“I’m proud where I am from” beams angelic Welsh songstress Laura Evans, furthering “Even though I moved away so young.
Just 20 miles down the road from her Cynon Valley roots it’s so clearly evident that this talented lass will never let her keen sense of identity slip. So much so that, whilst out in Nashville, she penned “Take Me Back Home”, beautiful words and notes of tribute to her birthplace. Smiling so very broadly as “Aberdare” passes her lips, during the track, the hugely appreciative crowd cheer loudly; seemingly there’s a good few in from the former iron and coal town.
This evening’s venue, Acapela, is a new one to us but with acts as diverse as established outfits like The Christians and Fairport Convention through to emerging talents Morganway and Adwaith playing here it’s one to clearly keep an eye upon. Housed in a grade II listed former Horeb Presbyterian Chapel this is a venue that has, simultaneously, a spacious feel yet with an intimate vibrancy. Nearing its 200th anniversary inside there’s ample room with a three-sided gallery, complete with panelled pews, overlooking the ground floor. Which this evening is tastefully appointed with seating and tables.
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Some places are just special, and that magic often seeps through into the performances that take place in them.
One such place is Acapela Studio, a converted chapel in the village of Pentyrch, kind of in Cardiff but not, lying as it does in the countryside on the other side of the M4. I’ve been here many times and it’s a lovely space – that also serves delicious pizza to hungry audients, so what’s not to like? The table area downstairs is relaxed and open, the pews upstairs are much more comfortable than they used to be, the ale is delicious and there’s always a warm welcome.
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Photo courtesy of Nick Baker