Review: The Cardiff Sessions at The Cardiff Story

June 13, 2012 No Comments »

On May 18, The Cardiff Story Museum hosted an evening of live music by local performers called The Cardiff Sessions. Here guest blogger Jim Groves reviews the night.

There’s always something special about seeing live music in unusual locations.

Cardiff has been blessed with some of the curious venues it’s had down the years; The Point (RIP), Llandaff Cathedral, Cardiff Castle, and recently the National Museum, have all provided extraordinary surroundings in which to enjoy music.

Now joining the list of venues able to host magical nights of live music is The Cardiff Story Museum.

On 18 May, as part of this year’s Museums At Night, an annual after-hours celebration of the arts, The Cardiff Story hosted The Cardiff Sessions.

Co-curated by Clwb Ifor Bach and Spillers Records, The Cardiff Sessions saw five acts born of the city’s vibrant scene performing in the museum’s beautiful galleries.

Little Arrow, Miss Maud’s Folly, Evening Chorus, Spencer McGarry and The Gentle Good each performed captivating half hour sets that soared and swelled in the gallery’s high ceilings to create a spectacular sound.

A crowd of more than 200 people enjoyed the relaxed, informal atmosphere as the audience moulded themselves around the displays to get a good vantage point.

The performers played in front of a huge painting of Cardiff Docks in its prime, when Cardiff was one of the world’s industrial giants – a very different city to the one we know now, but one whose energy lives on in different ways – especially, on the evidence of The Cardiff Sessions, through its music.

Performance of the evening, for me, goes to Little Arrow, whose Pembrokeshire-inspired indie-folk couldn’t have been better suited to the surroundings. Front-man William Hughes’ rich, powerful voice fairly enveloped the crowd through songs at times soulful and maudlin, at others truly euphoric. I bet they wish they could play in museums all the time.

Huge thanks and congratulations to the organisers at The Cardiff Story, Clwb Ifor Bach and Spillers, and especially to the performers, including Georgia Ruth Williams, who MCd the night beautifully. All involved gave their time for free to give Cardiffians a truly enchanting evening and reason to be very proud of our city. More please!

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