwide – and were one of the acts who performed at the (winning) bid to bring Womex (the world music expo) to Cardiff this autumn.

The five-piece see themselves as a new generation of ambassadors, striving to take the traditional sound to new audiences while raising the profile of Welsh traditional music on an international level.

With their unique instrumental blend of accordion, fiddle, guitar, Welsh pipes, Welsh harp and the percussive sound of the Welsh clogs it’s a formula that seems to be working.

Calan
Calan

 

“I think we wanted the shock factor because of the stereotypical view of traditional music,” said fiddle player Angharad Jenkins.

“Some people love it and are pleased because it’s time folk musicians made an effort.

“Musicians from other genres make an effort to put on a show so why can’t folk musicians?

“But then there are some people who think it’s distracting that it takes away from the music. When they’ve seen us in our own comfortable clothes they prefer it, so it has divided opinion.”

Citing pop acts such as Madonna and Rihanna, Jenkins added: “I think it is important to get dressed up before you go on stage. Mentally it gets you into the zone. I don’t necessarily think you have to go over the top.

“I think essentially you need to feel comfortable and good on stage. Some of the girls in the band dress like that anyway and would go out clubbing like that, so why can’t they wear those clothes on stage?”

The musician, who this month released an album entitled Adnabod with her mother under the name DnA, said their sexy attire has helped hugely in spreading their name.

“I think probably that strong image has pushed things on for us,” she said.

“It has been known that some festival organisers will ask, ‘will they be looking like this on stage?’ without even listening to the music!”

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