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Review: Guitarist Andy Mckee performs at Grangetown's new Tramshed

Tramshed, Cardiff’s newest venue, opened its doors last week after a £4 million renovation. The Grade II-listed building on Clare Road and Pendyris Street is now a multi-purpose venue housing a 40-seat cinema, 1,000-capacity performance area and cafe-bar.

Sam Sholli checked out the atmosphere at its second event,  a performance by American guitarist and YouTube hit Andy Mckee. Last week hosted Irish band Hothouse Flowers, supported by Irish solo artist Lisa Lambe.

Tramshed, October 30: The building appears secluded from the neighbourhood. The performance area has a simple layout with several rows of seats between the stage and the bar and sound engineers in a box in the middle of the audience.

At first glance, the venue appears unremarkable but it radiates an authentic atmosphere. The closeness of Andy Mckee to his audience enhanced the chemistry between performer and public and the compact room concentrated the volume. Tramshed’s concealed, underground nature makes it ideal for for such unusually intimate performances.

However, the most intense moment of the night for me personally came at the bar. I had the common problem one has when undecided on what to order while approaching the front of the queue faster than expected. “What do you want mate?” asked the barman. My time was nigh. I felt the wrath of several frustrated people waiting behind me. The loud volume was impairing my concentration levels. I suddenly found myself caught in a staring contest with one bottle in the fridge behind the bar. It was Hooch, a self-proclaimed alcoholic lemon brew. I ordered it. What was the price? £4.25. Yes, £4.25…I still bought it. The peer pressure and noise was all too much for me. The drink did not taste of regret as much as it did of lemonade. Every sip caused me to question where the alcohol was.

What people thought?

Gareth Pearson, 27, professional guitar player

Gareth Pearson, 27, professional guitar player

“We are on the same record label (CandyRat). Andy is a great guy and a great musician. His music is uplifting. This venue is amazing; it has a great sound and the staff here are really nice too.”

Kerrie Gareth, 35, software tester

Kerrie Gareth, 35, software tester

“It’s lovely. We are from Northumberland. My husband plays the acoustic guitar. We have guitars all over the house so it’s great to see this, it’s brilliant. He saw Tommy Emmanuel a few years ago and has wanted to see Andy McKee for some time. We thought it was going to be a run-down venue. I expected it to be some old warehouse but even the toilets are nice and smell clean. We would definitely come again. Usually before the show starts you have to wait outside, but not here.”

Forthcoming events at Tramshed

Soul II Soul –November 14

Alabama 3 – November 21

Hot Since 82 – November 27

Zervas & Pepper – November 28

Public Enemy – November 29

Don Broco – December 3

 5ive – December 4

Craig Charles Funk & Soul Club – December 5

The Charlatans – December 9

From The Jam – December 10

Tenors of Rock – December 20

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