Brit Award winners Only Men Aloud are joining Gwanwyn this year with a special matinee performance at Aberdare Coliseum on May 22. We caught up with the group’s baritone, Craig Yates, to find out his thoughts on aging creatively.
G: Why is it important to Only Men Aloud to be involved with Gwanwyn Festival?
CY: We are delighted to be performing at this year’s Gwanwyn Festival to help celebrate the 10th anniversary of the festival. Bringing live music and a live show into the heart of people’s communities is very important to us. We often hear that some people don’t like travelling far, and don’t like coming to see us in the evening, so our 5pm start should be perfect. The Festival does incredible things in celebrating the creativity in older age, and we are proud to have been asked to be part of it.
G: What do you have planned for us?
CY: We have a typical Only Men Aloud concert planned for you. If you have not seen us before, this means a wide mix of styles and genres, all sung with our unique harmonies and strong voices. We will have hopefully something for everyone from Welsh hymns to classical music, to music theatre to popular music.
G: Gwanwyn is about celebrating creativity in older age. What do you think is the best way to stay creative as you get older?
CY: I think the best way to stay creative as you get older, is to keep doing what you love and enjoy, and keep giving yourself new experiences. Music is always a huge part of everyone’s life, and can be a great way to keep being creative. Come along and see us in Aberdare, and you’ll be singing along, tapping your feet, and even dancing in the aisles!
G: We’re celebrating our tenth birthday this year, what are your ambitions for Only Men Aloud for the next ten years?
CY: We’d love to keep doing what we are doing, and keep getting better and better. We always have great ambitions of touring around the world, and showing the world the music Wales has to offer – so we hope we can do just that. As long as we are happy, healthy, and still enjoying what we are doing – that will do for me.