'When I first read Dylan Thomas I felt comforted in my own thoughts dark and bright.
I felt a sense of communion, a smaller tree, in the same neck of the woods bearing the same weather conditions. As a child of the sea, the graveyard, the orchard, the small town with it's trappings and tribulations, I felt the need to reflect with pen, paper, guitar and voice", says the Mercury-nominated singer-songwriter Fionn Regan about how the poet inspired his songwriting. Last weekend, Regan was invited to perform alongside musicians Nicky Wire, Martin Carthy and Alasdair Roberts, as well as Roddy Doyle, Bill Drummond and Stuart Maconie, at Laugharne Weekend, the intimate literary festival. Dylan Thomas had a long affinity with Laugharne, spending the last four years of his life in the boathouse, which is now a heritage centre dedicated to him. Regan performed in that very place to a clutch of festival-goers.
"In Laugharne, the landscape of his poetry is looming, from Fern Hill to Sir Johns Hill. Walking the path past his writing shed, I was thinking of the lines: 'In my craft or sullen art / Exercised in the still of night / When only the moon rages'. This poem has a particular resonance for any artist, trying to navigate the highs and lows of the musical trade: 'Not for ambition or bread / Or the strut and trade of charms / On the ivory stages / But for the common wages / Of their most secret heart'."