Hey there Mr. Inkeeper here to tell all of you the special weekend that I’ve been through! A weekend submerged in Fuzz, Psych and the amazingly vibrant city of Bristol in the UK.
To kick off the review, I would to say that this was a very special time because it was my first time in England and I think I was lucky to visit simply the coolest city of them all!
Ready? Let’s GO!
So, just as I arrive in Bristol the weather is oddly sunny and incredibly hot, it’s like +30ºC out there, I went to double check my map to see if I was at the right place…because…well…it’s England…
At first impression Bristol is a really lifeful, vibrant, multicultural city and most important of all it SWEATS music from all its corners, a lot of pubs announcing live music of every genre, do you like reggae and ska? Check! A big scene in Bristol. Do you like punk and brit rock? CHECK! Do you like trip hop? (Well this is the birthplace of Portishead and Massive Attack). But if you are into psychedelic rock watered with lots of fuzz you’re in the right place, inside of a lot a basements spread across the town, Bristol gave birth to bands like The Heads and Gonga (Bristolian stoner rock band that reached a somewhat legendary status, that already played two times at Dunajam!)
The one day festival started at 14pm of Saturday until 3am of Sunday, was divided through 3 different venues, the smallest was a tiny room on the back of Rough Trade, a record shop very diverse where I bought all of my music during this trip, The Lanes a really cool pub with a garden on the back where most of the bands played, and the big stage SWX.
All pictures by Falk-Hagen Bernshausen, thanks to him!
Yo No Se
The party started with YO NO SE, a high energy Bristolian band with a very grundgy sound that from time to time hit some weird time signatures, Alex the guitarist/vocalist is also the responsible for the organization of all the festival, also the owner of the Stolen Body Records, he made all this possible.
Who would have thought that last year when I met Vinnum Sabbathi at SonicBlast, it would lead me at this year’s Bristol Psych Fest? Actually crazy right? All of this was possible because Cegvera guitarist (and Vinnum Sabbathi drummer) Gerardo invited me to come to Bristol and see Cegvera live, and since they released one of my favorite EP’s of last year, “Creations” (Link to the Review here), I accepted and a dream was fulfilled, Cegvera blasting my eardrums in front of me, I even got the chance to see them rehearse the day before and hang out with all of the Bristolian gang at Old Englands pub.
Cegvera’s punching and heavy sound made everybody headbang at Rough Trade for 30 minutes, after this all was bonus for me.
Next up on The Lanes pub Slift were about to hit the stage, and f****k these guys are good!! This french band released na álbum last year called “Space is the Key” and I gotta say that’s got to be one of the biggest surprises of the festival, their blend of heavy riffs mixed with brit rock psychadelia were on point, and the visuals behind the band trapped everyone that entered there to grab a pint.
I was especially interested in this band because their name is in Portuguese and it means (Black Smoke) I went to check them out and again I’ve found another good band in this festival that I didn’t know about, their mix of psych funk mixed with latin rhythms and Portuguese lyrics were an instant attention grabber, I even managed to talk with the band after their gig at the band’s eating room and discuss the current state of Venezuela and how that will influence the next album (since the drummer/singer Alex Figueira, was born in Venezuela), I’ll definitely check them again when they return to Portugal.
Well since I’m in Bristol I got to check the local legendary band with +25 years of existence The Heads, prove to have a still relevant sound until today’s music scene, a veeeeery psychedelic rock sound, very shoegazey and ethereal, they definitely have that legendary status in Bristol since the space was packed and you could feel that loving energy from everywhere, an amazing gig for sure!
Another legendary band, the psychedelic stoner rock of Nebula filled The Lanes with their wavy and warm fuzzy sound after a 7 year long hiatus that finished last year.
That 90’s desert rock vibe is palpable in their sound, that you almost feel like you are in Palm Desert in 96 drinking hot beer and smoking a fat joint.
The Cosmic Dead
Once again, I cannot describe Cosmic Dead sound, it’s chaotic, madness personified, schizophrenic molasse and I freaking love it, even it’s hard to get in the vibe to listen to them.
The Scots proved once again to be a rampaging and colossal live band that interact as much as possible with the crowd and even play in the middle of them.
The final act was Pigs x7 but unfortunately, I couldn’t check them out because the place was packed and I got to wait outside before I checked like one song in the end.
Maybe next time!
Well my journey in Bristol is over, listened to a lot of music, bought some cd’s, spent an amazing evening with my friend Eduardo than showed me some parts of Bristol, a special thanks to my good friend Gerardo from Cegvera/Vinnum Sabbathi for giving me a place to live, food, a guest ticket to the fest, introduce me to the Bristolian music scene and even meet legendary people, eternally thankful to you my friend! See you soon!
Hope you like the report!