As of yesterday, The Full Moon, a Cardiff favourite and staple venue in the musical mecca of the city, Womanby Street, shut its doors for the final time. Following just under two months of scrutiny from big business’ and planning permission over Womanby Street, including the proposed building of an apartment block adjacent to another notable music venue as well as the planning of a J.D Wetherspoon hotel, the Moon had no choice but to bid farewell to an abundance of bitterly disappointed music fans in the ‘diff, myself included.
Womanby Street is such a vital cultural hub in the city it almost can’t be put into words, it is practically the sole area in Cardiff that the artistic community can perform and display their work amongst likeminded individuals who all cherish the street. The Moon was a personal favourite of mine as at the age of sixteen they were willing to give my band a shot, giving us the opportunity to play our very first headline show. This instilled in me a belief that grassroots attitudes and independent venues are something to always strive to support, giving a chance to young, up and coming bands who are fresh faced and want the experience is something that encapsulates Womanby so well. I’ve watched my mate’s bands play venues from The Moon to Fuel and even Clwb Ifor Bach countless times, as well as a number of my favourite touring acts such as Nai Harvest and Daylight.
The closure of The Moon Club truly is a shame, but what it really reinforces is the need for anyone in Cardiff, South Wales, or further afield if you believe in the communal spirit of the cities music scene, to support the “Save Womanby Street” campaign in any way you can. They’ve been doing a brilliant job in raising awareness of just how important Womanby is to Cardiff’s cultural past, present and future. Not to mention the livelihoods of promoters, bar staff and owners who keep the fire burning and work extremely hard in giving the punters of Cardiff their favourite bands and most memorable nights out. They’ve even gained support from local Welsh Labour Assembly members, Julie Morgan and Jenny Rathbone. Both want to protect these timeless venues from the claws of capitalistic big business in the city.
So if you’re not up to much this weekend and you find yourself not too far from the best street to grace this city, get yourself a chippy up Caroline street, catch a gig with your mates, and raise a Red Stripe to keeping music alive in the capital, save Womanby Street.
–Words by Gavin Owen