Famous Bands from Swansea

Famous Bands from Swansea

Swansea may be tucked away on the West coast of the UK, but that does not mean that it hasn’t been able to offer the world some fantastic musicians. Despite what you may think about Swansea, it has produced some global stars spanning a wide variety of genres, from rock to classical. Our tutors here at Piano Lessons Swansea have put together a list of their favourite local musicians who have gone on to have successful careers in music.

Karl Jenkins is a musician and composer who was born the village of Penclawdd, Swansea. Music has played a strong role in his life from childhood, with Jenkins playing oboe, saxophone and keyboard from a young age. His music career began with him playing the oboe in the National Youth Orchestra of Wales. Since then, it has gone from strength to strength, having received an OBE in 2005. Having studied music at both Cardiff University (a short drive from Swansea), and the Royal Academy of Music in London, Jenkins is renowned for his talent. He is most known for having written Adiemus, The Armed Man and Requiem. Despite being famous for his classical music, Jenkins also has a love for jazz and rock, having played both genres in his early career.

Terry Williams is best known as drummer of Dire Straits and Man, but before finding fame with this rock band, he played in various Welsh bands, having been born in Swansea in 1948. Williams has always had a strong connection with Swansea, and after his music career quietened down, he ran a blues club in the city from 2000 until 2007. This highlights his wide taste in music, with blues and rock at the fore. He had wide success during his time with Dire Straits and Man, but beyond that he has featured on many songs with a wide variety of artists, including Cliff Richard and Jon Illsley. This makes Williams a great example for our students here at Piano Lessons Swansea as to how you can explore a vast range of genres with your music.

Lisa Lee Dark was born in the Swansea valley of Clydach, and has since gone on to be a successful opera singer and voice actress. Her voice was first discovered at the age of six when she was overheard singing in a local Swansea park; however it was not until the age of nine that her musical career truly began with recording, where she focused upon classical and new age music. In 1992 she moved into recording dance music, which really propelled her to success, selling almost a million copies. In 2004 she returned to her classical beginnings, releasing her first classical album. After this, she focused upon opera singing, teaching herself how it is done. She went on to have a very successful opera singing career, starring in Tosca and Turandot, among others.

Bonnie Tyler was born in Skewen, a short drive from the heart of Swansea. Tyler has been heralded the International First Lady of Rock, and is known for her husky voice, which has brought her huge success over the years. Her songs “It’s a Heartache” and “Total Eclipse of the Heart” are among the best-selling singles of all time, with over six million sold. With a string of Grammy Award and Brit Award nominations, Tyler’s success has earned her a place in rock history, and as one of the most successful female musicians of her time. However, before her international fame, Bonnie Tyler spent seven years performing in Welsh pubs and clubs, staying true to her Swansea roots. She has regularly returned to the city, even performing in Swansea’s Grand Theatre in 2009 and at Swansea University in 2014. 

Photography: Christian Bertrand

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