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Last Updated: Tuesday, 29 August 2006, 06:25 GMT 07:25 UK
'Special' homecoming for Cerys
Betsan Powys
By Betsan Powys
BBC Wales arts and media correspondent

Cerys Matthews
Cerys has just released her album 'Never Said Goodbye'

As she gets ready for her UK tour, ex-Catatonia front woman Cerys Matthews describes how it feels to be back home in Wales.

Cerys Matthews is home and doing her best to ignore an airline ticket that's booked to take the family back to Nashville on 18 December.

Tennessee was a bolt hole, an unexpected haven when the voice and face of Catatonia lost control and needed somewhere to escape after a stint in rehab.

Now she's back and if there was a way of making Pembrokeshire a permanent base for her husband Seth Riddle, an A+R man with Rough Trade records, three-year-old Glenys Pearl y Felin and Johnny Tupelo Jones who's one, Cerys is determined to find it.

"It's been four years since I escaped to Tennessee and at first it was perfect. I still love it but coming home here has been special," she explained.

"Since having children I've realised it's extremely important. Glenys Pearl loves it. I can barely bring her into the house at night. She's exploring, running around barefoot".

'She's a prrrrrincess now'

Trefin is home, a few hundred yards from the remains of the mill in whose honour Glenys Pearl y Felin was named.

She's just started rolling her 'r's - "she's a prrrrrincess now" - and is delighted to find a whole community that speaks the Welsh language her mother made sure she heard in Nashville.

"I love languages. I speak a bit of Spanish and Catalan, love Italian and am really, really ready to learn Japanese now," she said.

"It matters to me that the children speak Welsh and can understand Welsh and that they're familiar with the way things are for our side of the family.

"Whether Glenys chooses to speak it is her choice, but if you can teach a child a language without them realising it, they'll think that's ok later on I hope."

'Never Said Goodbye'

Glenys Pearl has just spilled a bottle of purple nail varnish all over the bed and Johnny has been screaming for his lunch. Dad is in charge today, but it is not easy being a working Mum - and it's about to get a lot harder.

The whole family will be embarking on the 16 date UK tour next month to promote Cerys' brand new album, 'Never Said Goodbye'. It takes them from Dublin to London, from Brighton to Rhyl and Cerys can't wait.

"This album's been really, really hard work. It's probably the hardest of all. I didn't want to go over old ground and if you write traditional songs with a core line-up of drum, bass and guitars then reworking within that box is hard," she explained.

"I spent at least 15 months finding the right people to write the right arrangements, the right songs, the right bass and drum sound but having finished, it's a great fulfilment."

And what of the title? "That really is about the two worlds colliding again. I escaped to America in such a hurry and now I'm back, bringing my new family here, and it's such a special time.

"So much water has gone under the bridge. Let's get to know each other."

Cerys makes festival return
17 Jul 04 |  Wales
Cerys backs school closure fight
10 Dec 03 |  South West Wales
Cerys names baby after home
19 Aug 03 |  South West Wales


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