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Datblygu

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Hailed as the first truly modern Welsh-language group, Datblygu’s (Develop) influence on Welsh music is immeasurable. Often described as “the Welsh The Fall” they were, along with Ail Symudiad, Y Trwynau Coch, Anhrefn, Y Cyrff, Fflaps, Llwybr Llaethog and Tynal Tywyll at the forefront of the new wave of Welsh language underground bands that inspired a new generation of musicians in the mid 1980s.

Formed by schoolboys David R Edwards and T Wyn Davies in 1982, Datblygu were joined in 1985 by Patricia Morgan. By then four cassettes had been released by the group, Amheuon Corfforol (Body Doubts), Trosglwyddo’r Gwirionedd (Transferring The Truth), Fi Du (Me Black) and Caneuon Serch I Bobl Serchog (Love Songs For Lovers).

Datblygu’s music was, as their name suggests, often experimental. In their time they played in such diverse styles as disco, country, nursery rhymes, rockabilly, crooning and just about anything else. The NME described them as ” Kraftwerk with a hangover”. Their debut EP Hwgr Grawth-Og was released in 1986 on Anhrefn. The following year they recorded the first of five John Peel sessions.

The band’s attitude towards the artistic bourgeoisie and politicians in Wales liberated a whole generation of bands who certainly owe a debt to the pioneering work done by the band. They were, in their own words, “non conforming non-conformists”.

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