BBC Cardiff Singer of the World – portraits by Lorna Cabble

The BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition takes place every two years in Cardiff, when 20 of the finest classical singers at the start of their careers come to the capital of Wales, hoping to win this prestigious singing competition.

Cardiff Singer of the World contestants

You can find more information about the competition here: BBC Cardiff Singer of the World.

We sent photographer Lorna Cabble along to take some portraits of the contestants …

Amartuvshin Enkhbat - Mongolia
Amartuvshin Enkhbat – Mongolia
Anaïs Constans - France
Anaïs Constans – France
Aviva Fortunata - Canada
Aviva Fortunata – Canada
Bass Sebastian Pilgrim - Germany
Bass Sebastian Pilgrim – Germany
Blaise Malaba - Congo
Blaise Malaba – Congo
Céline Forrest - Wales
Céline Forrest – Wales
Ilker Arcayürek - Turkey
Ilker Arcayürek – Turkey
Ingeborg Gillebo - Norway
Ingeborg Gillebo – Norway
Insu Huang - South Korea
Insu Huang – South Korea
J'nai Bridges - America
J’nai Bridges – America
Jaeyoon Jung - South Korea
Jaeyoon Jung – South Korea
Jongmin Park - South Korea
Jongmin Park – South Korea
Kelebogile Besong - South Africa
Kelebogile Besong – South Africa
Lauren Michelle - America
Lauren Michelle – America
Marina Pinchuk - Belarus
Marina Pinchuk – Belarus
Nadine Koutcher - Belarus
Nadine Koutcher – Belarus
Nico Darmanin - Malta
Nico Darmanin – Malta
Regula Mühlemann - Switzerland
Regula Mühlemann – Switzerland

***

Sign up for the weekly We Are Cardiff newsletter

 

Cardiff! Confess to the Invisible Ink Theatre Company!

The Invisible Ink Theatre Company are carrying out research in Cardiff for The Terrible Things I’ve Done, a new drama production.

Invisible Ink Ferment Low Res-6604

Now’s the time to unburden yourself, completely anonymously. Have you done a terrible thing? Or had a terrible thing done to you? Terrible things can be big or small. This is your chance to get ‘that thing’ off your chest.

Invisible Ink Theatre Company is in the process of developing a new theatre production called The Terrible Things I’ve Done, and they need your help!

Company members Alan and Sita are collecting stories that will form the inspiration for this new show.

To collect these, the company will be setting up private confessional ‘shops’ at different locations across Cardiff between 6 – 9 July 2015, and they want to invite you to join them and share your secrets.

Alternatively, you can email terrible@invisibleinktheatre.co.uk and you will be sent the questions and can take part that way. No names will be taken, and no blame will be given.

And remember, confession is good for the soul…

Confessors can find the confession booths in the following places:
Monday 6th July – NoFit State Circus 1pm – 6pm
Wednesday 8th July – Little Man Coffee Shop 10am – 3pm
Wednesday 8th July – The Other Room at Porters Bar 4pm – 8pm
Thursday 9th July St Fagans National History Museum 11am – 4pm

The ‘Confessional Shop is a private room. If anything is used it will be altered and only recognisable by you. Confidentiality guaranteed!

Invisible Ink is a company that makes contemporary theatre and is a collaboration between Alan Harris (writer) and Sita Calvert – Ennals (director).
www.sitace.com
Follow them on twitter, @invisbleink15

***

Sign up for the weekly We Are Cardiff newsletter

Cardiff’s first bike-powered veg delivery service launches!

Penylan Pantry is taking orders for the first pedal-powered, vegetable box delivery service in Cardiff!

1b_PP_Flyer-page-001 (2) 1b_PP_Flyer-page-002 (2)   11350582_911282008929782_8039807147038515514_n 11350654_907818322609484_6005895352087541340_n

The personalised, affordable vegetable boxes will be delivered by bicycle for residents within the Cardiff area. The boxes will be full of organic seasonal vegetables sourced from as many local producers possible including; Riverside Market Garden, Blaencamel, and The Organic Fresh Food Company, occasionally we have some produce from local allotments.

Pantry co-owner Mel says: “We feel passionate about creating personalised veg boxes because we hate food waste. So our thinking is that if you order what you like then you will waste less food. We encourage you to text us on a Monday, as to inform us of anything you have left over from the week before. We will then not include this in your veg box, so you don’t end up with a glut, which in turn you end up wasting. We are delivering by bicycle to try and cut our C02 emissions and because we love cycling too.”

Veg boxes will be personalised to tastes and requirements.  All you have to do is fill in the form and email it over to vegbox@penylanpantry.com

The list changes with the season, but there are some staples that will be included all year round. Typically there are seven to nine items in a £13 box, and twelve to fourteen items in a £18 box.

All the fruit and veg will be priced competitively with the organic produce in the big supermarkets, plus there is no contract: you can have a weekly veg box, a fortnightly one, or just a one off. Veg boxes will cost between £10 and £30 depending on what, and how much fruit and veg you have.

You will find a free weekly seasonal recipe in your veg box. Keep them in a folder and create your own Penylan Pantry cookbook at home.

This service is available in and around Cardiff and Cardiff Bay. Deliveries will take place between 4 – 7.30pm every Wednesday, and you pay for your veg box on delivery, cash only. You can also collect your veg box from Penylan Pantry between 5 – 6pm every Wednesday or all day Thursday 10 – 6pm.

Penylan Pantry have enlisted two bike couriers to help with deliveries across the city.

“Cycling is something I’m passionate about,” says Mel. “I don’t own a car and I try to cycle everywhere.  It’s partly supporting our environment and reducing our C02 emissions, partly supporting local suppliers and it saves the business having to buy a van and find a driver!”

Cardiff veg lovers: sign up to the scheme by joining the Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/386619368198337/

or by emailing your completed form, address and specifying your preferred delivery time to: vegbox@penylanpantry.com or pop into the shop to discuss your needs.

Penylan Pantry: 72 Kimberley Road, Penylan, Cardiff, CF23 5DN

11161364_907818339276149_4840176443604789714_n

11130190_886040288120621_9179980642982368208_n

11427030_916355678422415_1095231080670034278_n

***

Sign up for the weekly We Are Cardiff newsletter

British Street Food Awards Wales and West – review by Ellie Philpotts

Our roving reporter Ellie Phillpots headed to the British Street Food Awards Wales and West a few weeks back, to sample the cream of local talent!

wales and west street food awards

I’m a foodie. My favourite way to spend a summer weekend or evening has to be revelling in the atmosphere, concoction of smells, and myriad of tastes that food so considerately provides. Food culture is growing even bigger in the modern age. Sure, for centuries people have enjoyed its experiences – culturally, eating is a social event, one to be savoured with others. At the recent Street Food Awards, this relationship expanded to not just the people we choose to eat with, but also the vendors and chefs, each charming in their individual way.

Since moving to Cardiff, where I find everything so easy to photograph anyway, I’ve noticed my camera-roll and subsequently Instagram seeming to incorporate more food than ever before. It’s fair to say food writing; food photography, and of course, food eating, are becoming slight hobbies of mine, and Cardiff is the perfect location to indulge in this. So of course I was eager to attend when it was Wales’ turn to host the awards last weekend, after already loving sampling the Street Food Circus that is neatly nestled on John Street during every May and June weekend.

indi3

Even before I made it through the pearly gates of Heaven (otherwise known as the gates bearing a massive glittery burger and a sign reminding us it’s ‘British St Food Annual Awards – The Independent on Sunday’, the atmosphere was bubbling and merry. In I went, and was soon confronted with a bustling variety of street food stalls. From rustic pizzas to good old British mushy peas; Indian mango spiced lassi to mojitos; mini crème brulees and even vindaloo shepherd’s pie, there’s no way anyone could leave hungry or thirsty. The only hunger to be experienced upon finally exiting would be non-literal – hunger to stay for even more! But there were definitely plenty of cuisines to choose from.

Deliberating took up a big chunk of the day. I browsed between The Purple Poppadom; Ships; Patagonia; Slow Pig; Dirty Bird Fried Chicken; The Smallest Pizzeria in the World; Chucks; Cheeky Indian; the bar; Nelly’s Barn; Bristol Chai Guy and Wild Fig Farm, before eventually settling on the battered halloumi bites somewhat drowning in an array of sauces, from Dirty Bird Fried Chicken. As well as this stall’s delights, it did live up to the event’s promise of transforming a corner of Cardiff into Brooklyn. Must be the chicken, as I know that’s a popular food over in the Big Apple! And I wasn’t alone in thinking they were sublime – because DFC won Runner-Up in the overall category of the Welsh and South West leg of the awards. Very well deserved!

The actual winners, however, were Patagonia, whose head chef Jamie O’Leary enticingly describes their produce as ‘strictly beef, all Welsh, all local, with some Argentinean flair.’ You can say that again! I can confirm their classic steak sandwich was pretty sweet. (Literally savoury, of course. But a very sweet, good thing to experience. )

As well as Cardiff specifically, on a wider level the UK is gaining an even more positive name for food in recent years. Gone are the days when merely roast dinners and fish and chips spoke for the land’s eating habits – although nothing against them! Now, we’re home to the flavour of the world – and British Street Food Awards accurately embodied this. Which is why it also made sense for the Awards to tour the whole nation – stopping in Oxford; Cardiff; Scotland and Cornwall before the exciting Big Final in London from 25 – 27 September.

ind

Food in this country is so good that Blighty now boasts even more Michelin Stars than Italy – once arguably deemed the universal food capital. To honour this, The Smallest Pizzeria in the World was a Cardiff sell-out! But from my time browsing the selection on offer in the Sunday sun, I can conclude food festivals and specifically the British Street Food Awards made this feat seem believable. Each vendor gave a fantastic effort – so much so, my consumption wasn’t restricted to the site itself! Of course I had to nab an iced Earl Grey (which contained so many mint leaves that security mistook it for alcohol) and 5 adorable tiny cupcakes from Bristol Chai Guy, who are so good they hopped across the border for the event, to keep me going during my walk home!

indepedentt

I couldn’t fault the day – a mantra clearly seconded by the crowds, whose enthusiasm showed no sign of relenting – and am looking forward to seeing the overall winners of categories such as Best Burger and Best Vegetarian in a few months’ time. Well done to all involved, and I’ll definitely be back – once my food baby subsides!

 

***

Ellie Philpotts

Ellie Philpotts is in her first year at Cardiff University studying English Literature, Journalism and Media. Follow her blog or Instagram.

 

 

 

Sign up for the weekly We Are Cardiff newsletter

It’s the finale of Street Food Circus this weekend!

It’s the Finale Weekend … the last supper … it’s time for them to roll out of town…

The show’s over, folks! This weekend is your FINAL CHANCE to come down and sample the Pop-Up night-time food market that is Street Food Circus, on John Street in Cardiff. So if you haven’t done it yet, now’s your last chance!!

The Line Up:
Hang Fire Smokehouse
Chucks – Hot Dogs & Stacked Fries
Dirty Fried Chicken
Patagonia
Jols Food Co
El Salsa
The Hemp Hut
Doughboys
Mr Churro
Meat & Greek
Dixies Vintage Ices
Burger & Lobster
Big Fish Little Fish
Science Ice Cream
The Spaniard Gourmet

Street Food Circus is open in Old Stable Yard, John Street (behind the NoFit State HQ) THIS WEEKEND ONLY:
Friday 5pm – 11pm
Saturday 5pm – 11pm
Sunday 2pm – 10pm

Street Food Circus – Finale Weekend Facebook group

streetfoodcircusfinale

***

Sign up for the weekly We Are Cardiff newsletter

CARDIFF A–Z V IS FOR VINTAGE: PART TWO

Katie Hamer continues her A–Z series with further discoveries about vintage Cardiff. This time she visits The Castle Emporium, previously the Fashion Quarter until it’s relaunch on St. David’s Day of this year…

DSCF3609

I  didn’t know what to expect when I arrived outside The Castle Emporium. The building undeniably has one of the most recognizable locations. Positioned as it is, close to the Bute (clock) Tower to Cardiff Castle, I had no trouble finding it.

From the outside it’s very plain, with cream-coloured walls that lack any decoration. It would be easy to walk by it without batting an eyelid, as I’m sure Cardiff commuters do every day. All I can say is thank goodness I didn’t.

DSCF3607

Once inside, there’s just this amazing artisan feel. It’s more akin to the pop-up shops that enable small businesses to become established, than the traditional market place. I really got a sense of creative minds, from varying paths, all working together to create this vibrant space.

DSCF3605

My only regret is that I chose a quiet time of the week to visit and not all the businesses were open for trading. The upside, however, was that it did make it peaceful to browse. Of the merchandise I did see, the following made the biggest impression:

DSCF3618

DSCF3618

Eagle Eye Vintage

Previously located at Jacobs Emporium, Eagle Eye Vintage got me excited about tie-dyed t-shirts in a way that I hadn’t been by the ones on sale at Hobo’s. They have an interesting range of accessories as well, with some odd looking watches. The giant Eagle Eye logo made this outlet very easy to locate. The wall decorations and the giant Persian rug lend to this space an otherworldly feel, almost like stepping on to a theatrical stage rather than a shop.

You can find more information about them here:

Facebook

Twitter

DSCF3637

Rock-Ola

Their slogan ‘Vintage Clothes, Modern Style’ sums this place up. Here clothing and other things from another era are given a new lease of life. There are the Snoopies and Gordon the Gopher as well as retro shoes and denim. Colourful boxed shelves fill the back wall and lend the whole space a Pop Art dimension. Particularly eye-catching for me were a display of cup cakes which sadly turned out not to be edible.

DSCF3636

DSCF3635

 

DSCF3639

 

DSCF3638

You can find more information on Rock-Ola here:

Their website

Facebook

Twitter

DSCF3619

Minotaur Books

Secondhand books with a decidedly vintage feel, overlooked by the head of a giant Minotaur head (mythical half-man, half-beast creature of Greek origins). Books, like vinyl, have taken on an almost mythical status since the advent of digital downloads. Despite the convenience of digital downloads, there’s still nothing quite like owning a physical copy, is there? And here the books, which seem to be in good condition, have a chance of a second or perhaps even third loving home.

I couldn’t find a website for them, although confusingly they share their name with a New York publishing firm.

DSCF3626

Rough Neck Candles

Candles in vintage tins. A candle with a difference – once the candle’s gone, you still have the tin. A neat idea and they make for an attractive display.

DSCF3628

Jones the Barber

A traditional barber with a shop resembling something you’d expect to find in a museum exhibit from a bygone era. Just perfect for a hair cut or for giving your beard a trim (not mine, you understand!)

DSCF3624

Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey

A specialist in Doctor Who artifacts, they weren’t open when I visited, although I did find a flyer promising me a free film cell key ring with any purchase. So perhaps I will return (after some time travel).

DSCF3622

Other places to visit, though not strictly vintage:

An open art exhibition space currently displaying bold paintings from Pembroke artists. There are coastal paintings in highly-charged colours which spring to life when viewed through 3-D glasses (provided). Well worth a visit.

Places I would be curious to see on a return visit, but which weren’t open on a quiet Monday morning:

Simply – Cardiff’s 100% Vegan Store

Musique Al’s Boutique – Super smart menswear, accessories, collectibles and vintage ideas for the man about town and country

Amaras – Fair Trade, Incense, Hats, Gloves, Gifts and much more

Camilleri Photography – Who are all about the photos which purportedly sell themselves, and they do a fine line in portraiture/wedding photography.

So, if you’re into supporting small local business then you couldn’t choose a better place to visit.

Look here for more information on The Castle Emporium:

Facebook

Twitter

Late Night Opening

Watch out for announcements for late night ‘Summer Nights’ openings, the first of which took place last week, future dates yet to be confirmed.

Thanks again for reading. See you next time!

 

 

 

 

 

 

NoFit State Circus’ Bianco returns to Cardiff, 12-27 June – get a sneak peek!

If you’ve been wondering what gives with that giant silver spaceship-like structure on John Street, next to the Street Food Circus, then educate yourself: NoFit State, the UK’s leading contemporary circus, is performing their internationally celebrated show BIANCO in Cardiff from 12 – 27 June. Cardiff will be the only performance in the UK, before the company departs for a European tour.

Yes yes!

The show has visited Cardiff twice before, BUT this time three-quarters of the cast are NEW. That means fresh talent, new skills, and more beautiful (and terrifying) circus performances.

Photographer Lorna Cabble went along to the preview to get these snaps of the performers, hard at work in rehearsal…

Bianco_by_lorna_cabble - 2

Bianco_by_lorna_cabble - 3

Bianco_by_lorna_cabble - 4

Bianco_by_lorna_cabble - 5

Bianco_by_lorna_cabble - 6

a girl

Where:
NoFit State’s iconic silver spaceship Big Top. John Street, Cardiff, CF10 5PE

When:
12-27 June, 2015

BIANCO TICKETS

***

Sign up for the weekly We Are Cardiff newsletter

Shelley Gardens Community Food Festival, Cardiff – 21 June 2015

Get thee along to the next Food Festival in Shelley Gardens, on 21 June 2015!

flyer for shelley gardens food festival 2015

The BEST Local food stalls, including:

    • Lia’s Kitchen Pie shop
    • Nata & Co Portuguese pastries
    • Mezza Luna Lebanese platters
    • Frankie’s Italian pizza & Calzones
    • MADE veggie burgers & juice shots
    • Penylan pantry beautiful, ethically sourced Welsh produce
    • Inner City Pickle locally made chutneys, preserves and treats
    • and more TBC…and teas, coffees in the gorgeous community garden of course.

All our food stalls will be selling cheap taster portions of their dishes (under £2!) so they are super affordable, and if you are greedy like me you can try a little something from everyone!

ENTERTAINMENT

  • Live music from local youth acts, Cardiff Ukeleles, Stainless Steve, plus special guests
  • Circus workshops and performance
  • Hula hoop demo & flash mob
  • Belly dancing
  • Spit & Sawdust skate ramps
  • Pedal powered fun
  • Meet the chickens

WORKSHOPS & DEMOS

Money & food saving tips from Love Food Hate waste
The art (& science!) of home composting with Helen Reardon
Dolma wrapping demo with Lia’s Kitchen
Understanding bees, their threats & value with Pollen8
and more TBC

WHEN?

Saturday 21 June 2015
12 – 4 pm Shelley Gardens Plasnewydd ~ City road
behind The Poets corner pub

#shelleygardensfoodfest
contact: foodfest@greencityevents.co.uk

 

Stondinau bwyd lleol blasus

Gweithdai bwyd a demo
Cerddoriaeth fyw ~ hwyl syrcas a gemau
peintio wynebau ~ yr emporiwm pedal ~ a mwy

12 – 4yp Gerddi Shelley Plasnewydd ~ Heol City
y tu ôl i dafarn Poet’s Corner

Shelley Gardens Facebook event

Green City Events

***

Sign up for the weekly We Are Cardiff newsletter

Project Profile: Sleep / Walk / Listen

Recently I caught up with Matthew Evans, who we’ve featured on the blog before. He told me about a new project he was involved with, so I sent him a load of questions on it so he could tell you all about it.  

sleep walk listen logo

Recently you’ve started up a new business. Can you describe it for us?

Sleep / Walk / Listen is a project that is designed to create stronger connections between electronic music and visual arts. We want to explore the way that these two art forms work together and create new experiences through our output.
Each month we curate a partnership that highlights the work of music, visual and video artists. These collaborations can be experienced in full at the Sleep / Walk / Listen website – www.sleepwalklisten.com.

As well as supporting these experiences digitally through our website, we also want to lend focus to the importance of tangible arts experiences. You can own each Sleep / Walk / Listen partnership artwork in the form of high quality limited edition screen prints, available to buy from the store on our website.

What makes it different from other artists working with musicians?

From the outset of a partnership we enable the music and visual artist to discuss and develop their work closely together. We find that this gets each partner thinking differently about their output.

We also encourage freedom of expression from both music and visual artist partners, and want the end product to be inherent of this artistic freedom. These objectives have been compounded by the discussions that we are having with the artists that we work with and the way that they are approaching their work with us.

The focus on artist freedom and the co-development of each project with the artists we are working with have already led to some exciting plans for our forthcoming partnerships.

https://soundcloud.com/sleepwalklisten/swl002/s-zjXLH

What inspired you to set it up?

The initial idea for Sleep / Walk / Listen was born out of a collaborative arts project called Sleep/Walk Art Collective.

Sleep/Walk Art Collective is a project that I founded with Jack Hardwicke (visual artist partner for SWL001 and SWL002). Sleep/Walk Art Collective has grown into my collaborative visual arts studio.

Sleep / Walk / Listen formed from this initial idea, but has grown into a separate entity that allows us to celebrate our passions for music and visual arts and how they work in conjunction.

Who’s involved in it with you?

Since the birth of the concept I have worked closely with the other Sleep / Walk / Listen team members, Tom Nield and Dan Butler, to make Sleep / Walk / Listen into what it is today.

We have also been really fortunate to work with Seb Feehan and Josh Bamford of Next Door Films. They have enabled us to realise captivating video pieces in support of each partnership.

Outside of that I have to give special mentions to Dan Walters, who ensures that everything looks as it should online, and Jonny and Charlotte Akers who have helped us take our artworks from digital artwork to physical screen prints.

Which artists are you working with, coming up in the future?

We are really proud to have been able to work with Japanese house and techno legend Hiroshi Watanabe for the launch of the Sleep / Walk / Listen partnership series. Our second partnership, SWL002, saw Berlin based DJ and producer, Chymera take the reins. We are really pleased that our work at these early stages have given the project an international identity.

Jack Hardwicke has featured as the partner visual artist for these first two partnerships, his work giving us an exciting and rich visual basis to work from. His passions for electronic music have been instrumental in launching this project in the exact way we wanted to.

The Next Door Films guys and myself worked together to provide the video element of these partnerships.

Our plans for the future see us thinking in broader terms about how electronic music and visual arts can work together. Plans for our monthly partnerships are already beginning to develop in a different direction from SWL001 and SWL002, and this excites us.

What do you hope to achieve from it?

Longer term we have plans to run our own events that have an emphasis on the visual element of a club night, release our own music releases through a record label style format and even create a series of art installations in cities around the world.

As quality of output and experience are our main drivers we don’t want to rush the development of these other formats, but let them form when we know the time is right.

Sleep Walk Listen

What are your next steps? 

Having recently launched SWL002, we are still enjoying the reaction this is receiving. Beyond this, we are working towards getting everything together for SWL003, this will go live towards the end of this month.

We can’t give too much away at this stage, but we are excited about taking the project in a new direction and working with the partner artists we have in place. Keep an eye on our social pages and website to see what we have going on.

Sleep / Walk / Listen Facebook page
Sleep / Walk / Listen website
Read Matthew Evans’ previous article for We Are Cardiff

***
Sign up for the weekly We Are Cardiff newsletter

Cardiff A–Z V is for Vintage: Part One

Katie Hamer continues her A–Z series for Cardiff with a look at all things vintage. Here’s what she found…

DSCF3583

Has Cardiff become an identikit city in the last two decades?

Far from it, I discovered, as I set out to explore the less commercialised quarters. While it’s true that the capital has it’s fair share of chain stores and big brands, I didn’t have to delve very deep to uncover its more unique enterprises. In fact, I only had to hop off the train at Cardiff Central and walk under the railway bridge to make my first big discovery…

 

Jacobs Market

DSCF3553

In an old redbrick building, surrounded by modern office blocks and hotels, is one of Cardiff’s more surprising secrets; three floors of market traders selling everything from bric-a-brac to musical instruments, lighting and furniture to vintage clothing, comics and books to toys. The exterior is a little weatherworn to say the least, but the interior more than compensates with its Aladdin’s Cave of goodies. You may be surprised to know that Jacobs is far from new. In fact it became established 36 years ago and has been in its current location since the 1980’s.

DSCF3556

In the decades since the start of the BBC’s Antiques Roadshow, it has been much harder to find a bargain; people are much more savvy these days. However, the price tickets I found, which were clearly displayed, seemed reasonable. I also got the impression just from walking around the various floors, that had I purchased something, I would also have received good old fashioned customer care from traders with many year’s experience of the business. The whole experience of shopping here felt as reassuring as indulging in your Gran’s apple crumble.

DSCF3573

On entering the building, I became aware that this would be an experience like no other. I immediately reached for my camera, hoping to take as many photos of the place as I could, but I thought I should check the protocol first. So I approached one of the market traders on the ground floor who told me that would be no problem, had I visited before? I told her I hadn’t. She informed me that the best way to get a feel for the building is to start at the roof garden at the top and then work my way down.

DSCF3564

Well, I hadn’t been aware of a roof garden from my research so I decided to follow her advice and go straight there. I’m glad I did, because I’d never experienced a roof top view of Cardiff before and the views are spectacular, especially of the railway station. There’s also a little conservatory where you’re invited to have your coffee and cake, purchased from the café, and relax whilst reading a magazine or a book. On occasion, they also have a roof top cinema for which tickets can be purchased on their website but be warned, as seating is very limited.

DSCF3566

On making my way back down, I discovered the West Wharf Gallery on the top floor, which proclaims itself: ‘the home of contemporary art in Cardiff’ and ‘A contemporary art gallery which features both well established and emerging artists [with] a convenient city centre location and its friendly unique atmosphere, the gallery is Cardiff’s best kept secret. On my visit they were setting up exhibitions so I didn’t take any photos but I’m tempted to go back and explore again soon.

DSCF3571

Next, I explored all three floors of the antiques markets. I found much to fascinate me, especially old slate mantel clocks, vintage Oxo tins, and memorabilia from the movies. I think I even discovered a plastic E.T. from the movie of the same name, but my memory may be playing tricks on me. Most memorable for me was a wall of colourful glass ornaments with a sofa and a row of electric guitars lined up in front of it. Most baffling for me were the vintage wedding dresses they had displayed in every stairwell. I’d certainly like to know the thinking behind this…

DSCF3576

My overall impression was of a place where different eras converge in a way that is both eclectic and inspiring. Seeing people’s possessions from the thirties or earlier made me dream of what it would have been like to be young in those times, to have gramophone records etc as the latest new gadget instead of a symbol of a bygone era. A place like this really brings out the nostalgia bug in me and I know I’ll have to visit if only to experience it once again…

You can find further information on Jacobs here:

Their website

Facebook where you can also check their opening hours (They open Thursday to Saturday).

Twitter

 

Hatt’s Vintage Emporium

IMG_1085

A much newer addition on the Cardiff Vintage trail is Hatt’s. Situated on Cardiff market, and run by a father and son combo, they are a true vintage men’s outfitters. I only stopped for a few minutes, but that’s all it took for me to be wowed by their sense of theatre. They provide a bespoke tailoring service as well as well as inviting members of the public to trade their vintage garments with them. They’re very attentive to their customers and all their reviews suggest that their service is second to none. I was surprised to hear that they had only become established two years ago as they have the confidence and the skills to suggest that they could have been around their forever.

IMG_1083

You can find more information on Hatt’s here:

Facebook

Their website

Twitter

Which leads me on to my final discovery for this part one…

 

Hobo’s

DSCF3588

With its rainbow skein of colours, this simply has to be the most colourful vintage shops around. It would be easy to be put off by the loud designs but after a few minutes of wandering around you soon aclimatise. There are fashions here from the sixties, seventies and eighties and, if I’m honest, the styles weren’t to my taste. Even so, I couldn’t help but be amazed by their range of vintage denim, tie-dyed t-shirts and retro bags. They provide a relaxed environment in which you are free to try things on, with or without assistance. What amused and baffled me upon visiting was that they appeared to have adapted a shower enclosure as a changing room, which I guess is, at least, a very imaginative and creative use of limited space.

DSCF3596

You can find more information on Hobo’s here:

Facebook

Twitter

Thanks for reading.

I hope you enjoy my photo gallery:

 

Jacobs

DSCF3551

 

DSCF3582

 

DSCF3579

DSCF3580

DSCF3577

DSCF3574

DSCF3586

 

Hatt’s

IMG_1086

IMG_1081

IMG_1084

 

Hobo’s

DSCF3594

DSCF3598

DSCF3600

DSCF3599

DSCF3597

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Review: Arcade Fire’s Owen Pallett at Portland House, Cardiff

Writer Ellie Philpotts went along to enjoy this show at one of Cardiff’s oldest-new venues, Portland house, on Pallett’s final year of touring.

Owen pallett playing violin

Owen Pallett has some impressive links. He’s collaborated heavily with indie-rock band Arcade Fire and worked with big deals such as The Pet Shop Boys; Linkin Park; Snow Patrol; Robbie Williams and even Taylor Swift, conducting her single The Last Time, from smash-hit 2012 album Red – which impressed me because I’m one big Taylor Swift fan. But away from these notable affiliations, Owen is a renowned name in his own right. Just last year, he was even Oscar-nominated, for Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures – Original Score, for the film ‘Her.’ Basically, he’s a talented guy. And his Cardiff Bay show on 3 June at Portland House accurately reflected this.

The night was a success in every way. I was actually the first to arrive at Portland House (unusual for me, so I must’ve been eager!); got chatting to some interesting fellow solo gig-attendees; and revelled in the varying styles of the support acts. The opener, Scriber, a Welsh lad who describes himself as an ‘alt-folk presence’ (http://www.scriberofficial.com/) sang lovely lyrics such as ‘it’s hard to lose grip on something if you know you always have it’, paired with charming guitar twangs. To follow was King of Cats, a very unique band with loud beats, belting out refreshing tracks which included the line ‘I will not walk in the garden of Eden but I’ll die in the garden of eating.’ Makes a change from typical love-songs centred around human love, doesn’t it!

Then it was time for Owen. The man, the legend. He had stage presence, asking the audience direct questions – he was asked whether he’d sampled a ‘cheeky Vimto’, which apparently is a local delicacy, although the Welsh man next to me dismissed this notion, having never heard of it. Demonstrating that Canadians can have flawless knowledge of British culture, Owen replied that he hadn’t, but he had heard of ‘cheeky Nandos.’ Fortunately, a cheeky Nandos does indeed sit right round the corner from this venue in Cardiff Bay, so maybe that’s where he headed afterwards to celebrate a successful show! Although, his status as fitting in with us Cardiffians did slip up when he enquired if there even is a Welsh language. But his music was so good, we’ll forgive him.

Owen isn’t to my usual style, but I was genuinely blown away by his skill. He turns what it means to be a violinist on its head – exciting fast-paced beats teamed with a brilliant voice, and this wasn’t the extent of his instrument-playing – he was no stranger to the keyboard either. The Secret Seven was my favourite of his tracks – he described it as ‘a song about not killing yourself, but about killing someone else instead!’ Only figuratively, I should add as a disclaimer. I also appreciated how he played recordings of his music on loop to compliment the live performance. All in all, a very interesting perspective on that wide thing called ‘music.’ I can see why he’s such an in-demand musician!

After the satisfied audience began to bid a sad farewell to Portland House (in a move mirrored by Owen, as this was one of his final ever tour dates, let alone in the UK!), I was lucky enough to meet the face of the show himself. We had a photo – excuse the lighting – strong lights at gigs just aren’t atmospheric, don’t y’know! Owen is not only a fantastic performer, but also a lovely guy, so I’m sure I speak for many others in saying that Cardiff will miss him!

 

Owen Pallett and Ellie Philpotts

Portland House

***

Ellie Philpotts

Ellie Philpotts is in her first year at Cardiff University studying English Literature, Journalism and Media. Follow her blog or Instagram.

 

 

 

Sign up for the weekly We Are Cardiff newsletter

“I get really excited about singing live” – interview with Cardiff vocalist Aleighcia Scott

Aleighcia Scott is a singer/song-writer from Cardiff, whose styles include reggae, soul, R&B, hip-hop and more. We caught her at the Butetown Carnival last year and she was marvellous. Today’s interview is with the lady herself!

aleighica

Aleighcia comes from a Welsh/Jamaican background and infuses these styles within her vocals and has been singing since the age of three. “I was brought up in Rumney, Cardiff, and I had a really good upbringing,” she says. “Being from a mixed race family I also got to learn about different cultures. My dad is from a Jamaican background and my mum is from a Welsh/Irish background.”

She’s always been musical, for as long as she can remember. “My grandmother comes from a gospel singing background in Jamaica so I think my vocals came from her. I’ve been singing from as long as I can remember and performing since the age of six. My family are really in to music so I’ve always been around music and always had a love for music. I was in the choir at school, too.”

As a youngster, her favourite singers were as follows: Alicia Keys, Lauryn Hill, Erykah Badu, Mary J Blige, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Amy Winehouse, Bob Marley, Queen Ifrica, and Sanchez. “There was also a time when I really loved the Spice Girls”, she says!

Watch Aleighcia below:

She’s performed all around Cardiff, from the Wales Millennium Centre to opening for Maxi Priest in DC. “I’ve played loads of different sized venues around Cardiff and across the UK. Today, I’d say my  main influences are Alicia Keys, Erykah Badu, Lauryn Hill and Jazmine Sullivan – all vocal heavyweights!”

So what is she currently up to? “I’m working towards a couple of single releases, and working on writing and developing her music. Also working towards an EP/album, to be released sometime in the future…”

Wanna catch her live? Here’s where it’s happening…

28/05/15 – Hootananny, Brixton
29/05/15 – The George, Maindee
30/05/15 – Big Splash, Newport & Irie Shack, Cardiff
05/06/15 – Miss Jones, Cardiff
13/06/15 – Irie Shack, Cardiff
14/06/15 – Bute Lounge, Cardiff

Aleighcia’s favourite part about performing is the emotional connection with the music:

“I get really excited about performing and as I walk on stage I start to feel a bit nervous, but I love performing so much that I just get in to the zone and forget about the nerves!”

Catch her on:

Soundcloud/AleighciaScott

YouTube/Aleighcia

Twitter/AleighciaSings

***

Sign up for the weekly We Are Cardiff newsletter