Curtain Call: The Other Room– Cardiff’s first ‘pub theatre’

The Other Room - Kate, Bizzy, David, Dan

Published on Cardiff AfterDark (14 January 2015)

AfterDark’s Dean Hodge speaks to The Other Room’s Directors Kate Wasserberg and Bizzy Day ahead of the launch of The Other Room next month.

Cardiff is a very exciting place to be right now as anyone lucky enough to live here will testify, with a rise in quality independent music venues and festivals, and the addition of quirky bars, boutique hostels and now the impending launch of the first ever ‘pub theatre’ within the Welsh capital. There seems to be a growing army of creative mavericks forming together to transform the city into a glowing hub for the artistic community.

Scratching away underneath the surface of the capital is a vibrant arts and theatre scene which until now has been criminally overlooked, a view shared by the visionary duo of Kate Wasserberg and Bizzy Day. Hence, they have both set out to launch their very own pub theatre, the first of its kind in Cardiff, teaming up with Dan Porter and David Wilson to give the theatre a home within the hidden gem of a bar that is Porter’s. What started as a small idea has eventually transformed into the soon-to-be-opened venue The Other Room Theatre, which is set to launch this year in Cardiff. Continue reading

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Album review: Some Kind of Leader ‘Dog Club’ – ‘A seductively, darkly psychedelic magic carpet ride through rock ‘n’ roll’s roots’

SKOL - Dog Club

Published on Cardiff AfterDark (13 January 2015)

Byline on Some Kind of Leader‘s official website

Never has the frustration of youth and the unabashed escapism of music been portrayed with as much colourful vigour and surging energy as on the debut offering from Some Kind of Leader.

Dog Club is the soundtrack which occupies the gap between the party the night before and the inevitable hangover that approaches. Breezy guitar riffs, laid-back vocals and warped melodies help create a musical psychedelic trip, with an undercurrent of lyrics that simultaneously capture hedonism and nihilism. SKOL paint themes of angst, bored youth and excess in surreal landscapes and earworm guitar hooks. Continue reading

New in town: The Safehouse – Interview with Tom Hughes

AfterDark’s Dean Hodge chats to co-creator and owner Tom Hughes during the first ever public unveiling of The Safehouse Hostel due to launch this year. (All photography by Henry Bird. Courtesy of Cover the Cake Productions)

Below right: Tom outside the hostel.

Safehouse Tom 2Following our previous tour of The Safehouse Hostel courtesy of one of the hostel’s co-owners Dan Wimpelberg, The Safehouse (based on Westgate Street in Cardiff) officially opened its doors to the public for the very first time on 4 January this year at its open-house event. While the building is not yet completed, this was less of a launch and more of a sneak peak at what is in store, as well as a chance for people to see the remarkable transformation of the building and the hard work put into restoring a previously vacant Grade-II listed Victorian building in the space of six months.

In addition, a social media campaign was launched in the week leading up to the open-house event, where people had to locate a set of keys hidden in four different venues in Cardiff – Porter’s (in their cinema room soon to be transported into the theatre venue The Other Room), Gwdihw, Metro’s and Urban Taphouse – and bring them to the hostel opening. The few who successfully managed to locate them were awarded the chance to win a prize stashed away in a safe, which they had to unlock by picking from a box of keys and successfully selecting the matching one. AfterDark’s Dean Hodge did manage to find one of the keys in Urban Taphouse, though sadly was unsuccessful in unlocking the safe. The honour went to Charlie Smith (host of The Comedy Den in Porter’s).

However, he was more fruitful in getting one of the co-creators and owners Tom Hughes to take time out of his busy schedule to speak to AfterDark. Read the full exclusive interview here, as Newport native and travel connoisseur Tom discusses how he first met Dan, how Safehouse was formed and what their original business idea was beforehand. Continue reading

AfterDark’s Ones to Watch in 2015: Helena-May – “Going solo is an exciting journey I’m looking forward to embarking on”

Helena-May

Published on AfterDark (13 Jan 2015)

Featured on the official Helena May website (14 Aug 2015)

The musical queen-of-all-trades that is Helena-May really needs no introduction. She has been the voice and the face of diverse acts – including the likes of The Siren Sisters, Miss May & The Magic, The May Duo, Super Chango and Man May’d to name just a few, as well as previous sessions with Thunder and the Union, Think Floyd and most recently Kokomo – and is practically an inescapable figure in the Welsh scene. 2015, however, marks the year where Helena-May officially launches herself as a solo artist.

Her EP released with Man May’d ‘Living at the Speed of Love’ is four slices of refined, funk-flavoured neo-soul laced with catchy jazz melodies, soulful grooves and topped with Helena-May’s effortlessly smooth, husky vocal. From the hazy romanticism of the title track to the melancholy-tinged reggae of I Dodged a Bullet, to the light-as-a-breeze soul of He’s a Dandy and bouncy, toe-tapping riffs of Tongue Ties and Twisted, each track encapsulates Helena-May’s ability to paint pictures of modern-day issues of life and romance within a tapestry of retro pop-tinted soul. Continue reading