St David's Hall
Some attempts have been made to bring culture to the masses with this
bizarre venue. Often holds orchestral recitals and the best of world
music, but you are equally likely to find the Chuckle Brothers here.
Smaller than the Millennium Centre, this is a useful place to know about.
It is also one of the ugliest buildings in Cardiff. Back when they did
not like playing live, B&S played here.
Chapter Arts Centre
A former school building has been converted into the Chapter. This lovely
live venue has a monthly folk night on a Sunday and puts on a wonderful
mix of left field nights and mini festivals. Part of a larger arts complex
with cinema/gallery and one of the best bars in town.
15 Castle Street
Opposite the castle in the city centre, this is normally just a club
but has been known to put on slightly ramshackle band nights. Does not
seem to have any plan to when a band will play, but they tend to be
good when they turn up.
Cardiff University Students Union
Very much the traditional couple of thousand capacity venue at a university.
Some shows are restricted to students and most carry some sort of age
As with other venues in the Glee chain, this is firstly a stand up comedy
club, but sometimes they get bored and put on bands. Not a bad place
to see someone play if you like sitting down at little tables. Reminds
me of a bad jazz bar, but I should not be trusted. Part of the Cardiff
Bay development so a bit out of town.
Clwb Ifor Bach
11 Womanby Street
Brilliant live venue. Can be trusted to put on an eclectic range of
small bands. If you are Welsh you will play here and every good Welsh
band has. Used by many of the local DIY promoters, it can be relied
on to have something worth seeing every week.
Nice little grotty indie venue. The classic NME style hovel is the most
constant venue in town and has live music pretty much every night. If
you want your traditional guitar driven alternative music, this is the
place to be. Used for the NME tour and anything BBC Wales tend to do.
The kind of place keeping live music going and should be applauded for
Cardiff International Arena
Mary Ann Street
The second biggest venue in town can be relied on to pull in some crowd
pleasing big bands. Normally full of chart centred pap and childrens
television characters doing whatever it is they do during "Fireman
Sam Live" or what have you, it can occasionally draw in a good
band. I guess it is a 10,000 ish capacity when the seats are taken out
and the beer is not that stupidly priced. As good as venues like this
Next to the Welsh Assembly building exists a large concert venue. It
is the best looking building in town and worth seeing if only from the
outside, though the wooden auditorium is also a work of art. Shares
duties with the St David's Centre for putting on "serious"
music, but likes to sneak a Big Camp Musical in now and then as well
as big name leftfield comedians. Not sure if any bands actually play
there but is well worth knowing about
It is a castle, a bloody huge one at that. For some reason Meatloaf
was allowed to sing in its grounds once. I add this more as a warning
than anything else.
It is flippin huge! 70,000 people can be packed in to watch the biggest
of live acts. Every so often they go crazy and put some kind of all
day festival on which can be quite good fun. The place to see the likes
of Oasis, the Foo Fighters and Take That. Obviously also the home to
major sporting games. If you are trying to find it in Cardiff, frankly
you are not in Cardiff. It is huge and could not be more central. Is
perhaps best to avoid the area when large football matches are on as
it completely ruins the atmosphere of the city
The Coal Exchange
The Exchange Buildings, Mount Stuart Square, Cardiff Bay
I have not actually been here, but lots of bands seem to get put on.
Very popular with the local Forecast Collective who over the last year
have put on many of Cardiff’s best gigs.
Mount Stuart Square, Cardiff Bay
Badly positioned venue with a seemingly random policy on who is allowed
to play. Rescued by putting on some truly great bands and being in a
former church. Loads of atmosphere as long as the yuppies who swarm
nearby are kept out. A risk worth taking for when it is having a good