Friday, April 07, 2017

Lunar eclipse

Just in case anyone was complacent enough to think that the severity of the multiple threats to the music venues clustered on Cardiff's Womanby Street was overstated, a sobering development: the announcement on Wednesday that the Full Moon was shutting its doors, with immediate effect.

A statement posted on their Facebook page explained that "our creditors have lost confidence in our long-term sustainability and taken action", inevitably citing "the current air of uncertainty" as a prime reason for the jitteriness - proof that the threats alone are proving damaging. If they do materialise, the results don't bear thinking about.

The statement did however also make reference to "some difficult trading", implying that footfall and bar takings weren't great and the venue could have been better supported. However, judging by the numerous disappointed and horrified reactions to the statement, it's evident that it built up a sizeable fanbase over the course of its five-year existence. The statement ended by urging people to "please support the other treasures we have" - something that is becoming increasingly vital.

I never got the opportunity to go to the Full Moon myself - I was looking forward to paying it a first visit on Monday to see PINS, but that's one of several shows that has had to be hastily rearranged (moving across the road to Clwb).

Of course, the Full Moon isn't the first victim of circumstances this year. On the contrary, the Moon Club was reopened as the Bootlegger in January, while the following month Dempseys closed to make way for Gareth Bale's Eleven Bar and Grill, a sports bar created in collaboration with Brains. Visiting the site recently, Bale chuntered on about "community" while apparently "he has helped put the drinks menu together, even though he doesn't drink, and he will even have his own beer on sale". For fuck's sake.

Mercifully, it's not all bad news. Local MPs Jo Stevens and Kevin Brennan have both publicly declared their support for the Save Womanby Street campaign, backing the call for the street to be given protected status. Decisions remain in the hands of Cardiff Council and the National Assembly - but it can't help that the campaign has a few friends in high places, rather than merely enemies.

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