Fred and Grace’s: if you’re not feeling broody before this post, you probably will be after

Fred and Grace’s was one of the shops I wanted to do from the start of this project. It’s probably a bit odd for a woman with no children to immediately know this shop, but what can I say, every time I walk past it I can’t help but do a head “awww” at the tiny little clothes in the window.

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Wide angle deliciousness from the Royal and Morgan Arcade.

One of my absolute tip-top favourite things about the arcades is the stunning architecture. When you look up something magical happens. It’s a real wow moment, and I still get it even after seeing them probably thousands of times. I took some photos in the Morgan Arcade a few months back when it was dark. They were pretty good, but when the sun is shining and the sky is blue, a whole other dimension comes alive.

Just gorgeous.

I don’t need many words to introduce this post. Just enjoy the photos.

Feedback welcome!

And don’t forget to check out these other wide-angle photos:

High Street Arcade
Castle Arcade
Morgan Arcade

Record Store Day 2011 – as it happened at Catapult Vinyl and Spillers Records

Yesterday I had, quite simply, one of the most enjoyable days since I started the project. In fact, no scratch that, one of the most enjoyable days I’ve ever had. Quite a bold claim, I know, but that’s Record Store Day for you.

An early start saw me rock into town for about 9am. A concept incredibly alien to me on a Saturday morning. Just so you know, Cardiff city centre is great at that time of morning, nobody about, bloody peaceful. Anyway, back to business.

I swung by Spillers to check out the queue. I think I was a bit naive as I thought there might only be a few ultra die-hard fans lining up to get their hands on the many exclusive releases that were out yesterday, but to my surprise, and utter delight, the queue sneaked all the way around the store and towards Metros, get in!

A Catapult staff member modelling an exclusive record and exclusive t-shirt for Record Store Day

At Catapult, the day started off a little bit quieter, but momentum built there as the day went on as DJs took to the decks in the basement area. I don’t think I’ve ever done so many circuits of Cardiff city centre before as I flitted between the two venues keen to capture as much as I could from each.

Returning to Catapult to see Nu:Tone and Logistics do their set, I was confronted by a wall of testerone as the already tight space was packed with teenage boys – I’ve never felt more female (and old) in my life. Ha! Still, the biggest surprise of the day came as I found myself really, really enjoying the music coming out of the massive speakers. I don’t know whether it was the atmosphere or something else (before you ask no, I wasn’t under the influence) but I found myself getting really into a genre I’ve previously not really found much love for. Maybe I have uncovered a hidden love for dance music? Who knows… I am keen to find out though!

Heading to the less humid temperatures of Spillers for the end of the day, Ashli very kindly let me in the office to get an awesome aerial point of view of the shop over the way that had been converted especially for the day. The original plan for the second shop was for it to open after the “queue had died down.” Well, by 2pm it was still going strong so I don’t think the children’s creativity area ever happened, but Neil from Dizzyjam was busy making t-shirts, the fanzine (in which you could find my original blogpost on Spillers – eek), t-shirts and posters were on sale and people were generally milling about waiting for the bands to start.

First Meilir appeared at around 4, and Y Niwl came on about 5ish. A small, but perfectly formed, crowd boogied away inside and outside the shop and once again, I went into the office to watch (spy) on the revellers below.

By the end of the day my legs felt like they were about to buckle under me, but they can have been nothing compared to the tiredness that must have been felt by all the wonderful people involved in making Record Store Day a truly spectacular event, so this post, and these pictures are dedicated to the brilliant staff at both Spillers and Catapult, and especially Ashli, Grace, Simon and Lucy – I really do hope you like them. And for both them and the rest of you reading this, there is more pictures below, and even more on Flickr…. a lot of pictures for this day! You can also see some pretty awesome photos from my friend Simon Ayre who was also at the day… he even made it to the special RSD Future of the Left gig at Clwb Ifor Bach in the evening…. check out his Flickr page.

Here’s to Record Store Day 2012!

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Spillers Mark II

The office at Spillers, where the magic happens...

The wall of testosterone at Catapult...

Y Niwl playing at Spillers Mark II

Spillers owner Ashli Todd