Meraga's Dad was in the Icon Jazz band. She remembers growing up in Cardiff's jazz community
I did most of my growing up around Canton Pontcanna when they were normal areas and nobody wanted to live there! At that time those areas were just normal working class areas. Everything has gone sky high there now. My mum bought her house for £9000!
Chapter in those days, if you went to Chapter you were considered a weirdo and a junky. It was the only place that was an alternative place where things were going on. I remember all sorts of weird stuff going on, the whole of Chapter would be opened up and bands would play there, there was a Chapter works band. It was a real hive of activity. My first job was in Chapter kitchen and I got 50p an hour. So I would make £3 a night and then go into town the next day and buy a record from Spillers. It was an amazing place to be. Full of artists doing things. It is totally the opposite now, through the Thatcher years you saw it becoming proper and more of a business.
They used to be clubs all over the place, really weird little places and people would do things just for the crack. The weirder you were the better and places were there for you. I guess it got harder to keep these places going because of the money, so during the 80's this whole change happened. If you are living on the periphery of the norm you just get pushed out. You used to know that every Thursday, Friday or Saturday you could get dressed up and go down to the Bib and Tucker or Soho High-tech and there would be all candles and weird shit going on. There used to be much more places to go to.