Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Welsh Wednesday #59

Plentyn by 9Bach

Nine in Welsh is nau, pronounced 'nye'. Bach is pronounced in much the same way as the German composers. However, the band name 9Bach is a clever play on words which actually relies on the English pronunciation of the number:

“9 is as in Nain, (pronounced nine), which means grandmother in the North of Wales, Bach means little and is also a term of endearment in Welsh. In one language 9 is something so mundane as a number, but in Welsh Nain is a cosy, family-orientated lovely thing: your grandmother is a person we can relate to and visualise.”

9Bach are from Bethesda in north west Wales, a town that has the highest quotient of Welsh-language speakers in the country. It was also where Gruff Rhys grew up. Formed by singer-songwriter Lisa Jên and guitarist Martin Hoyland in 2005, 9Bach's music has been described as alternative folk or acid folk (whatever that is). It is spellbinding stuff and has made 9Bach one of the most widely appreciated Welsh language acts around. Their second album 'Tincian' won Best Album at this year's BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, making 9Bach the first Welsh act to ever win the award. They are about to record their third album and I suspect a late Spring release as a major UK tour is scheduled throughout May 2016. You should go see them if you can - you'll be captivated.

Today's Welsh Wednesday tune is taken from that award-winning album. Plentyn - which means child - is probably my favourite 9Bach song.


  1. It is like a Laurie Anderson tribute, but in Welsh.

  2. (Live commenting as I listen here) It's got to the middle of the song and very different now.