Celebrating Independent Venue Week with Rainbow Maniac – Q&A and album recording photo essay

So there’s nothing we like more on We Are Cardiff than supporting and celebrating local talent. So we dropped in to speak to good time rock and rollers Rainbow Maniac, who have just recorded their debut album, and will be playing on Tuesday 29 January at The Moon. Read on for a photo essay of the recording, and a Q&A!

And don’t forget to catch them Tuesday 29 January: Independent Venue Week – Rainbow Maniac / The Rotanas / Carolines / WYNT (all ages, The Moon).

So you guys have just recorded your album! Tell us all about it.

With Charlie Francis as our producer, we recorded most of it over two days cause we’re hipsters and we wanna be like the Beatles in the early days. It was pretty easy and relaxed because we’d thought about it for a while and we’re pretty well rehearsed.

Some of the songs have been around for two or three years, and some of the songs were finished in the last few months so it feels like we’re releasing a mini greatest hits album as our debut!

When is the album due to be released?

We want to find a label to release with first so a release date is very much TBC. We intend to put out some singles in the meantime though so don’t worry! We are going to promote our new single ‘Snowball’ and take it from there.

Can people see you live any time soon?

Yeah for sho. To promote ‘Snowball’ we booked a mini tour this month – you can catch us at the last show in Cardiff at the Moon, on the 29th January. The single is also being released on 29th so it should be a fun night getting boozy with our support acts Al Moses and Rotanas!

Many thanks to Aiyush Pachnanda of Yo SNAPS for the photos.

See the full photoshoot at the We Are Cardiff Facebook page

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Meet Irina and Silviu – documenting local creatives

A couple of months ago I got an email from Irina and Silviu, asking if I would be free to answer some questions and be featured on their website. I do get asked relatively frequently to do things like this, but I’ve only got limited time available to me so I usually turn the offers down.

However, I had a look at the website for this project that they are running – Together and Sunspell – and got back in touch with them to say yes. Have a look at it and you’ll see why. The photography is just wonderful, and they’ve got an interesting mixture of interviews with people doing creative jobs or creative work across different industries, and also across their local area – they live in Usk, so their project spans Cardiff, Bristol and Bath. I asked them a few questions about Together and Sunspell. Enjoy!

Please introduce yourselves.

We are Irina & Silviu and we do everything together. We met at Uni in Transylvania where we were both studying Philosophy and a few years down the line we’ve decided to call Wales home.

Tell us a little bit about your project ‒ where did the idea come from? Why did you decide to do it?

Together & Sunspell was born out of our innate curiosity and inquisitive openness towards the Other and the way they interact with their environment. As foreigners we found this to be a good way of getting to know people and feeling less isolated. We also felt that by creating an online collection of these encounters we would support and promote local and regional talent and raise awareness of the creative richness surrounding us.

What has your experience been of meeting people and taking the photos? Have you enjoyed it?

T&S started without us really knowing it and this randomness helped us ease into what the project was going to become. We went from almost zero interaction to having covered over 120 stories in the span of two years; the whole process has been exhilarating, draining at times and paired with our innate need to permanently question and analyse everything, the journey has been anything but boring. Have we enjoyed it? We’ve absolutely loved it. It taught us things about ourselves that we might have never learned otherwise and it offered us a plethora of firsthand insights into so many different stories topped up with being able to share all this richness with everyone.

Are there any memorable photoshoots you have done?

They are all unique, thus all memorable. They all taught us something different, things you can only perceive in the company of people who open their hearts and homes and share their inspiring stories with us. At the end of the day, our project is not about photography as such, but about meaningful connections, genuine interactions, openness and inclusiveness.

What’s been your favourite location to take pictures so far?

The favourite location is always the one we are in at the time of conversing and being with the other. We can’t separate the person from the location or vice versa, they both complement each other creating a meaningful story.

And finally, what are your hopes and dreams for 2019?

We’d love to continue doing what we are doing: making more handmade collages, documenting more stories, collaborating with other creatives, developing more personal projects and enjoying our being together.

You can find Helia’s Together and Sunspell interview here:

Other lovely Cardiff people they have featured:

Find the full archive of Cardiff stories here: Together and Sunspell – Cardiff

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We Are Cardiff needs you!

HNY kids!

Have you ever fancied contributing to We Are Cardiff? Well, luckily, we’re always looking for fresh talentz to join the crew. AND WE HAVE FUNDING TO HELP DEVELOP SOME TRAINEES!

You may have been reading and enjoying We Are Cardiff for some time now. Maybe you also follow us on Twitter (where @hana_j87 curates the hell out of the Cardiff internet), or are a fan of ours on Facebook (where you can see a specially curated selection of Cardiff events that we recommend on our page). You might also follow us on Instagram, where the USW photojournalists document what’s happening around the city for you.

You’re almost definitely reading the website (otherwise how would you be reading this, other than osmosis, perhaps?) – and it’s the website we’re after some help for!

There are two ways you can get involved:

1 – as a volunteer writer / photographer / film maker. This is perfect for people interested in doing some documentary-type stuff about the city across multiple formats. You might be a student, or graduate, or just interested in contributing to our mission of covering alternative culture and life in the city.

2 – WE ARE LOOKING FOR TRAINEES! With big thanks to UnLtd, we have some funding to train and develop people who are interested in entering the fields of media, film, journalism, communications (any type of creative content-making industry) but who might not have had the chance to do any training. If you want to gain expertise or experience but have faced barriers (maybe the cost of training or education), this scheme is here to help you. Also this training is PAID, as you’ll be learning “on the job”. You’ll be creating content for the website, and learning as you go.

This trainee scheme is designed to help minorities. And by that, we’re talking about people who don’t see themselves represented in the media. You might be from a lower income household and be done with narratives or news stories that never address your issues. You might have mental health problems and feel like you never see or read things that really get get to the heart of the issue. You might be a Middle Eastern woman who never sees any other Middle Eastern people on TV unless they’re playing terrorists in films. You might be LGBTQ+, you might be over 60, or under 18. And on, and on, and on.

If you’re interested in applying for the trainee scheme, please email wearecardiff@gmail.com with “Trainee scheme” as the subject header, and give us a couple of paragraphs on why we should give you a go.

As mentioned above, this trainee scheme is limited to people from minority communities who feel their stories aren’t represented adequately in the media. We want to try and address this imbalance by developing skills and experience.

But we’re not limiting what we mean by “minority community”, by the way – the idea is for you to tell us how you don’t feel your community is represented, and to let us know about the sort of stories you want to tell.

Word to your bad selves. Please share this far and wide, we’d like as many people as possible to nominate themselves!

Peas and love and HNY once again!

The We Are Cardiff monkeys
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