Thursday, 29 October 2009
Sunday, 25 October 2009
The space that once existed as teen rock haven The Level is now, following extensive refurbishment, possibly Bristol's newest and smallest gallery. Nestled in Park Row beside barbers du-jour Mack Daddy's, the guys at FriendAndCo threw their doors open to a considerable crowd not put off by that annoying piffly October rain. The show ranged from bright block colour collages to intricate pen illustrations from the likes of up-and-comingers Eine, Mr Jago, Mudwig, Will Barras and Xenz.
Saturday, 24 October 2009
A few too many pints of cider and an argument with the quizmaster about Popstars The Rivals later, a good synapse-exercising, quiet-ish night was had by a very small quiz team who did't even bring their own stationery.
I really like The Mother's Ruin - apart from the great name and pretty Hogwartsy St. Nicks location, it's an old-fashioned rock'n'roll kinda place. The decadent dark wallpaper and rock icon photos match the heavy soundtrack, which is really refreshing in these days of corporate chain-pubs and cheap chart bars.
The guy closing up came outside to take in the blackboards, and just looked at us, taking a picture of the sign. Some people, eh?
Monday, 19 October 2009
Saturday, 17 October 2009
In the meantime, you can check out the Bristol Jam , the first festival in the whole of the U.K solely dedicated to improvisation - music, comedy, arts - you name it, they'll be making it up on the spot.
The new directors of the Old Vic Tom Morris and Emma Stenning came up with the idea, and enlisted a multitude of performers from beatboxer Beardyman to female clown Angela de Castro to start the party.
They said the festival is: "A tiny riot of improvised performance in some of the art forms which flourish across Bristol. There will be drama, music, dance, games, jazz, film, beatbox and other things which as yet have no name..."
Keep your eyes peeled until the 24th for some spontaneous fun around the city and at the theatre, and maybe even unleash the improviser locked deep within...
Saturday, 10 October 2009
Following a late shift that really dragged on, (and the fact that it's payday) we decided to go for something to eat on the way home, and Mud Dock seemed like the obvious choice for a mention here on popdock. (Good old Bristolians knowing their industrial heritage so well...)
I've never dined there before, but been past countless times over the years and thought, 'I must check that place out one day...'
Needing some tasty grub after a hard day, and feeling the first nip of the season, I had high hopes, but still wasn't expecting to be so thoroughly impressed. A great selection of modern dishes with just the right combination of luxury and heartiness (and good veggie options), Mud Dock just ticked all the boxes.
Really friendly staff, gorgeous foodgasm-inducing grub, candles and soft music gave the place a chilled out vibe, and prices weren't extortionate either. Most mains were just under £10 each, and we were just too late to be part of a 2-for-£10 offer (Mon-Fri, 5pm-9pm).
As if all that wasn't enough, Mud Dock are not just a restaurant as I had ignorantly presumed... get this - on the ground floor, below the restaurant, there's also a bicycle shop! Operated side-by-side to enhance the owner's two favourite things - dining and cycling, Mud Dock emphasises the benefits of bikes- for your health and the environment, and are especially proud of Bristol's unofficial cycling city status.
Can you imagine Halford's even giving you a cup of tea? Strung from the ceiling was an incredible collection of antique, vintage and valuable bikes - from penny farthings to bmx's - according to our waitress, part of the owner's considerable private collection. During opening hours the bike shop also offers extensive service and advice for any enquiries of the spoke-wheeled type.
(I had polenta with a variety of mushrooms in a cream and garlic sauce with roast cherry tomatoes, pictured, which was gawwwwjas, but I still think the plate needed a little green garnish to perk it up visually - maybe some salad leaves or something?)
Really amazing, and part of that strange Bristol optimism, the just going with a good but crazy idea and seeing what happens, that makes every day in this city a new and exciting adventure!
Friday, 9 October 2009
The fab Motel (Park Street) celebrated their 10th anniversary with a wicked evening of discounts, bargains and prizes. They followed this with a cracking 1990s themed soiree aboard the Thekla, a one off joint venture with new indie guys Pressure. The lovely, camera-shy Motel manager Jenna and DJs Girls Girls Girls fizzed on top deck along with some really eye-catching artwork...
...and as it got later we descended to pull some shapes into the darkness of the ship's belly, where the new guys were cool as, throwing out a really swift mix of old and new 'indie' tunes - a bit of Modest Mouse, some Kings of Leon, even a bit of Florence! Thankfully, no tired old Killers-last-song cliches anywhere in sight, but the dancefloor was always busy.
All in all, a successful night! Cheers Motel and Pressure!
Monday, 5 October 2009
Today I bought a few tickets for upcoming gigs - Passion Pit and Camera Obscura, and just had a bimble around town looking for ideas and inspiration. Stayed massively away from Cabot Circus, instead taking my best friend and ex-Bristolian Amelia to cafe kino - a really lovely vegan, not-for-profit co-operative who simply want to be "open, fair and mutually supportive" of everyone involved in any aspect of their business.
We bought falafel and I had a warming, but strange, slightly spicy herbal tea. It was lovely to sit at the window listening to the jazz and looking at the autumn leaves blowing in the wind, hands around a hot cup, and look out at the first chilly pinches of winter.
It seems to have come around so quickly this time, but there's something exciting about seeing the seasons change, and everyone pile on a few more layers as we inevitably head towards Christmas!
Amelia and I then headed over the road to The Magpie - a collective of artists and self-described 'dossers' who live and work together, always adding fresh bits of graf or sculpture to the already vibrant Stokes Croft. They have a yard sale (that sounds so American, but that was exactly what it was) every so often, selling wonderful bits of treasure and tat for tiny prices - I bought an amazing long white cardi with brown, turquoise, black and red diamond pattern (pics soon, I promise) and Amelia bought a cute woolly hat for a quid! We chatted to the guys for a while, until one guy got funny about why we wanted to know so much. Bit of a shame, as we were just curious. There's always something going on there, well worth checking out as you pass by.
Then Amelia had to get her coach home, so we left our Bristol explorations for another day. Loads more to come, stay tuned!
(P.S . Boring bit - The above photos were not taken by me, I'm not claiming to have any rights over them, merely wished to illustrate a post with images found on google. Like I say, my own cam-cam is on it's way, then copyright all the way!)
Saturday, 3 October 2009
popdock is going to be a local blog. For local people. Er, not quite.
Most regional media has that depressingly tacky, inclusive buddy feel about it. Like it couldn't find something interesting in a box marked 'Secrets - Do Not Open Ever'.
popdock wants to shed the Points West style fuzziness that has coated Bristol's image and be a blog about enjoying what a cracking city it is, from the Colston Hall to Cosies. I'm a gal having such a freaking wicked time in this fair city of opportunity, I thought I'd better get it all down.
I'm hoping that, as I go out a lot in Briz, popdock will be quite a constructive blog- so that means less getting pointlessly smashed and more remembering to interview people and take photos. I'm definitely not a socialite, a cool kid or a name about town in any way - please don't think this is just me displaying how wonderful my life is. I felt I wanted to do something - set up a platform for putting out reviews of local gigs and performances, new Bristol band/shops/group profiles, photos of funny things on the way to work - because there's so much of it. And lo, popdock was born!
I hope popdock will keep you informed of things going on this side of the Severn, and be a celebration of what is really is to live in this thriving, unique place.
Over and out x x