I don't get much chance to be in Cardiff in the evening but one snowy December night we stayed in Cardiff and called into this fantastic Live Music Venue,
The 2 piece that were playing were really good and although the place was quiet due to the bad weather conditions it was a really good atmosphere, i would love to go again!
Sadly The Hard Rock Cafe in Cardiff closed down and has been replaced by some other thing, Such a shame
This was a great Hard Rock Cafe situated in the city centre on the edge Cardiff’s brewery quarter on the corner of St. Mary's Street and Caroline Street (with the front door on St Marys Street).
As you enter the Rock Shop is on the Left of what is essentially a corridor that opens out into a nice bar area. To the left of the bar up a few steps is the restaurant area.
This is a very cosy feeling hard rock and totally different than Manchester’s large bright cafe. It is relaxing with some large comfy sofa’s in the middle of the bar area and stools around the sides. The Bar is quite large and of course as with all the Hard Rock establishments the service is excellent and the staff very friendly and helpful. This is a great place to go for a drink with friends or for one of Hard Rocks great meals from their excellent menu.
Of course all the walls are covered in Rock memorabilia such as A pair of red platform shoes Worn by Elton John ,A Guitar used by the Stereophonics and Signed by all 3 band members, A Bass Guitar used by Feeder in the 2001 music video "Seven Days In The Sun, Customised leather jacket worn by Bonny Tyler the cover of the album "Hide Your Heart", A black velvet jacket worn by Ozzy Ozbourne during a five night run at the Hammersmith Odeon in London with Black Sabbath, U2's "Joshua Tree" tour jacket worn by Bono himself And of course as it is Wales A Dark 3-piece suit made from neoprene worn by Tom Jones in his live shows during the 1970's.
Restaurant: Mon - Sun 12:00PM - 'til late
Bar: Mon - Sun 12:00PM - 'til late
Rock Shop: Mon - Sun 12:00PM - 'til late
St David's Hall opened in August 1982 with a special 'open day' which attracted thousands of people and an official opening took place the following year. here was a challenge building the concert hall in enclosed space but it was succeed in building over St David's Centre with advanced acoustics and three floors. St David's Hall is the National Concert Hall and Wales Conference Centre and the auditorium seats 2,000 people.
St David's Hall host the annual Welsh Proms and the bi-annuall BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition. There are a number of national and international concerts hosted by St David's Hall alongside live entertainment. I went there with friends to see 'An evening of movies and musicals'. We had a lovely evening and we were honoured to meet some of the artists afterwards and we had our programmes signs and photos taken.
Dress Code: Smart casual
The main reason for me to visit Cardiff was to see new The Phantom of the Opera production at the Wales Millennium Centre. As many know I'm a big fan of the musical and I've been following the new production around the UK during 2012. Please check out my Phantom 25 Travelogue.
I was excited, let alone to see Phantom, just to visit the Wales Millennium Centre, opened in 2004, which is a stunning performing and culture venue. The venue consists of two theatres, galleries, cafes, bars, shops and restaurant. Tours of the venue are available but I didn't participate in one. The public space in the venue hosts free entertainment and cultural events from time to time.
Before the performance I had a snack in one of the cafes and where I met up with friends who were seeing the show with me. The cafe wasn't cheap as I paid 6.50 gbp (December 2012) for a sandwich, which wasn't anything special, crisps, a coffee and a bottle of water.
Despite the lack of legroom (me being tall) in the main theatre (Donald Gordon Theatre) I thoroughly loved the centre and would like to return and see another performance in the future.
Dress Code: Smart casual
Our VT meeting finally ended up in Cafe Floyd. It is a narrow first floor bar with an old dark wooden interior and cosy sofas.
Among the usual sort of drinks of a bar, they have several international beers on offer. When we visited the place on a Friday night we had to pay an entrance fee of 2 Pounds.
The Goat Major seems to be one of the few traditional pubs in the city centre of Cardiff. It is named after the handler of the goat mascot of the Welsh guards.
Among other beers, the Goat Major has the famous Brains beer on tap which is brewed in Cardiff. VT members M0B1US, aaaarrgh and me started our fabulous VT meeting here.
We visited this week when it was a little quiet and had a nice, relaxed, good value for money meal, cooked by a very colourful chef. It is certainly a place that you can spend a whole evening and not be bored. An excellent location that I feel would have a wonderful atmosphere when busier and one or two of the elderly local jazz club members are not so evident. There were a couple of concerns (partially because of problems generated by the Olympic restrictions in getting to the venue) but the manager’s response to our comments were excellent. I would certainly visit again when in the area.
Dress Code: casual
Motorpoint Arena (formerly known as Cardiff International Area or CIA) is a big venue that opened in 1993.
Here you can see major pop/rock bands and artists (Lady Gaga, Oasis, Elton John are some of them). It was on our list but we didn’t find something special during our stay so we didn’t go inside. Venue’s capacity is 5,000(seating), 7,500(standing)
Apart from concerts they have sporting events (boxing, premier league darts etc), exhibitions, meetings and conferences.
It’s easily accessible by car (there’s a parking next to the venue) and in walking distance from anywhere in Cardiff centre (10’ from the bus/train station)
15 years before the Sandringham Hotel became a jazz club, in 1995 the Four Bars Inn at Sandys was opened (now Café Jazz) inviting many musicians from all over the world. It’s a small venue but ideal for a great night with live jazz music, a lovely place with no posh people as it has a laid back atmosphere.
There’s also a part of the club (behind the bar area) that houses a restaurant but we preferred to enjoyed the music. The night we visited Café Jazz (the admission was £5) we saw Aimua Eqhobamien from London
It’s open Monday to saturday 11.00-01.00 with an interesting program:
Tuesdays (good time and jazz swing in the traditional style of the 20s/30s)
Wednesdays(varied programme of quality music)
Thursdays(local bands and touring musicians from abroad)
Fridays(late night blues sessions)
The bar has great variety of drinks but they also serve snacks, of course at the restaurant you can have dinner (2 courses for £9, 3 courses for £12, traditional Sunday lunch for £7).
There is also free wi-fi although I don’t see any reason to use that during a gig!
A great location just off the Taff Trail, this is a lovely, large pub with a good beer garden.
The pub serves a wide selection of ales which are hand pulled. It also has a good menu but we didn't eat here so I don't know how the quality is.
Dress Code: Casual.
Massive indoor arena (maximum capacity 7,500) for live music and sport events (for example snooker championships, wrestling). The CIA is right in the centre of Cardiff, less than 10 minutes walk from the central train/bus station.
The arena did not feel as large as I expected, but then I am 6' 2" and can see over everyone's heads, except for the 6' 5" bloke that always manages to stand in front of me ;). However, the queue for the bar means that if you don't get there early, forget buying a plastic bottle of lager! There is a pleasant, busy, character pub around the corner, The Traders Tavern, if you want a drink beforehand.
At least the CIA attracts some of the bigger bands to South Wales. The Millennium Stadium (capacity around 60,000) stages VERRRY big music events occasionally. I prefer the smaller places, such as the Cardiff University Union, Cardiff Coal Exchange, Clwb Ifor Bach, or the Barfly, for the genuine music experience.
STOP PRESS: In 2011 the 'CIA' became sponsored by a car supermarket and has been renamed from Cardiff International Arena to Cardiff Motorpoint Arena, argh!
STOP PRESS: The Point closed in February 2009, a result of the costs of soundproofing the building (see below)
"The Point", formerly St Stephens Church in Cardiff Docks, is a very unusual place to see live music, or maybe a disco. It is one of those rare venues that only holds a few hundred people, so you get close to your musical heroes!
As an ex-church, dating from about 1900, the main dance space still has the high ceiling and vaulted gothic arches, very atmospheric. It still has the church tower on the outside. For a few years before becoming a music venue, it was a community theatre.
I've been there to see my pop heroes, The Fall, and also been there for our office Christmas fancy-dress party. Recently (2008) they held a 'silent disco', where dancers were issued with headphones. This was the result of threats from local residents (of new aprtments nearby) to get the place closed because of alleged noise levels. So please visit the place and make sure it stays open!!
The Glee Club is an ultra-modern venue offering the best in live comedy. The evening's entertainment includes a compère and three stand-up acts, and the weekend shows are followed by a disco. The Club also promises one-off shows from the top names in British comedy. Dress code is relaxed, and restrictions on large same-sex groups ensures a good atmosphere. The comfortable setting includes tables from which to watch the show, a bar, and food available all night
The Sherman Theatre is a lovely theatre with a great local troup that put on a variety of shows from Shakespeare to Pantomime. There is a youth theatre group as well. They also host other events such as comedy nights and charity evenings. It really is a community theatre in the real sense of the word.
Whilst me and Balam were visiting Myfanwe, we called in here for a drink after looking round the castle. It was a nice pub, but for two pints of heineken and (i think) a vodka and tonic (might even have been a soda and lime, i'm sure Myfanwe will correct me!) it was about £11! needless to say we only stayed for one round before moving on.
It was worth it for the whole experience i think, as it was a nice bar and heineken isnt exactly one of the most common beers on tap, and wouldnt mind going in again for a quick one, but definately not for a few.
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