Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci

TrackSingle / EP / Album
Y Ffordd OrenTatay
Merched Yn Neud Gwallt Eu Gilydd Ankst CD048
Miss TrudyBwyd Time
The Game Of EyesBwyd Time
Methu Aros Tan HafLlanfwrog EP
If Fingers Were XylophonesAnkst CD064
Patio SongBarafundle
TsunamiGorky 5
Waking For WinterSleep/Holiday

Gorky's photo 1
Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci – Euros Childs, Megan Childs, Euros Rowlands, Richard James, John Lawrence – on the ‘Bwyd Time’ 1995 album sleeve (photo Pat Pope)


Gorky’s playlist



Contributor: Lakshmi Hutchinson

I didn’t hear Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci until 1997. I was living in London at the time and a co-worker at Tower Records put Barafundle on in the shop. I couldn’t get enough of their psychedelic, folky, proggy, and sometimes medieval sounding pop songs. They sang about wizards, dark nights and lovely days in Welsh and English, and I wanted to know everything about them! In fact, they’re one of the reasons I spent a holiday in Wales and bought a very basic book about learning Welsh. I needed to learn at least some of the words and song meanings (this being well before Google Translate).

The ‘classic’ Gorky’s lineup featured Carmarthen schoolmates Euros Childs (vocals, keyboards), John Lawrence (vocals, guitar), and Richard James (bass guitar). Megan Childs (violin) and Euros Rowlands (drums) had joined by the second album. I should add that many of the band members are multi-instrumentalists, which adds a real variety and depth to their music. There’s a timeless quality to their sound; partly the result of not following trends, but also due to some unquestionably brilliant songwriting.

I’m starting my Toppermost with Y Ffordd Oren from the 1994 album, Tatay. The Gorky’s sound that I know and love starts to emerge on this album. You never know where a Gorky’s song might go – it could change genre or language part of the way through. In this one, the laid-back verses are followed by a chorus that rocks out with a fuzzy guitar and shimmering Hammond organ.

My next choice, Merched Yn Neud Gwallt Eu Gilydd, was released as a single in 1994. Here they’ve gone with even crazier tempo changes, funny voices, and a mix of Welsh and English. This song is a guaranteed earworm; years later, it still gets stuck in my head.

Next, I’ve picked two songs from their fantastic 1995 album, Bwyd Time. First up is Miss Trudy, which features Euros Childs singing angelically about a sad but volatile violin teacher.

And no Gorky’s top ten would be complete without the absolutely bonkers single The Game Of Eyes. It includes some bizarrely spoken word bits like this:

The Game of Eyes takes place between two people on a burning marble board … HAHAHAHAHA

The song is a perfect mix of psychedelia and humor penned by Lawrence and Childs, and it’s Gorky’s at their best. Not many bands could record something this weird that you want to listen to again and again.

Along with the zany songs, Gorky’s have a lot of incredibly beautiful songs, like Methu Aros Tan Haf. It first appeared on the EP Llanfwrog, and it’s psych-folk with an almost eerie vibe until the chorus kicks in. If Fingers Were Xylophones, also from 1995, is like a jazzy, psychedelic bossa nova spliced with a 60s pop song. I recommend listening to it on headphones so you can hear all the layers of instrumentation and effects.

My next two selections come from 1997’s Barafundle, which I consider their masterpiece. The absolutely gorgeous Starmoonsun is written by John Lawrence, and he and Euros sing together on this one. Who knew that what modern music was missing was the shawm (a medieval predecessor to the oboe)?

Starmoonsun leads straight into the fantastic Patio Song. It’s the perfect summer tune – a sweet song about falling for someone and wanting to kiss them.

The next album, Gorky 5, was quite a departure from Barafundle, and didn’t have much of a psychedelic sound. It does feature some standout tracks, though, including John Lawrence’s Tsunami. I love the baroque classical touches underneath the delicate vocals. Lawrence left the band before the release of the next album, Spanish Dance Troupe, which he plays on (but doesn’t have any songwriting credits for). Although I do enjoy the later albums, I think his contributions to the band are missed, a lot like Guided by Voices without Tobin Sprout.

I’m skipping forward to their final release, Sleep/Holiday, for my last selection. By this point Gorky’s had really shifted to a more solidly folk-influenced sound. Waking For Winter is an upbeat piano and harmonica driven song, and I chose it in part because it really segues into some of Euros’ later projects. Along with his solo albums, he formed a duo, Jonny, with Norman Blake of Teenage Fanclub, and the one album they released is amazing. Euros officially joined Teenage Fanclub in 2019, following Gerard Love’s departure from the band.

It wasn’t possible to include all the Gorky’s albums in my list (possibly because Bwyd Time and Barafundle had to have at least two entries each). A few songs that just missed the cut are Diamonds O Monte Carlo (Patio), Iechyd Da (Bwyd Time), Sometimes The Father Is The Son (Barafundle), Spanish Dance Troupe (Spanish Dance Troupe), Christina (How I Long To Feel That Summer In My Heart).

I hope you enjoy checking out Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci who, by all rights, should have been much bigger than they were.



Gorky’s 9 studio albums
Patio (1992)
Tatay (1994)
Bwyd Time (1995)
Barafundle (1997)
Gorky 5 (1998)
Spanish Dance Troupe (1999)
The Blue Trees (2000)
How I Long To Feel That Summer In My Heart (2001)
Sleep/Holiday (2003)




Gorky Dispenser – fansite (archived)

Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci discography

Gorkys Public Facebook Group

Euros Childs official website

John Lawrence official website

Richard James solo albums

Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci biography (AllMusic)

Lakshmi Hutchinson is a writer and editor based in Los Angeles. Many years ago she was a college radio DJ, and she once worked at Tower Records in Piccadilly Circus. She loves going to gigs, making playlists, buying too many books, and hanging with her family and tuxedo cat. Follow Lakshmi on Bluesky and Instagram.

She has also written about Donovan and The Radio Dept. on this site.

TopperPost #1,110


  1. David Lewis
    Mar 31, 2024

    Thanks for a wonderful toppermost on an intriguing band. It took me quite some time to even parse the name. But I enjoyed the article and the playlist.

    • Lakshmi Hutchinson
      Jun 6, 2024

      Glad you enjoyed it!

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