Like many people, I reacted to news that The Globe was going to close down for ‘refurbishment’ with a fair bit of concern. I’ve always really liked it as a venue and I’ve seen some great shows there, so the thought that it might lose some of its ‘soul’ was a little worrying.
This wasn’t helped by the new owners saying that they planned to broaden the venue’s appeal by adding karaoke, singles nights and Tom Jones impersonators. If there are three things more sure to keep me away from a place, I struggle to think what they are.
Having made my first trip the since the reopening (which you can read about in more detail here) I’m, pleased to report that most of my previous fears seem unfounded. Apart from a rather garish new sign and a fresh lick of paint, very little seems to have actually changed. I’ll be honest and say I probably preferred the old Moroccan-influenced decor, but I don’t go to gigs to look at the walls, so it’s really not too much of a problem.
As for concerns about the venue’s ‘new direction’, I think it’s likely that many, myself included, jumped the gun in decrying the more ‘populist’ approach. Even in its previous incarnation, a great deal of The Globe’s output centred around tribute bands. I never went to those nights either, so chucking Tom Jones impersonators into the mix doesn’t make any difference. If karaoke gets people through the door, allowing the venue to keep putting on the kind of stuff that I find interesting on other nights, then that can only be a good thing.
It’s been a tough year for live music venues in Cardiff and they need all the help they can get. We’ve been lucky to have the the Globe on our doorstep here in Roath and I think we still are.