Cardiff wasteland: the Lamby Way landfill site

Chances are you have no idea where your stuff gets taken when you throw it away. Photographer Peppe Iovino has been investigating, so you don’t have to. He visited Lamby Way landfill. REDUSE, REUSE, RECYCLE, PEOPLE!

 Have you ever wondered about where your rubbish goes, when you throw it away?

No? Well, let’s have a journey, through Cardiff’s Lamby Way landfill general waste disposal site. Here it is!

You walk, consume, throw, so easily without wondering where your litter goes, but it can not disappear in a bin. It remains as a stain on your land. It creates a grey land, a dark material. It is highly polluting and needs to be monitored for over 60 years,

Lamby Way, on the outskirts of Cardiff, is where local litter from the past 30 years ends up. It’s a site that’s 80 hectares of land, covered by all the stuff you’ve ever put in a general bin over the past three decades.

All black bin bags, everything that’s not recyclable is picked up by council trucks and ends here in Lamby Way.

A bulldozer crosses the landfill three times a day to pack it down, day by day, bag by bag.

Periodically it is covered by different plastic layer of different kinds to isolate the waste till the area become as what you see below, a dark mud material, that is all the waste composing during the years, a live material that creates liquid and gas residuals that are highly polluting. It needs to be constantly monitored, even over 60 years after it is closed, it creates the dark land you see below…


Explore the rest of Lamby Way and see the rest of Peppe’s photographs: WasteShades

Peppe Iovino Photographer: Facebook page


Sign up for the weekly We Are Cardiff newsletter

“Things I’ve learnt since being swallowed up by the Diff” – Ellie Philpotts

Newbie in the city! New Cardiff resident Ellie Philpotts tells us about her experiences of living in the city since she moved here before Christmas.


This is sort of a strange time period for me, because I’m still a relative newbie to the whole sphere that is Cardiff. Caerdydd has only been my home since September, yet these six months have truly made me feel like I’ve lived here forever. On the other hand, they haven’t improved my maths skills, as I still had to use that old finger-counting method to figure out how many months separate September from March.

It’s also a nice time period, because I feel I’ve lived here forever in that I feel so comfortable and secure, yet I’m also still excited by Cardiff on a daily basis, ever discovering new elements the city has to offer. The best thing about Wales’ epicentre has to be the fact that I can’t imagine this feeling ever diminishing – there really are countless things to both satisfy and challenge the interests of every single resident.


If we ignore the minor maths problem, Cardiff has taught me a lot. I guess you’d kind of expect that, what with me attending university here, but in actual fact I’ve found the most important things I’ve discovered have been away from the classroom, or lecture-theatre if you want to be technical, but instead enrooted within the wider ‘Diff.


I’ve learnt that The Grazing Shed serves the best burgers known to man; that many notable people are eager to visit Cardiff, from Asia’s first supermodel Tracy Trinita to The Chuckle Brothers to Scott Disick of Kardashians fame; the truth in the well-established stereotype that Cardiff Uni students consume a lot of chips; and not to mention some of my most crucial life lessons to date. I feel in this mere half a year, Cardiff is where I’ve most matured as a person. I’ve met and mixed with totally new groups and individuals – partly because far more opportunities are available here, secondly because I’m more willing to expand my personal horizons. I love being involved in uni events, but think it’s easy as a student, particularly during first year, to stay trapped within the comforting, non-literal walls of the university domain. However, I’ve found Cardiff’s general city vibe, and even that of its suburbs, astonishingly welcoming. Beyond uni, I’ve launched myself into new ventures such as fundraising for Shine, the cancer support group I met while here; attending Highfields Church; getting a job here; learning the art of pilates; and being shortlisted to interview stage with NUS and the BBC.


I’ve always supported multiculturalism, but Kidderminster, my former town, isn’t particularly diverse, considering how close it is to Birmingham, which is home to many different communities. So for me, life in the Welsh capital has opened my eyes to just how many varying origins of people Britain accommodates – and I think that’s a wonderful thing to witness. In September, I began volunteering with STAR, teaching refugees seeking asylum in Cardiff skills such as English, in order to improve their prospects away from their native lands. There’s a palpable irony in the fact that teaching others has actually taught me the most important thing – the real joy of giving back to members of the community I’ve found myself a part of. And I have Cardiff’s essence to thank for supplying me with such life lessons.


OK, Cardiff isn’t perfect. But if its biggest flaws are Hoffi Coffi never seeming to stock their salad boxes; silverfish dominating Talybont; and the, er, odd bit of rain, I think we’re in for a good deal.


Ellie Philpotts is in her first year at Cardiff University studying English Literature, Journalism and Media. She is  a teenage-cancer survivor; is obsessed with travelling, and her favourite cities outside Cardiff are being Sydney, NYC, Nashville and Paris. Her ‘likes’ also include general Britishness, cups of tea, exploring, attempting to write songs, journalism, Italian food, finding new places, going out for dinner and taking photos – of everything. She is not a fan of maths, mashed potato, narrow minded people, her phone constantly running out of memory for photos, or people who are mean about Taylor Swift. Follow her blog or Instagram.

All photos by Ellie Philpotts

Sign up for the weekly We Are Cardiff newsletter


Cardiff: Behind the streets

Photographer Ben Blyth’s new project focuses on rough sleepers in Cardiff. We asked him to share his photographs and the story of the project here with us.

behindthestreets - 1

The project first came about when I was walking through Cardiff city centre at night and stopped to talk to a man who appeared to be sleeping rough. After speaking to him for a good 20 minutes, I had learnt so much about the harsh lifestyle the streets can offer, but I also learnt a lot about the other side, how the streets can make you a better person. I was intrigued to find out more and when I was set a project to produce a 10 photo story by my university lecturer, I knew that the two would work hand in hand. I decided to approach the project with the attitude to just carry my camera with me whenever I went out and see what stories I could uncover, this method seemed to work well.

behindthestreets - 3


The people I have spoken to that live on the streets are, genuinely, some of the most interesting people I have ever met. Being able to sit down next to them and see their view of Cardiff, especially at night has been truly moving.



The hardest thing about the project by far is walking away. Knowing that I’m going back to a warm room with food and water is a challenge in itself. I feel like I could sit there and talk to the subjects of my photos for hours, they really are that interesting.




Having never started a project like this before I was a little nervous, I didn’t know how people would react to having a camera placed just a few feet away from them in the middle of the night. However, as soon as I’d introduced myself to the first person I photographed I knew that the project would be more than just a set of photographs, it would be a heartwarming story. Since taking the photographs I have seen life a little different, I’ve appreciated things more and learnt that everyone has a story to tell, no matter what walk of life they come from.

More about me – ​I am a first year Photojournalism student at the University Of South Wales in Cardiff and enjoy taking portraits, shooting sports and many other types of photography. In my time before university I lived in Newark On Trent and worked as the official photographer for Notts County Ladies FC and also worked with the regional paper The Nottingham Post. I enjoy living in Cardiff with all the opportunities it offers both socially and photographically, I feel I’ve really made vast improvements in my photojournalistic work whilst studying here. I enjoy working with people, especially finding hidden stories and I aim to produce work that conveys those stories through the power of images.


Thanks Ben! You can follow the rest of his project on his Facebook page: Ben Blyth photography or on his Twitter.

Sign up for the weekly We Are Cardiff newsletter

After hours at Techniquest … featuring NoFit State Circus!

Unleash your inner child! You know, the one that wants to run away with the circus. Join Techniquest for their next After Hours evening, featuring the wonderful NoFit State Circus!

After Hours Techniquest


TIME: 18.30 – 22.00

COST: JUST £3 ENTRY…  less than the price of a posh coffee! 

After Hours – Facebook event

There’ll be plenty to entertain you, including…

Matt Hennem is a dancer. Matt Hennem is a juggler. Matt Hennem is a taker — of your breath away. In a show that is being described as ‘rare magic’ by the Telegraph, ‘beyond awesome’ by Derren Brown, and ‘elegant’ by the Spectator (!), Matt Hennem will be doing what he has confirmed are some things with a ball. Be there.

Cardiff’s own No Fit State Circus has very kindly offered to bring their stilts down to Techniquest and show the After Hours crowd some of the greatest busking on Earth. You can expect close hand magic, balloon modelling, hat juggling, stilt walking and the appearance of No Fit State’s very own practical magician, Alf — all five feet of him. Rest assured, we are giddy with excitement.

£1.30 per person
With a British Astronaut taking his very human body up to the ISS later this year, we can’t be the only ones asking the big question: how exactly do you go about voiding your bowels out there in the void? Pooping in space, some say, is the great scientific how. Fortunately, our very own Rhys will be running a talk with all of the answers you do, and don’t, want to hear.

£1.30 per person
Space is really interesting, you guys. Find out more about some familiar constellations, the planets, how stars are born and how they die. Our Digital Planetarium can take you through space for a close up look at some of nature’s most beautiful sights such as distant galaxies and exploded stars.

£1.30 per person
It’s okay. Don’t feel ashamed. In winter and in summer; with snowballs and with golf balls; we’ve all given it a go, and we’ve all discovered that juggling is really quite difficult and angry-making. Well think such a way no more, because No Fit State are committed to getting the adult contingent of Cardiff on its juggling feet with a wonderful workshop run by the inimitable, and juggle savvy Craig Quat.

Do you want to be impressive? Are you of the opinion that the total recall of stored, innocuous trivia and factual tat are the measure of greatness? Do you like competing with other people that have that same opinion? Then you’re in luck. Sure, doing things is impressive. But do you know what’s more impressive than doing things? Knowing things.
(Warning: this activity may contain things that if you don’t know then you can actually just Google later, making it all seem rather pointless.)

But wait… there’s more… FULLY LICENSED BAR!
With no kids around, we can offer beer, cider and wine for purchase… will that glass of wine make the puzzles even more difficult to solve?

Please note that After Hours is only for those aged 18 and over. After Hours is a very popular event and entry is subject to a maximum capacity. Spaces for all special events are allocated on a first come, first served basis subject to availability and popular events will sell out quickly, so please arrive early to minimise the chance of disappointment. Some events may incur a small additional charge to attend. A ‘Challenge 21’ policy is operated for admission and at the bar, so please bring ID with you if you are lucky enough to look under 21!


Sign up for the weekly We Are Cardiff newsletter

Peter Finch’s Cardiff Waterways Walk, 25 April 2015

For those of you who enjoy their Cardiff local history, walking, and hanging around with authors, check out this event! On Saturday 25 April 2015, author Peter Finch will be leading a casual stroll around Cardiff’s waterways, talking about their history. And tickets are just a fiver! Sounds good, yes?

Peter wrote a We Are Cardiff story for us some time ago. This is it:



This tour goes through some of Cardiff’s historical wet spots in the company of the author of the Real Cardiff books. A walk that will take in canals, dock feeders, lost tunnels, secret passages, tidal swamps, defences against seaborne Viking raiders, rivers that move and are moved, and the long lost swimming baths of Cardiff. Visit the city’s psychic centre. See where the martyr Rawlins White was imprisoned. Walk buried watercourses. Take in a few art works and hear the occasional poem performed. Finish with a cup of tea with an optional trip down the river by water taxi.

Two and half hours level walking, nothing strenuous.

Tickets: £5 on Eventbrite


Sign up for the weekly We Are Cardiff newsletter

The first Welsh Hula Hoop Convention! Jacob’s Antiques, 6 April 2015

Cardiff. It’s a great city. And it’s only gone and got itself the first ever Welsh Hula Hoop Convention (the fabulously named WHoopC!)!


For hula enthusiasts or total beginners, get yourselves along to Jacob’s Market on Bank Holiday Monday (6 April 2015) where you can spend the day learning all manner of impressive hooping moves with some hooping greats!

WhoopC – Facebook event
Buy tickets

WHoopC has been put organised by Ellie Pilott of Elliecopter Hoops and Mary Bijou Cabaret and Esther Fuge of NoFit State Circus. Ellie answers some questions for us about what you can expect from the day!

Ellie by Adam Chard

Q. How did you get into hooping?

A. I was inspired by hula hoop when I saw the first Immortal performance by Nofit State Circus in 2004. They had an act where three hoopers would hoop and drink tea. What a perfect combination!

Q. The convention! How did you get the idea to set it up?

A. My friend Esther Fuge mentioned it after a hoop class a few weeks ago.  Initially I wasn’t that interested as I thought it would be a lot of organisation, but then I thought, there are hoop conventions all over the world, from Bali to Bristol and Wales doesn’t have one – so we should do it!

Q. What can people expect on the day?

A. You can expect some amazing workshops from two international hoopers, most definitely some of the best in the World.  Lisa Lottie is exceptional at hooping and is booked all over the World to perform and teach.

Lisa Lottie

We also have Miss Polly Hoops who is also an international performer. She has taken her hoop street show all over the world and is currently the youngest street performer in Covent Garden.

polly hoops

I will also be teaching a beginners workshop (I teach at Nofit State and under Elliecoptor Hoops at The Abacus the last Wednesday of the month). Esther Fuge will be taking a contemporary hoop class (her background is in dance but she has been performing and teaching with Nofit State Circus for a few years now).

We also have electro-swing hop dance workshops from the Kitsch n Sync Ladies, circus workshops (to be revealed), and lunch is included from the wonderful Penylan Pantry!

WHOOPC: the basics

Where is it?

Jacobs Antique Market, West Canal Wharf, CF10 5DB Cardiff

A unique antiques market just 2 minutes from Cardiff’s main railway station. Nestled between newly developed buildings, find Jacobs and you find a delicious treat indeed as betwixt its doors lies treasures, trinkets and a collective of eccentric sellers to tickle your funny bones.

When is it?

Easter Bank holiday
Monday 6th April 2015

11am -8:00pm (arrival from 10:30)

How much does it cost?

Full day all inclusive = £45
This includes lunch, workshops, skill share and hoop jam.

Lunch is provided by Penylan Pantry: a seasonal honest delicatessen and food store that aims to promote local producers, the environment and health lifestyle. Provides vegan, gluten free.

Drop in may be available at a later date to certain workshops.

S is for Specialists in Vinyl. Part One: Spillers Records

Katie Hamer continues her A–Z series of Cardiff with a look at the local music scene. 


I decided to delve into the exciting events occurring in the run-up to the annual Record Store Day on Saturday 18 April. And where better to start than at Spillers Records, reputedly the oldest record store in the world?

It’s been my great privilege to chat to Ashli Todd, who is joint-owner of Spillers, and to be able to share with you her extensive knowledge of music.


Q: The music scene in Cardiff is very vibrant. There’s a lot happening. What are you most excited about currently?

A: Oh, good question, it’s the diversity. There are a couple of labels that we stock that have been around for a few years and are really evolving. Particularly I’m thinking of the Peski Records label that centres mainly on alternative electronic music. They’re kind of quite glitchy, sometimes a little crowd rocky, sometimes quite technoey. They are a great label and have been going for a number of years now.

Then there’s another label, Shape Records, who are run by a fantastic local band called Islet. I was at Art College with one of their members.

Both labels have stood the test of time. We can mention them to customers and they will buy things on the strength of those labels alone. It’s always really lovely when a label can generate that kind of support. You know that a label is doing something great when people put their confidence into the releases blindly.


Q: What are the big releases with them at the moment?

A: At the moment, Shape Records have just released an album by a band called Them Squirrels. Them Squirrels have actually been around for a good number of years; they’re members of the main band, Islet. They’ve been recording between other band stuff over a number of years. As always with these musicians, they always have loads of commitments. But now they’ve released this and it’s fab. Graff who works here has been recommending it to lots of people over the counter.

Gwenno is the big release with Peski, which came out the end of last year, and it’s doing fantastically well. She’s an interesting musician who used to be in a band called The Pipettes, a fantastic three-piece girl band. She’s evolved into a really interesting artist with a lot to say, you know, about politics among other things, which adds another dimension to the music.

Q: If you were to live anywhere else, where would that be and why?

I’d love to live in Barcelona. I’ve been there a couple of times, most recently last year. I was impressed by the amount of independent record shops that are there. All the record shops there were absolutely fabulous. And it’s such a culturally exciting city, such a pleasure to walk around. There’s so much art there. I just found it a real inspiration. I can’t wait to go back. So, yes, Barcelona!


Q: I’ll have to add it to my places to visit. 

A: You’ll love it there, definitely.

Q: Looking around your shop, I understand that you also sell tickets for gigs. Who would you say are the hottest live acts at the moment?

A: Well, last night I went to see a band called Sleaford Mods. That was a sold-out gig, so obviously quite a hot ticket. It was the second time they’ve played Cardiff; the first time was last year at The Moon Club. They played CF10 in the Union to a 300 capacity crowd. It was fantastic.

They are extremely political, they’re kind of a bit Marmite, people either love them or hate them. A lot of people don’t get it or like it. I always like it when a band doesn’t get the reaction of ambivalence, when it’s literally people venomously do hate them or wholeheartedly love a band and I find that split really interesting. I think it’s normally indicative of real talent. They make a social commentary along with electronic beats. They’re very reminiscent to me of John Cooper Clarke and they draw a punk following.


Q: What are your favourite venues in the city?

A: Club Ifor Bach, it’s the one really. It’s the longest running, most consistently running of the small venues. They’ve got two great floors. And I like gigs in the downstairs even though there isn’t a stage. It can be really very intimate because it breaks down the boundaries between crowd and performer.

The Moon Club opposite is another decent venue, that’s where the Sleaford Mods played before. It’s run by real music enthusiasts, the bar’s well stocked, and again it’s the size that makes it intimate.

The Globe’s another great venue. It’s well established and has great diversity of music. It’s not as cover-band heavy as it used to be at certain times. The layout is perfect, the height of the stage, everything, they’ve just got it spot on. It’s a great venue. It ticks all the boxes. It’s always a pleasure to see a band there.

There are some gigs in interesting places also, that don’t normally get used. For instance, the St John’s Church have been putting on gigs there.


Q: Wow, sounds interesting! With Record Store Day just around the corner, what events/activities are you most looking forward to?

A: Well, we’ve got shop favourites both sides of the counter. A band called The Lovely Eggs is gigging with us. They’ve got a new release for Record Store Day, so it’s going to be an absolute honour to have them come and play for us. They’re a great duo from up North and they’re full of character, full of charm. We know customers are going to be excited about that one.

We’ll also be scheduling in some DJs. There will be someone from Penarth Soul Club, who started up quite recently, a guy called Liam Curtin. And we’re speaking to people from the Peski label to see if they can come along as well.

Record Store Day is very much about the releases that are on offer which are mass-produced for independent record shops and are stocked across the country. But it’s important to us to link it into the local music scene as well because you know, that’s a very important part for Spillers.


Q: What new releases are you looking forward to this month?

A: I’m looking forward to the release a new Godspeed You! Black Emperor album (Asunder, Sweet And Other Distress, released on 31 March), which is hot on the heels of their last one. It’s good to have another release so soon as they tend to be sporadic with when they schedule their releases.

Another new release I’m looking forward to is by Australian singer Courtney Barnett. Her album is out this month (Sometimes I Sit and Think and Sometimes I Just Sit, released on Monday). She has a really great delivery to her lyrics; a naïve but almost deceptively naïve way of song writing. She has a deceptively simple delivery which isn’t necessarily easy to achieve.

Scottish band Errors also have got an album out (Lease of Life, released on Monday). They’re a band close to my heart. We’ve been following them since their first E.P came out. Their sound has evolved a lot over the course of several releases. It’s always nice when you can track an artist and their progress. And they always draw a good crowd whenever they gig with us.

And Bjork has a new album out (vinyl release date for new album, Vulnicura – as stated on the One Little Indian record label website, is Monday) which I’m very excited about. She’s such an innovator. She’s always working with new producers. She’s so experimental and she’s such a maverick.


Thanks, Ashli, for taking the time out of your busy schedule. I can see you’ve got a lot to organise for the big day! 

You can find more information about Spillers Records and their upcoming releases/events here:

Spillers Records website

Their Facebook page

On Twitter

Invisible Soldiers – Jessica Ventura

Last year, Brazilian photographer Jessica Ventura settled in Cardiff for a few months. We were lucky enough to have her shoot a couple of events for We Are Cardiff. Recently she sent across images of a project called “Invisible Soldiers”.

These photographs were taken here in Cardiff in the (very) early mornings.

Invisible Soldiers 1 Invisible Soldiers 2 Invisible Soldiers 3 Invisible Soldiers 4 Invisible Soldiers 5 Invisible Soldiers 6 Invisible Soldiers 7 Invisible Soldiers 8 Invisible Soldiers 9

Jessica says: “In the end, the series is about the people that work to get the city ready for the next morning, and also the appearance of the centre of city when most of the people are still in bed and not even left their homes yet. This was the basic concept of my project.”

“I used to enjoy a lot to go out walking around to figure out what there was in different places in the city. I loved the arcades and the cosy coffee shops you can find in them. I also loved Bute Park – that was my favorite place in the city.”

“Another thing I liked about Cardiff was the fact that even being a capital with so much going on, it was still a calm place to live in.”

Big thanks to you, Jessica. We enjoyed having you here in the city!

Jessica’s other posts for us:



Sign up for the weekly We Are Cardiff newsletter

Mary Bijou – Hitch! review, by Gareth Pahl

Theatre runs in my blood, it has always been in my life and always will hold a special place in my heart. I am also, as friends may describe me, the most critical critic! Being a hybrid of performer, designer and teacher, high expectation is as much my downfall as it is my making.

Mary_Bijou_Hitch_2015_ - 09

If you expect sharp, polished performance then perhaps Mary Bijou’s ‘Hitch’ is not the show for you. However, what ‘Hitch’ does provide is a good, fun piece of collaborative cabaret style theatre. If, like me, you are excited about the dangers of live theatre then this is an absolute must see. Parts of it were perfect, parts of it were well recovered, and parts of it were just plane crash.

The concept – a series of performances inspired by the most loved films of Alfred Hitchcock, is ambitious but interesting. Mary Bijou have bottled the insanely morbid imagination of Hitchcock and added their own madness into the mix to create this ambitious, yet strangely captivating piece of theatre.
Mary_Bijou_Hitch_2015_ - 17 Mary_Bijou_Hitch_2015_ - 15 Mary_Bijou_Hitch_2015_ - 14

The performers present with a range of talents – notably in circus, dance, music and comedy and they draw on these skills to create a unique and interesting collaborative performance. The performances are accompanied by the musical works of Tom Elstob, Bethan Cecil and Branwen Munn who created the soundtrack specifically for the show. There were technical issues that were slightly annoying during the first act, although these were ironed out during the interval.

Mary_Bijou_Hitch_2015_ - 08

My favourite musical number was the accompaniment to Anna Sandreuter’s incredible aerial rope act. Not only was the music beautiful, but Anna’s performance on the ropes was flawless and breath-taking. She also made it look easy – and trust me it really isn’t! It’s a shame that Anna’s hula hoop act didn’t go without flaw, however the cabaret nature of the show meant she could recover well and with comedic effect – even adding to the performance.

Mary_Bijou_Hitch_2015_ - 16 Mary_Bijou_Hitch_2015_ - 13 Mary_Bijou_Hitch_2015_ - 12 Mary_Bijou_Hitch_2015_ - 11

Laura Moy’s performance on the Chinese pole inspired by the film ‘The Birds’ was of equally high calibre. The audience were left captivated and in awe of her incredible versatility as she climbed and performed on the pole with a performance that wouldn’t be out of place in the world’s best circuses. One particular drop made my stomach turn as she dropped from the top of the pole, catching it just shy of the ground.

Mary_Bijou_Hitch_2015_ - 03

Mary_Bijou_Hitch_2015_ - 01

The evening’s compere was George Orange who’s crazy antics left the audience either in fits of laughter, utter confusion or completely horrified (Why did I open my mouth and reveal my phobia of frogs?). His version of the film ‘Vertigo’ was very hit and miss – at times making you wonder if the mistakes were deliberate or accidental. George’s most notable performance however was in a dance/contortion piece based on ‘The Trouble With Harry’. His flexibility and convincing ability to ‘play dead’ meant that the two other performers  could drag his body around, fold him up, dance with him, and whatever else one might be tempted to do with a body!

Mary_Bijou_Hitch_2015_ - 10  Mary_Bijou_Hitch_2015_ - 07 Mary_Bijou_Hitch_2015_ - 06

The performance was interspersed with semi-convincing lip syncs to real interviews with cast members of Hitchcock’s films.  In particular there was an interesting piece, in which cast member Joe Wild perfectly lip sync’s to an interview with Kim Novak. Cue ‘Hitchcock’s Leading Ladies’ – a hilarious dance routine by the cast and crew.

Later in the show we see a rather distasteful stripper routine. Personally I felt this let the show down, it was unnecessary and arguably disrespectful. For a production that seemed to be celebrating the works of Hitchcock it seemed totally bizarre to include such a scene that to me undermined the whole production. It should be mentioned that this scene seemed to be like marmite – there were clearly audience members who loved this moment.

Mary_Bijou_Hitch_2015_ - 02Mary_Bijou_Hitch_2015_ - 04 Mary_Bijou_Hitch_2015_ - 05

The production ended with a very evocative and cleverly devised piece based on perhaps Hitchcock’s most iconic scene – the shower scene from ‘Psycho’. I won’t say much about it as I don’t want to spoil it – but it really is good!  If I had to rate this show I would be generous and give it 4 stars, whilst I thoroughly enjoyed it there were lots of things I could comment on to bring it down from perfect 5.

I mentioned earlier – if sharp and polished performance is your bag then ‘Hitch’ may not be for you. They were brave tackling a concept that was ambitious, however, Mary Bijou created an interesting and on the whole, well executed show. It did have its faults, and some of them were epic, but generally these almost added to the enjoyment of the show. It is indeed the danger and thrill of live performance that gives this piece its unbeatable charm (minus naked Hitchcock scene).

Review by Gareth Pahl

Hitch! is currently on tour – find forthcoming dates on the Mary Bijou Facebook page

All photographs by Tom Beardshaw (license: Creative Commons attribution)


Sign up for the weekly We Are Cardiff newsletter

Cardiff: general election check-in

Straw poll. How many people in Cardiff have had leaflets through their doors already from candidates for the general election? What parties are hitting where?

We Are Cardiff HQ is in Butetown, and so far we’ve had Stephen Doughty MP and Jonathan Rees Evans (who? This guy). But that’s been it.

Have you had a leaflet through your door? What neighbourhood do you live in, and who’s campaigning there? Let us know in the comments!

Spring in Cathays Park, Doug Nicholls


Photo by Doug Nicholls

City of Sound Launch Event – 19 March, Retro-Vibe Music, Cardiff

Get along to Retro-Vibe Music on Thursday, March 19th, where City of Sound will be kicking off their project off with a sonic boom!

They’ll be showcasing some of their films at Retro-Vibe Music, and they’ll also have live music!

‘City of Sound is a video project which focuses on supporting the local community, with handpicked songwriters and independent shops taking the spotlight. Appealing to the residents of Cardiff and surrounding area, the films will give an insight into the thriving local music scene that makes it such a unique city.’

Free entry, doors open at 7pm!

Facebook event

Ymuno gyda ni i croesawi City of Sound i Caerdydd ac i dechrau’r prosiect y ffordd cywir!

Ar nos Iau, yr 19fed o Mawrth, fydden ni yn Retro-Vibe Music i dangos rhai o ein ffilmiau!
Fydd cerddoriaeth fyw hefyd!

‘Mae City of Sound yn prosiect ffilm sydd yn ganolbwyntio ar hybu’r cymuned lleol, efo cerddorion a siopau annibynol yn cymryd y llwyfan. Gan apelio i preswylwyr Caerdydd ac ardaloedd lleol, fydd y ffilmiau yn rhoi mewnwelediad i’r sin cerddoriaeth sydd yn creu Caerdydd yn dinas unigol.’

Mynediad am dim (nid y band), drysau am 7yh!

City of Sound launch event

Noise unleashed: Jemma Roper

Local musical experimentalist Jemma Roper was good enough to stop by for a chat about her influences, favourite venues in the city, and where’s good for breakfast (spoiler alert: she’s a night owl!).

Jemma Roper

Hey there, I am Jemma Roper of Earth.

I only came to Cardiff to do an art degree, but liked it so much I bought the whole place. I arrived from Yeovil, Somerset, which allows me to talk like a pirate when I’m drunk. Or aroused.

I’m attracted to a very dissonant sort of racket. My default setting is post-punk but the door is open wide, genre-wise. As long as its interesting. I favour interesting above all other things. I think hearing The Birthday Party and Velvet Underground really young changed the way I think, but I didn’t have any co-conspirators or people to share my passion or hunger with until I moved to Cardiff and met my first band Sammo Hung. Previously, I had taught myself guitar and saxophone in my bedroom and was terrified of unleashing my noise onto the world of soft pink ears.

Clwb Ifor Bach has always been a favourite to play and I’m very privileged to have a Saturday night DJ slot there also. I’ve also seen so many incredible bands there, up close and intimate: Liars, Thee Oh Sees, Super Furries, Foals, Health, Telepathe, White Fence, and soon to be iceage, too many to remember really…. Cardiff might be a bit short of venues but the ones that we have are very unique: Gwdihw, Undertone, Chapter, The Moon Club, Porters, Buffalo. They each have a special thing about them that you wouldn’t find anywhere else. I played the Sherman Theatre Octa event last year and I’m praying that it becomes a regular venue.

I used to have the pleasure of working at Barfly while it was open. I saw all of the huge bands there before they got big: Franz Ferdinand, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Kings of Leon, Killers, Amy Winehouse, Libertines… It was a dream job and I have many fond memories, although I thought they were all crap at the time.

At the moment I’m Grangetown-based in a weird, lovely flat with two floors and a spiral staircase. The building is so old it shakes every time a bus, or even a large car or cat goes past. I’ve loved living in Canton and Riverside too. Cardiff’s small enough to cycle anywhere in ten minutes or so.

In terms of local gigs, Shape Records put the From Now On Festival at Chapter Arts Centre, which was magic. It was specifically for acts that are on an experimental journey right on the seat of their trousers. My band and I took part and I felt like it was a weekend of music like no other.

jemma roper


Q. What was the last book you read?
A. I’m re-reading Dostoevsky’s The Idiot at the moment because it was named after my fave Iggy Pop album. Before that, I read Viktor Pelevin’s Omon Ra about the Soviet space race. It’s very dark and claustrophobic, which is really my bag.

Q. Tell us a secret
A. I’m scared of Scottish Terriers. Their tiny black eyes remind me of prawns.

Q. What’s your favourite place for breakfast in Cardiff?
A. What is “breakfast”?

Q. What’s your local pub?
A. I spend a lot of time in Chapter Arts Centre as I work on the café/bar and gallery, so my social life tends to revolve around there. The place is a hub for Cardiff musicians, actors, artists and film-makers. The beer and food is awesome and the fridges are rammed with German Weiss Biers of marvellous strength. I often find myself in the Urban Tap House, or The Landsdowne for darts, though.

Q. Tell us about a hidden part of Cardiff that you love
A. Grangetown is ripe to blossom, regenerate, and not be known as Strangetown, Stabtown, or Rapetown. It’s got a lovely community spirit in the part where I live. It needs a bit of love.

Q. If you had some friends coming to visit for the weekend, where would you take them?
A. We’d begin at Café Minuet, on to culture and art at the National Museum of Wales, then there will be a hazy bit where we think we’ve gone to Dempsey’s to see a mate’s band, but we’re actually asleep across someone’s legs in the Urban Taphouse. That, by the way, is my ideal date.

Q. If people want to see you live, when’s their next opportunity?
A. 24 March 2015, at Clwb Ifor Bach we’ll be supporting Kiran Leonard. It’ll be a night to remember.


Jemma Roper is a marvellous sonic being who currently lives in Grangetown. You should go and check her out on March 24th at Clwb Ifor Bach.

Photographs by Noel Dacey

Sign up for the weekly We Are Cardiff newsletter