“Calan have it all. Energy, attitude, freshness, a sense of fun and above all, real talent.” – BBC Radio Wales
Calan bring together the remarkable talents of 5 young musicians giving a fresh and vibrant sound to traditional Welsh music. With a contemporary and lively approach they breathe new life into the old traditions through their sparkling melodies, foot tapping tunes and spirited and energetic performances of Welsh step dancing.
They blast their way through some of the old favourite reels, jigs and hornpipes with fast paced and uplifting arrangements before melting into some of the most beautiful and haunting songs.
Following the release of their debut album, ‘Bling’ in 2008, which attracted four star responses from the critics, the five-piece have been playing to big audiences and rave reviews at concerts and festivals around Britain and Europe, including the coveted Cambridge Festival; Celtic Connections, Glasgow; Shrewsbury Folk Festival; Moseley Folk Festival; Derby Folk Festival; Bromyard Folk Festival, Whitby Folk Festival a concert tour of Italy, Austria and Belgium along with a number of performances at the Festival Interceltique de Lorient, Brittany, where they’ve received the award for the best group.
The group, who’ve raised some eyebrows with a deliberate policy of eye-catching clothes and presentation, despite the ancient roots of their music, see themselves as a new generation of ambassadors, striving to take their new sound to new audiences, while raising the profile of Welsh traditional music on an international level.
With their unique instrumental blend fiddles, whistles, guitar and bagpipes and a traditional reed instrument from Wales called a pibgorn made from a wooden pipe and the horns of a bull. Great fun, a sense of humour and step dancing from a champion dancer who dances in a style unique to Wales
They have introduced a new generation of music fans to Welsh traditional music – in Wales and beyond. Audiences in Belgium, Italy and France as well as all over the UK have given them a terrific reception they are now on their fourth tour of North America.
The band began by busking in the streets of Cardiff raising money to pay for university fees. By 2015 they were performing alongside Bryn Terfel and Sting at the Royal Albert Hall in London as part of Bryn Terfel’s 50th birthday party.
“…there’s nowt as dear as folk – especially when played with the grace, daring and sheer joy this multi-instrumental five-piece bring to a winning selection of reels, jigs and hornpipes.” – The Daily Mirror
“Folk just got a kick up of the Noughties… stunning use of instrumentation, gorgeously crafted songs, sprightly foot-tappers, verve and raw excitement.” – Belfast Telegaph
“…these three lasses and two lads demonstrate virtuoso playing throughout their lightning fast tunes, eastern influenced jazzy improvised numbers, and glorious harmony laden female Welsh folk songs.” – Taplas
“Their debut album is as energetic as you as you might expect, but it also has subtlety and, in places, a mournfulness that is impressive in such a young band…Aside from the runaway jigs and reels, we’re also treated to Bethan Rhiannon singing (in Welsh)… and creating a beautiful sound. …A group of musicians with a bright future ahead of them.” – Songlines
“I think this album is smashing.” – Mike Harding, BBC Radio 2
“Bling is the first album by a young Welsh quintet with a lot of talent… it is rather a splendid debut.” – Rock ‘n’ Reel
“Traditional Welsh folk music is given a wash and brush up by Calan on Bling. This is a fine collection of modern sounding tunes from a talented band. It’s energetic and fast paced, and with crisp production form Maartin Allcock.” – JRS
“When I first came across Calan they not only impressed me with their stage presence but also the standard of their musicianship. Wow! Wonderful tunes expertly played. Some how I had to get to involved.” – Maartin Allcock