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an artistic outlook on travel

CARDIFF, WALES

PLUS

‘THIS SCENE IS MORE ALIVE THAN EVER’ WHY TRAVEL TO CARDIFF? CARDIFF FILM FESTIVAL ARTS OF THE WORLD


photograph by mary harvey

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BLE OF CONTENTS

WHY TRAVEL TO CARDIFF? 5 MUST DO’S IN CARDIFF 5 TIPS TO CONQUERING JETLAG ARTS OF THE WORLD 5 BASIC WELSH PHRASES CARDIFF FILM FESTIVAL 5 TIPS TO TRAVELING ABROAD THIS SCENE IS MORE ALIVE THAN EVER 5 TOP WELSH BANDS TO KNOW

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photograph by mary harvey

an artistic out

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look on travel

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ca ra c c rid aiad cfafrirdifdf rdfff by: PATRICK E. TYLER

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why travel to

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a ca c r d d a i r d 7

photograph by mary harvey

travel to

why travel to

why travel to


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ohn Wake worked the streets of Cardiff for 27 years as a Welsh policeman, and he looks out at the world from a face that has taken a few bare-fisted punches. Not that he didn’t give back as good as he got, he says, displaying a well-scarred fist. Back then, in the 1960’s and 70’s, the beat cop was the law, working without radio or supervision, and his domain was known as Tiger Bay, a bleak warren of tenements, brothels and bars strewn around the dilapidated port of Cardiff. Since then, almost everything has changed, including Mr. Wake. He got out of police work in 1994 because he didn’t want to become a “right-wing bigot.” He wrote a play, but there was no money for him in literature, even in the land of Dylan Thomas. So he bought a double-decker tour bus, and now runs a business inventing and designing tartans and kilts for the Welsh, expropriating a Scottish tradition because, he says, the Welsh could use the money and a national dress. At 59, Mr. Wake speaks with a raw sense of history about this land of mists on the western edge of Britain. Mostly, he can testify to the transformation of Cardiff’s old waterfront from crumbling, coal-era hasbeen, to the gleaming and cool cultural capital of the Welsh. The waterfront used to be a sea of mud, ship channels and cranes. Now it is a near-continuous crescent of hotels, apartments and commercial buildings staggered among the concrete piers, ship basins and boardwalks that overlook the 500-acre freshwater bay impounded behind a low-slung dam, or barrage. The barrage was constructed in the 1990’s to stop a 35-foot daily tidal swing from turning the whole estuary of the Taff River into mud flats twice a day. Now it looks a bit like Lake Geneva, without the fountain.

Cardiff will reach a new milestone in its strategy to become a modern capital and the locus of Welsh culture and industry this month with the opening of the Wales Millennium Center, a $180 million performing arts arena. The first program, honoring renowned Welsh artists, was scheduled for last Friday. The Welsh National Opera and other national troupes were also scheduled this weekend. Tickets to the opening performances are being distributed in a national lottery, but a full musical season will follow. The Millennium Center is no ordinary place for symphony, opera and theatrical drama. The architect Jonathan Adams says he was quite conscious that the volume of the theater (it is 140 feet high to accommodate the fly tower that carries a load of 90 backdrops above the stage) would make it the largest structure on Cardiff Bay. “We wanted the building to have a confidence - not to be a timid structure - confidence in its presence,” Mr. Adams said. So he put the theater under a sloping roof of bronze-colored steel. It is not a dome, but an asymmetrical humpback pulled down on one side to greet the public with a massive flattened expanse where a marquee might hover. There he has carved the words of the poet Gwyneth Lewis - in Welsh, “Creating truth like glass from inspiration’s furnace,” and alongside, in English: “In these stones horizons sing.”

CROESO!

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must do’s in cardiff... 1. Discover Cardiff Castle: inspiring and flamboyant in the centre of the city. 2. Take a tour of the stunning, and the magnificent Millennium Stadium located in the very centre of the city. 3. Enjoy the panoramic views across Cardiff Bay at the Cardiff Bay Visitor Centre, and discover the behindthe-scenes locations of hit television shows ‘Torchwood’ and ‘Doctor Who’. 4. Experience the culture of the Chapter Arts Centre – a gallery, museum and cinema where you can view all kinds of art work displayed by locals, and others from around the world. 5. Discover the top music locations in Cardiff, the city having an extremely active social life, ranging from venues where bands play, and clubs where you can drink and dance up until 3 A.M.

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tips to conquering jet lag... 1. Take advantage of night flights: If you’re one of the lucky ones who can sleep on planes, DO! When you get on board, let the flight attendants know you don’t want to be disturbed for movies or meals. Then slip off your shoes, get comfortable and sleep as long as you can. You’ll feel much better when you arrive at your destination. Make sure there are no layovers or changeovers en route, so your sleep patterns aren’t disturbed. 2. Switch to local time: As soon as you land, switch to local time immediately since this will help you adjust quicker. For instance, if you arrive in Rome at 8 a.m. feeling sleepy since it’s only 2 a.m. at home, try not to take a snooze. Instead take a stroll, have a cup of java, visit the Coliseum and do anything to stay awake for the day. 3. Herbal tricks: Our bodies secrete a natural hormone into our bloodstreams at night to help us sleep. The drug Melatonin acts as this hormone and fools your body into believing it’s evening. Melatonin is now available (though not yet FDA approved) in pill form, over-the-counter and at health food stores. Take it before boarding the plane for night flights or at bedtime when you reach your destination. 4. Aromatherapy to the rescue: Lavender and geranium (in oils and body creams) help some people sleep. If, on the other hand, you need something to keep you energized, try rosemary and eucalyptus oils. Shops specializing in aromatherapy products also offer a variety of blends. 5. Food for thought: Avoid alcohol, caffeinated drinks and big, heavy meals in flight. If you’re traveling at night, eat a highprotein breakfast (bran cereal) and lunch (tuna fish) to keep your energy level up during the day, and have a high-carbohydrate meal for dinner (pasta, meat).This may help you sleep solidly the night of your flight.

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ARTES MUNDI ARTES MUNDI ARTASROTFS TOHFETWHEOWR ORLD LD

photograph by mary harvey

by: ADRIAN PACI

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ARTES MUNDI rtes Mundi is an international art exhibition and prize that celebrates emerging artists from around the world who discuss the human condition. This exhibition presents art that questions who we are and the societies we live in. From fresco and drawing to photography and film, Artes Mundi 4 explores different worlds and experiences through contemporary art. Eight artists have been shortlisted from research and more than 500 nominations. One of them will be awarded the Artes Mundi Prize in mid-May. At £40,000, it is the UK’s largest prize of its kind. Live Guides, who have met all the artists, are on hand to answer questions, lead tours, provide school and educational group visits and present activities for families and during the holidays.

. . . E D U L C N ARTISTS I

make raphy and film and shows how people Olga Chernysheva uses photog society. to wish sense of their lives in an ever-changing t in ing the Je c h fa g s w e i u s ins no f ion and is t n a u d it a s l n a o a us politic er ents ive al he Israeli t t u g n s o i n s v i e s v m cu a how rtana fo s. alie ciety. sco p al ele ores l p m Yael Ba x lm s e fi e r ngs y in her Dju s in so a fr unive k drawi vents communit s e e k n a i u b l e e ian rat ged va ned se th h Ind istory and i u g u a o r M r n a e th po it ted h a & has ch ac to ex s. Bryc as presen v o e P d i l m an ah ma munis ian skills world Fern itten medi s r a d r K om A s his rent and w ara ll of c n l use diffe Gu the fa r ou how g how of resistance, highlightin t ac an as rk wo s ke ma on. Chen Chieh-jen e caught up in globalisati os th ts ec aff ism er um ns labour and co Artes Mundi is funded by the Welsh Assembly Government, Cardiff Council and the Arts Council of Wales and through a partnership with Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales. The principal supporters of Artes Mundi 4 are Bank of America Merrill Lynch and St David’s Dewi Sant. Other support comes from Sky Arts, Western Mail, Admiral, Legal & General, Confused.com, Starbucks, First Great Western, FBA, UWIC, Arts & Business Cymru, University of Glamorgan, Colwinston Charitable Trust, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, Foyle Foundation, Waterloo Foundation, Garfield Weston Foundation, Derek Williams Trust, Derek Hill Foundation, Gwendoline and Margaret Davies Charity, CASW and Wales Arts International.

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basic welsh phrases when traveling.... 1. PLEASE TO MEET YOU:

Mae’n dda gen i gwrdd â chi 2. EXCUSE ME:

Esgusodwch fi 3. WHERE’S THE TOILET?

Ble mae’r toiled? 4. WHAT IS YOUR NAME?

Be(th) ydy dy enw di? 5. MY HOVERCRAFT IS FULL OF EELS

Mae fy hofrenfad yn llawn llyswennod

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t a m r o f t t a a l m p r t o f n t e l a l a p T t n Tale

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Cardifffilm filmfestival... festival... Cardiff T

he 13th annual International Film Festival of Wales promises a showcase of 50 films from around the world over an eight-day celebration in Cardiff. Beginning on 22 November, the event also aims to promote the “wealth of talent” in Wales from new directors and filmmakers.

Alongside the films, young filmmakers and students can enjoy a series of events including masterclasses, seminars and workshops as part of the Future Creative programme. Paul Brannigan, Director of Labrats “Future Creative is a great meeting-place for people to be inspired by the filmmakers, the directors and producers,” said Ms Owen.

Speaking at the media launch on Tuesday, event producer Mari Beynon Owen said: “It’s very important to have the festival in Cardiff because it gives the film industry in Wales a platform for promoting their work.”

The festival also seeks to establish Cardiff as a centre of animation, with a “spectacular” programme which includes three European premieres of major animated feature films.

Opening the festival is Happy Now?, a black comedy set in fictional Welsh town and starring Ioan Gruffudd. Director Phillipa Collie-Cousins said: “The festival is very important for me personally as I am from Cardiff, and it is important for the film as well. “Festivals are vital for a film like this as they breathe life into it and give it a platform to be released from.” “I am particularly keen for the film to do well at Cardiff and, if it does, I think we know we have something that other people will want to see.” The event was also praised by Paul Brannigan, the writer/director of quirky comedy Labrats, which will be premiered at the festival “The film was shot mainly in north east Wales, and it is great for us that the first showing of it is inWales, especially since a lot of Welsh talent was used during its making.” “Cardiff is a great place,” he said, “and I like the idea of members of the public coming off the street and watching the film, because that is who it is aimed at.”

“We have people from outside Wales coming just for the animation festival and that’s something we want to develop.” said Ms Owen. One film will also scoop the DM Davies Award, which has been described as a “massive stepping stone” for directors.The UGC cinema is partly hosting the festival Previous winners of the award include Justin Kerrigan (Human Traffic) and Sara Sugarman (Very Annie Mary). It is the first year that the festival has been held at the UGC, as well as at Chapter, and it is hoped that the city centre location will help to encourage more young people to the festival. “We are aiming to expand, and possibly have a longer festival, but you have to grow these things gradually,” said Ms Owen. “The film distributors now see Cardiff as a place where they want to try out new films and new directors,” she added.

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tips while traveling abroad... 1. Register so the State Department can better assist you in an emergency: Register your travel plans with the State Department through a free online service at https://travelregistration.state.gov. This will help us contact you if there is a family emergency in the U.S., or if there is a crisis where you are traveling. In accordance with the Privacy Act, information on your welfare and whereabouts will not be released to others without your express authorization. 2. Sign passport, and fill in the emergency information: Make sure you have a signed, valid passport, and a visa, if required, and fill in the emergency information page of your passport. 3. Leave copies of itinerary and passport data page: Leave copies of your itinerary, passport data page and visas with family or friends, so you can be contacted in case of an emergency. 4. Check your overseas medical insurance coverage: Ask your medical insurance company if your policy applies overseas, and if it covers emergency expenses such as medical evacuation. If it does not, consider supplemental insurance. 5. Familiarize yourself with local conditions and laws: While in a foreign country, you are subject to its laws. The State Department web site at http://travel. state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1765. html has useful safety and other information about the countries you will visit.

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by: CHRIS MUGAN

‘This scene is more A new sound is shaking the valleys

A A new new sound sound is is shaking shaking the the valleys valleys A new sound is shaking the valleys A new sound is shaking the valleys A A new new sound sound is is shaking shaking the the valleys valleys 26


alive than ever...’ A new sound is shaking the valleys

A new sound is shaking the valleys A new sound is shaking the valleys A new sound is shaking the valleys A new sound is shaking the valleys A A new new sound sound is is shaking shaking the the valleys valleys 27


presthe im rts , s k c o ed d a spo revitaliz tre and o the FA n e C ith its host t . illennium sive M hat has played oubt on a roll t d o m n stadiu iff is al, Card which Cup fin scene, ic s u m s as betabout it cruffy port w than t a h w But ight n its s f the n ell whe h fared w n for ladies o go, the Wels a w s o n r n a a k r e y vib t ter as? Ten ing centre of a iv d a r zz Preachope s the bu Manic Street tonia. a w l a it cap Cata d by cene le Animals and e music s e to th y r d r r Fu ely e g e e t p is s u S it e r , s mo er d as ere is a eys, dominate promih t w o N vall . Most of the ore set tine, Funeral c d sound r a h rant Valen by a vib ullet For My phets, who en B o r e year ostp nent ar d and L hit earlier this isn ie r F one For A Transm number m Liberation a ise. d e y jo ible No , albu is t V n t e r in r r u p tic with c rock im s, The Automa ie d in r n cke erage sion o pop ro ing und ith y ly la d p d , u e c Even ates w is scen . ming m ut of th grew o rdiff and beco hants Jarcrew a c r C e gigs in amo m s scre infamou

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“The scene is definitely more vibrant and alive now than ever. There has never been a shortage of amazing bands in Cardiff, making running a singles club a piece of piss. There are more promoters, venues and bands than I’ve ever known, though on the downside, if I hear one more Stereophonics soundalike I may top myself.” Boobytrap is set to release “Wanna See You Die” from the Richard James album as a single in the new year, while its latest signing is Frommar, a typically intense outfit from nearby Newport. Proctor, though, still gnashes his teeth over missing out on the hotly-tipped Los Campesinos!, a jangle pop group made up of Cardiff University students and already making a splash with their sunny sound. “They’re probably the most fought over band in the industry at the moment,” Proctor sighs, suggesting the band are poring over contacts from nine labels.

” r e v e n a h t ” r w e o v n e e n v a i l h a t d w n o a n t e n v i a ” l r r a b e i v d v e n e a r n o a t h n m t a r y l b w i e o t v i n n e e r fi v o i e l d m a s y i d l “Th“eThsceensceene is deefifinnitietely more vibrant an d s i e n e c s “The

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do Dr wnb Sw one eat at ans , alt col vib Car ea n er our ta ran diff ativ ego form po pped t e , is e, a of one le p C g rti ng into ctro art ain assi y sel “T clu by nic of t curr dy ecti pr her b pro a s he en Phi on e o pr m ce ar tly llip fro su du is om ot ne ea a s. ’s me ppo cers a g s T m ot ing r r er ve that sm tude his ve t C t,” an ow s a nu d i aro nues Ro ll b nt e assi Ros nig ng n s un an tr ut as dy, tro ht um Th d d s on we we n e s in ber Re is p Ca up a c l x l C o rd nit or rti we pla ar f b a iff. c d e s i d n e r ed el s, ula i s d f th e e th , the ectr anot r ni pr . “W f tha roo clu om h t m da oug re oni her ght ot en we b to ble h gr was c bia loc was in p r om g t we for com ros adu no s. W al l run ot he e ter ally sce he abel by Pl m er. ” th ug T live out of a it h ne n th wit Ma tio e su wo, at of t rtis as b to c e la h a chin su n ( ppo me reg he ts t uilt onn bel de e Its ppo WM rt o anw ular stud hat up ect star fim pri rt t F), f th hile C io a hav a f wit tSti emb me he an e W , has ardif nd e st orm h, 60 cks er o mo cou org els be f sh now arte ima Ft and f Ei ver ntry anis h M nefi ow pe d th nag Dol for ghtie is H ’s c atio usic ted case re l n W eme s. Ro mer s ind uw Wreat se Fou from s. ive t MF nt n “It str ma ie il u d ne ’s gr for cour on nag stap liam ind p t ah u e s o l to r,” R eat su se, as b r o es T , on stry pp tho ee f N he ce . th mu ost hav or u n wo e W sic ron ing tin gh on ewp Poo a p c M s g r e o h on ay o ing d. F W also a m rt’s of at And wo fere s. “W ple fi els p us h rais ic . ven the the uld nce he ght mu es s ue p y n i b n , s o rob tak e t or we g y sic . f a lem e a he di co ou r r u ce e d rta s w strat sp n’t n ldn’ corin e f egi rea ee t g siz ace c v din d o e h li ie g to er ke w, l the , e i th oo nC e kard lack iff. ”

His label may not be in a position yet to challenge the majors that snapped up bands such as Catatonia and Gorky’s, but at least Richard James can release a record that fans around the world can snap up. Beyond the shiny new buildings,

CARDIFF ISAS INDUSTRIOUS AS EVER....

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5

top welsh bands to check out....

4. The Blackout: A screamo band from Merthyr Tudfyl, formed out of boredom. They’ve shared the stage with the likes of Funeral For A Friend, Fightstar, Lostprophets and Biffy Clyro. Their mini-album, ‘’The Blackout! The Blackout! The Blackout!’’ is a brilliant collection of riffs and screaming. Were niminated at last years Kerrang Awards for the Best New British Band, but lost out to Enter Shikari. Another of my favourite bands, and due for a big year in 2007. Also apperared on Kerrangs New Breed Album. Definitely one to watch this year! 5. Bullet For My Valentine: These Bridgend boys have been described as the ‘’best British Metal band in years’’. Their mix of shouting, meaty riffs, rifle like drum work, and guitar solos to match the best of them have earned them the respect and praise from contempories and fans alike. Their mini-album, ‘’Bullet For My Valentine’’ was a great success, and paved the way for their first full length album, titled ‘’The Poison’’. Incorporating Heavy, Thrash and Melodic Metal into their music, has granted them an unique sound. Their new album, due for release later this year has been described by Matt Tuck, lead singer, as being as ‘’heavy as Slayer’’. Needless to say, I’m excited!

1. Funeral For A Friend: Arguably the UK’s finest band, FFAF, hailing from all over the South Wales valleys have had a very good ride so far. ‘’Casually Dressed and Deep in Conversation’’ was released in 2003 to critical acclaim, and the follow up ‘’Hours’’ (2005) carried on the tradition. Their third album is expected to be released this Summer. FFAF have headlined the Reading and Leeds Festivals, and received a Kerrang Award for Best British Band in 2005. FFAF are one of my favourite bands. I’ve seen them live twice, and strangely sound even better live than what they do on the albums!’ 2. Lostprophets: From the town of Pontypridd in the South Wales Valleys comes the rock sound of lostprophets. Voted ‘’Best British Band’’ and ‘’Best Album’’ by Kerrang in 2006 has increased sales of their latest release, ‘’Liberation Transmission’’ through the roof. The band have wriiten heavy, melodic and poppy music in all three of their studio albums, and are argued by many as the Best British Band at this moment in time. Are partly responsible for the increase in fringes you see everywhere. They will also be headlining this years The Full Ponty on the Saturday, in their home town of Pontypridd. 3. Kids In Glass Houses: KIGH are a Powerpop fivesome from Cardiff. Their melodic pop rock is great fun to listen to, and to dance to also! Like the others, apperared on Kerrangs New Breed album last year. Are currently supporting Hundred Reasons on their UK Tour.

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A travel magazine based on the music and arts of a specific city in the world.

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