Many things that we didn’t anticipate have happened since we opened in July 2013. A campaign of intimidation by a bunch of spotty oiks was an unexpected pain in the arse. Whereas appearing in an NME feature on Bristol’s DIY music scene and producing a CD of bands who we hold very dear have been unexpected pleasures.
Becoming a music venue wasn’t part of the plan, but maybe all new businesses need a bit of time to figure out who and what they are, and things change while that process goes on. That’s what we’ve found, in any case.
Nothing will ever beat bowling along under your own steam on a sunny day, or collecting 2kg of mud on your bike with your friends at a local CX race where riders are also marshalls, but this stuff is a million miles from the Murdoch-sponsored grand tour circus. So one thing we’ve learned is that pro cycling is a bit dull in large doses, maybe because it’s a world to which we don’t feel much connection.
On the flipside, we accidentally found a world much closer to home to which we feel a very strong connection: DIY music. All music that people don’t make a living from is DIY to some extent, but in this context it means a scene that values a hands-on approach to doing everything yourself, rather than wanting to get rich so that you can employ someone to peel the grapes on your rider. It’s about a sense of community, helping each other out, being inclusive, being creative, doing something for the love of it, all this actually being fun. And all of that resonates very much with what we hope to do with Roll for the Soul. Profit as a motive leads to some pretty weird decisions, whereas doing something because you see some value in it for its own sake just seems, well, better in many ways.
We started hosting shows because people asked if they could use the space to put them on and we liked what they were doing. Other people seemed to enjoy those shows and asked if they could put stuff on too. And so on. Then we ended up in the NME and with a bunch of new friends all of whom are doing something beautiful. Something that isn’t being rammed down our throats by marketers and hasn’t been concocted as a ruse to rinse us of our cash. We wanted to celebrate that, which is why we’ve somewhat incongruously put a CD together. If you’re not interested, don’t bother yourself any further, but if you are, pick up a copy (for £3, to cover the cost of making it) in the cafe and read the liner notes for a better explanation of why we think this stuff is important. Your ears will get a treat as well.
Massive thanks to everyone who gave us a track or helped out in any way with it. Here’s the track listing. Further investigation of all of these people is very strongly recommended.
1. Carriages – Evan // 2. Acres – Episodes // 3. Hallie and the Annies – Anytime // 4. Grubs – Dec 15 // 5. Olanza – Minutes // 6. Whitebelt – Flashes // 7. Another Neville – Wardrobe // 8. Y CVn – Lower the Roof // 9. Totem Terrors // 10. EXPENSIVE – Real Life // 11. The Jelas – You Want the Pink Moon on a Stick // 12. Howie Reeve – Yesterday’s Bread // 13. Motes – Grocs on the River // 14. Two White Cranes – Two White Cranes // 15. Trust Fund – Scared