Tag Archives: cardiff personal geography

Our Cardiff geography – Baby Queens

In today’s personal geography, the Baby Queens step up to answer my questions!

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Listen while you read: Baby Queens Soundcloud


Q. Introduce us to your group

Estelle: Hello! Baby Queens is two cousins, Ruth and Monique, two sisters, Cara and Estelle, and our good friend Vanity.


Q. How did you (the group or individual) end up in Cardiff? Are you born local or moved here…

Vanity: Ruth moved from Gloucester, Vanity grew up in the Bahamas and moved to Cardiff as a young girl, Cara and Estelle are from North Wales and Monique hales from Cardiff.


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Q. How did you all meet, and how long have you been playing together for?

Estelle: We met through music and we have been playing as a band since September 2012


Q. Explain your sound to us

Cara: Our sound is fusion, in that we fuse so many different genres together to create our sound, we literally take influence from all genres and all true and beautiful musc from the last few decades even reaching back as far as the 1940’s . We all have a very eclectic record collection, from 50’s rock n roll, to experimental 60/70’s bands and artists, we love mowtown, two tone, physc rock, rock n roll, punk rock, roots hiphop and reggae, to contempary hiphop and reggae, soul, jazz, and electronic music wise DnB, House, dubstep the list goes on. We wanted our Sound to represent as much of the music that we love as possible, the music inspired us and the music that drove us to write, and we incorperate these influences into our sound resulting in the “difficult to define” sound that were kinda proud of.


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Q. What’s your favourite Cardiff venue? Can be one that doesn’t exist anymore…

Estelle: I used to love The Point but it closed down.


Q. What parts of Cardiff have you lived in so far?

A. Docks, Splott, Canton, Llandoch, town centre

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Q. What was the BEST gig / show / rave you’ve ever been to in Cardiff?

Estelle: A SomBom techno night in 2007 where Green Velvet played


Q. What was the last film you watched

Ruth: Marvel – Avengers Assemble


Q. Tell us a secret

Monique: We are always fashionably late for everything!


Q. What’s your favourite place for breakfast in Cardiff?

Ruth: Central Perk off Albany Road


Q. What’s your local pub?

Ruth: Rileys Canton


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Q. Tell us a hidden part of Cardiff that you love

Cara: The Wetlands is a little nature reserve alongside the water in the Cardiff Bay area, it’s incredibly beautiful and is a breeding ground for swans and ducks, we go there to watch the sunset and find creativity.


Q. What music are you loving at the moment? Bands, DJs …

Cara: MNEK, Rudimental, Danny Brown, Angel Haze, Royal Blood, The wkend, Frank Ocean, Jamie Woon.


Q. If you had some friends coming to visit for the weekend, where would you take them?

Cara: I would take them to Barry beach, on the quiet side – beautiful views and summer sunsets


Q. If people want to see you live, when’s their next opportunity?

A. We’ll be playing at DimSwn this year, catch us there!

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Baby Queens Facebook page

Twitter: @baby_queens

Baby Queens Soundcloud



Baby Queens were photographed at rehearsal by Joseph Singh (SnapPopAndRock) 

Cardiff: my personal geography, by Gwion Thorpe


In Cardiff, home is…

Canton with the wife, kids and the coolest 3-legged dog in Wales.

Favourite Cardiff eatery

Hangfire Smokehouse at The Lansdowne

Ideal first date in Cardiff?

Fry up at Saffron, boating on Roath Lake, watch Wales beat England (again!) at the stadium, pints at Tap House, curry at Purple Poppadom, early night 😉

Tell us something that most people don’t know about you

I have the longest tongue in Wales (unofficial)

Earliest Cardiff memory

Watching Paul Bodin miss THAT penalty at the Arms Park and seeing grown men cry

What was the last film you saw?

Frozen (for probably the 20th time this week)

Favourite Cardiff shops

Rules of Play, Riverside Market

Best Cardiff-based leisure activity

Chilling in the park (take your pick). Simples.

What was the last book you read?

The Prodigal Daughter, Archer.

Biggest ambition

For my children to be proud of me and not to have any regrets on my death bed

Best Cardiff pubs

Urban TapHouse and The Lansdowne

Favourite Cardiff discovery

The New York Hoagie

Last album you listened to

Gipsy Kings, self titled (instant sunshine).

If you had friends coming to Cardiff for a weekend, what would you recommend they do?

Take me out on my ideal first date (minus the early night)!

Your ambitions for the future?

No regrets and make my children proud

What do you want to achieve this year?

Four million people taking part in The Big Lunch on June 1st!! 

Gwion Thorpe is involved in a number of social / community projects in Cardiff / Wales. Current day job is social marketing for The Big Lunch, a wonderfully simple campaign to help strengthen communities and spread a bit of happiness by encouraging people to have lunch with their neighbours annually on the 1st Sunday in June.  Also proudly a Director for Cardiff’s award-winning RCMA Social Enterprise (home of the Riverside Market) and a (very) part-time blogger at inspiringcardiff.com, sharing the stories of awesome people doing really cool things across the city. Cymro Cymraeg!

Gwion was photographed at The Lansdowne by Adam Chard


Cardiff: my personal geography, by Elliot Bennett of Slowly Rolling Camera

For this personal geography, we get all up in Elliot Bennett’s grill – he’s the drummer for (mostly) Cardiff-based jazz band, Slowly Rolling Camera. Read on for Elliot’s slant on the city (he’s second from left in the picture).

Slowly Rolling Camera by Claire Cousin

Tell us about your Cardiff connections …

Although Dave (Stapleton – pianist/composer) now lives in Newbury, we were all students that studied at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. It was here that we started composing and playing together. Similarly, whilst still being a student, I was also the house drummer at the old Toucan Club, and Dionne (Bennett – vocalist/lyricist) was the vocalist in the funk and Latin band that played there on the weekend.

Tell us how Slowly Rolling Camera formed.

The band started out with Dave and myself discussing the need to write some new music that differed from our quintet. The want for a fresher approach that could have a wider a reach and echoed more of the things they were listening to, such as the Cinematic Orchestra, Robert Glasper, Christian Scott, Massive Attack and Portishead.

The writing process began with Dave sending me some ideas to see what I thought. Hooked on what I’d heard, I began playing around with the ideas presented and recorded some grooves and rhythms that would cement and support the phrases and melodies. This process continued for sometime, until we both realised that an ingredient was missing, the voice. There was only one person I had in mind that had the depth, warmth and soulfulness needed for what had been written. It was then, that I pitched the ideas to Dionne Bennett, a lyricist and vocalist that I had worked with many years ago.

Once Dionne had added some ideas, again me and Dave thought that a more electronic, produced sound pallet was needed to bind the existing ideas together, which is when I called upon my old university friend Deri Roberts to help. Like Dave and Dionne, I had worked with Deri many times in a number of different ensembles, some of which included the others. Fast forward to the present day, the four us through our friendship and work in various ensembles have written – I believe – music that has a little of all our personalities and life’s journey embedded with the fabric of the album.

Where was your first gig?

Our first gig was at Chapter Arts Centre, which I guess is regarded as a bit of a hub for music, drama and the arts in Cardiff and therefore, seemed the perfect location to showcase what we had written. Thankfully, the gig sold out and the response and feeling from the audience and players booked for the gig was great. The four of us now knew that the product worked, both as something to listen to at home, or as a live performance.

What are the great things about living in Cardiff?

Cardiff is a very friendly, lively and cosmopolitan city. It has great entertainment, a diverse music scene, good night life, and shopping all within walking distance.

Penylan Pantry - one of Elliot's choice spots in Cardiff
Penylan Pantry – one of Elliot’s choice spots in Cardiff

How does it feel to be releasing an album?

I’m sure I speak for the others when I say that we are very proud to release this album. We wanted to collectively create something that appealed to a wide audience, that didn’t fit into a neat label or box that say’s ‘genre’ on it. Something that musicians would appreciate, music that would stand up for its production, engineering, the way it was recorded and mixed. It’s an album that contains snapshots of our life as friends and musicians, which like our name have slowly, rolled and evolved.

If you had friends coming to visit Cardiff for the weekend, what would you recommend they do? 

During the day, stop for a coffee and a bite to eat at the Pen-y-lan Pantry or maybe visit Cardiff’s award-winning farmers’ markets on Sunday 10 – 2pm. And team that up with watching a knock-out performance from an amazing new band called ‘Slowly Rolling Camera’!


Elliot Bennett plays drums in Slowly Rolling Camera. The band’s debut album is out now on Edition Records, and you can catch them live soon – see tour dates here.