Bristol Live Music Scene

Photo by Gallit Shaltiel

Can I find another way ?
Lead another path not to stray
Not like a traveller for pleasure 
Just a new place to have, endeavour

M32 by Mooz, verse 1.

We have a song called ‘M32’. This song and its title references the motorway of the same name: a gateway between Bristol and the rest of the UK, a symbolic border connected to our scene. We spent many days on that stretch of road touring. The drive, motivation and energy required to be in a band, the intense need to make music, perform and share it with anyone who wanted to listen.

At the Bristol Community Festival (photo by Ian Nichols).

This was our focus and determination to voice self-expression through music together. The M32 also represented our musical tribe. It reminds us of the days of Choke, a local Bristol DIY zine created and distributed by local musicians. Musicians were connected and organised locally, supporting each other and sharing stages and gigs. That M32 motorway was the network connecting Bristol bands and the collective Bristol sound to a wider audience in the UK and internationally.

Amy, singing. At the Fleece and Firkin, Bristol

“Bristol is absolutely supportive to musicians” said Rasha Shaheen of the all-female city band Mooz, who played at the Ashton Court Festival this summer as well as at Glastonbury. The girls have just brought out their first CD. “With a distinctive, non-mainstream sound, Mooz are committed to experimentation in their art. Music students and graduates, they are being broadcast on BBC Radio 3 from the Edinburgh Fringe this month.” “Audiences are so, so behind us here, it’s lovely,” said Rasha. “And there’s a good music community too, with people playing in each other’s bands and sharing. We just want to build on that to develop, as a band and as musicians.” – from Bristol Evening Post, Insight – Stories behind the news, Thursday 15th Aug 2002.

Bristol Community Festival

We got to know and work with so many different groups of musicians, artists, DJs, VJs, engineers and promoters both at college and in the Bristol music scene at the time. This support helped nurture our confidence and develop our sound. As the newbies on the block, we gradually found our place within the Bristol circuit and became part of an alternative DIY music network. The whole scene was all about bands supporting each other, playing gigs together, promoting nights and events, touring and it became a fabric of mutual support and hugely enriched our musical experience – like one big musical family. You’ll find some of them on our Thank yous page.

-- We dedicate M32 to the Bristol music scene --