February « 2011 « Gruff Rhys

Hotel Shampoo Memorabilia

Remember that ole’ hotel chain ‘Hotel Shampoo’? Well, we’ve unearthed some classic items from the vault of this once great leisure empire of conference centres, nightlife, health package and retail fitness complexes.


•Sensations in the dark Discothèque T shirts that Glow in the dark!

•Mugs from the Honey All Over Bar and Grill.

•Memento T shirts, to remember your stay at the Sophie Softly rehabilitation centre.

•And the classic Hotel Shampoo T shirt as worn by all the staff in its heyday.

Available now at the Hotel Shampoo digital ultra WOW! shoppe.

Posted in Blog | February 24, 2011 | Comments Off on Hotel Shampoo Memorabilia


Picture – Mark James

Keep Wales Radical, Yes Please!

Please sit comfortably in my virtual Cardiff Taxi, and if you don’t mind, I’d like to share a thought or two : I’m going to sing you a very specific song if you like.  Here we go…

If you live in Wales, there’s a referendum on March the 3rd that is hugely important if you believe in maintaining social equality, the Health Service, free student tuition, the environment (including forestry), sympathetic Welsh Language policy, progressive education policy, free transport for the elderly, subsidised prescriptions and More!

A successful ‘Yes’ vote will mean the Welsh Assembly can pass legislation in all these fields (for a list of all fields click here). Under the current system the Westminster government can veto the Welsh Assembly government on these matters. Defence and international affairs and major infrastructure are still controlled  by Westminster and this will continue to be the case.

As we all know the current government in Westminster is run by an elitist coalition of millionaires who have already decided to axe hundreds of Welsh jobs (starting at Newport Passport Office), imposed severe cuts on Welsh Language broadcasting and have cut public spending in Wales by a bigger margin than in any other UK region.

Since the founding of The Welsh Assembly government through the successful referendum of 1997, people living in Wales have consistently voted for progressive left-leaning governments and coalitions that meet their particular needs.

It’s been a huge success given the limited power it actually wields : Things get done, and political drama, by and large, is limited.

Even the most conservative politicians in The Welsh Assembly are not ( to the same degree) subject to the divisive rhetoric of the right-wing media in London which damages and distorts sensible discourse in Westminster.

Wales has a history of voting for brave, radical and compassionate politicians – from Kier Hardy to Aneurin Bevan and Gwynfor Evans ; and let’s not forget that at the height of Thatcherism and the cold war, the people of Rhondda had an elected Communist Party politician, Annie Powell, as Mayor.

There is a pretty obvious reason for this radical tradition : We have very distinct needs here.

Some of the most economically deprived areas of the UK and EU are here in Wales : It is essential that we maintain a strong Welfare state and social services to maintain the health of the people, to boost the economy in an environmentally sustainable way and to maintain equality in education so that we can build for the future.

Let’s keep Cameron’s influence to a minimum in Wales ;we’re still trying to heal the wounds that the last conservative government inflicted on us.

Please vote ‘Yes’ on March the 3rd.

This is not a sovereignty issue. We are firmly entrenched and protected by our brothers and sisters in the EU, UK, UN, UEFA and whichever other international organisation with an ‘U’ in it you care to mention.

This is simply local democracy at work.

Local people always understand their own needs the best. Most European countries have regional governments with far more powers than those which Wales will gain in this referendum.

Just as David Cameron is a legitimate democratic representative in his constituency, I believe he is completely out of touch with the tough social needs of people in Wales.

Please vote ‘Yes’ on March 3rd.

A ‘No’ vote will maintain The Conservative coalition’s veto on Welsh social matters. Why leave it to chance who controls power in the Westminster parliament and the feudal, undemocratic elitist disgrace of the House of Lords?

Is it sensible, in any way, to keep the status quo?

Why not trust in proportionally-voted local democracy?

Please tell your friends and family to turn up and vote on March the 3rd.

This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity and to ignore it could have severe social consequences.

We don’t even have to take to the streets like our north-African friends – it’s a simple trip to the polling station.

It’s like X factor, but we all win. It could be such a great result!

This is not retro rhetoric, it’s very relevant.

Keep Wales Radical. Keep the super-rich elite from decision-making on social issues.

Let’s go to the chorus again:

Please vote ‘Yes’ on March 3rd.

Thanks for reading, and riding in my cab of opinion.

Yours Sincerely,

Gruff Rhys

More Info HERE

Posted in Blog | | Comments Off on KEEP WALES RADICAL, YES PLEASE!


The USA is not known as a date producing country. Famously, they are the product of Middle Eastern and North African countries. However, the Medjool date, a rich variety grown for centuries in Morocco, was introduced to the Coachella valley, California in 1913.


By complete coincidence Gruff Rhys and top Welsh Post Surf quartet Y Niwl are also arranging dates in the USA and Canada. And will be conducting a clockwise tour of North America between mid May and mid June. Starting in Brooklyn and ending up in New York.

Please join us on this incredible journey!


Wed 18     Brooklyn, NY @ Knitting Factory

Thu 19     Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s

Fri 20     Washington, DC @Red Palace

Sat 21     Carrboro, NC @Local 506

Sun 22     Atlanta, GA @ The Earl

Tue 24     Nashville, TN @ Mercy Lounge

Wed 25     Birmingham, AL @ Bottletree

Fri 27     Austin, TX @ Mohawk

Sat 28     Dallas, TX @ Club Dada

Tue 31     San Diego, CA @ Casbah


Wed 01     Los Angeles, CA @ The Echo

Thu 02     San Francisco, CA @ Rickshaw Stop/ Popscene

Fri 03     Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studios

Sat 04     Vancouver, Canada @ Biltmore

Sun 05     Seattle, WA @ Tractor Tavern

Wed 08     Minneapolis, MN @ Triple Rock

Thu 09     Chicago, IL @ Schuba’s

Fri 10     Pontiac, MI @ Pike Room

Sat 11     Toronto, Canada @ Horseshoe Tavern

Tue 14     Boston, MA @ Brighton Music Hall

Wed 15     New York, NY @ Mercury Lounge

Posted in Blog | February 22, 2011 | Comments Off on U.S. DATES


Bring your own.

The Hotel Shampoo tour kicks off in earnest tonight at the memorial hall in Sheffield. This morning after an often heated and animated discussion top dog surf act Y Niwl and Welsho nasal voiced singer Gruff Rhys reached a final settelment to be known as the Surf Pledge.

The settlement agrees that:

1. All surf boards bought along to a Hotel Shampoo concert will be signed by both acts.

2. Any one bringing along a palm tree to any concert (preferably plastic) will also be given a signature on a leaf of their own choosing. (but only if the given plant is in excess of 2 meters).

3. Beach towels / bags of sand are welcome, but they will not be signed.

4. The pledge has in no way been cleared with any health and safety authorities or promoters.

5. Maybe it hasn’t been properly thought through. This is like some kind of pirate shit going on.

Posted in Blog | February 14, 2011 | Comments Off on THE SURF PLEDGE AT HOTEL SHAMPOO

Hotel Shampoo

Posted in Blog | February 10, 2011 | Comments Off on Hotel Shampoo





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