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Gruff Rhys with the London Contemporary Orchestra

Gruff Rhys with an acoustic guitar

The restlessly inventive Welshman performs his new record Babelsberg with the London Contemporary Orchestra, adding further intrigue to his beautifully offbeat compositions.

Originally recorded in 2016, Babelsberg was put into hibernation until additional scores were added by composer Stephen McNeff and performed by the National Orchestra of Wales, eighteen months later. The result is an album bathed in lush strings and ebullient horns, underpinned by Rhys’s signature Welsh drawl and droll lyricism. Focussing on misplaced optimism, Rhys notes the Tower of Babel as an inspiration: ‘people building towers to reach an idea of heaven (but maybe creating a kind of hell)’.

Rhys is best known for his work with Super Furry Animals, who forged their own path in the height of Brit-pop hysteria, creating music that had indie-rock at its centre with elements of folk, psychedelia and electronica. Rhys marks his fifth solo record with Babelsberg.

Support comes from Brothers in Sound founding member Ed Dowie.


Set times

7.30pm Ed Dowie

8pm Interval

8.15pm Gruff Rhys + band

9pm Interval

9.20pm Gruff Rhys + London Contemporary Orchestra perform Babelsberg

10.30pm Finish 

Please note that times are approximate and subject to change


gruff rhys in the desert wearing a red poncho

Watch: Gruff Rhys - Frontier Man

Watch the official music video for Gruff Rhys' Frontier Man.

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Listen: Contemporary Music on Spotify

Follow our regularly updated Contemporary Music playlist for a sample of the music you'll hear across our programme. Shuffle recommended. 

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