Planet Online

Craig Owen Jones reviews
Ar Drywydd Meic Stevens
by Hefin Wyn

Ar Drywydd Meic Stevens

Y Lolfa, £14.99

Nowadays, it is hard to comprehend just how iconoclastic a figure Meic Stevens was in the late 1960s, when the byd pop Cymraeg was dominated by close harmony groups with immaculately coiffured hair and frilly dresses, and every single that was released seemed to be about love, land, language, or some cloyingly sentimental combination of all three. In the BBC’s archives, there exists one of the very few extant recordings of the early Welsh-language pop show Disc a Dawn (Disk and Talent), featuring an early television appearance by the singer-songwriter from Solva. Alongside the easy listening acts and the horribly lightweight singers populating Y Cymro’s pop chart that week, Stevens cut a swathe, stopping the studio’s technicians and audience alike in their tracks, it seemed, with an intense, earnest performance.

On reading Hefin Wyn’s biography, Ar Drywydd Meic Stevens, one gets a certain sense of déjà vu. An abundance of articles and books have been written about Stevens in the last quarter century or so, not the least of which were three well-received volumes of autobiography (Hunangofiant Y Brawd Houdini, Y Crwydryn a Mi, and Mâs O Mâ), the last making its appearance just four years ago. To cover the same ground again so soon after the man himself published his memoirs seems a strange choice.

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