Set within Bristol’s ultimate chill pad, Stokes Croft’s Full Moon and Attic Bar hosted the official launch of summer in the city with their annual yard party on bank holiday Sunday. With performances from some of Bristol’s best live music acts, the party was shaking the courtyard cobbles until the early hours of the AM.
The afternoon’s entertainment provided was by an immensely heavyweight lineup of Bristol talent including; Mohawkestra, Laid Blak, Future Dub Orchestra, Gardna and Dr Meaker, all of whom had the bedazzled spectators swaying and swinging along to their beats from the word go.
Set in the perfect location, Stokes Croft’s main youth-hostel-cross-live-music-venue Attic Bar & The Full Moon pulled all the stops out, with fresh pizza being tossed all day, a beach-hut style BBQ grill sizzling outside, Thai vendors serving up fragrant street food, a poppin’ yard bar and plenty of spectacular live music to keep the vibes pumping all night. However overcast and gloomy the weather remained, nothing would stop the glittery, festival-esque party goers from celebrating with a show of some of Bristol’s waviest garms – a surefire way to tell that Bristol festival season is truly upon us.
nothing would stop the glittery, festival-esque party goers from celebrating with a show of some of Bristol’s waviest garms
Kicking off the afternoon’s tunes with some easy listening, laid-back funk was Mohawkestra. Bristol-based and super funky, the group create up-to-date, break-heavy music in the style of Hammond icons The Mohwaks. The group were the perfect openers for the afternoon and set some super-chilled vibes across the yard.
Following the funky stylings of Mohawkestra, Bristol’s urban reggae heavyweight veterans Laid Blak took to the stage. Mashing up a setlist of classic reggae super-covers and their own sing-a-long original material, Laid Blak set the energy in the yard alight with their powerful lyrics and calypso dancehall-inspired tunes.
Mashing up a setlist of classic reggae super-covers and their own sing-a-long original material, Laid Blak set the energy in the yard alight with their powerful lyrics and calypso dancehall-inspired tunes
Named as the ‘ultimate festival band’, Laid Blak certainly didn’t undermine their reputation with a lengthy and lively slot that not one soul in the courtyard could resist bopping along to. Proper feel-good music, the jungle giants kept the easy vibe flowing with a celebration of Bristol love, peace, reggae culture and music.
Not long after Laid Blak, chilled Bristol collective Future Dub Orchestra took to the stage, bringing their slow moving and sensual sounds to the yard. With influences in electronica, dub, jazz and reggae, Future Dub Orchestra sparked a slow and sexy feeling amongst party goers, igniting hip-rolling, waist-winding movements across the courtyard. Committed to unique sounds and an ambient sensuality, FDO use soulful vocals and electronic sound engineering to create their evolutionary sound composition, which is creative and elegant.
Future Dub Orchestra sparked a slow and sexy feeling amongst party goers, igniting hip-rolling, waist-winding movements across the courtyard
Next up to take the mic was Bristol’s main bad boy and king of swagger, Gardna – with plenty of the crowd seeming to be most fired up for his set. Gardna did as only he knows how, burning up the microphone with quick lyrics and fiery dubplates – including a Gorillaz dubplate that sent the already hyped crowd into an absolute frenzy.
Things got a bit crazy in Bristol when we dropped mine and ASBO's Gorillaz Dubplate!
Posted by Gardna on Tuesday, 2 May 2017
Mixing reggae, jungle and dub vibes with the quick lyrics and attitude of grime or jungle MC, Garda has been lighting up the UK underground airwaves with his constant hot collaborations and sick beats. Gardna’s set shook the bunting in the courtyard and left the party goers in a sweaty heap of glitter and bass residue. Catch Gardna around Bristol and on the UK festival scene this summer.
Gardna’s set shook the bunting in the courtyard and left the party goers in a sweaty heap of glitter and bass residue
Finishing up the yard party section of the evening, last but certainly not least, came Dr Meaker. A Nitelife favourite and one of the best live, electronic fusion acts Bristol has ever produced, Dr Meaker blasted the spirited audience with their unique soul-cross-DnB fusion sounds.
Fronted by the unchallenged vocal ranges of soul artists Tenisha Edwards and Laurent John, and held together by mastermind producer Clive Meaker, the mega band put on an animated performance under the cover of the marquee that left dust settling on the cobblestones afterwards.
Playing a series of tracks from their 2016 album Dirt & Soul, Clive and band are touring the album around the UK with back-to-back venue and festival dates over the summer. With Glastonbury already booked alongside Boomtown, Nibley and several other major UK dates, the band are currently receiving a lot of press and radio attention and are predicted a major blow-up following their tour this summer.
Energetic, pitch-perfect and relevant, Dr Meaker are perfectly representing the amazing musical talent emerging from Bristol
Energetic, pitch-perfect and relevant, Dr Meaker are perfectly representing the amazing musical talent emerging from Bristol – check out our recent interview with Dr Meaker for more on the collaborative Bristol project.
After a successful afternoon, twilight fell and the party continued inside The Full Moon pub, kicking off with resident Stevie Bear’s remixed disco beats, lively movements from Andrés, rude reggae mixes from Dub Boy, finally finishing up with Hiphopapotamus putting in the work until close. A successful summer throw down from the team at Attic & Full Moon, hopefully just the first of many this season!
words by Molly Chinner // photography by Dominika Sheibinger