10 things to do this week in Bristol, April 15-21

15 04 2013

Monday: The Fratellis, Bristol Academy
With a new album out this year, Scottish trio The Fratellis are back on the road and together as a band after a three-year hiatus.

Monday: Quizambard, Rise
Bristol’s most brilliantly bonkers pub quiz returns to Friska bar and cafe within Rise on the Clifton Triangle. Get swotting up on famous Alans.

Tuesday: Marcus Brigstocke, Colston Hall
Marcus Brigstocke’s new stand-up show The Brig Society promises “the total restructuring of every aspect of life in Britain organised through the medium of jokes”.

Tuesday: Ablutions: Bristol Old Vic
FellSwoop Theatre return with a new show set on the west coast of America, blending a live soundtrack, mime and the humour of author Patrick DeWitt.

Wednesday: Josephine, Louisiana
The music of “Manchester’s soulful chanteuse” is both inspired by the musicians of her home city coupled with the musical heritage of her West African family.

Thursday: Cava tasting, El Rincón
El Rincón owner David Wilson was used to be a wine importer, and his bar has some of the best wines around. This evening is about Cava, Spain’s equivalent of Champagne.

Friday: The Big Sleep Out; St Paul’s Church, Portland Square
Supporting Big Issue vendors in Bristol, with entertainment including live music, comedians, and circus performers, and a panel discussion with some vendors.

Saturday: Secret Garden Food Festival, Paintworks
A one-day food festival held against the backdrop of the Expressions: Secret Garden arts festival, with enchanted forest, craft marquee, bandstand, graffiti tunnel and more.

Saturday: Soundwave launch party
The Soundwave festival in Croatia bills itself as one of Europes most beautiful. Its launch in Bristol sees a party on the Tower Belle boat and later in Start The Bus.

Sunday: Spring Has Sprung, Berwick Lodge
Featuring afternoon tea in the restaurant, croquet on the lawn (weather permitting), and guided tours of the house and grounds.

Berwick Lodge bedroom

My Bristol favourites: Lawrence Montgomery

14 04 2013

Lawrence Montgomery is the founder and owner of Rise on Queen’s Road, one of Bristol’s few remaining music shops now with a cafe and bar on its ground floor. This year’s Record Store Day takes place on Saturday, April 20 and Rise will once again be taking part, hosting a day of live music with some exclusive material on sale.

Here are Lawrence’s top-five Bristol favourites:

Howling Owl Records
“A niche record label that Adrian from the shop and Joe run. They are both in the band Spectres and have also released records from G A L P A L S, Let’s Kill Janice, Gumm, Towns and more. They are releasing a limited 12’’ for Record Store Day. I love the way they do things – like the great record labels of the past – small runs, great gig nights at interesting venues and a passion and enthusiasm which is difficult not to catch.”

“The best milkshakes in the world! I have to ration myself as the shop is only a stones throw away otherwise I would be even fatter than I am already! Their burgers aren’t too bad either.”

The Sportsman
“There is no where better to watch football than this Gloucester Road pub. One time I went they had five different games on simultaneously! The atmosphere is friendly, the beer is good value and they have lots of pool tables. Sorted!”

Start The Bus
“Despite most of the clientèle being achingly cool it is actually pretty welcoming and the burgers are up there with Rocotillos (there’s a theme here, right?!). Great gigs, nice selection of drinks and great atmosphere. Many a Rise staff night out has ended up here.”

Rise’s customers
“We are lucky at Rise to have such a wide range of lovely customers. From trendy students through to older guys with such a knowledge of niche areas such as blues, classical or jazz; we learn a lot off our customers and we are really thankful to our regular patrons who give the shop the vibe it has.”

Rise instore gig


13 04 2013

Regardless of whether they have spelt “yoghurt” the American way on their sign, without the “H”; or asking you to choose your “flava” like a Craig David song once inside, Flavalanche on Park Street is the latest business to open in Bristol that satisfies the current craze for froyo.


For those still blissfully unaware, froyo is frozen yoghurt – a delicacy which first came to Bristol with AngelBerry in the Imperial Retail Park in Hartcliffe and later on Broad Quay in the centre, and also Froyo2go on Staple Hill High Street.

The premise is simple: fill your tub with as much yoghurt as you want in a variety of flavas flavours. Then add your toppings, including hundreds and thousands, diced Reese’s Pieces, sliced pieces of fruit, and pobbles – the quite remarkable agar jelly beads filled with fruit juice which burst in your mouth that Willy Wonka would be proud of.

Coffee is from Clifton Coffee and there are plans to introduce that other current craze, bubble tea, in the next few months, in a spacious shop which has some of the funkiest seating in Bristol:

Flavalanche Park Street Bristol

Flavalanche, 54 Park Street, Clifton, Bristol, BS1 5JN. 0117 316 9905.


Flying Blind released today

12 04 2013

Flying Blind, “a post-9/11 thriller” made in Bristol, is released in cinemas today. Producer Alison Sterling will be introducing tomorrow’s 3.10pm screening at Watershed, while on Sunday, composer Jon Wygens will be in conversation with Rich Warren from the Encounters Short Film & Animation Festival after the 6pm show.

Flying Blind - Floating Harbour

Made under iFeatures, the low budget filmmaking initiative from South West Screen now run as a national scheme by Creative England, Flying Blind is the debut feature film from award-winning Polish director Katarzyna Klimkiewicz.

Helen McCrory (best known for playing Narcissa Malfoy in Harry Potter) stars as Frankie, a successful aerospace engineer designing drones for the military who meets Kahil, a French-Algerian student, with who she embarks on a passionate affair until one day she is detained by the security services and told that Kahil is a “person of interest”.

Flying Blind - Easton

Locations in the film include the M32 flyover in Easton (above), the Downs, and Clare Street and Leonard Lane in the city centre. Frankie’s flat is in The Paragon in Clifton, with views across the city and the Avon Gorge. Avoiding clichés, however, there is no shot of the Suspension Bridge.

Klimkiewicz (below, with headphones), met producer Alison Sterling at the Encounters Festival, where her short film Hanoi-Warsaw was screening. Sterling had seen the short, liked it a lot and pitched the idea of collaborating together on Flying Blind.

Flying Blind - filming in Clifton

Klimkiewicz said: “Bristol is a city full of contrast; cliffs and valleys, very dramatic views which look great on camera.

“There is also the contrast between the grand vistas of Georgian Clifton, with its sense of light and air and wealth, and the claustrophobic, scruffy, graffiti-covered area under the motorway of Easton where we filmed Kahil’s world.”

Flying Blind shot for four weeks in Bristol in November 2011 – click here to read a feature in the Bristol Evening Post during filming. The film received its premiere at last year’s Edinburgh International Film Festival.

Flying Blind poster

For more information, visit www.flyingblindfilm.co.uk.

Bespoked Bristol 2013

12 04 2013

Independent makers and designers of everything bicycle will be arriving in Bristol today for Bespoked Bristol, an annual event at Brunel’s Old Station now in its third year which promotes the international talents of independent makers and designers of the bicycle world.

“Bespoked Bristol originates from a frame building and event organising background,” a spokesman says. “We realised the need for an event, in the UK, to promote the international art of the handmade bicycle.

“We understand the craft and passion of beautiful bicycles and the importance for the makers and designers to have the opportunity to promote their work to the public, as well as swapping ideas and building a community.

“We aim to have a complete show, highlighting the skills of individuals across the whole industry, providing a platform for independent and small scale producers of all things bicycle – from handmade frames and components to clothing and designed bicycle elements.”

Feather Cycles - Bespoked Bristol


A glimpse back in time on Whiteladies Road

12 04 2013

An empty shop on Whiteladies Road has revealed two tantalising glimpses back in time. The premises at number 74 was most recently CJ Hole estate agents, but since gone the names of two long-departed former businesses can now be see: Punchard’s and Mackays.

A quick Google search reveals that Punchard’s was a jewellers shop owned by Hugh and Stella Punchard, which was opened as early as the 1920s.

There is currently a Mackays clothes shop in Thornbury, but it is unknown if the two are related. Can anybody reveal any more details?

Punchard's - Whiteladies Road

Review: Two Gentlemen of Verona, Tobacco Factory Theatre

11 04 2013

Two Gentlemen of Verona is one of Shakespeare’s lesser known comedies, but that does not make it any less funny. At the performance I saw there were tears rolling down faces; not due to a bottom in the air that is currently causing many sniggers at the Bristol Old Vic, but because the Bard’s words have been brought to life by a talented company under the direction of Andrew Hilton.

Harriet de Winton’s costumes rooted the action sometime in the early 20th century, while props and staging were minimal, with a chair here and a sword there.

The interplay between servants Speed (Marc Geoffrey) and Launce (Chris Donnelly) was well worked, the music competent, and Bristol Old Vic Theatre School graduate Jack Bannell as Valentine particularly impressive.

But it was Lollio, an aptly Shakespearean name for an actor, who was the star of the show. Lollio played Crab, Launce’s dog. The programme notes explain that he came relatively late into the business at the age of nine, is at present seeking representation, but requires no more in wages than a bowl of water and a very occasional dog treat.

Two Gentlemen of Verona - Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory

Two Gentlemen of Verona is at the Tobacco Factory Theatre until May 4. For more information, visit www.sattf.org.uk/currentfutureproductions/276.html.

Boston Tea Party on Gloucester Road

11 04 2013

Boston Tea Party will be opening their biggest cafe yet in Bristol when they move into premises on the Gloucester Road that are currently occupied by the Horfield & Bishopston Unionist Club. As well as being the biggest BTP in Bristol, it will also be the second largest in the chain’s portfolio behind a cafe in Birmingham which opened last year.

The new cafe will be created on the ground floor of the building on the corner of Nevil Road (below), with the social club moving to the first floor of the building and a new outside seating area created on what is currently the car park.

The plan is to open in time for the summer. Over the road is Lashings, which now only has two cafes in Bristol after the closure last week of its branch on the centre.

In other Bristol cafe news, a new Grounded is rumoured to be opening on Sandy Park Road in Brislington in what used to be T Cup; and The Kitchen on Silver Street is the first Bristol business to offer “suspended” food and drink, meaning that you pay and put an order aside to later be given free of charge to a more-needy customer.

Future site of Boston Tea Party

See No Evil Gallery launched online

10 04 2013

See No Evil Gallery is a new gallery operating mainly but not exclusively online which showcases urban and contemporary art from a variety of leading UK and European artists, many of who have previously designed pieces as part of See No Evil on Nelson Street.

As well as the website, the gallery is aiming to attend major art shows and fairs as well as produce an active programme of solo and group shows across the year.

A stand at this month’s Affordable Art Fair Bristol, taking place at Brunel’s Old Station between April 26 and 29, will be their first physical presence.

There will be new paintings by artists including Mr Jago, China Mike and Jim Starr, as well as limited edition screen prints by Inkie, Dicy and Cept, and several mixed media pieces by Swifty including Swifty Cans (below).

Swifty Cans

The first 100 people to sign up to the See No Evil Gallery newsletter will receive 50 per cent off entry to the Affordable Art Fair. To sign up, visit www.seenoevilgallery.com/pages/half-price.