Mid Wales

Music Svengali turns Talgarth chapel into concert venue

Alan Mcgee and Kat Holmes outside the former Baptist chapel in Talgarth, Powys Image copyright Wales News Service
Image caption The former Baptist chapel was bought by McGee and his wife for £40,000

The music mogul behind rock giants Oasis has unveiled his latest project - a new concert venue at a disused Welsh chapel.

Former Creation Records boss, Alan McGee, 53, and his wife Kate Holmes have restored a derelict Baptist chapel in Talgarth.

The couple have kept the chapel's original features.

McGee championed acts such The Jesus and Mary Chain, Primal Scream and Teenage Fanclub on his record label.

McGee's band Oasis played to 50,000-seater stadiums at their height - but the chapel holds less than 100 people.

"It's been brilliant, one of the best things I've been involved in," said McGee.

"We saw the chapel and then Kate said it was for sale. I kind of went, well just buy it, not knowing what to do with it.

"But Kate had this idea to do it up and turn it into something good for the community.

"We both have this thing about regenerating rural areas."

McGee is asking some of his contacts in the music industry to play one-off gigs at the chapel but said it was unlikely that former Oasis members Noel or Liam Gallagher will turn up.

In keeping with the religious setting the concerts will be acoustic.

McGee, his wife and teenage daughter live in a rambling mansion in Glasbury-on-Wye, near Hay-on-Wye, five miles from the Victorian chapel in Talgarth.

Svengali star

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption McGee recently starred as himself in the film Svengali, alongside Welsh actor Jonny Owen

The couple say the whitewashed former place of worship can to be used for pop-up restaurants, acoustic music, private parties, christenings and even wakes.

It is no longer licensed for marriage services but wedding receptions can be held there.

McGee retired from band music management in 2008 to spend more time with his family after selling his shares in Creation Records for a reported £18m ($30m).

He said the chapel has been part of his rejuvenation which saw him launch Creation Management last month after five years away from the music scene.

He has also starred as himself in the recently released comedy film Svengali, based on a fictional Welsh music promoter from the Valleys and starring Jonny Owen.

His wife, Kate, who is a fashion designer and musician, added: "We used to drive past the chapel and remark what a beautiful old building it was.

"When it came up for sale we put a bid in at the auction and bought it.

"We will be holding the first of many acoustic nights soon but we want it to be used by the villagers - it is for them not us."

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