A LOVE AFFAIR WITH THE CITY
ISSUE 251 / SEPTEMBER 2018 / £3
BRISTOL’S BIG-HITTERS FOR AUTUMN
ISSUE 251 / SEPTEMBER 2018 / UNLOCKING THE CIT Y
ART GOING FOR GOLDIE
COOL ON THE HILL
IT’S SIMPLY REDLAND, DARLING
UNLOCKING BRISTOL’S SECRET DOORS
WE’LL SEE YOU ON THE DOWNS…
OF THE CITY
above: Meet the Chandos Road/Cotham Hill set
below: What did Krust ever do for us? Find out at the
Bristol Music exhibition –and check out the rest of the autumn arts and events between pages 13-27
ley lady, ley Spookily, more than one person referred to Bristol’s ley lines in this issue. First it was Goldie, who attributes the city’s “beautiful musical heritage” to the lines’ energy (page 42). Then blow us down if Sam Bell of Hair at 58 didn’t bring up the exact same subject while we were chatting about Cotham Hill’s flourishing community scene (page 62). And we’d bet our last Bristol Pound that the organisers of Valley Fest (page 52) would go along with this – after all, Chew Magna’s not that far from the mystical land of Avalon . . . Oh, what do we know. All we can tell you is that this city goes from strength to strength, and if you don’t believe us then turn to page 20 for our big preview of the autumn’s best arts and events. We’ve also turned the key in a few locks ahead of Bristol Doors Open Days, and – at least, in our lottery-winning dreams – let ourself into Harptree Court, our featured property this issue. Though frankly, we’d be perfectly happy with the treehouse . . .
deri robins Cover They could be art heroes; see feature page 30
Follow us on Twitter @BristolLifeMag Instagram @BristolLifeMag
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Issue 251/September 2018
13 art page Fab 4 (not Beatles, gulls) at Bocabar 14 WHAT’S ON Let them entertain you 20 autumn arts Book ’em now before they sell out 30 bristol heroes The arty theme continues 36 Doors open day Open sesame: from abandoned
underground railways to groundbreaking new-builds
42 music Goldie’s keeping it real
food & DRINK
48 RESTAURANT At this rate, we’re going to end up
with more tapas bars than Seville. That’s OK with us
52 Valleyfest Putting the chew into Chew Magna 57 cafe society Can a café be too pretty (for Stan)?
a man’s world
59 seb barrett Can new dad Baz keep up with
62 street life Simply Redland
68 SCHOOLS OF THOUGHT Word from
79 business insider Art, optometry and a multi-
million food centre for Weston
87 showcase Oh for a home that has numerous
7 spotlight 9 instas 77 society 90 bristol lives Harry Bunce and his hitman bunnies
Editor Deri Robins firstname.lastname@example.org Senior Art Editor Andrew Richmond Graphic Design Megan Allison Cover Design Trevor Gilham Contributors Colin Moody, Seb Barrett, Alex Diggins, Stan Cullimore Advertising manager Neil Snow email@example.com Account manager James Morgan james.morgan@ mediaclash.co.uk Account manager Jake Newland firstname.lastname@example.org Production/Distribution Manager Sarah Kingston email@example.com Deputy production manager/production designer Kirstie Howe firstname.lastname@example.org Chief Executive Jane Ingham email@example.com Chief Executive Greg Ingham firstname.lastname@example.org Bristol Life MediaClash, Circus Mews House, Circus Mews, Bath BA1 2PW 01225 475800 www.mediaclash.co.uk @The MediaClash © All rights reserved. May not be reproduced without written permission of MediaClash. We’re a Bath-based publisher, creative agency and event organiser Magazines Our portfolio of regional magazines celebrates the best of local living: Bath, Bristol, Cardiff, Exeter and Salisbury. We also publish foodie mag Crumbs (www.crumbsmag.com, @CrumbsMag) and wedding title Vow (@VowMag). Agency From the design and build of websites to digital marketing and creating company magazines, we can help. Events We create, market, promote and operate a wide variety of events both for MediaClash and our clients Contact: email@example.com
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SPOTLIGHT The zoomed-in pic shows the level of detail if the photo was blown up to approx 40x10ft
COLIN IN THE DETAIL
If you managed to grab a copy of our anniversary issue, you’ll doubtless have admired Colin Rayner’s colourful photos, that captured the Bristol summer of 2018 in all its sunshiny perfection. One photo (not published) really took our breath away – a panorama taken at the Harbour Festival in which, as you can see from the inset above, the sharpness of detail is oﬀ the scale. The clarity was achieved by combining18 separate portrait format images. If you want it on your wall, this can easily be arranged; contact Colin for prices. It’s guaranteed to be quite the talking point... www.photography.colinrayner.org.uk firstname.lastname@example.org
Obligatory Gromit story
THE DOG’S OUT OF THE BAG...
OMG! A huge pack of ghostly white Gromits! Slightly spooky, no? A little bit like an art installation, or perhaps China’s terracotta army. But what are they all doing, sitting in a row like this, and what do they want? Actually, the question you should be asking is: where in Bristol could you ﬁnd a space big enough to hide most of the sculptures in a big public trail? The Bottle Yard ﬁlm and TV studios in Hengrove, that’s where; it was here that the majority of the Gromit Unleashed 2 trail ﬁgures were stored for six months, while artists worked their creative magic in the privacy of Tank House 3. So now you know who to call if you want to paint over 60 enormous sculptures in secret. You’re welcome. www.thebottleyard.com; www.grandappeal.org.uk
Yes, it’s become quite the heated debate. Are there too many pretty photos of Bristol, and not enough gritty ones, showing the reality of life in the city? Wherever you stand on the issue, nobody could accuse photojournalist Colin Moody of ever neglecting the ‘real’ Bristol; generally armed with no more than a phone camera, Colin’s mission has always been to tell the stories of the Bristol community. In the process, he frequently uncovers beauty that others may miss, and makes us look once, look twice, and hopefully think a bit about what we’re seeing. His ﬁrst book, a photojournalist essay of Stokes Croft and Montpelier, is published on 3 September. It’s a total beauty, and we can’t wait to bring you a full feature on it in our next issue; here’s just a glimpse of the cover. www.thehistorypress.co.uk
FROM BRISTOL WITH LOVE
And speaking of real Bristol, the People’s Republic of Stokes Croft (who else?) have launched a competition to address what they feel to be a deﬁciency in postcards accurately representing the city. “No more Bridge. Easy on the balloons,” say the PRSC. “The imagery that a city chooses to portray itself is of the utmost importance. Those images deﬁne the soul of the place and the aspirations of its people. “We call on the Bristol public to help us create a new series of postcards depicting the best and worst of Bristol. The spirit of the city resides in its people and its culture, much of which comes from the everyday, from the streets, from the backstreet music venues, from the walls of the city. Much of the energy that drives this city comes from below, from those who are unheard, who struggle for voice. “The people of Bristol have always been a diﬃcult, mutinous lot. The PRSC proposes a rethink. This city of street art, pirates, guerrilla gardening and St Pauls Carnival is richer and more complex than the old set of clichés on oﬀer.” If you would like to submit an image, email it to email@example.com by 30 September. Full details at the link below: prsc.org.uk/proper-bristol-postcard-competition
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SPOTLIGHT RISE UP
And they did – admittedly only once, thanks to @Windy McWindface – but what an incredible mass ascent it was for Bristol’s Balloon Fiesta. Huge props to everyone who kept the event going in the face of the grim, gusty weather – and to all those who ‘grammed the hell out of it
@antimitch www.mediaclash.co.uk I BRISTOL LIFE I 9
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Satasn! Rock Elf In A Man Suit Productions present:
The Last Days of Judas Iscariot 11-13 Sep 2018 at The Redgrave Theatre Side splitting courtroom drama with a deep theological twist Buy tickets online 24/7: redgravetheatre.com | Box Office Tue-Fri 12:30-5:30pm: 0117 315 7800
THE ARTS S N A P S H O T S O F B R I S T O L’ S C U LT U R A L L I F E
THROWING SHADE Revered street artist Andrew Burns Colwill has been painting Bristol walls since the early ’80s; at one point, his work adorned no less than four shops on Park Street, and he’s a regular at Upfest. Andrew’s one of four local artists exhibiting at Bocabar’s Fab 4 exhibition this September, and fans of his work will be unsurprised to learn that environmental themes are to the fore. Andrew’s work frequently points a ﬁnger at society’s tendency to bury its head in the sand when it comes to threats facing the planet – environmentally, socially and politically ‘putting its shades on’ – hence the pair of Ray-Bans in the beak of a seagull in his Bristol harbour painting, above. Here’s what Andrew wrote to go with the piece: A seagull stole my sunglasses twice. Could not aﬀord another pair. So I stopped wearing sunglasses... Now I see a lot more, especially at night... Thanks seagulls FAB 4 runs at Bocabar 10 September - 4 November, with a Meet the Artists event on 12 September; www.the-kane.gallery
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What’s on 24 August - 24 September
We told you things would perk up when September began. And behold . . .
Andy Warhol, admittedly not looking much of a scream in this photo by Thomas Hoepker – just one of David Hurn’s swapsies at Martin Parr Foundation
history of music in Bristol. At M Shed; bristolmuseums.org.uk
modern and historic African textiles. Bristol Museum; bristolmuseums.org.uk
in relation/togetherness Two complementary exhibitions at RWA. In Relation shows the work of nine couples who made an indelible mark on British art; Togetherness explores examples of collaborative creativity, and examines how we negotiate and navigate being and working together. rwa.org.uk
harriet bowman: All Round-er (sad sale) Harriet presents a series of new works based on a narrative about a fictional character (Fled), who explores her own curiosity for cars, horsepower and equestrian advertising. Spike Island; spikeisland.org.uk
Until 9 September
Until 15 September
magnum swaps Magnum photographer David Hurn has built a collection of photographs by exchanging his own images for those of other photographers; here ’tis. martinparrfoundation.org
Until 23 September
bristol music Using stories contributed by people from all over the city to chronicle the
NINA BEIER: european interiors Nina works with objects that carry particular social histories, from human hair wigs to mechanical rodeo bulls, uncovering multiple layers of meaning in her objects. At Spike Island; spikeisland.org.uk
Until 9 May 2019
fabric africa A snapshot of the diversity of
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INDIAN SUMMER Room 212 keeps the heatwave going at this exhibition bursting with rich colour, exotic animals and birds; room212.co.uk
10 September-4 November
FAB 4 Bristol artists Andrew Burns Colwill, Julian Quaye, Thomas Dowdeswell and Jimmer Willmott offer a surreal mix of allegorical and metaphorical delights, revealing each artist’s view on society, politics and the current world order. At Bocabar; bocabar.co.uk
EXPRESSIONS: OPENING MINDS Social charity Milestones Trust hosts an arts festival inspired by nature and the environment; at Paintworks. See their Facebook page for details.
Theatre & shows 26 August
story slam All stories are told by volunteers from the audience – put your name in the hat for a chance to tell your story, or just enjoy everyone else’s. If you’re thinking, oh, that’s bound to be on at The Wardrobe, you’re absolutely right; thewardrobetheatre.com
the renegade fabulon The Invisible Circus rolls in to Loco Club, telling an gritty, urban tale in which communities are forgotten and profit is king; locobristol.com
the carpenters story It’s yesterday once more as we relive the story of tragic singer/drummer
what’s on Karen and piano prodigy bruv Richard, at Bristol Hippodrome; atgtickets.com
Fleming; the most expensive stage prop ever built , a singalong score, and a scary child-stealing villain; this surely has to be worth a few hours of your life. Bristol Hippodrome; atgtickets.com
touching the void The autumn season slides into serious heft mode with BOV’s next big hitter: Tom Morris’s take on the story of two mountaineers staring death in the face in the Peruvian Andes. One for the ‘must see’ list; bristololdvic.org.uk
Until 9 September
skyline series The series of outdoor concerts concludes, and the venues have changed; James Arthur (24 August, Harbourside); The Vamps (26 August, Harbourside); Texas + Imelda May (31 August, O2); Garbage (7 September, Ashton Gate), and The The (9 September, Ashton Gate). skyline-series.com
You don’t have to have the face of a Botticelli angel to play the fiddle, but it’s never hurt Nicola Benedetti left: No, it’s not Upfest, Bristol isn’t just street art and balloons, you know. It’s about beer, too below: Noel’s at The Downs. Will RKid turn up? Better go just in case, hey?
The Last Days of Judas Iscariot In a courtroom in the backstreets of downtown Purgatory, witnesses as diverse as Satan, Mother Theresa and Sigmund Freud assemble to give evidence against the most famous traitor in history. At the summation, you, the audience, cast a vote. At Redgrave; redgravetheatre.com
the downs festival It's almost time for the biggest music event in the Bristol year, this time headlined by Noel Gallagher, Paul Weller, Goldie + The Ensemble and Orbital; see feature page 42 thedownsbristol.com
prom kween ... or, how one boy made herstory... the true story of Matthew, the first boy to become Prom Queen. Think Grease meets Drag Race meets a Trump rally, with sequins. Lots of sequins… thewardrobetheatre.com
12 September-6 October
Gabrielle A change of date for the singer’s Under My Skin album launch party; 3ca.org.uk
henry V Shakespeare at the Tobacco Theatre has a new autumn schedule, and this first outing has already been tried out in the provinces (Bath). With themes of patriotism and the moral responsibility of leadership, the new take is bound to be stuffed with contemporary resonance, just as it was in Olivier’s film version during World War II. tobaccofactorytheatres.com
skin a cat A no-holds barred take on a teenage girl’s coming of age by Isley Lynn. We’re delighted to say that the protagonist is not called Cat. Her name’s Alana. thewardrobetheatre.com
She Who Dares – A Fierce Circus Cabaret Bristol’s female-led alternative circus company Lavrak rocks the boat of expectations and breaks the rules of the ‘good girl’ guide book; at PRSC, find them on Facebook.
chitty chitty bang bang The only musical ever to be adapted by Roald Dahl from a novel by Ian
Benedetti, Van Der Heijden and Chauhan As in Nicola, Laura and Alpesh; for the 40th anniversary year of the BBC Young Musician competition, St George’s Bristol launches its new season with some previous winners; stgeorgesbristol.co.uk
Sacconi Quartet and Jon Boden The ex-frontman of Bellowhead joins the Sacconi Quartet for a reprise of Elvis Costello’s 1993 collaboration with Brodsky Quartet at St George’s; stgeorgesbristol.co.uk
Oz and Armonico – Drink to Music! Wine critic Oz joins Renaissance and Baroque ninjas Armonico Consort for an investigation into the colourful links between wine and music; at St George’s, stgeorgesbristol.co.uk
Twinkle Brothers and Jah Shaka Twinkle Brothers perform live on stage with the Mighty Jah Shaka
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what’s on sound system in session until dawn, at Trinity; 3ca.org.uk
Tokyo world Five fields of music. Over 100+ artists. One weekend. At Eastville Park; line up to be announced soon. tokyoworld.org
Comedy 24-24 August
Kevin bridges: brand new Scotland’s biggest comedy export since the Big Yin brings his unambiguously titled new show to Bristol Hippodrome; atgtickets.com
michael mcintyre: Work in progress The clue’s in the show’s title; smiley, smarmy Michael’s trying out his new material to see if it makes us LOL; at Bristol Hippodrome; atgtickets.com
3, 17 September
closer each day The world’s longest-running improvised soap continues to bubble away amusingly at The Wardrobe, every other Monday; thewardrobetheatre.com
bridget christie: what now? Are the news headlines affecting your ability to enjoy the simple things? Like baking, gardening and autoerotic asphyxiation? Bridget breaks it all down for you at TFT; tobaccofactorytheatres.com
hal cruttendon: chubster Hal’s daughters chose the title of his new stand-up show. Hal’s now on a diet. At Redgrave; redgravetheatre.com paul smith: hiya mate The quick-witted, affable Scouser offers more tales from his life, at Bristol Hippodrome; atgtickets.com
rich hall’s hoedown A withering dissection of Trump’s America ends up with a celebration of Americana, stand-up, improvised ballads and cracking musicianship. At Redgrave; redgravetheatre.com
sean walsh The dishevelled, fiery, animated,
idle millennial man-child comes to Redgrave; redgravetheatre.com
24 August-2 September
friends fest Could they be any more excited? The event based on the world’s most popular sitcom returns to Blaise Castle, with recreated apartments, the corridor and Central Perk, along with a chance to recreate the title sequence with your mates; friendsfest.seetickets.com
found foOtage festival America’s acclaimed touring showcase of odd and hilarious found videos comes alliteratively to Arnolfini, as an early treat from Encounters; encounters-festival.org.uk
the coffee house project We very much like the fact that they’ve found an alternative word for ‘festival’, though that’s effectively what it is; it’s Bristol’s first fest dedicated to the bean, focusing on local artisan roasters, indie food and drink retailers, and homegrown baristas; at Passenger Shed. thecoffeehouseproject.co.uk
the bristol thai festival Challenge your taste buds and feast your eyes on world-class food and performances, all with a Thai flavour; magicofthailand.co.uk
bristol craft beer festival This year, the buzzing beerfest’s relocating to Harbourside, for three days of food, live music, and, oh yeah, beer – over 250, from 35 breweries; bristolcraftbeerfestival.co.uk bristol doors open days It used to be one day, but it’s grown to a proper little three-day event, as a wide range of buildings offers a chance to look behind closed doors; see feature page 36. bristolopendoors.org.uk
Until 2 September
Gromit Unleashed 2 The painted pooch trail has one more week to run;, this year Gromit’s joined by owner Wallace and arch-
16 I BRISTOL LIFE I www.mediaclash.co.uk
We’re thinking of crowdfunding a hairbrush for Sean Walsh, and dropping it off at the Redgrave. Please give generously
nemesis Feathers McGraw; profits to Grand Appeal, gromitunleashed. org.uk
Until 8 September
Blood, Booze and Buccaneers Show of Strength’s current walking tour; expect some startling revelations about Bristol’s most famous pirate, Blackbeard. showofstrength.org.uk
bristol’s big green picnic Pack up your plastic-free picnic hamper, filled with as much local, organic produce as possible, hop on public transport to eat your lunch, and revel in your unblemished green conscience; bristol-cathedral.co.uk
funzing Talks: Murderers, Mafia Hitmen & US Prison True-crime author Shaun Attwood was incarcerated in Arizona’s highest-security prison, rubbing shoulders with Mafia hitmen and neo-Nazi psycho killers. We’re guessing he may have a few stories to tell. At Arnos Vale; arnosvale.org.uk
factoberfest The TFT’s annual collaboration with Bristol Beer Factory, with over 70 craft beers, live music, food and shizzle; tobaccofactory.com
7, 16 September
bristol hoppers Walking tours exploring Bristol’s craft beer scene, each with a different locality and angle; bristolhoppers.co.uk
whisky bristol underground Loco Club hosts this fest in thrall to the grain; expect major brands, independent bottlers, local experts, creative masterclasses, collaborations with local bars, music and street food et al. whiskybristol.co.uk
Lego robot wars Join fellow LEGO enthusiasts to assemble, programme and battle your own fearsome bots; at St Anne’s Church Hall, Eastville. legorobotclub.co.uk
bristol half Or the 2018 Simplyhealth Great Bristol Half Marathon, as it likes to be called on formal occasions; back for its third year as part of the Great Run Series, with over 10,000 runners. great-bristol-half-marathon.co.uk jurassic park in concert Watch Dickie Attenborough make his fatal mistake again, in HD, with a live symphony orchestra performing John Williams’ score. At Bristol Hippodrome; atgtickets.com
Argentinian Tango? What will you learn?
- Techniques for posture and balance - A repertoire of interesting movements - How to connect with your partner and the music
How will you learn?
- Learn at your own pace, relax and enjoy the classes - Attend with a partner or solo - Just bring smooth soled shoes and a smile! With instructors Michele and Andrew ÂŁ8 per class inclusive of practice
The elegant social style of Tango with wonderful music to enjoy learn now with Tango West !
SPECIAL OFFER: ÂŁ40 for 6 classes pre booked!
The Redland Club, Burlington Rd, Bristol BS6 6TN Starting Wednesday 19th September 6.30pm til 7.45pm and practice until 8.30pm Michele@tangowest.co.uk
07981 756965 | www.tangowest.co.uk
Texture: September 15th - October 12th 2018 Presenting three very exciting artists whose works are very much in contrast, yet often rely on texture, and reworking the surface as an important part of their creative process.
Henry Jabbour, Rose Strang and Vivienne Williams RCA
Bristol Gallery 84 Hotwell Road, Bristol, BS8 4UB Telephone : 0117 929 2527 Find us on social media:
For more information visit us online : www.limetreegallery.com
Wondering what to do with all those leftover St Pauls/LSTD/Pride sequins? Wear them to Prom Kween, perhaps?
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“A fast and funny musical with something really important to say, Prom Kween is dripping in glitter and RuPaul and Mean Girls references”
It’s not precisely dead on the Bristol arts scene over the summer; it’s quieter than usual, admittedly, but there’s always something to see and do. But as festival season comes to a close, and we all begin to wonder if it’s time to start gath’ring winter fuel, Bristol’s galleries, concert halls and theatres really start to ﬂex their muscles and wheel out their big guns for the autumn season. Soon after that, of course, we’ll be all about the Christmas shows. Oh yes we will. Resistance is futile. By Deri Robins
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Twenty-five years on, love is still a Beautiful Thing for Jamie and Ste
estival season – at least, the dancing about in fields variety, there are still a few cerebral indoor ones to come – is over. Or it will be, as soon as the last notes of Noel Gallagher’s encore on the Downs die away. It’s time to call it a day. Pack away your sequins and your butterfly wings. Wind up the masquerade. And get ready to flex your credit cards, Bristol, because here comes the city’s brand-new season of music, art and drama; over the next few pages we find out from those who work at the city’s major venues what we really can’t afford to miss. To kick things off, let’s head south of the river . ..
TOBACCO FACTORY THEATRES
Many top Bristol venues are positively incontinent with excitement about the opening of their new spaces this autumn. Tobacco Factory Theatres is among them, with the culmination of its redevelopment project, the opening of the new Spielman Theatre and the arrival of its next major in-house production, Beautiful Thing, which runs between 11-27 October. Here’s marketing manager Hilary Coleman. “Our artistic director Mike Tweddle is directing Jonathan Harvey’s play in its 25th anniversary year. Depicting the life and love of two teenage boys on the Thamesmead council estate, the play shows how community can lift people out of isolation and suffering; it’s joyous, heart-wrenching and uplifting. “The Get Singing community choir, brought together especially for this production, will complete a gloriously nostalgic trip back to the early ’90s, singing pop hits live on stage each night. “The opening season in our new studio space, the Spielman Theatre will also be also electric, featuring award-winning, all-female contemporary circus from Ellie Dubois in No Show, and poignant,
inventive storytelling from Shôn Dale-Jones in The Duke.” www.tobaccofactorytheatres.com
SHAKESPEARE AT TOBACCO FACTORY
The new brooms sweeping the Tobacco Factory have made a big change to the STF programming. Instead of two plays in early spring, there’s just one – Henry V, between 12 September-6 October – and instead of being launched at the TFT, as in previous years, it previewed in Bath, where it won rave reviews from the national press. With its themes of patriotism and rule, it’s one of Shakespeare’s most enduring histories, and wildly adaptable to every era (we’re thinking of Larry Olivier’s fabulous bit of filmic propaganda during World War II). “Kings, captains, soldiers and civilians are given equal voice and prominence,” says director Elizabeth Freestone. “The questions Shakespeare raises about leadership, national identity and the cost of war are at the forefront of all our minds.” The young king is played by Ben Hall – grandson of illustrious director Sir Peter. “Henry is a part that I have always wanted to play,” says Ben. “He’s a very interesting character. He battles with the pressure of ultimate power; the contradicting decisions of the crown versus the man. “Elizabeth’s direction is so freeing and versatile that taking it to the Tobacco Factory is an exciting prospect, rather than a daunting one. She was very keen on keeping the staging fluid and changeable during the rehearsal process, so the show could fit into any configuration. We hope Bristol enjoys it as much as we enjoy playing it.” www. stf-theatre.org.uk
“Leadership, national identity and the cost of war are at the forefront of all our minds”
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To hear about one of the most intriguing shows of the autumn season, we spoke to The Last Days of Judas Iscariot’s actor/producer Paul Simcox, a former Royal Marine who has returned to his childhood passion for acting. Here’s the premise of the play: Continued on p25 ➽
ARTS BRISTOL OLD VIC
There’s an exciting season of drama ahead, but it’s eclipsed by the most thrilling event of all – the opening of the new front of house space, the culmination of the multi-million-pound refurbishment programme that has catapulted one of the world’s most historic theatres fully into the 21st century. “After two years of hoardings, and directing audiences around the back of the building to get in, we are finally swinging open our new front doors,” says comms assistant Caroline Lang. “All of Bristol will be invited to soak up the award-winning architecture, eat, drink and be merry in our brand new 1766 Bar & Kitchen and enjoy a warm welcome from sunrise to curtain-down. “To mark the moment, two of UK theatre’s leading storytellers, our own Tom Morris and Edinburgh Lyceum’s David Greig, are bringing the ultimate tale of human survival, Touching The Void, to our stage between 8 September – 6 October. “If you’ve never read the book or seen the film, it’s a proper white-knuckle ride; the true story about mountaineers Joe Simpson and Simon Yates and their fateful descent of the Siula Grande mountain. The tale of these climbers’ impossible choices in the face of death is transformed into a theatrical spectacle fit for the new era at Bristol Old Vic. “Word from rehearsals is that audiences are in for a big surprise…” www.bristololdvic.org.uk
We’re all for empathising with the main characters, but there’s probably no need to wrap up quite this warmly for Touching the Void
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Lithographs, prints and original work by some of the greatest artists of the 20th & 21st centuries alongside stunning contemporary work from Bristol and beyond. Banksy. Picasso, Matisse. Hockney. Grayson Perry. Stik. Francis Bacon. Henry Moore. Chagall. Huw Richards Evans. Lauren Baker. Tracey Emin. Salvador Dali. Damien Hirst and so many more. 8 & 10 The Clifton Arcade, Boyceâ€™s Avenue, Clifton, Bristol BS8 4AA www.myhiddenworld.co.uk | firstname.lastname@example.org | Telephone: 0117 279 6402
ARTS and tells the (true) story of the first boy ever to be crowned prom queen. “It’s a rollercoaster of comedy and drama that explores sexuality and gender in the most glorious way possible; it’ll be big, bold and excellent.” www.thewardrobetheatre.com
Cinema producer Tara Judah and her team have lined up some serious bigscreen treats for us; side-orders of popcorn optional. “As the crisp autumnal air sets in, so too does a season of sensory cinema,” says Tara. “From the ground-breaking, heartbreaking British New Wave of kitchen-sink dramas, our September and October Sunday Brunches celebrate the workingclass heroes of British cinema, from Lynne Ramsay to Ken Loach. “Also, with the first-ever live, interactive film in the UK hitting our cinema screen – a one-night only event on 14 October – we’re thrilled to play host to Bloodyminded, a live streaming film shot in a single, continuous take, that allows viewers to interact by communicating with the narrator during the film. A reflective piece on WW I, Bloodyminded is immersive cinema like you’ve never experienced it before.” www.watershed.co.uk
Bristol’s ever-impressive Short Film and Animation Festival returns 25-30 September, with over 230 films and events at venues across Bristol, mostly Watershed. Cineastes: “Poor Cow was a seminal film in the British New Wave, and the first to be directed “Expect an exciting blend of work by Ken Loach.” Everyone else: “Pwhoaarhh! A young Terence Stamp!” from established and rising talent in the industry, covering genres such as sci-fi, horror, family-friendly, comedy, scratch- and-sniff cinema, 3D screenings, the “Set in a courtroom in the backstreets of Purgatory, an appeal is natural world and sex and sexuality,” say the organisers, enticingly; the being lodged on behalf of Judas Iscariot against his sentence to eternal programme is far too eclectic and imaginative for us to cram all the damnation. Witnesses as diverse as Satan, Mother Teresa and Sigmund events into one paragraph, but we’ll attempt to do it a bit more justice Freud are called to give evidence; it’s hilarious, but it also considers in a full feature in our next issue. faith, forgiveness and who was responsible for the death of Christ. www.encounters-festival.org.uk “I found this play three years ago and loved it; as it’s not well known, I decided to produce it and cast local actors and colleagues from the Bristol ST GEORGE’S BRISTOL Acting Academy. I know that a slightly Yet another venue proudly unveiling unhinged, foul-mouthed religious play is its transformation this autumn is St not the usual theatrical fare in Clifton, so George’s. we’re working hard to bring it to people’s “We’re relaunching as a creative attention. space for music and ideas, following “Bristol has an amazing pool of talent, a bold and ambitious £6.3 million and this crazy, deeply philosophical play programme of works,” says marketing allows us to showcase it. At the end, the head Dagmar Smeed. “The pavilion-style audience can even vote on Judas’s guilt or innocence.” extension gives our venue a new café bar and multi-purpose spaces for See it at The Redgrave on 11-13 September. performances, workshops and venue hire. www.redgravetheatre.com “Our season opener features international artists and former BBC Young Musicians of the Year Nicola Benedetti and Laura Van Der Heijden, on 6 September. There’s also the Bristol Keyboard Festival THE WARDROBE between 30 October-7 November, ranging from pianist Paul Lewis to Co-director Matthew Whittle tells us that Prom Kween by Rebecca Will Gregory of Goldfrapp fame, with his Moog Ensemble, plus Zubin Humphries (11-15 September) has been his “absolute favourite show at Kanga’s Wikipiano; other big names include Jon Boden, Stacey Kent Edinburgh Fringe for both the past two years. A fast and funny musical and six-time BBC 2 Folk Award winner Karine Polwart” with something really important to say, dripping in glitter and RuPaul www.stgeorgesbristol.co.uk and Mean Girls references, the show is set in an American high school Continued on p26 ➽
“I know that a slightly unhinged, foul-mouthed religious play is not the usual theatrical fare in Clifton”
www.mediaclash.co.uk I BRISTOL LIFE I 25
from top: Bansky fruit shooters at Hidden Rare; we’re
guessing acres of bubble wrap was employed when delivering these clown eggs to Bristol Museum; masterly Swedish still-lifes at Lime Tree
And in the galleries?
• At Paintworks, Bocabar are offering “a cerebral Olympics of delicious viewing”: four popular Bristol artists working in four different genres, between 10 September - 4 November. See page 13. • Suffering from circus deficiency since RWA packed up their Sawdust & Sequins? Look out for Clowns at Bristol Museum & Art Gallery (29 September – 6 January); a surreal and interactive realm of light, colour, mirrors and clown cars, where you can try out circus skills and costume, and see the fascinating eggs from Clowns International, who have been painting the faces of its members on eggs for over 70 years. • The RWA’s Annual Open Exhibition returns for its 166th year between 7 Oct – 25 November. “It’s always an exciting show, with hundreds of established and emerging artists throughout the galleries,” says director Alison Bevan. “Last year we welcomed over 10,000 visitors! We are also excited to announce a major new exhibition this December – Albert Irvin and Abstract Expressionism. It will be the first major Irvin retrospective in almost a decade and will include incredible works by Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Robert Motherwell and Barnett Newman which have never been seen in Bristol before.” • It’s always worth popping into Hidden Rare to see what they have on the walls. Recent acquisitions include a pair of ceramic jugs, handmade by Picasso; hand-signed Marc Chagall etchings, and an original signed Matisse from 1935. And it’s not all 20th-century masters – the local street art scene is well represented, with original work by Inkie, Cheba and Banksy. Just call in, says Chris; he might even turn the music down long enough for you to have a chat. • Exciting news from the Gloucester Road – Sarah Thorp is opening a new gallery at café/bar Alchemy 198, a few doors down from her established Room 212. “Not only will we be supplying all the artwork for the walls, but we’ll have a gallery in the basement offering exhibition space,” says Sarah. “Among artists lined up for our new venture is the super-talented Rosie Mclay, whose beautiful anatomical etchings are among our bestsellers; Carla James, who combines her Trinidadian and Bristolian roots in her paintings, and world-famous street artist Inkie.“ • Lime Tree Gallery is hosting two rather special exhibitions this autumn. “On 15 September we open Texture, presenting three very exciting artists – Vivienne Williams, Henry Jabbour and Rose Strang – whose works are very much in contrast, yet often rely on texture, and reworking the surface as an important part of their creative process. “Then on 27 October we host the long-awaited return of Mats Rydstern, a major figure in contemporary Swedish painting, and one of our most collected artists – fine still-life painting with the occasional beautiful landscape.” • And keep an eye open for news of the autumn art trails – such as the West Bristol Art Trail, in which around 100 local artists in Clifton, Clifton Wood, Redland and Hotwells open their homes and studios to the general public (13-14 October, with a public preview on 12 October at the Avon Gorge Hotel). Meet fine artists, photographers, ceramicists, print makers and sculptors in their studios, chat to them about their work and maybe buy directly from them.
26 I BRISTOL LIFE I www.mediaclash.co.uk
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BRISTOL HEROES Art heroes can be found in the most surprising places; and if theyâ€™re there to be found, Colin will find them, and he will photograph them . . . Words and pictures by Colin Moody
30 I BRISTOL LIFE I www.mediaclash.co.uk
ome months back, we featured eight Art Heroes on these pages. All art champions, inspiring us to think a bit differently, to inspire and entertain us, get us thinking about life, community and everything, in this amazing city of Bristol. However, since then I’ve witnessed many more of them, and as my editor tells me there’s a bit of an art theme going on in this issue, here are some more.
This art hero probably bought his butterfly outfit from a standard shop on the high street. Packed it into his festival bag, and then put it on as a human. But when he stood there, while everyone else was looking at the main stage at Valley Fest, he became, at least to me, a performance artist creating the sense that what would really top off the festival really well would be to cast open those wings as wide as they could go, and fly, fly, fly . . . It would seem this city is full of artists; there is a little bit of wonder and creativity in all of us, and it’s a great joy to see it in random places.
BS51 is a graffiti artist. He painted the big Empire Windrush mural on Campbell Street. I wandered around the streets of St Pauls hours before the Carnival, to see people setting up. I advise all street photographers to take the lesser trodden roads, and the time slots before or after a main event. The world does tend to show itself in these unguarded moments and places. He was busy working on this piece, which would be right in the middle of the sound space between huge sound systems, and become what I call a ‘placemaking’ piece of art. I loved it so much I stayed with him for ages, talking and letting him work, chatting and standing back. Eventually he told me that what he loves is the history, the community here in St Pauls that means so much to him. The elders, their place as the first people to work hard against some tough odds to live and raise families here. And for them he put up Captain Jamaica. I got the shot just as he was thinking about where to sign the piece.
So, you live in a street where all the houses look the same. One day you decide that what is needed is to paint the whole house pink. That makes you an art hero, whoever you are. They say we stop being artists when we grow up. We put it aside. Well, this person deserves full recognition in my book for keeping the dream alive. We got the pink, we all have the pink, only some of us show it on the outside.
“There is a little bit of wonder and creativity in all of us, and it’s a great joy to see it in random places” www.mediaclash.co.uk I BRISTOL LIFE I 31
We can be proud of our city, and its communities of communities. And one of its strongest has to be the LGBT+ community, as we can see when the huge Bristol Pride week rolls around in the calendar. There were many wonderful moments from Pride this year that I was able to see; here is one of them. Another anonymous artist, preparing the facepaint for one of our boys in blue. And the sun stayed out all day, shining its light on all those rainbows. You will see more from this march in future Hero series.
I do like a bit of abstract expressionism, but I didn’t find this in an art gallery. Personally, I think it belongs there. It’s a bale of many thousands of aluminium cans, all crushed together by Bristol Waste as they are prepped to go off to Norfolk to be turned back into aluminium sheeting, that will then become more metal products for you to buy. So what does this 12,000-can bale say to me as an art work? It talks about consumerism, it’s made out of a huge variety of elemental colours and does, for me, represent our diverse city of which we should be proud. As we should of our ability to make money back off waste for the city. Maybe we should consume less and look at art bales more? Ooh, that’s art isn’t it. Always gets you thinking.
A few years ago I saw an amazing photograph by Neil James Brain ( @ NeilJamesB on Instagram) of Louis Masai, shown here spinning a can of spray paint at Upfest while he was working on a wall. I later find out, when its raining at this year’s
“If you paint over Louis Masai’s work he will create more art. Art more powerful than you can possibly imagine”
At this year’s The Other Art Fair, I was asked to join an arts panel to talk about creativity and inspiration in this city. Some people asked about where inspiration comes from to be an artist. This shot was taken just before the panel discussion, and it’s a good example. One piece of artwork on its own is not the end. It’s the people passing by, interacting with it, the people behind the scenes, the community connections, local printers, inspiration from all those other seven art heroes this month – all that is driving up our creativity. It’s easy to see why Saatchi Art keeps wanting to keep Bristol on the map, alongside the likes of LA, London, Brooklyn and Sydney. If rents can stay affordable we will hold on to our vibrant art scene. Selling internationally is fantastic, and if we can support our local artists more we all win.
Follow Colin on Twitter @moodycolin Instagram @moodycolin319
7 Upfest, and everyone has a few moments off, that Louis is in fact a Jedi master and can spin cans in the air just by the power of his mind. His Jedi skills are only surpassed by his paint skills. If you paint over Louis Masai’s work he will create more art. Art more powerful than you can possibly imagine.
Soul of the street artist. That’s what one of my friends said when I showed them this. It’s all the faces, the ones which look right out at you, straight at you, painted by the graffiti artists and street artists at Upfest. Nomad Clan’s amazing new artwork is in there, so is work by Lucas Antics, Bronik, Angus and many more. It’s a one-off special from my series We Are One, in which I photograph many faces to discover, when I layer them all on top of each other, what the ‘one’ face looks like. You can find out more about this project via my Twitter feed, @moodycolin. What do you think of this soul of the artist? It’s part animal, part human, part Lisa Simpson..? www.mediaclash.co.uk I BRISTOL LIFE I 33
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ots of families, business travellers and property owners are benefiting from earning additional income from their homes without the hassle of doing it themselves, thanks to Airsorted, a dedicated host management service based in Bristol. If your home is vacant on a short-term basis when you’re holidaying with the family, travelling with work or staying in a second property, you could generate extra income from short-term lets to help fund your lifestyle. But if the reality of managing the letting process seems daunting or too time-consuming, Airsorted could be the perfect solution for you. That’s what Clifton residents, Janek and Lydia found when they recently decided to use Airsorted for the first time. “From the initial questionnaire to the listing going live, we have been expertly guided through the whole process and no question has gone unanswered,” they said. “We like having Sarah as our account executive, she knows our flat and the area, so we feel confident that there is continuity for each guest.” From its Bristol office, the South-West team bring its hassle-free hosting service to homeowners across the city, and directly handle the management of properties to provide a
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• Listing creation – professional photography and search optimisation • Price optimisation – specialised technology and local knowledge help us set the perfect price • Professional cleaning – arrange professional cleaning paid for by your guests • Hotel quality linens – beds made to a hotel standard with towels and linen laundered offsite • Guest vetting – strict screening of guests using both online and offline verification checks • 24 hr check in – peace of mind for your guests as they can check in anytime • Account management – one point of contact for all your queries • Property maintenance – highly skilled professionals on call • Guest communications – prompt responses to your guests • Replenishment – monitoring and restocking of necessary items
Cat and Rog, who live in St Werburghs and rent out their property with Airsorted when they’re not in the UK, believe that the hostmanagement service will be pivotal in achieving a new lifestyle. Cat explained, “For us, it’s been so easy and straightforward to use Airsorted and it’s ideal when we still want to use the house flexibly and live in it when we’re in Bristol. Our previous hosting experience has had some difficult moments; it can be challenging to manage changeovers and cleaners when you’re not around, but with Airsorted everything is taken care of for you. It’s simple and easy so you don’t have to worry about a thing.” n
If you are a Bristol-based host already, or are new to home-sharing and interested in hosting in Bristol, Airsorted would love to hear from you. Call 0117 3256 152 or visit the website at www.airsorted.co.uk/bristol www.mediaclash.co.uk I BRISTOL LIFE I 35
Unlocking the City Who doesn’t love the chance to see into the city’s most private and secretive buildings? Clearly, Bristolians do – which is why Doors Open Day has gone from strength to strength each year
stablished 24 years ago, the Architecture Centre’s annual event has expanded from a one-day event to a full weekend, as Bristolians are offered a chance to enter extraordinary buildings (and access extraordinary rooms in ordinary ones), and hear the stories of the people connected with them. There are over 101 sites to explore, with 30 new events laid on this year, from tunnel trails to a tour of the new space at Bristol Old Vic; from hospitals to museums, cemeteries to railways – the scope is vast, and entry is free. Historic buildings naturally have an enduring fascination. Heavy doors, creaking hinges and archways, echoing with the ghosts of the past – we’ve picked just seven that caught our eye. All these gems host drop-in events on the day – so throw on some comfy shoes, get walking, and see the lot.
36 I BRISTOL LIFE I www.mediaclash.co.uk
OPEN DOORS days Castle Park Vaults
Delve into the vaults of the castle that gives the park its name, and discover the spaces built before the WWII bombing. Park Row Synagogue
Often overlooked, though in the heart of the city, this is the historic home of Bristol’s Jewish congregation. Redland High School
A last chance to see the 18th-century Georgian interior of this former school before it undergoes its major redevelopment into residential apartments. Clifton Rocks Railway
A rare glimpse inside the city’s underground funicular oddity perched aside Avon Gorge. Expect queues for this one, but it’s worth the wait. Clifton Cathedral
Newly reopened following recent refurbishment, this stark, imposing Brutalist gem within Georgian Clifton was highly controversial when first built. Clifton Suspension Bridge
The ever-popular opportunity to clamber down ladders to sneak a view of Vault 4 in the Leigh Woods abutment. From Tobacco to Silver Screen
Sitting in the dockside former B Bond warehouse you’ll be transported into the 1920s of Bristol by historic footage and fascinating documentaries. Unlock more doors at www.bristolopendoors.org.uk
“You can enter extraordinary buildings, or access extraordinary rooms in ordinary ones”
You probably see it every day; you’ve probably taken its photo on numerous occasions – but what’s it like under Clifton Suspension Bridge?
www.mediaclash.co.uk I BRISTOL LIFE I 37
The way to a dream home? Build it yourself!
This year, Bristol Open Doors is showcasing a number of self-build co-housing schemes as part of its weekend building tours. Affordable housing is one of the defining issues of our time. The question is: how can housing be built in a time of economic austerity? We all know the problems: lack of homes and affordability; the sale of council houses; the reliance on the market to meet demand; poor design; astronomical land prices; and a planning system creaking under the burden of cuts. But what about the solutions? Instead of going it alone, a growing number of people are looking to our European counterparts for inspiration and joining forces to create citizenled co-housing together. For the first time in its 24-year history, Bristol Open Doors unlocks some of the most innovative and disruptive projects aiming to meet the city’s housing needs. From 14-16 September, the festival opens the doors of three self-build projects: The Yard in Ashley Vale, The Courtyard and We Can Make. More than just a ‘nosey neighbour’ opportunity, this is a chance to see viable alternatives to how we live in a city and what constitutes a home and a community today.
One of the most successful larger-scale newbuilds: Paintworks, where the philosophy is summed up by “It’s not a scheme, it’s a place”
OPEN DOORS days The Yard, Ashley Vale
This neighbourhood in St Werburghs is a ground-breaking development of 40 homes, alongside workspaces and community facilities. The grassroots project, initiated by an action group of local residents, was built between 2000 and 2010. With its diverse range of house styles, materials and approaches to the custom-build model, The Yard showcases an ahead-of- its-time example of community-led selfbuild housing. During Bristol Open Doors, a workers group borne out of the project, Ecomotive, will take a few people on a tour (pre-book only) around the site to learn about the history, process and design of the build. Here’s what Anna Hope of Ecomotive has to say about the project: “There is growing interest in alternative models of housing that have a stronger focus on community, affordability and the environment, that put residents and local communities in the driving seat. “Not only has Ashley Vale been a great success in its own right, but it has also inspired many other initiatives over the years. Ecomotive is now collaborating with others to set up a hub for community-led housing in the West of England area, which we hope will bring together advice, funding and sites for community housing projects of all flavours.”
We Can Make
Upscaling the citizen-led approach to a larger scale can be seen at the TAM site of Knowle West. Started in August 2017 and scheduled to complete in five years, the We Can Make TAM Home project will provide 350 innovative low-carbon, prefabricated timber and straw homes for the community. The organisation behind the project, We Can Make, has re-imagined the legal, financial and policy frameworks of the city so that real people can become the developers of their own affordable homes. Drop in to meet the team behind the We Can Make project to see the developing project onsite. “When people can expect to pay around 7.6 times their annual earnings on purchasing a home in England and Wales, the We Can Make initiative ensures communities, not property developers, call the shots: where homes are built to meet local need, using local assets and skills,” says Craig White of White Design, lead architect of the project.
Not a million miles away from The Yard is The Courtyard. A zero-carbon selfbuild co-housing project, The Courtyard connects 12 sustainable homes to a flourishing shared garden, and proves how communal living in the city can be built both successfully and affordably. The result challenges the traditional model of housebuilding, showing how high-quality and architecturally unique projects that reinstate the value of community can be delivered with the commitment of self-builders. Bristol Open Doors tours of The Courtyard will be led by developers Bright Green Futures, and offer both a client and designer perspective on the project. Let director Steffie Broer tell you why The Courtyard is opening its doors: “A tour of The Courtyard can open people up to the possibilities of designing and building their own home and community. It is our aim to encourage more people to come together do this in Bristol. “We should be following the lead of European countries, where people self-build around 50% of homes. The UK is way behind, selfbuilding only 10-15%. As Bright Green Futures, we are enabling selfbuild communities like The Courtyard and in our upcoming project in Bristol, Water Lilies.”
At a time in which the city is in desperate need of new, low-cost but high-quality housing, the sites open during Bristol Open Doors present an inspiring and viable alternative to what urban house-building might look like. It should be said, though, that not all developers create soulless spaces – quite the contrary. In recent years, Bristol can lay claim to many highly awarded mixedused developments that put people and placemaking at the heart of its design. Examples of these can be found, too, during Bristol Open Doors, where tours of larger housing developments are being run – particularly looking at the innovative repurposing of old industrial sites for new housing needs. Turning paint and paper bag factories into vibrant new living quarters, the Robinson Building and Paintworks developments are hosting walkabouts, as will the most recent success story on the Harbourside, Wapping Wharf. The ‘It’s not a scheme, it’s a place’ strapline says it all for the south Bristol project of Paintworks. The aim was to create an entirely new, vibrant, mixed-use district out of a previously derelict industrial complex. Having undergone renovation for the past decade, it is now considered one of Bristol’s key creative hubs. Similarly, at Wapping Wharf, developers Umberslade took the route of creating a new social destination for the city, notably through Cargo – the hub of tiny local indie restaurants, shops and studios within old shipping containers, that joined other similar businesses along Gaol Ferry Steps, while also providing quality-designed housing by Alec French Architects.
left to right: We Can Make, The Yard, The Courtyard
Bristol Open Doors runs from 14-16 September, with 101 site visits, buildings tours and family explorations on offer; www.bristolopendoors.org.uk
“It’s a chance to see viable alternatives to how we live in a city and what constitutes a home today”
www.mediaclash.co.uk I BRISTOL LIFE I 39
keeping it real 42 I BRISTOL LIFE I www.mediaclash.co.uk
the big interview
“He’s the wicked stepfather of the UK’s electronic music scene, coming to fame amid the ghetto grime and euphoric breakbeats of ’90s rave”
Alex Diggins talks authenticity, Bristol’s ley lines and getting to die every Christmas with James Bond, to musician and artist Goldie ahead of his appearance at The Downs Festival
oldie’s got music on his mind. This shouldn’t surprise us. The man’s been active in underground music since at least the mid ’80s; he had the first drum & bass album to go gold in the UK with 1995’s Timeless, and he’s been steadily producing them ever since, including 2017’s The Journey Man. He’s the wicked stepfather of the UK’s electronic music scene: coming to fame amid the ghetto grime and euphoric breakbeats of ’90s rave, and shepherding it from the niche experimentalism of jungle to today’s chart-topping dubstep. But even so, his sheer eloquence on the subject takes me aback. He’s unquenchable: a flood of names, tracks and opinions pours out of him. Wherever I turn the conversation, trying to expand on his extraordinary career – which spans West Coast graffiti artist to Strictly Come Dancing contestant to EastEnders villain – he turns inevitably back to the music. Which is just fine. Goldie being Goldie, you let him do his thing. And his thing now apparently includes avant-garde jazz. He’s wrapping up production on a collaboration with the singer Natalie Williams, and he’s full of enthusiasm for her. “[Natalie] trusts me, her music is amazing. It moves the jazz world forward. It’s new age stuff.” I ask him whether it’s a departure: the artist who came from a West Midlands foster home and made his name on the harsh beats of d&b, noodling around with avant-garde jazz. Not a bit of it, he replies. “I’ve always wanted to do a down-tempo project. Now I’ve managed to do that successfully, and I’m very happy with that”.
www.mediaclash.co.uk I BRISTOL LIFE I 43
the big interview Being avant-garde, whether in electronic music or graffiti culture, has always informed Goldie’s career. He points to the example of Bristol’s street art: “I can guarantee that 95% of these people didn’t go to art school. They’re all properly self-taught. I don’t mean that in an exclusionary way – there’s been a massive explosion in the way people respect and appreciate graffiti postBanksy.” Bansky’s Bristol’s most famous – and most commodified – expression of urban authenticity, but to Goldie, self-reliance is as important as being iconic. “I haven’t come via the internet, so I don’t need to culturally jump on whatever’s happening at the time.” If that’s a criticism of Banksy and his fame, then it’s an uncharacteristically guarded one. But Goldie’s twin careers as musician and graffiti artist share more than a concern with pushing boundaries and staying authentic. “I use my synaesthesia and dyslexia to channel my creativity. I don’t play an instrument but I have a very good ear. Every piece I do is a melting pot of ideas so every time I finish I always have an idea for the next one.” I get the impression that Goldie pities those bedroom DJs, chasing a fickle public attention online, with “thousands of unfinished tracks”. Pre-internet, his career had to be built on equal parts inspiration and organisation – “I had to have a plan going into a situation. Back then you had to hire a studio, a technician, an engineer and you had to pay for it!” It’s an approach he seems to have applied to his entire working life. I ask him about his forays into acting (he appeared in Guy Ritchie’s Snatch, Bond movie The World is Not Enough, as well as EastEnders and Strictly). He’s sanguine that it failed to catch alight in the same way as his music: “I’m a love or hate character. But I’m not
Goldie won’t eat his cereal
“Bristol’s always had this really beautiful musical heritage – it’s the ley lines, the energy” Mixed pre-Downs messaging from Goldie and Noel
about isolating myself from culture – I’m immersed in it. You can make me the monkey on the barrel any time you like, if you’re going to pay me 80 grand and put my kids through university. I get to die every Christmas on James Bond – how many other people can say that?” Sometimes, pushing boundaries failed to pay, though. “I had to deal with the fact I was making music that was so far ahead, I wasn’t making any money from it. I’ve been riding the wave of culture since the ’80s.” Part of riding that wave, it seems, is to see that culture – street culture, ghetto identity – be co-opted by the mainstream. “In every culture over time, there will be an element of gentrification. You look at the main fashion houses – they decide that street wear is the way forward 35 years too late. Well, they’re fucked. But culture does what it says on the tin: it has to have roots in something. Once you have those roots it’s very hard to shake. It’s the barbarians from within that conquer.” Bristol has that deep-rooted culture, he claims. “I’m really excited to come back here. The point of playing The Downs is partly the told-you-so aspect: 35 years ago, people thought we were bonkers, we were so far ahead of the curve. Now everyone’s followed suit. Bristol’s always had this really beautiful musical heritage – it’s the ley lines, the energy. The show will have no backing tracks, just human beings playing electronic music, live. And that’s real.” And so we’re back to those twin poles guiding Goldie’s career: music and authenticity. “Most artists are grounded people, but you have to be aware of the water that you’re swimming in. The inner struggle is to keep that water clear. As soon as those waters become cloudy, when you go out of your depth, you risk going in circles. Like, I became a parody of myself in the ’90s. But you have to detach yourself from all that and realise: it’s all part of the journey.” n Goldie will be dishing music – and a little philosophy – at the Downs Festival on 1 September; www.thedownsbristol.com
www.mediaclash.co.uk I BRISTOL LIFE I 45
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Does Bristol need yet another tapas restaurant? When it’s as good as this one then si, seguro, says Deri Robins
obody likes an extensively-travelled restaurant reviewer. A new Moroccan restaurant opens downtown? Cue Proustian memories of “the amazing chicken b’stilla served at our favourite stall in Jemaa el-Fnaa”. New kimchi bar? “Of course, as we discovered during our many trips to Korea, the fermentation method favoured by Seoul is very different from that used in Gwangju…” Of course. Now get in the sea. That said, we can be pretty annoying about Spanish food when the mood takes us. Your Man lived in Cadiz for two years, and we go back quite a bit. But if you live in Bristol, you don’t need to set a foot in Andalucía to be an expert in tapas; over the past few years, Bravas, Pacos and Muiño have served up the kind of authentic flavours that can only be achieved by chefs who have wholly steeped themselves in the culture. So we have to be honest. When we heard that the Welsh massive – to be precise, Morgan siblings Owen, Tom and Natalie – were bringing their highly successful Bar 44 recipe over the Severn Bridge to Clifton, we did think, briefly: what can they add to the scene that we don’t already have? Do they even know Bristol? Err yes, they do. Owen, who handles the food and
48 I BRISTOL LIFE I www.mediaclash.co.uk
drink, went to school in Clifton, with Freddy Bird of The Lido. He regularly goes on research trips to Spain with Pete Sanchez. The dude has given sherry master-classes to Kieran Waite of Bravas, for heaven’s sake. And not that it matters, but he sounds even less Welsh than I do. Owen also knows Spain like the back of his hand. Meeting him briefly at the end of the meal, we bonded over our shared love for Cadiz bar La Manteca, on Calle Corralón de los Carros . . . oh OK, we’ll shut up. The Morgans have taken over a vast former bank on Regent Street; there are two big dining areas, a bar, and rooms for private hire downstairs. Spanish artist Andi Rivas, a family friend (naturally), created the big colourful paintings; jamons swinging from hooks are set off a treat by white metro tiling, and a fun, fluorescent ‘Sherry is sexy’ sign hangs over a doorway. Shelf after shelf is crammed with Spanish wine, sherry and cava. A quick glance at the menu reveals a feast that’s several cuts above the basic manchega and chorizo offering of bars like La Manteca (soz!), while nibbles of camerones and Padron peppers whisked us right back to the lovely café on Cadiz caleta (just winding you up now). You can dive into a really extensive choice of charcuterie and jamons – the way the chefs slice away at the hams on the gondolas is practically performance art – and cheese, all ideally paired with the great sherry list.
There are patatas bravas and croquetas among the tapas, but more singular dishes too; all are freshly cooked, and if you’re not a fan of the way that traditional tapas bars bring out the dishes in a random order, you can ask for them to be all served at once; a nice touch. We didn’t, though, because, you know, we’re just so damn Spanish. A bundle of sweet, caramelised heritage carrots were set off a treat by a creamy mousse of aubergine, smoky pimentón and bosky hazelnuts. A classic tortilla was elevated by sweet leek and pea, and was blamelessly light and unstodgy; the patatas (more like roasties than fried spuds) were as brava as they come. When we were in Ibiza this spring (oh shut UP) ceviche was everywhere, and a cured sea bream, ethereally light, and prettily served in cubes with cucumber and avo, was a fabulously fresh dish. Your Man, who likes his fish to have at least fleetingly danced with a flame, preferred the grilled hake, with cockles – another standby throughout Andalucía (though they always make me think of Swansea market), served with fino and green sauce punchily packed with garlic and basil. The Bar 44 puds have already become the stuff of local legend, from the mango and chocolate trifle to the PX espresso martini ice-cream, but if you’re understandably stuffed by this point then the sherry trifle cocktail is a fabulous compromise, tasting as it does of all the best bits of Christmas with none of its inevitable disappointment, heartache and recrimination (just us?). The Morgans haven’t reinvented the tapas wheel; instead, they’ve taken some familiar dishes and added a touch of culinary class, using the finest local and Spanish ingredients. Someone once said that Spanish food is “basically olive oil with odds and ends in it”. They evidently hadn’t visited any of the Morgans’ gaffs. One taste of that hake a la plancha, and he would have cambióed his melodía. We didn’t need our tune changed, but we probably need a visit back to Bar 44 as pronto como posible. n
“If you live in Bristol, you don’t need to set a foot in Andalucia to be a world expert in tapas”
Dining details Bar 44: Tapas y Copas, Regent House, Regent St, Bristol BS8 4HG; 03333 44 40 49; www.bar44.co.uk Opening hours 11:30am-11pm Tuesday-Sunday We visited Wednesday evening Prices Tapas from £3, large raciones to share from £18, postres £6 Drinks The wine list is all-Spanish — everything from a rioja that’ll get you there, to several refined single-estate bottle Atmosphere Free-wheeling, with an ¡Olé! here and an ¡Arza! there Service Friendly, knowledgable
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Valley Fest couldnâ€™t have chosen a better weekend, as the sun shone down blamelessly on the festival by the lake . . .
By Annie Miekus
The food’s organic , the vibe’s family-friendly, the views are gorgeous, the beats are goodtime – and there are actual showers. Oh, and it’s just up the road from Bristol. That’s why we’re calling Valley Fest ‘the box-ticker’
hile the weather always plays a massive part in the success of any festival, there was so much more to this year’s Valley Fest than the sunshine. It’s a festival that has community at its core; everyone becomes one big family for the weekend; it’s chilled-out and relaxed, while still giving you the I-could-do-with-a-day-offwork-to-recover bug. And it’s also educational – who knew that shaking double cream really hard would turn it into butter?* As soon as you stepped out of the car and onto the shuttle tractor – yes, there’s a tractor acting like a bus – you knew you were headed somewhere far from city life. The festival has a magical feel to it, with copious amounts of glitter definitely playing a role. Everyone had donned their favourite sequin festival attire – later, some were even lucky enough to nab a customised tweed jacket (read on. . .). The theme for Valley Fest 2018 was Legend of the Lake. Everything from sparkly, scaly leggings to bright red Little Mermaid wigs. The Friday Night Feast worked this theme to the max. Every attendee had put a great deal of thought into their outfit, and so had the Yeo Valley canteen team. Tables were lavishly decorated with seaweed, and the food was served with many thoughtful on-theme touches, such as highly Instagrammable mermaid tail biscuits swimming out of a parfait. You heard. And hats off to the man who proposed to his now-fiancée halfway through the dinner – there must be something in the water, as this has happened at the Feast two years in a row, so if your other half is dragging his/her feet in this area, book them into Valley Fest next year. Valley Fest prides itself on being a familyfriendly festival, and there are plenty of activities throughout the weekend for kids, from handling ferrets (rural) to hula hooping (umm, dance?) to hand-rolling spring rolls (cooking skills). Children run freely, knowing that their parents are never more than five minutes away; the festival is spread pretty much over one field, and it was never overcrowded or intimidating. The cooking demos are a popular attraction. The format is entertaining and interactive, showing you how to make some of the chef’s favourite dishes from their menus – though let’s face it, the Westcombe gnudi is always going to taste better at The Pony & Trap than at home. Yeo Valley’s Paul Collins served up some homemade gnocchi in a trout and crème fraîche
sauce and freshly baked sourdough which the audience was able to wolf down at the end. The street-food traders had been carefully selected, offering fresh, unique menus and, between them, catering for almost any dietary requirement. Every kind of cuisine was covered for discerning foodies; the vegetarian and vegan offerings were particularly impressive. A Weleda facial went down a treat on Saturday. The 30-minute facial was tailored to your skin type, with a goody bag filled with a handful of products. If you weren’t chilled before, you definitely would be after this. It’s not every day that you have the opportunity to try laughing yoga in a tipi while overlooking a the lake. At the Yoga Shala, free sessions ran at various times throughout the weekend, including Tai Chi, kids yoga and Yin Yang Flow. The most entertaining part of the festival for us was the ‘Straight outta Compton Martin’ mini-tractor trailer, blaring out music and chucking tweed jackets at the audience. And if you were really lucky, they would pour you a tequila shot. This festival is so much more than just music, though all acts performed to a stellar standard. Headlining was Rae Morris and St Paul and The Broken Bones, both enjoyable acts that fitted the vibe of Valley Fest to a tee. The music continued through to the early hours at The Yard, on a revamped fire truck, while a new addition for 2018, the Barnstormer stage, was popular day and night and conveniently placed next to the bar. The camping set-up would make this an ideal tryout for any first-time festival goers, with the site being a two-minute walk to the festival entrance, and plenty of breathing space between tents. It was peaceful, there was no fear of someone collapsing on your tent in a ciderinduced haze, or loud talking into the night. And there were showers. You know you’ve hit the festival jackpot when there are showers, with surprisingly short queues. The strong roots to community, organic farming and contributing to charity leave you with a warm, loving feeling toward the festival as you hop on the tractor back to your car. “Get on my land,” says farm owner Luke Hasell. We say., “Yes please, Luke; see you next year. . . ” *There
are a couple more steps to this recipe.
catch the worm . . . 2019 earlybird tickets have just gone on sale at £90 for one adult camping over the weekend. www.valleyfest.co.uk
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Meet the IT Specialist It’s the one business service we can’t do without – and these are the guys with the know-how Matt Delargy
Head of Sales; Datasharp Integrated Communications 08000 328274; www.datasharp-ic.co.uk What’s the biggest buzz word at the moment? It’s got to be ‘collaboration’. Where we come into our element is making companies more effective through the introduction and integration of various technologies. Microsoft are moving from Skype for Business to Teams, and a lot of projects for us at the moment are creating a single working voice & video platform with Teams for our customers. If you could give one bit of advice what would it be? If you are currently reviewing your infrastructure don’t progress with anything until you have come to our Technology Centre in Bath, before making any decisions. We can walk you through multiple scenarios that provide varying outcomes, one of which will be more relevant to your business. You don’t get the full picture from web searches alone! What do you find most rewarding about your role? When companies view us as a partner and an extension of their resource, rather than a subservient supplier. We can then, truly add value and advise on the building of their ‘utopia’.
Commercial Director; soVision IT 0117 986 4026; www.sovisionit.com What risks do businesses face in 2018? The biggest risks businesses face come from cyber threats such as ransomware, GDPR breach fines and loss of productivity following systems failure. Without the right protection in place such as Cyber Essentials certification and robust layers of protection the financial impact to businesses could be catastrophic. GDPR, the deadline has passed, my business isn’t ready, what do I do now? You can still get your business GDPR ready. Carphone Warehouse was in the news because they suffered a hack, customer data was leaked onto the dark web. We recommend that all aspects of IT are reviewed so that client data is secure. A great way to get your business GDPR compliant and secure is to achieve Cyber Essentials certification. How can businesses increase their IT reliability? Reliability comes from investing in good IT systems that use the latest technology but also from a good IT support provider maintaining those systems!
Managing Director; Northstar Innovation Group firstname.lastname@example.org; northstar.ai How has technology in performance development changed in the last 10 years? Since the 90s, workplaces have seen an incredible shift; from the introduction of personal computers to the ability to map, measure, monitor and review performance in real time. Now in an age of internet applications there is the opportunity to remove bias, eliminate glass ceilings, and make the review process fair and equitable. What is NORTHSTAR? NORTHSTAR is a real time continuous appraisal system, giving staff autonomy and ownership over their destiny while giving managers and directors fantastic visibility of activity and ways to develop staff productivity and careers; all delivered in a beautifully presented real time web application. If you could give one bit of advice what would it be? Let technology help to empower your people to greater success. With modern performance management technology, businesses are now able to implement processes and tools for the development, wellbeing and engagement of their people; helping make your business the best it can be.
Ray Abrahams Managing Director & Wayne Russe Technical Director
DL IT Solutions Ltd 0117 9690334; www.dlitsolutions.co.uk
(l-r) Wayne Russe and Ray Abrahams
How has your industry changed in the last 10 years? The growth of Cloud-based services and rolling monthly subscriptions gives clients far more control and flexibility than they had before. For us, integration of programmes such as our new Connectwise system means we have better traceability and reporting and gives us everything all one place. What are the most rewarding aspects of your job? Being able to support our customers in their growth. We have several that have been with us from the beginning; we wouldn’t be where we are now without all of our clients’ support, so it’s brilliant to watch them grow too. Why should a client utilise your services? We have a very hands-on and ‘can-do’ attitude – we have grown in the last 16 years to a varied client base of over 120 customers, through organic growth and recommendation, because we go above and beyond. What is the oddest thing you have done in your role? Talking of going above and beyond … I remember helping to install outside Christmas lights for one of our early customers!
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A RETIREMENT TO LOOK FORWARD TO
LAST REMAINING VACANCIES
across our five lovely houses in the Bristol area
cafÉ society Stan Cullimore
Oh, you pretty things
Stan was looking for a café, and then he found a café. And heaven knows, he’s miserable now . . .
hen I was a young and charmless youth, I would occasionally make the mistake of looking in a mirror. Wasn’t a rewarding experience. In many ways, the world has been kind to me. More generous than I deserve. Handing over a motormouth, a brain that mostly works, and oodles of sunshine. In the looks department, though, it has been positively tight. For a while, that absence irked my youthful soul. Life would have
“Why listen to The Smiths, if you’re drop-dead gorgeous?”
been so much simpler if I had strong cheekbones and steely blue eyes. However, the time came when I began to be grateful for my lack of luscious looks. It began when I noticed something about the people who were damnably attractive. It was almost as if they were so pretty that they never quite got round to developing a proper, fully rounded, personality. Can’t blame them, really. If the whole world stops to stare at you whenever you walk into a room, why try harder? Why listen to The Smiths, if you’re drop dead gorgeous? Got thinking about this recently when I took a sunlit stroll over to the Suspension Bridge. If Clifton was a person, it would be one of those aristocratic beauties with perfect hair, flawless skin and enough money in daddy’s bank to make sure that paying the rent was never a problem. So why try harder? Which brings me neatly to the coffee shop I went to visit, East Village Café. It’s at the archway end of Boyce’s Avenue, and is the new kid on the block in that picturesque part of town. It is blessed with aristocratic architecture, a perfect interior and flawless staff. The whole place reeks of class. The cakes are Instagram fodder, the coffee is magnificent and the menu is stuffed full of the usual suspects. My companion
went for the toast. Sourdough, obviously. I chose the granola. Homemade, naturally. When our order arrived, everything was perfect, right down to the copper-coloured cutlery. There was even an Instagramready little doggie lying quietly under the table beside us. I should have been in café heaven. And yet. And yet. I wasn’t. My companion certainly was. She fell in love with the place. Which is when it dawned on me. This little slice of paradise reminds me of all those gorgeous gods and goddesses from my illspent teenage years. Lots of looks; not so strong in personality. Some people will be seduced by the café’s strong cheekbones and baby-blue eyes. Metaphorically speaking. Whereas for me, the grumpy elephant in the room, all it did was bring back longforgotten memories of my youthful disappointments. So if you are in need of aesthetic uplifting and bottomless beauty, take a stroll to the pretty end of Clifton. But if personality is more your thing, then maybe pass on by. Head for the older, more careworn cafés of town. That’s where I’ll be. Listening to The Smiths, probably. n Former Housemartins guitarist Stan is now a journalist and travel writer www.stancullimore.com
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A MAN’S WORLD SEB BARRETT
Feel the fear Baz is back in training – but this time, sport has nothing to do with it . . .
“I wanted to launch the next pint that was shoved into my hand into the nearest river (in this instance, the Vistula)”
e’re in the middle of wedding season. With that comes two words that will induce an equal measure of dread and boyish excitement in the pit of every man’s stomach: stag do. Ahead of a stag to Krakow last month, the feeling was more fear than anything else. Being a new father, drinking sessions are few and far between these days. This is undoubtedly a good thing, but my greatest fear was how well I’d cope with two days of beersbeerbeers (this being the modern mantra of theladstheladsthelads). My alcohol tolerance would be low; I’d be going in undercooked. I hadn’t booked a single to Lashkar Gah in ages, for God’s sake. In essence, I would be like the New Zealand rugby team in 2007, who went into the World Cup with hardly any game time and crashed out in the quarter-ﬁnals in Cardiﬀ. Nobody wants to be the ’07 All Blacks. There was only one thing to do: start building up my tolerance. In the weeks leading up to the stag, I upped my dosage to get my body used to the bacchanalian carnival that was to come. A big glass of wine every other night, one more pint than usual at the pub quiz, swigging an IPA in high-intensity intervals – that sort of wheeze. If there was a training montage of this sequence of events, it would be played to the tune of something with an upbeat riﬀ like The Only One I Know by The Charlatans. Realistically, it should be Adagio for Strings, but this is my account of how things went down. Did all this preparation work? I’ll let you be the judge of that when I tell you that, fast-forward to the stag weekend, I found myself wandering the outskirts of Krakow
at four in the morning with a dead phone and not a soul in sight to help me ﬁnd my way back to our hostel. To make matters worse, I sleepwalked into a road sign on a dual carriageway, producing a shiner that got progressively worse over the next seven days. Four hours later, and now with a street map in hand, I ﬁnally found my way back to the stag party – some of whom, I was relieved to see, were in a worse state than me. I barely had time for a shower before we had to be up and out for activities, but I wasn’t going to be the one complaining. Me, the Lad of Ladminster? Never. In reality, I wanted to launch the next pint that was shoved into my hand into the nearest river (which in this instance was the Vistula, ‘the Queen of Polish Rivers’ – a stag can be educational too, you see). Experience teaches you that the second night of drinking does get progressively easier, but getting drunk is much harder. The ﬁrst night is a sprint, the second a marathon. On arrival back at Bristol airport, one member of our party was in such a bad way that he got taken away in a wheelchair (wrapped in a blanket for added humiliation) to a waiting ambulance. In this instance, the game had played him. Meantime, I’m now in training for the next stag, and thank the good Lord this one’s in Bristol. If I do manage to get lost and you recognise me from the above photo, pop me into a taxi and tell the driver to head to the address written on my forehead in permanent marker. Seb Barrett works in sports communications. Follow him on Twitter @bazzbarrett
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River vs. Ocean cruising? Thornton’s travel helps you find the perfect cruise holiday
hile an ocean cruise is just the ticket for many people, for a first-time cruiser it’s good to consider whether that is the right option for you. River cruises are growing in popularity and hold many delights that set them apart from your traditional ocean cruise. The possibilities really are endless, and by narrowing down whether to go for a river cruise or an ocean cruise you’ll be much better served to ensure that your next cruising experience is the best that it can be.
River vs. Ocean Cruise
River cruise l Smaller ships mean that you can reach smaller destinations that aren’t possible in an ocean liner. ● River cruise itineraries are port-intensive, stopping off at new destinations every day so you can see more. ● With port stop-offs, you’ll get more time with your day excursions and overnight stays, giving you more opportunity to explore. ● Concerned about seasickness? On a river cruise you’ll get less, if any, full sea days, so you can have regular breaks if you’re feeling woozy! ● The low key entertainment options are perfect if you want more relaxed vibes on your cruise.
. . . or river?
Discover South America with our Ocean Cruise
OCEAN CRUISE Singapore, Bali & Burma
RIVER CRUISE SAILING THE DANUBE
23 January 2020 | 14 nights | Sails from Benoa | From £2,999 pp
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This 2 week Asian adventure will take you through ancient spiritual sites, idyllic islands and bustling cities. The unique itinerary takes you from Bali, to Singapore, Thailand, Myanmar and Sri Lanka, giving you a vibrant insight into this unforgettable area of the world. You’ll even receive a drinks package by ordering with us, so you can enjoy your cruise in style.
On this beautiful 10-night cruise you will pass the point where the Danube meets the Black Sea, sailing through Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia and Hungary. You’ll witness unforgettable sights such as the Iron Gates gorge, all the while taking in historic city landmarks and scenic national parks. With our exclusive deal you’ll also receive an onboard drinks package to enjoy as you cruise.
OCEAN CRUISE South American Exploration
RIVER CRUISE Romantic Rhine & Moselle Marvels
6th January 2020 | 70 nights | Sails from Southampton | From £6,999 pp
27th June 2019 | 7 nights | Sails from Basel to Düsseldorf | From £1,499 pp
Aboard the Balmoral, you’ll get an unforgettable in-depth exploration of the wonders of South America. With highlights from Rio de Janeiro to the Panama Canal, the countless landmarks and astonishing natural beauty will be sure to take your breath away. Book with us to get an exclusive deal of either £200 for your car parking, £200 towards your transport, or an onboard spend of £200!
Ocean cruise l With an ocean cruise, you’ve got a bigger
scope of destinations. The world is your oyster! ● Ocean liners are much bigger than river cruise
ships, and have a much wider range of cabin options. ● An ocean cruise is perfect for those who love making friends! You’ll meet lots of new likeminded people, with many opportunities for socialising. ● Looking for an adventure? On an ocean cruise you can go on trips ranging from a fortnight to three months. ● Ocean cruises are well known for their entertainment options. There truly is something for everyone, allowing you to try new things and stay active onboard. Fred Olsen are well known in the industry for creating award-winning itineraries that allow you to explore your destination in ways that wouldn’t be possible with other cruise companies or
Take in highlights from three captivating European countries. Starting from Basel in Switzerland and sailing through France and then Germany, you’ll get a taste of stunning mountain scenery as well as historic towns and cities. Book now to get all this including an exclusive drinks package within the price.
larger cruise lines, and by booking with us we can offer some exclusive deals to make your trip one to remember. We’ve chosen some of our favourite cruises in 2019 and 2020 that are perfect, whether you’re looking for a compact 2 week trip in the sun or a longer journey to exotic destinations. If you would like more information and help with choosing your bespoke river or ocean cruise experience, get in touch with our knowledgeable team and we’ll help you find the perfect cruise holiday. n
Thornton’s Travel T: 0117 925 4444 E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.thorntonstravel.co.uk blog: https://www.thorntonscruiseworld. co.uk/blog/river-vs-ocean-cruise/ www.mediaclash.co.uk I BRISTOL LIFE I 61
Cool on the hill *
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Also, friendly, buzzy, and independent: you really need to visit Cotham Hill and Chandos Road . . .
Words by Deri Robins Photos by Tim Woolf
t’s all down to the ley lines, according to Sam Bell. Sam, who owns the award-winning salon Hair at 58, tells us that no fewer than four of the auspicious things cross Cotham Hill – to which she attributes the area’s chilled, friendly, creative, ethical vibe, and the warm mutual support between the traders. Ley lines, shmey lines? Believe what you will, but for whatever reason, the place is thriving; not merely on the Hill itself, but on Chandos Road, a couple of blocks away. Oh to live in Redland, now that autumn’s here; or spring, or summer, or winter. Once regarded as Cliftonlite – a more affordable spillover from the other side of Whiteladies Road – the area’s intrinsic desirability has gone through the roof, and it’s not just down to the elegant 19th-century houses that line its leafy residential streets. If you want to take the pulse of an area, they say, check out its high street. So that’s exactly what we did.
keeping it real
“Get yourself down to the next Cotham Hill street party if you want to see what a healthy community looks like”
Even the fiercest, sourdough-bashing, latte-art-despising, smashed- avohating advocate of ‘old’ Bristol would grumpily concede that Cotham Hill and Chandos Road manage to offer the best of ‘new Bristol’, without sacrificing important community roots. On the contrary, it just seems to put deeper ones down all the time. Get yourself down to the next Cotham Hill street party if you want to see what a healthy community looks like. The area has some of the city’s oldest, and most downright useful, businesses – one glowing example being Cotham Hardware, renowned for its window displays, extensive stock and role as an unofficial public service – many locals, especially older residents, pop in regularly for a friendly chat. There’s been a hardware shop on this site for 103 years, making it the oldest shop on the strip. Sam Bell tells us that if you can’t find something here, you’ll probably find it at Cotham Pharmacy – which, as Kieran Waite of Bravas says, “along with the post office, is a great thing to have on any high street, to keep a strong community focus.” Freshly baked bread? Redland Bakery on Chandos Road’s your man. Five a day? You’ll find everything you need at the new Cotham Fruit & Veg: “They drove to Easton just to get me some plantain, and dropped it off at the salon,” says Sam Bell. “That’s what Cotham’s like!”
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The sun wouldn’t dare not shine on the Cotham Hill street party. It’s the ley lines, you kno w. . .
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photo supplied by Elisa Snaden
STREET LIFE No excuse for not looking your immaculate best, either, with the amazing Sam and her team at Hair at 58, and groovy Shotgun Barbers (not just for the guys). And we really have to give a shoutout to Simon Lee, who in our experience offers some of the best medical beauty treatments in the city. “You really don’t need to go anywhere else,” says Sam. “You can get everything here.”
Chew Magna village, possibly because its co-owner is Josh Eggleton of The Pony & Trap; the beer offering is curated by Guy Newell, former MD of Butcombe Brewery. We could go on. But why put ourselves to the trouble, when we can get a local to do it for us? Here’s what a cross-section of Cotham and Chandos folk love about their manor.
Bless their Cotham shops
Sam Bell is the owner of award-winning salon Hair at 58 “Rubicon café is people-watching heaven; it gets the sun all day, and it’s a great vantage point for seeing all the diverse people that live, work and shop here passing by.” Sam also tells us that she used to love Blue Juice, and was sad to see it go, “but the new café Beets and Roots, on the same site, has smashed it! And of course, Corks of Cotham – there’s nothing they don’t know about wine. Or port. Or gin…”
There’s an astonishing range of gift and specialist shops in the area, one shining example being Amulet, one of Bristol’s most popular boutiques, with pretty, affordable clothing and jewellery. The outside of the shop is pink, but it’s not quite as pink as Soukous across the way; Cotham traders are clearly unafraid of the brighter colours of the spectrum. Soukous owner Elisa Snaden has been on the Hill for 17 years now, having moved her gift shop across the street from smaller premises in 2006. “It’s interesting to look back and see how the shops have changed, over time,” she says. “We used to have the kite shop on one side and a bookshop on the other; then it was a cake shop, then another bookshop and now it’s a café on its third owners! Amulet took over from the kite shop, and is still there today.”
Hill Street Chews (and Booze)
Eeeny, meeny, miny, moe. We can only imagine that this is how the folk of BS6 choose where to dine out of an evening; it’s a quandary, as the restaurant offering on these small streets punches well above its weight. The Hill’s become quite the tapas quarter. Bravas paved the way, followed by Bellita and Muiño. Modern Italian Pasta Loco was an instant, fêted success as soon as it opened two years ago – if you want to book a table at the weekend these days, you’d better be organised. Twelve weeks worth of organised, last time we asked. If, inconceivably, the delights of the above start to pall, head to Chandos Road, where some serious heavyweights on the Bristol dining scene flex their muscles. Wilks is one of the city’s four Michelin-starred restaurants, while the no-less-lauded Wilsons and No Man’s Grace have many devoted fans. Otira joined them last year, offering the kind of relaxed fine dining that’s become the mark of Bristol’s best restaurants; next door is their Chandos Social, ideal if you fancy extending your tapas crawl from Cotham Hill.
Hail the ale
Marie de Mattia works for Amphora Aromatics, selling pure essential oils and aromatherapy beauty products “Bravas is the most authentic Spanish tapas I’ve had in Bristol; for a quick eat, it’s a halloumi wrap from Falafel King. I don’t think I’ve ever gone into Brandon Trust without buying anything, and Cotham Hill Antiques is always worth a look,” she says. Those ley lines are definitely working a treat for Kieran and Imogen Waite; after the runaway success of Bravas, they have since opened Bakers & Co on the Glos Road, Corner 77 in Stokes Croft, and Cantina and Gambas, both in Cargo. “Cotham Hill is such a great, unique, independent high street which I love to support,” says Kieran. “I spend a lunch break at Hair at 58 every couple of months. As well as getting a great haircut from Sam, it’s an hour to escape and switch off while boosting the Cotham Hill economy. “Oxfam Bookshop is not only a great place to buy books while supporting a charity, but Simon is behind the Cotham Hill Street party, which really pulls the community together.
© @JonCr aig_ Photos
Mmm, beer… There’s Brewhouse, Cotham Hill’s microbrewery with its gastropub offering, and The Penny, real ale in a pub that used to be a bank (hard to imagine the Make Bristol Sh*t Again set kicking up a fuss over that conversion). And while not technically on Chandos Road, but an energetic, freshly baked bread roll’s throw away, we probably should mention the Kensington Arms – a locals’ gastropub that wouldn’t feel out of place in a
Together with husband Stephen, Kathryn Curtis runs restaurants Otira and Chandos Social on Chandos Road “Chandos Road is like a mix of the best bits of a country village and the best boutiquey residential streets of London. I love the supportive, friendly, independent restaurants, especially Wilks; Chandos Atelier for its wonderful making classes for kids and adults; Earthbound for its hard- to-find ingredients and Pat’s enthusiasm; and Psychopomp for the most local gin ever – OK, I know its not really on Cotham Hill, but it counts, hopefully, as it’s just around the corner. And Pearly Kings on Chandos Road – Leanne bakes cakes as good as the ones you remember from childhood.”
above left to right: Chandos Road favourite Wilsons (Jan in centre); the famously buzzing Bravas; the railing of lost gloves is a well-loved Cotham Hill quirk
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Argentinian inspired Tapas “A unique, organic, high vitality café and juicery bursting with flavour, playfulness and soulful tunes” New Zealand inspired Dining Cocktails, NZ and Bristol Craft Beers, wine list leaning towards 45° South 5-7 Chandos Road, BS6 6PG | 0117 973 3669
Beautiful Gifts, Jewellery, Candles, Scarves, Home Accessories, Hand Finished Cards & Baby Clothes
Open Mon-Sat, 10-6pm & Sun 10-4pm. 44a-46 Cotham Hill, Bristol, BS6 6LA. Visit us online www.soukous.co.uk
We offer a plethora of organic, nutritious and delicious plant-based delights, including our famous bountiful Buddha bowl salads, revitalizing freshly pressed raw juices and sumptuous smoothie jars with all their lush toppings. At Beets N Roots you can truly eat the rainbow and walk away with a super energized skip in your step!
STREET LIFE Jan Ostle, co-owner and head chef at Wilson’s is definitely a Cotham Hardware fan… “If there was a dustpan-and-brush equivalent to Ferraris, you would find it at Cotham Hardware. Eating-wise, there are too many to list without offending. Have you ever heard of Pasta Loco?? Probably not… James and Christine at Wilks are, in our opinion, culinary demi-gods, cooking and serving some of the best food in Bristol, if not the UK”. And speaking of the, ermm, little-known Pasta Loco, here’s Bristol’s favourite front of house, Dom Borel, who runs the joint with cousin Ben Harvey “My favourite spots on Cotham Hill are Bravas and Bellita – small plates, so you get to taste a variety of dishes, and the music is always on point. And if you’re looking for a wicked bottle of wine, Corks of Cotham will have what you need – it’s a serious collection.” If you ate a Buddha Bowl from Beets ’n Roots every day, you’d probably (a) live forever and (b) have the prettiest food feed on Instagram. Here’s founding director Rebecca “It’s hard to resist the temptation to pop into my two favourite shops: Soukous, full of all things beautiful, and Amulet, with its amazing collection of clothes and accessories. “In the evenings I love to visit the many other eateries along the street, in particular the fun live evenings at The Khan (downstairs at Falafel King) and the relaxed vibes and great food at Bellita. “The Natural Health Clinic (within The Practice Rooms above our café) was the first holistic health centre in the country, having been there for over 35 years. It was, in fact, opened by my mother, at a time when holistic therapies were far from mainstream, and so has been a strong part of the fabric of Cotham Hill’s eclectic history.”
Alex from Muiño; soon to be on the telly. . .
“Pasta Loco – Dom and the team need no introduction – if you want great food, drink and service you won’t go wrong. People say it’s hard to get an evening booking; if that’s the case, treat yourself to lunch! “Cotham Hardware, our next-door-neighbour, always has our back, as things in restaurants break – Dave is always on hand to get us fixed. “Amulet Boutique has lovely women’s clothing and a personal service – Hemali has often got Imogen sorted when she’s been doing too many hours to grab a dress for an occasion.” And how about his own gaff? “Bravas? I’m never on the floor there any more; I tend to work in the office, or at one of our other sites. I miss it, but get the pleasure of using it as a customer nowadays. I love the fact that you can treat it as a tapas bar and not just a restaurant, grab a croquette and sherry or beer sat up at the bar.” Linzy and Dave Jenkins run Cotham Hardware, beloved by all – including Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, whose enthusiasm led to the shop being listed among Britain’s top 50 independent stores by the Daily Telegraph. But where do they like to go? “The plethora of amazing places to eat and drink on Cotham Hill means that it is very difficult to single out just one,” says Linzy, diplomatically. “So I would like to mention one of our favourite, and quietly excellent, little shops just off Cotham Hill on Abbotsford Road – Earthbound. It’s an independent family-run shop (just like ours) and is very popular with locals in the know. It specialises in fine and organic foods, often ethically sourced. It’s also the place to buy a loaf of the best sourdough bread in Bristol – that’s a bold statement, I know! We love it because of its relaxed, slightly quirky feel. I hope you’ll like it too!”
Kate Hawkings is the co-owner and wine expert at Bellita “Cotham Hardware is the BEST – as agreed by Hugh FW! Corks for booze, obviously, and Pasta Loco, Muiño and Bravas are lovely foodie neighbours to have. And the veg shop on the corner of Cotham Park is really good – big bunches of herbs, big bags of cheap tomatoes, peaches etc – and Amulet boutique does really good pants. Oh, and Amar Shah, the optometrist who gives brilliant service – wipes the floor with bloody Specsavers . . . “I love Wilsons on Chandos Road, also No Man’s Grace. And the shop on the corner of Landsdown Road is really handy for picking up Click & Collect parcels . . .” n
Did you know? There’s a new cocktail bar headed for the Hill…. “We’re looking forward to the new bar opening next door to us; rumour is it’s the guys from Bath, The Dark Horse.” Dom, Pasta Loco
show in the pub – with original vaults still in the basement. Following its £120k refit this history was honoured with the new name The Penny, and the 1p piece livery.” Emma, The Penny
Cotham Hill was once an important market quarter… “Where I am now used to be a jewellers from Hatton Garden. They told us wonderful stories about Cotham Hill being full of market stalls once a week – it was the place to be!” Elisa, Soukous
The wine list at Bellita features only female winemakers
The Penny was originally a bank dating back from 1926 “A copy of the blueprints are on
The Hill will soon be on the telly… “We and another restaurant* on the Hill are closing for a few days at the end of the month to appear on a TV show… watch this space.” [Shhh. It’s Bellita. But we won’t give the game away by telling you what they’re up to.]
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Schools of thought
Quite apart from gaining top academic results and keeping Ofsted happy, heads and their teachers have plenty of issues to challenge them on a daily basis. We invited a few local schools to share their views on modern school days 68 I BRISTOL LIFE I www.mediaclash.co.uk
EDUCATION There is also a group of sixth-form girls who have been trained by our counsellors to be peer mentors and who make themselves available to girls as a supportive, listening ear. www.badmintonschool.co.uk
Ed Swanwick is deputy head (pastoral) at Clifton’s historic co-ed school for boarders and day pupils aged 2-18 Mobile phones in school – discuss
main image: Keeping it active at Badminton; above: the library at historic Clifton College
ugby School’s legendary head Thomas Arnold may have had a few problems of his own to deal with (bounders, the roasting of fags over open fires, that kind of thing) but at least he didn’t have to worry about pupils texting memes during algebra. Meanwhile, in the modern world . . .
Jennifer Scarfe is deputy head (pastoral) at this Westbury on Trym boarding and day school for girls aged 3-18 Mobile phones in school – discuss
Mobile phones are a part of modern reality, so we teach girls how to use them respectfully and effectively, to better their learning, but not limit them socially. Therefore, they are permitted in Senior School in line with our code of conduct. The obesity crisis in children – what can schools do to help?
Firstly, there is the educational aspect, ensuring that young people know what a healthy diet looks like, so that they are equipped to make the right choices and understand the impact
on their health of poor diet choices. At Badminton, we ensure that all of our meals are healthy and well presented; research suggests that we eat with our eyes and are drawn to what looks colourful and appetising. Secondly, I think that it is important to recognise the important contribution that exercise makes to how people feel. At Badminton, we have a broad range of sporting opportunities, and the planned opening of our new multi-million pound sports centre at the start of next term shows our continued recognition of the importance that sport plays in everyone’s lives. What measures have you put in place regarding pupils’ mental health?
The wellbeing of our pupils is at the heart of all we do, and our approach to supporting and engendering positive mental health has many strands. We have a robust pastoral structure in place that gives girls a variety of staff to turn to in case of need. The school is proactive and compassionate in every part of its structure; from the interlocking layers of form tutors, pastoral heads, and housemistresses, through to the nurses, counsellors and independent listener.
“The school is proactive and compassionate in every part of its structure”
Mobile technology can be a wonderful and powerful tool for pupils, but it can also have a negative impact on their social interactions and mental health. It is our responsibility as educators to ensure that we teach pupils how to use them responsibly in order to properly prepare them for the adult world. This can’t be achieved by banning phones. We allow age-appropriate controlled access to mobile technology with appropriate accountability measures in place. This is a privilege, and our pupils know that if they abuse it they will lose it. At Clifton, pupils are not allowed access to their phones until they are in year nine, and even then such access is limited at first, gradually increasing as the children get older. Furthermore, pupils are taught how to use technology responsibly and productively through PSHE lessons, lecture and workshops. These lessons are revisited regularly throughout a pupil’s time here. Discipline – where are you on the spectrum from super-strict to ‘unconditional positive regard’?
Firm but fair and friendly. Children make mistakes. As adults we need to be forgiving and help pupils to learn from these mistakes so (hopefully!) they will not repeat them. Rewards and sanctions are obviously a key tool in teaching these lessons. The obesity crisis in children – what can schools do?
At Clifton we encourage all of our pupils to adopt a healthy and active lifestyle. From a nutritional perspective, we educate children from a young age about the benefits of healthy eating and encourage them to make good choices. Sport and exercise are also critical. Clifton pupils are very fortunate to have fantastic sports and activity facilities and opportunities, and we encourage sport for all at all levels. What measures have you put in place regarding pupils’ mental health?
At Clifton College, all of our staff are trained in mental health awareness, which gives them the skills to be able to recognise common mental health problems within all age groups, proactively then providing pupils with the support they need. We make sure that we have
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EDUCATION fully trained mental-health first-aiders on the staff team in every one of our school houses. We have a voluntary team of sixth formers who act as mental health peer supporters, three professionally qualified counsellors on staff and have very close links with the local GP surgery. www.cliftoncollege.com
Kirsty Hassan is comms director at this Stapleton co-ed, which takes pupils from nursery to 6th form. Mobile phones in school – where do you stand on this issue?
As so often with technology, the trick here is sensible education. We have not had to ban mobile phones because our students are taught how to use them appropriately. They can be used in lessons with permission from a teacher, for example to video an experiment, but they may not cause a distraction and they are not to be used in the dining hall over lunch. Discipline – where are you on the spectrum from super-strict to ‘unconditional positive regard’?
The headmaster often says that we are a strict school that does not have to tell people off very often. Student-staff relationships are hugely positive and everyone knows the standards we expect of them; this leads to a real sense of shared purpose, of teacher and pupil (and family for that matter) working towards the same vision; for the student to be the best version of themselves that they can be. In that atmosphere, discipline is rarely an issue. The obesity crisis in children – what can schools do?
We educate our young people on healthy living, both physically and mentally, but we also make them walk the walk; or perhaps that should be ‘run the run’? We have timetabled games and PE sessions every week that cover a wide range of sports, and our students are able to be active throughout the day as our 30 acres of playing fields are all on-site. What measures have you put in place regarding pupils’ mental health?
above top: Colstons, where ‘student-staff relationships are hugely positive’;
above below: Badminton is due to open a new multi-million sports centre
Colston’s main approach is to adopt a balanced and less-pressured approach to school, and to life in general. By valuing each student’s contribution to school life, whether that is through academia, sport, music and drama, or just by being a good friend, we demonstrate that all our students have a role to play and are appreciated for who they are. We are delighted to have a very diverse school community, and this also demonstrates that there is no one way in which to be successful. We believe that this removes a number of the pressures that may otherwise be felt at school.
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Isobel Tobias is the head of this school for girls aged 4-18 in Westbury on Trym. Discipline – where are you on the spectrum from super-strict to what one school calls ‘unconditional positive regard’? above: Red Maids – a harmonious commmunity right: Fairfield –
a culture of care, consideration and responsibility
Term dates: is there a better way of structuring the school year, in your view?
Sadly, our term dates are still dictated in many ways by the timing of GCSE and A Level examinations. We have introduced a two-week half-term in October and have taken the liberty of a slightly later start back after Christmas in January 2020 now that there are no A Level modules to be sat, and we always end term quite soon after summer examinations have finished, but until we have a different assessment system larger scale changes might be harder to push through. www.colstons.org
Lesley Barton is the head of this co-ed day school and nursery in Backwell, for children aged 2 to 11.
“Post-qualification application to university could make a huge difference to schools, society and the experience of students”
Mobile phones in school – discuss
Children are not allowed to bring any electronic devices into school. Discipline – where are you on the spectrum from super-strict to ‘unconditional positive regard’?
Any community has to have guidelines and consequences when things go wrong, but having said that I do not believe in shouting at children and young people, or being a disciplinarian. Talking calmly and constructively, listening to others’ points of view and seeking to understand people’s actions are the most valuable ways of achieving a harmonious community where young people behave with consideration to others.
We have clear, very high expectations when it comes to behaviour and manners, and all staff reinforce these expectations. Older children in Year 6 are prefects and they are expected also to lead by example. Sanctions and rewards are clear. Our older children are reading buddies to the younger ones. and this encourages a culture of care, consideration and responsibility towards others.
The obesity crisis in children – what can schools do?
The obesity crisis in children – what can schools do?
What measures have you put in place regarding pupils’ mental health?
Ensure that a balanced and healthy menu is offered to children. Our children all eat school lunches which are freshly prepared and cooked each day on the premises by our kitchen team. What measures have you put in place regarding pupils’ mental health?
PSHE, Circle Time and the Life Education Bus sessions take place regularly and children are made aware of the support available in school. Children are encouraged to be open and honest and to speak to a trusted adult if they are worried; classrooms also have ‘worry boxes’ for children to use if they want to quietly make a member of staff aware that they would like some support. www.fairfield.school
We can and do encourage a really healthy approach to life with plenty of time in the curriculum and extra-curricular schedules for sport and active pursuits. Children need to know about healthy eating and healthy cooking too. Our school lunches encourage this approach. They are excellent!
We track students’ well-being so that we are always alert to who may be vulnerable. Our pastoral staff and PSHE coordinator put in place support and information sessions for all girls and our school counsellor is available to everyone who needs her. And we try to educate parents too with evening pastoral sessions where we bring in speakers. Term dates: is there a better way of structuring the school year, in your view?
I doubt it. Something unrelated but which I feel more strongly about is post-qualification application to university. That could make a huge difference to schools, society and the experience of students! www.redmaidshigh.co.uk
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Class Act Bristol Grammar School welcomes its new headmaster
ristol Grammar School is delighted to be welcoming new headmaster, Jaideep Barot, to the school this September. Mr Barot joins BGS from Marlborough College where he was deputy head, and he succeeds Rod MacKinnon who retired in August after ten years as headmaster at BGS. Asked what attracted him to Bristol Grammar School, Mr Barot said: “It’s one of the best schools in the country – simple as that. “BGS provides a very similar education to the one I had at Manchester Grammar School, one that I really enjoyed and got a lot from. I’m delighted to be the headmaster of a school I really respect, and where the students have such an impressive range of opportunities. That’s what I’m passionate about and that’s why I’m here.” He’s also looking forward to life in Bristol, a place he knows well as his wife grew up here. “Whenever people hear that I’m going to work in Bristol, their first reaction is 'Wow, Bristol is such a great place to live'. Bristol has its own vibe, its own self-
confidence, and a real sense of history and place.” And what are his ambitions for Bristol Grammar School? “I know I’m coming to an outstanding school that adds great value to the very happy and successful young people coming out of it. So it’s a watching brief at first – I’ll talk to the students, staff, parents and alumni to see what works well and what, perhaps, we could improve, and then we can decide what we need to do. I’m certainly not coming here with a big plan to change everything from the off. “The most important thing is that the children are happy and look forward to school, feeling that it’s a place where they can be themselves. Unless we get that right, then trying to help them to achieve top grades. sporting honours or accolades for dramatic performance and the like just isn’t going to work. If we can crack that, then we’ve done our job.” n To find out more about life at Bristol Grammar School, join them at their Open Evening on Friday 5 October from 4.00pm–8.00pm
SNAPPED AC ROSS B R IS TO L , O N E SH I N D I G AT A T I M E
Kieron Windsor and Sam Jenkinson
Philippa May Chris Luckett, Lee Bignell and Mike Smith
Xxx Amy Golding
Mike Dyer and Robert Nye
At our last Bristol Life Business Club at Bristol Harbour Hotel, Amy Golding of Opus Talent Solutions told guests about her career as the youngest UKappointed female CEO of a $100 million company, how she changed the direction of Opus Talent Solutions and what it was like being James Caan’s personal business advisor – all this, and a damn ﬁne lunch! Photos by Sam Norman www.whitevillaweddings.co.uk
Nicki Facey and Holly Boulton
www.mediaclash.co.uk I BRISTOL LIFE I 77
businessinsider B R IS T O L g e t s s e r i o u s
Quote of the issue
“There’s an elegant decay to some areas that’s reminiscent of more obvious painters’ cities, such as Venice.”
Who sees the beauty that others may miss? See page 83
The Big Number
go weston It’s possibly the biggest news to come out of Weston-super-Mare since Dismaland . . .
he Food Works SW centre – a new £11.8 million food and drink centre – is due to be built in Weston-super-Mare this October, and is expected to create around 250 new jobs. The Food Works SW’s mission statement is for it to become “a dynamic food and drink innovation centre for the South West’s food and drink producers, offering food-grade business units, productdevelopment facilities and food labs, plus hands-on business support to help businesses’ ideas to thrive.” Funding for the building comes courtesy of The West of England Joint Committee, and the centre will be based on a former airfield in the Junction
That’s quite the investestment – but where, what and when? See main story
21 Enterprise Area. It’s all part of a multi-million pound development Food Enterprise Zone, destined to house new premises for agri-food businesses in the South West. The 10-acre DEFRA designated zone, one of 17 of its kind in the country will provide an exciting opportunity for food developers, distributors, food and drink manufacturers, research and development and packaging firms to co-locate in a prime location. The site will consist of three key zones to create a food and drink cluster in one large development area. www.foodworks-sw.co.uk
L-R Jill and Pam. We know who’s who (and what their colleagues look like, too) from the cute sketches on the Lunar Optical website
CLEAR VISION Jill Sunderland and Pam Eastman have a clear business focus for Lunar Optical: excellent customer service and care, and a very independent frame of mind (‘scuse the puns) Among the ﬁrst things that catch your eye when you click on the Lunar Optical website are the charming minimal (almost Modigliani-like!) sketches of the team, with a bit of background about their roles and lives. You can tell from the get-go that this isn’t your traditional, stuﬀy optician practice. “We wanted to show a little bit of our history, but without it being really boring,” says Pam, “So Jill drew a cartoon story board and a local artist, Carrie, transformed it into ‘Our Story’. She adds new staﬀ members as they join the team. “It’s really important to us that people get a ‘feel’ for who we are when looking at our website, so we
think it’s important that we come across as friendly.” When and why did you found Lunar Optical? We founded Lunar Optical in 2012 because we had a vision of providing excellent clinical care combined with great customer service in a relaxed, friendly environment. You’re based on Gloucester Road – what are the main advantages of this location? The local community is really supportive of independent business, and understand our vision of providing a friendly, bespoke service.
Has the area changed much since you first opened your current doors in 2013? Yes; more and more interesting and independent businesses have opened up here, and the immediate area is even more bustling, lively and busy. Do you have a USP that sets you apart from other opticians? Our USP is our excellent customer service, and our frames are sourced from lots of smaller suppliers, so you won’t see the same styles everywhere else. We are also Nikon Lens specialists, and can provide the best-quality vision at very competitive prices. For the uninitiated, what is the difference between an opticians and an optometrist? The title optician is a general term to describe qualiﬁed members of optical staﬀ. Dispensing opticians oﬀer professional advice on lenses for night driving, UV protection, prescription sunglasses, spectacles for VDU use, low-vision aids, dry eye, sports and safety eyewear. Dispensing spectacles to children, to the visually impaired, or dispensing of contact lenses can only be undertaken by, or carried out
under the supervision of, dispensing opticians or optometrists registered with the General Optical Council. Optometrists are trained to examine the eyes to detect defects in vision, signs of injury, ocular diseases or abnormality and problems with general health, such as high blood pressure or diabetes. They make a health assessment, oﬀer clinical advice, prescribe spectacles or contact lenses and refer patients for further treatment, when necessary. Have there been any exciting breakthroughs in glasses and vision in recent years – and are there any new innovations on the horizon? Optics is always evolving, and new styles and fashions in frames come through all the time. Chunky plastics are still very popular, but new metal retro styles are now in vogue. How do you market your business? We advertise our business in the local press including Bristol Life magazine. We do ﬁnd that a lot of our business comes from word of mouth Do you use social media, and what platform do you find to be the most effective? We use Facebook a lot and try to add to the blog on our website as often as possible. We plan to have a bit of a bigger presence on Instagram in the future. Finally, are there any exciting plans or events in the pipeline? When we opened we were testing two or three days a week, and we now test ﬁve days a week, and are quite booked up, so the next plan will be to extend to six days a week. Watch this space! www.lunaroptical.com
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BUSINESS INSIDER CLOCKWISE: Not a remake of Harvey,
just Tom with a gallery chum; two favourite from Tom’s recent works, the capture of the M32 and Deliveroo in St Pauls ‘real’ Bristol (there’s more about that subject on page 7 . . .)
the years, the artists I’ve selected are my personal favourites, so it’s quite self-indulgent, really. I always felt that if I liked an artist’s work enough to part with my hard-earned cash, then someone else would hopefully feel the same.
THE WHITE STUFF
If you like art, you’ll know the name Tom White for two reasons. One, as an artist – Tom is one of the best-loved and most authentic visual chroniclers of Bristol. Two, he’s the owner of Clifton Fine Art. Which, as dual careers go, seem to be pretty compatible . . . “In the early days,” says Tom, “I had difficulty persuading commercial galleries to show my work – the theme of back streets in all their honest glory was not seen as ‘sellable’ – so I started my own gallery. I have always collected contemporary art as a hobby, so the gallery also gave me a chance to showcase my favourite artists. Today, Clifton Fine Art represents more than 50 artists.” Why does a gallery on Perry Road have ‘Clifton’ in its name? The name Clifton Fine Art came about due to a failed attempt to secure
“THERE’S AN ELEGANT DECAY TO SOME BRISTOL AREAS THAT’S REMINISCENT OF VENICE”
premises in Clifton. The property deal fell through, but I’d already got the website/social media up and running, so I stuck with it. How well does the location work for you? Perry Road is great. It’s not far from Clifton, anyway, but beneﬁts from being in the Christmas Steps Arts Quarter, where there are many independent, artisan-orientated shops, so footfall is good. Tell us a bit about your newer Great White Art, and how the two galleries complement one another Great White Art is a separate business operated by my son Dom, with galleries in Bristol and Plymouth. He focuses on the edgier side of ﬁne art with many fabulous street artists in his portfolio, including Jamie Gillman, Rowdy and Alex Lucas. Is there a specific style of work you show and sell in the galleries? The Clifton Fine Art portfolio is about as eclectic as it could be. Over
You’re a very prolific artist – what’s the secret of your productivity? It may seem that way, but I tend to work on a whole series of new paintings and launch them at once. It’s often a year’s output. The very latest work has just arrived at Great White Art – including a painting of the M32 which I’m very pleased with. Another I’m particularly fond of is called Deliveroo, with a delivery cyclist riding in St Pauls early one morning. It’s very ‘Bristol’. What is it about the Bristol cityscape that you find so inspiring? Bristol is an inspiring city. Certain districts are incredibly charismatic, such as Stokes Croft, Bedminster, Montpelier and St Pauls. It’s hard to imagine tiring of these places, as they change constantly. There’s an elegant decay to some areas that’s reminiscent of more obvious painters’ cities such as Venice. Also, Bristol’s sense of humour is evident in the street art and graﬃti, which often features in my work.
Is there one Bristol view that you especially love? My favourite view is from Nine Tree Hill looking down onto Stokes Croft/ Gloucester Road. I try to paint it from a diﬀerent angle very year – the latest painting is currently on show in Great White Art. Are there any new artists in the gallery that you’re particularly excited about? I’m delighted to announce the addition of Scottish artist Joan Eardley to our gallery. Eardley is one of Scotland’s most important artists, who famously painted the back streets and slums in Glasgow. Her work is stunning, and has always been a huge inﬂuence on my own painting. How important is it for a gallery to market itself smartly? The gallery has to promote itself to thrive. It’s a full time job. Gallery manager Rowan Mead is in charge of the marketing and selling, face to face and via all forms of social media, as well as ensuring that our portfolio of artists is always kept in tune with people’s tastes and interests. Art Fairs are an increasingly popular way for people to start and maintain an art collection, so we do attend many across the UK and beyond. The Aﬀordable Art Fairs in Bristol and London are our favourite events. www.cliftonﬁneart.com
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Calling all workers Liz Highams of AMD Solicitors discuss the recent Pimlico Plumbers case, where Supreme Court ruling confirms that the self-employed plumber was a worker
he Supreme Court recently delivered its ruling on the Pimlico Plumbers case, a case which has attracted media attention in recent years, regarding workers’ rights. The Supreme Court has held that a plumber who, despite his contract labelling him as an independent contractor of Pimlico Plumbers (PP), was, in fact, a ‘worker’ therefore entitling him to various employment rights such as holiday pay and protection from unlawful deductions from wages.
FACTS OF THE CASE PP engaged Mr Smith between 2005 and 2011 but his position was terminated approximately four months after Mr Smith suffered a heart attack, as he was unable to work the hours he was contracted to do. His termination led Mr Smith to issue proceedings in the employment tribunal claiming entitlement to a number of employment rights.
DECISION The court had to determine Mr Smith’s employment status. Despite finding that Mr Smith was registered for VAT, submitted invoices to PP, filed tax returns on the basis that he was self-employed, and was under no obligation to accept work, the Supreme Court upheld the judgment of the employment tribunal that he was a worker. Significant factors in its decision included: • While Mr Smith had the right to substitute work in his contract, the court regarded this right as so insignificant as to not be worthy of recognition. Although Mr Smith could swap work, the substitute had to be a plumber of PP and was bound to PP by an identical suite of heavy obligations. • PP exercised a great degree of control over Mr Smith which is inconsistent with being truly ‘self-employed’. The court highlighted that Mr Smith had to drive a PP branded van (which had a tracker in it), wear a PP uniform and carry an identity card. He was also subject to restrictive covenants which prevented him from being a plumber for three months following termination.
REFLECTIONS Although this is a Supreme Court decision, it does not provide much further legal clarity in determining employment status. As is often the case in worker status claims, the decision is highly fact-specific and each case will ultimately have to be decided on its facts.
“the company exercised a great degree of control over Mr Smith, which is inconsistent with being truly ‘selfemployed’” Nevertheless, it does highlight the continued importance of contractual terms seen in the context of the reality of the parties’ working practices. Worker status is also a hot topic so this decision is likely to be of concern for ‘gig economy’ employers. n
Our experienced employment team at AMD solicitors are always delighted to hear from Companies or Employees regarding changes to employment laws. To speak to our Employment Solicitors in Bristol and to find out more call 0117 923 5562 or email Chris Brown or Liz Highams. 100 Henleaze Road, Henleaze BS9 4JZ 15 The Mall, Clifton BS8 4DS 139 Whiteladies Road, Clifton BS8 2PL 2 Station Road, Shirehampton BS11 9TT
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Harptree Court isnâ€™t just (just!!) a Grade-II mansion with wonderful, elevated views; itâ€™s a self-contained estate providing a flourishing rental income. And just wait until you see its treehouse. . . By Lisa Warren www.mediaclash.co.uk I BRISTOL LIFE I 87
A property place to call home
ell, this is an exciting first for us. We’ve featured at least one astoundingly lovely property in every issue of this magazine – that’s over 250 homes. But this is the first time we’ve written about a house under whose roof we have spent a night. Not in the main house, admittedly – though in fact, until recently, you could stay in Grade-II Harptree Court as a paying guest. As anyone who has ever watched Downton Abbey will tell you, these great old houses require substantial funds to maintain, so renting four of its many, many rooms as a b&b business makes excellent sense. We were staying in the treehouse. No rickety children’s toy, this; a treehouse the size of a cottage, but more romantic, being up in the canopy of an ancient oak; a treehouse made up of two round rooms, like a luxury bolthole for hobbits, with a surprisingly efficient kitchen – a kitchen, in fact, that puts our own one to shame – and
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a freestanding copper bath. Channel 4 must have been as enamoured as we were, as the treehouse was featured in George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces. The Georgian main house has also had its moment in the small-screen sun; it was on these verdant lawns that the BBC’s Great British Bake Off pitched its tent for the third and fourth series. Fun facts, admittedly, but if you’re planning to splash the cash – the current guide price is £4.65m – you probably want a bit more than a loo that may or may not have been used by Mary Berry. Let’s take a glancing look at its history. The house was built in 1797 for its first owner, who rejoiced in the name of Joshua Scrope; it’s thought that at this point the house was known as Richmond Hall. The fabulously monikered Scrope lived in the house until 1803, at which point he auctioned it and moved to London. An advert for the auction ran on page two of the Bath Chronicle on 23 June, describing it as “a manor, a royalty, and valuable freehold estate of nearly 1200 acres with modern-built mansion.” This royalty earned the owner income from farm freeholdings and leasehold cottages – not so different, then, from renting out a treehouse, which currently costs about £300 for a night’s stay during peak season. In the 1803 advert, the house is described as “an elegant freestone mansion house, 150ft in front, containing a dining parlour 36ft by 32ft. A library of same dimensions, with drawing room, study, breakfast
parlour, entrance hall, elegant light staircase, airy bedchambers and suitable apartments: kitchen, hall and other inferior offices; stabling for 12 horses, double coach house and conveniently detached barn and other outhouses.” This description is still largely true today, though even more rooms have been added since Scrope’s tenancy, and several of the bedrooms now have modern en-suites; there is also a staff flat in the house, and a separate twobedroom cottage, which could also be let. Also virtually unchanged are the quite incredible views across Chew Magna. These stretch for miles beyond the house’s own immaculate 51 acres of gardens and parkland, which include a magnificent walled garden, tennis court, former stable yard and farm buildings. Harptree Court has been in the same family for almost 100 years; today it offers a unique opportunity to own what is, in effect, a self-contained estate, that makes both the most fabulous family home imaginable as well as a flourishing business. Who fancies becoming the next lord or lady of the manor? n
House numbers Gardens
Reception/games rooms 6 Bedrooms 8 Bath/shower rooms
Outbuildings 2-bed cottage, treehouse, stables, stores Guide price
Savills , 20 The Mall, Clifton; 0117 933 5800; www.savills.co.uk
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“I used to dream of Stan Lee taking me to New York . . .” HARRY BUNCE He’s a big favourite with Clifton Fine Art, and his endearing (if slightly sinister) cast of animals grace many a Bristol wall. Let’s find out a bit more about artist Harry Bunce . . . Gun-toting bunnies. Pistol-packing badgers. Beatrix Potter meets Upfest. Wind in the Willows reimagined by Tarantino . . . Harry Bunce’s cool, unknowable, vaguely sinister anthropomorphic animals breathe new life into familiar critters, and make us regard them with fresh eyes. Cute? Maybe, but they’re rarely cuddly. . . Tell us about your childhood Working class and rural. Dad ran a small building firm and Mum, did the bookwork. They worked pretty hard. And your schooldays? I survived a 1980s comprehensive school, and I didn’t really work as hard as I should have. I was a blissfully happy child but frequently fell ill, and had fevers and saw nightmarish visions.
How and when did you begin to draw? I thought drawing was like magic; I was always drawing. The first art I can recall was by Margaret Tempest, Beatrix Potter and Richard Scarry. At school I was known as ‘the one who was good at art’, so I just assumed I would be an artist when I grew up, simple. We hear you were a big fan of Marvel comics . . . My cousin Gary gave me some when I was six, and I was lost to them; I pawed over every inch. The artists, such as Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko, were gods to me. I used to dream of Stan Lee taking me to New York. And how about, dare we say it, ‘fine art’? The only art book I had as a teenager was by David Hockney. I read it again and again. The
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tutors at art school hated him, I’m guessing because he was quite commercial, so I had to keep quiet about him. I still think he’s great – he works bloody hard, too. So, you went to art school... Yes, and it made me fall out of love with art, so I set up a fashion business with my now-wife, Becky. We did well in the end, with a couple of boutiques in Bristol. It taught me a lot, but as it turned more into a serious business, with less and less design input, I started planning my exit. What kickstarts a new piece of art for you? I have either too many ideas, or none. I like to draw or paint something every day. Sometimes I have creative blocks, but really it’s more that I’m being too precious. Red wine and loud music in the studio can help. As a fellow Bristol artist, people sometimes liken your style to Banksy... Ha Ha YES – and what makes it worse is that people seem to want you to ‘do a Banksy’ – I’ve done a few things in that area in the past but think I’m cured now! More
seriously, he opened it all up, he let normal people get back into art again, after having been shut out for years, so I say good job, Banksy. What are you working on at the moment? I’m currently working on flowers and birds – large pieces, all-over designs, almost textile-like. But this may change. I’m always most proud of the next piece of work I’m going to do. Seen any good exhibitions in Bristol recently? The Grayson Perry at Arnolfini was one of those events where you sort of want to dislike it for some reason, but end up loving it – like it was with Banksy’s Dismaland. What’s your life motto? If in doubt, do it. What’s your most prized possession? An old penny with a hole in it. I’ve had it for as long as I can remember, I thought I’d lost it about five years ago. I couldn’t believe how pleased I was when it turned up – silly, really. n www.harrybunce.com