Most of Sŵn’s venues are in or near the centre of Cardiff’s shopping hub, and the best places to spend an hour or two between shows is undoubtedly Cardiff’s renowned arcades. Morgan Arcade houses the famed Spillers Records; the most famous record shop in Wales, if not the UK, Spillers has been providing Cardiff’s record-buying public with its every musical whim since 1894. Chatty staff and regular in-store gigs make it the ideal place for a prolonged linger.

Head down to the Castle end of St Mary’s St and you’ll find yourself in the Castle Arcade. Amongst the beautiful eateries (including Cafe Minuet‘s Classical music based menu. Really!) and joke shops is Troutmark Books – another Cardiff institution. Eccentrically yet diversely stocked, you’re bound to find a bargain and they have a great selection upstairs of Music books as well as a regularly awesome bargain box of books outside.

For the more inquisitive, just a few strides from Clwb Ifor Bach is the Castle Emporium. Set in a converted cinema, this indoor market also doubles as Sŵn’s wristband exchange, and houses a collection of independent shops selling vintage clothes, second hand records, great local art, vintage furniture and great homeware. There’s even an awesome little cafe selling home-cooked goodies and delicious coffee.

If fashion’s the passion, head to the High Street Arcade for a browse at retro quality and comfort in Hobos, or take a detour out of the main thoroughfare and go to Jacob’s Market for a good rummage at clothes, old jewellery and all kinds of antique oddities, including collectables, furniture, comics, a Doctor Who shop and a fine Punk record store.


If you fancy Welshcakes, a cracking fry up or fresh meat and fish, the Cardiff Indoor Market is the place. As well as the finest in Welsh Lamb and Beef, be sure to check out locally sourced Fish – the cockles in particular are a wonder. You can also find Kelly’s Records on the Balcony of the Central Market – with a fine array of Classic vinyls tempting you to peruse them for a long afternoon.

Out of town you will find D’Vinyl and The Record ShopBoth tucked away off Albany Rd, both a treasure trove of bargain CD’s and records; the former has dozens of signed singles and LP’s from artists such as Oasis, Stereophonics and local heroes Super Furry Animals. Albany Rd is the central spot in fact for all your Charity shopping needs – we’d put down how many there are, but there’ll probably be more next week.

Photos: Amy Davies,