Thursday, July 8, 2010

Y Trwynau Coch - 1978 - Merched Dan 15 7'' (UK)

Y Trwynau Coch - 1978 - Merched Dan 15 7'' (UK)
Y Trwynau Coch or 'The Red Noses' were a Welsh punk band from the late 1970s. Whilst they were not quite the first Welsh punk band (that honour goes to the Llygod Ffyrnig - the 'Fierce Mice', I believe), they became the best known and most successful and were even played on Radio 1 by John Peel on a few occasion.

Formed in Swansea in 1977 the band comprised Ian Jones, Huw Eurig, Rhys Harris, Alun Harris and Huw Chiswell, formed their own record label in the true punk tradition on which they released their own material. Their repertoire featured material such as Byw ar arian fy rhieni (Living on my parent's money), Mynd i'r capel mewn Levis (Going to the chapel in Levis) and the wonderfully entitled Lipstics britfics a sane silc du (Lipsticks, Britvics and black silk stockings).

They notably achieved a certain notoriety for their song Merched Dan Bymtheg, the chorus of which went something like this;

Rwy'n afal yn feddwl am ferched dan bymtheg
Y fel ma nw'n siarad, a fel ma nw'n cerdded
Y fel ma nw'n siglo'u bethau bach hyfryd
W ata W ata, un drwy'r dydd
W a W a, un bob nos
Which roughly translated means;

I often think of girls under fifteen
The way that they talk, the way that they walk
The way that they shake their pretty little things
Ooh ata Ooh ata, one through the day
Ooh ah Ooh ah, one every night

This was fairly shocking even for 1978, since sixteen is the age of consent for heterosexual sex in England and Wales and the reference to under age sex and the fairly obvious allusion to masturbation was enough to get them banned from the local radio station, Swansea Sound. (Even if the whole thing was very much tongue in cheek.) The band retaliated by recording a rather disparaging song about said record station. (Much in the same vein as the Sex Pistols' EMI.)

This was of course before McMartin, so there was not quite the same level of hysteria generated as would be the case today. In any case, since they were singing and recording in Welsh, very few people understood what they were on about. As far as the Welsh speaking population of Wales was concerned there was however little in the way of any backlash against the band. They were, if anything, viewed with a sort of amused tolerance; they were after all doing it in Welsh, you see.

Since no one ever makes any money out of Welsh pop music (unless you start singing in English), the band came to an end in 1980 as its members had to get real jobs and duly became accountants and doctors or something important in Welsh television
by aneurin (link)