Brecon Fringe cover

‘Brecon Fringe’ (May 2010)

In August 2009 I was asked to be official photographer for Brecon Fringe. Using these pictures as a base I put this book together, with the help of many people associated with the festival. ‘Cambrian Printers’ of Aberystwyth printed it in a run of five hundred copies.
        The launch party was held in the studio of ‘Theatr Brycheiniog’ with about one hundred and fifty people attending. We were entertained by local band ‘The Dolphins,’ the poet Jan Price, the Arabian dancers ‘Boliau Llawen,’ and the burlesque dancer (and former Brecon girl) ‘Ruby Rose.’ Local actor Ian Milton also read out some of ‘Sting’s’ autobiography, to illustrate the theme of ‘Dreams & Determination.’ It was a fabulous evening. The book has been sold in several selected shops in the town and I also touted it in the streets during the festival from an ancient black bike, French onion man style. By February 2011 less than a hundred copies remain unsold.


An extract from ‘Tribute Band Names’
From: Huw Parsons (
To Nigel Evans (
Date: Monday, 19 October 2009 10: 31
Subject: Tribute Band Names

Dear Major Tong,
I’m intrigued by many of the names invented by the bands in this year’s Fringe. For example ‘The Vandalists,’ ‘Oneeyeopen,’ ‘Melt City’ and ‘Roots and Galoots.’  I’ve also been thinking about how you came about naming your band ‘Electric Tomato’ and somehow this has got me inventing names for tribute bands. Can you think of any? Here’s a few to get you started…………
Best wishes…… Ground Control

‘Jerry has a Pacemaker’ (a new name, fifty years on from their early hits.) – ‘Jerry & the Pacemakers’:
‘The Tumbling Pebbles’ – ‘The Rolling Stones’:
‘Beware Falling Rocks’ – ‘The Rolling Stones’ on the road:
‘Take That  Back’ – ‘Take That’ (After they reformed):    ‘Jobseekers  Allowance’ – ‘The New Seekers’:
‘P45’ – ‘UB40’:    ‘Bees Do It’ – ‘Sting’:    ‘Watering Hole’ – ‘Oasis’:
‘Without my Glasses’ – ‘Blur’:    ‘Elizabeth’ – ‘Queen’:    ‘Confirmed’ – ‘The Bachelors’:  ‘The Rustics’ – ‘Village People’:    ‘Jobseekers’ – ‘The Searchers’:
‘Miss T. Meanour’s Sex Shop’ – ‘The Kinks’:    ‘Mr Sheen’ – ‘The Pledge.’


From: Huw Parsons (
To Nigel Evans (
Date: Thursday, 20 October 2009 11: 27

Subject: Welsh Tribute Band Names

Dear Major Tong,
Cop these then!
Rock on………  Ground Control

‘Bardsey Island’ – ‘Lindisfarne’:    ‘Hey Dai’ – ‘The Jimmy Hendrix Experience’:
‘Robert ap William’ – ‘Robbie Williams’:    ‘Twm ap John’ – ‘Tom Jones’:
‘Purple Lloyd’ – ‘Pink Floyd’:    ‘Shilling in Milk Wood’ – ‘Bob Dylan’:
‘Felin Fuzz’ – ‘The Police’:    ‘Johnny be Baaaaaaaah – Bard’ – ‘Chuck Berry’:
‘Route A470’ – ‘Chuck Berry’ (on the road):
‘Aber’ (whose individual members are Ystwyth, Gavenny, Aeron and Amman) – ‘Abba’:
 ‘Elvid Preseli’ – ‘Elvis Presley’:    ‘Twp’ – ‘Madness’:    ‘Dai Straight’ – ‘Dire Straights’:
‘Merthyr Tydfil’ – ‘Dire Straits’:   ‘The Menai Straights’ – ‘Dire Straits’:
‘Caernarvon & the Investiture’ – ‘Prince & the Revolution’:    ‘Charles’ – ‘Prince’:
‘Dai Knife’ – ‘David Bowie’:    ‘The Gogs’ – ‘The Troggs’:    ‘Morris’ – ‘Morrisey’:
 ‘Boyo’ – ‘Boy George’:    ‘Castle Bingo’ – ‘Culture Club’: ‘Mynydd Dolau’ – ‘Dolly Parton’:
‘Dai Pebbledash’ – ‘David Gray’:     ‘Often Grey’ – ‘Blue’:    ‘Sheep Dog’ – ‘Sloop Dog’:
‘Briton Ferry’ – ‘Bryan Ferry’:   ‘Mountain Ash’ – ‘Wishbone Ash’.


Quotes for ‘Brecon Fringe’:

Right Reverend John D E Davies, Bishop of Swansea & Brecon
‘Huw Parsons’ appreciation of the Fringe is, like everything he produces, a delightful and carefully crafted reminiscence, for which he deserves warm thanks.’

Kirsty Williams AM/AC, Liberal Democrat Assembly Member for Brecon & Radnor
‘Huw’s pictorially stunning book beautifully showcases The Fringe. It also provides an accurate and highly interesting account of an event that completely transforms a small market town. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and would like to thank Huw for giving me and other readers, this insightful history of The Fringe and the people who make it so special.’

Nigel Evans, Arts Correspondent, ‘Brecon & Radnor Express.’
‘Huw’s new book works on several levels. Much of it is straightforward reportage, spoken or written by local people best qualified to comment on their Festival. There is also humour; some of it commendably silly and an undercurrent of love and pathos. Huw also strives for a degree of profoundness in the form of quotations associated with music, happiness and creative freedom. These quotes are in delicious contrast to the soggy beer mats, fake tans, splinter-ridden stages and discarded cigarette ends, which characterise so much of the Festival. All in all, Huw’s love for his hometown, of spectacle and of grass roots culture shines through on every page.’

Stuart Lancaster, Brecon raconteur and former landlord of ‘The Bull’s Head’
During the Fringe Festival Stuart, kindly offered to sell some of my books. “Give me four and I’ll take ‘em to The Castle Hotel.”
      The following day he recounted this story – “Well! I went up to the Castle quite late and it was eerily quiet, just like the ‘Marie Celeste.’ In the lounge were some elderly residents dozing in armchairs. So I go up to these old codgers (I’d had a few by now mind) and went around each of them. “Would you like to buy this lovely book on the Fringe, just eight pounds a copy – special festival price”? They all refused. None of them were ever going to buy it in a million years – not being rock & roll types. So, crestfallen, I adjourned to the bar for some further refreshment, where I was met by a stranger who said, “ Give me a look – eight pounds each – I’ll have the lot!” He paid me, went over to our friends and presented each with a book. They were flabbergasted and bewildered! He addressed them all in a thick Ulster accent. “I am a soldier. Next time you see a ‘Help for Heroes’ collection box, please put some money in it!”