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Dewi Foulkes is a member of a band that are famous for their splendid outfits.
You’ve moved to Cardiff to recently to go to university. Do you find that the style here is different to north Wales?
I’ve met so many people since I’ve moved to Cardiff from all parts of the country, and the style in a big city is very different to where I come from. You can’t go round Caernarfon in a pair of trainers on a night out, you have to wear ‘chapel shoes’, as I call them!
You’re a member of Derwyddon Dr Gonzo and you wear clothes that are quite different don’t you?
Yes, I play bass in the band, we’re an eccentric band from the mountains of north Wales. We’ve made a name for ourselves by dressing differently. Old bands from the 70s did the same thing – well, we do the same thing as them, and we’ve been influenced by them.
So what kind of bands from the 70s influenced you then?
Bands like Kool & the Gang, Jackson Five, Average White Band – everything that was created before I was born! We were playing a gig in a festival in Suffolk at the beginning of the summer, Latitude Festival, and Cai had the idea of renting costumes from Barcud. There are nine of us in the band, so we all had our own costume over the summer.
I wore a suit like Huggy Bear from Starsky and Hutch, a gold suit with massive aviator shades – I felt quite cool in it!
What’s the maddest thing you’ve worn as a band on stage?
We did a gig in Clwb Ifor Bach last November, and we bought nine pairs of white y-fronts and sprayed ourselves gold. It was really hot there, and the spray was dripping off – disgusting!
What other costumes have you worn on stage?
We once wore some sort of contamination suits. I joined the band about a year and a half ago, and that was the first thing that we wore. Super Furries did a gig in Sesiwn Fawr doing the same sort of thing...
And what about your own clothes? What do you like to wear from day to day?
I’ve got a lot of respect for shoes actually, I have all sorts. I like hi-tops with velcro, 80s shoes like Martin Mcfly wore in Back to the Future, that sort of thing – Nike and Adidas are favourites. Half boots is another name for hi-tops. They stop just on your ankle – basketball players used to wear them to protect their ankles. The shoes that Nike make are so different to everything else – with the fat tongue and all that.
Is it important to you that you buy stuff with the Nike logo on it?
Yes, it is quite important. When I go shopping, I always do a bee-line for Nike. If I want to buy some shoes, my first choice is always Nike. I’m not sure why I like Nike so much. The sort of music that I listen to is 80s hip-hop and they all wear Nike, Adidas or Puma hi-tops. I like that look, so I try to imitate it.
Why do you like 80s style so much, to think that you weren’t even born until the end of the decade?
Yes, it is quite odd. I don’t think that pop bands today have the same style as old bands had, like Stetsasonic and that sort of hip hop band, so I try to go back to the 80s.
You’re on your first year in university. Does that mean that you’ve spent all your student loan on clothes?
In the first term I was quite bad, I bought about four pairs of trainers. But I then got a phone call from dad, and I had to stop! It was quite silly really; I couldn’t afford food because I wanted a pair of trainers so much – so I had to live on Super Noodles. I think it’s better to look good than to eat!
- CWPWRDD DILLAD