Rummaging through my stats lately, and conferring with m'colleagues on other large [url=http://www.thumped.com]music[/url] [url=http://www.metalireland.com]communities[/url], a curious fact has emerged: none of us get any real traffic from Wales!
Ireland, England, Scotland, mainland Europe and the USA are all visiting in their droves, while the Welsh are barely registering a blip, yet have twice the population of Norn Iron.
Can anyone offer some insights into the welsh music scene? Does it exist, and if so why do its denizens differ from everywhere else in web browsing habits?
Well, the Welsh are famous for music and singing, isn't it? And I wouldn't have thought they were any less likely to be interested in on-line activities. I'd guess it's the stats at fault, not the Welsh.
I've been out in Cardiff of an evening, and there seemed to be plenty of "Auntie Annie's" venues with local bands on. My sister-in-law is Welsh, puts on an outdoor Blues festival every year. She and my brother live in a tiny village (pop. 96) which is also the home to at least one rock veteran from the seventies, Ray Phillips from Budgie (brilliant band; Metallica did a cover of their 'Breadfan', only not as good as the original).
There's this too [url]http://www.bbc.co.uk/wales/music/[/url] and also this [url]http://www.bandit247.com/[/url] which possibly only the Welsh speakers such as myself will have any clue about. It's a music show on S4C, the Welsh language TV channel, and Huw Stephens is one of its main presenters.
I'm a Welshman living in Belfast, and the Welsh have always had their own scene, from the trad folkies back in the 60s, through the weird psych/folk/prog stuff that Gruff Rhys selected on the Welsh Rare Beat compilations, right up to now with pretty decent bands like Radio Luxembourg (who've changed their name to something else, Racecar Babies or something). And of course there have been those that have been successful outside of Wales too, Manics, Super Furry Animals, K-Klass, Feeder, John Cale, Los Campensinos! and more.
There was a comparitively large Welsh-speaking scene in the late 80s and early 90s, not so sure if it's still ging to be honest, I moved away in 1989. Super Furry Animals and Catatonia both came out of that scene.
Why people from Wales don't have a Welsh music forum is beyond me. Bone idle, or moved away, possibly. I'm both of those things. Right, I'm back to listen to Delilah and get the cheese on top of my toast.
It'd be a pity if Clwb Ifor Bach closed down, I've had many a good night in there. Central Station in my old home town of Wrexham used to do quite a few decent gigs but their latest listings look pretty empty. It does a regular Wrexham Music night for Wrexham bands, so there's a scene there too.
Oh, there you go, a local music forum for Wrexham! [url]http://www.wrexhammusic.co.uk/forum/[/url]
The issue is not a lack of high-profile artists from Wales, it's the weird absence of traffic from welsh users to Irish music sites, when all other parts of the UK and further afield are visiting us in high numbers. FF got 4 times more traffic from California than it did from Wales so far in 2009.
With Holyhead just across the water from Dublin, you'd think there'd be a reasonable degree of intermingling of music scenes?
Indeed. For instance, if a music fan was coming over from Wales to NI and wanted to catch a few gigs, or just looking at what's happening in scenes outside Wales, surely they'd want to find out from a site such as this, or a similar listing site?
I do find it a bit odd that there is hardly any Welsh interest in this site, as there clearly is a pretty healthy music scene in Wales. It's not as if NI doesn't have it's fair share of great music, is it?
Maybe its the old "Clique" chestnut? Maybe band don't wanna come here cos it is so intimidating?
I think Belfast, Derry and Dublin scenes could make themselves more welcoming to out fringing band on the island never mind Wales?
Ive Played more gigs in Portlaoise, Galway and Cork with my band than in Derry and Belfast and Dublin. but were not a fantastic band anyways just my experoence
Maybe it geography? Liverpool, Manchester and Leeds are just two hours drive away from North Wales. Birmingham, Leicester and Bristol the same for Mid and south wales...Maybe the Bands and Listener find it easirt to tap into that rather than over here?
[quote:03650cd394="distracted"]It's a music show on S4C, the Welsh language TV channel[/quote:03650cd394]
I wish I still had a copy of S4C Makes Me Want To Smoke Crack.
I'm going for the Geolocation of IP addresses being incorrect theory, rather than there being anything sinister going on. I know, for example, that although I'm sitting near Belfast, any geolocation done on my IP address thinks that I'm in Oxford. Maybe the Welsh use more ISPs that proxy everything through England.
Also, while this isn't proof that it's not a tech issue, all the other regional breakdowns are broadly in line with what I'd expect - Wales is the only anomaly. And this is true across several sites, not just FF.
The IPs are a little dodgy sometimes, methinks. For example, according to my records someone from Russia spent 8 minutes on my site dedicated solely to Northern Irish music, with no real advertising. Curious.
edit: just checked that IP website and apparently I'm based in Luton. Hmm. Could it be, and I'm just throwing this out here, where the ISP is registered?
i just had a look at the stats for my website and I would say that the welsh visitors are about 0.01% of my visitors. There is a big empty space on the map where the welsh visitors should be, yet the rest of the uk map is filled.
[quote:970bfff6e3="Nocarsgo"]edit: just checked that IP website and apparently I'm based in Luton. Hmm. Could it be, and I'm just throwing this out here, where the ISP is registered[/quote:970bfff6e3]
It could be, it depends on how the database is created. If they just check the [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RIPE_NCC#The_RIPE_Database]RIPE records[/url], then it is possible. Depending on the database used I'm either in Oxford or London.
http://hostip.info allows you to say "actually, my IP is in ..." and correct an entry.
That said, I imagine Google have a REALLY good geolocation database, that they've spent a lot of money tweaking over the last 9 years, so they do more than just check with RIPE.
Maybe the Welsh don't like the internet as they have better things to do with their lives? Like singing and playing rugby and other well known Welsh pasttimes