THREE LEGG’D MARE was formed in Aberystwyth, 2014 by the keen folk trio; Kate Saunders, Dafydd Eto and Jon Davies. After meeting whilst trying other music ventures, they decided to work on their vocals and variety of instruments together. Since which, they have performed at many events around Wales including The Ship Inn (Llangrannog), The Old Mill (Llanidloes), Ceredigion Museum (Aberystwyth), Uncle Alberts Cafe (Borth), Centre for Alternative Technology (Machynlleth) and more.
I was extremely excited when they were available for this year’s Vale of Rheidol “Music on the Train”, May 31st. Once we got to Devils Bridge, we chilled, having a great chat over a cuppa and enjoying some fish & chips. Seeing numerous, buy their CD TINCER, I joined in and we all had another sunshine tuneful journey back. Then on return they managed to sell a few more, so I am truly excited to find out the latest!
Hello ello. How has it been in Aberystwyth?
“Well, today it’s been a little overcast and showery, but with brief glimpses of the sun. No, in all seriousness, we love being in and around Aberystwyth. I don’t think we ever take it for granted. The views are great, the music scene is cool, and there are plenty of things to provide inspiration for songs, not to mention unique institutions in which to do background research, such as the University and the National Library of Wales.”
How did the creation of Three Legg’d Mare come about?
“Daf and I (Jon) have been playing together in bands in the area for 20 odd years and then Kate appeared on the scene about 10 years ago, subsequently joining the line-up of our other band, the Hittites. We realised that the three of us had a very deep love of properly old traditional music, and thought we’d see what happened if we worked as a trio. That was about 3 years ago. We were delighted when something did happen.”
TINCER album is great. What inspired it?
“I suppose it was the song Bachgen Bach o Dincer, an old (cross-over English/Welsh) song about a little tinker boy and his everyday life, and the passing of that tradition of itinerant pot and pan menders. We had known it for years, but it worked so well with the three of us singing it that we thought it could inspire the album title. The other songs came together quite quickly after that and we thought they’d all work well on an album.”
Do any of the songs have a strong meaning?
“We have a strong attachment to all of the songs on this album, I think. We chose them because we were familiar with them, they resonated with us or they said something about the current social and political milieu, such as Hard Times of Old England. We were particularly grateful to Billy Bragg for letting us intersperse the traditional lyrics with his updated version of the song. He liked the way we’d done it – thankfully!”
I notice you have a lot of gigs to look forward to. Do you have a personal favourite so far?
“Yes, we’ve got a pretty hectic lineup of gigs through the early summer and then on and off into the winter. I think we enjoy the vast majority of gigs, but some of the purely acoustic ones have been good, such as at the Aberystwyth Folk Club this month and playing on the little train on the Vale of Rheidol Railway. Also memorable have been our gigs at Fishguard Folk Festival – always a big, vibrant audience.”
You mentioned the plan of your next album names. Is this happening soon?
“We are now pretty committed to following the pattern of the old Tinker, Tailor … rhyme (but in Welsh) which dates back to at least the 1600s. I guess we’ll see how far we can go! ‘Teiliwr’ (Tailor) should be finished within the next couple of months and out in the autumn, with a bit of luck and a following wind.”
3 lines of advice you would like to share with other performers?
“Be professional and turn up on time to gigs and with all of your gear!
Get to know how to judge an audience, and be flexible in order to more closely match an audience’s needs and expectations.
Get familiar with the basics of your craft. You can’t move on if you don’t know the basics. Oh … and don’t eat the yellow snow.”
It’s awesome how things can happen when you least expect it. I mean meeting and deciding to create music together, leading to 3 years and work on a 2nd album must feel fantastic. I’m so glad to hear they enjoyed the train, where I was asked by several customers to say how good their music was!
Since then, I have enjoyed a listen of “TINCER” that was recorded in 2016 by Foel Studio (tracks 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 10) and Steffan at Roughwood Records (tracks 1, 2, 8 and 9).
“HARD TIMES OF ENGLAND” has a strong meaning with a mix of solo and duo vocals and really interesting utilisation of instrumentals.
“BACHGEN BACH O DINCER” is in Welsh and shows the trio sharing the singing, with a great choir like fade out ending.
“BEDLAM BOYS” has got an amazing beat at the root, with a catchy repetitive chorus making you want to join in, plus an element of added depth via variety of subtle extras and additional vocals at times leading to a brilliant ending.
“ACROSS THE WESTERN OCEAN & SHENANDOAH” starts with a steady rhythm and words building towards a more upbeat section and duet finish.
“DACW NGHARIAD” starts with a great instrument focus leading to switching between strong duet and trio singing, adding extra strength, all ending with a fade out.
“THE BLACKEST CROW” has a steady, yet strong vibe, creating a sense of being outside somehow, with an ending where all sing, adding a greater depth.
“LLONGAU CAERNAFON” has an awesome ambience about it, with vocals steady and a powerful part towards the end creating a feeling of mystery.
“THE DEVIL AND THE FARMERS WIFE” is more upbeat and catchy with tapping elements adding an amazing background strength.
“TITRWM TATRWM” has a more steady approach with strong vocal merge, creating a really strong reminiscent feeling.
“MADAM I’M DARLING” is another great upbeat, ‘got to have a dance’ song, with numerous instrumental and vocal elements accumulating and adding depth.
So yeah overall, I feel THREE LEGG’D MARE have embraced the use of a variety of instruments, vocals and Welsh and English in a remarkable way. I actually reckon it would be amazing as a part of a film or series based in the country maybe….? A complex mystery….? An investigation?…. Hinterland?…..Pirates of the Caribbean?…..ooo ahhh! Either way, go and have a watch, look, listen and like session for yourselves. Especially with the new album ‘TEILIWR’ (Tailor) on its way. You go Three legg’d Mare!
Watch: Felix Cannadam Photography – Music on the Train
Bachgen bach o dincer @ Aberystwyth Museum
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RM @ CARMARTHEN
Unfortunately, we had to cancel the 10th June at Carmarthen due to the rain overload, so am unable to share any pictures. But, this said, I highly recommend you have a look and listen to the acts I had booked! I have known these lads for many years and am so glad to hear they are still gigging.
GEORGE HIGGINS HUGHES came to a few of Rewired Music Workshops playing keyboard and guitar ages ago and since which has performed at numerous open mic nights, events, “ Music on The Train” and more. This all led to him holding a launch of “Talking Through Smiles” EP at Aradgoch with Somewhereto_ support, that went really well. Now with recent mentions of a potential band formation and gigs here and there, watch this space.
Sam Chidgey, performed at numerous gigs and assisted with Varsity (Aberystwyth) music competition a while ago, alongside winning one of our early day Rummers Open Mic Competitions. I was so glad when heard he joined forces with Tony Hands, who played some awesome slots at Aberystwyth too. Now down Cardiff as a trio with Mike and the name THE SAM-ANTONIO FREEWAY, I can’t wait to hear more and see what the future brings.
Hopefully, our next gig at Carmarthen (24th June) with BRENIG from Aberystwyth, will be gloriously sunshine, so can enjoy a listen to their folk steady tracks LIVE outside. https://www.facebook.com/events/1906292786318605/
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After really wanting to see Anastasia perform live at Cardiff the other day, but unable, I bought her latest CD. This made me think back to the beginning of my music enjoyment and involvement. The first CDs I remember listening to being Kenny Rogers, Hazel O’Connor “You drink your coffee, I’ll drink my tea”, soon led to Robbie Williams, Celine Dion, Tom Jones, Annie Lennox and more, especially at our Karaoke nights! Then a fond memory of being outside at Marston Green School (yeah burrrrmingham) with my mates, reading the lyrics from within the CD mini book at hand. This leading to Now Thats’ What I Call Music 22 and Anastasia becoming the most played CDs, while creating a magazine idea. I can now definitely see why I’m a word-aholic enjoying creativity and expression via writing, reading, playing and hearing music.
SO…. new plan batman! I am going to randomly pick a CD out of my, now alphabet organised set of 360 (which will no doubt keep growing), with the aim to share the details, songs, story, review and/ or random explanationalo for ya’ll to read. It could be anything really, from Lana Del Rey, Justin Timberlake, Neil Dimond to Catfish and The Bottlemen. Or Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Enya, Eminem to Eric Clapton. #selectaCD #reviewspace #sharethetunes
—— THANKS ——
Em @ RM