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Bristol Sounds

£8.00

The photographs chronicling Bristol’s music scene since the 1980's by Mark Simmons will go on display, many for the first time, as part of Bristol Photo Festival. Studio portraits of artists will be displayed alongside photographs capturing music events and venues across the city. Collectively, these photographs demonstrate... ​​Read More

The photographs chronicling Bristol’s music scene since the 1980's by Mark Simmons will go on display, many for the first time, as part of Bristol Photo Festival. Studio portraits of artists will be displayed alongside photographs capturing music events and venues across the city. Collectively, these photographs demonstrate the diversity and energy of music in and across Bristol during a period of great creativity.

Simmons revisited his archive of over one hundred thousand images — approximately 20 thousand focusing on music— to select 30 to represent the city’s recent musical heritage — both mainstream and counter-culture. The resulting selection includes early portraits of well-known figures such as Massive Attack and Roni Size & Reprazent alongside influential but less-well known figures such as John Stapleton, AKA Dr Jam, the Moonflowers, Sub Love, Phantom Limb and Rob Smith AKA RSD of Smith & Mighty, pivotal pioneer of the ‘Bristol Sound’.

Alongside these portraits, the collection includes images documenting deep house nights at Trinity, early Drum & Bass ‘Jungle’ sessions at Malcolm X, St Paul’s Carnival sound systems and street revelers, the crowds at Ashton Court Festival, and dance competitions at Easton Community Centre among others.

Simmons was most active on the music scene in the 1990's, working for club promoters, local and national magazines. As a result, many of the images in the exhibition were taken as professional commissions where Simmons would often stay for several hours to dance and immerse himself in the ambiance. Being a part of the collective experience gained him tacit acceptance to record these often unguarded and open portraits. In addition to his work documenting music, Simmons has worked as a photographer/photojournalist in the fields of the arts, community activity and wider political engagement.

 

Published by RRB Photobooks
Design by Jessamine Thoemmes- Tondowski
17 x 24cm
Softcover
October 2021