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It’s a dog’s life on the road for Shelley as acclaimed Welsh ‘power folk’ band CALAN play Swansea’s Taliesin Arts Centre

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When award-winning Welsh band Calan thunder into Swansea’s Taliesin Arts Centre and Cardiff’s Acapela Studio as part of their extensive spring 2022 UK tour there’ll be a few extra treats waiting in the dressing room. Drinks? Tick. Nibbles? Tick. Winalot and Bonio? Double tick.

Because while band members Sam Humphreys (guitars), Patrick Rimes (fiddles) and Bethan Rhiannon (vocals and accordion) move from hotel to hotel on their trek across the country, Calan’s world-class harpist Shelley Musker Turner won’t be separated from her two dogs.

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And if that sometimes means sleeping in her tour van with River and Celyn – and her full-sized celtic harp – so be it.

“They’re very protective and very warm,” says Shelley. “When you’ve played your heart out at full volume, and the place has been bouncing, they’re just what you need to come back to, a peaceful place.

“The rest of the band may have their comfy beds but not all hotels are pet-friendly so I’ve got my comfy dogs. It’s a good-sized van that used to be a commercial vehicle. I’ve been busy customising it so there’s space for them and me and my harp to be warm and snug, and they absolutely love it.”

Welsh ‘Power Folk’ bank Calan (Image: Richard P Walton)

Barnstorming Calan, Britain’s most innovative and thrilling indie-trad band, will be showcasing their new album ‘Kistvaen’. This critically-acclaimed work, produced just before lockdown, has never been toured live. Until now.

Expect intricate, brilliant musicianship welded to foot-stamping, crowd- pleasing, soaring melodies and vocals… Plus, likely as not, some blinding step- and clog-dancing.

“We’re conscious of The Taliesin’s great traditions,” says Calan’s violin virtuoso Patrick. “We started this tour in Scotland and the Taliesin is the first of our Welsh gigs. It’s wonderful to be coming home. We’ve got so many faithful fans here and we’ve missed playing for them through lockdown, so we’re really up for the occasion.”

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“And we know Acapela so well,” he continues. “We’ve recorded some of our videos there. You can almost touch the audience and the feeling of one-ness is incredible.

“And if all that wasn’t enough, their kitchen also cooks some of the best pizzas we’ve ever eaten. We might even save a few crusts for Shelley’s dogs!”

Calan play Swansea’s Taliesin Arts Centre on April 9 and Acapela Studio at Cardiff’s Pentyrch on April 10.

Tickets, more info and videos at www.calan-band.com

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