Geraint Griffiths







eliffant (SAIN SCD 2283)
"Best of" CD

The story:

This CD brings together the music from the two albums that Eliffant released in 1979 & 1980 (minus one track, due to lack of space). The band (and yes, the name is the Welsh spelling of a large grey animal with a trunk) came together in West Wales in 1978 and built up a reputation based on high production values on stage & on record, and constant gigging throughout Wales.
The songs, all written by Geraint Griffiths, the lead singer, are probably best described as melodic rock, with tinges of each member’s particular musical preferences - heavy metal, folk, country, Americana and even jazz. Thematically, the first album "M.O.M." (Mas o ‘ma - Out of here!), though not a concept album as such, contains a number of songs based in outer space, while the second "Gwin y Gwan" ( "the weak man’s wine" - a reference to an early Welsh advert for the band’s favourite tipple, Guinness) is more introspective.
The original five piece band broke up (or more correctly, fizzled out) in 1981, but reconvened a few months later with a new drummer, Gordon Jones, and carried on for a further two years. Geraint himself then launched a successful solo career which continues to this day.
This CD, however, is a reminder of the glory days - and a collection of songs which still sound fresh today.

The band:

GG: lead vocals, acoustic and electric guitars, piano on "Seren I Seren" , electric piano on "Waun Uchaf", backing vocals
John Davies: lead guitar, backing vocals
Euros Lewis - keyboards, backing vocals
Clive Richards - bass guitar, backing vocals
Colin Owen - drums

The songs:

Nôl ar y Stryd /Back on the Street:
One of the outer space songs, but also a statement of intent that GG was back on the musical scene with a new band.

Breuddwyd /Dream:
Later re-recorded in the 80s when GG was solo. An early attempt at understanding the situation in Northern Ireland.

Lisa Lân /Sweet Lisa:
Named after a traditional Welsh folk song, and written, like many of GG’s songs, on piano. Here, he voices doubts about his return to Wales after a period in London.

Nôl i Gairo /Back to Cairo:
Space, the unknown, Egypt, the pyramids…..a whiff of hippy-ness!

Seren i Seren /Star to Star:
Composed in the studio, again on piano. Another "space" song.

Serena/Star Girl:
Co-written with ex-musical cohort Endaf Emlyn, who also explored an interest in the "space" theme with his band, Jîp (Jeep).

W Capten /Oh Captain:
Captain Idole is the focus of the "space" songs, and here the message is "it’s lonely in space".

Ble’r wyt ti? /Where are you?:
Sung from the perspective of those the Captain left behind.

Teulu Mawr y Byd /Great Family of the World:
The last song in the "space" sequence, although the Captain returns in the first song. Confused? As GG says, there wasn’t a straight narrative sequence -"I was playing with the idea of manipulating the space-time continuum".

Gwin y Gwan /Weak Man’s Wine:
If there’s a theme to this album, it’s darkness and light (from a slightly older writer), and what symbolises that better than a pint of Guinness with a good head?

Gole Gwyn /White light:
Stream-of-conciousness lyrics asking a lot of heavy questions.

Cân y Mynydd Du /Black Mountain Song
Ffair Caerdydd /Cardiff Fair:
A trilogy (sub-titled "The Last Century") originally written in English and performed while GG was a member of the London band Limbotrol, and heavily influenced by the works of Alexander Cordell.

Y Falen Fawr /Big Blues:
What it says.

Ffwl Ebrill/April Fool:
GG’s birthday is in April - "I’m the fool in the song, I think". One song had to be dropped so that everything could be fitted on to one CD, and this was the one.

Waun Uchaf (Cân Elin)/Upper Heath (Elin’s song):
Waun Uchaf was GG’s grandfather’s farm, where he spent many happy summers as a boy. His present Carmarthen home is named after the farm, and Elin (GG and Pauline’s eldest daughter) was presented with a song to make up for the fact that her younger sister, Lisa, already had one (see above).

Mas o’r Coed/Out of the Woods:
A refusal to follow the expected path of a husband and father to grow up respectably.

Liner notes/Archivist:  Geraint Davies, December 2000


| cymraeg |