Upcoming and Unvetted

31___ RRR (£6/£10) sneaking a July date in an Aug calendar because it’s the best movie. It’s the best           movie. Motherfuvking IMAX, aquarium 15:00    


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2 ____ Grave of the Fireflies (until 4th)(£5/£8.50) Devastating kids film about nuclear war, thanks   

          Miyazaki!  Watershed, varies between 15:00 & 15:30

_____ Paris, Texas (until 4th)(£5/£8.50/£11) Wim Wender’s sparse tale of regret and the road 

         Watershed, varies between 17:30 & 20:00

_____ Hit The Road (until 4th)(£5/£8.50/£11) Nice LFF winning Persian road/family comedy looks nice

        Watershed, varies between 17:50 & 20:40

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4 ____ Sh!t Theatre: Don’t Look Over Here Andrew Lloyd Webber (until 5th)(£10) new WIP from the ever

          funny duo  Wardrobe Theatre 19:30

5 ____ The Harder They Come (until 11th) (£4/£5) Cult classic Jimmy Cliff vehicle about the underbelly

          of the Jamaican music industry Watershed, varies between 17:20, 17:30, 20:00 & 20:10


______ Youth: Silvia Kastel, Fumu, Luke Lund, Lyster (£8/£10) A showcase of strange bubbling

          electronics Strange Brew 22:00

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7____ Big Fuss + The Dolebury Warren Movement (£5/£6) Various combinations of some of the best

         improvisers in the city Louisiana 19:30

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9 ____ Algae Bloom, Dead Bird & Maebe (£6) Smooth guitars and raspy screams, emo nostalgia here

          we come Exchange basement 19:00

10 ___ JOOKLO DUO, Ex Agent, Infinite Spirit Music (£7)  Squealing free jazz, not recommended if you

          have a headache Crofters Rights 20:00

11 ___ MC Yallah & Debmaster w/ Support GROVE (£10)  Blazing hip hop by way of Kenya & Bristol

          Trinity Centre 19:00

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13 ___ Health & Beauty x Strange Brew ~ Bored Lord (£10) Queer nights once again leading the charge

          in moving your ass Strange Brew 22:00

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17___ Building a Martian House (until October) (FREE) What it says on the tin. Public art/research site

         workshops and volunteering opportunities Harbourside, various

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21 ___ Marisa Anderson and William Tyler (£7/£10) Americana soundtracks for Martian landscapes   

          The Cube 17:30

_____ SNEERS. + Dead Space Chamber Music + Fuk Authority (£8 suggested) Xiu-ey Xiu-ey, female

         fronted, very German, evokes swamps of the deep south Crofters Rights 19:30

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24 ___ Odradek (£5/£6) Brazilian math rock, forgot how much I missed math Exchange 19:30

25 ___ Rupert Clervaux, Dania & B. Rupp (PWYW) Deconstructing the ass out of the club

           Strange Brew 19:30

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28 ___ TOUGH SELL secret bunker party acts tba email toughsellzine@gmail.com for more info

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30 ___ Party Dozen Boistrous skronky rock outfit from down under Crofters Rights 19:00

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August is Dead

The sun is out but for the most part events aren’t. In place of them here are some more general recommendations of what to do in Bristol.

Swim in the river at Beeses

Busy but not too busy, plenty of space for a BBQ, lush greenery and cool water – just don’t get any in your mouth!

Get soft serve ice-cream at Farro Bakery

Chocolate ice cream like no other, with fruity cacao nibs. And it comes with a CROISSANT CRISP!

Rent a film from 20th Century Flicks

Great selection of films for real cheap from cool people doing cool stuff. We recommend:

Black Cat White Cat – avoid the heat by watching others endure the sweltering Serbian summer in this endlessly eccentric and delightful Roma farce

Wet Bunker

Try to discover the easier to find (and spookier) of the bunkers under Clifton suspension bridge, just past the road tunnel. This flooded wartime bunker is built into the cliff, has 2 floors, and the remnants of archives past. Wellies are a must!

Wordcolour: ‘people can you hear me?’ @ Dareshack (25/06) (and Fade Soundspace, Hackney (07/07))

Cheating slightly because I actually saw this set in London, having missed Wordcolour’s (Nick Worrall’s) earlier Bristol performance (my zine my rules!!). The set, titled people can you hear me?,
was a mix structured around the more ambient/experimental material from his debut album, the trees were buzzing, and the grass. It felt like diving deep into the album’s fascination with cinematic-ness — which is not to say it sounded anything like a film score (though there are occasional brass-section nods to classic John Williams type scores orchestral scores in the album); cinematic in the sense that it was concerned with vivid colour, drama, photo- (or sonic) realism, the intimacy of Foley sound and field recording.

The set pivoted around a handful of extended samples of speech from films and Youtube clips: there’s the scene in Superman where Clark Kent’s dad dies of a heart attack; a recording of a 60-year-old trying salvia ‘for the very first time,’ wheezing with laughter; one of Paul Stanley of Kiss, triumphantly working a stadium crowd; and that Youtube video of the guy so ecstatically overcome by the sight of a double rainbow. All people in these intense, heightened emotional/physical states — as if the world around them were suddenly rendered in 4K. The voices of Worrall’s friends and collaborators read out a series of orphaned words (‘headwind’ / ‘counterpoint’ / ‘eyelids’ / ‘middle distance’ / ‘goosebumps’ / ‘murmur’), each stamping its own mini affective/imaginative world on the listener, before being overwritten by the next. Visuals were a trippy, constantly morphing image-soup put through an AI blender. All this set against shimmering, glass like synths (gongs, bells, chimes) and scattershot drum samples, this was music at once crystalline and dreamy – enough to make you feel light-headed, a rush of oxygen to the mind’s eye.

THE WIRE 40: An Evening with People Like Us
@The Cube Microplex (01/07)

Perhaps better known for her audio work, the opening night of The Wire’s 40th birthday celebrations focused on Vicki Bennett’s (aka People Like Us) films.

The evening started with an overview of the artist’s work including maximalist explosions of old industrial documentaries,  tongue in cheek pop culture mashups, and recent immersive experiences. For me the extracts of longer works didn’t work so well, never having enough time to fully get into what was going on, but many of the short films were brilliant – from the hilarious mashup of The Hills Are Alive from Sound of Music and This Is The End from Apocalypse Now (The Sound of the End of Music), to the really quite moving combination of depictions of the moon in early experimental and comedy films, with music by Ergo Phizmiz (Moon). What was surprising and delightful was the lack of any cynicism – throughout, Bennett celebrated films from commercials to classics, with an obvious love of the moving image, and the people who made them.

The night really started to come alive with the Q&A with Bennett. The way she talked about her work confirmed her genuine joy in working with existing material. ‘Films want to be friends,’ she replied to questions about how she got things to fit so well together. ‘You do one thing for a long time and magic happens.’

Crowning the evening was a new work, with live performance by Bennett, Ergo Phizmiz and Gwilly Edmondez. It fulfilled the promise teased in the earlier clips, and showed the excellence of Bennett’s work when allowed the space to stretch out, by turns joyous and strange and beguiling. It seemed almost like a celebration of her own career, with clips returning to repeated motifs from earlier work; corridors and cameras, doorways and dreams. As a final encapsulation of the magic Bennet talked of we saw a satanic ritual mixed with a Dadaist poetry exercise; art as a demonic summoning, drawing something from the ether and binding it to yourself.

QWAK club #10: Matthew Grigg & Matt Davis

@ The Cube Microplex (25/6)

QWAK club has slowly but surely become my favourite night in Bristol. This is certainly helped by it being held in the vibes-iest venue in Bristol: the Cube. A venue that no matter how many times I go still feels like a secret, in ways that seep into the woodwork.

The other, more important aspect is that it’s a really well curated selection of experimental music, which is no easy feat. Free experimentation can easily fall into predictable ruts or equally predictable reactions to them. Meanwhile QWAK manages to promote artists that makes you think differently about how music is made, preformed, and listened to and how those aspects overlap.

For example, previous QWAKer Graham Lambkin toyed with what “live” music means, making mundane pre-prepared and preformed sounds play with each other until you forgot what was real. Whilst Mariam Rezaei used her turntables to turn the act of playing music, in the sense of starting and stopping it, into a means of playing music. In different ways, both of these acts led the listener to feel the recognition of a sound’s source as something somehow audibly tactile, and QWAK club #10 was no different.

The standout for me was last minute openers Matthew Grigg & Matt Davis. They kicked things off with Davis stood behind a ramshackle tabletop covered in mysterious electronics and bulbs, Grigg sat poised with guitar, and a blank projection coating both in moody blue lighting. Davis introduced disquieting sounds of static slowly popping in and out and Grigg responded with restrained guitar tones. This continued until it dawned that the sounds of static corresponded to the lighting of stringed bulbs strewn about the tabletop. Upon the realisation that we were listening to the sounds of electricity, the intensity and rapidity of the bulbs’ lighting increased until the sum was its own bubbling electronic music, tempered by Griggs improvisations, and adorned with a light show.

With the conceit of the performance revealed, Davis was free to introduce more electronics into his countertop orchestra, and Grigg to open up his improvisations. These elements never quite punched into full throated musicality for me but they did manage to evoke a strange mood, like being stuck in the flickering projector of Bristol’s smallest secret-est cinema (cheap beer too).

Spotted in Bristol

An office worker sleeping on Brandon Hill swarmed by squirrels.


A scotty dog in ski goggles flashing by in a bicycle basket, delighted to be so chic.


A little girl asking if she could “please stomp on the pigeons” with impeccable politeness.


A game of chicken between the unstoppable force of an OAP in his mobility scooter and the immovable object of an aggressively tik tok dancing youth.


A year 9 maths teacher offering people £100 each to go to Cosies with him on a Sunday evening.


Email us at toughsellzine@gmail.com with hot tips and strange sightings

We are three housemates in Bristol, and we go to see lots of music / theatre / dance / art / film / comedy etc. It’s usually stuff at the margins of these forms, where more is shared between them than distinguishes them. This is a zine of events in the next month that we think we might go to, and reviews of events from the past month that we liked. It is: inexhaustive, biased, of debatable trustworthiness. This is a picture of us.