NEWS that eight-time Folk Award winning band Bellowhead will be headlining the official Cardigan Castle Opening Concert on July 25, with support from Wales’ own 9Bach, has been greeted with excitement by music fans.

Hundreds of tickets have already been sold, with news of the gig only officially announced this week after a news embargo was lifted.

The 11-piece festival favourites are acknowledged as one of the best live acts in the UK, harnessing the best of English and European music traditions, and fusing folk, funk, rock, world, music hall and classical music for their distinctive sound.

With Cardigan Castle officially opening its gates to the public on April 15, Mwldan will be presenting a series of live shows and music events in conjunction with the castle team.

In addition to the July gig, Mwldan's annual outdoor theatre events in conjunction with Illyria will also be taking up a new home at the castle.

Joining Bellowhead at the castle in July will be 6-piece 9Bach, who combine beautiful female vocal melodies with an ambient soundscape of guitar, bass, harp, harmonium and percussion.

The emotion of their music is rooted in the mountainous mining landscape of the band's native north Wales and their songs, sung in their mother tongue, tell of slaving quarry men, strong and stoic women, lost children, nature, family, and of love.

Their most recent album Tincian, released by Real World, has become an acclaimed hit, and is nominated for the prestigious Best Album prize at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards.They will also be performing live at the awards.

Bellowhead - who already have eight Folk Awards - have once again been nominated, and are up for Best Band.

The awards this year take place at the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff on April 22.