Lost treasure: 80’s Welsh underground band the FFlaps

There was a great underground scene of bands in the UK in the eighties.
Every town had an interesting band and some of the most interesting stuff came from Wales, where in Bangor there was a really quirky and fascinating band called Fflaps who combined a Death To Trad Rock sensibility with the Welsh language…

Link : the Fflaps facebook page
Fflaps were probably the only Welsh group involved in the Death To Trad Rock scene of the mid-late 80s and played all around Europe with the likes of The Membranes, Stretchheads, Dandelion Adventure, Death by Milkfloat and Archbishop Kebab. Their sound was both gnarly and awkward and also melodic, due to front woman Ann Matthew’s keen pop sensibility. What’s more, all their songs were sung in the Welsh language.
Between 1987 and 1993, they released three LPs (two on Probe Plus and one on Central Slate) and a 7” EP on Anhrefn Records, in addition to recording two John Peel sessions.

LTW boss John Robb dedicated a chapter of his ‘Death to Trad Rock’ book and included a track on the companion CD of the same name. Their material has long been out of print, but the group’s ex-bassist and head of Turquoise Coal records Alan Holmes has just collected all the available video footage of the group and archived it on the label’s YouTube channel:

He has also managed to find vinyl copies of two of the group’s LPs, which are available from turquoisecoal.com (as are free downloads of all the group’s output), along with the brand new LP from Ectogram, who formed from the ashes of Fflaps back in the mid 90s, and are still going strong.

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Award winning journalist and boss of Louder Than War. In a 30 year music writing career, John was the first to write about bands such as Stone Roses and Nirvana and has several best selling music books to his name. He constantly tours the world with Goldblade and the Membranes playing gigs or doing spoken word and speaking at music conferences.


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