Book Event Preview : The Train Kept A-Rollin’


Put Friday 24th March, 6pm in your diaries as we’ve got an excellent event coming up for you!

A beloved regular customer here, author Spencer Vignes will be appearing to read from his recent book, The Train Kept A-Rollin’, after shop hours, in-store and we’ll be a-hopin’ he’ll spill the beans on some of the amazing music characters  he interviewed for the book! All this will be sound tracked by some of Spencer’s must have “train themed tunes” (how we’ll fit that alone in to one evening is yet to be seen!)

The event is open to all, so if you’ve even a passing curiosity, do pop along!  The book itself begins with an absorbing overview of how the railroads changed the both the economic and social geography of America but develops to give a thorough but accessible and entertaining history of the train song and the musicians who have been inspired by its ever-chugging romance.  Of course, the book is on sale in Spillers and while you won’t be forced to buy a book to attend this event, we’re sure that a lot of our customers will find this book so fascinating that you’ll be pulling out albums from your own collections and inspired to make your own Top Ten (or more!) Train Songs.  In fact, if you do, please feel welcome to drop any lists in to us and we’ll include some of these selections at the event!

About the Author

Spencer Vignes is a freelance journalist, author and broadcaster who lives in Cardiff. He has contributed to over 100 newspapers, magazines and press agencies across the world and is the author of six critically acclaimed books. Raised in Brighton on the post-punk music scene of the late seventies and early eighties, he bought his first album from Spillers – Complete Madness – back in 1984 while visiting relatives in South Wales. Follow him @SpencerVignes or visit for more information.

About the Book

There’s something about the lonesome train whistle, or the rattle of steel wheels on the tracks, that stirs emotions deep within the human soul.  Trains symbolise freedom, hope, travel, escape, sad partings and joyful reunions, along with a yearning to see what’s around the next bend.

Small wonder that generations of songwriters from Birmingham Alabama, to Birmingham, England have taken trains to their hearts, using them as a vehicle through which to convey the gamut of emotions that the sights and sounds of locomotives can evoke.

Longtime music and train fan, Spencer Vignes, marries his two passions in a book that gets to the heart of the genre.  Painstakingly researched, he has interviewed an array of singers, songwriters and musicians who share the secrets of how and why they came to write, or record, their train songs.

Climb on board in the company of Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull), Nick Cave, Ray Davies (The Kinks), Chris Difford (Squeeze), Sheena Easton, Bryan Ferry, Tom Johnston (Doobie Brothers), Chas McDevitt, Francis Rossi (Status Quo), Peggy Seeger, Brian Setzer (Stray Cats), Rod Stewart and many more famous names, all of whom were happy to proclaim their love of trains and train songs.

All aboard and see you there!


#WelshLanguageMusicDay 10.02.17 Celebrating Welsh language Music

Put Friday the 10th Feb 2017 in your diary and make sure that you fill it with cerddoriaeth Gymraeg and if you can, pop down to Spillers, your one-stop-shop for your Welsh Music needs!


This Friday marks the second annual celebration of Welsh Language Music and it’s definitely something Spillers feels strongly about and takes great pleasure in marking.

Last year, along with the scores of great events happening across Wales, we were joined by the mighty force that is Rogue Jones  who played a rousing set for a great crowd.  Fun was had by all, teimlo dda!

This year will be marked with a creative range of events along the length and breadth of Wales (school discos, quizzes, gigs and more) along with a Llundain gig in The Big Smoke, hosted by Huw Stephens and Green Man featuring the wonderful talents of The Gentle Good and Huw M (both shop favourites who have played Spillers in stores in the past).
What’s more (mwy? mwy? T’in eisiau mwy?!!) : the good folk at Green Man have a competition going on : Everyone who buys a ticket for this event will be entered into a ballot for a chance to win two Green Man 2017 tickets. And if you’ve seen the Green Man line up announced so far THAT’s a competition not to be missed (but that’s a whole different post!) ….


Here’s the website you need for all the info on the day and a great video featuring Huw Stephens and some enthusiastic quotes on why this is a great opportunity for celebration and positivity about the wealth of Welsh Language talent past and present.

Any one can put on an event to mark the day, you just need to contact the team at Cymraeg via any of their social media channels 

As a rusty Welsh learner (seren A GCSE and a stint at dosbarth nos to refresh a few years later) who has a strong affinity (as all the staff at Spillers do) with music made in the Welsh language,  any opportunity to unite in the celebration of the wonderful mother tongue is a big WYCH from over here.  Ardderchog!

But what is Spillers doing to mark the day we hear you ask?!


Well we’ll be joined by Yr Eira  and this track is taken from the indispensible compilation from I Ka Ching, a label that is establishing itself fully as the go-to-label for all the best emerging Welsh Language talent out there.

We can’t wait to mark the second Dydd Miwsig Cymru.  Keep an ear out on our Twitter feed and the #dyddmiwsigcymru hashtag for all the inspiration you need to tune in to some excellent music and sounds.  There’s also a Spotify playlist curated by the likes of Gwenno and Huw Stephens, and of course, if this is your bag, you can always hit us up for a recommendation over the shop counter in Spillers, any time of year!!