Arson Arrest Lights A Fire Under Band’s Disk Sales

When Bryn Fon, actor and lead singer of Welsh-language rock band Sobin a’r Smaeliaid (The Ishmaelites), was arrested last year, the story was front page news in Wales.

The charge had nothing do with substance abuse or hotel vandalism. Fon was busted on suspicion of participating in politically motivated arson attacks on English-owned vacation homes in Wales. (Burning down so-called “second homes” is one of the more violent manifesta tions of Welsh nationalism.)

Fon was released soon afterward with all charges dropped. But in the best tradition of rock ‘n’ roll, the incident was no career drag. The band’s latest album sold 5,000 copies in a couple of weeks, making it the all-time top-selling Welsh-language rock disk, while concerts have been SRO.

Which proves that the sages of rock ‘n’ roll were right all along when they declared there’s no boost like a bust.

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