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Rheinallt H. Rowlands

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Biography

Anglesey, North Wales (1991 – 2001)

Rheinallt H. Rowlands was Owain “Oz” Wright and Dewi Evans. They formed on the Isle of Anglesey, North Wales in 1991. Lushly orchestrated and sung mostly in Welsh, Rheinallt’s music is used regularly on regional TV and radio. The writer Ben Thompson has compared them to Scott Walker and Johnny Cash.

The duo formed as a one-off at the behest of Alan Holmes (Fflaps/Ectogram) for a spoof Geraint Jarman tribute album. An attendant legend was devised whereby it was said that Rheinallt was an ex-quarry worker inspired to sing after hearing Joy Division on the John Peel radio show. Oz and Dewi decided to continue working together after being asked to record a radio session for Nia Melville.

Oz initially sought to embrace the Rheinallt alter-ego: early shows saw him perform to backing tapes whilst dressed in a dark overcoat and hat. Later performances saw him joined by Dewi.

Rheinallt made three albums the best known of which is “Bukowski”. Released by Ankstmusik (then Ankst Records) in 1996 it caught the tail-end of the Welsh pop media buzz. Oz also appeared on records by numerous other artists including Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci, Llwybr Llaethog and The Serpents.

The duo disbanded in 2001. They were collaborating on a new project when in late 2005 Oz was killed in a road accident. Dewi continues to compose for theatre, film, television and radio.

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