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(I’m trying to avoid talking about you know what on here, but this is obviously about before it all went down.)


This forum was a hub for many people in South Wales and beyond, bought together a lot of talented people. 

I’ve been out of the loop for a long time, I’d like to know what is going on in SW these days, what happened to bands, promoters and venues.

In true SWM tradition I am talking  about the wide range of genres.

What’s actually going on in places like Cardiff and Newport etc?

I have a few specific questions to kick it off.

Obviously local is important, but do less bands visit South Wales now, take Epitaph bands or similar, seems like it’s all Bristol and SW does not get a look in?

Are we still suffering with the loss of TJs? What even is there now? I try to take a look when I pass on the train.

Any input will be appreciated.

Keep on trucking.

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Posted (edited)

Last show I went to in Cardiff was Turnstile at The Globe, 5 years ago! I’ve not lived in SW for over a decade now, but Connors was there, just before he went worldwide, and he was the only person I recognised from the old days. 

 

 I know there’s still a hardcore scene to speak of, with a label/distro called Nuclear Family who I’ve done some design work for in the past, but I couldn’t tell you much more to be honest. Strangely, I mostly seem to bump into old faces at shows in other parts of the country.

Edited by stillagoth

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There are still free gigs that happen regularly in The Moon, which I suggest is one of the worst designed venues imaginable for live music. I loathe it to the point where I refuse point blank to play there, and I need a very good reason to pass through its threshold at all. Can't think of the last gig in Cardiff I actually paid into. 

In terms of Newport, Le Pub is still a thing, but it's not the same. There was a lot of idealistic jibber jabber about how "Le Pub isn't a building, it's a mentality" just before the end of the O.G site, but in my limited experience of Nu Le Pub, I'd say it's likely there was some specific magic in the brick and mortar of Caxton Place. Or maybe it was the more the time and space. Either way, I ain't trying to go to Newport...

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I've still never been to the new Le Pub. Feel a bit bad about that, but life is just different now and for whatever reasons I've not made it across to Newport in forever. Gavin / DIY Cardiff still does gigs sometimes; I think upstairs in Urban Tap House is far superior to the Moon which is indeed horrible for gigs. Saw Mikey Erg there, but even that was probably a year ago now. Stillagoth, you're Goth Simon? Or Gay Goth Guy? I'm confused.

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Is Urban Taphouse Tiny Rebel? If so, I totally agree with you. Really nice space and I don't see why anyone would put a show on in Moon over there. We were meant to be playing a little headline show there 10 days ago, but then CORONA. 

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Nice, I'm gonna check that out. Thanks Coach.

18 hours ago, stillagoth said:

Last show I went to in Cardiff was Turnstile at The Globe, 5 years ago! 

Ha, as I was reading this I was like 'Im sure that's the one I went to' and remembering seeing you at the end. They were always a fun band to see, and always been bummed I've not seen them play anywhere local here.

I think the main thing that made me sad in the early 2010s when SWM started to fade was that it wasn't replaced by something newer, and better by young kids who had the energy and enthusiasm to do such things. I would've totally been on board with that, hell it would've probably spurred some joke war between sites or something that would've led to the an all new East Coast/West Coast wave of violence and bloodshed. But no, it kind of felt like there was no centre of anything for years, and you had to keep your eye on a million difference Facebook pages or whatever to keep up with anything. That sucked. 

** SOUTH FLORIDA SCENE REPORT **

Lots of what happens here reminds me of home. I can go to a dozen gigs over a few months and not see the same local support twice, there always seems to be new bands forming and falling apart.

My favourite venue closed down, but it was this tiny craft beer place that would book touring bands with no cover charge and give them a split of the bar takings. It was long, but maybe 15 feet wide at most and ran off a vocal PA and no stage. Get 30-50 kids in and it would be a packed house, and the merch stands would be in the street as there was no space inside. I hear they got kicked out of the area (which was supposed to be the cool, art and hip place of town) because they weren't the image that was being looked for. A damn shame. They now have a bar just as close to where I live, but the beer choice wasn't as good when I last went and it wasn't quite the same.

Photo of Beer Punx - Fort Lauderdale, FL, United States

Another place I loved going to was Kreepy Tiki, which was a bar and a tattoo parlour in one. I would go see a six band bill there, and the kids doing stuff there would have the most insane changevoers after each set that the whole show could close in a few hours. I remember the first show I went to there, I just sat at the bar like an old man, chatting with the bartender (who was *insanely* good and now has his own place I believe) expecting a huge bill at the end. I think it came to about $30 in the end and he just laughed as he comped at least half my drinks. I met some good people there who would basically form my knowledge of the scene here. It's just a tattoo parlour now which is a real shame, that place was cool as hell.

Kreepy Tiki Tattoos And Boutique Fort Lauderdale, FL - Tiki with Ray

But the scene here is just as weird and seemingly disorganized as back home. Again, there's no foundation or central resource, I can't just go to one place and find out who's playing this month or check out new demos or anything. There's a lot of kids into it here, which is awesome, but it feels like a different thing every gig I go to. It's like South Wales ramped up to 10x where the venues change over even faster, and it's hard to keep tabs on things.

But these are mainly the local, DIY shows. For bigger gigs where I am (I won't include Miami because if you live here, you don't like going to Miami) there's a few venues that have been there for years and years who get the medium sized shows. I guess the most comparable would be if The Engine Room/MS1 hadn't been just a short term thing. These venues are big, professional, and expensive. I think for my Descendents ticket it cost me like $50 and it was absolutely packed. But it's cool that I could see a band like that still, and in my first month here local favourites Poison The Well swung by and did a show. Madball will turn up out of nowhere on shows that get booked with a weeks notice and place to a sell out. 

I didn't know Marilyn Manson formed out of here until a few years ago, they should totally come back and do a show in front of like 40 kids playing 90s era stuff.

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I dunno what the SW scene is anymore. Doom was big for ages but that seems to have died down. Noel is still plugging away doing a million gigs under various guises though!

Agreed that the Moon is a terrible venue, but I’ve seen some great bands in there in recent years as it seems to be the only place of its size to accommodate a lot of touring bands. I mostly go to gigs in Bristol though. The back room in Rough Trade is a nice little venue. 

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I don't think I've been to a gig in Cardiff in ages, think the last one may have been The Bronx.  Occasionally go to Le Pub for gigs, last few were Restorations, THiS, and also an acoustic set by Tom May from the Menzingers where he butchered a Clash song so badly I nearly got PTSD.

Head over to Bristol pretty regularly for touring bands from US/Canada who've been around a while - in the last couple of years I've seen both Pup and The Menzingers a few times, plus Propagandhi (one of the best gigs I've ever been to), Mighty Mighty Bosstones and more.  I'll go to London now and again as well and went to Slam Dunk last year.  

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Most the gigs I've bought tickets for this year have been for bands touring and the closest they've got to S Wales is Bristol. So mostly going there (or that was the plan).... it's no different for distance to me travelling to a gig in Swansea for me so not a real issue but would be nice to not have to go that far.  Don't regularly attend anywhere in Cardiff like I use to, will go to The Moon if there's band on I like but as others have said it's not great for bands now it's only downstairs. Even rarer that there's anything in Fuel / Clwb that I'd want to attend.  

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I've seen Crippler in Fuel and Rancour possibly also in Fuel. Both some time within the last 5 years. Actually Crippler was on my birthday.

My excuse for slack gig attendance is that I've lived in the South East of England for 12 years and I don't go to gigs there either!!

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New Le Pub is great. IMO better than old Le Pub. Better location, much better drink selection (like 1000% better), nicer sounding live room, bigger space for sitting and drinking, nice smoking area. The list goes on. If you've not been I highly recommend it.

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I definitely am looking forward to finally seeing new Le Pub whenever I'm home and able to get around more than The Village.

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I think like a lot of places, most bands are only interested in playing it safe to the bigger crowds - it seems to be that London, Leeds/Manchester, Glasgow and Birmingham are the top tier, with places like Bristol and Southampton being next up - I was involved with putting on shows in Plymouth for a good 5-6 years until the kids came along, and it got increasingly difficult to book bands, coupled with the fact that so many venues here and across the country are closing, it doesn’t make for a thriving scene unfortunately. 
 

 I think the way people consume music has changed the way things are massively as well - I recently had a conversation with an 18 year old who’s literally never even bought an album or been to a live show, because “everything’s online”. Granted they were more into “mainstream” music, and that’s only one example, but it was quite an eye opener for me.

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On 4/16/2020 at 6:07 PM, JayX said:

I definitely am looking forward to finally seeing new Le Pub whenever I'm home and able to get around more than The Village.

THERE'S A NEW LE PUB?!

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