WALES has its share of traditional performers but it’s only now and again that a folk band breaks through to make its mark on the wider world of roots music, writes Eifion Jenkins.

Jamie Smith’s Mabon have been carrying that flag for 20 years and were in celebratory mood when they arrived at Theatr Mwldan, Cardigan, on Friday.

It’s not just the superb musicianship that has won them fans across the world over their two decades of touring and appearances at major festivals such as Womad.

Oliver Wilson-Dixon’s fiddle playing allied to Jamie’s virtuoso accordion technique is enough to make anyone stop and listen. Add to that a drum kit, guitar and bass and their heavier sound marks them out from most on the Welsh folk music scene.

Jamie’s compositions draw on influences from traditions as diverse as Eastern Europe, Brittany and Asturias and alongside the Welsh language songs of drummer Iolo Whelan give them a thoroughly modern edge.

Currently promoting their anniversary album Twenty – Live which digs into and updates their rich back catalogue, Cardigan gave them a warm welcome and I’m sure would have been happy to get up and dance if the space had allowed.

They’re that sort of band, enjoyable onstage repartee, infectious enthusiasm and energy to burn.