Friday, 4 April 2008
Just about recovered from a weeks holiday which featured a lot of driving on tight South-Western and Welsh roads.
Visited my brother in Bristol which is The Nicest English City I've Ever Been To so far.
A nice laid back town with lots of relaxing things to do. Tons of green space too. As well as a really amazing variety of street art in some sections.
Everyone goes on about the Banksy bits around the town but there's loads of other stuff.
Here are some photos.
Stokes Croft is a vague little area with its own agenda and spirit. It reminds me a bit of Leith in the fierce pride the denizens take in their area. It's by no means trendy being a bit too louche for many but I really enjoyed the vibe here.
The PRSC (Lots of People's Republics on the internet) is the epitome of some of the spirit here, calling on people to use street art to brighten up their neighbourhood. By identifying sites around the area, many of them hoardings or derelict buildings they encourage people to paint on them. Permissions are sought and advised upon although in some cases they haven't but say "it would be difficult to make the site worse".
I'd be inclined to believe them.
They've also put up noticeboards for community information, tags, stickers etc.
Went to some lovely boozers too, the Beaufort in Montpelier was a lovely old mans pub with a great wee jukie full of lovers rock and ska 7"s. Went to the Bank as well where I got completely floored by some crazy cloudy cask cider and went out to Tape. Saw Jay Le Surgeon and Bass Clef but had to head before Peverelist was on. Grr. Thanks to Richard and all the rest of the Tape crew who gave me a great welcome, the club had a lovely relaxed vibe and the folk were very friendly. I ended up being dragged home early after drinking some evil fruity cidery thing that had me forgetting to look at the time. There's something to be said for just going to clubs you want to by yourself rather than drag people who aren't necessarily into it along and then moan when they've had enough. Anyways I had had enough of drinking at that point as I was slurring incoherently yet enthusiastically about the tunes and the nice wee club.
On my birthday I went to Bordeaux Quay which is a beautiful big brasserie and then strolled along by the water for a bit. There was a guy playing a Kora which took our minds off the cold and the rain for a minute or two. Then off to the Rummer which is a nice old school cocktail bar and drank Negroni in front of a huge fireplace. Sweeeet.
Didn't manage to get to any record shops which was disappointing, I think my travelling companions managed to steer me away from them. In hindsight it was probably a good idea, I'm broke enough as it is.
Went to my pal's wedding and DJ'd which was a great success despite being shackled to a request list as cheesy as it was long. Still, who knew that A-Ha and Five(?!) could cause such dancefloor mayhem. It was on in Wells which is absolutely gorgeous if a little genteel. We saw a terrace of houses that was built in the 1350's! Who knew!? Huge cathedral, Bishops Palace surrounded by a moat that's crystal clear because it's fed by a well which overflows and sluices water through the town. Serious hobbit action going on there.
Back through Hay-On-Wye (Bookish, bank machine out of order, frustrated at not having bought more!), Shrewsbury (Busy, baffling and boooring) and Manchester (Flash, stayed in posh hotel, nearly got battered in a 24 shop queue for juice at midnight).