Tuesday, July 15, 2008

15 Jul: Duffy's quashed dreams a nightmare for promoter

The below article appeared at WalesOnline.co.uk today.

Duffy’s quashed dreams a nightmare for promoter

EXPERTS have criticised Duffy for her comments about small-town Wales where “pipe dreams are quashed”.

The singer’s comments in the Western Mail and on American radio have been branded “disappointing”. The chart-topping star described her hometown of Nefyn, on the Lln Peninsula, as a place “where pipe dreams are quashed in order to prevent you from being disappointed”.

She told American radio station NPR (National Public Radio), which has a national audience of 26 million people: “I come from this very traditional way of living where nobody ever wins the lottery, nobody ever goes to university or really gets an education.”

Rebecca Jenkins, who promotes Wales in New York for the Welsh Assembly Government, said: “It is very disappointing when someone like Duffy starts to make these negative statements. Unfortunately, the press wanted her to be a real ‘blues’ star and have practically invented a terrible upbringing in a dead-end place.

“When she started doing interviews with the London media she was saying good things about Wales and the Welsh language.

“The media then made her sound like someone who couldn’t speak English. I guess her PR agent has told her that the other image works better and it looks like she’s now begun to believe it herself.

“Wales is good enough for Bryn Terfel, Sir Martin Evans, Sir Terry Matthews, Catherine Zeta Jones, [stage director] Terry Hands, Charlotte Church – I could go on.”

Duffy’s comments have sparked something of a national debate, with other commentators citing the examples of other high-profile Welsh men and women who have had to leave the home of their birth to make their success – including billionaire Celtic Manor Resort owner Sir Terry Matthews, who was born in Newport but made his fortune while living in Canada.

David Evans, who has lived in Laguna Beach, California for 31 years, said: “They were exported by their country of birth’s inability to provide them with economic opportunity – thus they become successful elsewhere.

“I’d have to say that the ‘quashing of pipe-dreams’ was common in Cardiganshire when I was growing up – it’s rooted in our national risk-aversion.

“Anyhow, I think it’s healthy that someone expresses a viewpoint that is not entirely in keeping with the ‘party line from [the Assembly]’ – which is another national characteristic.”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Duffy has ruffled a few feathers in Welsh Wales ..... mind you she wasn't going to win many plaudits with some when she decided to sing in English.

As a life long Welsh Republican I salute her. She's quite right about pipe dreams being squashed. It's one of the big problems facing Wales - with far too many talented people opting for the safe job in teaching, the local council or the civil service instead of taking risks and doing something to create wealth in the community.

And yes of course people from Nefyn go to University - Duffy's two sisters for starters - but kids from council estates, that's a different matter with far fewer opportunities today than 30 years ago even.

Duffy had precious little help with her music career from the Taffia yet she's still a patriotic girl who takes every opportunity to praise her homeland and use her mother tongue. Good luck to her, she deserves it.