Spillers Saturday Sessions: The Highlights

So it’s been a few weeks since the Spillers Saturday Sessions ended, and what a summer it was!

Every Saturday, folk gathered in the Big Little City exhibition to celebrate some of the finest music Wales has to offer from one of its beloved institutions, Spillers Records.

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Spillers Saturday Sessions No. 12: Christopher Rees

You’ve had to wait a while for the pictures from the final Spillers Saturday Session.

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Spillers Saturday Sessions No.10: Sweet Baboo

I’ve not taken photographs at the last couple of Spillers Saturday sessions – last weekend I missed it, and the week before it just didn’t “feel” right for some reason – there were other photographers there taking lots of shots, and sometimes when that happens I feel like I’m probably one too many and shy away from the action. But happily, this week I managed to get a good spot near the front and got my confidence back to take a few of the great Sweet Baboo.

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Spillers Saturday Sessions No. 7: H Hawkline

Hard to believe that 7 weeks have gone by since the first Spillers Saturday session, but here we are. Yesterday’s affair was another mellow session, with most people sitting on the floor to take in the beautiful tunes of H Hawkline, without his band. You’ll have to imagine them, if you like.

As usual, not many words – just straight on to the pictures. Enjoy! Next week: Meilir.

Spillers Saturday Sessions No.6: Martyn Joseph

I don’t think I’ve seen Big Little City quite so packed as for today’s performance by Martyn Joseph. Roars of applause and cheering rippled through the weird acoustics of the exhibition space as once again people sat down, stood up and gathered around to enjoy another free performance courtesy of the Spillers Saturday Sessions.

As always, I won’t bother with too many words. Just enjoy the pictures.

And find out more about Martyn on the Martyn Joseph website. And obviously, you can buy his albums at Spillers.

Oh and we’re now officially halfway through the Spillers Saturday Sessions run… unbelievable!

Spillers Saturday Sessions No.5: The Sunsets

Well it’s time for another set of photos from the latest Spillers Saturday Session – this time the Hayes was rockin’ and rollin’ with the Sunsets.

When was the last time you went to a gig and saw a pensioner climb on top of a double bass and play it at the same time? Well that’s the kind of crazyness that goes down with a gig by the Sunsets.

Stretching beyond the original 30 minutes promised as the crowd quite literally screamed for more (see the pics), we were treated to old classics such as Johnny B Goode, Runaway and Shakin’ All Over.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many people have such a good time in a museum before.

Without further ado, I present the Sunsets, big thanks once again to Spillers Records for these marvellous sessions, see you next week!

Spillers Saturday Sessions No. 4: Soft Hearted Scientists

Today saw the 4th in the summer’s line-up of free music performances hosted by Spillers Records as part of the Saturday Sessions at the Big Little City exhibition in the centre of Cardiff.

This week, Soft Hearted Scientists took to the stage, playing a mixture of existing material and new songs from their forthcoming album due out in August (head to Spillers to get your hands on a copy naturally!).

So without further ado, I’ll let you enjoy a few of the photos I took – I must admit I didn’t take that many as I was too busy enjoying the music this week 🙂

‘Being’ at The Wardrobe, High Street Arcade: Opening night photos

Last night I popped along to the opening of a new art show taking place in one of the empty shops of the High Street Arcade. It’s fantastic to see the empty units being used for something positive, and it always brings a new sense of excitement to the arcades when this kind of thing happens.

Taking place at the site of The Wardrobe, the men’s clothes shop that closed down last year after nearly 20 years of trading in the arcade, the art exhibition is hosted by December Lab the same people who organise Vertical Cinema over at Gwdihw.

I spoke to one of the organisers, Lee, last night about why they chose to exhibit in the arcades. He told me that originally they’d originally tried to exhibit in the Morgan Arcade but were met with costs that weren’t there for the High Street Arcade. Although the space in the Morgan Arcade is bigger, it’s fair to say that The Wardrobe has a great amount of character, especially upstairs.

I met two of the artists who are exhibiting, Jonathan Thomas and Garrett Lynch. Also on display is Henrik Hedinge, Freeman & Fine, Daniel Jeczalik and Liam O’Conner. Unfortunately exhibitor Inga Burrows has pulled out. The show focuses on the idea of ‘Being’ and uses video installation and other artforms.

One of the organisers of the exhibition, Lee, who told me he was delighted to see so many people at the opening.

Speaking to Garrett about his work was fascinating. A lecturer at the University of Glamorgan, he puts on ‘performances’ through Second Life, the virtual reality online world. As you’ll see in his portrait, he wears a sandwich board, with the phrase “I AM GARRETT LYNCH (IRL)” on it. This is the same as his virtual avatar wears, a play on both his nationality (Irish) and the abbreviation for “In Real Life.” It would probably take me far too long to explain in this post exactly what the performances involve, so the best thing you can do is go along to the exhibition to see it for yourself! And you can find more information on Garrett Lynch’s website.

Jonathan, who wasn’t so keen on having his photo taken but let me anyway, is displaying a video projection upstairs and is, according to the information leaflet, ‘An investigation into/with/through frames (aesthetic, spatial, temporal, epistemological, ontological, ideological…), offscreen space and the imaginary object. Again, it’s probably better if you just pop along to see the show.

You can see more pictures from the show in this post, and it runs until the 28th May. For more information, you can visit the Facebook event page – or just call into the shop the next time you’re in the city centre!

Jonathan Thomas' projection, upstairs in the exhibition

Liam O'Conner's piece, an 11 minute film, watch as the ice melts to reveal the picture behind it - every time I walked past it was different.

Freeman and Fine's work, single frame animation.

Art show ‘Being’ at The Wardrobe, High Street Arcade

It’s always a shame to see empty shops in the arcades, so when those spaces are filled, even temporarily, with art it’s fantastic news. The Wardrobe, which was for a long time a men’s clothes shop in The High Street Arcade will open its doors again starting from tomorrow (private view – 19th May) for an art exhibition by DecemberLab.

The exhibition is hosted by the same people who organise VerticalCinema and is a show loosely based upon the theme of ‘Being’, bringing together various artists working in the moving image (and related fields).

Those artists on display will include:

Garrett Lynch
Daniel Jaczalik
Jonathan Thomas
Freeman & Fine
Inga Burrows
Henrik Hendinge
Liam O’Conner

Private view and drinks starts on Thursday 19th May from 7pm, you are encouraged to bring a bottle. The exhibition runs until 28th May. If you are in town over the next few days I urge you to stop by and take a look, even if just to check out the beautiful unit that is The Wardrobe. I love the curvy shape and art-deco finishing so it’s nice to see it put to some good use.

I’ll be there tomorrow night, hoping to meet some of the artists involved with the show, and taking some pictures and portraits, which I’ll report back on as soon as I can.

More information on ‘Being’ can be found on the Facebook event page.