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Cerys Matthews - Welsh singer/songwriter, author and broadcaster, Rock Band Catatonia ~ Biography


Cerys Elizabeth Matthews, MBE born 11 April 1969) is a Welsh singer/songwriter, author and broadcaster, a founding member of Welsh rock band Catatonia.

Matthews programmes and hosts a weekly music show on BBC Radio 6 Music, makes documentaries for television and radio and is a roving reporter for The One Show. She founded ‘The Good Life Experience’ , a festival of culture and the great outdoors in Flintshire in 2014, with Charlie and Caroline Gladstone, writes a column for The Guardian and is author of ‘Hook, Line and Singer ‘ published by Penguin and children’s stories Tales From The Deep and Gelert, A Man’s Best Friend, Gomer.

Early life
Matthews was born in Cardiff, the second of four children. The family moved to Swansea when she was seven. She attended St Michael’s, an independent school in Llanelli, and Fishguard comprehensive school. She is fluent in English, Welsh, Spanish and French….

She learned to play the guitar at the age of eight, sang Welsh folk songs and taught herself traditional songs from all over the globe including blues and Irish folk songs. She was a member of the West Glamorgan Youth Orchestra. She had a stint in Spain as a nanny, where she learned to speak Catalan..

Catatonia was formed in 1992. She subsequently sang lead vocals on, and co-wrote the music and lyrics for, the band’s hits. Songs she co-wrote included “You’ve Got a Lot to Answer For”, “Mulder and Scully”, “Dead From the Waist Down”, and “Road Rage”. Matthews also played guitar on the earlier material before second guitarist Owen Powell joined the band. She also performed a single with the band Space named “The Ballad of Tom Jones”, which tells the story of two lovers who want to kill each other, but then hear a Tom Jones song that defuses their homicidal feelings..

After Catatonia’s rise to fame with their second album International Velvet, and subsequent success with Equally Cursed And Blessed, the band returned in 2001 with their fourth studio album Paper Scissors Stone. In September 2001, the band officially split..

Matthews moved to Nashville, Tennessee in 2002. On her arrival she began playing with Bucky Baxter, who had played lap steel guitar for Bob Dylan and Ryan Adams. She had already collected seventy-six traditional folk songs with the idea of making an album of folk covers. Her debut album, Cockahoop, ended up consisting mainly of her own songs. It was recorded in seven months and appeared on Blanco y Negro Records in the United Kingdom in May 2003. Whilst recording this album she met Seth Riddle, whom she married in Pembrokeshire in February 2003..

Matthews appeared on the 2007 series of ITV’s I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!, which aired from 12 to 30 November. She was voted off one day before the final episode, coming fourth behind Jason “J” Brown, Janice Dickinson and eventual winner Christopher Biggins. Matthews became involved with fellow contestant Marc Bannerman after the show, but they split four months later.

Matthews joined the Welsh band Manic Street Preachers onstage at The O2 on 28 February 2008 to sing the female vocals of their 2007 hit “Your Love Alone Is Not Enough”. She replaced Nina Persson in both the awards ceremony (within indigO2) and at the following ‘Big Gig’ live show (within The O2 arena).

From November 2008, Matthews sat in for Stephen Merchant and Marc Riley on BBC 6 Music and went on to present George Lamb’s slot in April 2009. ..

Matthews has covered Glastonbury Festival for both BBC Television and BBC 6 Music, she wrote and presented a BBC Two programme on poetry, and presented TV documentaries on singer Dorothy Squires, the Mississippi River and Cuba. She wrote and presented a documentary on early blues players such as Memphis Minnie, also Pippi Longstocking..

Matthews played the Isle of Wight and Hay festivals in 2012, the latter with a Woody Guthrie tribute show, and collaborated with artists such as Arun Ghosh, Tunde Jegede, Attab Haddad, Frank Moon and the London Bulgarian Choir. 2012 also saw her play music from her acclaimed and popular selling collection of Welsh traditional songs ‘Tir’, with Ballet Cymru, ending in a show in Sadler’s Wells, and a nomination for a Theatre Critics Award 2012. She produced and arranged Christmas album Baby, its Cold Outside (2012) to much acclaim..

In 2014 Cerys co-founded a brand new interactive festival – THE GOOD LIFE EXPERIENCE with Charlie and Caroline Gladstone held every September on the Gladstone estate in Hawarden, Flintshire near the Cheshire border. It’s a festival which celebrates the great outdoors-with plenty of abseiling, campfires, axe throwing, foraging, talk on survival, as well as cultural activities, crafts, books and music.

Matthews won a prestigious ‘St David Award’ – for her contribution to culture in 2014 – run by the Welsh government, in its inaugural year- 2014

She was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2014 Birthday Honours for services to music.

Personal life, patronage and charities[edit]
Matthews currently resides in London with her children Glenys Pearl y Felin (born 10 August 2003), Johnny Tupelo Jones (born August 2005), and Red Owen (born 23 November 2009), and her husband Steve Abbott.

Matthews is Vice-President for Shelter Cymru,and Vice President for the Hay festival of Literature and the Arts, an Arts Ambassador for Linden Lodge School, Wimbledon, a Specialist Sensory and Physical College, a patron of the Dylan Thomas Society, along with Prince Charles and Bryn Terfel, and a patron of Ballet Cymru. She has been a judge for the Dylan Thomas Literary Prize and is also a judge for the Forward Prizes for Poetry 2014.

Compilation albums
Brand New Boots and Panties!! (2001) – contributed “If I Was With a Woman”
Listen to Bob Dylan: A Tribute (2005) – contributed “I Believe in You”, a Bob Dylan song from Slow Train Coming
Hands Across the Water (2006) – contributed “An Occasional Song”
Songs for the Young at Heart (2007) – contributed “White Horses”, the theme song to The White Horses
Over the Rainbow (2007) – contributed “Secret Love”

web link
Country GB
Select - State/County/Region Wales
News Links
Twitter Page: Visit Link Here
Facebook Visit Link Here
Country United Kingdom
State/Province Cardiff
distance: 3,562 Miles
Address Cardiff, Wales
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