Upcoming and Unvetted

1____ SIKSA, Concentration, Laughter of Saints (£8) Polish art punk duo, no idea what they’re saying           but it sounds fucking cool Strange Brew 19:30

2____ 3000 Years of longing (until 8th) (£5-£12.70) George Miller: Mad Max, Babe Pig in the City, and 

         now an 18 adaptation of 1001 Nights, what a guy Various cinemas, various times

_____ Magnetic Fields (£21/£26.25/£31.50) Indie pop darlings who manage to be sardonic and sincere

         in equal measure St George’s 20:00

3____ Run Lola Run (£15.50/£18.50) Never seen this relentless German cult classic, always wanted to

         Redcliffe Caves 18:00

_____ Eraserhead (£15.50/£18.50) Anxiety distilled Redcliffe Caves 20:10

_____ Dirtytalk: DJ Sotofett b2b LNS + Kavadi (£8/£10/£12) Sotofett returns, I’m going to get drunk

         and dance :)  Strange Brew 21:00

4____ Ed Gamble: Electric (£15.50/£18.50) What can I say, he’s a funny boy, good luck getting resale

         tickets though Bristol Old Vic 14:30 & 19:30


7____ Brunswick Gathering #4 (£5) See nice artists being nice, again!  The Lightship Boat 19:30

8____ Alexandra Spence, Brigitte Hart, Viridian Ensemble (£7) BEEF bringing that tasty immersive

         sound, excited for this one Strange Brew 19:30

_____ Tim Key: Mulberry (until 11th) (£16/£20) I saw him on the telly but he was weird and had poems

         Tobacco Factory 20:00

9____ Crimes of the future (until 15th) (£5/£8.50/£11) Looks fucked up, Cronenberg does it again.

         Watershed various times

_____ Schwet with Detroit in Effect & Dame Area (£6/£8/£10/£12/£15) Lots to like in this gig/club

         electro/ industrial combo, gonna be wild Strange Brew 20:00/23:00


11___ La Bomba Day Party with Habibi Funk (£8/£10) Daytime groovin’ to those funky Arab beats

         Lost Horizon 15:00

_____ All Light, Everywhere (£4/£5) Take a break from dancing and have a wild gear shift to catch this

         dreamy film essay exploring surveillance Cube Microplex 17:00

12___ Rose City Band + Langkammer + Rosali (£6/£12) Country rock: a little cheesy, a little nice

         The Lanes 19:30

13___ Liquid Library (£5/£7) A mix of some of Bristol’s best regulars reconfiguring into new sounds

         Exchange basement 12:00

14___ Outlier (until 24th) (from £8) The rare bit of gig theatre that we actually liked returns

         Old Vic 19:30


16___ Civilisation (until 17th) (£10/£15) Must! See! Theatre! If you go to one thing make it this, if you

         go to two things make it this again Arnolfini 20:00

_____ Echoic Memory Presents: Scanner w/ Orphax (£10) Prolific experimental sound artist famous

         for his unnerving use of cellphone scanners Cube Microplex 19:30

17___ A touch of Zen (£5/£8.50) The big dog of Wuxia cinema on the big screen Watershed 14:00

_____ 50 Years of Jah Tubbys (£5-16) Soundsystem culture crystalised Trinity 22:00

18___ Film Noir UK: Michael Mann Double Bill (£8.50 each) Thief & Heat in the IMAX? Hell yeah

         Aquarium IMAX 14:00 & 17:30

19___ En Masse 2022 - Noods Takeover (FREE) A nice start to this year’s En Masse

         Mickey Zogg’s 19:00


23___ HELLFIRE VIDEO CLUB: SON OF DRACULA! (£4/£5) HAIL! HFVC are back! Expect this to be

         damned maddening. Cube Microplex 20:00

_____ En Masse 2022: Josey Rebelle, Batu, i-sha (£16/£18) Club music, yeah Trinity 22:00

24___ Yi Yi (£5/£8.50) Only gets on the list despite cutting into TOILET FEST 3 because it’s one of

         Ben’s fav films Watershed 14:00

_____ TOILET FEST 3 (£5) Cancel my appointments. But for real, can’t wait for this one, will be wild

         and wonderful. Cube Microplex 14:00

_____ En Masse 2022 [The Afters] w/ Tom Boogizm (£11/£13) Tom’s NTS hours are good enough that

         he has the honour of being toilet fest’s afters Strange Brew 22:00


27___ It Begins in Darkness (until 30th) (£10/£15/£20) Impermanence bring an explorative dance

          piece to a beautiful venue Mount Without 20:00

28___ Electro Cafe: Finlay Shakespeare / Meemo Comma+++ (£10/£12) Should be an interesting

         showcase of electronic sounds, looking forward to the planet mu stuff Strange Brew 19:30

29___ Top Gun (£9.50/£12.50/£15.50) See https://www.tor.com/2019/01/14/highway-to-the-danger-zone-the-heterosexual-tragedy-of-top-gun/ Aerospace Bristol 19:00

30___ Flux Gourmet (until 6th Oct) The new strangeness from Peter Strickland      

         Watershed 14:00, 17:10 & mostly 20:00

Forest: Wake This Ground @ Arnolfini (08/07 – 02/10)

There’s a sense when you walk into the bottom floor of Forest: Wake This Ground at the Arnolfini that you could be walking into a museum, somewhere in the distant future, or on a distant space station, that imagines what nature on earth once would have been. Outlines and diagrams, what look like 3D topographic displays, maps, a large branch held up on a stand; surrounded by the fini’s stark white walls they seem intriguingly out of place.

The piece which probably most resembles an exhibit in a museum to a lost world is Rodrigo Arteaga’s Poloptico Monocultivo, a large grid of pieces of paper onto which the outlines of the leaves, branches and seeds common in Chile’s forest industry are delicately and violently burnt. The voids in the paper nod to extinction even as the mass of the paper represents the mass-production of these plants.

The large tree branch (Fallen Tree, also by Arteaga) is one of my favourites in the exhibition. I was delighted enough when I thought it was just a branch, supported by an intricate network of wooden stands (just a little reminiscent of the Arnolfini exhibition that sticks most in my memory, Matti Braun’s Gost Log, when one of the galleries was filled with water and tree trunks). But if you move a little to the side you see that the branch’s completeness is an illusion – it has been cut into numerous tiny pieces, each held carefully just out of place, like an exploded diagram. It feels somewhere between a glitch in nature and an experiment to try to desperately put it back together.

The opposite wall is covered by what could be a map of cursed monuments, or an evolutionary chart of some mutated creature. Instead, it is a family tree, tracing the works of sculptor David Nash. At first I found this almost disappointingly mundane, but as I traced its roots and branches it was full of charming and beguiling details, none more so than a timeline of a Wooden Boulder rolled into a river in 1978, tracking its progress being moved through the water, occasionally disappearing only to reappear years later.

In its three floors the exhibition manages to make a wide variety of art and inspirations cohere in a way which makes each new work feel like a fresh treat; from books made of dirt, to an inviting cardboard forest, to a film about seeds that travelled from Svalbard to Lebanon and back, big installations sit alongside the personal, the abstract amongst the rooted. Tucked away is another favourite, Look Then Below by Ben Rivers and Mark von Schlegell, a short film which delves deep into the Wooky Hole Caves. Even if the nods towards science fiction in the rest of the exhibition are just in my head, here the genre is explicit. We follow a narrator as they plumb the depths in the post-future future, long after a society of people have fled underground to escape climate catastrophe. Their search for traces of this society is accompanied by visuals which combine ‘real’ footage, distorted shots, and CGI images into a strange journey which starts to make you doubt what is and isn’t real. It feels like an encapsulation of what so much of the exhibition is doing – making something familiar strange and compelling.

Shovel Dance Collective: @ Various (30/7, 13/8, and 14/8)

I have been seeing a lot of these lovely people recently and I would gladly see them more. On the surface, they are quite straightforwardly a by the numbers folk band. They play many traditional standards and as far as I can tell by my limited folk knowledge, they play these standards faithfully with little contemporary twist.

And yet each of the three times I saw them, at least one person wept, and not little subtle solitary tears but full blown blubs. A lot, maybe all, of the reason for this is that all 9 of them are excellent folk musicians. However, for my money I think what sets shovel dance apart is their consideration of environment. They know how to employ it in spreading an overwhelming feeling of community, and as such they are the decided masters of the barn.

The first time I saw them they led the audience in a precession to just such a barn (which I was late to joining because I was chasing someone for free samosas). Samosa in hand, I arrived to the barn to find the deeper of the singers atop a large hay bale, his voice immediately commanding silent reverence before hopping down to join the rest of the band as their tender music unfolded and the audience hugged their crossed legs tightly.

Yet in the less obviously fitting environment of an elastic-band-melon-exploding race they were still able to employ their commanding style to heighten the sense of community, or in this case team. They did this by crooning an improvised ode to melon feasting which hastened the frantic elastic-ing until at last the melons burst into vegan gibs.

(Admittedly, the sense of community shovel dance built on this occasion did exclude the acid heads for whom chanting to distended melons aching to erupt was a bit too much.)

I think the best example of their ability to build community came from their unofficial closing of supernormal festival. A festival that while not directly Bristol linked, certainly seems to be about 70% Bristolians. After putting in an astounding set on the Saturday night, they had garnered a bit of a reputation. Hence, when they set up a faux bonfire singalong (we were on a fire alert with the heat wave) at the end of Sunday night quite a crowd turned up to join them.

Resorting to just their voices they led the crowd through songs that felt haunted by the centuries they had been sung. And then things got silly. My memory of the night is slightly patchy but if I had to guess I think we ended up singing solidarity forever for well over an hour. People adding their increasingly niche verses including several rounds devoted to people’s cats. At a certain point the band departed, and later so did I, but from the tents you could still hear this mdma addled group gleefully singing away to the blistering sunrise. I can think of very few bands able to get people as involved as that.

Spotted in Bristol (animal edition)

Seagulls, friend or foe?

 A family taking their adopted seagull for a walk around the harbour

 A seagull snatching a duckling from the Docks

 A seagull transfixed by bad daytime pub Karaoke trying it’s luck at making it to the bar

A group of seagulls riding a large lump of mud down the fast flowing Cut

A teenage seagull closely following its parent studiously picking up and putting back down all the same pieces of trash


And a last word from Man’s BFF

A dog so small it had to precariously stand on its hind legs to sniff a big dog’s butt, resulting in it faceplanting the anus

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.