Cardiff Music Scene
Wales, traditionally referred to as “the land of song,” with its rugged coastlines and mountainous national parks, has a distinctive Welsh language and Celtic culture. The capital Cardiff (2 hours by train from London), has a thriving musical scene and the world’s oldest record shop, Spillers Records, established in 1894.
St David’s Hall is the National Concert Hall and Conference Centre of Wales and sits on top of St. David’s Hall Shopping Centre. The ‘BBC NOW’ (BBC National Orchestra and Chorus of Wales) is the orchestra-in-residence. They provide surprisingly affordable tickets to classical concerts. St David’s Hall hosts other genres: jazz, soul, pop, rock, dance and r&b. The acoustically perfect auditorium seats 2000, while the L3 Lounge, mostly used for day concerts, holds 350. Located at St David’s Hall, The Hayes, Cardiff CF10 1AH
The Globe (originally a cinema) is Cardiff’s much loved hub of live music. They have a state of the art sound and lighting system and sophisticated stage facilities. With a capacity of 350, gigs running 7 nights a week, and an eclectic programme featuring the “who’s who” from the past 50 years of live music, it’s no wonder they’re on the touring circuit. Located at 125 Albany Rd., Cardiff, South Glamorgan CF24 3NS
Clwb ifor Bach was originally established as a Welsh language social club. Clwb ifor Bach is located in an unassuming three-story building with a bar, stage and dance floor on each level. This club focuses on homegrown acts, big names and also features dance music. They offer a wide range of music including reggae, folk, hip-hop, pop and rock. * Clwb is ‘Club’ in English. Located at 11 Womanby St., Cardiff CF10 1BR
Cafe Jazz is a hotel venue (with live jazz and blues most nights) known as one of the most famous jazz clubs in the world and a MUST for all jazz aficionados. For 21 years, Cafe Jazz has played host to not only British musicians, but a phenomenal list of world renowned performers. Location – Sandringham Hotel, 21 St. Mary St., Cardiff CF10 1PL
Dempseys is a 2-story Irish bar featuring live jazz, folk and rock bands. Located across from Cardiff Castle, the top floor bar is known as a great music venue with incredible performances. They have live Jazz every Tuesday and Wednesday and DJ sets Friday and Saturday.
Tip: Dempseys neighbor, Cardiff’s Castle, was originally a Roman Fort. But for the past 25 years, this heritage attraction has been home to the National College of Music and Drama. Located at 15 Castle St., Cardiff CF10 1BS
When You Go, Don’t Miss
Cardiff Castle, in the centre of Cardiff, is a must see for all visitors. Add the Wales Millennium Centre, National Museum and Art Gallery of Wales, Cardiff Bay and the Dr Who Experience to your list of ‘must sees’. Visit the “Must do list” from Visit Wales website for more ideas.
Music in Wales is almost synonymous with Male Voice Choirs. Groups like Morriston Orpheus Choir and Treorchy Male Voice Choir, have a world wide reputation. Choral singing has been traditionally expressed through sporting events, particularly rugby, the country’s national sport. In 1905, a first for an international sporting event, saw the singing of the national anthem, Wales’ Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau, to start the game.
Kellys Record, an institution for vinyl junkies, is currently stocking over 200,000 pieces of vinyl + CDs. Located at The Balcony, Cardiff Market, St Mary Street, Cardiff.
Spillers Records established in 1894, is the oldest record shop in the world and started off selling phonographs and other musical equipment. Today, it offers every type of music from Rock, pop, blues to world music recordings. Located at 27, The Morgan Arcade, Cardiff.
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Where to Stay
The Radisson Blu, located right in the heart of Cardiff, has 215 rooms and suites and is within walking distance of the bus and train stations. This 4 star property has large rooms and excellent service. Located at Meridian Gate, Cardiff, Bute Terrace, Cardiff CF10 2FL
The Park Plaza Hotel is ideally located in the centre of town, just a few minutes walk from many attractions and shopping. This four-star boutique-style hotel has 129 lovely rooms, a full service Health Spa and is fully air-conditioned. Located on Greyfriars Rd., Cardiff, CF10 3AL
Lincoln House Private Hotel is a Victorian property offering affordable luxury. They take ‘Bed and Breakfast’ to new heights. They’re merely a few minutes away from the bustle of city centre on Cathedral Rd., down the street from many coffee shops and fine eateries. There’s free parking and hi-speed wireless internet. Located at 118-120 Cathedral Rd.,Cardiff, CF11 9LO
It’s easy to get around Cardiff on foot, it’s a compact city all you need are good shoes and Google maps to discover all the city has to offer. Taxis are readily available if one is required. Cardiff is easily accessible from anywhere in the U.K.; just 2 hours away from London by train or 1 ½ hours from Heathrow Airport by car.