THE SUIT YOURSELF BRISTOL MODERNIST AND 60'S WEEKENDER 2022.
GALLERY 1 - CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGES - WRITE UP AT BOTTOM OF IMAGES - VIDEOS AT BOTTOM
GALLERY 2 - CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGES
GALLERY 3 - CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGES
THE MAD MODS AND A CAMERA GALLERY - CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGES
After 2 very long years and two postponements the weekender that we had promised so many people had finally come around. To say this had been a worry for us over the two years is a bit of an understatement as when we initially sold out the event in 2020 we, like so many others had no idea what was waiting for us all around the corner. As we excitedly looking forward to presenting our 2020 weekender we watched as the world around us changed and Covid 19 took hold. Like so many others we had to postpone our 2020 weekender to what we thought was going to be 2021. We had the nightmare of cancelling 4 days before the event was due to take place after the government finally decided enough was enough and closed all clubs and bars down for the duration. I don’t need to tell you what happened next as we all lived it together but trying to postpone a sold out weekender was difficult as all the bands, venues, DJ’s, hotels and all the other expenditure connected with the weekend had been paid, at that point we had no money to refund people if the worst case scenario happened and we had to cancel all together.
2021 rolled round and thankfully and we are truly thankful 80% of our sold out wristband holders trusted us and stuck with us, the others through no fault of their own had no choice but to ask for refunds which we duly paid, so we were looking forward to 2021 and life getting back to normal but that cruel Covid curse wasn’t going to let us off that easily and as we watched the cases rise and the lockdowns still being put in place our hope of a 2021 weekend was lost and we had to postpone again for another year! This was truly devastating and once again we had to think on our feet to keep the weekender alive and keep people’s interest in it. At that point we decided to add an additional day with more acts and DJ’s at more cost to us but not to the wristband buyers. (Believe me when I say that promoting in the mod scene never makes money, it’s always about bringing people together.) It was a way of us saying thank you to all the people that stuck with us over the two years, things could have been so different without the support of everyone around us.
Now 2022 had arrived and we were determined to give the best weekend we possibly could to the people who had waited for so long, I would like to think with the help of people around us we did just that. The bands, the DJ’s, the sound technicians, the venues and the wristband holders gave there all over the three days in the cool city of Bristol.
On Friday night and after a slight restructuring of our venues and a bit of jiggery pokery with diaries we were able to kick off the weekend with the incredible Small Fakers!, our initial plan was to showcase them in our main venue Basement 45 but because the guys had to leave Bristol early to head up to Scotland for their gig on Saturday we sourced a second venue opposite Basement called the Queenshilling. A mixed gay club which opened at 10pm giving us the early part of the evening to host our live music but be out of there before 10. The Fakers as ever rocked the full crowd and the venue was busting at the seams while the boys rattled through all the Small Faces hits in fine style. Once over the crowd left the Shilling and headed over to our main venue Basement 45 to dance away the late hours to our selection of fantastic international DJ’s. The great thing about Basement is the style of the club, it has three rooms which is great as you can mix up the music and still have space for people to chat and catch up. The DJ’s kept the dancefloor busting until the early hours before everyone headed home happy.
With the first of our daytime festivities ahead of us in the shape of our Il Senato/Big Boss Man/Little Triggers parties coupled with the scooter cruise and lots of shopping in our daytime venue The Louisiana it was up early for us, a very quick bite to eat before heading down to the daytime venue The Louisiana to set up for the day’s activities, Modclothin’, Sound Is colour and Spinout records set themselves up downstairs whilst upstairs Little Triggers and IL Senato, who had flown in from Italy to be with us and Fay Hallam were sound checking upstairs. We were busy setting up the decks for the DJ’s and the display table for all the raffle prizes when people started arriving at 11.30am, We knew were in for a busy one as it was a lovely day and the scooter cruise was due to ride in at 1pm however we weren’t expecting people in early and it was a great surprise to see the place jumping by mid day.
The first day had started in fine style, the DJ’s were rocking the cool collective, people were scouring the stalls and popping their heads upstairs to check out the band’s sound checking, the sun was out and lots of people chilled and chatted in the sunshine. It was a fantastic scene only to be made better when 60 scooters turned up in a stunning array of original paintwork, shiney chrome and blue smoke. They looked absolutely amazing in the sunshine and had been led in procession through the city from the famous water tower by the guys from the Bristol mod scooter club, arriving in all their glory outside the Louisiana. It’s sights like that that help bring the weekender alive and we can’t thank The Bristol mod scooter club enough for helping us not only with the ride in but donating one of their beautiful Lambrettas for the Foyer of Basement 45 so people could have their photos taken with it to help raise money for our charity Prostate Cancer UK. I’ve a feeling the 2023 ride in is going to be huge….
With everyone truly settled into the daytime event it was time for the bands to do their thing. Little Triggers came on and played a blistering set of power pop stompers, for a two piece these guys certainly know how to throw a punch both vocally and musically and are destined to do huge things in the future (you heard it here first) Followed by the absolutely outstanding Il Senato with Fay Hallam.
Now Suit Yourself have been very lucky co promoting their latest album and the album is fantastic but it was the first time I had the chance to check them out live and boy I wasn’t disappointed. They were as tight as a band could be and fresh from a successful European tour before they came to Bristol. The energetic dance friendly material was infectious, and the supportive crowd loved it. The vocal talents of Luca Rey were added to when Tom from Little Triggers joined the band on stage for a version of Son of a Baker man which deserves a release all of its own. Fay Hallam was brilliant hammering home some of the best keyboard action I’ve seen in a long time and the rest of the band backed up the musical masterclass wonderfully. If you ever have a chance to check IL Senato out live make sure you do, alternatively buy the album……it’s brilliant, as is Little Triggers Loaded Gun album on Suit Yourself records – Pure class.
As the afternoon came to a climax with DJ spinning killer cuts it was a quick shut down at 5pm before we had to get things rocking for the Saturday night which included Big Boss Man live and another night at the fantastic Basement 45.
Now we love the guys from Big Boss Man and they have never let us down when we have booked them and our weekender wouldn’t have been complete without them but this particular night the guys played out of their skin! I don’t know if like us they were super excited to be playing at the Bristol weekender again or it was the crowd that were egging them on but oh my word the guys absolutely nailed it with their usual blend of party antics and killer mod grooves, whatever it was in the juice they were drinking they carried on the party vibe in the back room of Basement 45 as they stepped up to deck duties to the dance floor faithful, coupled with the deck talents from some of the UK’s finest in the other rooms the Saturday night mirrored the Friday in excitement and flamboyancy.
Sunday came and another action packed day beckoned, this time back at The Louisiana with the brilliant Electric Stars and a Catch My Drift special before heading back to Basement 45 for our closing party with our good Friends Andy Hill and Sean Chapman in a Chills and Fever special.
Once again, come 11.30am people were filtering into the Louis and even though the weather had turned slightly by 12.00 the venue was buzzing again. This time the deck duties for the day came in the shape of Bryan Rookes’ Catch My Drift party. Now CMD are famous for their killer selection of DJ’s playing the coolest of R&B and the visuals they use at their own events so it was great to see them transform The Louis into a Catch My Drift spectacular with cool images adorning the walls and killer tracks tempting the crowd onto the dance floor. It also gave us all an insight into the massive all-dayer due to take place in the city on October 1st (check out our listings for that, tickets are nearly sold out)
Upstairs and straight from Manchester The Electric Stars had them packed in. The Electric Stars have been making huge waves in the scene over the last few years and when we were deciding who to invite to play for our additional day there was only one band for us and that was the Stars as their albums Sonic Candy Soul and Velvet Elvis the only lover left alive were played on contestant repeat over the lockdowns. we were so excited to have them join us at our weekender and they recreated the stars magic for us beautifully. Jason Edge being the fantastic showman that he is took the crowd through a journey of beautiful music for beautiful people (If you’re a Stars fan you’ll get that reference) with backing from the super talented Louise Turner and the rest of the group. It was a great way to finish our live sessions for the weekend and the band is currently working on more music and another album. If you’ve not had the chance have a listen to Jason’s Modcloud mix for some pure hedonistic heaven jump on the link below.
The afternoon soon flew by with lots of people dancing and picking from one of the table full of prizes that were donated from across the scene to raise money from Prostate Cancer UK, at the last count it was over £300 which we are more than happy with for a worthwhile cause. If you bought a ticket or donated thank you from the bottom of our hearts, it meant the world to us.
So, Sunday afternoon done and it was just up to the fine fellas from the famous club night Chills and Fever to finish the weekend off with a bang, after decorating Basement 45 with Chills and Fever branding Andy Hill and Sean Chapman gave it there all, due to people leaving during the day on Sunday we had to close one room at the club but this didn’t stop the crowd having a fantastic time and the party faithful made sure they squeezed every ounce of juice from what was left of the weekend. Some would say this had been the best night as the guys played classic after classic bringing the party and the Bristol 2020/22 weekender to a riotous close in true Chills and Fever style.
On reflection as I write this 3 weeks after the event I have had time to think about the weekender and the people who supported us through a really difficult time. It has amazed us the fantastic comments that we have received about the weekend and what it means to people. At the time we didn’t even think we would make it to 2022 but we are so glad we did as the nearly 300 people who attended had an amazing time making all the worry and hard work worthwhile. Seeing live music, tapping feet and grooving to fantastic DJ’s, checking out beautiful scooters and being with awesome like minded people in a wonderful city can’t be beat. We will never really be able to express how grateful we are to all the people that helped and attended the 2022 weekender, all the bands, the DJ’s, the sound technicians, the venues, the photographers, the raffle donators, the scooter owners and the lovely people that bought wristbands and had faith in us to deliver what we promised but one thing we can say is that the Bristol weekender is here to stay and we are already looking at exciting plans for next year, without people’s support we may never have been able to say that, Thank you everyone………
Words - Cris Davies.
Our thanks to….
SMALL FAKERS – IL SENATO – FAY HALLAM – BIG BOSS MAN – THE ELECTRIC STARS – LITTLE TRIGGERS – MODCLOTHIN’ – SPINOUT NUGGETS – THE BRISTOL MOD SCOOTER CLUB – SOUND IS COLOUR – MAD MODS AND A CAMERA – DJ’S LEE MILLER – ANDY HILL – SEAN CHAPMAN – IAN HURFORD – BRYAN ROOKES AND THE CMD DJ’S – SIOBHAN NOLAN-FARMER – DONNA DRISCOLL – JULIAN ROCHFORT – PAUL TURNER – LEE AND DAVE GRIMSHAW – RUSSELL DEAL – ROB POWNER – STEVE BOWDEN – MARK FOXON – JODIE RICHARDSON – CALLUM SAMMON – MALCOLM BEEDLE – STUART CATLING AND PETE COGLEY.
We were very lucky to have the talent of Duncan James from Mad Mods and a camera on hand over the weekend to capture some beautiful black and white images which you can see as part of the gallery above. The rest of the photos have been taken by the people that lived and loved the event. Every photo capturing the brilliant vibe of this fantastic occasion.
We loved our 2022 weekender, the 2023 Bristol Modernist and sixties weekender takes place on
SATURDAY 29TH APRIL AND SUNDAY 30TH APRIL 2023 – MONDAY IS A BANK HOLIDAY.
Event details will be landing in the summer with tickets being sold after The New Untouchables weekender in Brighton in August.
SMALL FAKERS HERE
BIG BOSS MAN HERE
IL SENATO HERE
THE ELECTRIC STARS HERE
LITTLE TRIGGERS HERE
MAD MODS AND A CAMERA HERE
SPINOUT NUGGETS HERE
SOUND IS COLOUR HERE