Tuesday, March 28, 2017

You can't stop the rock

Stop me if you've heard this one before: popular Cardiff music venue under threat of closure following the complaints of a lone disgruntled local resident. Yep, what's currently happening to Fuel is exactly what happened to the Point, which ultimately caused the latter to shut its doors for good.

It seems that a new resident in one of the nearby flats has taken exception to the city centre rock club, first moaning in person to staff and then taking his grievance to the council, who have taken the resident's side and issued Fuel with a noise abatement order. I remain utterly dumbfounded that people can knowingly move into a vibrant area and have the sheer pigheaded gall to immediately set about trying to shut it down. Fuckwits. It would be like if we had moved into our new house at Christmas and immediately demanded that the train line at the bottom of our garden be unused between the hours of 11 and 8.

Needless to say, Fuel owner Rob Toogood is making use of the advice and expertise of the Music Venue Trust in preparation for the fight ahead, while the news makes the establishment of the Save Womanby Street campaign all the more timely and important. With Wetherspoons set to develop a hotel above their Gatekeeper pub, which backs onto Womanby Street, and no sign of the "agent of change" principle being adopted any time soon, the likelihood of further threats to Cardiff's music scene and nightlife look imminent.

I'm not a regular visitor to Fuel, but it's certainly the club I've been to most in the last few years (not saying much given my advancing years, admittedly...). It has the same cheerfully sweaty, friendly, lively character as Rock City had back in the day, and as such it would be a terrible shame to see it shuttered.

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