CALAN, the revivalist sound of Welsh traditional music, make their National Centre for Early Music debut in York on Wednesday on their biggest tour to date.

York will be one of 26 destinations on a tour built around the May 12 release of their fourth album, Solomon, on the Sain Records label with its collection of tales and tunes from the rich folklore of Celtic Wales, sung in both English and the band’s native Welsh.

Fiddles, guitar, accordion, bagpipes and step dancing burst into life when this energetic five-piece take to the stage to "breathe fire into the old traditions, exploring the legends of Wales with stories of fairies and magic, myth and mischief".

"We've been sitting on the new album for about a year so we're really excited to be going out and playing the songs," says fiddle, pipe-horn and whistle player Patrick Rimes. "We launched it at a party in Cardiff, at the Buffalo Bar in the middle of town, with a loud, rowdy, spill-your-pint kind of gig rather than just everyone sitting down!"

Calan, an "M4 corridor band" with members from Cardiff, Swansea and Cwmbran, came together "by chance" ten years ago. "We were all spread out around Wales but knew each other through the scene and used to get together once a month in someone's house, which was completely impractical," says Patrick. "We'd try to do songs together, but we all went off to university, though we never really gave up, and finally we came together properly."

The band's name emerged in their busking days in Cardiff. "Someone pictured us in front of a sign for a construction company called Calan, which means the beginning of something new, a fresh start, so that was a good bit of luck - and we haven't been sued by the company!"

Calan are grateful to be signed to such a sympathetic and supportive record company as the Caernarfon label Sain. "They even put the money up for us for return tickets when we were detained at Chicago airport after me and Sam [guitarist Sam Humphreys] were refused entry for having 'dodgy passports'. We ended up spending a night in a cell, so it was pretty wild, and now the incident's made its way on to the album on the tune Deportation Selfie," says Patrick.

"After we were released, we were driven straight across the runway to the plane to be deported, so we took a picture of ourselves in the [police] van as it was too good an opportunity to miss, and that picture of us looking groggy-eyed found its way to being a story on Wales Online. Our manager was pretty happy with the publicity!"

Calan will sing in both Welsh and English on Wednesday. "We believe music travels, which is why we make the effort to sing bilingually, keeping the old Welsh songs alive and singing in English to be more accessible," says Patrick. "From the beginning, we made it our mission statement that we wanted to preserve Welsh music for those who might not otherwise hear it: Welsh is a very poetic language and people appreciate that over being able to understand every word."

Calan play National Centre for Early Music, York, with singer-songwriter Dan Wilde as their special guest, on Wednesday 7.30pm. Box office: 01904 658338 or at