Paul and Andrea Adams of Melys have fond memories of John Peel
Betws y Coed band Melys play their first gig in more than four years, in memory of their friend and hero, John Peel. Band member Paul Adams explains why it's taken them so long to get back on stage.
Nothing's been going on with the band for the past few years really. We [his wife Andrea is also in the band] made another baby and the restaurant we run was keeping us busy, so we had to stop gigging.
But we always said, if anything special comes up, we'll play again, and we couldn't think of anything more special than John Peel.
The John Peel Day gigs are a worldwide thing which take place on October 13 each year. Our label in Holland wanted us to do it over in Amsterdam. We've always had a good following there. So we thought it'd be nice to get together and dust off the instruments, although we're having a warm-up gig nearer home first, at Hendre Hall.
We're not going to play anything new. It'll be more like a greatest hits gig, including some early stuff we haven't done since we first signed for Angst. It's been interesting revisiting those songs.
I'm really looking forward to playing Deliver again. It was on the first Peel session we did, and the first ever song we got played on Radio 1. It's a nice song to revisit and has gone down the best in rehearsals so far, anyway.
We did 11 sessions for John in all. He had a studio at his house, Peel Acres, and we did a few Christmas shows with him there. He also put us up when we had gigs in Norwich and Ipswich. We got to know his family really well and were made to feel really at home.
One day Sheila, his wife, asked us to come down to his surprise birthday party. He'd said live on radio that he really wished that Melys would come and play on his birthday show, so he played a session by us instead. When he walked into the kitchen after the show, and we were all there, he burst into tears because he was so happy to see us.
He was always a very big supporter of Welsh music, way before we were ever in a band. His family were originally from Anglesey I think, so when we'd reciprocate his hospitality and invite him up, he always had an affinity with the area.
It was an awful shock when he died. It just doesn't seem the same without him. We lost a friend as well as an iconic DJ, but it's so nice that Huw Stephens has taken over his new music spot.
We're planning to do bits and pieces after Bangor and Amsterdam. Huw Stephens has asked us to do the Swn Festival in Cardiff. So now we've got a bit of life back because the kids are a little older we might just get properly back into the music.
Melys, with DJ set from BBC Radio Wales' Adam Walton, Wednesday, 30 September, Hendre Hall, Bangor.