Paint­ing pic­tures of col­liery life and a pas­sion for rugby union

Caernarfon Herald - - YOUR GUIDE -

AF­TER a se­ries of sell-out per­for­mances in 2018, Max Boyce’s tour has been ex­tended into 2019 due to over­whelm­ing pub­lic de­mand, with three venues eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble to North Wales au­di­ences among the dates.

Max Boyce has been en­ter­tain­ing peo­ple all over the world for more than 40 years with his abil­ity to paint pic­tures in word and song, and rose to fame dur­ing the mid-1970s with an act that com­bined mu­si­cal com­edy with his pas­sion for rugby union and his ori­gins in the min­ing com­mu­ni­ties of South Wales.

At the age of 15 he left school, to go to work in a col­liery. In his early 20s he found work as an elec­tri­cian’s ap­pren­tice at the Me­tal Box factory in Melin Neath, but his ear­lier col­liery ex­pe­ri­ence was to play a ma­jor in­flu­ence on his mu­sic.

He started to write tunes about life in the South Wales min­ing com­mu­ni­ties, and in around 1970 started per­form­ing in local sports clubs and folk clubs, where his orig­i­nal set be­gan to take on a hu­mor­ous el­e­ment, in­ter­spersed by anec­dotes of Welsh com­mu­nity life, and the na­tional sport – rugby union.

He has sold more than two mil­lion al­bums in a ca­reer span­ning four decades. These in­clude Max Boyce in Ses­sion (which in­cludes sev­eral tracks that were later to be­come his sig­na­ture tunes, in­clud­ing Hymns and Arias, Duw It’s Hard, and Slow - Men at Work), and Ca­neuon Am­ry­wiol (a col­lec­tion of Welsh folk songs), both re­leased in 1971 by Cam­brian Records.

His sub­se­quent al­bum, Live at Tre­orchy, re­leased by EMI in 1974 brought him to the pub­lic eye.

His next al­bum, We All Had Doc­tor’s Pa­pers, was recorded live at Pon­tard­du­lais Rugby Club, and re­leased in late 1975, and reached the Num­ber 1 po­si­tion on the UK Al­bums Chart for the week end­ing Novem­ber 15. This record­ing has the dis­tinc­tion of be­ing the only com­edy al­bum to ever top the UK Al­bums Chart.

More al­bums fol­lowed, but his ca­reer was to en­joy a resur­gence in the late 1990s. At Christ­mas time in 1998, BBC Wales screened An Evening With Max Boyce, which broke Welsh view­ing records.

This was fol­lowed by per­for­mances at the open­ing cer­e­monies of the 1999 Rugby World Cup, and the Welsh Assem­bly, which brought him to the at­ten­tion of a new young au­di­ence, mak­ing him a true mod­ern day folk hero.

Max’s live per­for­mances need no in­tro­duc­tion; the au­di­ence’s re­ac­tions and stand­ing ova­tions speak for them­selves.

You can catch him at the fol­low­ing venues: ● Theatr Cl­wyd, Mold on Thurs­day, Jan­uary 24: ring the Box Of­fice on 01352 701 521 or log on to http://www.the­atr­ ● Rhyl Pavil­ion on Satur­day, Jan­uary 26: ring the Box Of­fice on 01745 33 00 00 or log on to http://www.rhyl­pavil­ ● Theatr Hafren, New­town on Satur­day, Fe­bru­ary 2. Call the Box Of­fice on 01686 614555 or log on to http://www.the­hafren. laced with hu­mour. Fea­tur­ing so­prano, tenor, bari­tone and pi­ano, MVE’s pro­grammes take au­di­ences on an imag­i­na­tive jour­ney through song, show­cas­ing well-known and of­ten-ne­glected pieces by com­posers both fa­mil­iar and new, set to texts by poets and his­tor­i­cal fig­ures that en­com­pass pub­lished works, cor­re­spon­dence and other anec­dotes. This pro­gram also in­cludes works by Tchaikovsky, Han­del, Poulenc and Hans Eisler.

The con­cert will take place at Welsh­pool Methodist Church, and be­gin at 7.30pm. Mem­ber­ship of the Welsh­pool Mu­sic Club costs £40 (£5 stu­dent), and tick­ets for in­di­vid­ual con­certs are avail­able at £10 adult and £2 stu­dent.

See https:// welsh­pool­mu­s­ic­club. com/ for more in­for­ma­tion about the club’s pro­gramme.

● Max Boyce’s tour has been ex­tended by pop­u­lar de­mand

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