Friday afternoon at Sanctum Bristol

I called in to Sanctum Bristol just after midday on Friday 20th November. This was day 23 out of the 24 that it runs for. There was a queue but people were being rotated every 20 minutes so we didn’t have to wait for long.

Inside I caught the candomble singing and drumming of Alafia. I know almost everyone who was performing from¬†Afon Sistema or Bloco Dos Sujos, both bands that I’m involved with.

Alafia
Alafia

Next up were “Fuck the house band” who have the rules:

  • Anyone can be in the house band
  • You don’t need to know how to play an instrument
  • No covers
  • No rehearsals

After their first song they said “we need a new band, who wants to play?” and got people from the audience to form a new band. “Drums! All you have to do is hit them”. A woman volunteered but said “I’ve never played the drums before.” They said “Good”. I had a go on guitar for one song and bass for another. I didn’t have a clue what I was doing but I did it anyway and it was exhilarating. I can claim this as my 6th performance at Sanctum. I’ve played three times with the African Sambistas, done two ambient dj sets in the early hours as Tommy Tutu and now this. I’ve also¬†visited three times before.

Energy levels and spirits were lifted during the hour of punk play.

Fuck the house band - all volunteers
Fuck the house band – all volunteers
That's me playing bass.
That’s me playing bass. Photo: Hannah Sullivan

Finally I caught the start of a set by James Morton and Jonny Henderson. They explained that they were going to take the opportunity of having a focussed audience and really play some emotional music.

James Morton and Jonny Henderson
James Morton and Jonny Henderson