The original members of CELT, formed in the 80s, all lived within half a mile of each other in Rachub, near Bethesda in Gwynedd.
They released their first two albums in cassette format on their own label: ‘Da di’r hogia’ and ‘Cynffon’ (1992). Steven Bolton was the original vocalist, but he was joined by Martin Beattie for the second album, and the combination of these two powerful voices is the defining feature of their music. That and the songs of Barry (Archie) Jones, who has composed most of their hit songs.
The band was joined by Sion Jones (of Maffia Mr. Huws fame) on guitar and Robert Davies on keyboard, and their music marched on.
Says Archie: “We had all been listening to a wide range of music, and experimenting with different sounds, synthetic instruments, drum machines and various effects. At the beginning, Celt relied mostly on simple strong melodies, but now there was something extra, more powerful, under the harmonies.”
SAIN were asked to produce a new album, and ‘@.com’ was released in 1998. Recorded at Brynderwen Studio and mixed at SAIN, the album comprised exclusively Archie’s songs, and it has been one of the best-selling Welsh language rock albums of recent years.
Celt released an untitled EP in 2001: two of the songs have techno-inspired titles – ‘Stop Eject’ and ‘Telegysyllta’ (Telecommunicate); the words and music of all 3 songs are again Archie’s, and ‘Paid a dechrau’ (‘Don’t start’) was composed for the ‘Cân i Gymru’ (Song for Wales) competition.
Martin Beattie has now formed his own band, and Archie remains with Celt, with Steve as the main vocalist.