Cerys Matthews – Sweet Magnolia

Taken from the album ‘Explorer’.

Cerys Elizabeth Matthews, MBE was born in Cardiff on April 11th, 1969, her family moving to Swansea when she was seven. She learned to play the guitar at the age of eight, teaching herself traditional folk songs. She is fluent in Spanish and French, along with English and Welsh. She was also a nanny in Spain where she learned to speak Catalan.

She was a founder member of the pop group Catatonia in 1992, co-writing “You’ve Got a Lot to Answer For”, “Mulder and Scully”, “Dead From the Waist Down” and “Road Rage”. She also played guitar on most of the early tracks before Owen Powell joined the band. Matthews was voted the “Sexiest Female in Rock” in a 1999 readers’ poll in Melody Maker.

In 2014 she co-founded a new interactive festival The Good Life Experience with Charlie and Caroline Gladstone. This is held every September on the Gladstone Estate in Hawarden, Flintshire.

She won a prestigious ‘St David Award’ for her contribution to culture in 2014 (run by the Welsh government). She was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2014 Birthday Honours for services to music. Matthews currently lives in London with her husband Steve Abbott and her three children.