Julia 'Stacey' Gillard (born in Barry, see?) becoming the second Welsh Oz Prime Minister (after Billy Hughes) reminds me that I didn't post anything to celebrate John Cale getting a gong in the last honours round (MBE, I think).
I'm not a fan of the Velvet Underground - I got into him through the 'Songs for Drella' album he made with Lou Reid about their relationship with Andy Warhol. Subsequently, his solo 'Fragments of a Rainy Season' long-player became one of my all-time favourites. It bears a lot of playing and, although it's just a voice accompanied by piano, I haven't come across anything else quite like it.
He was on The South Bank Show ten years or so ago and I was struck by his unusual Mid-Atlantic Welsh/American accent, identical to that of another West Walian-born export to the US, Catherine Zeta-Jones.
The Swansea area has been a remarkable producer (and exporter) of theatrical talent with perhaps the most peculiar phenomenon arising in nearby Port Talbot. It's a town of about 35,000 people, so small to medium size. And yet it's produced probably the most outstanding British male actor in each of the last three generations: Richard Burton, Anthony Hopkins and, most recently, Michael Sheen. It's also the home town of probably our best comic actor, Rob Brydon (I wonder if Ms Gillard has an Uncle Bryn? If so, imagine the pride...). And that's from a place which is about the size of Abingdon. As I say, peculiar, if not downright weird.
Anyway, here's JC with 'Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night', lyrics by another West Walian creative type: