Allan Yn Y Fan

Allan Yn Y Fan came into being in 1996 as the result of a surprise phone call to flautist Kate Strudwick asking if she could take a Welsh band to the Brideswell International Festival in County Roscommon, Ireland.

The original quartet of Kate Strudwick (flute and recorders), Chris Jones (accordion and flute), Linda Simmonds (mandolin and bodhran) and Geoff Cripps (guitar and keyboards) had a baptism of fire over that long weekend and, thinking on their feet and being fearless - or was that just the Guinness at work? - gained many new friends and increased confidence in their music. More importantly, they realised that the Irish musicians they were playing with were fascinated by the Welsh tunes they had not previously heard.

Honing their skills as a Twmpath (ceilidh) band over the next few years, while continuing to develop their own writing and arranging skills, the band became a quintet in 2002 when fiddler Emma Trend joined. In 2003 they produced their first album "Off The Map". Surprised and delighted by its international acclaim, the band began developing as concert and festival performers and also undertook their first tours in Germany and France. "Belonging" –released in 2006 - received even wider acclaim than the first and was notable in that over half the material on that CD was composed by Chris Jones, Kate Strudwick and Geoff Cripps.

The next major change for Allan Yn Y Fan came in 2008 when Emma left to be replaced by fiddler and singer Meriel Field. With Meriel the band quickly moved into crafting interpretations of some of the jewels of the Welsh tradition as well as continuing to compose a large part of their repertoire. The result of this artistic growth was the release of the band’s third album "Trosnant" in 2009 which featured not only a new maturity in arrangements and composition, but also the introduction a string quartet on two tracks.

In 2010 an Arts Council of Wales lottery award enabled the band to collaborate with the renowned Celtic harp player Delyth Jenkins. This collaboration was marked by a ten date tour of England and Wales and in the release of the EP "Lle Arall."

In Spring 2011 Allan Yn Y Fan toured in its own right to venues such as Chichester Festival Theatre, Theatr Mwldan Cardigan and the Savoy Theatre Monmouth. That Autumn they also guested for legendary Welsh Entertainer Max Boyce at 8 sell-out theatre dates in England and Wales.

2012 saw the release of the band’s fourth album "Pwnco" , a 12 date tour of England and Wales plus tours to the Czech Republic and Germany in support the album, and appearances at the Village Pump and Bromyard festivals.

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