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Millennium Stadium

The Millennium Stadium, known since 2016 as the Principality Stadium for sponsorship reasons, is the national stadium of Wales. Located in Cardiff, it is the home of the Wales national rugby union team and has held Wales national football team games. Built to host the 1999 Rugby World Cup, it has gone on to host many other large-scale events, such as the Tsunami Relief Cardiff concert, the Super Special Stage of Wales Rally Great Britain, the Speedway Grand Prix of Great Britain and various concerts, it hosted six FA Cup finals and several other high-profile football fixtures while Wembley Stadium was being redeveloped. The stadium is owned by a subsidiary company of the Welsh Rugby Union; the architects were Bligh Lobb Sports Architecture. The structural engineers were WS Atkins and the building contractor was Laing; the total construction cost of the stadium was £121 million, of which the Millennium Commission funded £46 million. The Millennium Stadium opened in June 1999 and its first major event was an international rugby union match on 26 June 1999, when Wales beat South Africa in a test match by 29–19 before a crowd of 29,000.

With a total seating capacity of 73,931, it is the third-largest stadium in the Six Nations Championship behind the Stade de France and Twickenham. It is the second-largest stadium in the world with a retractable roof and was the second stadium in Europe to have this feature. Listed as a category four stadium by UEFA, the stadium was chosen as the venue for the 2017 UEFA Champions League Final, which took place on 3 June 2017. In 2015, the Welsh Rugby Union announced a 10-year sponsorship deal with the Principality Building Society that saw the stadium renamed as the "Principality Stadium" from early 2016; until 1969, Cardiff RFC and Wales both played their home matches on the same pitch at Cardiff Arms Park, but all this changed in the 1969–70 season. As a result of an agreement between Cardiff Athletic Club and the WRU, the National Stadium project established that a new stadium for international matches and events was required, with Cardiff RFC moving to a new, purpose-built stadium on the original cricket ground at the site of the former Cardiff Arms Park stadium.

By 7 April 1984 the National Stadium was opened. However, in 1994, a committee was set up to consider redeveloping the National Stadium, by 1995 the WRU had been chosen to host the 1999 Rugby World Cup. In 1995, the National Stadium, designed in 1962, only had a capacity of 53,000. France was about to build the Stade de France, which would have a capacity of more than 80,000 for the 1998 FIFA World Cup; the original capacity of the National Stadium was 65,000, but this had been reduced to 53,000, due to the Taylor Report. 11,000 of 53,000 capacity was on the East Terrace and the conversion to an all-seater stadium would have reduced the stadium capacity still further to just 47,500. In addition to the problems of capacity, the National Stadium was very well hidden by the neighbouring buildings to the south in Park Street, Wood Street and to the east in Westgate Street, by Cardiff Rugby Ground in the north, it was only visible from across the River Taff in the west. Access to the ground was very restricted with the main entrance being a narrow opening in Westgate Street to the east, shared by both vehicles and spectators alike.

The options for the new stadium included adding a third tier to the existing National Stadium, or moving to a new site. This last option was discounted because it would have required a vast car parking facility, that would have put severe short-term pressures on the local transport infrastructure, creating traffic jams and pollution; the committee chose a new stadium on the same site but with considerable increase in its capacity. It would involve moving the alignment of the stadium from west-east to north-south; this was the option supported by the Millennium Commission. It would become the fourth redevelopment of the Cardiff Arms Park site, it was decided that the new stadium should have a sliding roof to accommodate a multi-use venue, with a grass pitch for rugby and football. The only other sliding roofs in Europe at the time were at two Dutch stadia – the Amsterdam Arena, completed in 1996 with a capacity of 50,000. To remain on the Arms Park site, additional space had to be found to allow safe access and to provide room for the increased capacity and improved facilities.

This was achieved by the purchase of adjacent buildings to the south and east and by the construction of a new £6 million River Walk by the River Taff on the western side of the stadium. By 1999, the Millennium Stadium had replaced the National Stadium, Cardiff Arms Park, as the national stadium of Wales for rugby union and association football international matches. Cardiff RFC continued as before to play at Cardiff Arms Park rugby ground, which had replaced the cricket ground in 1969; the stadium was designed by a team led by Bob Sheard at Lobb Sport Architecture, who merged with HOK Sport to become Populous. The building contractor was Laing and the structural engineers were WS Atkins. Mike Otlet of WS Atkins designed the stadium's retractable roof. Cimolai S.p. A. from Italy fabricated and erected the 72 steel plane frames for the stands and all the 4,500 components of the roof. Construction involved the demolition of a number of buildings the existing National Stadium, Wales Empire Pool in Wood Street, Cardiff Empir

Like a Motorway

"Like a Motorway" is a 1994 song by the British pop group Saint Etienne. The song combines the melody from the nineteenth century folk song "Silver Dagger" with a driving techno beat influenced by Kraftwerk and Snap!. It describes a friend whose lover has mysteriously vanished."Like a Motorway" appears on the album Tiger Bay. It was released as a single in May 1994, reached #47 on the UK Singles Chart; the US release of Tiger Bay features an "alternate version" with more complex percussion and electric guitar stings. It appears on the original soundtrack for the 1994 film, although the single is never heard in the actual film itself; the cover art for the single features an abandoned car overgrown with foliage. The video consists of a long, slow zoom in Sarah Cracknell as she sings against a black background, intercut with occasional rapid shots of Pete Wiggs and Bob Stanley in a car. All tracks composed by Stanley and Wiggs.

This Town Needs Guns

TTNG is a British rock band from Oxford, formed in 2004, signed to the American label Sargent House Records. Their debut full-length album, was released in the UK via Big Scary Monsters Recording Company in October, 2008 and shortly after in the US via Sargent House Records. Following numerous departures, the band went from being a four-piece to a trio, featuring Henry Tremain on bass and lead vocals, Tim Collis on guitar and his brother Chris Collis on drums, they have released four studio albums, as well as singles. The band formed in 2004 in Oxford; the original lineup consisted of Stuart Smith on rhythm guitar and vocals, Tim Collis on lead guitar, Simon Thompson on drums and Ian Lewis on bass. Thompson and Lewis left the band in 2005, to be replaced by Dan Adams on bass and Matt Bennington on drums. In their earlier careers, bassist Jamie Cooper had worked as a graphic designer, drummer Chris Collis had been a librarian at the University of Oxford, guitarist Tim Collis was a primary school teacher, lead vocalist Stuart Smith worked building websites for a publisher.

On 11 May 2011, it was announced on This Town Needs Guns' website that lead singer Stuart Smith would be leaving the band to start a family, that he would be replaced by Pennines' singer and guitarist Henry Tremain. Bassist Jamie Cooper left the band in late 2011 to focus on a career in graphic design. Tremain has since taken over on bass guitar duties. On 14 September 2012, the first track from the second album 13.0.0.0.0, entitled "Cat Fantastic" was released on digital streaming platforms. The album was released on January 22 2013, their third album, Disappointment Island, was released in July 2016. In 2017, the whole band was arrested in Hong Kong during an immigration raid on the final show of their tour. In July 2018, the band announced a 10-year anniversary tour of Animals, in which Smith would be returning to the band to play with them for the first time in seven years. In October of that year, an acoustic version of the album entitled Animals Acoustic was released. Over the years the band's musical style has progressed and changed, although the focal point of their style has been the guitar work of Tim Collis interspersed with, at points complex drumming and sparse, melodic bass.

Early releases however, featured more distorted chord progressions, as well as a strong focus on the interlinking melodies of both Collis and Smith's guitars. More however, the band's music has become more technical; the Sydney Morning Herald describes the band's music as having "intricate pop guitar work, with a touch of jazz and Spanish influences". The band is considered to be part of the genre of math rock; the band cites influences of other bands such as American Football and Make Believe. With the release of 13.0.0.0.0 the band announced that they would be calling themselves TTNG. They stated that the name was ironic because guns are hardly present in their hometown of Oxford, the UK in general. Now that the band is more known around the world, the name is no longer ironic. Animals 13.0.0.0.0 Disappointment Island Animals Acoustic First Demo Split CD with Cats and Cats and Cats This Town Needs Guns Hippy Jam Fest And I'll Tell You For Why... Pig Adventure, Stamina & Anger Tim Collis - guitar Chris Collis - drums, percussion Henry Tremain - vocals, guitar Simon Thompson - drums Ian Lewis - bass Matt Bennington - drums Stuart Smith - vocals, guitar Dan Adams - bass, trumpet Jody Prewett - piano, guitar Jamie Cooper - bass, backing vocals Chris Baker - bass Henry Kohen - bass Garrett Karp - trumpet, percussion Official website