Tag Archives: dance music cardiff

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“it’s funny to remember world famous American DJ David Morales arriving for a four hour set at the Coal Exchange and demanding a Burger King before he went on stage, which meant heading back in to town” – Henry

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In many ways this is where it all began for me in Cardiff – the magnificent Coal Exchange building in Butetown Cardiff. I arrived in the city from Manchester in September 1992 to work in the University Union Entertainments department and within months was co-promoting a dance music night called Spice of Life with Gareth Evans and local DJ and house music pioneer Dave Jones. In January 1994 we secured the Coal Exchange to launch a brand new night.

We scratched our heads as to what to call the new project – it had to be something bloody good as the venue was out of this world for a clubbing event. If you look closely at the clock above my head in the photo there is a gold inscription, the motto of the Coal Exchange, that reads TEMPUS FUGIT. So there it was. Tempus Fugit was launched on Saturday 22nd January 1994 with Dave Jones and Craig Bartlett as resident DJs.

And the parties there took off overnight, so much so that we had to move after just three events to the bigger, equally impressive and more centrally located City Hall building. It was here that we changed the name of the night to the English translation of Tempus Fugit……….Time Flies – a name that has lasted the test of time, and still pulls in the crowds in Wales today. There were a few different reasons for the name change, the best one being that Pete Tong could never pronounce Tempus Fugit correctly on his Friday evening BBC Radio 1 Essential Selection show.

Looking back it’s funny to remember world famous American DJ David Morales arriving for a four hour set at the Coal Exchange and demanding a Burger King before he went on stage, which meant heading back in to town. The area of the city where the venue is has since undergone a complete transformation with the creation of Cardiff Bay and now boasts an array of fantastic restaurants and bars in the fashionable Mermaid Quay that Morales could choose from today. Plus the iconic Wales Millennium Centre is there now too.

Certainly in the two decades I have known Cardiff I have seen the city change beyond all recognition. The building of the Millennium Stadium put the Welsh capital on the global map permanently, particularly as the English Football Association contrived to make a complete balls-up of the redevelopment of Wembley and so handed Cardiff such prestigious sporting events as the FA Cup, the League Cup and Play-off finals for six years that were beamed around the world to massive audiences and so attracted visitors who would never have thought of coming here. Liverpool made so many appearances at the Stadium it’s rumoured the players and fans bought properties in the Bay.

Thirty minutes from gorgeous beaches, 30 minutes from the Brecon Beacons and 30 minutes from the nearest airport, Cardiff is in many ways unique and a fantastic city to be a part of.

Henry Blunt lives in Roath, has a 4 year old daughter and has been running Time Flies and staging shows in Wales for 18 years. You can find out more about his up-and-coming events by visiting the Time Flies website, and you can find both Henry and Time Flies on Facebook. Contact him here: henry@timefliesuk.com. Henry currently lives in Roath.

Henry was photographed outside the Coal Exchange in Cardiff Bay by Adam Chard

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