Pure West Radio 1st Birthday Party

‘We Want Your Talent’

On Friday, 5 April 2019, I had the pleasure of being invited on behalf of Stargazer Music Magazine to attend the 1st Birthday celebrations for Pure West Radio and had the honour of meeting not only their wonderful family and friends, but the extended family in the form of his amazing staff from the radio station.
Visionary, Toby Ellis and founder of the station has been relentlessly cutting his teeth in the industry for years and is pretty much a local celebrity in Pembrokeshire, West Wales, here in the UK for a great many years, from local DJ in a great many clubs to being one of the main radio presenters for Radio Pembrokeshire, with his face being seen at countless outside broadcasts along with his distinctive voice on the airways.
But as the years ticked by, Toby realized that the time was fast approaching to take that leap of faith, as many of us have, and to do this for himself. And with his best foot forward, that’s exactly what he did, creating what we now know today as Pure West Radio featuring, promoting and supporting the best local artists here in Pembrokeshire. I can relate to the whole journey myself and the roller coaster ride along the way in the music industry as Toby and myself have been riding it for years. But now, like myself, Toby has jumped off this crazy train on to a “platform” that will set himself and his family up for the rest of their lives.
What I witnessed on the evening of the 5th April was one of the most professional promotional and celebratory events I have seen in a long time, turning the early part of the evening into a talent show for said artists to compete against each other for an amazing prize of performing at a big event they are holding later in the year with the radio station, and at the same time, to be able to join in with the celebrations, putting the whole evening up there with likes of some bigger events I have worked with in London.
The doors opened at 5pm with a great many already queuing for their very own pole position at this great event and party. By 5.30, the event was drop kicked into existence by The Llewellin Duo who gave us not only an impressive performance of well-known covers, but treated us with a jaw dropping display of percussive guitar work on every track and without the use of a tap plate. This drumming style whilst playing their acoustic guitars was a great way to start any music event fuelling the fire, leaving the audience chomping at the bit for more, and more we most certainly got. By now the judges had already taken their seats ready to select the winner who was announced at the end of the evening.

The Judges

Bob Ellis – Former Process Operator at Murco Oil Refinery
Former Senior First Officer at British Mediterranean Airways
Former First Officer at NetJets Europe
Former Pilot at Royal Air Force
Former Police Cadet at Humberside Police
Lives in Haverfordwest
From Bridlington

Nicola Owen – President of the Pembrokeshire County Show 2019…..County Show 13 – 15th Aug… www.pembsshow.org

Colin Sharp – Former Mayor of Milford Haven
Vice Chair at Milford Haven Sea Cadets & Royal Marines Cadets
Chairman of Pill Social Centre
Trustee at Patch Charity
Governor at Milford Haven Community Primary School – Junior Site
Chairman of Milford Haven Museum
Front of House at Wickedly Welsh Chocolate Co.

Sarah Hoss – Director, Client Experience at VocalEyes Digital Democracy
Sole Proprietor at Sarah Hoss PR
Former Broadcast Journalist at British Broadcasting Corporation
Former Group Editor at Glamorgan Gem
Studied PGCE at University of Wales, Newport
Studied Post Grad Journalism at Cardiff University…OUR NEWS READER!!!

Rob Parker – Civil Servant
Radio Presenter at Pure West Radio
Went to Pembrokeshire College
Went to Ysgol Greenhill School

The Contestants

The line-up consisted of Amber Richards, Milford Haven Gym Club, Cellan Lewis, Kelly Williams School of Dance, Tomos Newman, Abbie Mottram, West Wales Show Choir, with Connor Rees finishing the first half.
During the interval, Green Shed opened their doors to satisfy our appetites. And as the aroma of a hog roast filled the arena, we were entertained by the wonderful Rosey Cale treating us to renditions from her current album “creating Images” and her superb new single “Mary Jane”. To read more about Rosey, click the picture below.
The second half brought us Magic Ash, Samuel Bushnell, Pat Smith, Cantabile Singers of Pembrokeshire, Drummer Dylan Saunders Swales, Orion, Waves with Flux closing the competition.
The winner, as promised, was announced that evening, and no one was more delighted than Dylan Saunders Swales to be handed the trophy for what was a master class of percussive and rhythmic genius.
Dylan, only 13 is the second youngest drummer in Wales to gain a distinction grade 8, and has gone on to achieve yet another grade 8 since that time with distinction, and will be sitting his third this year, something I feel is already in the bag. Along with these achievements, he will be representing Pembrokeshire in The Urdd National Eisteddfod Percussion Competition where he came second overall in 2018.
To see Dylan perform, you will find him locally as part of the county ensembles whereupon he was only playing in their concert just before this competition on the same evening as part of the Big Band, Wind and Symphony Orchestra. 
Now fully warmed up from his previous performance, Dylan was set to impress.
What we witnessed on the evening of 5th April 2019 was a master class if syncopated genius in his age group, displaying mind blowing stick work. Playing to a backing track, his relaxed, professional and confident style stopped everyone in their tracks as we all focused on Dylan as he lit the stage with thunder. The audience didn’t faze him one bit, even when the music needed to be turned, as Dylan simply tucked a stick under one arm, addressed the problem with ease without losing pace. As an ex session drummer, I would be happy to hang my sticks up as I looked on in ore. Dylan was a delight to watch, a pleasure to talk to and the proud owner of a well-deserved trophy.

The Fourcroft Hotel

Starting off in the afternoon at 1pm, Eddie Martin was holding a slide guitar workshop. Renowned for his skills at both slide and standard guitar playing, there was much to learn from his wisdom.
‘Eddie’s skills as a stand-alone guitarist on the slide and standard guitar, both acoustic and electric, are the bed-rock of his charismatic live performances in small bands, and have won him acclaim and awards throughout his career.’ – www.eddiemartin.com/about/band
 With the doors opening again at 12:00am, The Washboard Resonators were beginning both their second main performance of the evening, and of the entire festival.

Sunday’s Events

 Unfortunately, Sunday marked the last day of the blues festival, with only three main acts left, and a day filled with performances within the Blues Trail, it was time to embrace what was left of the experience. The main acts beginning their performances at 19:00pm at the De Valence.
The Kyla Brox Band was the first to perform, with soul-shaking vocals and an authentic soul and blues experience, this was a performance not to be missed. Born in 1980 in Stockport, Greater Manchester, blues and soul singer Kyla Brox has been involved in the music scene from a very young age. Daughter of blues signer Victor Brox, Kyla’s first performance onstage was with her father at the ‘Band on the Wall’ in Manchester in 1992, joining his regular touring group the following year. The of of The Kyla Brox Band go back to this time. She accompanied her father on an extensive tour of Australia in 2000. Around comes 2001, Kyla and Danny Blomeley formed a duo, occasionally being joined by the previous members of her fathers regular touring group; the line-up finally settling into The Kyla Brox Band, with the founding members being Kyla Brox (vocals, flute), Danny Blomeley (bass), Marshall Gill (guitar), Tony Marshall (saxophone), and Phil Considine (drums). They initially started performing in North West pubs and clubs, a route that had once been regularly explored by the Victor Bronx Blues Train. A performance at the Colnes Blues Festival in 2002 established Kyla’s reputation within the British blues scene. The Kyla Brox Band toured Australia in 2003, 04, and 07, making their US debut in the same year.
 Catfish, another band renowned within the British world of blues, was next in line to perform. Delivering authentic and quality blues from the first to last second of their performance, it is hardly surprising to come to find that they have been the recipients of many awards within the blues scene. Their album, ‘The Broken Man’, was voted album of the year 2017 by the Independent Blues Broadcaster Association; as well as the band being named Blues Act of the Year (England) in this years (2018) UK Blues Awards. They were also nominated as one of only five bands to represent the country in the UK Blues Challenge in September.
‘UK and British Blues Award winners Catfish have carved a reputation for themselves as an excellent live band with a phenomenal front-man in 23 year old guitarist/vocalist Matt Long who plays with a real passion for the blues’ – www.catfishbluesband.co.uk
Bella Collins and Jodie Marie were the final act of the evening, as well as the entire festival, bringing this years event to a close. Two very talented welsh singer/songwriters, Bella and Jodie have been rocking the welsh music scene vigorously this year, both racking up a respectable number of performances, as well as EP and album releases. Within the realm of blues, jazz, and soul, this newly formed duo delivers a unique performance; both Bella and Jodie share rich and well controlled vocals whilst retaining the individuality that gives them the edge that they bring to the music scene. Bella has attended Tenby Blues Festival for years, and has been active within the music industry professionally for the past five years. Jodie is known well locally, and has also been active professionally within the music industry for a number of years, with her EP ‘Trouble in Mind’ being released in 2015. An exceptional performance undeniably worthy of the standing ovation Bella and Jodie received, and an incredibly bright future to come for both. 
The stage at the end of the evening was lit by the amazing Coastal Horizon from 11pm – 12am gracing us with renditions from their current album “Accross The Water” showing the audience and contestants what can be achieved as they wowed us all with a wall of sound. To read more about this powerhouse of sound click the picture above.
Also in attendance were;
Pembrokeshire Agricultural Society
Food – Scott Gregory from The Green Shed Cafe 
Ice Cream – Lochmeyler 
Security – Adam & Andy 
Raffle Prizes 
The money raised went to Paul Sartori, a Pure West Radio charity of the year and included;
Folly Farm – Family pass
Torch Theatre – Family ticket
Eddie Rocks – VIP for four people & a bottle
Dale Sailing – Boat Trip to Skomer Island for two people
The William Owen –  Weatherspoons – Meal for two on a club night
Blue Lagoon Waterpark – Family pass
Secret Owl Garden – Adult experience for one
Green Shed – Meal for two
West Wales Karting 2x 25 laps


                                                                                                               © Stargazer Music Magazine 2020

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