Thursday, 17 September 2009

National Concert Hall tears up its roots with search for tomorrow's Cool Cymru Set

Back in the 1990s the British music scene was overrun by the Taff-pack, an insurgence of Welsh musical talent that took the UK charts by storm. From Catatonia to the Stereophonics via the Manic Street Preachers – it was cool to be Cymraeg and what followed was a decade of Welshness that embraced the accent, promoted a modern image and put Wales on top of the music charts.

St David's Hall, the National Concert Hall of Wales, celebrated its 25th anniversary last year.
The venue is often best known for its world class acoustics for Orchestral Concerts, classical music and for evenings of comedy, music and dance. As the new decade continues the venue continues to evolve and embrace new ideas and trends in entertainment.

This year's Welsh Proms saw thousands of new audiences coming through the doors to see music ranging from Samba to Folk and Choro to Tango, Gamelan and Jazz - an exciting mix of musical genres. From October the Hall will be adding Rock, Pop, Reggae, Hip Hop, Ska and many more to its repertoire as they launch Blas* - a monthly night of music promoting a taste of the fresh Welsh sound.

Blas* begins on October 20th with one of the UK's best emerging bands, Audiocalm, alongside Cuba Cuba and the Whistling Biscuits. This evening will not only launch Blas* but also a new music venue at the Concert Hall called the L3 Lounge. The L3 Lounge is a 300 seat capacity venue which will play host to the most wide ranging programme of live music in Wales. As well as Blas*, the L3 Lounge will be home to Roots Unearthed, a programme of World and Roots music, live Jazz, lunchtime concerts as well as stand-up comedy and theatre for Children.

Blas* already has 6 dates planned between now and May and St David's Hall is calling all Welsh bands to get in touch and apply to take part in this unique musical showcase.

Roger Hopwood, General Manager for the Hall explains that St David's is now a venue that transcends all musical tastes; 'to avoid using the cliché, we offer something for everyone, but in this case it's absolutely true. We've brought world-class, world, jazz and roots music to the capital for many years and our orchestral programme is second to none. Blas* is offering something new and unique again - emerging Welsh talent a professional platform to perform on and a younger audience an evening at a music venue which belongs to them in the heart of the city.'

St David's Hall is dedicated to bringing the best live music to the Welsh capital and proudly boasts its eclectic programme but Mr Hopwood admits that more needs to be done to encourage the Welsh musicians of tomorrow. 'We had the Texaco Young Musician of Wales finalists at the venue earlier this year, with the finest young classical musicians taking part. Blas* will essentially do the same thing but is not genre specific. If you are a Welsh band, and you write your own material then this is for you. The Level 3 Lounge is a professional venue that has performers such as Jamie Cullum, Seth Lakeman, Amy Winehouse and Cerys Matthews perform here - so if you want you would like to apply for your chance to perform then just get in touch."

With the first three dates already confirmed St David's Hall, the organisers of Blas* are looking for more bands to fill the remaining three dates. To apply simply contact Natalie Ollis on 029 2087 8511 or email


  1. Being a frequent attendee of many and varied concerts at St Davids, this sounds really interesting and worth having a looksee....

  2. Thanks for the comment Ruth - I'll certainly be trying to see the 'Biscuits


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