Tonight's event was at the Coal Exchange in Cardiff - a really grungy music venue in the Bay area. Previous appearances here included The Alarm, The Levellers, Van Morrison and Howard Marks, so Rob was in great company. The venue lent a really 'edgy' feel to the evening, and there was a lot more audience interaction than we have seen in many venues (Manchester apart ... but that is Manchester!).
We arrived into Cardiff around 2pm today, checked into the hotel and was able to spend a bit of time exploring the bay area - a redeveloped old dock and port, now a thriving commercial area with restaurants, pubs, the Welsh Assembly building, the stunning Opera House (with the stirring poem emblazoned on on the building in both Welsh and English "In These Stones/ Horizons/ Sing" - in welsh the word for sing here is Awen which means so much more than the English - it recalls Bardic tradition). We were able to relax and have some dinner looking out over the bay in some rare sunshine before heading off to the venue.
The building, The Coal Exchange, is over 100 years old and used to be, you guessed it, the Coal Exchange! That is, it is where the coal stocks from around the world were traded, and Rob performed on what was the trading room floor. Although all the redevelopment is great, I couldn't help but feel sad that this great music venue was going to be turned into expensive apartments for over-paid bankers!
Off to Shrewsbury today (my home town - I get to sleep in my bed!), where we are staying for the Wolverhampton gig.