original. acoustic. music.

Gig: The Welsh Dragon Bar

Darrel and I played The Welsh Dragon Bar last night, and the place was almost bursting at the seams.

It was a night of old friends and new faces. We had a blast!

The Welsh Dragon Bar is known as “the first and possibly only Welsh bar in the Southern Hemisphere.”

It is a curiously-shaped building in between two busy roads at the bottom end of Courtenay Place, just across the road from BATS theatre. The building, originally a block of public toilets used in the days when Wellington had trams instead of buses, is long and thin, with two domed areas, one at each end.

Every alternate Wednesday there is an Open Mic hosted by Rob Whelan in one half of the main space in the centre of the building, the bar taking the other half. This arrangement works well both for those who come to drink and for those who come to play, especially on the rare occasion those two interests might be mutually exclusive.

The performance space is warm and intimate, with an upright piano, and modest PA system. There’s no stage, musicians and audience are all on the same level, which is a great way to foster collaboration. On the night we played Rob had put shakers on some of the tables so people could add a little percussion if they felt like it.

One of the great things about the Dragon is that it is right across the road from the YHA. On a good night you can be sure to see travellers from all over the world coming to watch and play - an audience (and talent) you just don’t get in many other inner city venues. We met some cool people last night, and excellent performers too.

The other great thing about the Dragon is that it only takes about ten people to make the place feel full, but not crowded (although competition can be fierce for the couches that threaten to swallow you whole when you sit down).

The music is great, the people are friendly, and it’s a great way to spend an evening every 2nd Wednesday from 7:30.