The first one was last Saturday evening, entitled “Sanctuary”, hosted by Friendly Stage Bristol and Foundation Bristol, featuring The Rubber Wellies (followed by an Open Mic session) – in aid of the wonderful, local charity B-Friend, who work with refugees. Lots of happy people in attendance, a great atmosphere and fine music (and a lot of money raised for B-Friend). I think there’s another Friendly Stage evening being organised for later in the year.
The second was today’s “Monday Lunchtime Concert” (1.10-1.55pm and free!). These have been happening every week (except Bank Holidays) for quite a long time - certainly well before we became members of the Community of Saint Stephen’s, 9 months or so ago. Today’s concert featured the excellent singer songwriter Rosie Sleightholme (who has a voice to match Judy Collins and Eddi Reader and an ability to play guitar, ukulele, banjo and piano - plus, apparently, cello, violin, electric bass and zither(!) – to an extremely high standard!).
The type of music at these concerts varies. I see that May’s programme includes a jazz-rocker teaming up with a trumpeter; an eclectic concert featuring TWO double bassists; and a singer/guitarist playing Americana+Country Blues.Not only that, there’s a concert this Thursday, 28 April at 8pm (tickets £7, I think?), featuring highly-acclaimed folk singer Saska Griffiths-Moore plus three other top Bristol female singers (tickets from www.bristolticketshop.co.uk).
Saint Stephen’s Café is also now open again and well worth a visit (9.30am-3.30pm Monday to Friday)… and features informal music sessions most Fridays in the café (one or two sets, sometime between 12 noon and 3pm). These have only recently started but, already, are proving to be very popular.
You can find out more on the Saint Stephen’s website: http://www.saint-stephens.com/
Talking to some of the people involved in organising these concerts/sessions, I sense that Saint Stephen’s is going to become an increasingly important centre for music and performance within the city over the next five years.Exciting times!
Photos: Rosie Sleightholme at today’s lunchtime concert (top) and The Rubber Wellies at the “Sanctuary” concert on Saturday 23 April (bottom).