The space—purportedly the place where the first million-pound cheque was signed—is stunning: High ceilings, dark-oak wood panelling, grand neo-classical architecture and perfectly set-up for Sneak's filter-infused, thumping and ever so dance floor-orientated house music. Sneak was superb—never once during his two hour set did he let up on the pace or energy, and what crowd were there were enthusiastically grooving away at the front of the main hall. In the middle of this mêlée, between the well-tuned F-One stacks, a real party was taking place.
Photo credit: Nancy Kingsley
Step outside this, however, and the atmosphere dropped off rapidly as the cavernous space fought for attention with the DJ. This is where I don't understand things: The price was right (affordable at ten pounds), the sound excellent, the space great and the DJ superlative. But Cardiff seems content with the average. Or at least not bothered to try something a little different.
Club culture in Cardiff is small with a growing band of loyal supporters who regularly fill small-scale venues with excellent parties. But when it comes to pushing things up to a bigger scale, few do it with less-than-mainstream dance music. As this night suggested, perhaps that's more to do with the city than with the promoters.