Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Talking SHHH with Venue magazine

SHHH BRISTOL an all day celebration of quiet music and art will take place at The Folkhouse, Park Street on the 15th September. It will represent the music local to Bristol that I love and at the same time be geographically very diverse - in particular it will have a home-made musical instrument theme, gramaphones, live drawing, zine making and instrument making to partake in...better get a ticket as it will sell out! TICKETS

Two band interviews a week are going up over on The Local site so go and have a gander

Here`s what I wrote for an interview I did with Julian Owen of Venue magazine...

1.       ‘Shhh Festival’ - sounds a little like a gathering of librarians, but we’re guessing otherwise. What’s the idea behind it?

Well this is the 9th Shhh put on by The Local, but the first ever to be held in Bristol and the first that I`ve had the joy of co-curating. The acts are not all necessarily as hush hush as the title suggests (check Sky Needle from Australia's underground scene) but there will be no ear battering. The music will reach into the inner ear at the optimum volume for clarity of sound. For this to succeed it requests that the audience members are quietly lending their ears, resulting in a meeting in the middle of listeners and performers and a beautiful exchange.

2.       Tell us a little about the musicians you’ve got lined up to perform.

After being knighted co-curator my knee-jerk reaction was to ask all my close musical comrades to play but of course that would be too predictable and I feel strongly that Shhh should be as geographically diverse as possible while at the same time representing the music of Bristol that I love so much. So I`m very happy we have confirmation from Amadou Diagne who sings of the joys and hardship of life in English, French and Wolof - the language of his homeland in Senegal, and I am positively jumping for joy that there will be a meeting of kindred spirits from different corners of the world with 3 acts who share a love of inventing new musical instruments: Le Ton Mite an avant guard improviser and instrument builder from Brussels, Australia`s Sky Needle who make primitive hypnotic sounds solely from handbuilt contraptions, and ICHI the much celebrated Japanese one-man-band who choreographs his many instrument inventions with pingpong, toothbrushing, stilt walking among other mind-boggling surprises. Also coming from Austalia`s underground scene will be the lo-fi Mad Nanna. From nearer to home we`ll be joined by the nomadic Rozi Plain fresh from stunning Glastonbury and Greenman appearances, and her northern counterpart Nancy Elizabeth - both unmissable English gems and please note that these two alone would fetch your Shhh ticket price. Representing Bristol`s rich music scene that we all love so much will be local legends My Two Toms, the singing/kora playing ferryboat-man Will Newsome, the honey-toned singer of simple observations Two White Cranes, and the storytelling folk troupe Cakes and Ale. I will be doing a rare prepared-piano set, getting my fingers inside the Folkhouse`s Steinway, joined by multi-instrumentalist Emma Gatrill who will play her own mesmerising harp set.

3.       It’s not just music, is it? What are some of the other things you’ve got lined up for the day?

Happennings that wont require plug sockets, in the garden, nestled in corners and cubby holes, and moving amidst the crowd: Movietone`s Mat and Kate gramaphone DJing; Betsy DaddJoff Winterheart and Rosie Faragher documenting the day through drawing and making an exhibition as they go; the opportunity to join in with the drawing; unplugged surprise performances around outside; zine making workshop with OOMK (a small independent publication celebrating the creativity of women with an ambition to be inclusive of muslim women); the chance to make an instrument with Le Ton Mite and play it in his set; stalls of music, zines and handmade goods.

4.       Let’s talk more broadly. In your opinion, what is the benefit of quietude?

Well I recently had a holiday for the first time in about 5 years. I was out at sea on a boat for a week and when I came home I had a new clarity in my vision and hearing and thinking, as if everything had been reset. Also from my personal experience I need quiet moments to process and understand feelings and thoughts and then turn them into music and art, but maybe you can do this with the hoover humming and a techno party thumping next door!

5. Our readers should head out for Shhh Fest because...?

They will step into the Folkhouse haven of Shhh and hopefully feel very much an important part of the day`s proceedings. They may find that they have a greater capacity to absorb the goings on with everything handed to them at the optimum volume. There will be no trekking across muddy crowded fields to find you`ve missed the act you so wanted to see. It will be scheduled such so that you can relax, eat and drink at the Folkhouse cafe, take part in the garden`s happenings, and lend your ears to all the amazing acts and take something really darn special away with you.

Thursday, 15 August 2013


Shhh festival, which I am co-curating with The Local, is only 1 month away. To celebrate the approach of Bristol`s first ever Shhh festival The Local are running interviews and introducing 2 artists a week from the incredible line-up that we have just finalised. This week they are two acts residing in Bristol - Will Newsome and Two White Cranes. See the interviews going up over at The Local blog HERE

Shhh Festival is happenning at The Folkhouse in Bristol on the 15th September

Go here for TICKETS

Shhh Festival is happenning at The Folkhouse in Bristol on the 15th September
Go here for TICKETS