Not only will be BBC 6 Music festival put Bristol back in the spotlight for its infamous ties with the music to have been born out of the city, but it will also offer a platform for emerging and local artists to showcase their music to a wider audience.
As part of the Fringe events being held across the city, there will be a series of events including live music, workshops and information sessions on 12 and 13 February. Included on the programme will be independent Bristol based label, Jelli Records who will be hosting a full programme of live music at Clifton Fringe. Founders Steve Parkhouse and Brian Inglis offer support, advice and provide a platform (be it in a live capacity or via live radio play at Bradley Stoke Radio) for new musicians and songwriters to be heard.
Their roster is a varied one and this will be reflected in the diversity of acts signed up for their event planned for the 13 February at Clifton Fringe. As Brian explains:
“We have chosen a diverse selection of music from acts who we have worked with over the years. A few are signed to us but others we have discovered through our Radio Show on BSR and the open mics that we run.”
BBC Introducing invited Jelli Records to host a Fringe event and they were only too pleased to oblige, given that there is so much talent within Bristol, some of which goes unnoticed and under the radar:
“There is a wealth of local talent in Bristol and the city does appear to be a focus for a lot of emerging acts which, given the rich talent base, does not surprise us and we don’t see any reason why this should not continue as long as the venues remain in place to give them the space to perform.” Brian explains.
“We often listen to BBC 6 Music as they play new and exciting music. We particularly like Tom Robinson’s mix tape show.”
Bristol’s live music community has continued to thrive when some smaller venues across the UK are facing closure. The Fleece has refused to bow under pressure, and Colston Hall is undergoing a 45million regeneration plan, bringing great new opportunities for live music and the arts to Bristol. The city regularly hosts international acts as well as locally based alternative and indie nights. Bristol is known for its heartfelt music community, a place where people can congregate to enjoy live music and experience a genuinely warm atmosphere. Possibly one of the reasons BBC 6 Music has decided to host its festival in the city.
“When musicians come to Bristol the first thing that seems to strike them is the sheer number of venues which provide live music of one sort or another not often found in many other major cities and we think this is the uniqueness of Bristol as a provincial city. The friendliness of the city we are sure plays an important part.” Brian adds.
The Honeyfire, who recently played the Jelli Records Acoustic Festival will be curating the event on Saturday 13 February to be held at Clifton Fringe. Sisters Natalie and Sally Joiner recorded their debut album (released in 2014) with Jim Barr and are now taking their music in a broader direction, drawing on influences as varied as Daughter to First Aid Kit.
“It’s really exciting to be curating the festival, and it’s good that Jelli Records got asked by BBC Introducing. It’ll be really great to be properly involved in it this year.” Natalie says.
The Honeyfire will headline the night, showcasing new material as well as their previously recorded songs:
“We’re gradually introducing new songs into our set. We haven’t got a drummer, so you have to think in a different way – we’re going more for atmospherics. Our new style is very chilled out.” Sally explains.
They work with I Am Horse, and recently appeared with them at the Jelli Records Acoustic Festival at Colston Hall. They have been very influenced by Marika Hackman, as they explain:
“She manages to take that guitar sound and make it really dreamy. It’s the kind of way we are heading. We went to see Daughter in Bristol. That’s the kind of sound we are aiming for. Smoke Fairies also have amazing harmonies.” Natalie says.
Bristol artist She Makes War (aka Laura Kidd) has toured alongside The Honeyfire, who they also list as an inspiration:
“Laura just manages to have that professional outlook. and it’s just her on stage. It makes it more real than just having a band on stage and no interaction. After gigs, we’ll go and chat to people because it’s nicer to have that interaction with people.” Natalie says.
Also on the lineup at the event will be The Funkensteins, With Nell & I, Bashema and Stereo Kela – an eclectic range of styles, and something for even the most picky of listeners.
“For an event like this we have to be careful whom we have on the bill yet try and keep a good mix of music. Although it was difficult to select we know that those we have will do us and themselves justice as this is an excellent opportunity for them and some of the performances may be broadcast on BBC 6 Radio. In addition BSR FM will be broadcasting live from the venue.” Brian says.
Not only has Bristol harboured artists who have become world renowned in their own right, such as Massive Attack, Tricky, Roni Size Reprazent and Portishead, there is also a really strong and supportive backbone to the city which has the development and potential of its young people and aspiring musicians at the forefront of its mind. Something that, Laura Lewis-Paul of Saffron Records (founded in 2015 with support from The Princes Trust) feels very strongly about:
“Young people – and people in general – can be scared to enter the music industry. Historically it can be quite a hostile environment. So I think it’s important to be approachable and to be a label that understands that.” Laura says.
Digital Apprentice with Saffron Records, Emma Morsi says:
“Very rarely are women given a platform for their talents to speak for themselves without there being an emphasis on looks and their visual branding. Saffron Records offers up a platform for young female artists to be taken seriously in such a challenging industry.”
“It’s really important to start the conversation of gender equality. It’s vital within the industry.” Laura, of Saffron Records adds.
Both Jelli Records and Saffron Records are dedicated to nurturing artists and giving them the space to grow, learn and evolve – not only as musicians but as well rounded and confident people, as Brian explains:
“Music has so many benefits, in young people it will develop self-confidence and of course creativity. Organisations such as DBS and Bimm do some great work in developing this in young people. Unfortunately no one can teach experience and that is what much of the music business is based on.”
Bristol Women in Music are also holding an event on the 13 February, dedicated to an afternoon of lectures and workshops from key speakers within the music industry – a means to inspire and encourage young people (the focus is on the 14 – 25 year old age group) to pursue music for a career.
Talking about their involvement with the event at St George’s on 13 February, Bristol Women in Music said:
“Part of what we’re trying to do at Bristol Women in Music is to encourage as many women as we can into the industry on all levels. That’s the dream anyway!”
They’re excited about the events planned for the BBC 6 Music festival weekend, adding:
“It’s fantastic to see some of the leading ladies in the world of UK radio popping down to our city for a weekend. They’re great at their jobs, and they’re role models. BBC 6 Music have curated a superb lineup and we know they’ll be delivering some excellent coverage and compering on the weekend.”
Trish is Events & Operations Manager at St George’s and also on the Board of Directors on Bristol Women in Music. She has been instrumental in the organisation of Women In Music: Inspire as part of the BBC 6 Music Fringe events on 13 February.
“I would have loved something like this to go along to and feel inspired and not overwhelmed. It’s about breaking that barrier down and having that opportunity to network.” Trish says.
Trish has a wealth of experience in events and festival organisation, having curated her own jazz festival as part of her undergraduate degree at Bath Spa University.
On the programme of events at St George’s will include Eva Strusinska, guest conductor from Poland, Katy Sky who has a publishing deal with Universal. Tre Stead, tour manager with Frank Turner, and Sarah Bland (DHP). Trish is certain that the programme of guest speakers will be both inspired and inspiring:
“We have chosen people who have shifted direction and will give people a sense of other options. Lady Nade has done some really good work in Bristol, Crowdfunding her album and also with Remix at Colston Hall.” Trish says.
Bristol’s Lady Nade will be speaking at the event and as well as working on her own music, she has grown as a key figure in Bristol’s youth-music community, working closely with both Trinity Centre to offer young people songwriting workshops, as well as with Remix (in conjunction with Bristol Plays Music – an organisation that were instrumental in supporting Lady Nade in the beginning of her musical career).
“I’m going to be talking about Crowdfunding, offering tips and advice. I recently Crowdfunded my album so I wanted to talk about how it can help others to do the same.” Lady Nade says.
Lady Nade recorded her debut album ‘Hard To Forget’ at Jim Barr’s (Portishead producer) studios, to be released on 20 May 2016 and has a new single, ‘Waiting for You’ out at the same time. She regularly plays live at Bristol’s venues including Square Bar in Clifton.
Trinity Centre in Old Market, will be holding masterclasses on the 8 February and 11 February in conjunction with the BBC 6 Music festival. Jim Barr (bassist, producer and tutor at Bimm), Tom Robinson (songwriter, musician and radio presenter) and Sian Evans (singer formerly with Kosheen) will all be in attendance, offering their advice to Bristol’s young and aspiring musicians.
Lady Nade regularly runs workshops via Trinity Centre with Bristol Plays Music, as well as working with a rock music project in north Somerset. She is excited about what the future holds, not only for herself as an artist and mentor, but for the future of Bristol’s musical scene:
“There’s always something to learn. I’m trying to collaborate with lots of people at the moment for my second album – even though my first album isn’t out yet. There are always ways to improve and develop.” Lady Nade says.
As part of the BBC 6 Music festival on 13 February there will be an open day for Access to Music.
You can find more information about the BBC 6 Music Fringe Line-Up at the following link.
Full Line-Up: Jelli Records & BBC Introducing Presents at Clifton Fringe.
|Saturday 13th February
Your hosts will be The Honeyfire, they will be joined by –
5pm Sharon Martin & The Occasional Band
6.10pm Vic Allen
7.15pm Alannah Jackson
9.15pm The Don Fox Scandal
10.15 The Honeyfire
Your hosts for this evening will be Stereo Kela. So join them for something a little different for Valentines Day.
6.10pm Sophie Hoskin-Taylor
7.15pm David 9 Lunas
8.20pm With Nell And I
9.15pm Jemima Surrender
10.15 Stereo Kela
Full Line-Up: St George’s, Bristol Women in Music & Saffron Records: Women in Music ‘Inspire’.
BBC 6 Music: www.bbc.co.uk/6music
St George’s: www.stgeorgesbristol.co.uk
Colston Hall: www.colstonhall.org