What a way to end the weekend. The culmination of the BBC 6 Music festival that saw Bristol getting its much deserved slice of the action. Delving deep into the musical heritage of a city to have left its mark on entire global music movements, with live sets from Roni Size and Reprazent, Tricky and Geoff Barrow (to name a few), it is with full hearts and ringing ears, that we look back on the weekend of music in Bristol.

Laura Marling performed live from Bristol’s flagship venue, Colston Hall on the final night of the festival. Joining Laura were Nick Pini on double bass and Matt Ingram on drums. Their sparse and timeless signature sounds lingered hauntingly in the main hall where the sold-out audience listened, captivated as though caught in a lost time.

Laura is undeniably a songwriter in her own league – with a timeless quality to her voice and lyrics, she arranges each narrative and layers her songs with both a dark complexity and hopeful diametric. Laura’s debut album Alas I Cannot Swim immediately marked her out as a creative troubadour, existing where none had dared venture before. Over time, this talent has only grown more fervent, with another four full length albums, including Once I Was An Eagle released in 2013, all receiving the attention they deserve including several Mercury Music Prize nominations. Her fifth studio album, Short Movie, was released in 2015 – based in part upon her personal experiences of living in Los Angeles.

Drawing the BBC 6 Music festival to a close is surely a task to be entrusted in the capable hands of such an artist, and Laura did not disappoint. A woman of few words in between her songs, she did manage to fill one awkward silence with a subtle retrospection of the fact that her show was being broadcast live on-air. Saved for her songs, where her voice could traverse between the current and the past, she weaved her stories as effortlessly as though the tales existed within her very bones.

How Can I stood out for its achingly raw portrayal of a personal relationship, with the reworked classic of Townes Van Zandt’s Waiting Around To Die preceding the always recognisable and sometimes disturbing My Manic. Gripping your attention and breaking your spirit, before carefully piecing it back together, little by little.

Accompanied quite simply by an upright bass and percussion, the effect is completely spellbinding, and before we know it, it’s time to say goodbye and brave the winter night beyond the warm glow of Colston Hall.

Set List

  • Take the Night Off
  • Eagle
  • You Know
  • Breathe
  • Master Hunter
  • Walk Alone
  • Waiting Around To Die (Townes Van Zandt cover)
  • My Manic
  • Goodbye England
  • Muse
  • Once
  • Sophia
  • Rambling Man
  • Hope in the Air
  • What He Wrote
  • I Feel Your Love
  • Strange
  • Short Movie
  • Daisy
  • How Can I

View a video clip from Colston Hall at the following link.

With special thanks to the BBC and specifically BBC 6 Music for bringing the 6 Music Festival to Bristol.  We hope you will come back soon!


Image : BBC