Who doesn’t love a teen movie? Beyond Clueless director Q&A, 3 Feb 2015, Chapter Arts Centre

I was recently contacted by Catherine Bray, producer of an independently funded film called Beyond Clueless which is having four screenings and one director Q&A in Cardiff at Chapter, asking if we’d promote it on the blog. Obviously we can’t promote everything on this blog, or I’d be doing literally nothing but blog posts about mobile phone shops and hotel deals and you’d all want to punch me in the face.

beyond_clueless

However … having worked on something similar for We Are Cardiff, I had sympathy for her mission to find low-cost ways to promote a film, so thought I’d put something up here about it. Also, teen movies are the BEST, aren’t they?? The greatest film ever made is, after all, Richard Linklater’s AMAZING 70s teen rite of passage movie, Dazed and Confused. If you want to argue it, we can take this outside.

ANYWAY. So, back to Beyond Clueless: it’s a docu-essay about teen movies in the 1990s-2000s, it got a nod from Paul Bradshaw in the Guardian.

Sight and Sound have also given it some serious props:

“Titles are cut up into masterfully edited mosaics, so that stock teen-movie scenes – house parties, first sexual encounters, school corridor walks, masturbation, etc – are shown in fluid multi-movie montages in which each film, like any high-schooler, must struggle to maintain individual identity in the crowd. Accordingly, even as Lyne charts the cliques, codes and rules of teendom itself, he is also revealing the building blocks that constitute every high-school movie. Beyond Clueless is, after all, a structuralist work, using a compelling collation of similar imagery from different sources to make accessible and intelligible the system beneath the chaos of adolescent experience, real and represented.”

Beyond Clueless is showing at Chapter Arts Centre on:

Friday 30 / Saturday 31 Jan / Tuesday 3 / Wednesday 4 February, with a special Q&A with director Charlie Lyne on Tuesday 3 Feb.

Get tickets

NB: Wanna know what I’m on about above? Watch the We Are Cardiff film that was so stressful it caused me to flee the country. Literally. Not because of its harrowing content. It’s actually a very nice film. WATCH IT.

Peas

x

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Save Cardiff’s Library Service – National Libraries Mass “Read In” Protest, Sat 7 Feb 2015

Sharing an event and some news from Cardiff People’s Assembly … save Cardiff’s Library Service

Save Cardiff's Libraries

Cardiff’s public library service is being dismantled. The Central library, voted one of the top six libraries in the world, is now going through a second year of budget cuts. Last year they lost the top floor and a quarter of their staff, and closed one day a week. Next year it could become a “Super Hub” and lose even more floorspace when Marland House, the housing benefit and council tax centre, moves into the building. Hundreds of books have already been removed and library staff have been warned not to talk about the cuts on social media.

Meanwhile up to seven community libraries in Cathays, Radyr, Rhiwbina, Rhydypennau, Roath, Rumney and Whitchurch will stop receiving any council funding at all. The plan is to ‘hand buildings over to the community’ by making trained staff redundant and replacing them with volunteers. If these “community groups” cannot be found to take over they will have to close completely.

Libraries are more than a place to store books – they are the only free space where residents can meet in the winter, and a vital place for elderly, disabled and unemployed people to access computers and to search for work. Our right to participate in cultural life is essential for a democracy, and if we don’t put up a fight for these libraries now we won’t get another chance.

Be part of history. Defend our library service in our capital city. Make the council provide a comprehensive service as the 1964 Libraries and Museums Act demands: Save our libraries!

THE EVENT:

Get yourself down to CARDIFF CENTRAL LIBRARY on Saturday 7 February. This protest will take place in front of the library (not inside!). Please bring a book to hold up as a symbol of freedom, and banners, placards and signs. Authors, campaigners and members of the public are invited to read a three minute passage from a favourite book. Join in or go along and listen.

Saturday 7 February, 12:00 midday, outside Cardiff Central Library, The Hayes.

Join the Save Cardiff Libraries Facebook event

OTHER THINGS YOU CAN DO TO HELP:

Sign and share Unison ‘Save Cardiff Library Service’ petition:
https:you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/save-cardiff-library-service

Write to the paper –

Email a letter the South Wales Echo (under 250 words to be published include address and phone number which will not be published) explaining what the library service means to you and why it must be defended, not cut back: ecletters@walesonline.co.uk

Write to the politicians –

In Liverpool, 11 libraries where saved when 500 authors, musicians and educators wrote to the mayor along with hundreds of school children sending love library letters. (See Cathy Cassidy’s love letter on the Internet).

Be part of history. Defend our library service in our capital city. Make the council provide a comprehensive service as the1964 Libraries and Museums Act demands. Write your love library letter to the leader of Cardiff council. Exercise your freedom of speech by discussing library cuts freely on Twitter, Facebook, Walesonline and letters to the papers. Show solidarity with library staff who have been banned from doing so.

Address your letters/emails to

Leader of Cardiff council
Cllr Phil Bale
Leader’s Office
Room 525
County Hall
Cardiff, CF10 4UW

email Phil.Bale@Cardiff.gov.uk

with copies to:

Deputy Leader
Cllr Sue Lent
7 Pen-Y-Wain Place
Roath
Cardiff
CF24 4GA

email Sue.Lent@Cardiff.gov.uk

and:

Cllr Peter Bradbury (libraries portfolio)
10 Yarrow Close
Cardiff
CF5 4QS

email Peter.Bradbury@Cardiff.gov.uk

Please copy in cardiffpeoplesassembly@gmail.com and let them know of any replies.

See you on the streets!

This event and civic action is called by Cardiff County UNISON & Cardiff People’s Assembly. More power to the people!

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Independent Venue Week – Cardiff, 25 – 31 January 2015

Support your local independent venues! As part of the national Independent Venue Week project, two of Cardiff’s best watering / dancing / music holes are putting on some special nights. Don’t miss out!

Clwb Ifor Bach

independent_venue_week_clwb_2015

The mighty mighty Welsh Club has a load of great events on to celebrate!

TUESDAY 27 JANUARY

Imperial Music proudly presents When We Were Wolves for their first headline show at Clwb Ifor Bach Cardiff, they hit the stage on Tuesday January 27th as part of the Independent Venue Week with support from Set To Break plus two acts to be announced.

Imperial Music presents When We Were Wolves / Set To Break
Facebook Event – http://on.fb.me/1wrtxE9

THURSDAY 29 JANUARY

We’re excited to announce that Turnstile Music will be hosting a night of entertainment on Thursday 29th! They’re bringing along with them Cardiff’s own R.Seiliog – Bristol’s TRUST FUND and the mighty Los Campesinos! for an exclusive DJ set!

Turnstile Music presents R.SeiliogTRUST FUNDLos Campesinos! DJ Set
Facebook Event: http://on.fb.me/1GoKC4y

FRIDAY 30 JANUARY (SOLD OUT)

Welsh pop-punks, Save Your Breath, have announced their plans to disband following a final UK headline tour in January 2015. The band will play ten final shows, finishing with their LAST EVER show at Clwb Ifor Bach on Friday 30th January 2015.

GB Live presents Save Your Breath (Last Show) / As It Is / Cardinals
Facebook Event: http://on.fb.me/1rUGYN0

As part of the Independent Venue Week celebrations, I Ka Ching Records curate a line-up showcasing some of the best artists on the label.

Recordiau I KA Ching Records presents…. Candelas / Sŵnami / Yr Eira
Facebook Event: http://on.fb.me/1C7Jxyc

Zerox
Clwb Ifor Bach’s PARTY Jukebox Night – Classic tunes & a wild disregard for genres, every Friday at Cardiff’s longest running independent venue. FREE entry with a wristband for the Save Your Breath/Candelas show.

SATURDAY 31 JANUARY

Future Of The Left / The St. Pierre Snake Invasion / TBA
Event: http://on.fb.me/1vn1iAX

Cardiff’s own Future Of the Left close the weeklong celebrations! Future of the Left are a rock band from Cardiff, Wales. They were formed in 2005 as part of a plea agreement following their involvement in an arms deal which left an actor playing tony blair dead, or at least pretending really well. They are made up of Andrew Falkous, Jack Egglestone, Jimmy Watkins and Julia Ruzicka.

Nos Galan
Cardiff’s longest running Saturday night. Expect a huge variety of musical genres as we take over all three floors to deliver you a uniquely varied Saturday night out.

Dirty Pop – Downstairs pop and disco dancing rules the roost with DJs Ian Cottrell, Esyllt Williams, Johnny Bull and their Dirty Pop. Voted ‘Best DJ Night’ at Swn Festival 2009, it’s hot, sweaty and more than a little dirty.

Mr Potter’s Proper Disco – A veteran of the festival circuit. Mr Potter keeps the party poppin’ on the middle floor with his jump-jive, soul, funk, rhythm and blues disco.

Vinyl Vendettas – The top floor plays host to the first ladies of the Cardiff scene; The Vinyl Vendettas. Their mix of indie, classics and rock & roll has graced festivals across the land and it’s to Clwb’s considerable pride that they have decided to make our venue their home.

Clwb have also put together a rather nifty playlist of all the bands you can expect to see there this week: listen on Spotify

 

Gwdihw

independent_venue_week_gwdihw_2015

Everyone’s favourite owl-themed bar is putting on three mighty shows to celebrate IVW! And remember it’s 50 PERCENT OFF EVERYTHING AT THE BAR UNTIL 8pm ALL THROUGH JANUARY, AND 9-10pm ON EVERY FRIDAY AND SATURDAY TOO! (#uhoh)

THURSDAY 29 JANUARY

Huw Stephens presents: Frankie & The Heartstrings with Houdini Dax &Wasters | Thu 29 | 8PM | £5/7
EVENT: http://on.fb.me/1C4d4ch

Kicking off on Thursday Jan 29th, we’re ridiculously excited that local musical maestro, Huw Stephens is bringing the unquenchably enthusiastic Indie-Rock of Frankie & the Heartstrings for a special intimate show, with incredible support from Houdini Dax & Wasters.

FRIDAY 30 JANUARY

Johnny Cage & The Voodoogroove‘s Rock n’ Roll Revue | Fri 30th | 9PM | £3
EVENT: http://on.fb.me/13h3PGg

We have the 1st of a years worth of the brilliant rock and roll revues of Johnny Cage & The Voodoo Groove, who will be bringing their rollicking cuban guitar sound and a host of special friends bi-monthly, with amongst other things, burlesque dancers, DJ’s, amazing support acts and of course, themselves – the UK’s most righteous rock n’ roll party machine.

SATURDAY 31 JANUARY

Hully Gully x On The Corner Records Tropical Discotheque Part Deux w/ DJ Izem & J-Buck | Sat 31st | 9PM | £3
EVENT: http://on.fb.me/1u4CTXu

To polish off a wonderful trio of shows, Hully Gully bring another Tropical Discotheque (Part Deux), with On the Corner Records choosing guest DJs to choose the finest in turntablist funk & soul, with DJ Izem & J Buck heating up the dancefloor with tropical grooves with an edge of horns and bass.

Get yourselves out on the town and ENJOY!

***

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NoFit State Circus – Archive Project launch

We’ve featured the internationally acclaimed, Cardiff-based contemporary circus, NoFit State on here a couple of times before. This January, the circus has begun work on a yearlong project to archive the company’s history and heritage.  The project, supported by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund will catalogue a huge archive of printed material, artefacts, film, photos and documentation covering the company’s 30 year history and will culminate in an exhibition and a new interactive website.

NoFit State Circus - Bianco by Seventh Wave

Bianco on tour, 2014

The project titled ‘From Ball’s Up to Bianco’ will tell the story of how a group of youthful Cardiff-based jugglers assisted by thousands of performers, crew, advocates, audience members and partners became directors of one of the most successful contemporary circuses of the century. It will also show the impact NoFit State has had on the growth of contemporary circus in the UK and further afield, as well as how well rooted it remains in the community of Cardiff. 

NoFit State Tent and audience

The Big Top at the Bath Fringe Festival 1999

Ali Williams, founder member and now Creative Director of the company comments, “It’s really very exciting to be starting this project, and to be working with experts from Glamorgan Archive and The Cardiff Story Museum to make some sense of all our archive which we have been collecting and storing for so many years. It’s a great fusion between the creative and heritage sectors and very pertinent to our local Cardiff community”.

NoFit State was born in Splott, and the company opened their new professional training space on Four Elms Road in 2014 while maintaining their community training space on John Street in the city centre. Recent tented tours have taken the company as far as Australia to Perth Festival. Currently, their show Bianco is part of the International Circus Festival in Marseilles and Noodles, the company’s theatre show will be presented at this year’s London International Mime Festival.

“It’s really a ‘done good’ story,” says Liz Lavender, Volunteer Co-ordinator for the project, “and we hope it will inspire people in many ways. We will be running a volunteering programme so people with very varied interests can be involved. We hope through working with local people through Volunteering Cardiff we can involve people in the whole process, from specialised activities where training will be given in oral history recording and editing for example to preservation techniques, event coordination, administration, web development and exhibition creation”.

For more information or to get involved contact liz@nofitstate.org.

NoFit State are also keen to hear form anyone who has memories of seeing or being involved with any of the company’s community based shows or activities in the past.

About NoFit State

NoFit State was founded in 1986 by five friends. During a politically charged time, in a recession, and as a creative reaction to the world around them, the circus was born. Today, NoFit State is the UK’s leading large-scale contemporary circus company, producing professional touring productions and a wide variety of community, training, and education projects for people of all ages. www.nofitstate.org

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The best Welsh songs of 2014 – the Cardiff version

Dave Owens is my favourite Wales Online writer, because he covers music and arts and all the fun local stuff. Back in December he wrote an article about the 51 best Welsh songs of 2014, and it’s taken me this long to get through it!

There’s some great Cardiff talent in the list. Check out the following:

Kutosis: Crystal Beach (listen)

Kutosis

Cardiff’s favourite pot-punk trio give it large! More about Kutosis here – you can get their last album and other merch on the Kutosis Bandcamp page

 

Manic Street Preachers – Futurology (R Seiliog remix) (listen)

Manic Street Preachers

It’s heavy! R Seiliog is playing in Clwb on Thursday 29 Jan, with Trust Fund and Los Campesinos! Catch him live there! If you want to catch the Manics live in Cardiff though, you’re too late – all tickets for their epic castle gig be SOLD OUT!

 

Gulp – I want to dance (listen)

gulp

Obviously we’d have a Super Furry Animal in here somewhere, right? Guto kicks out the jams with his expansive upbeat electronica. Gulp Facebook

 

Houdini Dax – Get Your Goo On (listen)

Houdini Dax

If you can catch these guys live, do. They’ll whip you up into a proper frenzy! They’re playing Clwb on 28 Feb (Facebook event)

 

Fireproof Giant – A Place to Start (listen)

fireproof giant

Gotta include these guys, because they’re amazing and because the lovely Gareth made all the spooky music for the ghost-hunting podcast I did back in October! Fireproof Giant Facebook

Listen again: We Are Haunted – a guide to the spirit city

 

Slowly Rolling Camera – Into the Shadow (listen)

Slowly Rolling Camera by Claire Cousin

Last on our list (but definitely not least!) is Slowly Rolling Camera – this cool yet epic jazz group have brought the sound back in a new and fresh way. They’re amazing! They’ve got no dates lined up for the time being, but keep an eye on their Facebook for when you can see them next: Slowly Rolling Camera Facebook

 

Honorable mention…

Samoans – I Am Your Density (listen)

They didn’t make it into Dave’s list, but I’m a big fan of Samoans. Their last album Rescue came out last year, and this is m favourite track from it. Find out when they’re next playing live on the Samoans Facebook page.

 

FULL PLAYLIST!

For some light listening, here’s the full playlist:

Check out Dave’s A Sound Reaction Facebook page (where he posts all his stuff).

Also see the original story on Wales Online: The 51 greatest Welsh songs of 2014

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Cardiff A-Z: P is for parkrun

Katie Hamer continues her A–Z series with an exploration of Cardiff’s ever-growing running community.

 

IMG_1043
A runner near the start of the route on Taff’s Trail near Bute Park

 

How are you doing with your New Year’s Resolutions? What do you hope to achieve in 2015?

Whatever you have planned, make getting out in the fresh air and exercising a priority. As I’ve discovered, there’s nothing better for blowing away those winter cobwebs. It helps to eliminate the gloom of long dark evenings, and may also have prevented me from catching a cold so far.

What’s so special about parkrun?

Parkrun events are free. All you have to do to take part, is register online and turn up with a printout of your barcode (scans from mobile phones don’t work, for some reason). They take place at many venues, both UK-wide and internationally. Local running clubs organize them and people of all abilities are welcome to take part.

At the end of the run your time appears online for all to see, provided you have brought your barcode. It’s not a race, but from my own personal experience, I’ve gained a lot of satisfaction from smashing my Personal Best.

IMG_1024
Leaders of the pack on Saturday

 

So, it it’s nationwide, what makes the Cardiff parkrun special?

Well, this I couldn’t initially answer, as I am in fact a veteran of another parkrun venue, the one at Bryn Bach, Ebbw Vale. So I decided to set out to investigate. This is what I discovered:

Cardiff parkrun is huge

Four hundred runners on average turn up every week to participate. The most they’ve had is a staggering seven hundred, now that makes for crowded footpaths!

Cardiff parkrun has a vibrant community

They have a very lively Facebook group with 2,000 plus registered members. They’re adding more people all the time. All members are encouraged to post, and there’s almost always a vibrant conversation going on. Which got me thinking…

IMG_1026
Determined runners stride ahead

 

How could I play an active role in that community?

I had to think about this. I could turn up to the Cardiff parkrun to take part, but what would that teach me? Then, it occurred to me that what I should do is sign up to volunteer.

What happened next?

I found signing up to volunteer very easy. A few days after signing up, I received an email requesting that I marshal at the crossroads. So, on a wet and windy Saturday at the beginning of January, I turned up at the Taff’s Trail next to the big Tesco Extra, donned a high-vis bib, and stood at the side of the course to cheer the runners on.

IMG_1031
My view from the crossroads, a stretch where marshals have to ensure runners have enough space to run both directions: there and back

 

How did I rate the experience?

Never having been to this particular course before, and not knowing anyone there, I did feel daunted. But that daunted feeling soon dissipated as I got chatting to the other volunteers. I quickly realized how passionate the people who marshal the event are. They are members of running clubs who have taken part in elite races, and yet go out of their way on a Saturday to give support and encouragement to aspiring runners of all abilities. What really impressed me is that they have a volunteer to ensure the slowest participants cross the finishing line and gain their time.

IMG_1037
The fastest runners pass the middle of the pack on the two-way stretch as marshals offer guidance and encouragement

 

Parkrun changes lives

Parkrun has changed my life. When I turned up for my first event, I did so as a casual runner. I’m now a member of a running club, registered with the Welsh Athletics Association and training to take part in the Berlin 25km race. If you ask around at any parkrun event, you will hear many similar stories, and ones that are even more remarkable.

Cardiff – a great city for running

Cardiff is an amazing city to be a runner. If you don’t believe me, take a look at this list of forthcoming races:

 

1st March 2015 St. David’s Day Run

4th May 2015 Cardiff Bay 5 mile

28th June 2015 Cardiff Triathlon

6th September 2015 Cardiff 10k

4th October 2015 Cardiff Half-Marathon

 

If you’re new to running or it’s been a while since you last did any running, you can find some great training tips here, to help you get prepared: Runner’s World Website.

So, what are you waiting for? Put your trainers on and get down to Cardiff parkrun this Saturday!

You can find more information on Cardiff Parkrun here:

Parkrun website

Facebook 

Twitter

Thanks for reading.

 

 

 

Cardiff est Charlie, Sunday 11 January 2014

Photojournalist Peppe Iovino went along to an event held in front of the Senedd in Cardiff Bay on Sunday, where Cardiffians gathered to show solidarity with the French community after the terrible events taking place in Paris last week.

Cardiff est Charlie Peppe Iovino

From Peppe: “Cardiff people took to the Senedd square, united with the Welsh French community to demonstrate their solidarity after the terrorist French attack against the Charlie Hebdo satire magazine newsroom and the following 17 deaths. A square made by many different nationalities, religion beliefs, political ideals, social backgrounds and ages, families and students all together under one flag, one colour, the peace one, one silent shout to say We are Charlie, united global human tears under one flag, the peace: one.”

Cardiff est Charlie Peppe Iovino

Cardiff est Charlie Peppe Iovino

Cardiff est Charlie Peppe Iovino

Cardiff est Charlie Peppe Iovino

Cardiff est Charlie Peppe Iovino

Cardiff est Charlie Peppe Iovino

Cardiff est Charlie Peppe Iovino

Cardiff est Charlie Peppe Iovino

Cardiff est Charlie Peppe Iovino

Cardiff est Charlie Peppe Iovino

Cardiff est Charlie Peppe Iovino

Cardiff est Charlie Peppe Iovino

Cardiff est Charlie Peppe Iovino

Cardiff est Charlie Peppe Iovino

Cardiff est Charlie Peppe Iovino

Cardiff est Charlie Peppe Iovino

We Are Cardiff’s most viewed posts of 2014: in review

This blog was viewed about 130,000 times in 2014. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 6 days for that many people to see it. And that’s a FACT.

The busiest day of the year was December 10th with 1,758 views. The most popular post that day was Cardiff Indoor Flea Market.

Check out our most viewed posts of 2014!

NUMBER ONE: Street Food Cardiff – food pop ups every weekend from now to Christmas!

street_food_cardiff

The top of our list was the post about the pop-up food hall that totally occurred on Dumballs Road between October and Christmas. We went along to the preview night, which was epic, even though they ran out of squid ink burgers JUST before we got there, sad face. Looking forward to new big things from the creative crew behind this in 2015!

NUMBER TWO: Cardiff hidden gem – Rose Street flea market

rose-street-flea-market-philip-jenkins08

At number two, it was a Cardiff ‘hidden gem’: Rose Street Flea Market, tucked away on Rose Street in Roath, and only open a couple of days a week. One of the best places in Cardiff to pick up your secondhand goods from!

NUMBER THREE: Cardiff Indoor Flea Market

ben_k_fleamarket-1

Another post about a flea market – this time, Cardiff Indoor Flea Market over in Tremorfa. It’s a bit out of the way (unless you live just off Newport Road), but well worth the journey down there.

NUMBER FOUR: The Gower Pub, Cardiff 1895 – 2014. RIP

Gower Pub by Jon Pountney

A sad post about one of Cathays’ best pubs, closing its doors for the last time in 2014. Photographer Jon Pountney went along to document the closing.

NUMBER FIVE “Malaysian – Cardiffian – a harmonious fusion between two cultures, two cities and two lifestyles” – Zainah

zainah by jon pountney

This one is a bittersweet entry in the top five, because a couple of months after we posted this story, KL Canalog was forced to close. Boo! I only went there to eat ONCE before it closed down, which is a CRIME against my belly, because frankly their mie goreng with a fried egg on top was one of the best things I’ve ever tasted.

And that’s our top five posts of last year! Hope you’re enjoying January and it’s not been too hard on you so far.

Peas

WAC

x

Cardiff news / blogs / links round-up for the New Year

There has been so much stuff I’ve been bookmarking recently to post here on the blog, it’s getting ridiculous – so I thought I’d do a blog round up, like Hannah Waldram used to do when she was writing the Guardian’s Cardiff blog. Remember that? That was great.

Anyway.

DINOSAURS IN PENARTH
Just before Christmas, a seven foot dinosaur fossil was found on a beach near Penarth! EPIC FIND

RECYCLING IN CARDIFF
Cardiff Council are doing a consultation on recycling in the city. FILL IT OUT: http://www.surveys.cardiff.gov.uk/wastestrategy/

SAVE CARDIFF’S NIGHTSHELTER
Thanks to the generous donations of people like you, Cardiff’s Nightshelter has almost raised the £21k it needs to stay open. Please donate whatever you can, however small, to help those with nowhere else to go. Imagine being homeless in the bad weather we’re currently having … also the Nightshelter is the only place that accepts dogs, sometimes the only friend a homeless person has 😦 DONATE TO HELP KEEP THE PLACE OPEN: They’re so near their target! SAVE THE NIGHTSHELTER

THE GREATEST WELSH SONGS OF 2014
Music writer Dave Owens has compiled a tasty slice of 2014’s best tracks, as put together by Welsh bands (Wales Online)

RIP CATAPULT RECORDS
We were gutted to find out our favourite dance music specialist in Cardiff has closed down. RIP Catapult 100% Vinyl. There’s a Facebook group you can join if you’d like to share photos / videos and mourn its loss: RIP Catapult

WHY CARDIFF?
Friend-of-the-blog Neil Cocker recently wrote this piece called ‘Why Cardiff?’. If you’ve got friends who are thinking about moving here, why not send them this to help them along in their decision making!

EAT OUT FOR CHEAP IN CARDIFF IN JANUARY!
Wales Online have got a good round-up of cheap offers for eating out in the city in January. Screw the diet! Cheap eats in January

SPILLERS RECORDS – NEW AND IMPROVED!
After the sad news about Catapult, we’ve got some GOOD news about Spillers – they’ve just moved into their new premises, just opposite where they were before – by The Plan cafe, in the old bookshop. The new address is 31, The Morgan Arcade – get yourselves down there and visit them. They’re open now! Spillers Facebook page

GETTING PISSED? GET TO GWDIHW BEFORE 8PM!
Gwdihw have got 50 PERCENT OFF EVERYTHING (yes, they mean everything) before 8pm through the WHOLE of January. AND they’ve got some wicked nights on throughout the rest of the month. If you’re looking for a place to get drunk in January, get the Gwd! Gwdihw Facebook

Have we missed anything? Let us know in the comments. And happy January!

xxx

RIP: Catapult 100% Vinyl, Cardiff’s only independent dance music record store

catapult

The death of the independent record store has unfortunately been a trope of the changing high street over the past 20 odd years. And it was with a heavy heart that I learned, just after the new year, of the closing of Catapult 100 % Vinyl, which had been Cardiff’s only independent dance music specialist for some years.

There’s an open Facebook group that’s been set up where people who loved the shop (and spent a lot of time there over the years) are encouraged to share photos, videos, and memories of the place. If it was a place you loved, please join (or leave comments beneath this blogpost): RIP Catapult Facebook group.

When I moved back to Cardiff for university in 2000, I went out wandering through the city centre looking for a part time job to support me through my studies. I ended up getting a job in Catapult and spending all my wages on music: vinyl, CDs, whatever. And it was the best investment I ever made.

I had some good times in that shop. Made some great friends there. And bought amazing music there.

I’ll truly miss it, and what it signified for dance music culture in Cardiff. Is this the end of drum and bass in the capital?

We had a couple of photo shoots in and around the shop, during the life of this blog. Here’s Adam Corner, who used to work there, and his We Are Cardiff story about Cardiff’s nightlife

The shop has its fair share of successful alumni too – people who’ve worked there have gone to start record labels, work at 1Xtra and Radio 1, DJ at festivals all over the world, and even top the charts. Below is a short film I put together about Lincoln (aka High Contrast), who I used to work with at the shop a decade ago (argh!), and the album launch party he had with Hospital Records in the store.

I’ve been meaning to do a proper post about Catapult since I started this blog. Guess it just goes to show you can’t wait forever on things you want to do, because life doesn’t wait.

The shop was a massive part of my younger days in Cardiff, as I know it was for so many others. And I’ll really miss it. RIP Catapult Records.

Cardiff A-Z: O is for OPENCities

What better way to kick off 2015 in Cardiff than to celebrate all that makes the city uniquely special?

I’m now halfway through my A-Z exploration so I decided to sum up what I’ve discovered so far. During this summing up I also uncovered the city’s involvement in the European-wide OPENCities project so I’m sharing this with you as well. Here goes:

OPENCities is a British Council project set up to examine the future role of urban spaces. Cardiff has had a pivotal role in this project since it began in 2008. I’ll explain why.

First of all, why openness matters

By 2050 two thirds of the world’s population will live in cities. This urban expansion will be caused by mass migration. OPENCities examines how cities can embrace their migrant populations and offer new opportunities for all.

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A bilingual sign for the City of Cardiff

 

“Openness is the capacity of a city to attract international populations and to enable them to contribute to the future success of the city”

What makes Cardiff especially important?

First off it’s the youngest capital city in Western Europe. Since the 19th Century when the city become a major importer of coal from the valleys its population expanded tenfold. It has welcome new residents from all over the world, who have made a valuable contribution towards the city’s economy and culture. Cardiff is indeed a vibrant multicultural hub of which all its citizens can be proud.

As well as examining the patterns of migrant populations, the OPENCities project has investigated how cities such as Cardiff can raise its profile internationally. The longterm plan is make Cardiff an even more attractive place for people of all ages and backgrounds to live and work than it is now.

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In the picture – What will the future of Cardiff look like?

 

“By 2020…Cardiff will be a world class European capital city with an exceptional quality of life and at the heart of a thriving city region.”

In my explorations of Cardiff for my A-Z series I have indeed experienced a culturally diverse city, as my photo gallery demonstrates. Here’s to a good 2015 for you all, and Enjoy!

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Arcades provide a cafe culture as well as shops

 

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Green areas provide rest and relaxation within the City centre
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Different eras of history co-exist in harmony. The 19th Century clock tower at Cardiff Castle as seen from the Medieval Keep.
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Daleks, who have made their home in Cardiff Bay
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Cardiff University students dig for Iron Age remains at Caerau Hill Fort
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Visitors enjoy the sunshine outside Rhyd-Y-Car Terrace, an exhibit which takes you through 200 years of Welsh history.
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The Shree Swaminarayan Temple within Grangetown demonstrates the diversity of religions catered for in Cardiff.

 

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Brains beer, as celebrated in The Hennessys’ song ‘Cardiff Born, Cardiff Bred’.
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Ianto’s shrine at Mermaid Quay is on the tourist trail for international visitors.
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St John the Baptist Church provides an open door policy within the heart of the City.
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Roath Park – one of the favourite places for Christian Amadeo, the brains behind ‘I Loves the ‘Diff’
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Visitors gather to be spooked by ghost stories in Llandaff.
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Visitors can experience the view through the players’ entrance while on the Millennium Stadium tour.
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National and international exhibits can be viewed alongside each other at the National Museum, Cardiff