Sunday 26 February 2012

Fflaps - First LP (unreleased Les Morrison mix)

Here's a real rarity from 1988 - until now only ever heard by 5 people, two of who are sadly no longer with us. This would undoubtedly be the much sought after Holy Grail for hardcore Fflaps fans, if such people existed.

Fflaps formed at the very end of 1986 as an outlet for the songs of Ann Matthews, who had previously played with Alternative Destinations, Cut Tunes, Kärnarvøn Kästle and a seemingly un-named duo with Scott Saunders in addition to making guest appearances on recordings by Glass, The Casio Kid and Miracle Cave.

Initially named Picasso's Mind, the group was completed by A
lan Holmes from The Lungs and Rick Joslin, previously of Third Spain. By the end of the year, Rick left to be initially replaced by Emyr Tomos (also ex-Alternative Destinations) and then more permanently by Jonny Evans, who had previously been playing with The Paraletics and Harvey Star & the Moonbeams.

The group played regularly around the Bangor area and bega
n to add more Welsh language songs to their set after being introduced to the Welsh scene by groups like Anhrefn and Y Cyrff. At the time it was very unusual for a group to be bilingual, the two scenes having very little contact with each other. In breaking down this taboo, Fflaps paved the way for the success of later bilingual groups like Catatonia, Gorky's Zygotic Mynci and Super Furry Animals. Sadly they were too ahead of their time to reap much benefit from this approach themselves, encountering a degree of ambivalence from both sides of the divide. Here we bring you the only recorded documentation of that period.

Following a few months of playing around Wales and beyond, the group released a 7" EP for Anhrefn Records and recorded a session for John Peel's Radio One show
. As a result of John Peel's interest, Geoff Davies of Liverpool's legendary Probe Plus Records invited the group to record an LP for his label.

The group decamped to Les Morrison's Unlucky Søn studio in Bethesda on the 25th April 1988 and recorded their entire live repertoire with a minimum of overdubbing and effects. Les actively encouraged the group to mix up the two languages on the songs, and two days later they emerged with the recordings we have here.

Upon presenting the 'finished' LP to Geoff at Probe Plus, it was suggested to the group that maybe they could spend a further day in Liverpool adding some overdubs, and also perhaps that the LP would be more coherent in one language. The Liverpool session with engineer Kevin Wright transformed these recordings into what became the LP 'Amhersain'. The record was as a result more quirky and psychedelic, but these original mixes by the late great Les Morrison more faithfully capture the live essence of the group at the time. In the highly unlikely event of there being a deluxe expanded 23rd anniversary edition of 'Amhersain', this would undoubtedly be disc 2!

Fflaps - First LP (Les Morrison mix)
recorded and mixed at Unlucky Søn, Bethesda 25th-27th April 1988

Ann Matthews - vocals, guitar
Alan Holmes - bass
Jonny Evans - drums
Les Morrison - additional percussion

1 Y Dyn Blin 3:39
2 Pethau Piws 2:44
3 Esgob Mawr 2:05
4 Tuesday 2:41
5 The Wicker Man 2:28
6 Dilyn Dylan 3:26
7 Chwildroi'n Gam 1:58
8 Blodyn Tatws 2:43
9 Clak Clak Clak 2:31
10 Victorian 2:52
11 Llosg Llech 2:25
12 Gina Dreams 3:02

get it here


  1. Track 4 mp3 has the wrong title, good LP though.

  2. OK... I'll work on that. I've got all 3 LPs, the 7" EP, two Peel sessions, several compilation appearances, some demos and about 50 live gigs! Just don't expect them all in one go!

  3. Great stuff. As good as, if not better, than the LP.

  4. are you able to share this again?