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Cardiff Character: Angie Evans

For those about to rock, they certainly salute this woman and her support for the music genre she loves and grew up with.

Angie Evans, 45, co-owner and director of FUEL rock club

Cardiff certainly has its alternative roots, especially when it comes to the variety of music groups that come out of its woodwork. While fans of this kind of alternative hard rock and metal might look fierce, those who wander through those doors belonging to FUEL rock club, located on the top of Womanby Street, know that within its walls, only nice company and a calming atmosphere among its patrons. Especially once you know the club’s co-owner and director, Angie Evans

Having grown up with rock music since she was a young girl, Angie, now 45, was introduced to the genre by her father, who was a fan of Jimi Hendrix. Her brother would often take her to see classic metal bands like Slayer and Metallica. This is something she has in common with her partner and co-owner of Fuel, Rob Toogood.

“When Rob and I met, we didn’t know we were both rockers, strangely!”, Angie reminisces. “But it kind of did a full circle – he loved Iron Maiden and I loved Metallica and Slayer, so it was quite strange and unique. That’s how I got into metal music, but I really like the culture.”

 

“We didn’t know we were both rockers!”

 

 

Start at the beginning

Created in September 2006, FUEL was grown out of a desire of Rob to be able to DJ the music he wanted to play. Which unfortunately, is not the kind of music many other mainstream clubs want to play. “He came home one day, and he’s like ‘We need to set our own place up, all I want to do is play rock’.” Angie says. “That’s kind of how FUEL came about.”

Starting out as promoters, hosting FUEL as a club night every Saturday, the early days were not easy for the two of them. Having to deal with judgemental doormen at the clubs, hiked up prices of alcohol on busy nights, and lack of staff when a lot of people attended. “We wanted places where a rocker could stand outside, have a drink, have a cigarette, and not be worried about being victimised or bullied by ‘normal people’.”

Angie pouring a pint from the Motorhead Beer

Future in Welsh dreaming

Live music is a staple within FUEL, and supporting the local rock and metal community, however small it may be, is very important to Angie. She wishes that more people would come out to see the small bands, even when they’re playing for free. “I like people to come and watch original music,” she comments.

This is something that this passionate club owner hopes for the future, as well as keeping the club alive within Womanby Street’s lively vibe.

“I hope that we continue to help the young bands, fulfil their ambitions and their dreams, and then come back to us and say ‘Thanks so much for that gig where we had 2 people and it was crap, and you actually gave us some food and we were starving; – this sort of vibe.

There’s nothing better than having a job that you have a passion for, and we’re lucky to be in that position.”

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