Last year Paul and Adrian Gregory celebrated half a century of entertaining on Welsh stages and beyond under their performing name, Y Brodyr Gregory.
The two brothers from Ammanford are one of the most famous duos in Wales ever since starting performing on club stages in the north of England, before moving on to perform in Welsh.
To mark the anniversary last year, the actors Phyl Harries and Ieuan Rhys – who recently starred as Dai and Bri in Brassed Off at Aberystwyth Arts Centre – brought the two brothers back to a stage that is very close to their hearts, namely Theatr y Glowyr, Ammanford.
Due to the success of that show and due to many emails asking if they could bring the show to north Wales, Ad/Lib Cymru is pleased to be able to announce it will be bringing this unique show of chat, comedy and song to Neuadd Dwyfor, Pwllheli on Friday, 15 September.
Creating a musical duo was something that happened naturally for the two brothers, who had both inherited the musical talent of their father, Gordon Gregory.
They said: “Working as a duo was a no-brainer because dad sang; dad had a special voice. Matt Monro, that’s what Dad sang. He taught us a couple of songs and harmonies.”
Adrian added: “When Dad was young, he had the opportunity to sing for the BBC. But at the time his parents were telling him ‘Don’t be so stupid. There’s no future in singing,’ so he went to work in a garage, which is a shame because I believe, he could have gone far.
“But he still sang at weekends, and the concert parties were like they were many years ago, and the artists travelled around local clubs singing. Dad was singing up to the age of 86.”
While developing their own unique style as The Gregory Brothers, the musical duos of the swinging ‘60s such as The Everly Brothers, Simon and Garfunkel, The Walker Brothers inspired them.
The brothers travelled the north of England from club to club and spent the summer season in Blackpool becoming known to audiences in England, but unknown to the scene in Wales.
Paul explains: “Welsh-speaking people didn’t know the Gregory Brothers until we got on television. The majority of artists who sing in Welsh would have gone through the Urdd Eisteddfod, then go on to the National and do shows in Wales through Welsh.”
“I used to do summer seasons in Blackpool so we weren’t part of the scene in Wales.”
Their world changed as television company HTV Cymru increased their provision of Welsh language programmes and offered a new platform to the boys from Ammanford.
About that exciting period, Adrian said: “We had to ‘relearn’ the language. It was difficult at the beginning, especially from the time we decided we weren’t going to travel to England any more, and stay at home.
“From the time we decided we weren’t going to travel and rather sing in Welsh, we sold fruit for about four months.
“We went up to Cardiff to an auction and we bought a small van and we went to the Bessemer Rd Market and we bought fruit.
“Then we took the fruit back to Ammanford, knocked on everyone’s door and said, ‘We’re going to start selling fruit from Monday. If you’re interested, we can call with you!’ That’s the only real job I’ve ever had!”
Looking back on their time spent bringing entertainment to the living rooms of Wales and sharing the stage with the greats of Welsh entertainment, the feeling is bittersweet.
Paul said: “In the ‘80s we were in the HTV studios almost every month with people like Tony and Aloma, Caryl Parry-Jones, Rosalind and Myrddin and Dewi Pws. The studio was busy, there was a special atmosphere there”
“It was a special time you know, especially because I more or less started in the recording business and went to television, it was a privilege to be there.”
The brothers can’t wait to bring their humour and songs to Pwllheli in September and along with old friends Phyl Harries and Ieuan Rhys.
Ad/Lib Cymru promises an evening of Welsh language light entertainment at its best.