Page last updated at 18:37 GMT, Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Lostprophets gig at Pontypridd school to boost valleys


Lostprophets spoke to Sian Lloyd ahead of a free performance at their old school Hawthorn High in Pontypridd

Rock band Lostprophets have added their voices to a campaign promoting the south Wales valleys.

They held a gig at their old school in their home town, Pontypridd, for the 'Valleys Homecoming' initiative.

Lead singer Ian Watkins said: "All of us in the band are extremely proud of the area we're from."

The valleys are being branded the "Heart and Soul of Wales" as part of £22m a three-year marketing campaign by the assembly government.

The campaign entitled The Valleys - Heart and Soul of Wales, intends to build on investment in the region to date and help boost the local economy.

The drive covers nine areas - Blaenau Gwent, Torfaen, Merthyr Tydfil, Caerphilly, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Bridgend, northern areas of Swansea and Neath Port Talbot and the eastern valleys of Carmarthenshire.

Ian Watkins of the Lostprophets
Ian Watkins and the rest of the Lostprophets are originally from Pontypridd

Lostprophets are to perform their single, Where We Belong, which was written in Wales while taking a break from Los Angeles where they had been recording, at Hawthorn High School, where several band members attended.

Watkins said: "It's been a great base from which to write many of our songs. Having toured the world we can honestly say that there is no place like home and to come back and play to a home crowd to celebrate Valleys Homecoming has been fantastic."

Valleys Homecoming is part of 'The Valleys - Heart and Soul of Wales' which was launched in October of last year.

Deputy Regeneration Minister Jocelyn Davies said: "This new decade will see the valleys playing host to some fantastic and world famous events providing a wonderful opportunity for people to come and see for themselves how this area has changed.

"Events in south Wales such as the National Eisteddfod, Ryder Cup and music events like this one today, are planned to showcase the region and once again put the valleys firmly on the map.

"Whether you're Welsh or you just love Wales, 2010 and the events that are planned present a fantastic year to come home."

The homecoming campaign includes an online "VQ" test devised by comedian Chris Corcoran so people can find out "how valleys you really are".

Here are a selection of your thoughts on the gig:

I am in year 9 hawthorn high school and saw the lostprophets today they are amazing so is there music, loving the new album xxxx
Phoebe , cardiff, Wales

I am a pupil of Hawthorn High and it was a fantastic day with all the excitement of the lost prophets being within the school and to top it off the gig at the end of the day was spectacular!
Richard, Pontypridd

I was at the gig at school today, I had a blast! Everyone was up and dancing!! INCREDIBLE!!!
Ami, Pontypridd.

i Thought The Gig Was Amazing, Fair Play to the boys :)
Jessica, Pontypridd

they were brilliant :D I met them and had a picture, they were lovely to meet :) x
Amy, Upperboat

I'm a sixth form pupil and it was amazing. They were really down to earth and realistic in the press conference and its unbelievable how a few boys from the valley and Rhondda could make it to be such successful musicians.
Carrie, Pontypridd

i thought the gig was amazing! i got autographs of 3 of the members & a photo of Ian Watkins, best day in school by far!
Hollie, Pontypridd

One word - Legen-wait for it-dary!
Colin, Pontypridd

i was at the lostprophets gig at hathorn high it was amazing, so much fun. you can't believe that some of the band members were fom there. it absulutely brillent.
Yasmin, Rhydyfelin

I am in year 10 at hawthorn high school, and attended their gig at the school today, they were awsome!!! i was probably the loudest one their hehe, I got all of their autograph and on my cheeks!! and i even got a kiss off the drummer on my cheek to best day in school for a long time!!! thank you for making my day :D xx omg they are FIT!!! x
aimee, rhydyfelin

It was good to see them at home again but they really need to revamp their material. Same group, same feel, same needs. Come on lads, show them you are not has beens'.
Richard, Cilfynydd

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