The best Welsh bands of all time

1 March 2024, 11:47

Classic Welsh artists: Catatonia, Manic Street Preachers and Stereophonics.
Classic Welsh artists: Catatonia, Manic Street Preachers and Stereophonics. Picture: Pictorial Press Ltd / Rob Watkins / Alamy Stock Photo / Niels van Iperen/Getty Images

It's St David's Day, so eat some Welsh Rarebit and Laverbread, grab a daffodil, and celebrate with some of the biggest Welsh exports.

Radio X

By Radio X

  1. Stereophonics

    Formed in 1992 in the former mining village of Cwmaman, South Wales, the original line-up featured Kelly Jones, Richard Jones (no relation) and Stuart Cable.

    Stereophonics - Dakota (Official Video)

  2. Catfish And The Bottlemen

    Van MacCann was born in Cheshire and spent some time in Australia, before returning to live in Llandudno, North Wales - which is where he met the rest of the Bottlemen.

    Catfish and the Bottlemen - Cocoon

  3. Manic Street Preachers

    Blackwood's finest Clash revivalists and anarcho-punks have had a long and varied career. Originally a cult band in the early 90s, since the disappearance of guitarist and lyricist Richey Edwards in 1995, they've become one of Britain's favourite acts.

    Manic Street Preachers - Motorcycle Emptiness

  4. Feeder

    Frontman Grant Nicholas and drummer Jon Lee formed the band Reel in 1992, before renaming themselves after Grant's goldfish. Bassist Taka Hirose joined in 1995, but following Lee’s suicide in 2002, he was replaced by former Skunk Anansie drummer Mark Richardson.

    Feeder - 'Just A Day' - Official Music Video - HD

  5. Super Furry Animals

    The psychedelic rockers from Cardiff are led by the enigmatic frontman Gruff Rhys, who has enjoyed a solo career of his own.

    Super Furry Animals - Golden Retriever (Video)

  6. The Joy Formidable

    Ritzy Bryan and Rhydian Dafydd were originally in the band Tricky Nixon, but when that group split, they returned home to Mold in North Wales to form The Joy Formidable with Justin Stahley on drums. Their song Whirring was named as the "song of the year" by none other than Dave Grohl.

    The Joy Formidable - Whirring[OFFICIAL VIDEO]

  7. The Automatic

    From Cowbridge in the Vale Of Glamorgan, these indie rockers' debut album Not Accepted Anywhere featured the hits Raoul, Recover and Monster.

    The Automatic - Monster Official Video

  8. Catatonia

    Cardiff's Catatonia featured the charismatic Cerys Matthews on vocals and rode the wave of Britpop in the late 90s. Best known for their hits Road Rage and Mulder And Scully, the band released four albums before Matthews went solo and launched a broadcasting career.

    Catatonia - Mulder And Scully (Official Music Video)

  9. Goldie Lookin' Chain

    Newport's premier comedy rap/hip hop collective, featuring 2Hats, Billy Webb, Rhys, Eggsy, Mystikal, Mike Balls, Adam Hussain, Grayham the Bear and Celebrity Big Brother contestant Maggot. They were known for such modern classics as Guns Don't Kill People Rappers Do and Your Missus Is A Nutter.

    Goldie Lookin Chain - Guns Don't Kill People (Official Music Video)

  10. Funeral For A Friend

    Also hailing from Bridgend, like colleagues Bullet For My Valentine, these post-hardcorists had a huge hit in 2003 with their debut album Casually Dressed And Deep In Conversation.

    Funeral for a Friend - Roses For The Dead (Official Video)

  11. Bullet For My Valentine

    Serious metal from Bridgend, led by frontman Matt Tuck. Their sixth album, Gravity, was released in 2018.

    Bullet For My Valentine - Your Betrayal

  12. The Alarm

    Fronted by Mike Peters and hailing from Rhyl, North Wales, The Alarm gained the approval of U2 and released a number of hit singles in the 80s, including Sixty Eight Guns (1983), Spirit Of '76 (1986) and Rain In The Summertime (1987). Their latest album was 2018's Equals, but the band recorded The Red Wall Of Cymru as the Welsh official anthem in Euro 2020.

    The Alarm - Sixty Eight Guns (Official Music Video) [2018 Remaster]

  13. The Darling Buds

    Taking their name from the book The Darling Buds Of May, this Caerlon, Newport band were fronted by singer Andrea Lewis and quickly became a favourite of DJ John Peel. They signed to major Epic for their 1989 debut album Pop Said..., which included the singles Hit The Ground, You've Got To Choose and Le's Go Round There. Subsequent albums weren't as successful and the band folded in the mid 90s. They reformed for a show in 2010 and issued the Evergreen EP in 2017.

    The Darling Buds - Hit The Ground

  14. Badfinger

    Originally known as The Iveys, Swansea's Badfinger was discovered by Beatles associate Mal Evans and signed to the Fabs' new label Apple in 1968. Paul McCartney wrote Come And Get It for them and the track was issued as the theme tune to the film The Magic Christian. Badfinger's Pete Ham and Tom Evans wrote the song Without You for the band's third album No Dice, which went on to become a huge worldwide hit for Harry Nilsson and, much later, Mariah Carey. Business struggles plagued the band, however. Tragically, guitarist and vocalist Ham took his own life in 1975, while his colleague Evans also died by suicide in 1983.

    Badfinger Without you 1970

  15. Gorky's Zygotic Mynci

    Camarthen's Gorky's were fronted by Euros Childs and signed to the influential Aberystwyth label Ankst, but moved to the major Fontana in 1997 for their fourth album Barafundle. The tracks Patio Song, Diamond Dew and Young Girls & Happy Endings nudged the Top 40, while the band split in 2006 a couple of years after the release of their eighth album Sleep/Holiday.

    Gorky's Zygotic Mynci - Poodle Rockin'