Thursday, May 23, 2013

May 23: Welsh vocalist and dancer Gwenno Saunders - The Pipettes, "Lord of the Dance" - is 32-years-old today.

Gwenno Mererid Saunders - also known by the name Gwenno Pipette - was born in Cardiff. She is the daughter of noted Cornish poet and linguist Tim Saunders and Lyn Mererid who is a member of the well-known Welsh socialist choir, Côr Cochion Caerdydd.

When she was five she attended the Seán Éireann-McMahon Academy of Irish Dance and was a cast member of Michael Flatley's productions of Lord Of The Dance and Feet of Flames. At 17 she played a lead role in a Las Vegas production of Lord Of The Dance.

In 2001 she had a role in the Welsh language soap opera Pobol y Cwm on S4C, for whom she would later host her own programme Ydy Gwenno'n Gallu...? She is fluent in Welsh and Cornish and also speaks Scottish Gaelic.

In the years before she joined The Pipettes, she had been a solo electropop singer, mostly in the Welsh and Cornish languages, releasing two solo EP's, Môr Hud in 2002 and Vodya in 2004.

(Continued below video and Amazon portals ...)

(Press album cover for direct link to the entire Amazon Website):

Earth Vs the Pipettes

In 2003, she was approached by Polydor Records to appear on BBC's Fame Academy, however withdrew from the competition before it started. Afterwards, Saunders represented Cornwall in the Alternative Eurovision Song Contest, 2003, and won the People's Choice Award for her performance of "Vodya."

In December 2004 Gwenno filmed the song “Ysolt y'nn Gweinten”' by Celtic Legend for Classic FM TV. It is claimed to be the first video produced in the Cornish language, the text having been written by her father Tim Saunders with music by Cornish composer and ex Gary Numan keyboard player Chris John Payne.

Gwenno joined The Pipettes in April 2005. Originally comprising Julia Clarke-Lowes, Rose Elinor Dougall and Rebecca Stephens, at the time of their debut album, Clarke-Lowes had been replaced by Saunders. 

The Pipettes are a British indie pop girl group formed in 2003 in Brighton by Robert "Monster Bobby" Barry. The group has released two albums, We Are the Pipettes, and Earth vs. The Pipettes and released numerous singles to support it; the most successful being "Pull Shapes" which peaked at #26 in the UK Singles Chart. They are backed by all-male band, The Cassettes.

Saunders is the lead vocalist on the single "Pull Shapes" and the chorus of "Your Kisses Are Wasted on Me."
With sister Ani

In 2008, Dougall and Stephens also left the group. As of 2010, the line-up is Saunders and her sister Ani, and their next album release, Earth vs. The Pipettes was released on 6 October 2010 in the UK.

Gwenno has posted solo material to her Myspace page, and made a free download of a mini album titled U & I available in October 2007. In April 2008 Gwenno's younger sister Ani joined the Pipettes after the departure of singers Rosay and RiotBecki.


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