(soz for late issue/ short run, we were away)
10___ Alcarràs (£5-£11) (Until 12th) Golden Bear winning family drama Watershed, various times
_____ Piggy (£5-£11) (Until 12th)Revenge fantasy with a sense of bloody humour
Watershed, various times
12___ Mouthfeel I: Container/Guthrie + Tapsew + Palm Oil (£8/£12) New night coming out swinging
with great line-up, hot mead cocktails and a TOFU RAFFLE Cube Microplex 20:00
13___ Tár (£5-£11) (Until 19th) Oscar tip, Scorsese’s been raving about it Watershed, various times
13___ Enys Men (£5-£11) (Until 19th) Surreal Cornish horror from Bait director
Watershed, various times
13___ Soz Lad Jungle Special (£3-£5) Jungle + Queer = less cunts (hopefully) Cosies, 22:00
14___ Solidarity With Striking Workers! (£5/£6) Good night. Good cause. Strange Brew 22:00
15___ Rebecca (£5/£8.50) Hitchcock classic I vaguely remember loving as a teen Watershed 12:30
_____ New Year NoiseFest (£6/£9) A veritable smörgåsbord of heaviness Exchange 14:00
18___ Vicente / Lisle, Dolebury Warren Qt, Hawkins Trio (£6/£7) We are determined to prove that free
Jazz is not just for turtlenecks Café Kino 19:30
19___ Stories from the Stars (FREE) (Also 26th) Not even fire can stop We The Curious staff from
stargazing Brandon Hill 19:00
_____ Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead (£8-£48) (Until 11th Feb) When Complicité deliver
they really deliver Bristol Old Vic 14:30/19:30
20___ Friend + 72% + Punchcutter (FREE/£5) (Until 25th) Pummelling gloom seems fitting for January
Crofters Rights 19:00
_____ Pressure Dome w/ Pariah, Rhyw & Yushh (F10-£15) (Until 25th) January gloom over, fresh techno
is my best friend now. Strange Brew 22:00
21___ Dan Johnson - 'Eight Hours' (PWYW) Ringo Starr, eat your heart out! D-Unit 12:00
_____ Ronald Langestraat Trio (Live) + Nicolini (Live) (£10-£12, or £15 with separate club night) 81
y/o space jazz & dubby Casios, yes Strange Brew 19:00
22___ A Woman Under the Influence (£5/£8.50) Columbo it ain’t. Bleak. Watershed 12:30
24___ Murder, My Sweet (£5-£11) Dialogue so noir it’s basically its own language Watershed 17:50
25___ Lawrence Abu Hamdan: Natq (FREE) Live audio-visual essay to pair with the fantastic film
installation currently exhibited Spike Island 18:00
_____ Eli Jitsuto, Jonny Henderson, Matt Brown (FREE) Funky jazz just fits a Wednesday
_____ OR: Burns Night in
Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware,
That jaups in luggies;
But, if ye wish her gratefu’ prayer,
Gie her a Haggis!
(Vegan ones are pretty nice too)
26___ Avalanche Kaito + Support (£8/£10) Post punk meets a Burkinabe urban griot (yes, I googled it
too). Point is it’s fuckin’ great Crofters Rights 19:00
27___ All the Beauty and the Bloodshed (£5/£8.50) (until 2nd Feb) Golden Lion winning doc about Nan
Goldin’s art & activism Watershed, various times
_____ Bristol Contra - Matt Norman & Laurel Swift with Mark Elvins and Jake Wood (£6-£15) Cielidh
but faster and spinny-er. Cheese at the interval! Faithspace 19:30
28___ TURN '23: DJ Marcelle, Nazar, Shelley Parker +++ (£8-£10) New night and the welcome return
of the masterfully messy Marcelle Strange Brew 22:00
29___ Persona (£5/£8.50) Loved every Bergman I’ve seen, melancholy and madness Watershed 12:30
The Two Day Show by Jane Mason & Friends – For Bristol’s Mayfest, Jane Mason and five of her life-long collaborators made a show, as the title suggests, over just two days. It had a resulting casualness about it - this feeling of easy familiarity, that one needn’t work too hard to read meaning into it. My favourite moment: one performer lying on the floor, another lifting his limbs and placing cardboard tubes under them, like support columns for an overpass. A one-off, and very special - so special it inspired us to start this zine!
45th Parallel by Lawrence Abu Hamdan – Lawrence Abu Hamdan’s video was filmed at the Haskell Free Library, which straddles the American-Canadian border. Telling two stories, one about gun smugglers who used the library toilets, and one about the murder of a child in Mexico by a border guard whose feet were on US soil, it considers borders as these Schrödinger-like places: at once porous and imaginary, intractable and deadly. Direct but layered, simple but striking.
Nope – Jordan Peele’s films construct genre-metaphors for racial trauma and American mythology, and this is maybe his most richly layered yet. With its hungry eye, the UFO is a camera, ‘shooting’ its subject. The ‘nope’ of the title is a refusal to be seen and made a spectacle of, to avert the othering gaze; all this while the film itself makes a giddy spectacle, amongst its desert vistas, film sets and toy towns, of hiding and running away. A movie as mercilessly entertaining as it is cerebral. Nope: dope.
Frauds (London) – A workshop led by Jaz Woodcock-Stewart, director of the spectacular dance-theatre piece Civilisation, which was about dabbling in disciplines you don’t have expertise/experience/training in. I got to be a choreographer for the weekend and it was one of the most freeing, fun, joyful experiences I’ve had in my art-making life.
Fierce Festival (Birmingham) – A staple of the live art/performance calendar, full of the most weirdo shit. We did a group trip and saw: a massive latex pig giving birth, French scarecrows running a pirate radio station, a guided tour of the Bullring shopping centre, Brazilian dancers getting soapy, the making of Pinocchio as a trans allegory, a deranged participatory dinner party/plane crash, ritual actions involving black treacle and an octopus. Work ranging from the infuriating to the heart-rate raising. Essential.
Sam Amidon – Lilith and I are big fans of Amidon’s plaintive interpretations of the American folk canon. I admit that his studio recordings can sometimes tend towards the soaring-strings type of saccharine, but his stripped-back live arrangements were breathtakingly gorgeous and consummately played. My heart was in my mouth. Also - patter! What do experimental musicians have against patter?
RRR – Fucking. Yes. If you haven’t seen this film yet find the biggest screen and the most friends you can and have the best time. Truly the greatest buddy action movie featuring an anti-colonial dance off. Each time you think it has given you its last delight, its last little twist, it produces something to get you hootin’ and hollerin’ even louder. An experience greatly enhanced by being one of only two groups in the Filwood Cineworld, with the sound being played at frankly dangerous levels.
12 Last Songs by Quarantine (Manchester) – Over the course of 12 hours people come onto stage and take their shift answering some of 500 questions – about work, about their homes, about their lives. Some sit, some stand, many are doing their jobs. A life model poses for a painter. A property developer argues with an MP. A decorator, after hours of papering, admits she was thinking of not coming. A dog whimpers. A confetti canon fills the space. It is a true celebration of how interesting, or moving, or funny everyone can be when given the attention, of the connections that create themselves when you’re looking, of the tiny revelations that appear when you ask the right questions.
Petrov’s Flu – A literal fever-dream. Even within experimental cinema it feels like a long time since a film has surprised me so much. The structure felt utterly original while still pulling you along and deftly delivering themes of nostalgia and fear and frustration (and probably a lot more if you know about Russian history and politics).
HABITAT – In May the Galleries shopping centre was filled with a group of volunteers, dancing naked. It was a performance filled with joy and play and just enough menace to keep it interesting, moments of heavy breathing rest and careful jiggling experimentation interwoven with what looks like the most exhausting, freeing, exuberant choreography. I left it desperate to dance…
EP/64’s Final Show … thankfully 30 minutes later I was walking into the best dance I’ve had this year. The cult Bristol band playing their final show felt like a transcendent experience, the music moving through me, my body moving with the crowd, whose sounds were reflected back and around until it felt like we were in a limitless sea of wild abandon.
Matrix by Lauren Groff – A beautiful, forceful book, that is tender without being soft. It feels like a story of a 12th century prioress shouldn’t speak so fully to a modern quarter life crisis but the way it weaves the regret and pleasures of committing to a life unlike that which you imagined with the pains, practicality and political manoeuvring of a medieval abbey created so many moments which felt powerfully resonant. It took me 3x as long as it should to read the last chapter because I kept having to stop to let the tears clear.
Caroline by Caroline – The songs here are raised from improvised phrases, conjoined and given texture over many sessions and it shows. It sums to a simple album that can be dived into over and over and over, each time with new rich inflection waiting. Shortly after release I had a break up (we’re still friends), and that generous repetition was a balm to the more compulsive reflection you can find yourself trapped in.
Wojciech Rusin @ Bristol New Music Festival – Went in blind and came out beaming. Wojciech regurgitates the past, twisting it through technology until it becomes a future reflection of the present. 3D printed medieval instruments, warped computer imagery of ancient temples, and a big fucking bagpipe. I couldn’t explain it but it all made absolute enrapturing sense.
(Special mention to Bendik Giske at BNMF, disarming & achingly close to tears levels of beautiful live)
Sunshine State & Seven Heavenly Palaces @ Pirelli HangarBicocca – Had a lads holiday in Italy, a perfect mixture of depravity and culture, and taking in the immense HangarBicocca with the 1 brain cell still firing was one of the highlights. Big enough to house Anselm Kiefer’s 7-story towers that overflow with the air of otherworldly ritual. Another chamber housed Steve McQueen’s Sunshine State. A tale of racial violence told over an altered version of The Jazz Singer intercut with images of the sun and the plead to “shine on me” which had me completely beguiled. A cruel spectacle.
Senyawa @ Bristol & Bareclona – Senyawa are the primordial urge to destroy. They’re also very polite between the most guttural roars any creature has ever made. The Java duo use a homemade distorted zither thing, an insanely extended range of operatic chanting, and the audience’s growing bloodlust to summon ancient eldritch gods of violence. A must see live.
Supernormal Festival (between Oxford & Reading) – I lost precise count, but I think I technically went to around 15 festivals in 2022. On a purely vibes basis, none came close to Supernormal. Some festivals you go to for the acts, Supernormal you go to find out what your favourite acts will be next year (See Jooklo Duo live!). Every conversation I had, I was immediately disarmed by how much common understanding, outlook, and humour there was. Genuinely the closest I’ve been to wanting to live on a commune despite it being a desert. I get 1st dibs on tickets, capiche.
TOUGH SELL Secret Bunker Party – Sometimes you’re allowed to be proud. Entering 2022 I didn’t make things and I didn’t make things happen. Leaving 2022 I share a quirky zine and I put on a fucking rager of a 10 hour gig/ party in a bloody WW2 bunker in the woods with a homebuilt toilet no less. The kind of gig where jazz, metal, jungle and everything in between can all sit on the same lineup. I’m still in disbelief it all came together, but I’m eager to put on more stuff in 2023.
A deserted expanse of royal garden filled only with ghostly sounds of Christmas music over the Tannoy
A chicken’s escape attempt thwarted as it was shooed out of the back of a pickup truck
Local kids squealing with glee as they emerged triumphantly from the night sea brandishing a squid
The 3 of us trembling, as if before God, at the sight of a Lactasoy vending machine with 10 flavours
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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.